Durban Poison is one of the most sought-after pure sativa strains on the market, and with a THC content of 16-20%, it provides you with a powerful, yet clean and happy high.
It was initially discovered by American weed advocates in the 1970s, and brought over from the South African port town of Durban. It has been crossed with a variety of strains over the years, so you should find its genetic code in numerous popular hybrids.
A man named Ed Rosenthal is credited with ‘discovering’ Durban Poison and bringing it across to the United States. After developing the strain via selective inbreeding, he passed on a few seeds to his friend, Mel Frank. The goal of the duo was to reduce flowering time while increasing yield.
After working with multiple generations of the plants, Mel determined that there were two distinctive phenotypes: if you lived in America, you were probably using the ‘A’ strain; the ‘B’ strain ended up in Europe.
Durban Poison is known to be a fantastic morning ‘pick-me-up’ (like a cup of coffee), and provides you with an invigorating cerebral high. It is also the strain of choice for mood-altering conditions such as anxiety and depression.
If it is your favorite strain, you’ll be delighted to know that it isn’t one of the most difficult to grow. In this growing guide for Durban Poison, we provide you with eight key steps and tips which can also be used to grow different strains.
Tip #1 – Germinate the seeds in sterile soil or a hydroponic growing medium
As we mentioned, the growing difficulty of Durban Poison is classified as ‘easy’ or ‘moderate.’ The first step is to germinate the seeds, and we advise you to steer clear of Jiffy Cubes #7 for Durban Poison, because they tend to stunt growth.
If you would prefer to use a hydroponic medium instead of sterile soil, it is best to plant in vermiculite once the seed has germinated. This substance provides your seedling with a lot of oxygen, and is easy to grow the roots in.
“For beginner growers, the growing difficulty of Durban Poison is classified as ‘easy’ or ‘moderate.’”
The paper towel germination method is a good option, but make sure you regularly check the towels because they dry out quickly. When the root comes out of the seed by at least 1/16 of an inch, use tweezers to transplant the seed to your grow medium. 5-55-17 marijuana plant food can be used on the seedling to stimulate growth, and during the first couple of weeks, keep the temperature in the 72-80-degree Fahrenheit range.
Tip #2 – Grow outdoors for the greatest yield
Durban Poison can comfortably be grown indoors or outdoors because it is resilient to all weather types. If you grow indoors, use a hydroponic system for best results. It will take around nine weeks to grow indoors, and it will provide you with an estimated 13 ounces per square meter.
However, the Durban Poison plant prefers being outdoors where it can grow towards the sky. It is not unusual to see one of the plants towering above you at a height of over seven feet! If you elect to grow outdoors, the plant should be ready for harvest by early October at the latest. Expect a yield of around 16 ounces per plant.
Tip #3 – Add human urine during the vegetative stage (No, really!)
Believe it or not, human urine contains a variety of valuable nutrients (assuming you have a healthy diet) that can help your Durban Poison plant flourish during its vegetative stage.
You already understand the importance of adding a high amount of Nitrogen (N) during this growth stage, along with Potassium (K) and Phosphorus (P), but some growers like to add urine to a solution that also includes plant food, Epsom salts, and a couple of other ingredients.
In Sweden, it has been discovered that human urine is a fantastic fertilizer for farm use because it improves recirculation of N-P-K and reduces the environmental impact of wastewater. Hopefully, you already know that you can’t urinate directly onto the plant or the soil!
Instead, create a mixture that is one-part urine, 10 parts water. You can increase the ratio to 1:20 or even 1:30 for younger plants when using soil as your growing medium. Wait until the little round leaves (cotyledons) have fallen off your seedlings before using any fertilizer regime. Depending on your diet, urine can have a high level of salt, so make sure you allow runoff which you throw away.
“In Sweden, it has been discovered that diluted human urine is a fantastic fertilizer for growing weed, because it improves recirculation of N-P-K…”
If you are using a hydroponic growth medium, a ratio of 1:60 is a good start although you should adjust the ratio depending on your plant’s needs. Urine contains Nitrogen, which is consumed as food by bacteria. The Nitrogen is stored in the bacterial protoplasm, and when the bacteria die, the nitrogen is released and used by the plants.
