how to grow a marijuana plant step by step

Because the amount of light a plant receives is so important, you’ll need to make your indoor grow space light-tight. Light leaks during dark periods will confuse your plants and can cause them to produce male flowers or revert to a different stage.

When designing your space, you’ll need to take into account room for your plants, as well as space for lights, fans, ducting, and other equipment. You’ll also need space to work on the plants. Cannabis plants can double in size in the early stages of flowering, so make sure you have adequate head space!

Without proper airflow, a grow space can experience rapid changes in humidity or develop pockets of CO2 depletion, neither of which are good for plant growth. CO2 depletion can lead to nutrient lockout, and areas of high humidity are prone to pest infestation, mold, or mildew.

Indoor space.

Although it’s more resource-intensive than growing outdoors and you will likely have to spend more money on utilities to power equipment, you can control every aspect of your grow environment and what you put in your plant, allowing you to dial in your setup to grow some primo weed.

There are many different media to choose from, including good ol’ fashioned pots full of soil, rockwool cubes, a hydroponic tray, and more.

When growing weed indoors, you’ll likely have to add nutrients to your plants. You won’t need to add nutrients every time you water, but get on a schedule where you water every other time, or two on, one off.

For small spaces or tents, clip-on fans can be attached to structures like walls, corners, or support beams. For larger grow rooms, use medium-sized oscillating fans or big floor models.

Think of all the equipment in your grow space as organs in the body—if one fails, the others will have to work a lot harder for a bit, and then will fail in a matter of time.

Weed plants need different amounts of light during their vegetative and flowering stages. You don’t have to worry about this in an outdoor setting—the sun and the season dictate this—but when growing indoors, you will be controlling it.

Multiple harvests.

Plants in the vegetative stage maintain a low odor as they haven’t begun to produce terpenes, the plant’s aromatic compounds. As weed plants transition into the flowering phase, trichomes will start to develop and produce terpenes, causing them to smell more.

You’ll also want to take this time to check over your weed plants for pests, mold, or nutrient deficiencies.

In addition to bulbs, HID lighting setups require a ballast and hood/reflector for each light. Some ballasts are designed for use with either MH or HPS lamps, while many newer designs will run both.

Many growers will start plants in a one-gallon pot and then transplant up to a bigger pot as plants get bigger. A lot of growers will transplant once, from a one-gallon to a five-gallon pot, and harvest from there. If your plants get bigger, they may need a seven- or ten-gallon pot.

Setting up fans.

Getting the right climate for your plants can be a delicate balance involving multiple pieces of equipment and also lots of electricity. This is part of what makes growing weed indoors more expensive than growing outdoors.

You’ll likely yield about the same amount of weed in both cases, but more harvests mean you’ll have fresh weed to smoke more often and have more opportunities to grow different strains. But more harvests also means more work in cleaning up the space between harvests, trimming, etc.

One trick to avoid hot temps is to have the grow lights on during the evening, when it’s cooler outside, and leave the lights off during the day when it’s hot. This may help bring down the temps, but you’ll only be able to work on the plants at nighttime when the lights are on.

Light emitting diode (LED) technology has been around for a while, and they are getting more efficient all the time. The main drawback to LED grow lights is their cost: well-designed fixtures can cost 10 times what a comparable HID setup would.

The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:

Looking for the basics of how to grow marijuana? Here are the tools and information on how to grow weed affordably and effectively. All you need is a small discreet space and a little bit of a budget to get started on your indoor pot production.

Indoors, The decision of when to induce flowering in your plants is entirely up to you. If you want to learn how to grow weed, it’s important to determine how much space you have and to factor in the fact that your plants will stretch for at least a few weeks after flowering is induced. I usually recommend one week per gallon of container, so a plant in a five-gallon bucket should get approximately five weeks of vegetative time.

Always use opaque jars (ones you can’t see inside) and place them in a cool dark place. Open up the jars to determine the level of moisture and leave them open if there’s any condensation forming on the inside of the glass. Slowly but surely, if you open and close the jars once or twice a day, the moist air will be replenished by dry air and the water that’s stuck in the middle of your bud will work its way to the outside and then out into the air altogether. After three weeks to a month or so curing, your buds should burn and taste perfectly.

Grow Tools.

