can you grow weed indoors without lights

Most cannabis plants grown with only the sunlight from vertical windows to aid their photosynthesis needs will grow with less vigor. The plants will usually be sparser, with comparatively spindly vertical growth and smaller leaves than plants allowed more direct access to sunlight. As well as less then optimum plant structure, the flowers will be looser and smaller, lacking the dense, large size most growers want.

Window sills, although close to glass and fine for seedlings or young clones, do not have the space necessary for robust plant growth. Certainly, starting plants in these areas is possible, but before they reach more than a foot of vertical height they will require a more permanent location to mature.

While nothing beats the full-spectrum lighting of the sun, today’s artificial grow lights are becoming more able to mimic the sun’s spectrum of light. For growers who don’t want to compromise on light quality can grow weed in a greenhouse or other outdoor environment featuring some level of protection from harsh environmental conditions.

Growing marijuana in a balcony or terrace is easier than ever. The best growing setup for marijuana, however, requires the balcony or terrace to face south to get the most amount of natural light throughout the day.

When growing outdoors is not an option, greenhouses are one of the most obvious methods of growing indoors, and there’s much to be said for these stand-alone structures. In many ways, they capture the best of indoor and outdoor cultivation.

Bay Windows and Window Sills For Growing Weed.

Cannabis growers can choose from a number of growing locations ranging from greenhouses to large windows, but each location can attract unwanted attention. Growing cannabis with natural sunlight requires as much light as possible to hit the plant.

If space limitations make owning a greenhouse impossible, there are other options available to those who want to grow cannabis indoors without lights. Like greenhouses, these alternative methods must harness natural light from the sun.

In a south-facing room, large bay windows allow enough room to grow cannabis if sunlight can enter the room for several daylight hours. In rooms with bay windows or sliding glass doors, cannabis plants will do best when placed close to the glass. You don’t want your marijuana plants too far from the windows.

This is a reality of growing cannabis. Both light and darkness at critical stages of its life cycle are necessary for it to thrive. While plants can grow with continuous light during the vegetative stage, a significant period of darkness will cause it to create buds and reach sexual maturity during the flowering stage.

Cannabis growers can enjoy the free natural sunlight reaching the plants and protect the plants in shade or inside when the conditions become unfavorable. Keep in mind, many landlords and regulations prohibit growing cannabis in full public view.

These artificial light sources allow cannabis growers to easily cultivate high-quality cannabis indoors. But can cannabis be grown indoors without artificial light? Absolutely! But the indoor grower faces some challenges to harness the free solar energy emitted from the sun.

Because of the limited space, marijuana growers will have to consider pot size and the number of pots that can be grown in the space. Also, consider the wind factor on your floor. The higher you’re planting cannabis in a balcony or terrace, the more wind you’ll experience.

Because of their overhead installation, skylights are a great way to supplement or provide indoor lighting that’s good for plants. Of course, the number of skylights and their size will both be factors in the overall benefits these lights.

A solarium typically has a glass roof and glass sides, maximizing light exposure and typically creating a warmer environment thanks to the sun’s rays. A conservatory, solarium, atrium, and sunroom are all very closely related and make a good indoor environment for growing cannabis without using lights. A sunroom is the most likely of the four to not have a glass roof.

When considering growing marijuana in a solarium, energy conservation is a major element to consider. Some growers opt for black marble to absorb the sun’s light and heat during the colder months.

Patios with Translucent Roofs For Growing Pot.

Floor heating systems can also be used in solariums and greenhouses under wood flooring, concrete, or metal panels. Floor heating enables cannabis plants to grow during all seasons. Radiant heating provides uniform heating compared to other heating systems.

Because light is absolutely necessary for cannabis plants to grow, most home growers invest in expensive lighting systems to simulate the light spectrum of natural light. This usually is accomplished through utilizing high-pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), or light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

Growers can also consider choosing auto-flowering strains to grow on a window sill or bay window. Auto-flowering plants automatically bloom after a vegetative period of between two to four weeks. Auto-flowering plants don’t need a changing light cycle like most strains.

A courtyard makes an effective growing area with protection from four sides. The main difference between a courtyard and an atrium is that a courtyard has no roof to shield the grow from environmental factors like rain and wind. Because they are generally built within the confines of a home’s walls, courtyards provide advantages over greenhouses and sunrooms for being more discreet—something that’s always good when growing cannabis.

The debate between outdoor versus indoor-grown weed has been raging on for decades without a clear winner. Each growing method has its pros and cons for beginners and experienced growers. In today’s cannabis market, however, you don’t have to choose between the two as a consumer. Plenty of indoor and outdoor cannabis producers are meeting the demand.

Cannabis can grow and flourish in a variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors. From a cultivation perspective, it’s a forgiving plant that will reward its grower if key essential needs are met.

