New York’s cannabis-friendly attitude makes it easier than ever to grow weed in the state. But, especially if you want to grow outdoors, choosing the right strain is important. New York’s less-than-sunny climate can seem daunting. However, with an average growing season of 181 days and a hot, humid summer, New York is pretty great for most strains. On the other hand, New York’s first frost sets in in the second week of October. That means choosing a strain that finishes early, so you have time to chop before losing your bud.
Overall, growing cannabis in New York is relatively easy. However, you’ll want to look into the best strains for your area, microclimate, and personal preference. This list of the best strains to grow in New York is a good place to start.
The table below shows a quick comparison of all the best strains to grow in New York that we have researched:
|Strains||Flowering Time (Weeks)||Yield (Per plant)||Indica/Sativa|
|Blue Dream||6-7 weeks||750-800g||70% Indica/30% Sativa|
|Zkittlez||7-8 weeks||450-600g||20% Indica/80% Sativa|
|Blue Cheese||8-9 weeks||500-550g||40% Indica/60% Sativa|
|Sour Diesel||10-12 weeks||450g||40% Indica/60% Sativa|
|OG Kush||8 weeks||450g||75% Indica/25% Sativa|
|Grape Ape||7-8 weeks||450-700g||90% Indica/10% Sativa|
|AK-47 Auto||5-9 weeks||400-500g (per sqm)||50% Indica/50% Sativa|
Importantly, this yield is for an outdoor grow in ideal conditions. Your actual harvest depends on various factors. For example, sunlight, macronutrients, and plant health. You’ll also almost always get a larger yield if you feed and prune your plant. However, this isn’t always the case with an autoflower.
We’ve listed the results of our New York strain growing research and the characteristics profiles of each seed below. Learn the benefits of each grow and some general information about bud.
*Strains are ranked in no particular order.
1. Blue Dream
Blue Dream is a 70% Sativa hybrid ideal for growing in New York. While her mid-October finish can push things if you intend to grow outdoors, this strain is easy and beautiful. Growers adore Blue Dream for ease of growth, big harvest, and great flavor profile. In fact, that’s likely where she got her name. Blue Dream is a dream of a plant. Even when she doesn’t turn blue.
Like other “purple” cannabis plants, Blue Dream will start to darken as the weather cools. In most cases, she’ll grow fast through July and August, and then slow down and start to flower as temperatures drop. Her high terpene content also makes a huge difference on flavor.
In addition, if you’re looking for extracts, Blue Dream is perfect. She delivers big, fat buds. But, you’ll also get dense crystal production across leaves for top-quality trim for extracts. What more do you want in a plant?
Plus, Blue Dream is easy to grow. Use light pruning, put her in the sun, and feed her. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
- THC Levels: 20% (Medium)
- Indica/Sativa: 70% Indica/30% Sativa
- CBD Levels: Under 1% (Low)
- Outdoor Yield (Grams per square meter) 500g, or 700-850g per plant
- Flowering Time: 6-7 weeks, mid-October
- Optimal Climate: Coastal Mediterranean
- Grow Difficulty: Easy
- Genetics: Blueberry Ice X Haze
- Effects: Cerebral, Euphoria, Stress Relief, Body high
- Flavors/Aroma: Sugar, Berries, Lemon, Herbal
Zkittlez blends Grape Ape and Grapefruit for a tangy, sour weed that excels in New York’s climate. This East Coast favorite also takes just 56 days to bloom, for a finish in the first week of October. That, plus no real need for 16 hours of sun a day make her a great choice for New York.
Zkittlez is also easy to grow. For example, this plant doesn’t normally top 3 feet outdoors. Yet, you’ll get up to 600g per plant, with feed. Zkittlez is also a great plant for training techniques. Most growers suggest using Screen of Green for an indoor grow. Outdoors, you can use topping or training. Just make sure you de-veg and get light to the buds. That’s important because like many other Sativa-dominant, Zkittlez’s central cola is the biggest bud.
After just 56 days of flowering, you’ll get incredibly white and sticky buds. Plus, with a surprisingly balanced high, this strain is a delight to smoke. If you have time, leave Zkittlez out for an additional week. You’ll get slightly better results. However, frost might be an issue.
- THC Levels: 23-24% (high)
- Indica/Sativa: 20% Indica/80% Sativa
- CBD Levels: Less than 1% (low)
- Outdoor Yield (Grams per square meter): 650-700g / 450-600g per plant
- Flowering Time: 7-8 weeks / Early October
- Optimal Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean
- Grow Difficulty: Easy
- Genetics: Grape Ape x Grapefruit
- Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed
- Flavors/Aroma: Sour, Sweet, Tropical
3. Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese might be one of the best strains to grow in New York, if you don’t mind a slightly lower THC content. However, this strain’s dense buds are intensely packed with flavor, making her a grower’s favorite. Plus, with a 7-8 week grow-time and a finish in the last week of September, she’ll finish just on time outdoors.
