An introduction to Dr. Robb Flannery & the Cannabis cultivation blog series

Dark Heart & DR. Robb Collaboration

Recently Dark Heart Nursery teamed up with Dr. Robb Flannery to share knowledge and techniques around cultivating Cannabis with our fellow cultivators. We will post Dr. Robb’s newest blog topic on the third Tuesday of every month. Make sure that you are signed up for our Newsletter to be updated when the next topic is posted. This week’s topic is an introduction to Dr. Robert Flannery, so the following is a letter from him to our readers.


Hi, From DR. Robb

Greetings my friends, fellow plant nerds and colleagues near and far! I am very excited to be here talking with you about my passion for and my life’s work in horticulture and specifically in Cannabis cultivation.  As a scientist, I am firm a believer in evidence-based decision making and your decision to continue reading and following this series is going to hinge on the value that I can bring to you when it comes to growing Cannabis. Let me dive in and tell you a little bit about myself so that you can measure my street cred.


I am Dr. Robert Flannery. I have a Ph.D. in Plant Biology with an emphasis in environmental horticulture and a specific expertise in hydroponic crop optimization for cut-flower production from UC Davis (“Go Ags!”). Essentially I was trained by the number one Plant Science school in the world to grow flowers (P.S. – Cannabis cultivation is floriculture). There aren’t too many whole plant physiologists with expertise in hydroponic crop optimization for cut-flower production, to begin with. It seems like a disproportionate number of plant biology Ph.D.’s are moving towards molecular and genetics research, so applied plant biology (basically horticulture) is not something that is heavily pursued by nerds such as myself. I do know that there are other Ph.D.’s working in the Cannabis industry on the cultivation side, but it is my understanding that their Ph.D.’s are in microbiology and genetics. If I were to walk into a microbiology lab and pretend like I knew what I was talking about, it would be very apparent that I didn’t rather quickly. That doesn’t mean that my fellow nerds of different disciplines won’t learn quickly though. They got those 3 letters behind their names for a reason.


Now education is important, but those who can’t do teach, and I have not taught plant biology or horticulture in college for quite some time. I am the former Production Director at SPARC and I oversaw 5 large grow facilities and farms while there. I ran the largest department in the company and supervised every segment of Cannabis production from maintaining genetics, taking cuts for clones, vegging, flower production, harvest, post-harvest biology, dry, cure, trimming, assembly/packaging, and delivery of final product to retail. I have consulted with hundreds of cultivators throughout the state and I have performed groundbreaking research on Cannabis cultivation (including a study done in conjunction with Dark Heart on a biomass and potency A/B validation comparing 1000W HPS bulbs to novel LED arrays).


If you can’t tell, I am big flower nerd. Research gets my tail waggin’ and I am always in search of new technologies and methodologies to increase efficiency at every stage of cultivation. This is the reason I am here now with you. I am here to share my thoughts and insights on how to use and incorporate new horticulture technology and methodology into every stage of Cannabis cultivation and production. Over the next nine months, I will be discussing the new technology and methods that you can use in each stage of cultivation and production (The 9-part series is outlined below).


I hope you will join me on the third Tuesday of every month so that we can have some fun and hopefully make some beautiful flowers together.

For now, keep cultivating!

Dr. Robb

(For more info about Dr. Robb visit his website)


The Schedule for the 9-Part Series

Part 1 – Introduction: Hey! That’s What You Just Read (June 19)

Part 2 – Vegging Out, But Why Would We Want Our Plants to Be Lazy? (July 17)

Part 3 – Flower Power  (Aug 21)

Part 4 – Neil Young’s 4th Studio Album (Sep 18)

Part 5 – Dry and Cure: Friday, I’m in Tubs (Oct 16)

Part 6 – Trim Trim-A-Tree, Trim Trim-A-Tree, Trim Trim Some Boo (Nov 20)

Part 7 – Cannabis: Some Assembly Required (Dec 18)

Part 8 –Mom’s and Genetics: And a Little Story about a Grandma from Australia and Her Trash Heap (It’ll Make Sense after You Read It) (Jan 15)

Part 9 – Attack of the Clones (Feb 19)

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