This time around I decided to try something different, African weed. I have two African Sativa strains from Tropical Seeds called Ciskei and King Congo. The Ciskei is supposed to mature in 55 – 65 days and the Congo in 65 to 75 days.
African marijuana is supposed to produce a different type of high and is predominantly from Sativa land race varieties although it is possible some strains may have had some Indica influence.
The high is supposed to be a Sativa high – cerebral, uplifting and euphoric based on what I have read.
Tropical Seeds is one of several seed companies that are making an effort to preserve African marijuana genetics before they are lost forever.
I am primarily interested in the Ciskei because it is earlier but Tropical Seed Company gifted me with 4 fem King Congo seeds, which was a nice surprise.
I will be growing aeroponically again and have 2 totes of 12 plants. One is Cinderella and the other contains 2 King Congo and 10 Ciskei.
My African Sativa plants were started from seed and grown out in my RainForest and the C99 was from cuttings also grown in my General Hydro RainForest.
From The Breeder
Here is Tropical Seeds description of Ciskei and a link to their site. They have some really interesting and unique genetics.
Strain Type: Highland SouthAfrican 5th generation
Flowering times: 55-65 days
Yield: High yielder indoor and outdoors
Bouquet: From pine-green apple-spicy to more fruity and citric
Effect: Sativa high, stimulating and funny
Breeder: Herbaria ( SW ), HdB ( IT ), aeros ( SP )
“One of our star plants. Very homogeneus with a medium final size that makes it a perfect choice for both indoor and outdoors. Fast flowering with hard buds and high calyx to leaf ratio. Ripe fruits anc citric orangy scents.
Very pleasant and rewarding strain in all kind of situations. Powerful sativa high, funny and stimulating that will make you laugh and enjoy for a good time.”
African Weed Grow – Flipping The Switch – Day 1
Plants were vegged for about 3 weeks aeroponically and then transferred to my flower room once the had 3 nodes. Cuttings were taken of all plants. Hope they are mostly girls.
Here are some C99 at various stages of development, some in full flower and some younger.
Get a load of this Cinderella girl, she’s a beauty!
Week 2 Starting With Some Happy Weed Plants
Everything has been going well and the Ciskei has grown quite a bit. Should know before too long how many girls I have. I do want at least one male to make seed.
Plants are growing under a 1000w HPS. Nothing fancy, just a cheap switchable magnetic ballast and a cheap EconoWing reflector. I have a 6″ S&P TD Series Inline Fan at 293 cfm keeping everything nice and cool. My humidity is running 22% with lights on and 41% with lights off. Temperatures range from 66 to 94 degrees measured a foot above the plant tops.
Here’s this weeks pics:
The lights don’t do justice to these plants. They are dark green and some of the leaves are dark purple, almost black in color. Hard to see the Congo right now because they are in the back.
A shot under the hood of some nice healthy aeroponic roots. They are actually white but the HPS lighting makes them look yellow.
Some nice looking Cinderella girls.
Week 3 – Time To Sex Ciskei
This week the Ciskei plants are starting to show sex, So far I have cut down 2 males and there are at least 2 more, maybe 3 to go. It has been a bit difficult to determine sex because there is so much branching at the nodes, making it difficult to see clearly.
Ciskei and the King Congo are both naturally bushy and produce a lot of side shoots. Because of my set up I am lolly popping them and trying to develop a single cola. There is a lot of vigor in these plants and even where I removed lower branches there is regrowth. With most strains this doesn’t happen.
They often say larger plants are often males and in the Ciskei this has certainly been true as all the larger plants have been males so far. They are about 2 to 3 times bigger than the females. But still I want to wait a few days to cut a couple, just to be absolutely sure.
Here are a couple of picks taken this morning as lights went on:
It is becoming less of a jungle in there as I thin the plants out. So far I have cut down 2 males.
In the very back are 2 King Congo fems. The big Ciskei in the right rear is almost certainly a male.
On the left side, about half way down is another tall Ciskei that is most likely a male also.
There are a couple of other plants that look like they could go either way right now.
The 3 smaller plants in the front are females and I am guessing I will end up with 5, possibly 6 females in the end.
