Growing cannabis indoors might be intimidating at first, but you may never want to grow it again outdoors after you have mastered it! Even the most inexperienced gardeners may produce impressive yields when growing cannabis indoors if they have the correct information and tools. Prepare yourself for the process by reading this outline of indoor gardening.
As a prospective first-time grower, the most significant challenge you’ll have is getting started. First, you need to choose a suitable location to develop and get the necessary tools. Therefore, it is essential to purchase cannabis seeds and devote a significant effort to monitoring and caring for your plants.
Before you begin, be sure you are operating within the bounds of the law. Many states in the United States still prohibit their citizens from cultivating cannabis for personal use. Before beginning any home production, be sure that it is legal where you reside. Here is everything you will need to grow cannabis indoors:
Plant selection is a complex process. As soon as you hear the word “cannabis,” you may think of your favorite strains or which ones are the easiest to cultivate. Breeders spend a great deal of time, effort, and money continuously improving and generating new breeds of this long-standing plant.
Indica-dominant cultivars are the best choice for novice growers. Even though they blossom sooner and are smaller, they give stunning beauty. Sativas, on the other hand, might be a bit of a challenge to grow because of their height and blooming period, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience or resources to work with.
Multiple cannabis strains may be grown in the same tent or room if you decide which one to plant. Just bear in mind that if you’re not highly skilled, dealing with plants of varying heights and harvest seasons might be challenging.
You don’t need a lot of space to produce or cultivate your crops.
You can get away with only a modest tent (or even an old cabinet) for a small-scale grow room or just a spare corner of your home!
If you’re looking to set up an indoor grow room; you have a variety of possibilities. The simplest is to get a ready-made tent from a produce shop, whether it’s online. A wide range of tent sizes and pricing are available.
The size and construction quality of a grow tent has the most impact on its pricing. The most prudent course of action is to get a high-quality tent without question. You can either make one from scratch or convert a broom cupboard into an area for growing cannabis indoors as an alternative to purchasing a grow tent.
In the vegetative stage of development, seedlings and mature plants require a lot of light. It implies that if you’re growing a photoperiod plant and depending only on sunlight, you’ll want to time the growth cycle to take advantage of the longer daylight hours in the spring and summer.
You may grow a cannabis plant in your living room without additional illumination. Still, even one grow lamp can significantly impact the quality and quantity of cannabis you produce.
Which grow lights are best if you decide to complement your grow room with artificial light? You may choose from compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diodes for hobby growers, among other possibilities. Before deciding, conduct some research since each has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of initial investment, usable life, energy efficiency, and simplicity of use.
The importance of light and dark in the growth of your indoor home grow cannot be over-emphasized. You should choose an autoflower variety if you didn’t manage nightly light pollution in your grow space since photoperiod cannabis plants need 12 hours of unbroken darkness to progress from vegetative development into the flowering stage.
Your cannabis plants should be grown to a size appropriate for your location and the container you choose. Every time your plants double or treble in size, you’ll need to move them. Pots as small as 4-6″ in diameter are ideal for seedlings.
When selecting a pot for your plants, keep in mind how large you want them to become in the end. One gallon of dirt for every one-foot-tall plant is a good starting point. Perforate the bottom of the bucket so that water may drain as required. Plants, on the other hand, dislike soggy circumstances.
In general, there are two ways to produce cannabis indoors: either in soil or in a hydroponic system.
Plants may quickly be grown in soil, particularly for novice growers. Both ready-made and homemade cannabis soils are available, so you may choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
The primary growth media in hydroponics is water or soilless substrates like peat, coco coir, or other inert mixtures. Roots provide plants with water-soluble nutrients. Due to the lack of soil, growers have far greater control over their plants’ nutritional intake. Growers with a lot of expertise can reap the benefits of this new level of control since their plants can absorb more nutrients more quickly.
In terms of significance, ensuring that your plants get the proper nutrients is perhaps second only to lighting. One of the essential components in cultivating high-quality cannabis is good fertilizer selection and application. Growing cannabis indoors in less-than-ideal circumstances means you’ll lose production and potency.
Whether you’re growing cannabis indoors organically or hydroponically, your cannabis plants need the “super seven” nutrients, split between macronutrients and micronutrients. These are, in no specific order:
If you’re using an un-supplemented soil mix, you can acquire these macronutrients pre-packaged in liquid or powder form. However, many organic “super soils” already have enough of these levels.
Cannabis plants can withstand temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 29 degrees Celsius) during the day and 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 24 degrees Celsius) at night. However, optimal temperature requirements may vary by strain and genetics, as with other components of your grow area.
Also, keep in mind that extra grow lights might raise the temperature surrounding your plants. This is particularly critical in a confined location with little ventilation like a grow tent. In certain instances, you may require an exhaust fan.
The humidity requirements of plants change throughout time. Seedlings and newborn plants need humidity levels of about 70%. Plants in vegetative can handle humidity levels ranging from 40% to 70%, while scientists believe roughly 55% is a decent happy medium. It is critical to maintaining a humidity level of about 40% during the blossoming period.
Remember to gradually increase humidity by adding a humidifier, dehumidifier, air conditioner, or heater. Temperature and humidity must be constant for the plant’s habitat to be stable. Sudden dips or spikes will affect the plant and might cause stress.
Proper air circulation will aid in the maintenance of temperature and humidity and the reduction of odor. Air should circulate through a garden every few minutes, and you should install a vent to the outside. Oscillating fans, as well as intake and exhaust fans, may swiftly circulate air through your garden, carrying aromas with them.