In addition, Blue Cheese thrives in New York’s hot, humid summers. She offers good mold and fungus resistance, so don’t worry about leaving her outside. Plus, with no real love of extreme heat and sun, this strain is great for the temperate East Coast.
Of course, Blue Cheese is also a star indoors. She’s tolerant, flexible, easy to train, and responds well to most techniques. You can use feed and use a lot without real risk of burning the roots. And, she yields enough to satisfy even experienced growers.
- THC Levels: 14-20% (Medium)
- Indica/Sativa: 40% Indica/60% Sativa
- CBD Levels: 1% (Low)
- Outdoor Yield: (Grams per square meter): 300-600g/ 500g-550g per plant outdoors
- Flowering Time: 8-9 weeks / End September
- Plant Size: 60-110cm / 23-43 inches
- Optimal Climate: Sunny coastal/humid
- Grow Difficulty: Easy
- Genetics: Blueberry x Cheese
- Effects: Relaxed, Calm, Meditative, Creative
- Aroma/Flavors: Berry, Skunk, Cheese, Pungent
4. Sour Diesel
Sour Diesel might be the most popular strain in local coffee shops. So, it’s an ideal candidate if you’re growing Cannabis in New York. Why? Its huge uptake by local commercial growers means it’s definitely a good choice for the region.
While most commercial grows are indoors, Sour Diesel also does well outdoors. However, you’ll have to use light restriction as she doesn’t finish till November. Unfortunately, you’ll almost certainly have frost by then. On the other hand, this Shiva x Northern Lights x Hawaii x Diesel hybrid is perfect for New York’s hot, sticky summers.
Of course, indoors you’ll have a light setup, and you’ll likely get more yield. That may be the goal. In that case, make sure you use pruning and Screen of Green or Sea of Green to maximize yield. Outdoors, you may also have to keep her pruned, as this strain goes over 10 feet. For the best results, use 30-liter pots and be ready to move her inside.
- THC Levels: 19% (Medium)
- Indica/Sativa: 40% Indica/60% Sativa
- CBD Level: 3% (High)
- Outdoor Yield (Grams per square meter): 450-600g, 450g per plant
- Flowering Time: 10-12 weeks, early November
- Plant Size: 254-304cm / 100-120 inches
- Optimal Climate: Coastal continental (sunny)
- Grow Difficulty: Easy
- Genetics: Shiva x Hawaiian x Northern Lights x Diesel
- Effects: Relaxed, Cerebral, Focused, Energetic
- Flavors/Aroma: Diesel, Bitter, Sour, Herbal
5. OG Kush
OG Kush has remained one of the most popular commercial grows on the market. This Indica-dominant strain delivers fast growth, predictable yields, and good tolerance. That’s ideal for New York’s humidity. Plus, she’ll finish in early October, so you can normally beat the frost without any stress.
Of course, OG Kush prefers sun and more sun. If you don’t have a sunny spot, you might want to keep her indoors. Otherwise, you will see reduced yield. On the other hand, this plant doesn’t need a lot in terms of pruning and care. Of course, you’ll have to keep the top leaves down. That’s to let light into the massive, central colas. You’ll also want to keep her covered when it rains. Otherwise, you’ll risk top rot.
That aside, OG Kush is easy to grow. You’ll almost always get around 450g from her (per meter or per plant for indoor/outdoor), and she grows big and bushy. That’s more than you could ask of just about any other strain.
- THC Levels: 17-24% (High)
- Indica/Sativa: 75% Indica/25% Sativa
- CBD Levels: Less than 1% (Low)
- Outdoor Yield (Grams per Square Meter): 450-500g or up to 450g per plant
- Flowering Time (Weeks): 8 or early October
- Plant Size: 180-230cm / 70-86 inches
- Optimal Climate: Sunny and temperate
- Grow Difficulty: Medium
- Genetics: Chemdawg, Hindu Kush, ?
- Effects: Euphoria, Happy, Relaxation, Uplifting
- Flavors/Aroma: Earthy, Lemon, Pine, Woody, Spicy
6. Grape Ape
Grape Ape is a compact, manageable plant perfect for local climates. In fact, Grape Ape stays short at 2-3 feet on average. She also has great humidity tolerance and mold resistance. Plus, with fast flowering time of 7-8 weeks and a finish in late September, she’s just about perfect.
Of course, Grape Ape also goes heavy on yields. However, she’s most known for flavor. Growers rave about rich berry flavors mellowing out to grapefruit times over the course of a single smoke. Plus, with 16-20% THC and mellow, balanced highs, you get more than good flavor and a lot of bud.
On the other hand, you might want to consider growing Grape Ape indoors. If you can’t keep her dry, this strain is prone to bud rot. She also responds very well to Screen of Green/Sea of Green techniques, so indoors with a light setup can result in a higher yield.
