Cultivating Canna the Regenerative Way

jocelyn about to chown down on a large canna bud

Many cannabis growers consider their plants to be their babies - their “cannababies”. Choosing to grow your cannababies regeneratively - and without chemicals - is a natural choice for all proud plant parents. 

My Jocelyn’s Soil Booster regenerative soils and plant foods is ideal for cannabis plants, from seed germination all the way through to bud harvest. Working in tandem with Mother Nature is an easy, effective and safe way to cultivate cannabis for personal enjoyment.


Cannabis Seed Starting

Growing cannabis from seed allows you to select your preferred strains (eg. indica vs. sativa, cultivars with shorter days-to-harvest, etc). The latest science shows that all seeds sense the microbial populations in the soil, with high beneficial microbial levels encouraging faster germination.

Using a living soil, such as my Raw & Regenerative Potting Soil full of living microbiology, ensures germination is speedy and effective. While this process can be done outside in-ground, in our Northern climate, starting cannabis seeds inside in early spring allows for a longer outdoor growing season, necessary for most cannabis strains to maximize their yield.

It’s vital that seedlings receive adequate light as soon as they germinate. Seedlings need a minimum of 8 hours of direct light exposure to ensure they prioritize growing strong and supportive roots systems, rather than longer stems that indicate they're reaching for more light. My Raw & Regenerative Potting Soil has a light, fluffy structure that ensures root growth is maximized at this key stage of development.  Read more about seed starting the regenerative way in these blog posts: Can I Start Seeds in Potting Soil? and Soak Seeds with a Biological Inoculant for Better Germination

Canna Potting Up

As your seedlings grow bigger, they will require potting-up into a larger container. This ensures the seedling doesn’t become “root bound”, which is when the roots don’t have enough space to grow and establish themselves strongly. A boost of diverse microbes through an application of Worm Manure or Soil Aid Tea Kit at this stage is key, as the seedling requires different microbial partners as it moves through different stages of growth.

Ensuring Feminine Plants Only!

This is the single most important step when growing cannabis for maximum bud harvest! Only female cannabis plants produce bud, therefore it’s critical to only grow female plants. Male plants allowed to grow beyond 3-4 weeks will display male pre-flowers and will ultimately pollinate female plants, forcing those female plants to focus on seed production rather than bud, and reducing the quality of the cannabis harvest. 

Any male plants within close geographic proximity to female plants (ie. between which pollinators could travel) will pollinate female plants. CULL ALL THE MALES! Otherwise any neighbours who are also growing cannababies will be very unhappy with you, as their female plants will be at risk too.

Female cannabis plants can activate their male genotype at any point through the growth cycle, creating a hermaphrodite (“hermie”) plant that expresses traits of both female and male. This is often an adaptive response to environmental stress, as the plant decides to focus and favour seed production over bud yield.

To ensure this isn't a problem, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase feminized seeds: These seeds have been specifically bred to be female genotypes (at least initially).
  2. Regularly check plants for male trait development: Check seedlings and plants every week for any signs of male pre-flowers (learn what this looks like by reading about Preflowers)
  3. Minimize plant stress at all stages: Using regenerative techniques ensures healthy soil microbiology is always available to feed and support your cannababies, minimizing plant and pathogen stress, and reducing the likelihood of stress-induced hermaphroditic transition.

Canna Hardening Off

Like other seedlings started inside, it’s key to harden off seedlings gradually before moving them outside. A good way to start this is by setting up a fan to blow on your indoor seedlings, encouraging them to grow strong root structures that will prepare them for windy days outside.

When the temperatures are warm enough, seedlings can spend a few hours outside on a cloudy day, gradually extending the length and strength of sunlight exposure they receive over the course of a week. 

Canna Transplanting

When the warm weather hits and there's no longer any risk of frost, it's time to move your cannababies outside, into their “forever homes”. Cannabis can become a very large plant, and for maximum return, a 20L pot at minimum should be used. Otherwise growing in ground allows plants to grow as big as they can! 

Ensure you add a handful of Worm Manure when transplanting to reduce transplant shock. This ensures the young plant quickly adapts to it’s new environment; the longer the transplant takes to acclimatize, the shorter its growing season, the less likely it will maximize bud yield.

Ensure you follow all the regenerative growing principles when setting up your outdoor grow, including protecting healthy microbes by keeping soil covered. Read how in this blog post: 3 Key Ways to Protect Soil & Keep Mother Nature Covered

Let Mother Nature Take Care of your Canna

The biggest benefit of growing cannabis ourdoors and regeneratively is that once established, your cannababies won’t require much extra attention through the summer growing months. Adding a handful of Worm Manure every few weeks and watering well will ensure they always have the microbial partners required to create secondary and tertiary metabolites (that's yummy terpenes!). Read more about why flowering plants like cannabis benefit greatly from Worm Manure in this blog post: Why Worm Manure is Perfect for Feeding Flowering Plants

Let Mother Nature feed your plants, save yourself the hassle of trying to do this job yourself. Over the next few months, your cannababies will grow big and strong. Growing outdoors, they will also manage the transition from vegetative to flowering state. 

When to Harvest?

When is it time to harvest? When the “glue balls” on the end of the hairs on the cannabis buds switch from clear to cloudy, the plant is ready to be harvested. Wait too long beyond that, when the glue balls switch to amber, and you’ve missed the prime harvest time for cannababies.

Cannabis is a heat-loving, tropical plant that cannot handle frost, so it’s critical to ensure your plants are protected if frost it arrives early.

Curing, Cutting, Storing

There are lots of different ways to cure, trim and store you cannabis, so that your bounty can be enjoyed indefinitely. Read more about the different ways this can be done here: How to Harvest, Cure & Store Cannabis