The pros and cons of planting cannabis in the spring

Published Apr 17, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Matthew Sichkaruk

Growing cannabis has quickly become a popular pastime for many, with more people than ever before raising their own plants at home. However, with so many possibilities to consider, it can be difficult to know when the best time may be to get started. One question that often arises is whether or not spring is a good time to plant cannabis.

In this article, we will dive into some of the many advantages and disadvantages of planting cannabis in the spring which should help you come to your own conclusion.

Advantages of planting cannabis in the spring

These are some of the biggest advantages of getting a start on your home-based cannabis crop. However, it is important to note that these points are only true if you reside in a region with appropriate temperatures. To learn more about what cannabis plants need to survive, including ideal temperature ranges click here.

More time to grow
If you start to plant cannabis right now in early spring you’ll have a head start that leaves plenty of room for a longer growing season, and that’s something some strains may need to fully mature. With warmer temperatures, and longer days extending the growing season could result in higher-quality flower and more bountiful yields.

Less risk of frost
Since cannabis is a tropical plant species most cultivars are incredibly sensitive to severe temperature drops and frost. Planting earlier in the season may help to reduce the risk of your crop being damaged by the frost toward the end of the year, and that is especially true for strains that require a longer-than-average growing period. Getting started early will also give these precious plants a bit more time to become well-established long before the chill of fall creeps in, making them stronger and more resilient.

Better pest control
Spring planting delicate plants like cannabis can often mean fewer issues with pests that are much less active this easy in the year, and it allows them the opportunity to be stronger when bugs and other pests become more prevalent giving them a far better chance of surviving if you do experience an infestation later in the season.

Disadvantages of spring planting

Many knowledgeable cultivators plant their cannabis crops in the spring because as you now know there are clear advantages to doing so. However, it’s just as important to recognize the risks that go along with starting so early, and there are several all growers should consider before making this big decision.

Unpredictable weather
We often associate springtime with slowly rising temperatures and even small tastes of summer heat, but with dramatic rises, it’s not uncommon to also see sudden drops as well as heavy unpredictable rainfall. Cannabis plants love a consistent moisture level particularly as they mature, but those still in the earliest stages of growth may be damaged by soil erosion, and plummeting temperatures may stunt the growth of your crop, resulting in a smaller yield.

A higher risk of overwatering
Many expert growers say that the most common mistake made by those who are new to cannabis cultivation is overwatering, and putting your plants out early may increase the chances of this naturally occurring which could lead to a variety of devastating issues that are difficult if not impossible to fix like root rot.

Increased energy costs
Planting cannabis plants in the spring might increase your overall energy costs if there is a need for artificial lighting. Temperatures may rise in the springtime, but natural sunlight is often less predictable during the rainy season when cloud cover is far more common, and in many cases, there might not be enough to ensure your crop thrives during this integral growing period of a cannabis plant's lifecycle.

Tips to help you successfully plant cannabis in the spring

If you’re determined to start growing cannabis as soon as possible, then you’ll want to check out these tips to keep in mind along the way, as they may help to ensure you get to experience a successful and bountiful harvest.


1. Start indoors

Starting young cannabis plants in the safety of a controlled environment can offer some protection from the unpredictable nature of spring weather. Indoors you can offer a consistent temperature and sufficient lighting which is sure to result in much healthier stronger plants.

2. Harden off seedlings

Before planting your seedlings or clones outdoors it’s best to harden them which is a fancy way of describing a slow exposure to the harsher environment over a period of several days or even weeks. Doing so will help your plants to better acclimate and significantly improve their chances of survival.

3. Consistently monitor soil moisture

Since there is a higher risk of overwatering so early in the year it’s critical to keep a close eye on your garden's soil moisture levels. This way, you’ll know
when it’s time to allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings.

4. Protect your plants from frost

Planting cannabis in the spring may reduce the risk of frost damage but it’s still important to provide some protection as the end of the season approaches and cold snaps become a possibility. Luckily, this is generally as easy as covering them with a light tarp or thin blanket, as long as you don’t get weather that is unseasonally severe.

5. Choose the right strain for the job

You can follow every tip outlined here and have the pleasure of residing in one of the warmest climates. Still, it’s critical to select an appropriate strain that is hardy, capable of withstanding cold temperatures, and able to thrive despite shorter days which are quite common in the spring. Otherwise, all of your hard work could go to waste if mother nature decides to throw you a curveball.


Springtime can be a wonderful season to get a head start on growing, but it’s essential to recognize and consider all of the potential risks and benefits of doing so. More time to grow and fewer risks of pests are indisputable advantages however unpredictable weather and a greater need for human intervention and supplementation may result in a higher financial toll each season. If you’re prepared and ready to take on the extra challenges then you may be able to pull off a bountiful harvest. If not, then it might be better to wait just a few more weeks.

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