The Hindu Kush strain is a pure indica landrace found in the legendary Hindu Kush region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a naturally potent strain with a THC content of up to 20%. It has a flowering time of 7-8 weeks indoors and is ready for harvest outdoors by late September. You can enjoy a yield of 16 ounces per plant outdoors and 14 ounces per square meter indoors.
However, you will only benefit from such yields if you cultivate this strain correctly. Though it is considered an ‘easy’ strain to grow, we feel as if novices, in particular, will benefit from this guide. Read on to discover eight cool tips for growing Hindu Kush from seed to harvest.
1 – Choose Feminized Seeds
The best place to purchase Hindu Kush seeds is from Sensi Seeds. The breeder has possessed the genetics since the 1980s and claims to have preserved them in their pure form ever since. Sensi Seeds sells regular, feminized, and automatic seeds. Depending on shipping, you might find that a 10-pack of seeds makes more sense than a 3-pack or a single seed. However, before you begin, please check your state’s laws regarding cultivating cannabis.
The autoflowering option benefits from entering the blooming phase without the need to switch the light cycle. However, such seeds tend to provide a lower yield. With regular seeds, there is a 50/50 chance of a male plant growing. While male plants have their uses for breeders, they are bad news if you want to cultivate marijuana for personal use.
The pollen sacs from male plants will pollinate your female plants, which then grow seeds. You end up with less potent cannabis that contains the seeds; not ideal!
Therefore, purchase feminized seeds instead. They guarantee an all-female crop without a frantic search to uncover males before it’s too late.
2 – Germinate the Seeds
The germination process is exceedingly simple once you know how to do it. When you germinate your Hindu Kush seeds, you expose them to heat, air, and water to ensure they sprout and start to grow into a new plant.
The ‘paper towel’ method is by far the easiest way to germinate cannabis seeds. All you need is some water (preferably distilled), four paper towels, and a couple of clean plates. Here’s what you do:
- Soak the paper towels with water. Ensure the paper is wet, but you don’t need water dripping off.
- Put two of the wet paper towels on a plate and space the seeds at least an inch apart from each other on the paper. Cover the seeds with the other wet paper towels.
- Cover the paper towels with another plate and store them at temperatures between 70- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check on your seeds at least once a day. If they lose moisture, add more water.
- It can take anywhere from 2-10 days for the seed to sprout. You’ll know they’re ready when you see a taproot appear. If there is no taproot after two weeks, the seed is probably bad.
3 – Transplant Your Hindu Kush Seeds
No matter what, avoid touching the seed or the taproot once it begins to appear. You have to ensure your Hindu Kush seeds remain sterile. After germination, the next step is to transfer the seeds to your growing medium of choice. In general, it is best to stick with soil if you’re a relatively inexperienced grower. A hydroponics system can increase the yield but involves knowledge of cultivating marijuana since you’re in control of the crop’s nutrient intake.
In general, a one-gallon pot with loosely packed soil is enough for seeds at the beginning. Water the soil before adding the seeds, but don’t overdo it. Use a pen, pencil, or even a toothpick to make a hole in the soil. Please ensure the hole is twice as wide as the seed’s root. Use tweezers to gently place the seed in the soil with the taproot facing down. Cover with soil and gently mist the growing medium with water so it sticks to the root.
After a week or so, you should see a seedling start to grow from the soil. You’ll eventually have to transplant your seeds, so they end up in a bigger pot. The key is to make the switch before your plant outgrows its current container. Your Hindu Kush plants will go from 1-gallon to 2-gallon, and finally, 5-gallon pots.
Hindu Kush plants can reach 1.5 meters outdoors but seldom exceed 1 – 1.2m indoors. If your plants grow taller than 1m, you may need to move them to 10-gallon pots.
4 – Getting the Most from the Vegetative Stage
Your Hindu Kush plants remain seedlings until they start developing leaves with several blades. Some indoor growers suggest that this strain grows rapidly during the vegetative stage. While this period can last 3-16 weeks, Hindu Kush is usually ready for the blooming phase fairly early. However, you should enjoy a higher yield if you’re patient and allow your plants to grow a little longer during the vegetative period.
After all, it is at this stage that your plant’s growth accelerates. The Hindu Kush plant grows dense and bushy. Therefore, it is a good idea to start trimming and pruning it after a few weeks.
