The word “Congo” let his heart instantly beat faster, as it triggered an association of exciting
old school landrace genetics with him.
The Doc, an ardent lover and grower of haze genetics, a while ago happened to receive a pack of ten regular Congo Haze seeds brought along by one of his friends. The word “Congo” let his heart instantly beat faster, as it triggered an association of exciting old school landrace genetics with him. And when he found out about the pedigree and characteristics of Congo Haze, his enthusiasm became even bigger: It’s a mostly sativa cross between the sativa dominant Red Congolese strain from Reeferman and the legendary Neville’s Haze. Red Congolese was bred from Congolese Sativa x (Mexican x Afghani).
Wow! That did sound like a huge promise of superior exotic haze sativa power. Kiwiseeds confirms: “This hybrid is a fantastic blend, merging of the finest cannabis has on offer. The aroma and sweetness of the Sativa dominant Red Congolese, united together with a far stronger growing, rich ‘n spicy Neville’s Haze.” Another outstanding characteristic of Congo Haze is that she only takes 70-80 days of flowering to ripen which is prettyamazing for a Neville’s Haze cross – Neville’s Haze plants need 16-18, sometimes even over 20 weeks to reach maturity. The average height of Congo Haze plants is 100-120 cm – which is fairly low for a mostly sativa strain – and they are expected to yield a lot, 400-500 grams of buds per square metre, quite a big achievement for a mostly sativa strain.
All of the ten Congo Haze Seeds sprouted without any problem and delay. The first week of vegetative growth (after seeds had sprouted and established themselves above the soil) they spent under two 125 Watts CFLs (6400K) which did result in a very compact growth at first. After two weeks, The Doc noticed a strong early onset of side branching, raising the expectation of widely branched Congo Haze plants at the end of the cultivation cycle. At the beginning of the third week, he moved the ten Congo Haze plants, together with the other plants he was growing, into the actual grow room that was equipped with one 600 Watts and one 400 Watts HPS lamp. After the third week, The Doc induced flowering by cutting the lightperiod down from 18/6 to 12/12 (also, he added another 600 HPS lamp to the grow room on that occasion). He reports: “To my surprise, leaves are more on the indica side so far, quite broad. And also their still quite low height of 15-20 cm, with 8-9 internodes, corresponds to indica traits rather. But I do expect that growth behaviour to change dramatically in the course of flowering, plants will certainly clearly pronounce their sativa dominant genes then, and a first indication for this is the fact the side branches have begun to spread out rapidly now. I am very impressed by the fact these ten Congo Haze plants are that homogeneous, almost growing like clones!”
After the first week of flowering, The Doc was left with seven female plants, seven out of ten – a highly satisfying rate of females. Already after three days in the flowering stage, the plants had revealed their gender which was pretty damn fast. The Doc has an explanation for this: “According to my experience, preflowering has an earlier onset if they lights are changed from CFL to HPS simultaneously with reducing the light cycle.” He repotted the seven female plants into 11 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil, giving them enough space for a huge development. The Doc: “The plants are still extremely uniform, having arrived at a height of 40-50 cm now, with 10-12 internodes.” Within one week, after the second week of flowering, the plants, still very homogeneous, had almost doubled in height, measuring about 80 cm, so The Doc’s forecast that the sativa influence would quickly take over proved to be totally right. The flowers had started to produce a delicious odour that reminded of Haze, but did also reflect the sweet influence of the Red Congolese strain. Kiwiseeds says about that aroma: “The smell is the same from the second week right to the end, just only gets better…”
After three weeks, the speed of flower formation was about to increase significantly, while the plants were still heavily stretching, with four of them meanwhile having become 120-125 cm tall and the other three 100-115 cm, so for the first time, there was a slight difference in terms of growth behaviour. At the end of the fourth week of flowering, the seven plants had formed a lot of little “rose” flower clusters along the branches.
The Doc reports: “Four of the plants are about 150 cm tall now, two of them about 130 cm and the other one about 120 cm, while the end of that stretching effect is not yet in sight. It’s still quite a uniform growth and flowering. The sativa influence has totally taken over now, new leaves are becoming much thinner than before, and the developing flowering structure strongly looks like sativa, a lot of small calyxes with white hairs that merge into numerous straight flower “candles” forming the actual bud. Some of the plants are playing a colourful game, exhibiting purple leaf stalks and pink colourings on the leaves. Very beautiful! There already is a good amount of resin glands on the buds, and the odour is getting stronger.”