Indoor cannabis cultivation has numerous advantages. Growing cannabis indoors is crucial to ensuring a stable cultivation environment, where the grower controls every element (light, heat, air, nutrition, and water).
Indoor gardeners won’t have to rely on outside weather and climate conditions at any point during the growing process.
You can grow almost any cannabis strain indoors with the correct equipment and space. Conversely, some strains are better and easier to cultivate indoors. One of the most desired characteristics is size. After all, we frequently have to make space sacrifices, especially if our grow rooms are small. Indoors, short plants with good yields are preferred, from windowsills to compact tents and small cupboard hydroponic setups. Many of these cannabis strains are autoflowers, which are hardy and easy to grow plants unaffected by seasonal changes in outdoor light.
The amount of cannabis you are cultivating indoors depends on the height of the plant and the size of the grow room. Some strains are known to develop fast and at greater heights.
Consider the following strains that are ideal indoor varieties if you plan on growing indoors. They produce excellent buds indoors and produce fine harvests that are less reliant on wide-open spaces. Here are the top 5 best strains to cultivate indoors.
Zkittlez is a prevalent Indica-dominant hybrid strain that has received a lot of praise for its sweet and fruity flavors. Don’t be fooled by its candy-like appearance; it is loaded with cannabinoids for a long and relaxing high sought after by connoisseurs all around the world. Zkittlez was designed for indoor cultivation. While some experience is required to coax out its lusciously colored purple buds, beginners can choose an autoflowering version. Most indoor growers prefer Zkittlez because of its short growing profile, easily maintained in small spaces such as countertops and tents.
Furthermore, despite its small stature, it can produce up to 700 grams per square meter. Indoors, you will need to feed her high organic nutrients and lower the temperature for a few hours at night to publicize pigment variation. Many farmers have had great success with hydroponic setups and yield-boosting strategies like SOG and SCROG.
One of the world’s most well-known strains is also one of the simplest to cultivate indoors. Many smart buyers prefer Gorilla Glue #4, which has won numerous awards for its super-sticky buds. Because of its high yields and experimental potential, it remains a top choice among farmers. Gorilla Glue is comparable to Chem Sister in that it has a chemical, petrol-like aroma. These resinous flavors are followed by dark berry notes with lovely hints of chocolate and coffee. Gorilla Glue is well-known for its potent high, which provides a euphoric and relaxing high that permeates the entire body. Its long-lasting effects are especially beneficial for insomnia and chronic pain. It can also help with anxiety and day-to-day stresses, though too much can keep you glued to the couch.
Gorilla Glue is an easy plant to grow, popular among novice and experienced gardeners. It is challenging and durable, making it simple to control and manage in small indoor spaces. Still, we recommend high-quality organic soil or high-quality nutrients in a hydroponic system. Gorilla Glue thrives at temperatures around 26 °C and can withstand relative humidity levels ranging from 45-60%. Control this with a humidifier or dehumidifier at each stage of its development.
Girl Scout Cookies perform exceptionally well indoors, where you can monitor its upkeep and environment. GSC can naturally grow to be 5-7 feet tall. If you need to control the height of Girl Scout Cookies, use any of the following methods: topping, FIM, or LST. One of the best characteristics of Girl Scout Cookies seeds is their resistance to various problems. The Girl Scout Cookies strain was not designed to produce a high yield.
On the other hand, Cookie Fam concentrated on the effects and flavor. To put it another way, Girl Scout Cookies are for those who value quality over quantity. Girl Scout Cookies seeds benefit from an abundance of light due to their West Coast origins. A Mediterranean weather pattern is ideal for Girl Scout Cookies in climate.
Banana Kush is a sleek Indica-dominant hybrid with a 60:40 Indica/Sativa ratio. This strain is moderately easy to cultivate, but it is recommended that you cultivate Banana Kush indoors so that it can thrive in a controlled environment with plenty of constant light. This hybrid must be trimmed regularly to produce at its peak. Maintain a humidity level of around 40% while flowering to avoid mold. Banana Kush grows best in temperatures ranging from 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing this cannabis strain indoors requires some skill, but you will be rewarded handsomely with incredible bud. In about 8-9 weeks, Banana Kush flowers are ready for a hearty harvest. An estimated average yield of about 18 ounces per square meter of sweet and fragrant bud can be expected.
Sundae Driver is a cannabis hybrid strain created by crossing FPOG with Grape Pie. Dessert strains like Sundae Driver thrive in warm weather. Maintain relative humidity at or below 50%, especially during flowering. Sundae Driver is a low humidity variety that requires slightly dry conditions and vigorous air circulation. Sundae Driver grows well indoors in temperatures ranging from 70°F to 85°F. Check nighttime temperatures if you are growing this strain outside. If the nights in your area get cold, consider growing in a greenhouse rather than outside. Sundae Driver plants will bloom in 8 to 9 weeks. Indoors, expect a medium yield of 350 grams per square meter. Sundae Driver is known for being a willowy, stretchy plant. LST can be used to keep the canopy under control and mitigate some stretching effects.
Autoflowering seeds are better suited to indoor cultivation, whereas feminized seeds are better suited to outdoor cultivation. Autoflower cannabis seeds are a top pick for novices because they bloom automatically, are easier to cultivate, have a smaller size, and are harvested faster than feminized seeds. They also require a simple lighting schedule and are more resistant to temperature fluctuations, pests, and fungi, making them an ideal entry point for beginners into cannabis cultivation. In contrast, while autoflowers require less attention and produce more quickly, feminized cannabis seeds have their own set of benefits. Feminized seeds remove the need to worry about producing male plants. With feminized seeds, you can expect larger plants and a higher yield, with the smokable cannabis often being more powerful than cannabis grown from autoflower seeds.