Grape Ape is also an ideal strain for hydroponics. Plus, you’ll definitely want to invest in feed if you want maximum yield.
- THC Levels: 15-25% (Medium to High)
- Indica/Sativa: 90% Indica/10% Sativa
- CBD: Less than 1% (Low)
- Outdoor Yield (grams per square meter): 450g, 450-700g per plant
- Flowering Time: 7-8 weeks/ Late October
- Plant Size: 88-120cm / 35-48 inches
- Optimal Climate: Dry temperate
- Grow difficulty: Medium
- Genetics: Afghani landrace x Mendocino Purps x Skunk #1
- Typical Effects: Relaxation, Anti-anxiety, mood elevation, euphoria
- Aroma/Flavors: Grape, Sugar, Skunk,
7. AK-47 Auto
If you want a tried-and-true favorite that doesn’t risk the frost, AK-47 Auto is a classic. This strain is an autoflower, meaning you don’t have to wait for waning light to harvest. That does impact yield, but AK-47 auto still delivers 400-500g per square meter. That’s impressive, especially considering you’ll never have to risk frost.
Plus, this strain grows extremely fast. AK-47 can move from veg to finish in just 49 days. If you start indoors, you can get 2 outdoor crops before the growing season ends.
Otherwise, this strain is perfect for indoors. This autoflower doesn’t’ need you to fiddle around with light restriction. Instead, you can seamlessly move between veg and flowering with few changes.
Plus, AK-47 autoflower might flower faster, but she doesn’t compromise. You’ll still get 20% THC and the original strain’s classic happy high.
For the best results, use feed. You also want to avoid heavy training. Most autoflowers excel with light top-leaf trimming and that’s it.
- THC Level: 20%
- Indica/Sativa: 50% Indica/50% Sativa
- CBD: Under 1% (low)
- Outdoor Yield: (Grams per Square Meter) 400-500g
- Flowering time: 5-9 weeks
- Plant Size: 80-100cm / 31-39 inches
- Optimal Climate: Warm Coastal
- Grow Difficulty: Easy
- Genetics: AK47 x Cannabis Ruderalis
- Typical Effects: Happy, Euphoria, Creativity,
- Aroma/Flavors: Skunk, Citrus, Pine, Sandalwood
NY Climate for Growing Cannabis
If you’re growing cannabis in New York, the weather will be your biggest obstacle. And, the most important aspect of that is sun. New York sees a maximum of 9.45 hours of sunlight per day in peak summer. Some cannabis strains want as many as 16. That does mean you’ll see slightly lower yields than if you’re growing on the West Coast. However, the best strains to grow in New York are those bred for less sun. That means choosing mostly Indica-dominant strains. You can also look for locally bred or Dutch-bred strains. For example, AK-47, Blue Cheese, Mother of Berries, and Grape Ape.
On the other hand, there’s no perfect strain for New Yorkers. The right strain depends on whether you’re growing indoors or out. It also depends on where in New York you’re located. A coastal grower will have warmer weather and more sun. It’s always a good idea to look at your local micro-climate and then do your own research.
Plus, the Empire state isn’t always bad for growing cannabis. In fact, New York summers are the perfect temperature and length for many strains. You’ll just want to make sure that your strain finishes in the first week of October at the latest – or you’ll be moving her inside.
Growing Marijuana Laws in New York
New Yorkers can grow up to 6 plants legally. But what does that mean for you and how can you take steps to keep your grow legal?
- The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act takes effect in 2022. Until then, home growers are not legal.
- Home growers can have up to 3 mature (flowering) plants and up to 3 immature plants. This is a total of 6 plants per household. Growing more than this amount can result in fines starting from $1000 and jail terms of 1 year in prison.
- Home growers may possess up to 3 ounces of weed at once. New York does not yet have legislation in place to mandate gentler restrictions for growers.
- Growers must be over the age of 21
- No municipality or landlord may completely ban or prohibit marijuana growth. However, they may restrict it.
- Sale of cannabis products may result in fines of $1000-$10,000 with jail sentences of up to 7 years. However, you may exchange up to 21 grams without compensation. Additionally, you may request a license to sell products.
Essentially, New York’s legal cannabis regulation is still underway. Go to New York’s Office of Cannabis Management for further details.
*Anything noted here does not constitute legal advice, please consult a lawyer.
Growing cannabis in New York is relatively straightforward. You have to pay attention to humidity and rain tolerance. You also want to look for fast-flowering strains. Ideally, the best strains to grow in New York finish in September. That allows you to avoid the frost completely. Of course, your favorite strain may be more difficult to grow in the state. Your grow should always depend on preferences for flavor and high – because eventually, that’s what you’re aiming for.
Hopefully this guide gives you a good place to start in finding your perfect strain to grow.
Harry is a cannabis growing veteran, recognized marijuana seed cultivation expert and founder of GrowReporter. Harry has spent the last 20+ years educating thousands of people about his techniques and methods.