I will post more pics in a couple of days with the final chop.
At this point I am not keeping any males but I do have cuts going in my RainForest in case I decide to make seed.
The confirmed females are small, only about 12 inches tall. I am sure they can take higher nute levels but they are sharing a reservoir with my C99.
I have been running my nute levels at 250 to 300 ppm and everything was doing fine. I thought the African sativas could use a bit more fertilizer.
So last week I started raising them to about 385 ppm and the Cinderella stated to show leaf burn so I lowered them again.
I think the Ciskei could handle twice that and although the plants look good they seem a bit small to me.
Maybe it’s just because of the size difference between males and females.
Meanwhile Cinderella Is Rocking
Right now things are a lot more interesting in my other tote and my C99 is rocking, especially my #7 cut. Here is a pick of her:
It is hard to believe it is only 35 days since I flipped the switch on this girl. She looks ready to harvest. Pistols on the lower buds are turning orange and the top buds just keep elongating. She was the highest yielding plant in my C99 hydro grow, but she didn’t do that well in her first aeroponic grow. Primarily because she was small due to the fact she is a slow rooter.
It seems C99 needs to get fairly large in veg to show her true colors in flowering. Here are some more C99 pics:
The tall plant in back is another #7 cut but she is a bit later because I topped her to see what would happen. (Actually it was a slip of the pruning shears! But it’s all good!)
In front is a C99/Jackberry cross I did and to the right is my C99 cut #3. These have a ways to go yet because they went in later.
And here is some more bud porn for cut #7 just because she is so hot!!
Week 4 Sexing Done – Ciskei And King Congo Are Flowering
Well my African weed is all sexed and has started flowering now. Unfortunately I only have 4 female Ciskei to work with on this grow. One smaller plant turned out to be a male.v Sometimes it’s just a roll of the dice. I have had 8 of 10 seeds be female in the past and this roll obviously favored the males.
The King Congo is the tallest at about 3 feet. They are the two plants in the very back. In the middle is a taller Ciskei female at about 3 1/2 feet. The 3 Ciskei in the front are very compact and all are under 2 feet tall. So it seems both varieties are well suited for indoor growing.
It’s still early and flowering has just started but the Congo looks like it is going to develop some really nice colas. The Congo is supposed to be later but right now it seems ahead of the Ciskei. I am looking forward to seeing how all these girls do.
Here is a couple of group shots first with the 3 smaller Ciskei in the front and then a full group.
You can see that one Ciskei girl in the middle is much taller than her sisters but the Congo is tallest by far.
Here are some King Congo cola shots
And a few Ciskei
Plants are looking good and show good potential. I really like the long thin sativa leaves. They have a different look for sure. Many sativa dominant crosses start with more Indica type leaves and the sativa style leaf doesn’t show until later but these look sativa right from the start.
Week 5 Stretching Is Over
Starting week 5 and thankfully the plants are done stretching. The King Congo stopped at 44 inches but most of the Ciskei are only about 18 to 24 inches with my one tall freak being 36 inches. It looks like a stick farm.
I have had to raise my light for the Congo because a few top leaves got a bit crispy on one of them. I still have head room for taller plants but the height difference makes for uneven lighting in a mixed grow. The Congos were only a few inches tall when I flipped the switch so the stretch is incredible on these, probably 5x. I think if I grew them again I would want to do 12/12 from seed to keep the height down.
In this grow I wanted to let the plants grow naturally so I didn’t want to top or supercrop them although I was tempted to do it and probably would have if they kept growing. The King Congo looks like it has the potential to grow massive plants outdoors and with the right system you could probably grow some nice trees indoors.
The Ciskei are much more manageable and much better suited for my growing system. One of the 4 was almost as tall as the Congo girls though. All these plants want to produce numerous side branching which I removed to force a main cola. I have 12 plant sites in each Rubbermaid tote so lolly popping is the way to go in my system. It is hard to prune off those side branches because you feel like you are cutting your yield. But in truth 85% of a plants weight is in the top cola and most of the lower buds don’t fill out well even with a 1000 W HPS.