The quality of your plants is strongly influenced by the light source you employ in your grow room. A decent lighting setup should take up a significant percentage of your cash. In the long run, it’s worth it, especially if you want to build your business.
While LED (light-emitting diode) lighting may be more expensive, it is the favored choice for most cannabis farmers who can afford it. Indoor growers may benefit from these high-performance light lights. They produce relatively little heat and require less energy. You can utilize LEDs for both vegetative and blooming cycles since they generate wavelengths throughout the light spectrum.
Because they may cost up to 3-5 times more than a sound HID system, they have several drawbacks. However, you should seriously consider LEDs if you are serious about growing and having the necessary funds. Do your research before purchasing LEDs online to prevent “scam” LEDs.
These bulbs, which contain mercury and metal halides and provide a blueish light, are often used for vegetative growth. To moderate the current, they need a ballast. Ballasts used to be large and cumbersome; however digital ballasts are now available.
These HID bulbs typically include sodium, mercury, and xenon and provide a yellow/orange light, making them famous for blooming plants. Some growers may start plants with MH bulbs and then swap to HPSs when they reach the blooming stage while utilizing the same hood. Ballast is also required for these lights.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are fluorescent lights that are smaller than those seen in a school or office building. There are daylight and warm white bulbs, with the former being preferable for vegetative development and the latter for blooming.
These fluorescent lights are inexpensive, efficient, and excellent for vegetative growth. They’re beneficial for accelerating the development of germinating seeds and tiny seedlings since they don’t emit much heat and won’t burn the sensitive seeds. They will not significantly increase your power bill.
The disadvantage of CFLs is that they are ineffective for blooming plants, and growers will often use another sort of light to complete plants. CFLs do not provide enough intense light for plants to grow.
Beginners and those who want to mix things up should start at the brightest end of the light spectrum. It will be easier to gradually reduce the amount of energy your plant receives this way. At all times, we suggest that you maintain your light at least 12–15 inches away from the top of the canopy. Looks may be deceptive, so be careful not to overheat the leaves.
During the blooming period, high-wattage LED panels with over 300W should be maintained at least 70cm away from the canopy. A basic rule of thumb for 200–400W LED lights and 450–600W lights should be placed 30–70cm away from plants. You must maintain a greater distance between higher wattage systems. When employing a new light, make sure to keep an eye on your plants.
Because power equals poundage, you’ll need more watts if you want large harvests. Professional LEDs may start as low as 200 watts and progress from there. A high-watt light bulb may accomplish the job of two low-watt lamps.
Think about how frequently you’ll be growing cannabis indoors and how long it will take you to pay off the original investment if you only cultivate once a year, it will take a long time to pay off an expensive light.
Additionally, keep in mind that all lights will increase your monthly power cost, but some will do so at a higher rate than others. LEDs are more energy-efficient and less costly than high-intensity discharge lights (also known as “HIDs”). On the other hand, LEDs are more expensive to buy but use less power.
Another factor to keep in mind when it comes to expense is that certain lights (HIDs, for example) run hotter than others, which may need extra fans or an AC unit to keep a grow room cool.
They claim that prevention is much preferable to treatment. Rather than attempting to heal a light burn, you should focus on preventing the condition.
A CFL hanging 10 inches away from a plant won’t harm it since it isn’t powerful and doesn’t produce a lot of heat. The same holds for fluorescent or T5 lights, which aren’t as powerful and don’t produce much heat. However, even at a distance of 25cm, certain HID and LED lights may damage plants.
Second, find out how much power your lights are using. While a 50W LED light may not be dangerous, placing a 1000W LED light near the plants might be devastating.
There are two problems with HID lights: they are too strong even if the wattage is minimal and create too much heat that might be intolerable to plants.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t hang the lights too far apart. To develop correctly, they must be close enough to the light source! Lights that use HPS or Metal Halide technology are extremely similar, therefore they’re often put in the same category.
Compared to other indoor plant lights, such as MHs, CFLs, and HPSs, LEDs for cannabis cultivation are relatively new. As a result of their excellence in promoting cannabis development throughout the plant’s life cycle, they have become a staple in the cannabis industry.
In general, LEDs are pretty similar. With some clocking in at 2.8 mol/joule, specific LEDs are less efficient than high-quality HPS lights and therefore provide a lower illumination level.
CFL systems are ideal for tiny areas, meager budgets, or forgetting your plants to a healthy start. LED systems outperform CFLs in terms of brightness but fall short of HIDs in terms of efficiency; they generate less heat but are more expensive.
Larger LEDs cover a much larger area in the “Spread” design. The Spider, Rack, and Quantum Board are a few of these lights’ illustrative examples.
Cannabis growers may save money with these LED grow lights, which are among the most energy-efficient on the market. Spider LED grow lights, on the other hand, maybe rather pricey.
Traditional LED panels use tiny diodes and lights with low to medium wattages. The majority of LED cannabis grow lights are panel-style. A growing number of hybrid LED panels with a mix of tiny and big bulbs are also available.
LED lights using chip on board (COB) technology are bigger and more powerful. These are the brightest and most powerful grow lights on the market. To boost intensity and effect, position several COB LEDs across a compact area.
Cannabis, like any other plant, flourishes in particular environmental conditions. Humidity and temperature are the most crucial factors that influence the development and productivity of your plants.
Attach clip-on fans to walls, corners, or support beams for small spaces or tents. Use medium-sized oscillating fans or large floor models for larger grow rooms. You should place fans in such a way that they provide direct, even airflow throughout the garden.
