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Acapulco Gold Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

10 January 2023
Read our newest week-by-week guide and learn how this monstruous Sativa grows!
10 January 2023
11 min read
Acapulco Gold Cannabis Strain Week-by-Week Guide

Read more
  • 1. Grow specifications
  • 2. Grow set up
  • 3. Germination and seedling stage | week 1
  • 4. Early veg | week 2
  • 5. Mid veg | weeks 3 - 5
  • 6. Transition (pre-flower) | week 6-7
  • 7. Early flower | week 8
  • 8. Mid flower (bulk phase) | weeks 9-10
  • 9. Ripening and harvest | weeks 11-12
  • 10. Yield and smoke report
  • 11. In conclusion

Acapulco Gold is probably amongst the perfect choices for Sativa lovers, the exact origin and genetics are a mystery up to this date but we know that it is indigenous to Mexico. The variety became extremely popular in the 1960s due to its powerful high but also its ability to withstand extremely hot and humid climates. 

This variety offers an extremely energetic and cerebral high like you’ve never seen before, leaving your mind soaring through space while you sit back and enjoy the creative euphoria with a huge smile on your face and stress-free. So if you’re looking to grow the Acapulco Gold cannabis strain in the near future, make sure to continue reading our week-by-week guide in which we’ll show how this marvelous Sativa-dominant strain develops through all growth stages, important highlights, and tips to get an excellent harvest!

1. Grow Specifications

Acapulco Gold is a Sativa monster plant that can reach 200cm in height and yield up to 500 gr/m2 in 12 weeks. This variety is usually recommended for growing outdoors due to its size but can definitely be grown indoors as long as you take proper caution such as LST and topping, also make sure to flip to 12/12 at the right time to avoid having space issues during the flowering stage. Acapulco Gold offers 18.5% THC and around 1.4% CBD, producing fat light green flowers with reddish brown hairs all over and a thick layer of resin covering them from head to toe. The beautiful flowers come hand-in-hand with an intense mix of citrusy, piney, and creamy flavors that’ll linger in your mouth for hours. 

Overall, Acapulco Gold delivers a pleasant and well-balanced high ideal for any time of day. Many cannabis users enjoy using this strain as a wake-and-bake companion alongside a fresh cup of coffee. Her moderate levels of THC elevate the mind and energize the body. However, you don’t need to worry about getting too stoned before starting your tasks for the day. Good amounts of CBD help to blunt the peak of the high and will enable you to remain focused and in control. Additionally, high levels of the terpene pinene help to curb the short-term memory loss often associated with blazing buds. But Acapulco Gold isn’t only good for mornings. This strain helps to dial down the central nervous system during lazy afternoons and evenings and also spurs creativity. Smoke a joint packed with these buds before writing, painting, or making music to really get into the zone. 

2. Grow Set Up

Acapulco Gold cannabis strain has been popular since the 1960s or so so you’ll find probably a couple of hundred different grow reports online, so for this weekly guide we’ve chosen a report that shows how low-stress training and high-stress training techniques can help you grow any strain, even a 200 cm tall strain in a relatively small space as long as you do it correctly.

Grower Foxtrotoscar grew this marvelous strain under a 150w LED in a fairly small tent, so he had to keep the plant as short as possible to prevent having issues further into the flowering cycle. Anyway, read along and get to know how the grower was able to grow a 200cm strain in a small grow tent!


Grow Space: 0.36 m2 (3.8 ft2) Pot Size: 30 L
Seed to Harvest: 12 weeks Medium: Soil
Flowering: 7 weeks Nutrients: Organic/Inorganic
Light Cycle: 18/6 - 12/12 Day Temperature: 23 °C (73.4 °F)
Light Type: LED Night Temperature: 16 °C (60.8 °F)
Watts Used: 150 Humidity: 62 - 49%

3. Germination and Seedling Stage | Week 1

You can germinate cannabis seeds with many different methods so we won’t get into much detail about it as every grower has its own preferences but if you’re a beginner, try to keep it simple and use the paper towel method to avoid issues. As you can see, this grower used the paper towel method without a problem at all. The seed germinated as it should and once the taproot reached 2-3cm, he planted it in a small pot and placed a plastic cup to help maintain higher humidity levels.


