Grow Q&A: Will Frostbite Hurt My Pot Plants?

Dear Dan, I live in Montana and I want to know what would happen to my plant if I left it out after the first frost? My buddy told me that the blast of cold weather can stress the plant into producing more THC as a defense mechanism Is this true or is my buddy full of guano? – BozemanBobby

Dear BB,
You’re friend is giving you a bum steer. Plants left outside during a frost will begin to die very quickly. Degeneration of plant matter and especially the trichomes containing THC and the other psychoactive essential oils starts immediately and any prolonged exposure to severe cold will quickly end in plant loss.

Always harvest your outdoor plants before the first frost if you can. If they’re not close to finished outside, for example some longer-flowering sativas, you’re best bet is to bring them indoors under grow lights or protect them outside with a greenhouse and perhaps a heater if necessary.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com
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  1. I’ve left some out before and it didn’t really cost me. My backyard has the capacity to retain moisture that keeps the soil pliable. This year I will probably pull them early by a few days. Rain and frost are savage. In the past I’ve left a few actually growing into November. Every once in a while let a straggler flourish. One particular plant smoked like a cheap cigar but, it would knock you out. I remember it being covered by a light snow about a week before I pulled it.

  2. 1 of mine looks like a pogo. No idea how all my other plants are fine but this one died and dried up right on the plant. I’m talking brown and dry. … Like dead 8 months looking type of dry.

    Question: Can I grind it and smoke it?

    It was more exposed to all the elements than my others and we only had 1 night where it dropped to 2 deg C. And that was last night. Otherwise a few nights dipped to 7 or even a 5 but it was not consecutive. Spaced over 2 weeks. Day Temps about 15 -25 Deg C during that span as well mainly sunny days. Maybe 4 days with rain.

  3. The author of this article is ridiculously under informed. Has he even grown a plant before? I’ve grown 8 acres of CBD cannabis for 4 years in Vermont… we leave out plants out for 2 to 4 light frosts before harvesting. It produces some gorgeous color in the flower (purples and reds). This year I recieved my Tier 2 recreational outdoor cultivation licence. My plants are on their 3rd light frost and could NOT look better than they do right now. Incredible colors, beautiful trichrome development and they look happy as can be. Don’t get me wrong… your plants aren’t going to sit through a snow Strom and survive. But, if you are dealing with frost Temps at night but are going into 60 degree weather rthe next day, your plant will be fine or even thrive.

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