Above are the 3 shorter Ciskei in front. Tote on far left has a few Cindy 99 in it
King Congo fems
Group shot Ciskei and King Congo
This is my most promising Ciskei girl at this point. She’s about 24 inches tall and is showing nice compact cola development. She is darker green than the others and doesn’t make as many side branches.
Three front row Ciskei girls
King Congo again. I left some side branches on these because I was afraid the plant would keep stretching if I removed them.
King Congo showing her sativa traits clearly.
My tallest Ciskei again
Another Ciskei. This one is a bit taller at 24 inches and a bit more leggy
This is my smallest Ciskei girl and she is only about 18 inches tall. C99 in left background
Ciskei again with tallest plant not showing
King Congo in back with my tall Ciskei girl in front. You can see there is not a lot of size difference. I consider this one to be an off type and I am not likely to keep her.
Here is a cola shot of my tallest Ciskei plant. She actually looks more like the Congos than the Ciskeis
Week 6 And I Thought Stretching Was Over – Day 38
Well I’m starting week six of my African weed grow The two King Congo fems continued growing and I wound up super cropping both of them. They are cool plants but I think better for outdoors where you can give them room to develop side branches. There are supposed to be two growth forms, one that side branches and another with a more dominant top cola. Unfortunately I did not get this type.
The Ciskei have been much easier to manage. Although one is almost as tall as the Congos there is a lot less side branching to her. The other three are pretty compact and coming along nicely.
These plants have interesting smells. The King Congo has a vegetable smell to it and smells kind of like carrots or parsnips to me. The Ciskei has a very nice citrus smell to it that reminds me of how orange blossoms smell. Together the two make a very pleasant bouquet when I enter the grow room. The smell is not overpowering and to me doesn’t even smell that much like weed.
Here are this weeks pics. You can see a j shaped branch in the center and a sideways branch on the far right which is where I super cropped these girls. It didn’t slow them down much and instead the upper side branches took over.
The King Congo should be renamed to King Kongo because they want to climb the Empire State Building
This is my tallest Ciskei, she looks really good but I wish she were a bit shorter
This Ciskei is a bit taller. Will be looking forward to watching it develop
Another Ciskei girl
This is my favorite Ciskei girl so far. She smells great and looks like she will have a nice tight cola
Here is the girls in a group. You can really see the height differences in the plants
I really have no idea yet when these girls will finish. These pics were taken on day 38 of 12/12. Different growers have different ways of rating their plants. Most common is days to harvest from flipping to 12/12 but some growers count from the start of flowers showing. I don’t know which method Tropical Seeds uses.
Their days to harvest are probably from a soil grown plant. I have found that aeroponic or hydroponic grown plants are much faster, usually by at least a week earlier and with some strains 10 to 14 days earlier.
I did a smoke test on a few immature Ciskei flowers. Since they haven’t fully developed I can’t really comment on potency yet but I did get a very nice up high from them, which is what I expected. Definitely not bed time weed.
Week 7 Day 44 Stretch Is Over Flower Buds Are Fattening
Not much has changed this week except the flower pistols seem to be thickening and I guess the plants are now in full flower. There is one Ciskei that is a bit further along and starting to show actual buds.
I have had to use some string to keep the 2 Congos and the taller Ciskei from falling over. They will probably need more support as the buds develop and tops get heavier.
So far, as it is now day 44, I cant see anything being ready in the 55 day range for the Ciskeis and they don’t really look like they will be that much earlier than the King Congo at this point in time. But some plants can develop really fast at the end so who knows?
Here are this weeks pics. You probably can’t see much difference from last weeks pics unless you are actually looking at the plants.
Here is a group shot. Hard to see everything but the 2 King Congos are in back and the tallest Ciskei is front right.
King Congo #2 is right of center here and I moved the Ciskei aside for a better view.
This monster is King Congo #1 and the taller Ciskei is front far right
Ciskei, in back is the one that looks to be earliest but the one on the right looks really good and worth the wait
Ciskei again. This one looks like it will be a good yielder
Ciskei again. This one is really compact, dark green and seems a bit ahead of the others.
