Tropical grow in Costa Rica

I’m a newbie grower who recently retired and moved to Costa Rica. Because of the location close to the equator, we only have a 12 hour day year round. I brought a small grow tent knowing the photo-sensitive feminized seeds I brought (ILGM of course!) would need a more normal light cycle so I’d have to do an indoor grow for those. I’ve got a Gelato and a Zkittlez that I have under lights for most of the night but bring outside during the day to help increase size and keep my electric bill down. Currently on a 20/4 cycle. What are everyone’s thoughts on bringing plants outside during the day?

I’m waiting on delivery (in the US) for a shipment of Banana Kush auto seeds. I’ll be growing them outside exclusively. The soil here is awesome! Rich volcanic soil which drains very well. I’ll amend with coconut shell fibers. We essentially have 2 seasons here in Costa Rica. The rainy season and the dry season. Because of the high humidity during the rainy season, I’m restricting my outdoor grow to the dry season. I’d love to grow outside year round though.

So 2 questions. What varieties of auto-flowering plants do you think would do best in high humidity situations? And is it a good or bad idea to bring my plants from under the grow lights out into the natural sunlight every day? They are accustomed to the daily move so aren’t getting “burnt” by the higher light levels in the sunlight. Thanks!

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Here’s a couple pics of the Gelato and the Zkittlez.


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I did this regularly when I lived in SoCal. I too liked the idea of free light and it does fine. That said you need to take precautions against insect pests that will destroy your crop.

You can grow photoperiod plants outside on the Equator: look at Colombia. Huge plantations and what they do is stimulate the plants with a 30 minute light exposure around midnight which tricks the plants into thinking it’s a longer day. Doesn’t even need a huge amount of light either.

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Wouldn’t have occurred to me to interrupt the darkness cycle! Great advice. I have some low voltage pathway lights that would certainly do the trick.

I won’t always be around and so the outdoor option will be super important longer term.

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I would suggest growing in containers that you can bring in out of inclement weather if necessary and late in flower bud rot is a big deal. Moving them around can help reduce or eliminate it.

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Bud rot and mold are my biggest concerns. Hopefully growing outside only during the dry season will help. I likely made a mistake buying Banana Kush auto since I hear the buds get super dense and take longer to mature which means more opportunity for disaster! I’d like to grow outside year round. What other strains do well in higher humidity situations?

I’ll definitely be planting in containers regardless of the season. Thanks

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This is a risky proposition. Earlier in my grow career, my lights were trash. So id take plants outside daily, then bring em in to add a few more light hours. Works well for months. Actually 2 whole grows. On the third, I accidentally brought an infested plant inside. Tragedy ensued after.

From the moment that plant came inside, i doomed myself. 1 infectd plant became 3 which quickly became all 7/8. Ended up harvesting weeks early n tossing the original problem plant. Yield was reduced at least by half. If u have an insect preventative plan? It may work. But hinds sight? Ill tell anyone its not worth the risk

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Good point. Damn! Are there any preventative measures I could take? It’s kind of a gorilla grow in that the grow tent is outside in the pool pump house and it gets pretty warm during the daylight hours. Can’t really be air-conditioned or even dehumidified easily or cheaply. Wife won’t let me grow inside so I’m a bit stuck.

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Im still new so not a lot of advice to offer. Im just curious if youll be documenting the grow in a grow journal on here. Id love to see how those girls grow in another country. Especially one in a whole different climate.

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The best preventative is to keep insects off of your plants. You can do it as evidenced by the commercial grows all over the planet, but commercial is not private if you get my drift. You aren’t going to be spraying harsh chemicals on your plants because YOU are going to be consuming it. Commercial growers don’t have that concern.

Horticulture cloth is a very fine-meshed lightweight cloth (black or white) that can be bought as sacks of varying sizes to fit your needs. This will keep all pests off of your plants except mildew. They are cheap and effective.

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There are loads! Some are more effective then others…

Im a Food Grade DE guy… my soil gets a sprinkle pretty regularly. A sprinkle will make sure no bugs can walk on ur soil, nor plant eggs without thousands of lil pieces of glass.

Silica is as well. U add it to ur solutions and it adds certain… properties to ur stalk. Makes it nasty to bugs.

A few people around here use Neem in the rootzone. It permeates up thru the plant and will deter pests.

Captain Jacks as well. Very solid addition to ur plant arsenal.

But like MyFriend said, chemicals are chemicals. I believe Captain Jacks is a bacteria? Not sure at all.

That Horticulture Screen should be worth its weight in gold! Excellent suggestion @Myfriendis410

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I find White Widow Auto does fairly well along the US Gulf coast with high humidity

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I second that as I once brought spider mites from plants that I would veg outside into my indoor grow room. Well twice actually.

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Even without giving plants light at night they will still do what they’re supposed to. On constant 12 hour lighting they will just veg until mature enough to flower and then start flowering. Plant shape is a little different than you would expect from typical indoor grow, but not exactly a bad thing. Assuming your weather holds up you could potentially get 3 outdoor harvests per year.

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Looks good. Anxious to see someone grow in Costa Rica. Seems an outdoor grow would thrive. Good luck and welcome to the forum. Awesome resource and people here.

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Off topic of the autos in the tropics…I’m seeing a bit of a problem, mainly with the Gelato fem. The very tips of the leaves are getting brown and the big starter veg leaves are spotting. I can tell you it’s not an overwatering situation. I may be keeping them a bit too dry? Possibly a nutrient or bug problem? Other than the big starter leaves, the rest of the plant looks great. Advice?

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Interesting! I’m going to have to deal with humidity regardless but it’s nice to know I won’t have to rely on autos if I don’t want to if photos will eventually flower. Can also interrupt the night cycle as Myfriendis410 has suggested. I may just have to time my grows. Start them all towards the end of the wet season (mid-May thru mid-November) so they’re ready to flower during the less humid dry season when I’m less likely to experience bud rot.

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Thanks! I’ll check that out next time I buy seeds.

Yes! I’ll try to keep everybody updated on my progress on the outdoor autos for sure. And include lots of pics. Waiting on delivery of the Banana Kush seeds which should arrive next week.

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It sounds like an outdoor greenhouse would be your best bet if you can’t grow inside though this will be in the more expensive side. Yet I do see lots of people on here with very successful outdoor greenhouse grows. Id like to do one myself but living in the middle of a city is a good deterrent for me

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