Lighting Temperature & Growth: How Temperature Influences Any Crop

Just as plants are ever-responsive to changing light, they are also affected by changing temperatures. Recent studies reveal that plants can “feel” temperature adjustments as little as one degree Celsius. Certain responses, such as tightly winding and unwinding DNA structures, are able to regulate the plant’s internal temperature. This survival technique has allowed hearty plants to withstand unexpectedly cool nights as the sun disappears behind the horizon, or to stay alive even with the heat of high noon.

Understanding how your crop reacts to cold or warm temperatures is imperative for a successful harvest. Today, fortunately, erratic weather doesn’t have as much of an impact on agriculture: with the advance of the indoor grow facility, it is easier now more than ever to regulate the temperatures a crop experiences. Warmer and cooler temperatures have an ability to alter the resulting appearance of the individual plants. Temperature proves to be an influential control for any cultivator.

Furthermore, the introduction of LED lights has made maintaining an ideal temperature in your grow facility seamless. Rather than constantly checking on the temperature of conventional bulbs — which tend to run hot and risk burning your canopy — invest in LED lights that give off substantially less heat.

While cannabis plants tend to enjoy warmer temperatures in general, some cultivators refer to that perfect temperature as the Goldilocks Zone — neither too hot nor too cold. Most experts place that zone between 60 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the current stage of growth.

Cannabis in the vegetative stage prefer warmer temperatures, between 70 and 85 degrees. During the flowerings stage, cannabis flourishes in cooler temperatures, anywhere from 65 to 80 degrees. According to Jerry Hatfield, an expert for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “For most plant species, vegetative development usually has a higher optimum temperature than for reproductive development.”

It’s important to track even the slightest temperature changes in your grow facility. Exposing plants to either too cold or too warm temperatures may result in stressed plants. Stressed cannabis plants may develop yellow or brown leaf tips. Furthermore, plants that are exposed to excessively warm temperatures may experience stem elongation. This results in tall, spindly plants without much flower mass. On the other hand, temperatures that are too cold can invite mold and disease.

Plants, cannabis and otherwise, are susceptible to the extreme temperatures and the weather predicted with climate change. As our climate continues to warm, indoor agriculture will be increasingly favored for its reliability. Agriculturalists will be able to continue harvesting healthy crops in the future with the advance of LED technology.