Sunlight exposure is so important to an outdoor grow that the other half of the day often gets forgotten: night, when the moon is (usually) out. Of course, the sun is vital to cannabis growing, but the moon also plays an important role in the growth of all plants. By using a lunar calendar during your cannabis grow, it’s possible to maximize the productivity and potency of your home plantation.
First, Some Lunar Terminology
Before diving into the various ways our moon can influence your cannabis garden, it’s best to supply you with some definitions. In this case, the moon’s cycles and phases, tidal effects, and constellations come into play when growing cannabis with reference to the lunar calendar.
Your first thought might very well be, “How does the moon affect cannabis growing?” The first factor to consider is the moon’s cycle. The moon’s distance from Earth varies, which is visible in the ascension and descension of the moon. Not only is there the visible component that the moon’s position at a specific time differs by the day, but this movement also affects moisture within plants. Throughout the moon’s cycle, moisture within plants moves up and down.
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Lunar phases (not to be confused with cycles) refer to the changing appearance of the moon throughout a 28-day period. What we see from Earth is how the moon is lit by the sun, from unlit to fully illuminated. Just as moon cycles can affect a grow, growing cannabis by moon phases also reveals an effect on plant growth.
Aside from waxing and waning throughout its cycle, the moon also has a gravitational pull that affects the Earth’s tides. High tides happen when the moon is closer, and low tides when it’s further from the Earth. Each day, there are two of each, transitioning every 6 hours. When growing cannabis with the moon, the tides also need to be considered.
During its journey across the night sky, the moon passes over the constellations of the zodiac. Some believe that each constellation’s elemental energies affect parts of the cannabis plant that are associated with that sign, and that planting according to the zodiac can therefore make all the difference when it comes to harvesting.
Putting Knowledge Into Practice
With the basic terminology covered, let’s move on to the various ways that the moon’s cycles and phases can influence cannabis growth. The moon, tides, and stars all come into play, so paying attention to these factors can have some serious benefits when growing cannabis according to the moon!
Cannabis Growing According To The Moon’s Cycles
One can note the ascension or descension of the moon by observing it at a specific time one night. The next night, at the exact same time, observation of the moon will reveal whether its position is higher or lower in the sky than the night before. Keep in mind that the opposite of what is seen in the Northern Hemisphere is observed in the Southern Hemisphere! Careful observation of the lunar cycle can have some positive effects on cannabis gardening.
During the ascension of the moon, liquids also rise to the upper parts of plants. This means that the upper half of a cannabis plant will be more heavily saturated with moisture. During an ascending moon is the perfect time to cut clones from healthy plants. However, harvesting cannabis should be avoided at this time because of the excess moisture that will need to be dried out of the buds.
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It makes sense, then, that a descending moon is accompanied by a downward flow of liquids. Root production and activity are increased during this time. This moon phase is ideal for seed germination, root care, and enrichment of the soil base. In contrast to ascension, descension is a good time for harvesting plants.
Cannabis Growing According To The Moon’s Phases
The phases of the moon are: new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon. Similar to ascension/descension, the way the moon presents itself while waxing and waning is flipped between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The moon in the Northern Hemisphere illuminates from right to left (waxing), becomes a full moon, then recedes (waning). In the Southern Hemisphere, this occurs from left to right.
When there’s an empty space where the moon usually is, you know it’s a new moon! A new moon lasts until the right half of the moon (from the Northern Hemisphere) is fully illuminated. During this short time of the moon’s cycle, it’s not recommended to do much gardening! It’s best to do no more than some slight pruning and defoliation, especially for diseased plants.
The moon phase following a new moon is the waxing moon, also referred to as the crescent moon. The moon is waxing until it becomes full. During this time, there is a sharp increase in the internal activity of marijuana plants, and they become more strongly resistant to disease and pests. At this point, it’s best not to trim or prune cannabis plants.
Ah, the full moon – the time of the month when the moon is fully illuminated. Like the new moon, this is a brief stage of the moon’s phases. Again, while the sap is concentrated in the upper parts of the plant, it’s not recommended to prune or harvest plants. However, the full moon is a wonderful time to germinate seeds!
As the moon reverts from full to a new moon, it’s referred to as the waning moon, or sometimes dwindling moon (not to be confused with descending). During this stage, sap inside cannabis plants moves down toward the lower parts. This is a perfect time for harvest, as the terpenes and cannabinoids in the flowers won’t be weighed down by excess moisture.
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Cannabis Growing According To The Tides
The tides, in response to the moon, come in and go out several times a day. When tidal effects are considered in relation to the moon’s cycles and phases, there are a few ways that the potential of a marijuana grow can be maximized.
During high tide, there are multiple ways to care for your plants depending on what part of the growth cycle they’re in. Cloning and grafting while the tide is rising will help ensure success. It’s also the right time to compost or harvest plants if high tide coincides with a waning moon.
As the tides ebb lower, this is the ideal time to sow seeds, especially in combination with an ascending moon. Other activities appropriate for low tide include fertilizing plants, working and improving the soil, and transplanting indoor clones to outdoor gardens.
Cannabis, The Moon Cycle, And Constellations
As the moon moves across the sky, it crosses paths with the constellations of the zodiac. It’s believed (by some) that when the moon passes through certain constellations, the elemental energies (fire, air, water, earth) of those constellations can also have an effect on your cannabis plants.
The fire elementals of the zodiac are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. During moon cycles involving these constellations, it’s best to focus on cannabis seeds in particular. The germination process can certainly benefit from the relationship between the moon and fire signs.
Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius make up the air constellations. Developing marijuana plants can really find their time to shine during this period. Air constellations are better suited to aid in the development of flowers. Coinciding your grow schedule so that your outdoor plant’s flowering stage takes place during Libra, for example, could help maximize harvest. That means more and bigger buds!
The constellations of water are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. During these stages of the moon cycle, structural growth is booming! Leaves, stems, and branches grow stronger, building the foundation for a healthy marijuana plant. During the vegetative stage of a cannabis plant’s life, it’s important that the plant structure develops in order to grow quality flowers.
Last but not least, the earth constellations: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Not to be forgotten about is the deeply complex root network that cannabis plants develop. During moon phases with these constellations, it’s the best time to pay attention to what’s below the soil. Root health is incredibly important to the overall development of weed plants, and giving extra care during this time can help to identify any issues.
Let’s Wrap Up: The Cheat Sheet On Growing Cannabis With The Moon
Growing cannabis according to lunar, astrological, and tidal forces can have truly magical results. By paying that extra attention to what’s happening in the stars, your harvest could benefit! In short, here’s a little cheat sheet for growing cannabis according to the lunar calendar:
- Ascending moon: cloning
- Descending moon: seed germination, soil care, harvest
- New moon: pruning, harvest
- Waxing moon: fertilization, germination, repotting
- Full moon: germination, pest control
- Waning moon: harvest, root care, pruning, training, cloning.
- High tide: harvest (with waning moon)
- Low tide: germination, seed sowing (with ascending moon)
- Fire signs: germination
- Air signs: flowering stage of growth
- Water signs: vegetative stage of growth
- Earth signs: root health and development
We can also put things the other way around and find the perfect moments for different phases in cannabis growing:
- Best time for germination: descending moon in combination with waxing, and full moon, low tide, and fire signs.
- Best time for seed sowing: ascending moon in combination with low tide
- Best time for soil and root care: descending moon in combination with waning moon and earth signs
- Best time for harvesting: descending moon in combination with waning moon, new moon
With these tips in mind, along with our 2021 cannabis moon calendar, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some moon-grown cannabis this year!
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