How To Grow Crazy Sativas Indoors

“Sativas” also known as Narrow Leaf Drug Varieties or NLD for short, are not the most popular among growers. Although many enjoy the special taste and energetic effects of a haze or a Colombian Gold, very few people are willing to grow crazy Sativas at home. In this article, we will go over many tips that growers can implement in order to grow these elegant narrow leaf varieties indoors more easily.

Indica Vs Sativa

Indicas and Sativas don’t look the same. Indicas originate from central Asia whereas Sativas come from places closer to the equator although there are some exeptions. The growing season in central Asia is shorter and dryer than the places close to the equator. Consequently, the cannabis plant has gradually adapted to its environment. Cannabis plants from central Asia are bushy and short with very broad dark leaves and a short flowering cycle. On the other hand, the plants that grew in the tropics, became taller and slender. From the South-Indian Jungle to the Amazonian Rain-forest, they developed thinner leaflets and their flower clusters became looser in order to withstand the high humidity. To sum up, Sativas are spindlier, take more time to flower and grow wispier buds than Indicas.

Why Grow Sativas?

Indicas were traditionally cultivated for hashish-making whereas Sativas where mostly grown for the “Ganja” (seedless or lightly seeded buds).
From dissimilar growing environments and farming methods emerged different tastes and effects.
This is why Sativas generally have energizing, uplifting effects as opposed to Indicas which are more calming, even sometimes sedating. Indicas also produce higher amounts of CBD.
Cannabis connoisseurs may want to grow Sativas to enjoy new tastes and experience some unique effects. Likewise, these varieties can offer a whole new array of medical benefits.
Therefore Indicas, Sativas and Hybrids all serve a purpose.

Cambodian Sativa Growing Indoors

Managing the stretch indoors

Starting Directly in 12/12

The reason why Sativas generally have a long flowering period (from 10 to 18 weeks), is because they stretch a lot. From the moment you flip them to flower up to the day of harvest, they can get 4 to 20 times taller!
You can turn this problem into an opportunity by starting your crazy Sativas directly in 12/12 (12 hours of light for 12 hours of darkness).
This way you can offset the long flowering period by not wasting any time in the vegetative phase. Furthermore, the plants will only grow to manageable heights without growing out of control. This method will also help you reduce your power bill.

Using An LED or a Metal Halide During The Stretch

Plants tend to remain shorter when they grow under a light high in blue spectrum. That’s why if you use an LED with a lot of blue chips or a Metal Halide for the first 4 to 6 weeks, your Sativas won’t stretch as much. Then, once they start blooming, you can use an HPS lamp.

Opting For An 11/13 Light Cycle

Sativas originate from places close to the equator where the day-length is always short. For that reason, it can be preferable to grow your plants under 11 hours of light for 13 hours of darkness. The short day-length will send a strong signal to the plants and induce flowering more quickly. By giving your Sativas 11 hours of light for 13 hours of darkness, you could shorten their flowering time by at least 2 weeks.

Using Smaller Pots

If starting directly in 12/12 isn’t enough, you could also use smaller pots. By limiting the size of the root ball you will limit the height of the plant as well. Containers that are about 30% smaller than the recommended size will help you keep the plants under control. However, using small pots means watering more often as the soil will dry up faster. When the stretch starts to slow down, after about 5 to 7 weeks, you can then transplant into bigger pots. That way, the plants don’t become root bound.

Root-Builder

Training The Plants

There are several effective ways to train plants. You could pinch the tops, tie them down, use a net or resort to the famous SCROG technique.

Using A Dedicated Grow Space

Unless you have a lot of experience, it may be very hard to grow Sativas alongside Indicas or Hybrids. Because they will stretch much more than the other plants in your grow box, it is better to grow Sativas in a dedicated grow tent.

Sativa-Dominant Hybrids

Another efficient solution would be to grow Sativa-dominant hybrids instead of pure Sativas. These usually stretch less and flower faster. With a Sativa-dominant hybrids, you would still be able to experience most of the Sativa aromas and effects while growing more manageable plants.

How To Grow Crazy Sativas Outdoors?

We talked about indoors but what about outdoor cultivation? Outside, Sativas often start flowering very late in the season and they also take a loooong time to ripen. That is not a problem if you live in places like Spain or Southern California. However, you may never get to harvest your crazy Sativa in Northern Europe or Canada.

Light-Dep

Resorting to a light-deprivation technique is a great way to harvest Sativas in colder climates. You can easily Force the plants to enter into their flowering cycle by pulling a tarp over them for a few hours each day. The plants simply need to be in the dark for 1 to 3 extra hours so they can get 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day. You could also move the plants to a dark room and they will go back outside after the night has fallen. You don’t have to do this until the harvest. Usually, at the end of August, the days have become short enough for the plants to flower on their own. If you start your light-dep in the beginning of July, you can expect your crazy Sativas to be ready for harvest by the end of September.

Tame The Craziness

After going over these many tips and tricks, you can now implement an action plan to keep these tall tropical varieties under control. Are you ready to tame the crazy Sativas!?
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