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perennial cannabis

Is there a Perennial (Multi-year) Auto Flowering Strain of Cannabis?

Well, long answer short: Yes, there is and it’s called Cannabis ruderalis, a low-THC variety native to Russia, Central and Eastern Europe. Many cannabis experts accept the fact that Cannabis ruderalis is a species in its own due to its traits and phenotypes, which set it apart from the sativa and indica variety – even though it is still debated so as to whether it is truly a sub-species of the sativa family.

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So what can we take away from this short, sweet and simple answer? You’re probably familiar with indicas and sativas because they’re the two varieties that tend to pop up the most in ‘intellectual cannabis discussions’. But little is often said about Ruderalis – a small and fast growing marijuana plant that typically reaches no more than two feet, with its narrow leaves and significantly less branches and flowers

And as mentioned earlier, Ruderalis is very low in THC – in fact, you might even question so as to why anyone in their right mind would grow it when indicas and sativas offer a much better experience.

Let’s delve in deeper, shall we?

Perennial Auto Flowering Strains – Can it be the Secret Weapon?

Perhaps something that many weed experts often don’t care to discuss is that Ruderalis has one attribute that makes it potentially very attractive: its ability to auto flower but without requiring any specific light patterns.

That’s right – Cannabis ruderalis has the ability to autoflower on its own, based on age only, and not on how much light it receives. This explains why so many growers are now cross-breeding Ruderalis with sativa or indica strains to enjoy the benefits of both.

So this brings us to: perennial (multi-year) cannabis – what is it? Why would an everyday cannabis user want to be well-versed on the subject?

Enter the Perennial

As most of us know, marijuana plants are annual. They go through their respective life stages in any given year, kicking off their lifecycle in spring, reaching the maturation stage in summer and finally, ending their lifecycle in autumn when the big buds start to sprout.

This is the typical cannabis plant lifecycle but, of course, there are autoflowering strains that have even faster growth rates, with a lifecycle that comes to an end within 2-4 months. Through a specific cloning mechanism, you can (in theory) extend these same plant genetics for nearly unlimited generations by keeping a normal photosensitive mother plant under a 24-hour light cycle.

While this mother keeping can be fantastic for cloning, you won’t be able to get any buds as the plant will be in an “always growing” mode during the vegetative growth phase.

One way of getting a perennial/multi-year harvest is to induce your plant into the vegetative phase again, once the buds have been cut off. In fact, his process has been utilised many times by marijuana lovers in the California mountains as well as indoor growers – because there’s no need to purchase new seeds and you can have the same genetics every time around.

However, it’s difficult to say how many vegetative to flowering to vegetative stages a cannabis plant can tolerate. We’re willing to bet that the constant light cycle change will subject the plant to a lot of stress and it might eventually die altogether.

If you ask any cannabis connoisseur, they will tell you that there are currently no genetics that have the ability to grow in one season, then hibernate in winter and finally start growing again in the next season – although quite a few folks have tried their hand at creating perennial auto flowering strains.

In fact, in the last few years, enthusiasts and seasoned growers as well have attempted to cross-breed marijuana species with Hops and a number of other Cannabaceae family species, with no success in sight. There have also been reports of growers trying to graft cannabis branches on hop plants and even the other way around. This has not worked either because the grafted section would house the original plant genetics, while the host plant would house different genetic material. The two simply cannot be mixed.

But imagine how cool it would be if it were possible to plant a cannabis seed and see a non-stop harvest through every season – while not having to take into consideration any changes in light cycle or the cold weather. The impressive yield that one plant alone would give as the years pass by – because cannabis plants are capable of growing really quickly and provide several times more fibre mass than regular trees can in 12 months.

If you can picture this scenario for a moment, it’s not hard to imagine the wonderful series of events unfolding: a cannabis plant starting a brand new lifecycle with the same root mass from the year before and growing exponentially in the second year and the third. Given the countless cross-breeding cycles using the strongest re-vegged phenotypes – you might end up with a strain that’s capable of surviving multiple generations in equatorial areas where it hardly ever drops below 0°C.

Do Perennials Really Exist?

A genetically modified strain from BC SEEDS called Forever Buds could potentially be a perennial marijuana strain. If you Google up a description, it says that it is a single cannabis plant that provides buds for decades. Allegedly, they have discovered the “genetic switch” to keep a single plant young for many decades – by keeping it suspended in the flowering phase, which allows the plant to produce its own year-round buds.

The grower claims that the genetically modified plant has produced buds for eight straight years, on average providing yields to the tune of nine kilos of dried bud mass each year. They further state that the plant can grow an unbelievable 28 feet tall. The strain is commercially available although it’s difficult to say how effective it is because there hasn’t been any clinical evidence to support those claims.