Plant Height: 4 cm Day Temp: 18 °C
Distance to Light: 25.4 cm Night Temp: 15 °C
Humidity: 57% Smell: None


Keep in mind that the recommended humidity levels during germination are around 65-80% and the temperature ranges from 20-25 °C to increase the chances of germination. Remember that seedlings are extremely fragile so you should not feed them anything, especially if you’re growing in a pre-fertilized substrate.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: germination and seedling stage | week 1

Acapulco Gold seed germination and seedling.

If you feel like your seedlings could use a little help, use a root booster or mycorrhizae to encourage root growth, but do not feed them yet as feeding at this stage can actually shock the seedlings and end up having the opposite effect, stunting plant growth. However, root inoculants such as mycorrhizal fungi, trichoderma, and rhizobacteria do much more than help your plants obtain nutrients during this early and delicate stage of the growing cycle. These beneficial microbes will also protect your seedling from various forms of pathogens that can easily kill plants during this time. By occupying niches within the rhizosphere and directly attacking disease-causing fungi, they act as a shield and improve the chances of your plant making it into the vegetative phase. While these inoculants offer some serious benefits, you’ll also need to do your part to prevent disease by avoiding overwatering. Many beginner growers make this mistake, which creates an ideal environment for root pathogens. Only water your seedling once the top layer of the growing medium completely dries out. 

4. Early Veg | Week 2 

During the second week of the vegetative stage, you won’t see much plant growth but rest assured the roots are growing a lot, and soon enough, you’ll see the same exponential growth on top. At this point, all you have to do is keep the growing conditions (aka light distance, temperature, humidity and etc..) on point in order to provide the best possible environment for your plants to thrive.


Plant Height: 5 cm Day Temp: 18 °C
Distance to Light: 45 cm Night Temp: 15 °C
Humidity: 58% Smell: None


Remember that once the plants have developed the first pair of 3-fingered leaves, your plants are officially in the vegetative stage so all you have to do is keep your plants happy and let them do their thing. If everything goes correctly, your plants will be developing 1 or 2 pairs of leaves in a day!


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: early veg | week 2

Week 2 after germination.

As you can see in the pictures above, the seeds were germinated and planted at the same time but the one on the left is much bigger than the one on the right. This is fairly normal so don’t worry, as long as the leaves are vibrant green and healthy there shouldn’t be a problem at all. The type of growing medium you select will dictate how and when to feed your plants during the early stages of the vegetative phase. Some growers prefer to use nutrient-void growing mediums that contain nothing more than coco coir, peat, and perlite. In this case, you’ll need to start applying veg formulas that are high in nitrogen to fuel adequate growth. If you opted to use super soil high in organic matter, your plants won’t need any further inputs during this time. 

5. Mid Veg | Weeks 3 - 5

Once your plants have started growing 3-fingered leaves, you can expect them to grow super fast and this is when you will have to start feeding your garden. Remember that you should NOT feed your plants if they’re growing in pre-fertilized substrate.


Plant Height: 15 cm Day Temp: 20 °C
Distance to Light: 45 cm Night Temp: 16 °C
Humidity: 58% Smell: None


As you can see in the pictures below, the grower started performing LST and HST techniques in order to prevent the plant from stretching but also getting a nice bush shape. So if this is what you’re going for, make sure to do it as soon as your plants have completely developed 3-5 internodes.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: mid veg | weeks 3 - 5

Explosive growth on mid veg!

This doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to start training your plant at this point but you should do it early in the vegetative stage so that the branches are still flexible and your plant has time to grow into the desired shape before transitioning to flower. Now, this is not a huge deal with photoperiods because they’ll only flower once you flip to 12/12 but keep this in mind when growing autoflowers!

6. Transition (Pre-Flower) | Week 6-7

Once you’re happy with your plant’s size, it’s time to trigger flowering. With photoperiods, all you have to do is change the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12, and after a week or sometimes two, you’ll see the white hairs starting to grow on the flowering sites.


Plant Height: 33 cm Day Temp: 20 °C
Distance to Light: 40 cm Night Temp: 16 °C
Humidity: 62% Smell: None


One common mistake among beginner growers is to completely stop feeding Grow nutrients at this stage, but don’t do that. Your plants will go through the flowering stretch and will need the Nitrogen, so continue with Grow nutrients for 1 or 2 more weeks before switching to Bloom nutrients.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: transition (pre-flower) | week 6-7

First white hairs during transition from veg to flower.

This flowering stretch mentioned above is an explosion of growth that plants go through right before entering the flowering stage, during this stretch some strains can even double in size so make sure to read a bit about the strain before growing it. But how do you identify the flowering stretch, you ask? Well, the flowering stretch consists of the elongation and side branches of your plants, so if you notice a huge difference in plant size from one day to the other, your plants are going through it!