This usually entails using multiple fans that work in tandem or fans with oscillation capabilities. Fans should not blow air directly onto plants because this can cause windburn, which causes leaves to recede into a claw-like deformation.
If it is too hot and fans aren’t working, you may need to bring in an air conditioner to cool the overall temperature of your grow space quickly. To avoid hot temperatures, turn on the grow lights in the evening when it’s cooler outside and turn them off during the day when it is hot. Turning grow lights off will lower temperatures but it could lead to some issues.
If your space is overly humid, you may need to purchase a dehumidifier. However, keep in mind that while dehumidifiers reduce humidity, they typically raise the temperature. Thus, you may need to add more fans or an air conditioner if you add a dehumidifier. Creating the ideal environment for your plants can be a delicate balance involving multiple pieces of equipment and a lot of electricity. This is one factor contributing to more expensive indoor cannabis cultivation than outdoor cultivation.
CO2 filters come in various shapes and sizes and are an excellent way to eliminate odor in an indoor cannabis grow. They use activated and highly ionized carbon to attract particulates that carry scents like hair, dust, mold spores, volatile organic compounds and trap them in a filter. Carbon filters are typically most effective when placed at the highest point in your grow space, where heat accumulates.
When growing cannabis indoors, there are two good primary alternatives: traditional soil or a hydroponic tray. Soil is the most common medium for beginners growing cannabis indoors. It’s less expensive, simpler, and more forgiving than a sophisticated hydroponic system. Let’s take a closer look at the various indoor grow medium.
Soil is the most conventional medium for growing cannabis indoors and the most forgiving, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Any high-quality potting soil will suffice if it does not contain artificial extended-release fertilizer, incompatible with growing good cannabis. Use a healthy portion of mycorrhizae and soil bacteria for good cannabis soil to enhance the transition of organic matter into nutrients for your plants. You can also use regular soil and supplement your plants with liquid nutrients.
Automated hydroponic setups may help you achieve faster growth and higher yields. Automated hydro systems are only useful if everything is calibrated correctly – all of the time. A hydroponic cannabis system provides all of the mineral salt nutrients required by plants in water. The primary growing medium in hydroponics is water or soilless substrates such as peat, coco coir, or some other mix of inert substances. Water-soluble nutrients are delivered directly to the roots of plants. Because there is no soil to buffer the feed, the grower has much more control over the nutrient intake of their plants. This increased level of control can result in larger, better harvests for experienced growers because their plants can absorb more nutrients faster.
Another popular choice among home gardeners is coco coir. It can be fun for most cultivators to try something new like coco coir. This growing medium allows you to control the nutrients and greatly enhance yield and quality.
The kind of container you use will be determined by your plants’ grow medium, system, and size.
Standard plastic pots or cloth bags are inexpensive options, but some growers prefer to spend more on “smart pots” or “air pots”—containers created to improve airflow to the plant’s root zone.
Most producers will start plants in one-gallon pots and then transplant them to larger pots as they grow. Many growers will transplant once, from a one-gallon to a five-gallon pot, and then harvest. As your plants grow, they may require a seven- or ten-gallon pot.
Standard plastic containers are a top choice for budget-conscious growers. These pots are cheap and provide everything your plants need. Most cultivators use plastic containers because they have low overhead costs, good drainage (and it’s easy to add more holes), and are inexpensive and straightforward to transplant. Conversely, these containers have disadvantages like;
Fabric containers are rapidly becoming the norm. Roots in fabric pots grow to the edges and bypass the porous fabric wall but are cut back, allowing new growth. This “air pruning” procedure results in a higher-density root composition, encouraging better and healthier development.
Producers in hot climates can benefit from terra cotta pots in various ways.
A grow room, also known as a growth chamber, is an indoor space where plants are grown under controlled conditions. Indoors, a grow room is set up to imitate the key components that cannabis plants require to thrive. If you are a thriving cannabis grower, you should know how to set up your cannabis grow room to produce the best cannabis buds possible, even in a small and enclosed space. Make a plan for what you are doing before you take any other steps toward growing and cultivating your cannabis. You want to have enough space and all of the necessities for indoor plant growth, such as lights, ventilation, nutrients, water, and so on. Keep in mind that building your own grow room is a significant investment.
Grow tents are a standard and wise option and most cultivators’ favorite. A cannabis grow tent is a light-proof, rectangular tent where you place containers filled with soil or a hydroponics system. In a tent, flood and drain systems or drip irrigation are typically used; however, they do not work well with nutrient film techniques. They are entirely light-proof on the outside and lined with reflective material on the inside to maximize light utilization. Grow tents enable you to customize the environment in which your cannabis plants live, such as temperature, light intensity, humidity and location. Tents are compact, sturdy, washable, light-proof, and water-resistant and come in various sizes to meet the needs of any enthusiast.
Since they are underground, basements provide a hidden haven for cannabis cultivation. They are usually devoid of windows, which means they have no light leaks and are thus ideal for photoperiod growers. Basements are also relatively large and provide enough space to harvest a large crop. You’ll also notice that your basement maintains a fairly consistent temperature throughout the year.
One of the best areas to develop cannabis is in an attic. Visitors have no desire to visit, and the majority of the rooms are only accessible via a step ladder. Most attics are also wholly blacked out and will not let light in.
Unless you keep your car in it, your garage will likely be filled with random items and gardening equipment. Garages are typically cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making them extremely easy to regulate. Garages aren’t usually as well insulated as the rest of the house. Cover any holes or drafts that could disperse the aroma of your plant down the road.