We believe that extensive clinical testing is vital in order to verify that every single aspect of the flower remains the same, but particularly to ensure that no harmful chemicals or substances are present as a direct result of the genetic modification process.

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Another grower that goes by the name Doggies Nuts Seeds has apparently manufactured a perennial autoflowering strain called Big Bad John – claiming that it is a deciduous herbaceous perennial strain, which more or less means that it can re-emerge after dying.

Again (allegedly), the plant can get over winter and re-emerge in spring and the cycle will repeat into infinity. Doggies Nuts Seeds have also stated that the plant can grow wild if left unchecked, colonising areas wherever it is placed. In one season alone, it is capable of producing 3-4 generations of offspring – with each generation maturing and doing the same thing as intended.

A strain dubbed Long John Silver by Pukka Seeds comes to mind. Sharing similar genetic traits as its stronger, older and more obese brother Big Bad John, the strain has an indoor flowering period of just under 8 weeks and can grow up to 5 feet tall. Pukka Seeds have also made claims that “if left to be it will set seeds, then these seeds will grow & then these plants will do the same thing so on & so forth ad infinitum!” –Source

In Closing

All this talk about multi-year autoflowering plants can be confusing, perhaps even a bit misleading. Is it all just a marketing ploy? Well, that’s difficult to establish at the moment. Many cannabis experts say that all autoflowering varieties technically do the same thing, whether they are perennial or not.

You might be able to get an autoflowering strain to re-emerge after the harvesting cycle and end up with an immortal plant, but not many autoflowering strains in existence today can make that claim – at Seedsman, we certainly don’t offer any perennial autoflowering strains because we have not seen enough evidence to suggest that it is officially a “thing” in the cannabis growing world.

And as far as the claim goes of populating or colonising an entire field with wild autoflowering pants – well, just about any variety of autoflowering plant would do the same thing if left unattended.

For a fact, nearly all autoflowering strains are semi-perennial. The plant is actually born to be perennial – however, once the ideal conditions are around, their annual genetics are triggered once, at which point, the plant will ‘activate’ its self-destructive mode and flower quite extensively.

If an autoflowering plant is kept under low light, it won’t flower as much but it will certainly survive after the flowering stage and in approximately 6 weeks, it will grow new leaves. Big Bad John is simply an improved autoflowering strain that cannot be easily turned into an annual ‘self-destruct once’ strain. The end result: the plants don’t flower all that much.

To conclude – annual plants offer greater advantages over perennials because they can produce more offsprings and allow the plant genetics to evolve really quickly.

References

Seedsman

Not only do we have one of the most comprehensive libraries of cannabis seeds in the world, we now offer a diverse range of cannabis related goods for you to enjoy including storage products, clothing and books.

Well, long answer short: Yes, there is and it’s called Cannabis ruderalis, a low-THC variety native to Russia, Central and Eastern Europe. Many cannabis experts accept the fact that Cannabis ruderalis is a species in its own due to its traits and phenotypes, which set it apart fro …

Perennial cannabis

* Identify your perennial weeds here,
* Discover your weed’s vulnerabilities,
* How to avoid growing weed problems,

Perennial weeds persist over the winter as tap roots, root tubers or underground stems known as rhizomes. Getting rid of them involves more than simply cutting them to the ground.

Although these tough weeds are a nuisance, if you do the right things with a determined effort you can be rid of them. And this link gives you the ways to control perennial weeds without expensive weed killer . If you want to control annual weeds click here. But you’ll find specific examples for weed identification below.

There’s information on how problem weeds grow so that you can choose the right organic weeding method to avoid making the weed problem worse.

Some weeds are associated with cultivation while others are cultivated garden plants that become invasive garden weeds.

Do You Recognise This Garden Plant?

. it’s much smaller when you plant it. –>

Mint Mentha spicata a lovely herb >
with a gorgeous scent.

But over time Mint will extend far and wide if not checked.

So when you grow plants like Mint enclose them in a container. The traditional method was to use slates, or you could use roof tiles, buried vertically in soil.

But when left to spread the roots don’t go down very deep. It can easily be forked up – see the Ways to Use a Garden Fork described on this link.

NETTLES – Urtica dioica.

Heart shaped leaves with a serrated margin and are covered with stiff stinging hairs. Nowadays I use the young leaves to make a wholesome herb tea.

Nettle flowers are small of an inconspicuous pale green. Mature plants shed hundreds of seeds. Be sure to remove top growth to the compost heap before flowers turn to seed . DonВ’t compost flower or seed heads directly – a flame weeder will destroy them.

