How to Grow White Widow?

Stephen Andrews
23 Mar 2022

White Widow is likely the most potent cannabis hybrid strain that emerged during the 1990s in the Netherlands, thanks to creators Green House Seeds. White Widow took the Amsterdam scene by storm and quickly became a favorite among growers all over the globe. Looking at its genetic lineage, White Widow has Brazilian and South Indian roots. It's a 60% sativa and 40% indica and has a THC content ranging from 18-25%. After all this time, many growers still prefer White Widow - the matriarch of the 'White Family' - to other 'white' cultivars.

White Widow is identifiable by its extra resinous buds, the main reason behind this strain's ultra potency. It's the most famous and successful Dutch hybrid that appeared in the second half of the 1990s. Skunk #1, Northern LightsAfghan and Haze strains dominated the market before the arrival of White Widow. Enter White Widow in 1995, it was a game-changer to have such a complex, sativa-dominant blend that appealed to growers at all levels of expertise. While there might be some difficulties growing this cannabis strain, most of it is manageable. 

Genetics: White Widow is typically a 60% sativa and 40% indica. A potent match between a Brazilian sativa landrace and a resin-heavy South Indian indica. The queen mother of the 'white' family of cannabis strains, White Widow borrows its genetics to other powerful strains such as White Russian, White Rhino, and Blue Widow. 

Taste and flavor: A woody and earthy sensation, at times spicy, will evoke a familiar feeling among those who have been toking for a while now. 

Terpenes: The dominant terpene in White Widow is myrcene, which is commonly found in cannabis and other vegetation such as hops and bay. 

Effects: White Widow is a highly potent strain that offers an excellent, well-balanced high that affects both the mind and the body. A feeling of euphoria follows the initial cerebral high. It's an incredible strain to socialize or to undertake creative activities. It will undoubtedly keep you up and high for the next several hours. 

Side effects: Apart from the regular dry mouth and dry eyes, White Widow may cause a paranoid sensation in some users. If this is a persistent feeling you get from consuming this strain, it may be a good idea to switch to another strain. 

Medical uses: White Widow is a suitable strain for conditions such as ADD/ADHD and PTSD. Users also rely on it to combat stress and release inner pressure.

Growing difficulty: Even though it can be a bit finicky, White Widow is quite manageable, even for those without much experience growing cannabis. Having White Widow grow at high elevation terrains can be particularly soothing for this strain. Flowers can sustain through warmer-than-usual temperatures, however, plant damage is imminent when overexposed to colder settings.

Growers may end up with different phenotypes of White Widow. Those phenotypes that are distinctly sativa-oriented, that have the plant grow a bit more slender than usual, are a particularly good fit for indoor grow operations.

Flowering and harvest: Indoors, it flowers in about 60 days, and you can collect around six ounces of weed per plant. Outdoors, flowering completes in 75 days. An outdoor harvest would typically occur sometime between late September and early October and results in a slightly larger yield than indoor crops. 

Use the pistil method to determine when it is time to harvest. The rule is simple. At least 70% of the pistils have to turn amber before you can collect the fruits of your hard labor. 

how to grow white widow cannabis.

How to grow White Widow?

Using the SOG or SCROG grow techniques are more than recommended when planting White Widow gardens. Ensure that you limit vegetation time a little more than you would with a typical 60/40 if you go down the SOG/SCROG road. That would allow for a robust, energetic pre-flower phase, a "differentia specifica" moment when cultivating the original White Widow. 

As a low-stress training technique, the screen of green will increase the number of colas your White Widows are due to produce. Set the canopy in your grow room and give time for the plants to outgrow the mesh. Once the branches begin to protrude, tuck them back into the screen. As plants enter the flowering stage, you will notice the increasing number of colas.

During the growing process, you may want to re-pot your White Widow crops. Do this when you see that the plants outgrow their original containers. Transplanting them to larger pots will ensure healthier roots and stems.

White Widow will thrive both in soil or if you opt for hydroponics. Either way, you are down for a great growing adventure and luscious harvest.