By constructing a grow box, you can grow cannabis virtually anywhere in your home. With just a few basic materials like PVC pipe, duct tape, a hand saw, a good light, and a fan, you can build your custom grow box. A grow You can adjust the box’s size to fit flush with any corner of your home. Check out our article on the best grow box for beginners before you buy!
How do you select which grow lights to use if you decide to support your grow space with artificial light? For growers nowadays, there are numerous options available, such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), among others. Here are a few top picks for your requirements and cultivation space.
HID (high-intensity discharge)
These lights are the industry standard, and they are widely used because they combine output, efficiency, and value. They are slightly more expensive than incandescent or fluorescent fixtures, but they produce far more light per unit of electricity consumed. They are not as effective as LED lighting, but they are much less expensive. The two most common HID lamps used in agriculture are Metal halide (MH) lighting and High pressure sodium (HPS).
Compact fluorescent light (CFL)
This light performs admirably in the cool white spectrum as an alternative to an MH bulb. A 250W CFL can produce results comparable to a 400W MH lamp. CFLs are cool to the touch and can get very close to plants without burning the foliage. Furthermore, CFL lights will only slightly raise grow-op temperatures. As a result, CFL is ideal for seedlings, cuttings, and vegetative growth. For micro-growers, CFL lights are sometimes the only option.
Light-emitting diode (LED)
This is an emerging breakaway technology that can end the reign of HID in cannabis cultivation. The most recent generation of LED systems can now produce comparable, and in some cases, superior quality cannabis than the average HID setup. The metric most important to LED fanatics is PAR, or photosynthetically active radiation.
Clip-on fans can be mounted to walls, corners, or support beams for small spaces or tents. Use medium-sized oscillating fans or large floor models for larger grow rooms. You should place fans in such a way that they provide direct, even airflow throughout the garden. This usually entails using multiple fans that work in tandem or fans with oscillation capabilities. Fans should not blow air directly onto plants because this can cause windburn, which causes leaves to recede into a claw-like deformation.
If you are growing in a large indoor cultivation space, you will need a dehumidifier. You must keep the relative humidity of the environment within a few percentage points during the first few weeks of the plant’s life; otherwise, the plant will most likely not reach its full potential. Position the dehumidifier in the middle of the cultivation space and reinforce the distribution of steam created using a fan to achieve a perfect distribution of moisture. After a few hours, move the site humidifier to the opposite side to avoid overwatering the plants closest to it, leading to fungi problems.
It is critical to use a timer clock or a timer box to control all electronic materials you will be working on in your cultivation room. Using a timer box, you can easily handle all electronic devices from a single device. It is best to place it in an accessible location while also allowing the wiring of the various electronic components to reach it. These devices are essential if you are going to be away from the garden for an extended period.
Connecting a controller to fans, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, heaters, or air conditioners allows you to set thresholds for each device to turn on and off based on your ideal environmental settings. Some units operate autonomously, making changes based on predefined parameters, whereas others allow you to control each element using an app on your phone, tablet, or computer. Installing a small fire extinguisher above the timer box is recommended for added security.
Are you contemplating growing cannabis in your backyard? You can have an enjoyable and satisfying experience by cultivating your plant from a seed to a mature specimen. You may create a complex cultivation system to maximize plant output, but starting simply and adapting your technique as you gain experience has many advantages.
This guide will teach the basics of cultivating cannabis in a greenhouse or indoors.
The environment contains all of the nutrients necessary for the growth of a cannabis plant. For best results, feed your plants with concentrated nutrients, such as fertilizer, which will help them grow more quickly and create higher quality output.
Cannabis plants need a lot of three nutrients. For cannabis plants to function correctly, they need a steady supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium found in these macronutrients. Since these three nutrients make up the bulk of fertilizer products, the NPK ratio is frequently displayed. As the number for each value rises over zero, the amount of that vitamin in your body has increased.
Cannabis, on the other hand, needs more than three nutrients to grow. Plant development also depends on secondary nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur:
Plants also require several micronutrients, which are present in small amounts but essential. Copper, iron, manganese, and zinc are just a few essential nutrients. Even though they aren’t the primary sources of nutrition for plants, these substances are crucial to various elements of a plant’s health.
You can make nutrition as basic or complex as you wish, just like other cannabis products. Cannabis has particular nutritional requirements, and these requirements alter as the plant grows from seedling to bloom.
You may use more natural methods like super soil and compost teas or worm castings to enrich the soil for plants that rely on it for their nutrients. Banana peels and eggshells are common nutritional add-ins for home gardeners, both of which are rich in potassium and calcium. Is it okay to throw these ingredients into the soil at random?
However, effective composting is necessary to ensure that these nutrients are bioavailable to the plant’s roots to benefit from them. Composters and vermicomposters who want to get the most nutrients from their food scraps should do their homework on the best ways to do it.
Growing cannabis in a hydroponic system does not need soil as a medium. Instead, you may use clay pebbles, Rockwool, or coco coir as a substrate. Growing crops under hydroponics are becoming more popular since they may generate large amounts of food while taking up little space.
As hydroponics grows in popularity, the bulk of nutrients offered for cannabis production is now soluble fertilizers. Concentrated mineral salts are available in powder or liquid form in these items. You dilute the nutrients in the water before administering them to your plants, whatever method you select.
Choose a fertilizer with a more significant nitrogen and potassium to phosphorus ratio for vegetative development. When your plants are blooming, reduce the nitrogen content and raise the phosphorus and potassium concentration.
Hydroponic fertilizers have the potential to be quite harsh if misused. Make sure the pH is between 5.5 and 6.5 by following the instructions on the fertilizer bag or container. When utilizing one of the three most common hydroponics growth media, let’s look at how much fertilizer is needed.
