Night Queen was first introduced in the 1980’s in the original Dutch Passion seed collection. In those days many of the popular varieties were often based on Skunk, Haze, Northern Lights or Afghani genetics. Genuine Afghani genetics were not the easiest to get hold of even then, nowadays it is almost impossible to get hold of them due to the difficulties of travelling in the region. For that reason much of the modern breeding of afghani or related afghani kush genetics takes place with genetics which came out of the Afghani region many years ago. If you are a fan of indica cannabis varieties then you definitely do not want to ignore the quality on offer from Afghan genetics.
The original Afghani genetics from our 1980’s indica breeding program are not just important to us, they are more-or-less irreplaceable for our future breeding activities. With no obvious opportunities to safely go gene-gathering in Afghanistan these days most people have to rely on the established varieties like Mazar or Night Queen to provide the genetics. Fortunately gene banks such as Dutch Passion can rely on extensive seed collections collected in previous decades before the current inaccessibility issues. In Dutch Passions case these seeds are safely stored away in deep freeze where they can be used for future breeding or research programs.
So what was the purpose of the original work that went into Night Queen, and in these days of indica/sativa hybrids what kind of growers want to grow pure indica varieties? Well, for some cannabis lovers there is nothing quite like a good old fashioned hard-hitting indica which will put you on the sofa for a few minutes while you debate the competing attractions of feasting in the kitchen or grabbing the remote control for a spot of extended horizontal slobbery.
For some people a good quality Kush indica is the preferred smoke of the day, for others it is an occasional treat. Each of us has a unique endo-cannabinoid system, so it seems logical that we can all have our own preferences when it comes to the cannabis genetics that hit our own sweet-spot. We accept that not everyone will vote an indica as their all-time favourite, but for those that appreciate the indica qualities there is simply no substitute. The dense hard nuggets that do not want to yield when you squeeze them, the thick intoxicating plumes of hash-scented smoke that remind you of a mis-spent youth in dutch coffee shops. Indica varieties have a great deal to offer in addition to the narcotic potency levels which are so adored by recreational and medical cannabis users.
Home cultivation of pure indica varieties does not differ too much from cultivation of other cannabis types. Perhaps the most unusual thing about Night Queen and other pure indica varieties is the lack of stretch during the bloom phase. Like other photoperiod varieties vegetive growth is achieved through the use of 18-24 hours of daily light. Cutting daily light to 12 hours initiates bloom in photoperiod varieties, but unlike other varieties with sativa genetics, the pure indica varieties will not stretch much at all. This allows indica varieties to be given much longer veg times than an indica/sativa hybrid and still remain small enough to fit in a domestic grow tent. Often home growers can get exceptionally heavy harvests especially by growing indicas which have been given a couple of months veg time, the short bushy plants will produce numerous bloom points and can yield very well without the worry of dealing with difficult levels of plant stretch.
Its worth detailing what really makes a great indica harvest, so here are a few tips from Antonio & Ferdinand, two European brothers who grew the Night Queen which won 1st prize in the Champions Cup. The Night Queen was grown organically in soil which contained 20% coco fibre to improve soil aeration. Nutrients came from Bio-Sannie and included mycorihiza and BAC organic feed and bloom. The championship winning Night Queen was grow in an airpot, these are similar to traditional plant containers but they have numerous air holes to allow superior root oxygenation and also have a dimpled interior which prevents roots from ‘circling’ around the side and base. The main tip from Antonio & Ferdinand is to allow a long veg time, there will be less stretch than you imagine during bloom, so the size and harvest can be maximised by a long veg. Temperatures (ºC) should be in the mid or low twenties and you will see the plants develop a frosty layer of trichomes beginning early in flower. By week 5 or 6 she becomes very sticky and will start to produce some heavy scents, initially these are often citrus/fruit based. Heaviest feeding occurred during weeks 5-8 with pK13/14 peaking at 2 mils/litre. Night Queen should be fed reasonably heavily, push her until she shows signs of overfeeding and then back off the feed concentration a little bit. Night Queen usually takes around 8-9 weeks to finish flowering, the longer you leave her the heavier the final smoke becomes. Connoisseur growers will wish to ‘flush’ the Night Queen from excessive minerals by feeding her pure water for the last week or so. The brothers grew their Champions Cup stash under LED and believe this helped them get some very dense and hard buds with optimal THC levels.
When you have grown Night Queen well you will be stoned even after a couple of smokes, often it will be difficult to finish a full joint. THC levels of above 20% in an indica are usually satisfying enough for most home growers. We hope that indica varieties will be around for many years to come.