Other nutrients included in human urine include Manganese, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Vitamins B6 and B12, Zinc, Iron, and Creatinine. Urine also contains auxin, which is known to boost flower growth. The main issues with urine are the high salt content and the possibility of the urine coming into contact with pathogens once it has left the body. Don’t use urine if you have a kidney or urinary tract infection – and it probably isn’t a good idea for indoor growing either due to the smell!
Tip #4 – Protect your plants outdoors
If you live in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, and/or somewhere where marijuana cultivation is legal, consider growing outdoors as it takes gigantic electricity bills out of the equation, and ensures you get the greatest yield.
However, marijuana grown outdoors is vulnerable, and Durban Poison is no different. It is susceptible to fungi and bugs, or else animals such as deer and rodents can come along and rip your garden to pieces.
Put up a strong fence to keep the bigger pests at bay and visit your garden every few days if possible. Also, do NOT go more than a week without visiting your plot. Soil is best for outdoor growing, so try to find a spot that provides sun from at least the mid-morning to the mid-afternoon.
Ideally, you will have a greenhouse which negates the need for a fence. Disguise it as a tool shed if necessary. Growing weed in a garden is far better than in a pot, so if you go down this route, dig a large hole; don’t expect the weed plant to penetrate clay and rubble unless you’re confident that the topsoil is of premium quality.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, at least put a roof over the weed plants and train them to stay beneath it. Remember, Durban Poison plants grow tall!
This is an essential point if trying to grow a “secret” operation (which, by the way, we DO NOT recommend). It is also crucial to have an excellent source of water nearby because dragging heavy buckets of water to a site is hard work, and looks pretty suspicious.
You can deal with pests such as mites and bugs by creating your own organic pesticides. Garlic is one of the finest ingredients you can use in any spray, because most insects absolutely HATE it.
MarijuanaBreak tip: Try using garlic mixed with water as a natural insecticide for your Durban Poison grow.
Tip #5 – Adding the right nutrients at the right time
As we mentioned above, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are the three most important ingredients when growing ANY marijuana plant. As Durban Poison is a pure sativa, you can be a little lighter with the feeding which means you need to be more vigilant for signs of Nitrogen burn than you would with other plants. The next most important nutrients are Sulfur, Magnesium, and Calcium.
Focus on adding high levels of P during rooting and germination, before allowing Nitrogen to take center stage during the vegetative stage. If you purchase plant food, make sure it also has trace amounts of boron, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, and molybdenum. If you recall, we mentioned Epsom Salts during the ‘adding human urine’ tip. They are used to add sulfur and magnesium.
If you use a hydroponic growing medium, it’s a good idea to add a tablespoon of hydrated lime or dolomite per gallon of growing medium as it adds plenty of Nitrogen, Magnesium, and Calcium.
It is essential for your growing medium to have excellent drainage. Normally, you would water once a week with average drainage. If you have great drainage, you can water your Durban Poison plants every 3-5 days. You can improve drainage by adding lava rock or Perlite to the medium. As a result, your plants will grow faster because of the enhanced oxygen to the roots. Silica is also known to strengthen the plant during the growth cycle.
MarijuanaBreak Tip: Improve drainage and enhance oxygen to the roots of your Durban Poison plants by adding lava rock or Perlite to your growing medium.
Finally, please take great care not to over-fertilize your Durban Poison plants as they are more susceptible than most. Always carefully read the instructions that come with the fertilizer. To begin with, use 50% of the recommended dose and monitor your plants. If they cope with the nutrients, add a little more and continue the process throughout. Overfertilization can kill your plants!
Tip #6 – Keep your CO2 levels in check
Carbon dioxide is like manna from heaven for your marijuana plants, and Durban Poison in particular responds extremely well to elevated CO2 levels to the point where its yield could be doubled!
As you probably know, carbon dioxide is used by plants for photosynthesis where it creates the sugars it requires for the development of weed plant tissues. Bump up the CO2 levels, and you increase sugar production and growth rate.