The stringy roots are bright yellow but look out for cream / purple stems that extend this perennial weed just beneath the surface.

The plant is pretty easy to remove and comes out in clumps when using a garden fork. To save being stung avoid brushing against it.

First slice the top growth down to a 1 foot stem with a sharp sickle or hedge clippers. This prevents tall stems brushing onto you as you fork. You can either wear gloves or grasp the nettle firmly .
– see the Ways to Use a Garden Fork described on this link.

Don’t forget that a nettle patch is valuable for wildlife. Nettles are rich in nutrients and should be recycled. They make a good compost accelerator and you can even make liquid nettle feed in the same way as liquid comfrey feed.

QUACKGRASS, COUCH or TWITCH – Elymus repens (Agropyron repens)

Has tough yellowish wiry rhizomes. Weed out thoroughly before planting. Where it has invaded new land the rhizomes form a fairly shallow matt. Slip a garden fork carefully under this to lift it all up together fairly easily. Take care not to leave any behind – see Working with a Garden Fork

On land that has been cultivated the rhizomes go deeper. Then, removal by hand is laborious. A mulch covering such as cardboard or polythene maintained over say 2 growing seasons should reduce the problem considerably. Find ways to grow and control perennial weeds using sheet mulch – on this link.

Some gardeners decide to rotavate weeds with a power tiller. This should be done in dry conditions and needs repeating over 2 В– 3 months whenever regrowth appears. One-time rotovation only worsens the problem by chopping Couch weeds into many pieces – there’s more on power tillers here.

Seperating the Couch Grass among your plants. This tough perennial weed will grow into and through your cultivated plants making them unsightly. Then you’ll have to lift your plants whole to seperate the weeds. You can reveal the intimately entwined couch grass rhizomes with less damage if you spray the root ball with water.

BINDWEED – Calystegium sepium

A climber with spear shaped leaves and white trumpet-like flowers. Underground it produces fleshy white rhizomes that easily break into pieces and re-grow. Bindweed persists for a long time and can survive deep burial.

This perennial weed prefers settled areas to disturbance and is commonly found along old hedgerows and seems to like walls too. Weed out thoroughly before planting your flowers, shrubs, hedges or fruit. Bindweed may persist underneath a sheet mulch and grow out at the edges.

But a vegetable patch provides plenty of opportunity by cultivation, planting, and harvesting, to erradicate this perennial weed and it will dimish. After weeding, you can slice off all regrowth with a hoe so it doesn’t see the light of day. You’ll soon be missing those pretty white flowers.

GROUND ELDER – Aegopodium podagraria

Buds are at ground level and can grow into a dense leaf cover held 6”–18” above ground. The leaf cover casts deep shade and soil becomes dry. The flowers, if left, are white umbels but germinating seedlings are virtually insignificant.

Ground Elder spreads by underground stems (rhizomes). The picture shows white stems growing horizontally and grey stems growing straight down before buds appear. The roots are fine fibrous and grow out from nodes on these stems.

This perennial weed can easily find its way under a fence. Be sure to remove all the underground parts by forking it out and shaking the soil free. You’ll often find it near old tips used to dump weeds. So leave it to dry before putting on the compost heap.

This weed can also be reduced in lawns by continual cutting and elsewhere by a sheet mulch. and see Tagetes minuta.

Tagetes minuta has been noted for combating perennial weeds:- Ground Elder, Bindweed, and Couch Grass. It probably works by producing growth inhibitory root exudates. In the UK it is a half hardy annual. T. minuta grows 4-8В’ high and is also known as Stinkweed, Wild Marigold or Marigold. But in California T. minuta is itself listed as a noxious weed . Problems may be avoided by cutting down flowers well before seed dispersal.

HORSETAIL – Equisetum sp.

Consists of erect or horizontal fine stems but no leaves.The tough aerial stems grow from underground stems that can be deep so I prefer to use a spade. They penetrate hard surfaces such as tarmac and gravel. The plant also propagates from bulbils and may produce a cone which releases spores.

This is not a nice weed among flowers because it is difficult to treat with herbicides. But it can be beaten organically. The absence of leaves is the plantВ’s weakness as only a small stem surface is available to gather sunlight.

Therefore competition under the deep shade of bigger plants will set it back – a potato crop for example. See my page on growing potatoes for weed control. Ridding it from the flower garden may require a temporary change of plan. However, Equisetum has been used for scouring pans because it contains silicate and is also used by herbalists.

LESSER CELANDINE В– Ranunculus ficaria

has a rosette of marbled kidney shaped leaves and pretty yellow buttercup flowers with some petals paling to white in late spring. The neat clumps of this perennial weed become quite attractive if left undisturbed.