While growing high-quality marijuana without lights indoors presents its share of unique challenges, it provides a realistic alternative to investing in expensive grow lights and paying lofty electric bills. If you want to try your hand at growing indoors with natural light, weigh your options and consider the locations and practices described here. Most likely your home and its design will present a way to harness solar energy from Mother Nature to fuel your grow.

Avoiding Detection When Growing Marijuana.

Attics equipped with multiple large skylights can be great locations for growing cannabis indoors without lights. Once again, the amount of light the plants receive will determine the overall success of the grow. Attics are removed from household traffic and pets, so their location is perfect for discreet cannabis cultivation projects.

One of these needs is light—whether natural or artificial lights.

Natural sunlight beats out artificial lights in terms of cost. Free sunlight is hard to beat, especially compared to costly artificial light systems. In some environments, however, sunlight is hard to come by and varies by region.

Get ready to rethink cannabis growing, with the Guide to Growing Marijuana Without Lights.

Cannabis should receive 5 hours of direct sunlight at the peak of the growing season in mid to late summer—although access to 8 hours or more is ideal. Within the sunroom, furniture or room decorations should not obstruct light from reaching the plants. The more access your plants have to direct sunlight, the better.

Additionally, floorboards can help reduce the noise from fans and pumps that reach the rooms below. Growers may also need to consider the flood risk and opt for a grow tent, instead, and possibly use some plastic sheets for extra water protection, just in case.

Besides greenhouses, the most obvious cultivation option available to home cannabis growers is a “sunroom,” which are popular retreats for many homeowners. A variety of household plants thrive in sun rooms across the country, so there’s no reason cannabis can’t flourish in the same environment.

The plants grown within receive natural sunlight while remaining in a controlled environment that protects them from harsh environmental factors like wind, rain, and hail, as well as the detrimental impact of insects and other pests—not to mention theft from unscrupulous human thieves. Greenhouses also allow control of environmental factors like humidity. They rank as the most turn-key method of growing cannabis indoors without artificial lighting.

Will growing a plant indoors without grow lights leave you with wonky plants? Lower yields? Less potent flower?

There are two types of plants a grower might consider: autoflowering varieties or photoperiod varieties.

Keep it simple to start. When it comes to your setup, “I would challenge people to try doing as little as possible on their first plant and adding in effort or equipment only to solve issues as they arise or to better future plants,” shared Jimmy.

What to expect when growing weed indoors without lights.

Rotate your plant. “Growing with just a window, your plant is going to bend itself towards the light constantly and will benefit from regular rotating. I was rotating my cannabis plant twice a day to keep it growing relatively upright,” said Jimmy.

Bottom line: Sunrooms, rooms with lots of southern-facing windows, and bay windows are all great spots for indoor cannabis plants. Aim for at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Autoflowering plants begin flowering automatically based on their maturation. When they reach a particular age, they flower, regardless of how much sunlight/darkness they are getting. These plants do not require the complete darkness that photoperiod plants do, meaning you could leave them out and about overnight and they will be fine. Another reason you might want to choose an autoflower variety is if you’re short on time since their growth cycle is shorter than it is for photoperiod plants.

Cannabis plants need plenty of bright light or direct sunlight. Southeastern and southwestern exposures provide the most direct sunlight per day, followed by southern, eastern, and western. If you’re dealing with a northern exposure, your cannabis plants won’t have enough direct light to thrive. You’ll need to supplement with artificial light.

Experience is the best teacher when it comes to growing cannabis. Photo by: Dimitri Newman/Weedmaps.

The environment inside your home is perfectly safe for your cannabis plant. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

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Cannabis plants need plenty of bright light or direct sunlight. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

Keep a grow journal. There are many ready-made journals tailored specifically for growing cannabis. You can also grab a pad or notebook and jot down daily details on watering, feeding nutrients, the days or weeks in a particular growth phase (vegetation, flowering), any insects or mold issues, and so on. Having a record of a plant’s full life-cycle will help improve future plants.

Pro tip: don’t set your cannabis plant on fire. Photo by: Dimitri Newman/Weedmaps.

Experience is the best teacher when it comes to growing cannabis — or any plant for that matter. Consider these tips before embarking on growing weed indoors without lights.

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When growing in your home’s natural environment, choose a strain that will best match up with the general temperature and humidity of your mango-colored home. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

There are two types of plants a grower might consider: autoflowering varieties or photoperiod varieties. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps.

Not necessarily. “The more effort and energy you put into a plant, the bigger and better your harvest will be,” said Jimmy. “I think that’s a pretty universal truth in the gardening game, but I’ve definitely been surprised by how well plants can do without the elaborate tents, fans, filters, feeding systems, and so on.”

Be a good plant parent. Keep an eye on its growth and development. Trim yellowing or dying leaves that often present at the bottom of the plant when they get shaded by the top canopy. Keep an eye out for insects and act quickly when you see them, then continue monitoring closely because pests and disease can be persistent and difficult to get rid of.