I am happy with these plants so far but must admit compared to Cinderella their growth seems really slow, but maybe I just got spoiled. I have clones of these so they will get tested again with larger vegged plants to see who is the best of the bunch. I think the King Congo is just too tall for my growing system as is the one really tall Ciskei so I probably wont try these 3 again unless the smoke is spectacular.
African Sativa Grow Day 52
Well it is now day 52 since switching to 12/12 lighting. The plants look pretty good but are showing either a bit of Cal/Mag deficiency or nute burn on some of the older fan leaves. It’s hard to tell because the two can sometimes look the same. I am not too concerned because it’s mostly on older leaves so I am guessing the plant is mobilizing nutrients and sending them to the developing buds.
None of these plants are going to be ready in the 55 days the breeder lists and maybe not even 65. Things are thickening up but not anywhere near ready and the King Congo will likely be 2 weeks later than that. They may have been counting days from first flowers appearing and not from flipping to 12/12. Anyway here are this weeks pics:
Flowers everywhere! There are not a lot of leaves and I probably could have left a lot of lower branches on the King Congo.
Ciskei is much easier to manage for my system.
Ciskei girls enjoying the light.
This is my tall Ciskei. She really looks more like the Congos except she has a single cola.
African weed group shot
African Weed Grow Day 58
Getting ready to start week 9 of this Ciskei and King Congo grow. The Ciskei is getting close to maturity but still may not be ready for another week or maybe even two. Not sure how long it will take. I can feel the buds thickening but all the pistols are still white and these plants definitely need time to size up the buds. I don’t think any will be ready in the 55-65 days the breeder gives.
The King Congo will probably go 2 or 3 weeks longer than the Ciskei. The tops are getting heavy and starting to bend from the weight especially for the Congo on the left who has a really massive top of buds. Here are this weeks pics:
These are the 3 smaller Ciskei girls. They are ahead of everything else but still have a way to go.
Here is a shot of the tallest Ciskei. Nice cola but at almost 4 feet I wish she were shorter.
The King Congo in the 2 pics above has a massive head and will probably need additional support. It is quite heavy and much bigger and thicker than I thought at first.
This is the smaller King Congo girl.
Here is a view of what I see when I open my closet door. African Sativas gone wild! It smells great in there. The smell is not super strong it is hard to describe but sweet and kind of flowery. It doesn’t really smell like weed. Until you handle the plants you don’t really get a weed smell. The resin on these plants is oily like my Cinderellas and not super sticky,gooey.
African Weed Grow Day 66
It is now day 66 and nearing harvest. I have cut one small Ciskei and she is drying. Waiting to give her a smoke. The rest are getting near being done but honestly I don’t know how much the buds are going to continue filling out. According to the breeder these girls should be done.
One thing I look for is a decrease in water usage at the end of a grow. But these girls are still using about 2 gallons a day. I don’t want to go too long and let the THC degrade but the buds are not very full. These are Sativas so I am not expecting rock hard buds but the breeder claims they are dense.So far it looks like the yield on these will not be that good.
Here are the three remaining Ciskeis:
Nice looking Ciskei plant, compact and bushy.
Another nice looking Ciskei this one is a bit taller but still only about 2 feet tall.’
This Ciskei is about the same size as the King Congo on either side at 4 feet. She has a really nice single cola.
Now we get to the King Congo:
This King Congo is a monster. It bowed over from the weight. I had to do an emergency tie up before it broke so you can see the air line tubing I used. Couldn’t even fit the whole plant in the picture. It is still growing too.
This is my smaller King Congo. That’s the tall Ciskei on the left and another one lower down center. This one looks like she is starting to finish off.
King Congo Preliminary Smoke Report
I noticed that this weed is not very sticky. It has oily resin much like my C99. I dried a sprig off my monster plant just to test it out. Bear in mind it’s not fully mature.
The smoke goes down easy but I really did not pick up anything taste or odor wise. The potency of this weed was very high. It is definitely day time smoke and I could feel my heart racing. The Congo gave me cotton mouth and the munchies which is rare for me to experience. The high was clear and uplifting with no hints of paranoia although I don’t have a problem with that. It was very easy to focus and do intricate tasks when I had to. At the same time there was a hazy dream like feel to this weed and it was a bit psychedelic. Maybe it doesn’t make sense that it can be clear and hazy dreamlike at the same time but to me it was.
