The idea of growing your favorite strain is a dream come true for many marijuana lovers. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a state where cultivation is legal, our lists of steps and tips should prove essential reading.
Today, we provide you with a growing guide for Super Silver Haze – an award-winning strain that won the High Times Cannabis Cup in the late 1990’s.
Super Silver Haze is almost a pure sativa (just 10% indica) with a THC content of up to 18%. Super Silver Haze was created in Amsterdam during the mid-1990s, a genetic cross of Haze, Northern Lights, and Skunk. It is a strain known for providing a cerebral buzz that lasts a long time, and you should also benefit from an exhilarating, euphoric high.
Although this particular strain was only developed around a quarter of a century ago, it comes from the famed Haze sativa hybrid, which is arguably the most famous in the world. The Haze strain was created by the Haze brothers in Santa Cruz, California, during the 1970s. The duo cultivated and crossed a variety of cannabis lines using the seeds of premium-quality sativa strains which were normally provided by ‘Sam the Skunkman.’
The remarkable Haze lineage began with a hybrid of a Mexican landrace sativa and a Colombian landrace. The following year, the brothers selected the best females from the hybrid and crossed them with a Southern Indian landrace. Finally, this new strain was crossed with a Thai landrace! Purple Haze became the best strain on the market in the 1970s, but was also exceedingly expensive.
The main issue with Haze is the fact that it is 100% sativa, which makes it hard to grow indoors. As a result, breeders began crossing it with indica strains to ensure it was possible to grow inside, away from prying eyes. Eventually, in the 1990s, Neville Schoenmakers recovered seeds from a pure Haze and selected two male plants (A and C), and a female plant which he called B.
As the owner of The Seed Bank, Neville began experimenting with new strains and his company, later known as Sensi Seeds Bank, became famous for creating a myriad of Haze strains that have been crossed with indicas. Super Silver Haze has become one of the most popular of all.
Today, this strain is used to treat a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It could also alleviate the pain of conditions such as muscle spasms and chronic back pain. In this step-by-step growing guide, we provide you with eight important tips to help you grow high-quality Super Silver Haze.
1 – Use SCROG (Screen of Green) to ‘train’ your Super Silver Haze
Although the image of asking your marijuana plants to ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’ provokes mirth (and a little concern), ‘training’ your plants actually involves bending, or even cracking, parts of the plant to improve yield size and quality of weed. There are several training techniques, but the Screen of Green (SCROG) method is one of the best around for Super Silver Haze.
SCROG is an excellent training option if you are growing Super Silver Haze indoors, as it assists in a discreet, clandestine grow.
Even in states where it is legal to cultivate, you must ensure your plants are out of public view. One of the best aspects of SCROG is that you only require smaller lights such as LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) grow lights. Along with lighting, you need a screen to complete this training method. You can use garden or poultry netting if need be.
Ideally, the holes in the netting will be no larger than two square inches. Some growers like to force their crop to hit the flowering stage early for a quick harvest. However, we recommend exercising patience and allowing your Super Silver Haze to grow through the screen en-masse. Place the screen between 8 and 12 inches above your growing medium. Once the plants begin to grow through the screen, tuck them back beneath it with your fingers. The goal is to train your crop to grow outwards across the screen.
Make sure the grow room has good ventilation to avoid problems with mold. It is necessary to trim back growth beneath the canopy to ensure the bud sites get the plant’s energy. After a flowering time of 10-11 weeks indoors, you should get a low to moderate yield of up to 10 ounces per square meter, although the SCROG method should help you get even more. For outdoor growers, harvest time is in mid-October, and you should get up to 15 ounces per plant.
2 – How to avoid nutrient burn
Super Silver Haze is predominantly sativa, which means it requires less feeding than its indica counterparts. When you add in a new grower’s understandable over-enthusiasm, it is common for them to burn their crop with nutrients. There are several causes of nutrient burn, including overwatering, using growth stimulants regularly, overuse of bloom boosters, and mixing nutrients stronger than recommended.
During the vegetative stage, your Super Silver Haze crop needs a relatively high amount of Nitrogen – but don’t overdo it! As a rule of thumb, begin with 25-50% of a pre-packaged nutrient mix’s recommendation and gradually add more if necessary. Early indications of nutrient burn include:
- Leaf tips bent at 90 degrees.
- Discolored branches and stalks; they may turn deep red, purple, or even magenta.
