While it’s often been said that cannabis grows like a weed — and in some cases, it does grow as prolifically as a weed — taming this wild botanical often requires painstaking planning and attention to detail. As with any living organism, the marijuana plant can be unpredictable and challenging.
For that reason, it’s advisable for first-time growers to start with hardy and flexible strains that require less-complicated maintenance routines. The following are a few tried-and-true types of pot plants that deliver good yields, outstanding stamina, and built-in immunity to common diseases.
Blue Dream: One of the most popular strains among consumers, Blue Dream is a great choice for the novice grower. The potent varietal is an excellent yielder, reported to produce an average of two pounds per 1000-watt light, and provides strong clones that root well. It’s also resistant to powdery mildew and root rot — two insidious diseases that can cripple a cannabis plant.
Papaya: Bred to be short and stout, this is another mildew-defying strain that’s great for space savers looking to cultivate in closets, small tents and grow units. The indica-dominant strain responds well to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which means less heat and fewer digits on your energy bill. This couchlock-maker puts out a less-potent stink than many strains, so it’s an excellent low-profile choice for growers living in tight quarters.
Blue Cheese: Another high yielder, Blue Cheese is exceptionally resilient and generally unaffected by some of the leading plant issues that plague newbie growers — namely, powdery mildew and over- or underwatering. While this varietal gives off a sharp and potent scent, it’s been known to handle tight spaces and LEDs remarkably well, which makes it an outstanding contender for beginner growers lacking in space and looking to cultivate in grow boxes and small tents.
Autoflowering Strains: This type of cannabis plant was developed by breeders to pass through a quicker photoperiod than traditional cannabis plants. Popular autoflowering strains include White Widow Automatic, Amnesia Haze and Northern Lights Auto. Autoflowers cycle from germination through vegetation to harvest in about 8–11 weeks (far shorter than conventional cannabis) and are a great way for beginners to see a sped-up version of the marijuana growth cycle. Because day length is not an issue with autoflowers — as it is with traditional plants that require 12-12 of light/dark to trigger flowering — outdoor planting times are far more flexible. It can also mean the ability for newbie growers to do multiple outdoor plantings and harvestings in a given year, meaning more practice to make perfect before delving into a fully fledged cannabis grow space.