It grows well in shady woods under shrubs, hedges and in settled areas such as orchards. It attracts early season insect pollinators to your fruit. Lesser Celandine seeds are often included in wild flower seed mixes but later it will smother early wild flower seedlings. So sometimes you have to intervene.

Beware of digging it up. Lesser Celandine completes its lifecycle by early summer then dies down. The plant can reproduce from root tubers and bulbils. Bulbils are fleshy buds in the leaf axils capable of growing new plants. Both these reproductive organs easily break apart when you weed toward the end of its flowering period. They spread everywhere!

You can use flame weeding to control Lesser Celandine from the time it first appears. A flame weeder doesn’t disturb the soil.

The best time to lift it out comes when petals first fade to white, before leaves begin to yellow and when the maximum number of new root tubers are still firmly attached . After this the plant breaks apart.

When you dig up a clump of Lesser Celandine include the whole root ball and treat as if contaminated. You shouldn’t add Lesser Calandine or connected soil to the compost heap. But you could submerge it for a few months then recycle.

The weed leaves yellow quickly beneath a polythene or cardboard sheet mulch. But the plant can grow these shoots through several inches of loose organic mulch.

So if you specialize in shrubs, fruit or planting out summer bedding you may tolerate this plant for its pretty yellow spring flowers. But leave it undisturbed. Because when cultivated it spreads everywhere as a perennial weed.

CREEPING, COMMON OR CROW FOOT BUTTERCUP – Ranunculus repens

Common buttercups have a 3 lobe stalked leaf arising in a rosette. Animals eating the leaves suffer a reaction from poisons it contains.

It spreads by seeds and, similar to strawberry plants, by surface stems called stolons that root at the nodes. It’s fibrous roots are shallow and this perennial weed is easy to weed out using a daisy grubber.

DANDELION – Taraxicum sp.

Roughly translated means lionВ’s tooth and refers to lance shaped leaves edged into tooth like lobes. In lawns they grow flat and look unsightly. But in tall grass leaves grow erect and without lobes. The leaf rosette surmounts a tap root.

The plant produces yellow composite flower heads that develop into feathery balls of seeds. Dispersal by wind should be stopped by slicing with hoe or shears or by mowing – there’s more here on controlling lawn weeds.

However the tap root grows down deep. If cut off even at depth it will usually regrow from the root stump. The stump may send up several branches. The picture shows how regrowth occurs from old root.

When the soil is soft, use a fork to loosen around the plant. Otherwise dig as deep as possible with a spade to get the plant out. There’s more information to help you remove Dandelions in lawns on this link.

Dandelion is awkward when growing next to paths or between pavings. After cutting leaves, try placing a pile of stones over the plant – a dose of salt too. If it grows through the stones cut it off at ground level and replace the stones. Here’s some more small tools to help you.

A Spade Is Best For Uprooting
Perennial Weeds With Tap Roots

THISTLES – Asteraceae

Another perennial weed that spreads by seeds and regrows from a deep tap root. Spiny leaves form a tight rosette in the first year but in the second year the leafy stem extends into an erect flower stalk. The sturdy tap root can be dug out with the aid of a garden spade and gloves.

Thistles are susceptible to root aphids and these also infect lettuce which, belong to the same plant family. Eradication is also important to prevent thousands of seeds spreading on the wind.

DOCKS – Rumex sp.

Yet another perennial weed that spreads by seeds and regrows from a deep tap root. The stem carries large rather leathery oblong or spear shaped leaves.

You need to loosen the soil on all sides. I use a spade to get down as deep as possible. On light soils a fork may suffice. Removing the top 6В” of root should prevent re-growth.

Take care not to put them directly on the compost heap – instead wash soil off and place in a tub of liquid manure in the dark, or leave to dry out before composting. Note that Sorrel, also of the Rumex genus, is a smaller plant grown as a herb.

Further information

Garden Gate

  • Find more pages of information on: lawn weeds , – annual weeds, – reclaiming an overgrown site, – flame weeders, – how garden weeds thrive, – intelligent weed control, – rotavators & tillers, – natural weed prevention, – control weeds with sheet mulch, – compare herbicides with organic weed killers, – perennial weed control, – –>The Organic Gardener’s Tool Shed, &
    the best in small handy weeding tools,

ALSO on The Organic Gardener:-

My Neighbour’s Weed Patch


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Perennial cannabis * Identify your perennial weeds here, * Discover your weed’s vulnerabilities, * How to avoid growing weed problems, Perennial weeds persist over the winter as tap roots,