Strains that are dominated by the species of cannabis known as sativa are highly sought after for their clear, “heady” and often energetic effect. Unfortunately, the indoor growing process can be more frustrating than that of its indica counterpart. Many growers avoid sativa because of its fabled finicky nature. Still, there are a number of benefits that counter the drawbacks, so it may be a rash decision to shun the entire species without first considering both sides of the debate.
Sativa-dominant strains require much less time in the vegetative state than indicas, though there is a tradeoff in the form of a longer budding/flowering period that can scare off less patient growers. Those who persevere will benefit from cost savings that are possible due to sativa’s short dormancy, as they require less time under strict light and temperature control. Even when using energy-efficient devices like LED grow lights, it is important to cut power usage wherever possible, for the sake of the environment if nothing else.
While remaining relatively small during their initial growth periods, sativas tend to gain a significant amount of size not long after flowering has begun. The species can grow extremely tall as well, so maximum vertical room is advised to get the most out of your growth. Height considerations are also another reason that many growers leave sativas for outside.
It can be tempting to harvest sativa-dominant plants early, especially since it takes so long to finish flowering compared to indica, but both species produce most of their resin near the heights of maturity. Cutting sativas short of this critical time will leave even the nicest looking buds relatively weak and tasteless. If you do grow sativa-dominant plants, be sure to hang in there to the very end. It will be worth it.