After five weeks of flowering, the three tallest plants measured about 180 cm already! Keeping the height of 100-120 cm in mind, as stated by Kiwiseeds, that really came as a surprise. But this wasn’t a problem for The Doc whose grow room was very high, quite the contrary he rather appreciated that big growth – and bloom – potential, looking forward to a huge harvest. He reports: “These are really amazing sativa plants. They are having true exotic sativa leaves now and producing a shipload of fantastic sativa buds, I just love their exquisite smell. When six flowering weeks had passed, that mighty stretching effect had obviously come to an end, with the largest plant having arrived at a height of about two metres. The long drawnout buds still had some airy gaps, but the plants were about busily closing these thanks to still heavily ongoing new flower formation. The Doc found that basically two phenotypes had emerged meanwhile, on the one hand the four tallest plants (about two metres) with buds that were looking like pure sativa, and on the other hand the somewhat smaller (140-175 cm) three plants with shorter internodes and a bit more indica influence in their buds that were broader and chubbier than the other ones. The tallest plant with a height of 210 cm had to be bent down by The Doc. After seven weeks of flowering, resin production had massively increased – “Typically sativa”, The Doc said, “At first abundant flowers with lots of white hairs are produced and then resin gland formation gets into full gear.” But there still were only a few brown-orange withered hairs and only on some plants, with a majority of the plants still being overall white and fresh, while all of the seven plants were still blooming like hell and their buds becoming increasingly denser and bigger.
Resin production remained to be copious during flowering week eight and some plants had considerably more withered hairs after week eight, there even was one plant of which The Doc thought he may be able to harvest it after about 65 days already. He reports: “It’s an absolutely stunning, breathtaking scenario now at the beginning of the nineth week of flowering – so many branches, so many big heavy resinous sativa buds, never seen before such an impressive sativa performance, Congo Haze rules! But the buds are still becoming even fatter, their calyxes are about heavily swelling now. Congo Haze’s resin gland structure is interesting, the trichomes are small, but there are myriads of them, densely packed together. When gently touching them, one feels how super sticky the buds are. They are giving off a most intense hazey sweet aroma, a true delight for any connoisseur. I am flushing the plant that is closest to harvest with Final Solution now, as I am very confident it can be harvested after about 65 days, indeed.” Which The Doc did after 65 days, and five days later, he could harvest three more plants. The others were following after 72-78 days so that all of the plants did match Kiwiseeds’ official flower duration statement of 70-80 days, except for that one plant that had finished after 65 days already, but The Doc did appreciate that case of anomaly of course.
Harvesting those huge seven sativa plants took him quite a while, although most of the plants hard an extremely high calyx-to-leaf ratio, only few leaves had to be removed or cut back, but the sheer mass of branches and buds took its toll – It was bumper harvest time! The Doc supposed the average dry bud weight would be certainly three-digit, but what his scales told him after he had slowly dried the buds was almost unbelievable – each plant had yielded 171.5 grams on the average, a total of 1,200 grams from seven plants! That easily set a historical record for The Doc, in more than 30 years of indoor growing, he hadn’t achieved such a high average yield with any strain. And also the Congo Haze plant with the biggest single yield (225 grams) made it onto the top of his record list. He said: “I have several buckets full of superb, very tight and silvery white Congo Haze buds, absolutely terrific. Their delicious smell is extremely organic, with a strong haze body and some extra sweetness added by the Red Congolese, just as described by Kiwiseeds. That aroma reminds me of pure exotic landrace marijuana from the seventies, bought in the coffeeshops of Amsterdam back then, I’m simply loving it!
When it came to test smoking those wonderful Congo Haze buds, The Doc was very excited. And he didn’t get disappointed – Congo Haze proved to deliver an awesome, extremely potent and enthralling sativa flash that lasted for hours without getting weaker. The Doc went for a long vibrant trip, enjoying intense sativa quality of the highest order. In fact he thought this was the most potent sativa smoke he had ever experienced, and his likewise deeply impressed many friends did confirm this.
The Congo Haze buds also provided a very soft smoke that was full-bodied though, super sweet and hazey. No wonder the Doc and his friends are all adoring Congo Haze as their mighty sativa goddess now!
Genetics – Congo Haze (Red Congolese x Neville’s Haze)
Vegetative stage here: 21 days (after germination)
Flowering stage here: 65-78 days, in general 70-80 days
Medium Plagron Standard Mix + 5% expanded clay balls, 11 litre pots
EC • Vegetative stage: 1.2–1.6 mS • Flowering: 1.6-2.0 mS
Light • 1st week of vegetative growth: 2x 125 Watt CFL (6400K) • Rest of vegetative growth: 1x Planta Star 600 W + 1x 400 W • Flowering: 2x Osram Son T plus 600 W + 1x 400 W
Temperature • 24-28°C (day) • 18-21°C (night)
Air humidity • Vegetative stage: 40–60% • Flowering: max. 50%
Watering by hand
Fertilisation HeSi Blühkomplex, HeSi Phosphor Plus from the 4th week of flowering
Additives/stimulants Nitrozyme, Enzyme, Bio Plus, Final Solution
Height + Yield • 160-220 cm tall • 171.5 grams average weight
By Green Born Identity -G.B.I
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 95