A simple loose and airy soil mix in 3-5 gallon buckets are great for beginners and much more forgiving than any hydroponic system. Be sure to cut holes in the bottom of the buckets and use saucers under them to catch any overflow. You’ll need to purchase nutrients to feed to your plants as they grow and a watering can as well.

Avoid overfeeding and overwatering your plants at all costs. Err on the side of caution as it’s always easier to add more nutrients or water than it is to take them away. Marijuana roots prefer a wet/dry cycle so lift up your buckets and you’ll get a better idea for if they need watering or not by the weight. The first sign of overfed plants is burnt leaf tips. The first rule of how to grow weed is to learn to stay off of its way sometimes.

A key part of learning how to grow weed is mastering drying and curing techniques. You do not want marijuana to dry too quickly or too slowly, as the ideal drying time for a healthy and flavorful marijuana plant is 10 to 14 days. In this video, you will learn the perfect temperature and humidity to dry and cure weed, as well as pro tips that will teach you how to grow weed and trim your plants like an experienced veteran, leaving you with a grade-A product.

The first thing you’ll need is a place to grow. I recommend getting yourself a decent grow tent. They’re cheap, made to grow inside of and can be put up and taken down quickly by one person. Some tents come with packages that include all kind of complicated hydroponic equipment. Your best bet is to purchase only what you need inside the tent and to learn how to grow weed without the expensive plastic. Some even have separate chambers for vegetative growth and cloning, making them perfect for people living in one-bedroom apartments or studios with limited room to grow.

When pruning, start early and often. Cut or pinch branches just above the node where two new shoots will emerge. If you stay on top of this process, you’ll have plants that look like bonsai bushes, with plenty of bud sites but not a lot of stretching out and big gaps between nodes. This is the efficient way to get bigger yields out of small spaces but your vegetating time will increase so factor that into your schedule.

First, you’ll need a growlight. I like HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting – HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) or MH (Metal Halide) systems with ballasts, bulbs and reflectors. If heat from these lights will be an issue, there are also LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent) systems you can employ. Be sure to get a light that covers your tent’s footprint and invest in a decent timer to control when your light turns on and off.

Harvesting, Drying and Curing.

Change your feeding regimen to one suited for flowering. Plant nutrients generally come in vegetative or flowering formulations so switch over to a “blooming” solution. Depending on the flowering time of your strain, determine when you have two weeks or so left and begin the flushing process. If you’re growing a 60-day flowering strain, start to flush your grow medium with only plain water around day 46.

Attention to detail is essential if you are a beginner who is trying to learn how to grow weed. Even the most inconsequential detail could be the difference between a healthy plant and a dud. In this video, learn about the best type of container to use to grow your marijuana plant. We recommend a “smart pot,” which is a container that is made of breathable fabric that allows the roots of your plant to grow much larger. Larger roots mean a larger marijuana plant, which means a more bountiful weed yield when the time comes.

As with any garden, when growing marijuana, pests are a constant concern. For anyone learning how to grow weed, it is important to become well-versed in pest management. The last thing you want is for the marijuana crop that you have been working so hard on to be eaten away by a pest infestation. This video teaches you how to ward away pests from your precious plants with integrated pest management, stopping an infestation before it can even happen. Just a few simple steps can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

A hydroponic garden, also known as a “hydro” setup, is a very popular implementation to grow high-quality weed. In this video, an expert takes you through the ins and outs of a typical hydro setup, allowing you to see what it takes to successfully implement your own hydro setup at home. For those who are beginners just learning how to grow weed, a hydroponic garden may seem way too complicated to even consider. However, with some assistance from the experts at High Times , you can easily set up a hydro system that will give you an epic yield!

Tips on How to Grow Weed: The Hydroponic Garden.

If you don’t have access to marijuana seeds or clones from a dispensary or friend, you’ll need to get some cannabis seeds mailed to you. Don’t have them mailed to the same place you plan to grow if you’re not growing legally. Don’t just learn how to grow weed, learn how to be discreet and not brag or bring attention to yourself.

Don’t prune or pinch plants at all once they’ve begun flowering – you’ll only be decreasing your harvest at that point. If the branches are threatening to reach the light, bend them or tie them down to keep them from burning. A trellis system constructed from chicken wire at canopy level (aka the ScrOG or Screen of Green system), will further spread out bud sites and increase your yields considerably. Simply train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen to fill empty spots.