This water-retaining mineral, both light and affordable, is well-known for its properties. A silica compound and basalt are the main ingredients. Shredded, tiny cubes and blocks, or huge slabs are all options.
Rockwool is an alkaline medium before being conditioned with a lower pH solution, so keep that in mind if you buy it. Using water with a pH of 5.5, soak the blocks for at least an hour before planting.
In Rockwool, all the nutrients you put in the fertilizer solution will be instantly accessible to your plant for its development.
Using coconut fiber as a growth medium is a no-brainer. Coco’s seeds utilize this substrate, which is composed of the outer layer of the coconut husk, to help them germinate.
Coco coir retains minerals and water quite well. In terms of water retention, it’s similar to Rockwool, but it’s recyclable and doesn’t harm the lungs when it is breathed.
Its pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.0, which is quite near that of unfertilized soil. Coco coir Adding up to 30% perlite to coco coir is becoming more and more frequent to enhance root aeration.
In general, it lacks the buffering capability of the soil, although it is more forgiving than other growth media in this respect. When utilizing coco coir, you should aim to maintain the pH of your water and nutrient solution between 5.5 and 6.5.
Growers recommend Dutch Master and Canada Advanced Nutrients for coco coir cannabis plants. On the other hand, Coco coir isn’t especially good at retaining calcium. As a result, it is essential to keep an eye out for any calcium shortages and consider supplementing with additional calcium at all ages.
Unlike Rockwool or coco coir, Clay pellets do not hold water well. However, you won’t have to worry about overwatering your cannabis plants when using a nutrition and water cycling system.
The holes in clay pellets allow nutrients and oxygen to get to the roots, resulting in a healthy plant. As a bonus, clay pellets may be reused, saving you money in the long run.
Choosing the proper nutrients and applying them are two of the most critical aspects of producing high-quality cannabis. Even though cannabis is hardy, cultivating it in poor circumstances will lower yield and potency.
Cannabis plants need the “super seven” macronutrients, regardless of medium type (organic soil mix or soilless). These are listed in no particular order:
Whether you’re using a supplemented soil mix or not, these macronutrients are available in liquid or powder form.
Making your fertilizer may seem like a big undertaking at first, but it’s a lot easier than you think. However, if you are familiar with fertilizer fundamentals, you will see that it is not difficult. When you create your fertilizer solutions, you may save a lot of money in the process. Because dry fertilizers may be stored more compactly than pre-mixed liquid fertilizers, making your solutions from them is an attractive option.
Understanding the stages of cannabis growth will aid you in nurturing a higher yield and potency. We’ll go over the most common stages of cannabis growth here. Of course, the type of seed used, as well as the quality of your controlled environment, have a significant impact on this cannabis timeline. It is worth noting from the onset that autoflower cannabis seeds do not follow the same rules or cannabis growth cycle as regular strains.
Discover everything about various growth phases of a cannabis plant here, from germination to drying and curing.
Germination is when the first root emerges from the seed’s shell, which takes 1–7 days.
The wet paper towel is a tried-and-tested method, but it comes with the major disadvantage of leaving tiny fibers all over your new root. You can plant straight in the soil, but you must keep the temperature and moisture under control.
Cannabis plants enter the seedling stage after passing through the germination stage. At this point, they will require 18 or more hours of light per day. Your cannabis plants will be well on their way to robust development after about two weeks of proper care. This is the point at which it begins to resemble a cannabis plant. At first, each leaf will have one ridged blade, but the blades will be nearer to their standard 5–7-finger stage by the end of this period. The plants, however, are considered seedlings until they reach the full 5–7 blades. Along with increasing blades, a healthy plant has a vibrant green color.
The span of this stage is entirely up to the individual. Cannabis plants are only growing stems and leaves during the vegetative stage. Most indoor growers let their plants vegetate for 4-8 weeks on average. Seedlings can begin flowering as early as three weeks after germination, but the resulting plants are tiny. Most cannabis plants won’t bloom for at least 3 or 4 weeks after germination, but after that, you can decide how long your plant stays in this phase. With the exception of auto-flowering strains, you have complete control over the vegetative stage since you are the one who “controls the switch” and causes your plant to enter the next life stage: flowering. When you start with a seed (even if it is an auto-flowering plant), you will have at least 3-4weeks of vegetative growth before any buds form.
Growers typically allow their plants to remain vegetative for several weeks to several months. The size of your plant during the vegetative stage has a significant impact on your final yields because larger plants produce more bud sites than smaller plants. However, you must provide enough light to cover all bud sites, or the plants will not develop properly. Light is similar to food for bud growth!
This is the time when your cannabis plants begin to form buds. The duration of the flowering phase varies greatly depending on the strain/genetics, but most strains flower in 8-10 weeks on average. Some strains have been bred to have very short flowering stages. Other strains require months of flowering before they are ready to harvest. Longer-flowering strains typically produce higher yields, while short-flowering strains produce lower yields. Buds subjected to more light hours have more time to fatten up, but this is not always the case.
Additionally, before cannabis plants can fully bloom and produce buds, they must first go through the pre-flowering stage, which usually begins during the fourth week of the vegetative phase. It is difficult to tell if the plants are already pre-flowering unless you use a magnifying glass. Identifying the sex of cannabis during the pre-flowering period of cannabis growth requires expertise. If the plant is female, small pear-shaped nodes appear on the 4th node of the stem during pre-flowering.