7. Early Flower | Week 8

During early flower the flowers will start to develop and fatten up, so you’ll notice how the spaces between the internodes stack up with flowers which will eventually get completely covered in resin glands. These mushroom-shaped resin glands (aka trichomes) are where the cannabinoids and terpenes are produced and stored, which means your plant will soon be smelling a lot.


Plant Height: 48 cm Day Temp: 21 °C
Distance to Light: 38 cm Night Temp: 18 °C
Humidity: 49% Smell: Weak


Depending on where you live, you might want to invest in a carbon filter because now is time to start feeding your plants Bloom nutrients and the buds will only get bigger and frostier so make sure to get a carbon filter or any other way to eliminate or mask the cannabis smell in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: early flower | week 8

Flowers starting to form on Acapulco Gold cannabis plants.

As you can see above, the 2 or 3 white hairs coming out of each flowering site have started taking form and will soon be beautifully dense flowers, so make sure to keep your plants well-fed and remember that flowering cannabis needs higher amounts of Phosphorus and Potassium. Becoming familiar with these aspects of plant anatomy at this early stage will help you to keep track of flower maturity further down the line. Right now, the trichomes on your buds will appear translucent, and the stigmas bright white. As your plant continues to develop and grow, the trichomes will become more opaque and milky, and the stigmas will transition into a dark orange.

8. Mid Flower (Bulk Phase) | Weeks 9-10

After you’ve changed to Bloom nutrients and your plants are starting to take form, all you have to do is keep an eye out for mold and bugs. At this point, there’s nothing much to do other than keeping your plants healthy and making sure the conditions are within the acceptable ranges.


Plant Height: 53 cm Day Temp: 23 °C
Distance to Light: 33 cm Night Temp: 18 °C
Humidity: 51% Smell: Strong


Keep in mind that flushing is optional and has not been scientifically proven but some growers swear by it so try to experiment and reach your own conclusions. But if you’re planning on flushing then it’s recommended to start on the last week of flower.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: mid flower (bulk phase) | weeks 9-10

Beautiful frosty flowers one week before harvest.

By the end of week 10, the ‘growing’ part of growing cannabis is almost over, all you have to do now is be patient and wait, and soon enough you’ll be harvesting your babies!

9. Ripening and Harvest | Weeks 11-12

Weeks 11 and 12 mark the last weeks of this grow report, if you plan on flushing, this is when you should start doing it but other than that,  there’s really not much to do other than waiting for the flowers to ripen and the trichomes to indicate harvest time.


Plant Height: 54 cm Day Temp: 23 °C
Distance to Light: 33 cm Night Temp: 18 °C
Humidity: 55% Smell: Strong


Remember that you’ll need a jeweler’s loupe, digital microscope, or any other type of magnifier to be able to look at the trichomes in detail and know the best time to chop down your plants. Never harvest based on the breeder’s schedule because it really comes down to your growing conditions.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: ripening and harvest | weeks 11-12

Acapulco Gold cannabis plants ready for harvest.

So once you feel like your plants are ready, grab the magnifier of choice and look at the trichomes, once around 20% of the trichomes have turned amber you’re good to go!

10. Yield and Smoke Report

After finishing all the post-harvest processes (aka trimming, drying, and curing), the grower got approximately 127g off a 54 cm plant, which is great. The flowers turned out super frosty, this is to say that you can grow all strains, even huge ones like the Acapulco Gold in a relatively grow tent without sacrificing bud quality, it’s all a matter of doing it correctly.


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: yield and smoke report

Delicious Acapulco Gold buds ready for consumption.

Thanks to the 18.5% THC and powerful Sativa genetics, the Acapulco Gold cannabis strain delivers a euphoric and uplifting high that’ll take you to the moon and leave you there for hours on end. The long-lasting Sativa high comes hand in hand with a unique creamy, citrusy, and fuel-y terpene profile that’ll take over your taste buds and leave you wanting for more!


Acapulco gold cannabis strain week-by-week guide: terpene profile

Acapulco Gold average terpene profile.

11. In Conclusion

This was a successful grow report that shows how you can truly grow any strain in any grow space as long as you plan ahead and combine plant training techniques to shape the plants into the desired shape. Remember that taking good care of the plants and keeping them happy is essential for good quality buds but what matters the most is starting with good quality genetics, so always get seeds from reputable vendors!