Knowing when and how to harvest your buds is as important as knowing how to grow weed.

When you’re ready to begin the flowering stage, switch your timer to a 12 hour on/12 hour off light cycle. Be sure never to interrupt the 12-hour dark period with any light. This confuses your plant and can cause serious problems.

You’ll also need an exhaust fan and activated carbon filter to reduce heat and eliminate odors. Be sure to get one that’s rated for your tent’s size with the proper ducting size. A clip-on circulating fan will keep air moving and stop it from being stagnant. A thermometer/hygrometer is also a must for keeping track of temperature and humidity.

When thinking about how to grow a small weed plant, one of the most important things that should be on your mind is what you will grow the plant in. Your plant will need a medium that provides the required nutrients for developing picture-perfect buds. And, just like grow lights, there are numerous options for best grow mediums. Each medium will have its own set of requirements for best growing conditions, such as how often you’ll need to water, but in the end, every option is equally capable of producing high-yielding cannabis plants.

You can grow the best cannabis indoors or outdoors. A good indoor setup for weed provides total control over the growing conditions. Indoor growers have a lot of responsibility — you become Mother Nature! Your cannabis plants depend entirely on you to meet all of its needs – including light, humidity, airflow, temperature, food, and water. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to get all the right equipment, plus you must consider the cost of ongoing electricity.

No matter what nutrients you use for your pot plants, we suggest using ⅓ of the strength of whatever the manufacturer suggests (hint: they want you to use more than you need so you buy more faster). Marijuana plants can be very sensitive to too many nutrients. Lock-out from too many nutrients results in stunted, stressed plants that may flower too early.

If your goal is to grow one small cannabis plant, you should grow some of the best autoflowering strains, such as OG Kush, Cheese Strains, Northern Lights or Girl Scout Cookies. Indica-dominant autoflowering cannabis plants typically grow to around 2 to 4 feet tall. This makes them great for growing in gardens adjacent to nosey neighbors!

This is even more the case with autoflowers. Autoflowering cannabis is a really smart plant! She can sense her environment and grow accordingly. Much like a goldfish in either a fishbowl, aquarium, or ocean, your plant’s size depends on the size of its container. An autoflowering seed has the same potential– it just depends on what you plant it in—the bigger the pot, the bigger the plant (which means more pot).

1. Soak seed in a cup of pH neutral water in a dark place (like a kitchen cupboard) for 24 hours.

Simple, take some scissors (there are some in the a Pot for Pot Complete Kits ) and start cutting. First, remove fan leaves and pre-trim. Extra leaves hold water, and we want our weed to dry efficiently! You can leave the fan leaves but know that drying will take longer. Grower’s choice!

We love these types of seeds so much that our Grow Kits include a $40 discount coupon on autoflowering seeds from our friends at ILGM.com .

Sometimes, the top-most buds are ready before the bottom buds. This is a normal occurrence because of the relative light exposure between the top and bottom of the plant. In these cases, harvest in stages– take the top buds first and circle back for the bottom buds in a few days.

For all types of marijuana, you will want to consider adjusting the temperature. The flowering stage requires cooler temperatures, so keep it between 64°F to 78°F . Ideally closer to 65 degrees Fahrenheit if possible! If you used any nutrients, make sure you’ve stopped and are providing plenty of water. This helps with taste, aroma, and potency when it’s time to enjoy your cannabis.

When flowers start to form, you’ve entered the flowering stage. Only female plants produce flowers. The first sign is thin flowers with white hair-like structures called pistils. Those little pistils are pre flowers and will eventually produce buds – which you can eventually consume. This important phase in the life of your pot plant lasts until you harvest the mature buds. Here’s what happens during this stage:

If you opt for natural sunlight and you aren’t using autoflowers, you’ll need to ensure that your plants receive at least 18 hours of sunlight during the vegetative stage of their growth. Unfortunately, that means unless you are growing during the correct season and in the right area, this may not be obtainable without supplemental lighting. In other words, even if you are growing outdoors, investing in an LED lamp for those cloudy and or ‘short’ days might be a good idea.

Save Money – No Tent Needed.

