top of page

How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors: A Beginner’s Guide


How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors

Gardening is therapeutic. Watering, pruning, and harvesting your plants gives you the chance to get out in the sunshine and tend to living things. When you harvest marijuana, you get an extra bonus. You get to smoke your bounty!

Once you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana, ask yourself whether you want to grow your weed indoors or outdoors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Indoor and outdoor growing are also both legal in California, but with some restrictions.

Use this guide to discover whether you want to grow outdoors and how to get started. Growing marijuana outdoors isn’t accessible to everyone, but with the right climate and care, you can produce a large amount of bud in the same garden beds as your tomatoes, potatoes, and green beans.

Legal Guide to Growing Marijuana Outdoors in California

The laws on growing marijuana outside vary from state to state. California’s laws are pretty sweet - but there are still some restrictions that are worth noting.

Only people 21 and over can grow marijuana. Or smoke it, buy it, hold it in their hands…

Private households can only grow six plants at one time. California allows these plants to grow on your private property at any stage, even if they have started flowering.

Marijuana plants must be kept out of sight. It’s not legal to leave your weed on your front porch for kids to see on their way to school. You can’t have it grow in the community garden either. You can actually only grow marijuana outdoors if you have a backyard that is fenced off from other properties.

This last rule limits a lot of people from growing outside. Apartment complexes just aren’t the best place to grow weed outside. But if you have enough “locked space” outside, it may be worth growing your bud where it can get some sun.

Legal Guide to Growing Marijuana Outdoors in California

Why Grow Outside?

More space indoors. Six plants doesn’t sound like a lot of weed, but you could potentially produce over six pounds of bud! Marijuana plants grow tall and wide and require containers with 50L of space for maximum yield. That’s not always easy to store in your closet.

Indoor growers will also need to make sure they have proper lighting and humidifiers in their grow room. Those can also take up a lot of space. It’s just easier to pop your plants in your backyard than trying to stick them in the powder room.

Lower costs. Lighting, humidifiers, and other equipment can add up over time. (Also, you might see quite a spike in your energy bill if you’re shining bright lights on your plants for hours at a time!) Outdoor growers may need to spend more time trimming their plants, but overall, there are fewer costs, including the “cost” of your own labor,” that go into outdoor growing. The sun’s rays are free!

Pest protection. Growing plants outdoors can limit your yield. Indoor growers have a lot more control over factors like humidity, temperature, and light exposure. Unfortunately, indoor growers have a lot less control over pest protection. Mites that eat marijuana plants are much likely to invade indoor homes where they can munch on your bud freely. Outdoor predators can help to control the mite population, leaving outdoor growers more confident that their plants won’t be chewed up.

When To Start Growing Outdoors

One disadvantage of growing outdoors is that you have to adhere to the weather. You can make it 80 degrees inside anytime - if you have the equipment and the cash to pay the electric bill. Growing outdoors requires a bit of waiting until the season is right.

We recommend that you start germinating your seeds indoors between March and May. The germination process takes about two or three weeks, or even longer if some of your seeds are duds. Get started early and track the weather to figure out when to transplant your seeds outdoors.

You can move your little plants outside as early as mid-April or slack off until July. Since it only takes about 10 weeks to grow and harvest marijuana plants, you will want to get them in the ground early enough before the winter rolls in. Marijuana plants love temperatures between 50-80 degrees, which as much time on the warmer side as possible.