You can produce CO2 by burning natural gas, but it is crucial to vent heat and carbon monoxide to the outside air. CO2 is best used during the 8-10-week flowering stage because this is when the plant is at its most dense, which means it has trouble circulating air around its leaves.
It is possible to purchase very expensive CO2 systems, or you could try the quick and easy sodium bicarbonate and vinegar solution idea. Mix around 300 mL of vinegar with a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate, and watch as it becomes frothy and releases CO2.
Make sure you create the solution just before you close all entrances to your growing room. Another idea is to drip vinegar onto the sodium bicarbonate so that it provides a slow release of CO2.
MarijuanaBreak Tip: Carbon dioxide enhancement can boost your Durban Poison yields by up to 30%!
Overall, carbon dioxide enrichment should boost your yield by at least 30%, but it is far from being a risk-free venture. As long as the air is over 200 ppm of carbon dioxide, it should be enough to ensure your plants have enough nutrients for photosynthesis. If you live in a city, there is probably enough CO2 in the air already!
Remember, elevated CO2 levels are potentially deadly for humans, so make sure you don’t fill your home with it!
Tip #7 – Temperature considerations
As Durban Poison is regarded as a tough plant with lifespans in both the southern and northern hemispheres, it can grow in a wide temperature range between 65- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.
However, many growers claim that Durban Poison can safely grow at temperatures up to 90 degrees. This rises to 95 degrees if the plant is growing in a CO2 enriched environment (1500 ppm) that is vented regularly to keep humidity levels down.
Although the maximum temperature is rather high, it doesn’t mean that you’re growing it at the optimal temperature if you’re working in the 90-degree range. It is best to grow at 85 degrees during the vegetative stage (in a well-vented area), which should go below 80 degrees during the flowering stage. Above all, please make sure the temperature remains over 70 degrees during the day, and does not fall below 60 degrees at night.
If you allow your Durban Poison plants to get exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees at any time, you can expect mild shock to occur. Repeated exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees is pretty much certain to kill the plants. If you are growing in pots and are concerned that the ground is sucking the heat from the roots, elevate the pots.
“Exposure to temperatures below 50°F is almost certain to cause devastation to your Durban Poison crop…”
Remember, when the temperature rises, the air has a better ability to hold water which reduces humidity along with the risk of fungi. And speaking of humidity, make sure it remains at no higher than 60-65% during the vegetative stage, and reduce it to as low as 30% during flowering. High humidity is bad for your plants, except in the germinating and rooting stages.
Tip #8 – Harvesting for maximal yield
There are few better moments in a marijuana cultivator’s life than the first time he or she cuts down the first ‘ripe’ plant. Your Durban Poison plant is ready for harvest when at least 70% of the white pistils turn brown or orange.
The time of harvest dictates the THC content of your plants; if you harvest too early, you don’t get the full potency. However, if you wait until almost all the pistils have changed color, the THC will have transformed into CBN which ruins the psychoactive effects that you would otherwise expect to receive from Durban Poison.
If you are unsure as to when to harvest, take a sample when almost half of the pistils have changed color. If you think it isn’t strong enough, wait another week and try again. Until you become experienced, it is largely a case of trial and error.
MarijuanaBreak Tip: If you wait until all of the pistils on your Durban Poison plants have changed color, the THC will break down into CBN and minimize the psychoactive effects of the buds.
When sampling, make sure you take buds from the top or center of the plant as they are most likely to be ripe first. Once the lower buds reach maturity, you will notice that they get larger and fuzzier.
The best method of curing and drying your Durban Poison is to bring it indoors and hang it upside in a special room at the right humidity and temperature. Wait a few days and check moisture levels; when it is sufficiently dry, store the marijuana in an airtight mason jar with a little space. Open the jars every few days for a few minutes. In most cases, your Durban Poison will be ready after a few weeks’ worth of curing.
Your patience will be rewarded at this stage because air-dried weed tastes far better than its quick-dried counterpart. It is a bad idea to try and dry your Durban Poison in the sunshine, because you only reduce potency. You can even dry marijuana in a paper bag at a pinch! We also recommend avoiding microwave drying, because it severely impacts the taste — and your enjoyment of this wonderful strain.