Growing medicinal plants indoors can seem like the best approach if your climate is simply too cold and the outdoor growing season is too short. Indoor plants cultivation is a chance to avoid the worst of the early season and late season weather.
Although many consider it relatively easy to grow good quality medicinal plants indoors, there are some considerations when the weather is cold. If you are growing on a cold concrete floor, the root space of your medicinal plants will quickly find the heat drained from them. This can dramatically slow down growth, affect quality and cause issues with nutrient uptake if temperatures have dipped too low for too long. If your grow room is too cold results will be significantly below expectation and harvest quality may well be disappointing.
When growing indoors in a cold climate, consider which room to grow in. Perhaps, if you have the choice, you will want to avoid a room with too many external walls. This can cause the room temperature to drop further than you might like, especially during the ‘lights off’ period. You may also want to avoid trying to grow in the loft – this can also present problems with temperature extremes in mid winter when your lights are turned off.
That’s why many indoor growers grow autoflower seeds during the winter months. With 20 hours of daily light (or even 24 hours!) your grow light will be able to help keep the grow room warm. Though it’s worth adding that some of the latest and most efficient LED grow lights don’t produce much surplus heat at all. Older HPS lights, however, are less efficient and do produce plenty of heat which may come in useful during winter grows.
Can you grow weed outside in the winter? Maybe not in a northern European winter. But you can grow medicinal plants well in cold climates. Much depends on your climate and temperatures. If trying to grow medicinal plants indoors in a cold climate isn’t for you, then you will be relieved to know that plenty of outdoor growers have great success in cold outdoor weather.
Growing weed in winter may only be possible in tropical climates. But growing medicinal plants outdoors in cooler temperate climates requires the right outdoor plants seeds combined with a good understanding of the length of the growing season. You will need to maximise your plants exposure to the sun, choose a sunny and sheltered spot perhaps with some protection from the prevailing wind.
What temperature is too cold for plants outside? Plants will tolerate the occasional nighttime low temperatures of around 10ºC but not for extended periods.
You will also need to ensure that your plants are protected from pests such as slugs and snails as well as protecting them from other animals such as rabbit, deer etc. If you’re growing medicinal plants on your own land you will also want to choose a private location that isn’t easily overlooked by neighbours.
LED lighting may be all the rage, with optimised spectrum and longer life. But ageing HPS light technology does have one advantage – it produces a lot of heat. Often excess heat is regarded as a grow room problem. But if you have a cold grow room with cool external walls, an HPS light can perform the double function of lighting your plants and warming the room. Though be sure to consider grow room temperatures when the HPS lights are switched off.
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