- Calyx and sugar leaf tips turn yellow and begin to curl back.
- The leaves turn a deep green color.
- The tips of the leaves are almost fluorescent.
- Yellow burnt tips on leaves.
Once you identify nutrient burn, carefully remove the damaged parts of the plants. Get rid of all damaged leaves, and trace clusters of calyxes back to their branch and remove the whole lot. Use pH balanced water (between 6.0 and 6.5 if using soil, or between 5.5 and 6.0 if using a hydroponics system) to flush out your growing medium.
There are specialized plant tonics on the market that you can use to nurse your plants back to health. When you begin feeding your Super Silver Haze crop once again, begin with half the nutrients you used before and monitor carefully.
3 – Here’s what happens if you overwater your marijuana plants…
It is essential to ensure there is ample time between feeding and watering; or else the roots of your plants won’t be able to take in enough oxygen. Overwatering is arguably the most common mistake made by novice growers who don’t realize that they are drowning their precious crop!
Perhaps the main symptom of overwatering is drooping leaves. This happens because the leaves of the Super Silver Haze plants are so laden with water that they are curling in on themselves. Another sign of overwatering is yellowing leaves.
DID YOU KNOW: If you add too much water to your Super Silver Haze, you can starve the plants of oxygen – and even kill the entire crop!?
If you see any of these symptoms, the obvious first step is to water less often. However, you must also check to see if the soil has good drainage. Make sure that excess water is draining out of the plant containers. When checking to see if your plants need watering, stick your index finger into the soil as far as the knuckle. If it is dry, you should water your plants. If some of the soil is moist, wait a couple of days and check again. Marijuana plants require watering less often than you think.
4 – Make sure your Super Silver Haze is grown in relatively high humidity
It is important to understand the relationship between humidity and cannabis plants. As you know, plants respire CO2 from the environment via their leaves. During this process, they lose a portion of the water previously retained. In dry air, plants lose more water when respiring than in moist air, which quickly reduces the moisture content in the plants.
When humidity levels are too low, the dry air results in your Super Silver haze plants closing the pores in their leaves to keep moisture loss to a minimum.
It is an effective tactic, but reduces their CO2 intake which leads to cell death and limp cannabis plants. When humidity levels are too high, you decrease the amount of air in the growing medium, suffocating the plants and enhancing the risk of root rot.
If you are growing Super Silver Haze for the first time, you may need to experiment with humidity levels to get everything right. The temperature of your grow room also dictates how humid it should be, but here is a starting guide:
RELATIVE HUMIDITY GUIDE FOR GROWING SUPER SILVER HAZE
|Life-Cycle Stage of Super Silver Haze Plants||Relative Humidity Levels (%)|
|Clones & seedlings||65-80%|
|Early flowering stage||40-50%|
|Late flowering stage||30-40%|
As Super Silver Haze is a sativa, it is less likely to develop bud rot in humid conditions than indicas. You can decrease humidity levels by:
- Using a dehumidifier.
- Increasing the supply of cool air.
- Watering the plants at the start of their lighting period.
- Pushing hot air out of the room by running your exhaust fan vent on high velocity.
On the contrary, you can increase humidity levels from your Super Silver Haze grow by:
- Reducing exhaust fan velocity to ensure warm air stays in the grow room.
- Misting your plants.
- Increasing the temperature in the grow room.
5 – Keep the temperature warm
Super Silver Haze grows best in a warm and humid climate with an average temperature of between 70- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this is not the entire story. If you allow the temperature in your grow room to fall too low, it will reduce evaporation through the leaves. The suction force, which absorbs nutrients via the roots, is reduced and the unused nutrients remain in the growing medium, with the high acid levels causing your plants to absorb less water and nutrients, guaranteeing slow growth.
Here is a quick overview of temperature ranges to shoot for according to your plants’ growth cycles.
TEMPERATURE RANGE FOR SUPER SILVER HAZE PLANTS
|Life-Cycle Stage of Super Silver Haze Plants||Preferred Temperature Range (°F)|
|Clones & seedlings||Aim for a daytime temperature of up to 77°F and a night time temperature of 70°F.|
|Vegetative stage||You need to bump it up a little at this point. Super Silver Haze will enjoy a daytime temperature of 82°F, and keep it in the 64-75°F range at night|
|Early flowering stage||Reduce the temperature range slightly to 68-78°F|
|Late flowering stage||As well as lowering the humidity, you should also reduce temperatures to 64-75°F with a 5-10 degree drop at night|
6 – The best soil for growing Super Silver Haze
When it comes to finding the best soil for your cannabis plants, it is necessary to focus on water retention, drainage ability, and texture. In general, the best marijuana soil for Super Silver Haze will include the following:
- It is dark and rich.
