When intending to grow your cannabis, there are several factors to consider, like the room in which you want to grow them, lighting, ventilation, nutrients, grow style, and of course the strain you choose to grow. Most growers usually opt for one strain to grow and is a preferred approach for many. It is for a good reason: you get an even canopy, the plants use the same nutrients, and they feature the same flowering time.

But what if you want a little bit more variation, diversity and variety? Because let's be honest: although growing one strain at a time is way more easy in terms of work and care, but having to smoke the same strain over and over until the next harvest gets kind of boring over time. If this is the case for you, it could be of interest to grow different strains in one grow room at the same time.

This cultivation approach has its own benefits and downsides, so we have put together a break down of the pros and cons of growing multiple strains at once. As growing different strains together is not really an issue if you grow outdoors (because there is enough space for all the plants), this article will focus on indoor grows with a variety of cultivars in the same grow room.

Please note, for the purpose of this article it is not of importance which effect, smell or taste a specific strain has, but rather what growth and flowering traits it possesses.

PLANNING A MULTI-STRAIN GROW

A successful grow of several different plants usually stands and falls with the preparation you put into it. If you just start like you normally would with one strain, chances are that you will be tearing your hair in no time as you run into all kinds of problems. On the other hand, if you plan carefully, you can harvest bud from different strains and feel like a true connoisseur with jars over jars full of various exciting cultivars.

First, you should know how many plants fit into your grow room without getting too overcrowded (more on that later). By that, we mean both in the horizontal and vertical dimension. Next, and even more importantly, you should decide on which strains you want to grow together. Do you want to grow different indicas at once or rather hybrids? The hardest and most masterful thing to do is to cultivate pure indicas and pure sativas together, as their growth characteristics are so different. For this reason, we do not recommend it until you are a pro. Stick to strains hybrids that have similar growth patterns, but very different effects, flavors and aromas.

With that covered, let's see what disadvantages and advantages this grow style has to offer!

Grow Of Several Different Plants

ADVANTAGES

GREATER VARIETY OF STRAINS

As talked about in the intro of this text, it can get a little dull smoking the same strain all the time. If you grow multiple strains at once, you can get a greater variety of cultivars in the end. That means a variety of different effects, scents, terpene profiles, flavours, etc. Some smokers like to smoke indicas throughout the whole day; some prefer hybrids, some sativas. If you are that kind of smoker that's fine. But cannabis has so much variation to offer that it would be a shame to not make the most of them.

With several strains in the stash jars, you can adapt your smoke session to your specific needs. If you want to stay alert, creative and productive throughout the day, opt for a hybrid with sativa-dominant effects. For the relaxation in the evening and nighttime, a hybrid with indica-dominant effects would be best. If you are looking for therapeutic effects, throw a CBD-rich strain in the mix. Thanks to the variation in hybrids, you don't have to go to an extreme end of the spectrum either. Some hybrids balance both indica and sativa effects — so as long as you are choosing strains with similar growth patterns, you can get some real variation!

INCREASED YIELDS

Growing different strains at once often results in increased yields. Of course, this depends a lot on the strains you choose to grow together. But overall you maximize the potential of your grow area big time. This is especially true if you train the plants for a more even canopy (despite the differences) and fill out empty spots in the canopy. The goal here is to provide an equal amount of light for all plants and bud sites. This may not always be achievable, but you should absolutely strive for it to get the best results possible.

Grow Different Cannabis Strains At The Same Time In The Same Space

STEEP LEARNING CURVE

If you grow different cannabis strains at the same time in the same space, you will quickly become a master of cultivation. Growing cannabis already has a steep learning curve to become a master, but with different strains, at once this curve gets even steeper and amplified. It means more work, but if you can keep up, normal cultivation will be a breeze.

Why? You will have to adjust to the various needs of not only one but two, three or more strains. For example, if you are used to growing indicas, adding a sativa-dominant hybrid or even a sativa into the grow room will teach you a lot about these specific strains. Trial and error are part of it and belong to the path of becoming a master. After some runs with different cultivars you will know all the needs and growth traits of many strains or strain species. You will know what they like or don't like, how they develop during their bloom, and what nutrients they need in which phase. You will also know how to deal with these variations all at once.

It is always recommended to take notes when you grow cannabis, and this is especially true for the cultivation of different strains at the same time. You can rely on these notes in later runs, and with time, this info becomes part of your grower DNA.

DISADVANTAGES

MORE LABOUR-INTENSIVE

Naturally, the cultivation of several strains involves a lot more work. Although having to adjust to the many different needs of various plants is great for intensive learning, it can also be a little bit overwhelming at first, particularly if you haven't grown a specific type of strain (let's say a sativa) before.

You will have to monitor and check more plants that all behave a little differently. This results in more time and effort spent on the care and upkeep of these strains. They all need water at different times, so you can't rely on one trusted water cycle. They all need different nutrients, so you can't just mix one solution and leave it at that. Some of them might have to be trained so that all of them receive enough light. So keep this in mind if you plan to grow different strains in the same grow room.

Different Nutrients For Different Cannabis Strains

SPACE AND HEIGHT ISSUES

This may be the biggest concern that growers have with this approach. Indicas are shorter, bushier and tend to stretch less during flowering, whereas sativas are tall, slender and usually like to double or triple their size in flowering. And then you have the hybrids which are something in between of both.

Let's say, you attempt the master class of this cultivation method and grow indicas together with sativas. You will soon notice the differences in growth patterns. And when the time has come for the flowering phase, these will only get more noticeable. If you let the plants grow wild at this point, you will experience all kinds of problems, as the sativas dwarf out the indicas, starving them of light. But don't worry – you can provide a remedy by training bigger plants to grow more evenly. Just bend down towering colas or top sativas earlier in the vegetative phase to avoid these problems altogether.

Height is not the only issue. If you overcrowd your grow space to an extreme, you will increase the risk of white powdery mildew, bud rot and, certain types of pests. These are all things growers don't want to have to deal with. Moreover, if the plants don't have enough space to grow and develop, they will compete and hold each other back, resulting in lower yields.

DIFFERENT HARVEST TIMES

This is not really a big downside, but different strains feature different flowering times. Indicas flower faster while sativas usually have pretty long flowering times. You can minimise this gap by cultivating hybrids with similar times - still allowing them to have different effects.

The harvesting of cannabis normally takes place in a timeframe of approximately two weeks. During this time, you can check the trichomes to assess their readiness. This means some strains could be a little bit more on the amber side while others are still mainly milky when you intend to harvest them all at once. And that's alright; different ripening stages mean different effects.

The reason flowering time isn't much of an issue is that you don't have to harvest them all at the same time. Chop them one after another depending on their peak ripeness. If some need to take a little longer, just leave them in the grow room and harvest them later. Some gardeners may be used to harvesting all plants at once and dry them all in the same grow tent. If you are that type of grower, then get used to other drying options, like an extra smaller dry tent, cartons, cabinets or something self-made. This way, you don't run into problems when some strains finish earlier than others.

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