Even the most seasoned growers tend to avoid certain landrace strains because of long flowering times, difficult growing conditions, or unique bud structures that require tons of TLC. “Landrace” simply means a cannabis strain that is generally only grown in one geographic area without hybridizing its genetics with other strains. These strains are so specialized that they often require more attention, time, and care than hybrids.
Here we list some of the most difficult cannabis strains to grow, so take a look at them and get seeds below!
Colombian Gold is a landrace sativa hailing from the Santa Marta mountains of Colombia. Made famous over the century as a high-quality cannabis export to the United States, it made a comeback when its genetics were used in the creation of Skunk #1. What makes Colombian Gold a difficult strain to grow is its large stature and long flowering periods. To produce this strain indoors, you must be on top of your pruning game; its growth takes off and will quickly overrun your space. The lengthy flowering cycle also increases the chance of error, but if you can bridle this strain, you will be rewarded with a classic quality landrace strain with an exceptional high that electrifies the senses.
Colombian Gold has moderate mold and pest resistance. Due to its landrace heritage, it may be a little tricky for new growers. Colombian Gold thrives outdoors but will need to be in a greenhouse in northern climates.
This landrace sativa strain is named after longtime cannabis advocate and professor at Harvard, Dr. Grinspoon. The genetics are held by Barney’s Farm in Amsterdam and are well known amongst connoisseurs for its cerebral effects and quality of flavor. It is also known for its strange bud structure.
Dr. Grinspoon is difficult to grow because of this bud structure. It can take ages for it to flower and for the airy buds to develop any weight. “When mature, the colas resemble compact green and reddish brown beads,” Barney’s describes. “These loosely hang on thin stems.” The stems and buds are brittle, but the end product is something you will rarely ever see.
If growing outdoors, this strain needs a hot or temperate climate. You’ll need a full 6 months of nice, sunny weather in order to get the most from Dr. Grinspoon. This sativa tends to get nice and tall with red and green popcorn buds. For best terpene expression, opt for organic soil methods. This strain is often grown by those with a little more experience. It’s long flowering time and heirloom sativa qualities make it more difficult to cultivate than your average cash crop. Be patient and expect to sink some love and care into this strain. Dr. Grinspoon does well in a greenhouse, and will need plenty of overhead space if grown indoors.
Headband has become a very popular strain in the past years. With its high-THC content, Headband provides relaxing effects while holding onto the flavors of its parents OG Kush and Sour Diesel.
What makes Headband difficult to produce is its bud structure. Where OG strains are commonly known for their dense, large colas, Headband produces smaller buds that blanket the plant. Because of this, getting a decent yield with consistent quality can be difficult. Being able to use the SCROG (screen of green) method can help overcome this obstacle.
If you’re growing outside, you’ll want to plant seedlings after all risk of frost. You may also want to make sure that this plant is sheltered in wet climates, and give it plenty of sunlight.Headband does not get as tall as Sour Diesel and does not get as wide as OG Kush, so she sits right in the middle. Indoors, make sure temperatures don’t exceed 80°F (27°C) and keep humidity to 50%. Like most indoor plants, adequate circulation is a must. Keep Headband nice and pruned to give buds room to breathe. This strain likes moderate amount of nutrients.
Notoriously difficult to find and even harder to grow outside of Thailand, Thai strains prefer hot, humid outdoor environments where they can grow tall. Growers will need high quality organic soil and must pay careful attention to pruning, topping, and training their plants over the lengthy flowering period- up to 14 weeks for the Chocolate Thai variant.
This strain loves to get tall, so outdoor growing is best. As a landrace strain, Thai can be a bit tricky to cultivate. Make sure you plant Thai in a hot, sunny environment with some shelter. Seedlings should be planted after all risk of frost has passed. For best results, give Thai plenty of high-quality organic compost.
Named after cannabis activist Jack Herer, this classic strain is a potent mix of Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk. With a flowering time of 8-9 weeks for only a low to moderate yield, this strain is somewhat difficult to grow outside of hydroponic systems due to how bushy and massive these plants can get. If growing indoors, be sure to have plenty of space between your plants and don’t forget about supporting the branches as the buds develop to prevent snapping.
Jack Herer expresses a few different phenotypes, so don’t be surprised if one of your plants seems a little more indica than you might expect. In fact, there are 4 distinct phenotypes altogether. Three of which are Sativa-dominant, while one will give you a more indica-dominant plant. Indoors, this plant grows well using either sea of green (SOG) or screen of green (SCROG) techniques. It tends to thrive in both hydroponic systems and soil. Outdoors, this strain loves a Mediterranean climate. In fact, outdoors in a dry climate is when Jack Herer does best. While indoor growing is possible, this strain doesn’t like to be confined to pots.
A pure sativa hailing from the Salima region of Malawi in Africa, Malawi and Malawi Gold are extremely rare and have perhaps the longest flowering time in the world at up to 120 days. Fabled to produce gigantic resin-soaked colas up to two feet long, this strain is certainly worth the effort. Unless you live in an African climate, this bud is arduous to grow outside of its native lands. You’ll need a temperature and humidity controlled greenhouse with lots of space for this tropical beauty if you wish to grow indoors.
The flowering period of this strain is extremely long, so those who not live in a tropical, equatorial climate will want to take this strain into a hot greenhouse. As a landrace strain, Malawi Gold is a bit unruly and difficult to grow indoors. Buds on this strain have reportedly grown as long as 60 centimeters (nearly two feet!). With such length, buds can weigh down branches. This sativa will need some support during flowering. As a pure, landrace sativa, this strain grows very tall, but it also produces lots of branches. Indoors, grow room temperatures should not be lower than 77°F (25°C) or 59°F (15 C) at night.
Which cannabis strains have you had difficulty growing? Leave a comment below!