Bottom line: Photoperiod plants will require several months of your time and attention, whereas some autoflowering plants complete their life cycles in as little as 49 to 56 days. This is something folks might not consider when getting started with cannabis — you have to tend to it often and be present through the plant’s life cycle. So if you’re planning a vacation or work might take you away from home, an autoflower strain might make more sense for you.

Harvesting a bit early results in buds that give you a buzzed, heady experience. They cause anxiety and headaches in some people.

And you can get by without a charcoal filter to remove the odor as well. Ideally though, you want to ventilate your tent and you want to remove the odor from any air you ventilate out.

You can tell the difference by the pre-flowers they grow at the tops of branch joints (the “V” where the stems meet the trunk):

Spot on thanks for taking the time to do this and sharing your knowledge 👍

Even after removing the males, you should keep a close eye on the females. It is possible for them to become hermaphrodites, which usually happens if they are stressed. If that happens, you can try removing only the section of the plant that has begun forming male parts, but I recommend removing the entire plant, just to be safe.

Method 1: Check the Pistils.

Keep the temperature between 65 and 80° F (18 and 26° C) and maintain a relative humidity between 40 and 50% during the beginning of the flowering stage and 40 and 45% during the final weeks.

Once your marijuana plant grows its first set of regular leaves (i.e. not the seedling leaves), it has officially entered the vegetative stage.

For the US, we prefer ILGM, due to their germination guarantee and the free shipping. Crop King has a guarantee, too, but they only guarantee that 80% of the seeds will germinate. They also charge for shipping, with rates in the US being the lowest at $20 and international rates as high as $40.

Thanks for the great article it was very helpful.

The best way to do this is with supplemental lighting. Another reason to add supplemental lighting is if your primary fixture is not heavy in red spectrum light. In that case, some smaller all-red LED lights would really help boost yields.

When you should take your plants from vegging to flowering depends on how large you want them to get. An average strain will double in size during flowering, so you want to take it out of vegging when it is about half the size you would like it to end up having.

A week or two weeks after you switch to the flowering light schedule, you can finally see the gender of your plants. If you used feminized seeds, they will all be female and you have nothing to worry about.

Once their roots have expanded throughout their new pot, it’s time to give them a larger one so they have room for growth. An easy way to tell they are ready to move is when the roots start coming out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

If you want to use pots you already have, that works fine, too. Just make sure whatever container you use has some holes in the bottom for drainage. If you use a regular bucket, for example, make sure to drill a few holes in the bottom.

The vegetative stage is when your marijuana grow starts to get exciting. The plants grow fast, but do not yet produce any buds or flower. The great thing about growing marijuana indoors is that you get to control everything, meaning you can provide the ideal conditions for maximum yields.

5. Ventilation.

How do you know when to harvest?

The other important task during flowering is to make sure your buds are all getting sufficient light. If you see a bud in the shadows, try to get it light so that it can grow and give you extra yield.

Use the magnifier to examine the trichomes. These are the crystals, or the frosty-looking stuff you see accumulating on your buds.

If not, your best bet is to buy seeds online from a seed bank. Most people prefer to buy from a bank located outside the US, though this really doesn’t matter much anymore.

This method is more accurate, but you need a magnifier of some kind. The best microscope for checking trichomes is the digital type, since it gives you a more accurate image.

Many growers prefer using a weaker light for seedlings to save on power costs. If you have a lot of seedlings, a T5 light fixture is best. I prefer T5 LED lights. If you prefer fluorescent, you’ll find the best options here.

These days, however, this is basically the same thing that happens when you ship inside the US. That is why our favorite online seed banks are both headquartered in Europe, but they have warehouses in the US. This cuts down on shipping times considerably.

Flowering Your Weed Plants.

You don’t need a powerful LED grow light during this stage, but you can use it. Just hang it higher, to keep from harming the delicate seedlings.

Once you have the space, you want to get it ready for growing marijuana indoors. The easiest way to do this is to get a grow tent. You can find tons of inexpensive tents on Amazon and these cheap tents are good enough for most of us.

Instead, you can try tucking away some of the fan leaves, if they are impeding the light and causing shadows on your buds.

If you fill the new pot with fresh soil (assuming you are using a nutrient rich soil), remember to stop adding nutrients to the water until the plants have used up the nutrients in the soil (about a week).

If you’ve only got a few, a CFL bulb will work just fine. This article tells you what you need.

This is a great write-up, especially after all the articles I have been through. I’m into my 4th grow & still learning, learning, learning. I was brought here because I was reviewing exactly what does “flowering time” mean & when does it start. My flowers look good, but according to some articles they are aways away from being ready to process. After reading here I have a little clearer picture of what flower time is & when harvest time actually is. I appreciate your time you have put into publishing your web site for all of us to see & use. Regards, Marc.

This is entirely up to you. You can keep them in this stage indefinitely, if you like. This is actually what growers will do with a female plant, if they use her for quality clones.

Here is a graphic that shows you what to look for: