8 Tips for Growing Sour Diesel Marijuana: The Practical Growing Guide

Pro tips for TOP yields!

Sour Diesel is known for its unique, pungent diesel aroma; its cerebral high and energizing qualities are legendary. In fact, if you’re in need of a powerful psychedelic high, you can’t do much better than this strain. Also known as Sour D, this strain is said to be a cross of Chemdawg 91 and Super Skunk, created in California in the 1990s. However, despite its popularity, the precise origins of this strain are the subject of intense debate. Perhaps the mystery only adds to its reputation.

| “If you’re in need of a powerful psychedelic high, you can’t do much better than the legendary Sour Diesel.”

Sour Diesel is very much a recreational user’s favorite because it is so fast-acting. It is a sativa-dominant (70%) hybrid with a whopping 22% THC. It doesn’t take long for the euphoria to set in when you use this strain, and you will love what is almost an entirely cerebral experience. You won’t succumb to couch-lock, but will enjoy a high that lasts for up to five hours.

Although it was created in the West, Sour D is a big hit on the East Coast. If you are looking to grow your favorite strain and it just so happens to be Sour Diesel, read the steps and tips in this growing guide to benefit from a potent weed that will elevate your mind.

1 – “Train” Your Sour Diesel with Low Stress Training (LST)

Sour Diesel is a relatively hard strain to grow and offers moderate yields. It tends to ‘stretch’ during the first month of flowering which, at 10-11 weeks, is lengthy by marijuana standards. As a result, you may need to engage in LST if your growing tent is on the small side. When you complete LST correctly, you will expose the bud sites on the lower end of the plant to more light, boosting growth.

| “Sour Diesel is a relatively hard strain to grow and offers moderate yields…”

In horticulture, espalier is the practice of pruning and training a tree or plant to grow in a flat, 2-D structure. LST is the modern version of this and involves training your marijuana plants without physically cutting them. One of the best aspects of LST is the minimal equipment required. You can get by with soft plant ties, wooden skewers, duct tape, and perhaps a drill.

When performing LST, it is essential to have a delicate hand. Make sure you bend the shoots of the plants outwards, away from the main stem. You can drill holes in the lips of pots to support the bending of the shoots, which you can tie down with plant ties. Make sure you never secure the shoots to the floor. If you accidentally break a branch, patch the wound with duct tape. The branch will recover if you haven’t totally sheared it off.

As your Sour Diesel plants grow, you will need to adjust the bends, and when the secondary shoots get more light, you may have to subject them to LST too. You need to perform Low-Stress Training before the plants are late in bloom because, by that point, the stems will be too rigid to bend. When growing indoors, it is best to use LST when your plants are still in the vegetative stage.

2 – You get better yields outdoors

There is no question that you can enjoy a decent yield when growing Sour Diesel indoors. It takes up to 11 weeks to flower, but you typically benefit from 18 ounces per square meter planted. However, this strain fills your indoor space quickly, especially during the first few weeks of flowering. As a result, a small grow room is not sufficient; you’ll have to invest in a greenhouse garden.

Otherwise, it is best if you try to grow Sour D outdoors to give it room to stretch. As it is primarily sativa, this strain thrives in a warm environment with a temperature of between 65- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, just like you would find in California or Spain. It has a late harvest time when grown outdoors; you can expect it to be ready only in late October or even early November!

| “As Sour Diesel is primarily a sativa, the strain thrives in warm environments with a temperature between 65 and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.”

It is not unusual for a single Sour D plant to provide a couple of pounds of premium quality weed when exposed to optimal growing conditions. Some growers report seeing Sour Diesel plants that are 10 feet tall! In the last couple of weeks of flowering, you will see that the buds are coated with gorgeous trichomes.

3 – Feeding your Sour Diesel

growing sour diesel tips

As Sour D is part of the Chem Dawg family, it has high nutrient requirements. In particular, these plants need a high level of Nitrogen during the vegetative stage. Throughout the growing process, you need Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). However, if you are using soil as your growing medium, please remember that nutrients are naturally present.

Therefore, you have to be wary when adding extra nutrients or risk harming your plants. Did you know that you can kill your plants by providing them with excessive levels of nutrients? If you are a new grower, we recommend using soil for your Sour Diesel strain because it offers a buffer between chemicals and the plants’ root systems. This means the soil is more forgiving of feeding mistakes.

DID YOU KNOW: You can kill your entire Sour Diesel crop by giving them too many nutrients?

As is the case with animals, the stages of a marijuana plant’s life require different nutrients. If you use high-quality soil, you don’t need to add extra nutrients during Stage One (the seedling stage). At this point, all you must do is ensure the pots used for each plant are large enough to let the roots grow freely.

Stage Two is the Vegetative Phase, and it is here where you will need to focus on Nitrogen, along with Phosphorus, and Potassium. Make sure the N is twice the level of the P and three times the level of K at this stage. This equates to a ratio of 6-3-2 or 18-9-6 which should be visible on the front of the packaging. Important secondary nutrients include Sulfur, Magnesium, and Calcium.

In Stage Three, the Flowering Phase, the NPK ratio must change. The main focus should be on P, which can be up to three times higher than N or K. Once again, make sure any nutrient mix you add to your plants contains secondary nutrients such as Iron, Copper, and Manganese. It is best to stop fertilizing a few days or even a fortnight before harvest to ensure your final product does not have a chemical taste.

4 – Humidity considerations for your Sour Diesel crop

As we already mentioned, Sour Diesel grows well in a reasonably broad temperature range. Make sure the temperature doesn’t fall by more than 10-15 degrees at night. Although most growers don’t have a problem with maintaining the right temperature for their plants, humidity is a completely different matter.