How to recognize phenotypes?

Since its appearance, there have been numerous hybrids and versions of the White Widow strain taking over the markets. Many old-school growers familiar with Dutch genetics claim that one way to tell that you are growing the original Widow is its inclination to pre-flower during vegetation. This happens thanks to White Widow's Brazilian lineage. 

As earlier mentioned, sativa-oriented phenotypes grow into more slender plants, which would benefit indoor growers. With distinctly sativa-leaning phenotypes, grow room is easier to ventilate, there's less risk of humidity issues or plants struggling with mold and mildew. You can still implement low-stress training and keep your plants short and stocky without affecting yields.

The main trait of the more indica-dominant phenotypes are dark green leaves that look strangely narrow, just as sativas. These plants have an even more noticeable white glow when light is refracted. Its opalescent colas still make way for amber or reddish-brown pistils once flowers begin to mature. 

How to use lights for White Widow?

White Widow plants should remain in their vegetative stage for around eight weeks. One recommendation is to expose the plants to a minimum of 18 hours of light a day throughout this period. Ensure that the light focuses low on the plant, but stay cautious as to not burn the tips. 

Switch to a 12-12 light regime once you are past the eight weeks. The extended period of darkness at this stage will force the flowers into flowering. This is also the recommended time when to implement the SCROG method. Make sure that light is distributed evenly around your flowers to get the most out of the harvest. 

Another tip for your lights? According to the Big Book of Buds, "Green House suggests changing the lighting to eight hours during the last two weeks of flowering in order to halt regrowth... on the buds and produce just enough stress to coax out the maximum amount of sticky resin per inch."

How to regulate temperature and humidity? 

White Widow is a strain that can well tolerate higher temperatures, but it won't react so well when exposed to too cold temperatures. Even when plants are exposed to temperatures over 80°F, White Widow can continue its normal function. But it won't do so well if you overexpose to say 55°F.

The optimal temperatures for outdoor White Widow plants are above 70°F throughout the day and above 60°F at night. Indoors, you can go as high as 95°F, given that you supplement your room with a carbon dioxide enrichment of 1500 ppm. 

As per humidity, during germination, stick at around 70%. During vegetation, drop to 65%. Once you reach flowering, start reducing humidity by up to 5% on a weekly basis until you reach a point of 35% humidity. 

how to grow white widow cannabis strain.

How to feed White Widows?

Use more significant amounts of Nitrogen during the vegetative stage of your crops, after which you reduce dispensing this essential nutrient in flowering. White Widows require more Phosphorus and Potassium during flowering; these two elements are beneficial to build high THC contents.

Plants will also benefit from Sulfur, Calcium and Magnesium, and they also need trace amounts of micronutrients such as Iron, Zinc, Copper, Boron, etc. 

Remember to stop dispensing nutrients when your White Widows are two weeks away from harvest time. That is to preserve the herbal, spicy taste of the plant. 

Water your White Widow plants once a week or even more often than that (e.g., every four days) if you improve on the drainage. Adding perlite or lava rock to the grow medium can significantly help improve drainage. 

Finally, as per pH levels, for White Widow, you can go as high as 6.5. For hydroponics, this should still be lower by 0.5. 

Is there a pest threat with White Widow?

Some sources claim that White Widow is pretty resilient to pests, however, there are instances when this strain appears vulnerable to mites, aphids, whiteflies, caterpillars, fungi, or bud rot.

Sticking to the temperature and humidity instructions above will prevent any bud rot or fungus from forming on this cultivar. Plants are most vulnerable to decay and fungus in the instances when flowers begin to form. A combination of temperatures at around 70°F + high humidity level presents poses a high risk for White Widows indoors.

Outdoors, maintain crops with homemade solutions or non-chemical deterrents. If you need to transport plants outdoors to indoors, conduct a close inspection as not to bring in any pests inside the grow room. Cleanse each leaf with a solution to deter any unwanted insects.

Happy growing!

Stephen Andrews