Ideally, you will ensure your plants are exposed to 16-18 hours of sunlight across a 24-hour cycle. Keep humidity at 60-70% but lower it by up to 5% each week. Keep the daytime temperature between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your Hindu Kush plants will grow best in the vegetative stage with a humidity level of 60-70%.
As far as lighting is concerned, you can get away with a 250W CFL for your entire batch when they are seedlings. However, you’ll need to bump up light exposure significantly as your plants grow. Eventually, it would help if you aimed for a total wattage of at least 1600.
Finally, water your Hindu Kush plants moderately and generously feed with nutrients such as nitrogen and a CalMag supplement.
5 – Consider Using the Sea of Green Growing Technique
The Sea of Green (SOG) method can help you grow a large number of small plants. Each one has a small yield but combined; the overall harvest is often generous. SOG gets its name because of the massive number of plants. This method results in a faster harvest time because the plants remain diminutive.
SOG involves forcing the plants into flowering after only 2-3 weeks in the vegetative stage. It is an excellent option if you have limited grow space. The process is as follows:
- Germinate the seeds.
- Ensure they receive at least 18 hours of light a day.
- Once the plants are 10-12 inches tall, space them out so two can fit in a square foot of space.
- Switch the light cycle to 12/12 to force the plants into flowering.
- After the dense bud canopy appears, start trimming the branches beneath. You can use these as clones.
- Harvest early.
6 – Switching the Light Cycle
Moving your plants into the flowering stage involves exposing them to 12 hours of consecutive darkness for every 24-hour cycle. By now, the humidity should be down to the 40-50% range.
It is up to you to determine when you want to push your Hindu Kush plants into flowering. Growers in a hurry proceed after 3-4 weeks when their plants are about 12-15 inches tall. However, you will significantly decrease the yield to around 3-4 ounces per plant on average by doing this.
7 – The Flowering Stage
Indoors, Hindu Kush’s flowering time of 7-8 weeks is pretty short. We have heard of growers allowing no more than 4-5 weeks. Once again, what you gain in time, you lose in yield and overall potency.
What you’ll typically find is that your plants will continue growing and begin developing pre-flowers. You should also spot white pistils sticking out, a sign that the buds are coming. After about 3-4 weeks, the plants stop growing, but the buds become fatter. In the last 2-3 weeks of flowering, you should notice a significant increase in trichome density. The buds will also likely become resinous and sticky.
It is unwise to prune your Hindu Kush plants at this point. You should also decrease nitrogen intake and increase the amount of phosphorus and potassium your plants receive. Continue reducing the humidity, so it is 30-40% by the harvest time.
8 – Harvest, Dry & Enjoy!
There are a couple of popular ways to determine when your Hindu Kush plants are ready for harvesting. The pistil method involves waiting until approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of the hairs turn orange. Wait too long, and the THC in your strain could turn into CBN.
The trichome method involves looking at the trichomes with a magnifying glass. When most trichomes have a milky white color and mushroom head, it is time to harvest.
You can use the pistil or trichome methods to determine if your Hindu Kush plants are ready for harvest.
Once you cut down your weed, trim the leaves and hang the buds to dry. The optimal drying environment is a room with 50% humidity and a temperature of 70 degrees. Drying can take 7-10 days, so patience is necessary. At this stage, you cure the buds by placing them in glass mason jars. Use a hygrometer to check the moisture level of the jar. The buds are in the cure zone once the humidity level is between 60% and 65%.
At this stage, you can decide if and when you want to start using the cannabis. The longer you cure the buds, the better the taste and potency are. If you can’t wait, take out some of your stash, and let the rest cure for a little longer!
Final Thoughts on Growing Hindu Kush
Hopefully, the growing tips outlined above help you navigate the Hindu Kush growing cycle. Cultivating cannabis at home is a lot of fun. You learn more about the plant and gain a greater appreciation for it. However, please ensure that it is legal to grow marijuana in your location. We accept no responsibility if you use the above tips to cultivate cannabis illegally.
Once you harvest your buds, you can enjoy a sedating high that helps you relax. Many users suggest that Hindu Kush is one of the best strains for helping them get to sleep.