Autoflowering sativa plants grow much taller. Many will grow past 4 feet, and some reach 6 feet tall. If you grow sativa-dominant plants outdoors, plan on sharing these amazing plants with your neighbors!

You could also go soilless and buy vermiculite, coco coir, or rockwool. These mediums require constant feeding and flushing to keep the root zone moist and free of nutrient buildup. While these may be more expensive than soil, they come with some advantages, including yielding a lot of cannabis. Hydroponic growing is a super fun and rewarding process that grows great cannabis.

Growing Weed with LED Lights.

For example, Jack Herer Autoflower genetically is a predominantly sativa plant . This plant will grow larger and might take a little longer to finish than her indica-dominant counterpart. Indica-dominant plants, like Wedding Cake Autoflower , tend to stay relatively short, reaching 4 feet tall at most. They are squat, stubby little weed plants with wide leaves. Sativa plants tend to be tall, stretchy plants with thin, narrow leaves.

You will know the buds have matured from the color of the stigmas. You will see wispy white hairs growing out of the buds. These wisps will change color gradually until they become amber at the peak of maturity. This is a great first sign to look for. Cannabis can be tricky, though, and can keep producing stigmas way past her prime. This tendency is why it is important to look at more than just the stigmas for cues.

In summary, you’ll need to consider your budget. Weigh the pros and cons of growing pot indoors or outdoors before you start growing. Then, select the option that works best for you and your specific situation.

Cannabis ruderalis and photoperiod cannabis both have strains that lean towards either indica or sativa dominance. The experience post-consumption and their growth traits are the same for both photoperiod cannabis and autoflowering cannabis.

The key difference between autoflowering and regular flowering cannabis is how (and when) the plant’s flowering cycle begins. Simply put, autoflowering cannabis automatically starts its flowering cycle, while photoperiod waits for the correct light vs. dark period (12 hours light / 12 hours dark) to flower.

On the other hand, growing photoperiod cannabis outdoors is a one-time a year thing; she’s a seasonal crop. You put her outside in late spring; she grows all summer and then flowers once the days start losing light. Timing when this occurs can get tricky, depending on your latitude and how cold it gets. So plant a lot and clear your social calendar because those plants will run your life for most of the year.

5. Place planted jiffy pellet in a seedling cup under direct light until your seedling makes an appearance topside.

The most important thing to remember about this stage is to watch your plants. Marijuana plants in the flowering stage are rather sensitive to the conditions under which they are growing. Look for signs of a problem, such as brown leaf tips. This could signify a problem with watering, lighting, or nutrients.

Your plants will get large and bushy. You may want to ‘train’ them by trimming and/or bending the leaves to form a flat canopy on top. This pruning allows light to reach all parts of the plant for maximum yields. Pruning is an advanced technique, so you’d want to read up on it first before trying it.

Autoflowering cannabis can be grown as a houseplant, just put her in the sunniest spot in your house and let her rip. This method of growing cannabis is best if you are just looking to grow and don’t have high expectations. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect something.

The most common (and easiest to use) grow medium is soil. Ideally, you should use well-composted organic soil rich with nutrients designed for growing cannabis and formulated for commercial cannabis specifically. A Pot for Pot’s Superb Soil is an excellent example of this. Superb Soil is what professional growers refer to as “hot soil.” This means it has a surplus of bioavailable organic nutrients that are alive and working for you!

Commercially – grown marijuana or those grown by seasoned growers are typically regular flowering marijuanas plants. More specifically, they are photoperiod cannabis. These, under the right growing conditions, are the giants of the pot world– with the potential to grow 16 feet (or taller) and harvest 10 pounds of dried pot off a single plant.

Alternatively, you could grow your cannabis plants outside. This option is less expensive because nature does most of the work, such as providing sunlight. And cannabis plants love the natural sunlight because it boosts their immune systems . There is no replacement for the sun. If you are just getting your feet wet, doing a combination of indoors and outdoors is a great way to start.

With marijuana, you want to use specific nutrients that help your plant thrive during the different stages of plant growth. Choose nutrients formulated for the particular medium you’re using – that doesn’t mean Miracle Grow. (Please don’t use Miracle Grow aka Miracle No-no) Certain nutrients will only work in hydroponic systems, while others work best with soil. There are even organic nutrients if you are so inclined!