Best strains to grow in New York this year

Published on February 14, 2023 · Last updated February 7, 2023
Uncle Jesse's East Coast Sour Diesel. (David Downs/Leafly)
Uncle Jesse-grown East Coast Sour Diesel. (David Downs/Leafly)

What’s good, New Yorkers? The time is now to get your very own garden party started!

New York state medical cannabis home cultivation laws took effect back in early October. The rules now allow patients and caregivers three mature and three immature plants at a time. Officials allow two or more certified patients in any private residence to have double that—six mature and six immature plants. Whoo!

It’s a big win for New Yorkers, and combined with adult-use legalization and decriminalization in neighboring states—the Northeast has joined cannabis’ golden age.

Should I grow indoors or outdoors in the Northeast?

Now with the wind at their backs, potential New York home growers maybe planning how to best proceed. Should I invest in an indoor tent system, or potentially create my own private Woodstock by planting some solid backyard boogie?

Former High Times Senior Cultivation Editor, current editor of Northeast Leaf Magazine, and all-around New York weed guy Danny Danko said smoke for virtually free with an indoor set-up that includes a large mother plant, plus a flower tent.

“The limit is on the amount of plants, but it’s not on the size of the plants. Indoors you have the option of extending that vegetative stage,” Danko said. “You can grow bigger plants and also not have to ever pay dispensary prices again by keeping a mother plant.”

Legendary grower/breeder Chemdog of the strain Chemdog is a Massachusetts native and recommends going for an outdoor grow in the Northeast. He’s the Director of Cultivation at Canna Provisions in western Mass, only an hour away from New York.

The veteran sungrower said aspiring gardeners should plan to battle hot, humid summers and cold, early, long winters. That means getting a greenhouse. Shield plants from rain during the muggy summer and fall. Fight bud rot by shaking off morning dew.

“In the Northeast, there’s a lot of rain here. The season isn’t like CA and a lot of those west coast states,” said Chemdog. “So even if [your garden is] somewhat covered it’s gonna do you wonders, especially when the buds form, because of those long, humid summers.”

Trendy hybrids for New Yorkers to grow

Look at the Leafly data—hybrids rule New York weed trends. Breeders hybridize cannabis strains to boost vigor and yield, as well as fit into an indoor setup. Regular, feminized, or autoflower seeds—the choice is up to you and your cultivation goals.


Gelato circa 2015. (David Downs)
Gelato. Indica hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

New classics like Gelato and its descendants Runtz and Lemon Cherry Runtz are loved everywhere—especially on the East Coast. Finding legit genetics for these strains requires some research to avoid bad white-label seed knock-offs. See Leafly’s Best seeds and clones to grow in 2023 for links to sellers.

Where to buy weed seeds online in the US

Wedding Cake and Ice Cream Cake

Getting your hands on the original Seed Junky gems for these strains is both tough and pricey. Look for proven alternatives such as Mephisto’s Wedding—a top autoflower cultivar that crosses the aforementioned Seed Junky Wedding Cake cut.

The world’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in 2023


A bud and branch shot of icy black and green Oreoz grown by CAM Photo by The High Red Beard (Photo Courtesy of CAM)
Oreoz, grown by C.A.M. in California. (Photo by The High Red Beard; Courtesy of CAM)

Popular with many New Yorkers, Oreoz permeates with the smell of delicious vanilla and chocolate dough that’s been run over by a funny car’s flaming Goodyears. Highly medicinal, seek out its child strain Pure Michigan for similar effects and growing schedule.

Apple Fritter

Run Humboldt Seed Co Sour Apple Auto this winter indoors for a good time. (Courtesy Humboldt Seed Co)

Combining its Sour Apple sativa and Animal Cookies pain-relieving properties, this true hybrid is a dual threat. Humboldt Seed Co. features feminized seeds of Sour Apple and also debuted its latest big yielder Apple Blossom as a photo and auto.

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Gary Payton

GP features mood-boosting effects that make it a top strain among New Yorkers. To avoid steep dispensary prices of exclusive strains like this one, grow solid crosses like Cannarado’s Sweet Nothings or Exotic Genetix Gary Poppins fem seeds. 

Leafly Buzz: 13 top cannabis strains of ’23

Original Glue aka GG4

Original Glue up close. This hybrid’s effects can go either indica or sativa. (David Downs / Leafly)

Whatever your crew calls it, Original Glue grows a little tall—so save some space for it to stretch. Apartment dwellers beware—the aroma of this indica hybrid wafts far and wide due to its Diesel lineage. Could also be optimized as an excellent outdoor yielder during the prime growing season. 

Old-school NYC strains

“Piff or different versions of the famous New York Haze have always been a NYC trademark,” Danko also commented during the chat. “And you know New York’s always been known for Sour Diesel.”

We love Diesel and we’d grow Top Dawg Seeds Sour Fritter or Sour Dos; or Massive Seeds’ Yuki Sour Diesel.

Looking for the nostalgic allure of classic NYC Piff and Hazes? Top Dawg Seeds and Piff Coast Farms has got you. Both of these breeders are sources of the elusive uptown/puday/church hazes as they were known to Gothamites in the ’90s and early ’00s.

Classic genetics at home

Validated Chem 4 from Chemdog brand Smash Hits Cannabis, sold by CannaProvisions. (Courtesy Smash Hits)
Validated Chem 4 from Chemdog brand Smash Hits Cannabis, sold by CannaProvisions. (Courtesy Smash Hits)

Canna Provisions also sells super-affordable clones of classic Chemdog variants Chem D and Chem 4 just a little east of the Catskills at their Lee, MA store.

“We fully support home grow,” Chem said. “We try to be for the people at the end of the day.”

Can’t high-tail it over the border to grab a Chem clone? Check out seeds from JJ from Top Dawg, Lucky Dog Seed Co., and Daz’s dazzling Night Owl Chem crosses.

New growers take note of outdoor wonders like Skunk #1 and Northern Lights too—tried and tested for hearty outdoor environments when the weather gets tough.

And that’s our picks. Whether you are planning some outdoor summer gas in Poughkeepsie, NY, or danking up your entire NYC walkup with a tent full of some frosty loud—let’s get growing!

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Anthony DiMeo
Anthony DiMeo
Anthony DiMeo is a cannabis advocate and journalist who still believes countercultural evolution is possible. His work and advocacy has been featured in DOPE, Extraction Magazine, Terpenes & Testing Magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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