Cannabis, or weed, has the ability to grow almost anywhere, be it under different climates or varying conditions. In fact, growing weed at home has a lot of pretty straightforward approaches, and one of the ways to do it is by using hydroponics.
The plants take in their required nutrition both from the water and the air, therefore, it’s necessary to maintain a perfect atmosphere in your hydroponic system.
If you have limited space, hydroponics can be a good option for you. Since hydroponic weed can be grown in your bedroom or inside a closet, space is less of an issue. Though with autoflowering cannabis and a quality soil grow kit , high quality weed can be grown naturally in very little space, and at less cost.
Growing Weed Using Hydroponics.
Hydroponic weed is the method of growing weed such that each plant grows in a flow or bath of water that is heavily oxygenated and highly enriched with beneficial nutrients . No soil is used in this process, and instead, the plant grows in a sterile, inert growing medium. All of the nutrients required for the weed to grow are mixed in a solution in the water in which the growth process takes place. This unique method of growing plants took birth over a century ago when it was created by William Frederick Gericke.
It’s only the availability of light that limits the plant’s density in a hydroponic growth room. Quicker maturity also leads to an overall higher yield. If ideal conditions are maintained, growers can even choose to harvest about four to five times a year.
The hydroponic method allows you to produce higher yields of weed from a particular plot size, which is a huge advantage when compared to soil-based cultivation when growing commercially. However, this yield increase is negligible when growing smaller, personal amounts of cannabis.
Want to grow pot indoors? Check out these grow pots for weed!
If you’re looking to grow your own cannabis plant, consider a Pot for Pot’s all natural complete soil growing kits .
There is one reason in particular why some consider growing weed hydroponically better than soil-grown weed. That reason is yield. Hydroponics, when done correctly, can yield about 20% more than soil grown weed. That’s why it’s the preferred option for commercially grown medical marijuana. Here are the several benefits of growing weed hydroponically:
The steps are as follows:
Of the reasons why hydroponic weed is sometimes preferred, one of the top-most is that it allows you to have weed of the highest quality, without having to wait for the most ideal environmental conditions for growing it outdoors.
This high quality is achieved because the hydroponic system makes complete use of water, nutrients, and the growing space efficiently.
As hydroponics allows you to grow weed indoors, you can have much more control over the environment than you would have outdoors.
Because of this, hydroponic marijuana can benefit patients with cancer and AIDS because a regular intake of chemically contaminated marijuana can cause several unwanted side-effects. Of course, you can also avoid harmful pesticides and other nasty stuff by growing weed at home , whether hydroponically or in soil.
More Control Outdoors.
In a hydroponic system, the plants don’t need to expend energy growing big root webs to absorb the nutrients. This is because they are set up so that they are able to consume all the nutrients directly.
It lets you supervise the factors that affect the growth and quality of the plant along with its yield. This can lead to the production of higher quality weed than plants grown normally. However, all that supervision and care creates more work and cost for the grower, and allows for more things to go wrong during the grow.
As you can tell, growing hydroponically can get complicated and expensive. That’s why we recommend growing with natural soil, especially for beginners.
Although initially it was meant for just vegetables and garden plants, it was soon realized that this is a smart method of growing weed / marijuana.
The word “hydroponics” is derived from Latin that literally translates to “water working”.
An under-watered marijuana plant looks droopy and weak, with yellow or brown leaves; there is no strength in the leaves and they look lifeless.
Keep in mind that as plants get bigger, they will need more water and need to be watered more frequently.
Roots are constantly on the hunt for water as they grow and stretch out. As a plant gets bigger, so should the watering radius—the area around the stalk of the plant that you water. Doing this will help guide roots to the edges of the pot as they seek available nutrients in soil.
How to tell if a cannabis plant needs watering.
Plants are ready to transplant when a healthy root structure encompasses most of the soil and the roots aren’t bound. When transplanting, take time to look at the quality of the roots: Bright white roots with a strong, thick structure is a sign plants are getting watered correctly.