The most rewarding aspect of the cultivation process for most farmers is harvesting. It’s fascinating to watch your plants grow over several months, but finally, harvesting the fruits of your labor is the cornerstone of the experience. Harvesting at the right time is critical, and there are several indicators you should look for. Using a magnifying device up close and personal is one of the best ways to tell if your flowers are ready for harvest indeed. This visual advantage will allow you to detect minor changes that the naked eye would miss. Some growers prefer to use a jeweler’s loupe, which is essentially a pocket-sized magnifying glass enclosed in metal. Others prefer to use more detailed devices, such as digital microscopes.
The most accurate way to determine the maturity phase of your crop is to look for changes in trichome appearance. Trichomes will appear translucent early in the flowering stage, indicating that they are still developing and should be left to mature. When approximately 60% of the trichomes develop a milky appearance, it is time to harvest. They will produce the most significant high at this stage. Some growers wait until up to 90% of the trichomes have passed the milky stage and have turned amber, as this causes the buds to develop a more stoning and sedating effect. When the pistils of the flowers change color, this is another sign that your buds are maturing. Pistils are tiny hair-like structures that grow from the calyxes and serve as the female cannabis plant’s reproductive organs.
After harvesting cannabis, two key phases are remaining; drying and curing.
Drying time: 4–10 days
Good cannabis buds can be dried in as little as four days, but drying should ideally be a slow process that takes a week or more. Ensuring that your plants have been thoroughly dried (but not over-dried) will reduce the likelihood of mold developing during the curing process.
Curing time: 2 weeks to 1+ months
Curing cannabis appears to make the effects of buds feel less ‘rapid,’ making them more suitable for medical applications such as treating anxiety, reducing pain, and improving feelings of depression. Cannabis curing also removes the ‘cut grass’ smell, harsh taste, and other undesirable characteristics of some freshly dried buds. With proper curing, those characteristics will be replaced by ‘the real’ smell and potency profile of your buds over time.
One of the most beneficial things an indoor cannabis grower can do for their garden is using a training method. Cannabis cultivators can now have more control over the size of their plants and harvest than ever before. Whether you are a new cultivator or a seasoned pro, you can gain from one of these training methods.
The Screen of Green employs the same principles as the SOG method, but with the addition of a netted screen. The netting can be made of chicken wire, rope, or essentially nylon netting. The netting keeps the cannabis plants’ height in check and allows the farmer to boost the number of buds generated. Screen of Green is similar to a blend of SOG and LST in that you can use the screen to manipulate certain branches while exposing others to light. The main goal is to have as many main colas as possible, which will increase yield. After installing the screen, branches can be attached to it. This opens the door for more developing sites, especially since they have more light exposure. As the plants grow, the branches will spread out, resulting in more colas and, eventually, massive buds for you to harvest.
The Sea of Green method reduces the amount of time a cannabis plant spends vegetating and flowering. This results in faster yields, though Sea of Green promotes larger outcomes. As a result, Sea of Green can assist in increasing output on a small amount of growing space. To begin with, plants are forced to flower earlier than they would normally. This results in shorter plants with greater access to the light source. The result resembles a canopy of buds, with the canopy wholly exposed to the light source. Enhanced light on the total area of buds promotes the growth of larger buds. Of course, because the vegetation time is drastically reduced, a grower can harvest much earlier than usual with Sea of Green.
High stress training (HST) is comparable to LST, but it is more rigorous. HST can be done in various ways and is frequently combined with LST methods to attain the best plant shape and size. The goal is to redirect energy from the main central stem to secondary stems to increase the number of main colas. Rather than emphasizing sustained levels of low stress, HST involves strategically executed forms of high stress to boost the plant’s development of cannabinoids and terpenes. HST entails pinching and tying down areas of the stems. The plant then sends more energy to that area to heal it, causing nearby bud production to increase. If you try super cropping and end up putting too much stress on the plant, cover the damaged area with duct tape to help it heal.
Low Stress Training (LST) enables growers to alter the true shape of the plant by slowly curving the stems downward in a structured way. The stems will then grow vertically once more, but this time they will be better positioned to allow light to reach more bud sites.
Anyone who has tried LST will agree that it is an art form in and of itself. Start with the basics to tie a twisty-tie, twine, or something similar to a stem. The other end of the twine is then anchored so that the stem is bent downward. You can do this by tying the twine to the pot in which the plant is growing. To maximize growing space, you should pull the stems apart from one another. Consider spreading the stems out like a star from the center. Additionally, LST is most effective when combined with topping, fimming, or other apical dominance-breaking training methods (the tendency to grow in a Christmas-tree shape.
Mainlining is a technique that is becoming increasingly popular among modern cultivators. It is an excellent method for increasing yields and is ideal for smaller spaces. Main-lining is a training method for limiting apical dominance. This technique combines topping and LST, which forces the plant to concentrate its energy on growing a large number of evenly sized buds rather than the main cola surrounded by smaller flowers. There are several advantages to mainlining your cannabis, mainly saving space indoors and encouraging a large number of large colas. The real benefit of mainlining is the high yields. Offering so much attention to providing excellent flower substructures in the plant’s early life pays off big time when it comes time to harvest.
The schwazzing method entails removing the fan leaves of a cannabis plant until only the stems, roots, and buds remain. Many cannabis plant training methods focus on increasing yield and potency, but schwazzing plants aim to get more with less. The schwazzing principle also applies to other stress-inducing training methods. The stimulus encourages the plant to adapt for it to grow stronger.
Fimming is similar to topping in that it forces the plant to produce more colas. However, while topping causes the plant to grow two main colas, fimming usually results in four. Like topping, a grower should wait until their plant has at least 3-5 nodes before fimming. When you’re ready to fim your plant, pinch the leaves of the newest growth firmly between your index and thumb. You can also cut the new growth rather than tweak it. Furthermore, all growers can experiment with fimming because nothing happens if it is not done correctly.