- It will have a loose texture.
- Has excellent drainage.
- Holds water without becoming excessively muddy.
If you are intent on adding amendments to your soil, consider natural and organic ingredients such as:
- Fish meal
- Blood meal
- Bat guano
- Earthworm castings
DID YOU KNOW: For marijuana growers that prefer Super Silver Haze, loam soil is the gold standard?
You can have sand, silt, or clay soil, but loam is comprised of all three and gives you an almost neutral pH, great water retention, outstanding drainage, and excellent nutrient retention. It also supports microorganisms, is fertile, and is very easy to work with.
If you have no idea what loam soil looks or feels like, here’s a quick primer; when you squeeze a loam soil, it should result in a loose ball that briefly maintains its structure before threatening to fall apart. In contrast, clay soils won’t fall apart, while sand and silt soils are not easy to make compact.
Loam soil has a dark and rich color and a distinctive smell. In general, most pre-mixed soils will be loam, but they include different types and quantities of nutrients. If you are an experienced gardener, it is worth adding the above organic amendments yourself. New growers should purchase a high-quality potting loam soil that contains all the nutrients your Super Silver Haze plants need.
7 – Should I grow hydroponically?
If you are perturbed by the 10-11 weeks flowering time of Super Silver Haze, which is considered ‘long’ in marijuana circles, you have the option of creating a hydroponics garden. This growing method involves the use of other growing mediums aside from soil, and enables you to harvest earlier than if you use soil.
Although there are dozens of potential growing mediums available, there are three commonly used options, and we recommend sticking to one of them:
USING HYDROPONICS TO GROW SUPER SILVER HAZE MARIJUANA
|Coco Noir||Also known as coconut fiber, coco noir is a sustainable material that allows a high level of moisture and oxygen. The plant-stimulating hormones contained in coco noir help to boost your plant’s immunity to disease and infection|
|Clay Pellets||These heavy pellets support the weight of marijuana plants and wick moisture towards the roots. They also ensure that ample oxygen flows through|
|Rockwool||Comprised of thin rock fibers developed by spinning rocks to exceptionally high temperatures, Rockwool does a fantastic job of retaining moisture and allowing oxygen to flow; although Coco Noir is better. If you choose Rockwool, soak it in a solution with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 for up to 12 hours|
If you decide to grow Super Silver Haze hydroponically, make sure the pH remains in the 5.5 to 6.0 range; this is 0.5 lower than when you use soil. Please remember that you are responsible for providing all of the nutrients your crop needs to survive; this means the margin for error is smaller than it is with soil.
8 – Boost light intensity for a greater yield!
Increasing light intensity is one of the best ways to bump up your yield. Once your Super Silver Haze plants have reached the vegetative stage, the next step is to ensure they receive enough light right off the bat. If you fail to generate enough light, the plants will stretch out to reach the light and leave too much stem between the leaves and nodes. By using the best grow lights possible, you can provide plenty of photosynthesizing energy and your plants will grow strong and healthy with minimal stretching.
When your Super Silver Haze crop reaches flowering, light intensity increases bud production. Here’s where to place different light types:
THE BEST GROW LIGHTS FOR SUPER SILVER HAZE CROPS
|Type of Grow Light||Description|
|CFL’s (and other fluorescent grow lights)||These are weak and can be kept within a few centimeters of your plants|
|LED grow lights||Keep them a minimum of 12 inches away; 18 inches if they are 3W or 5W models|
|MH/HPS grow lights||Keep these at a distance of 12 to 24 inches away depending on the size of the bulb|
Lastly, make sure you have an exhaust or cooling system in place to prevent heat stress and ensure your plants benefit from fresh CO2. Once you have reached the limit of what your plants can take in terms of heat, increase CO2 levels in your grow room. The more CO2 you add, the more heat your plants can tolerate without being stressed. Make sure you don’t expose yourself to enhanced carbon dioxide levels, because too much CO2 is harmful to humans.