To properly water a cannabis plant, it needs to be in the correct size container, or a big enough hole if it’s in the ground. If a pot is too big, the plant’s roots can’t drink water where they don’t reach. If the roots aren’t absorbing water, water will sit in soil and take a long time to evaporate, which can promote root rot and unwanted insects and fungus.
Flushing is an important part of the marijuana growing process, when you stop giving a marijuana plant nutrients and give it straight water. This is done to flush out nutrients that may have built up in a plant during its life.
A flush can also be done to clear plants of nutrients if they have a nutrient imbalance, such as nutrient lockout, when your plants are overloaded with nutrients and unable to absorb new ones.
Different growing mediums require different flushing timeframes before harvest:
Below are general estimates and are meant to give growers a rough sense of frequency of waterings; if a plant needs water and it falls outside of these ranges, water it.
Is your container the right size?
Flushing is done for about a week before harvest, at the end of a plant’s flowering stage when buds are almost ready to cut down.
The best ways to tell if a weed plant needs water is to:
There isn’t an exact science for watering a weed plant. You can’t observe the roots in most cases to see if they need water. Also, a plant is constantly growing and the climate it’s in will fluctuate, so the amount of water it needs constantly changes.
A common mistake first-time growers make is to overwater marijuana plants. A cycle of wet and dry is healthy and necessary for the roots of a plant to grow out and reach deeper into the soil.
What is flushing?
You want to water a plant enough to soak all the soil in the pot. Water should pool up on the surface of the soil when you’re watering, and come out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot after a couple seconds. If water sits on the surface of the soil, that means it’s too wet and doesn’t need more water.
The amount of water your marijuana plants need depends on a few factors:
Here are some tried-and-true tips to keep your weed plants healthy and properly hydrated.
Conversely, if a container is too small, the roots won’t be able to stretch out, which can stunt the growth of a plant. Less soil also meant you’ll need to water the plant all the time, which will add labor.
Watering too far away from the roots can create standing water, which can lead to root rot, mold, and pest issues.
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.
Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to smoke what you’ve grown. (It’ll be quicker if you start with a clone or an autoflower seed.)
You can make this yourself by combining worm castings, bat guano, and other components with a good soil and letting it sit for a few weeks, or it can be purchased pre-made from a local nursery or grow shop.
Plants need 18 hours of light a day when in the vegetative stage and 12 hours a day when flowering. The reduction in light from 18 to 12 hours a day is what triggers the flowering cycle—when weed plants start to grow buds.
Even in legal states, you may want to conceal your crop from judgmental neighbors and definitely from potential thieves. Growing indoors allows you to grow discreetly behind a locked door.
Check out our Guide on nutrients for more info.
Below is a list of things to consider and equipment you will need to purchase to get started growing marijuana indoors.
There are many different media to choose from, including good ol’ fashioned pots full of soil, rockwool cubes, a hydroponic tray, and more.
You’ll need a dedicated space for your marijuana plants—you won’t be able to move them around. Ideally, the space is next to a window so you can vent air from the grow space outside. Growing weed plants smell! Especially when flowering kicks in, you’ll want to redirect air so your house doesn’t reek of weed.
It’s a good idea to start small—the smaller the grow, the less expensive it is to set up. Newbie mistakes will be less costly if you only have a handful of plants. Additionally, most state laws only allow for growing six plants, but some allow up to 12.
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.
But the benefits are great: LEDs last much longer, use far less electricity, create less heat, and the best designs generate a fuller spectrum of light, which can get bigger yields and better quality.
You’ll need to ensure that temperatures remain within a comfortable range for your plants, between 70-85°F when lights are on and between 58-70°F when off. Some varieties of cannabis—generally indicas—prefer the colder side of the range, while others—typically sativas—are more tolerant of high temperatures.
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.
Inexpensive options include standard plastic pots or cloth bags, while some growers choose to spend more on “smart pots” or “air pots”—containers designed to enhance airflow to the plant’s root zone.
For the most part, weed prefers these temps at each growth stage for optimal health:
Different lights produce different colors of light. Here’s a brief rundown of the most popular types of cannabis grow lights used for indoor growing.
Terra cotta pots offer a unique set of benefits to growers in hot climates.