Topping forces the cannabis plant to produce two significantly smaller main colas rather than the single normal one. The main colas almost always have the highest concentration of buds (by mass), so making two of them increases yields notably, even if nothing else is done besides topping. Topping is simple, but it only takes seconds and is finished. You’ll have to wait until your plant has at least 3-5 nodes before you can top it.
First, cut off the newest node right above the leaves of the node underneath to finish topping. If you need to make the plant shorter, you can cut it down further. If you top your cannabis plant early, you will not get a grow in the shape of a “Christmas Tree,” a growth structure that most indoor growers despise because it’s challenging to get a favorable light scope on a plant like that with indoor grow lights.
Indoor cannabis cultivation is the best method because you have the most control over the environment. Cannabis plants prefer a mild, consistent climate, and most states in the United States have unpredictable weather patterns or are too harsh. With indoor cannabis plants, you will noticeably improve your harvest. In general, growing cannabis indoors yields a higher yield. You’ll get potent cannabis with the highest cannabinoids for that strain if you can create the ideal climate with enough light, warmth, and humidity.
Growing cannabis indoors is more than just a recreational activity for stoners. There are numerous advantages to cultivating indoor cannabis plants, making it the best option for users. Below are some of them.
Commercial products are almost always of lower quality than homemade items, and cannabis is no exception. When you grow cannabis plants, you have complete control over the quality of the cannabis. You’ll give each crop your undivided attention, high-quality nutrients, enough light, and a suitable climate. The extra care you give your cannabis plants will yield the best tasting, most potent cannabis you’ve ever tasted. Although it is more resource-intensive than growing outdoors, you will most likely have to spend more money on utilities to power your equipment; you can control your grow environment conditions and what you put in your plant.
In contrast to outdoor growing, you are not bound by the sun or the seasons. You will be providing the plants with everything they need to grow, including the grow medium (soil, rockwool, hydroponics, etc.) and controlling the amount of water and nutrients they receive, as well as temperature, humidity, and other factors. Furthermore, many people prefer organic or vegan products in today’s world. It’s challenging to find reputable companies that provide this service, but you have complete control when growing cannabis at home. You can ensure your harvest is ethical by using 100% organic and vegan products, such as our organic nutrients.
Cannabis plants, like any other plant, enjoy water. However, as with any other plant, do not overwater! There is no set amount for watering cannabis. It’s a good idea to use common sense and assess what your plant requires daily. Allow it to dry out, but don’t water it more than once or twice a day. The necessary amount of water will also be determined by the size of your plants.
You can let your cannabis crops grow as large as you want, control when they flower and harvest, and start another batch immediately or whenever you want. You can develop at any time of year, even straight through the winter or summer, and you’ll get consistent yields every time. Moreover, you will never run out of stock.
Most states place restrictions on the amount of cannabis you can possess and purchase at one time. This necessitates frequent trips to the dispensary or waiting until the following month to obtain more. You’ll always have an endless supply of cannabis if you grow it at home. The possession amount does not apply to the harvest of cannabis plants under most state laws. You’ll be restricted to the number of mature crops you have at any given time, and most of the time, the yield is more excellent than anyone can consume before the next harvest.
Another significant advantage of growing cannabis homes is growing all year. You can enjoy multiple harvests per year because you don’t have to wait for a growing season. With 3-4 harvests per year, you can significantly outperform the limited returns associated with outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Growers can regulate conditions such as temperature and humidity, which is a massive benefit of indoor cannabis cultivation. As a result, you can reduce some of the risks associated with outdoor growing, such as adverse weather. What if your place is hit by a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or even a windstorm while you’re trying to grow your plants? While the environment is conducive to plant growth, you have specific objectives for these plants. It’s the same as constructing a greenhouse for essential fruits and vegetables. Bring them inside to protect them.
Another advantage of growing cannabis indoors is that it can help you stay on the right side of the law. Indoor growing is becoming more popular in a growing number of states. However, in states where cannabis cultivation is still illegal, people must conceal their plants from public view. When growing cannabis indoors, this is a lot easier. Each state has its cannabis laws that govern whether or not growing cannabis at home is legal. Each state has various regulations regarding who can grow and how many plants can be grown at one time. Before growing cannabis at home, always check your state’s laws. Even in legal states, you may need to keep your crop hidden from nosy neighbors and potential thieves.
The process can be both entertaining and educational. Growing can provide pot lovers with a whole new experience with their favorite green stuff. Growing cannabis is an art that takes time to master. Cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes is now legal in several states. Why buy it from a dispensary when you can cultivate it at home? Mistakes should not discourage first-time growers; the yield will improve with experience. Now that you realize how to grow cannabis indoors, you should produce potent, tasty buds following our comprehensive guide.
Due to technological advances and a wealth of readily available information online, the quality of cannabis grown indoors has improved dramatically. You can achieve the best results by creating optimal growing conditions indoors. Indoor cannabis avoids the issues that its outdoor counterpart faces, such as wind and rain, as long as your growing environment is secure and sterile. As a result, the buds remain nearly perfect throughout the growing process and begin to degrade only after harvesting. Because you’re only dealing with a few plants, it’s simple to harvest them when they’re at their best. The same is true when drying and curing a small crop.
Taylor is an indoor expert. Through their writing, they offer a masterclass on growing cannabis indoors, maintaining a productive growing environment, and guiding growers through all the stages of growth both indoors and outdoors. Combining multiple fields of expertise allows for Taylor to give in-depth insights into overall cannabis growing. About this Author