This weed reminded me of old time Colombian and Panama weed from back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Most readers won’t know what I am talking about but trust me, the weed back then was every bit as potent as what is around today. It just didn’t look as pretty because it was field grown. And there were seeds in it and I am sure male plants too. Anyone who says you can’t get high from male plants is either full of shit or never tried it. I smoke test all my males before doing any breeding with them.
Ciskei And King Congo Harvested Day 72
All my plants have now been harvested by day 72. One Ciskei was harvested on day 68 ahead of the rest. I am disappointed with the Ciskei as it did not live up to my expectations. Maybe a bad batch of seed, I don’t know.
It is quite clear that days to maturity must be measured from flowering and not from flipping to 12/12. Even at 72 days I am not sure these plants were fully mature. Hydro/Aero is usually about 10 days faster than soil so there is no way anyone is going to grow these and get a harvest in 55-65 days from soil.
The buds were not hard but typical open more airy sativa buds. The smoke is good but not great. Really no bag appeal whatsoever so you would have to grow this for head stash only. To me this is a grade B plant and I won’t grow it again, in fact I destroyed all my cuttings. I was hoping that the Ciskei might be a good cross with my C99 and add some vigor to it but it has nothing to offer, it can only take away. There are too many strains that are earlier and yield better to mess with this again.
The King Congo is another story. The smoke is excellent but again bag appeal is missing. It’s unfortunate but most people are used to indica type buds and when they see something like this they think it’s schwag. I may try to cross this with my Cinderella and see what comes from that.
The plant is really too tall for my set up mixed with my shorter plants and unless that was the only variety I was growing the lights would have to be raised too high for the rest. I think it would be an excellent plant for growing outdoors and a heavy yielder. It actually doesn’t seem much later than the Ciskei in my grow room. Actually the smaller of my Congo plants was ready ahead of some of the Ciskei.
The larger Congo plant had denser buds it probably could have gone longer but I needed to get this grow done so I could make some badly needed modifications to my system. Will post some yields when everything is dry. In the meantime here are some drying/harvest pics:
King Congo, left and center. The plant on the right is supposed to be a Ciskei but I think it is a Congo that got mixed in by mistake.
Three Ciskei on the left and a smaller Congo to the right.
This is a closer look at the monster cola from King Congo but maybe it should be renamed King Kongo because of its size. On the left is the smaller Congo and there is quite a size difference!
African Weed Final Yields
Well everything is trimmed and bagged up now and I have some final yields for this grow.
The Ciskei was a bit of a disappointment for me. I only got 4 females out of 10 first off. The days to maturity turned out to be quite a bit longer and the buds I got were quite a bit looser than I expected. The smoke is a good up sativa high but nothing spectacular. My 4 plants yielded 70 grams or 2.5 ounces but honestly I believe the one with the largest cola was a Congo and not a Ciskei. At any rate that works out to 17.5 grams per plant on average. Not a bad yield all things considered. Still I will not be growing Ciskei again any time soon.
The King Congo was a freebee from Tropical Seeds and in my opinion it is a better plant as far as smoke quality and yield go. Its main disadvantage is its height. This would be awesome outside where height is not an issue. Also this strain will make you eat like a pig. It would be a good choice for people on chemo or that have problems eating and it will allow them to function during the day.
There were only two plants. One was huge and the other quite a bit smaller. The two plants yielded 125 grams or 4.4 ounces. Most of that came from the larger plant that produced 107 grams or about 3.8 ounces. The buds were more like bud sticks. Buds were small, airy and spaced along the branches with lots of orange hairs . The large King Congo had a really nice floral scent. It actually smelled good enough to make cologne from. The smaller plant smelled like cat piss to me. I mean really that’s what it reminded me of.
I may try to cross the large plant with my C99 to bring its size and maturity down but haven’t decided yet. The problem is the buds look like shit. I don’t think you could sell them because people are not used to seeing pure sativa buds. It is an example of not judging a book by its cover which unfortunately most people do. If I could get a smaller plant with tighter buds I might have a real winner.