As you’re probably aware, all plants acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere in which they are growing. The process involves plants opening their stomata and capturing the precious CO2. This also causes water to get drawn up through the plant from roots to leaves and, eventually, the atmosphere. The plant takes water from the growing medium, and this entire process means that maintaining a balanced humidity level is of paramount importance.

Did you know that your marijuana plants only use 10% of the water they absorb for growing? The rest is evaporated. The air holds a certain amount of moisture too, and once that level is exceeded, condensation begins. If your Sour Diesel grows in low humidity it will draw water from the soil at a rapid rate, and if humidity levels fall to a certain point, your plants will no longer be able to draw water as fast as they lose it during their stomatal openings. As a consequence, your plants close their stomata which causes stress, slows growth, and damages yield.

DID YOU KNOW: Your Sour Diesel plants only use 10% of the water they absorb for growing?

If your plants are exposed to excessively high humidity levels, they draw water from the soil more slowly. The result is reduced nutrient uptake efficiency, which causes deficiencies and slow growth. When growing your Sour Diesel indoors, keep humidity levels at 65-70% during the vegetative stage and drop them by 10-15% when your weed is flowering. The night phase of flowering should be a further 5% lower.

If you allow your Sour D to be exposed to humidity levels of 80% at any time, you increase the risk of bacterial, fungal and viral infections. If the humidity drops below 50% too early in the growth phase, yield will suffer because the crop’s photosynthetic efficiency will be compromised.

5 – Controlling temperature

Grow Sour Diesel Cannabis Strain

One of the best investments you can make is to purchase a digital thermometer/hygrometer because it will help you monitor the temperature and humidity in your grow room. Always ensure you take the temperature in the shade and add several fans to your room to boost airflow.

If you find that the temperature in the grow room is exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you can reduce it by using an extractor fan with a filter. Be wary of using HPS lamps because, in a small enough room, they can cause temperatures to soar to a fatal 120 degrees!

You shouldn’t need to increase the temperature when the lights are on because the lamps ensure your growing room has all the heat it needs. However, when the lights are off, the temperature can plummet to dangerously cold levels. If this happens, purchase a space heater with a thermostat. On the downside, this simple solution burns a lot of energy. You could also invest in a radiator with a thermostat.

6 – Protect your Sour Diesel: Keep pesky pests at bay

As you’ll mainly be growing your Sour Diesel outdoors, it can be a nightmare to prevent pests from feasting on your crop. The ‘easy’ option is to use chemical insecticides because they are normally pretty effective. However, even though they get rid of the critters, they cause other problems: Primarily the damage they can do to humans when inhaled! Rather than take the risk, here’s a quick list of natural remedies you can use, along with the pests they are most effective on.


Clove OilA significant percentage of organisms hate the scent of cloves, and they can even be lethal to the touch. As a result, we recommend creating a spray using clove oil. It works well against gray mold, spider mites, caterpillars, and ants.
Cinnamon Oil & TeaCinnamon is another excellent repellent and can be combined with other ingredients in a spray. Alternatively, sprinkle some cinnamon near the base or roots of the plant. It is most effective against Whiteflies, Aphids, and Powdery Mildew.
GarlicAs well as being a widely used remedy in treating diseases, garlic is ideal for keeping pests at bay because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is effective against almost all pests, and it helps to strengthen your plants.
Coriander Oil Once again, you can purchase a special spray or create one that contains coriander oil. This is effective against thrips, pythium, and spider mites.

SOUR DIESEL PRO GROWING TIP: Sprinkle some cinnamon near the base or roots of the plant to help protect against Whiteflies, Aphids, and Powdery Mildew

7 – Outdoor security

As long as you take effective measures, your crops should be fine if you grow them indoors. However, as Sour Diesel works best outdoors, you have to invest more time and effort in security. We’re assuming that you are growing marijuana in a state where it is legal by the way!

A lot of growers simply don’t have the money to pay for a private plot of land and risk growing their marijuana plants on public property. If you go down this route, you do so at your own risk. This is difficult because you need to find a spot in a secluded area. Even if you locate such a place, it is probably far away from where you live which means regular check-ups are almost impossible.

As a result, we can only recommend growing your Sour Diesel on private land you own. Even in states where it is legal to grow weed, it is best if you keep it hidden from sight. Sour D can grow to 10 feet, so clandestine growing presents a problem! If possible, erect a giant screen to keep your weed hidden. Pruning also helps keep the plants invisible and may ultimately result in a better yield.

DID YOU KNOW: Sour Diesel grown outdoors can reach heights of up to 10 feet?

8 – Getting the most out of your post-harvest Sour Diesel crop

Once you have harvested your marvelous Sour Diesel plants, there is still a lot of work to be done. First and foremost, we recommend stripping the fan leaves away because they are not very potent and don’t cure as well as the rest of the plant. On the plus side, you can keep them for cannabutter.

To dry, hang the plants upside down from a wire in a room that’s at the optimal temperature and humidity levels. The optimal drying environment is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity. After a few days, your plants should be ready for the curing process which is designed to bring out the tones and flavors of marijuana. When you get it wrong, you can significantly reduce the potency.

| “The optimal drying environment for Sour Diesel marijuana is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity.”

The final step is to store your buds. At this point, you have removed the juiciest buds and ensured they are dried and cured properly. The biggest enemies of potent weed are light and heat. We recommend storing your Sour Diesel buds in large, wide-mouthed mason jars. Make sure you open the jars daily for a week or two to allow moisture to escape.

Store the jars in a cool, dark place at a temperature of around 70 degrees and a humidity level of up to 60%. Frankly, your weed should be ready for use by the time you’re ready to place it in the jars. However, the longer you keep your buds in the jars, the more potent they get. If you don’t believe us, try smoking buds directly from the plant, and compare them to buds smoked after a long drying and curing session. Believe us; the difference is VERY noticeable.