Induction lamps are an odd choice for indoor growers. However, some companies have recently adapted them for the cannabis industry. They can potentially represent decent value in terms of cost and efficiency.
Light is essential for the growing process. Your plants receive direct light the majority of the time. Be direct here: eg. plants need 12 hours of continuous, uninterrupted darkness to flower and eventually produce buds.
You must also operate within the boundaries of the law before getting started. Growing marijuana remains illegal in many U.S. states. Make sure home cultivation is allowed where you live before proceeding. Assuming you are legally able to continue, keep reading our detailed guide to growing cannabis indoors.
LED grow lights.
Like most living things, cannabis plants need their “rest time.” If light from a surrounding source is seeping in during dark hours, the (bud-producing) females could get confused and develop hermaphroditic characteristics.
As a potential first-time grower, getting started is the biggest roadblock you’ll likely face. First, you have to find the right place to cultivate and obtain the proper growing equipment. Then, you need to buy cannabis seeds and spend a lot of time checking and maintaining your crop.
The frequency of watering and the amount you give is determined by a few obvious things. These include the size of the plant, the stage of development, and the rate of photosynthesis (how fast it’s growing). However, there’s no exact science when deciding how much water to give and how often.
DIY indoor growers are unable to perform a 24/7 watch over their plants. However, you can provide adequate care by setting aside a few minutes a day. Routine checks, such as ensuring things like temperature, humidity, pH, and water levels are correct, are essential.
When cultivating cannabis indoors, there are two viable options: Growing in traditional soil or a hydroponic tray. Soil is typically recommended if you’re growing indoors for the first time. It’s cheaper, more straightforward, and more forgiving than an advanced hydroponic system. Let’s take a closer look at each of the two options.
While this is true to an extent, there is such a thing as “too much water.” Overwatering your indoor cannabis plants can prove detrimental to their productivity, and potentially stunt or kill them!
3 – Keep Your Grow Space as “Light-Sealed” as Possible.
Make sure there are holes drilled into your growing container so the water can drain out. When watering, try, and only moisten the soil rather than saturating it. This allows you to fully saturate the pot without overwatering. Try not to water until they’re almost dry. This is called cycling.
Lastly, some strains indeed require more calcium than others to produce robust, healthy nugs. Perform a little research on the particular strain you are growing. This process enables you to become more familiar with the kind of “food” it needs and prefers the most.
The 24-hour timer is just as important. When the marijuana plants are in vegetative growth, you need the light supply on for around 16-24 hours per day. Once they mature and reach the flowering stage, your plants need 12 hours light and 12 hours dark.
It’s very important to grow your cannabis plants to a size suitable to your space and likewise to the container you choose. You will need to transplant every time your plants double to triple their size. Small cups or 4-6” pots are good for starts.
Step 1: Choose the Perfect Cannabis Grow Room.
Soil is less expensive, easier, and offers a higher margin of error. However, you need to carefully select the soil you use because quality can vary enormously.
Think about how big you ultimately want to grow your plants when deciding on pot size for their final home. I suggest one-gallon of soil for every foot tall you intend to grow them. Regardless, plants don’t like waterlogged conditions so perforate the bottom of the bucket so the water can drain as needed.
Harvesting hemp and cannabis is a lovely experience. It is one we recommend to any weed lover who has a passion for all aspects of the plant. You learn so much about cannabis and botany/biology in general. Most growers believe they learn something new with every harvest.
There’s no doubt a bit of a learning curve involved. You’ll make your fair share of mistakes. However, trust us when we say it’s all worth it in the end.
A common assumption amongst rookie plant growers is that the more you water, the better.
For a root system to develop and thrive, they will need the following:
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.
If your space is too humid, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier—also known as “dehueys.” However, keep in mind that while dehueys will reduce humidity, they typically increase temperature—you may need more fans or an AC when adding a dehumidifier.
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.
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.
Traditional plastic containers.
Here are some ways to mitigate odor when growing weed indoors.
While shopping for soil, you might be overwhelmed by the options available at your local garden store. The soil type is the basic structure of your soil. From there, look at nutrients, microorganisms, and other amendments that improve the soil. Your choices will be flooded with words like:
These are just some examples of amendments commonly used in different types of soils. Heavily amended soils will have long lists that break down all organic nutrients they contain. Some companies create soils that offer a great structure with base nutrients, but allow you to fill in the gaps as you desire.
Most dehumidifiers and ACs have built-in thermostats, but if they don’t, you’ll want to buy an external one.
Your cannabis wants a safe, healthy place for root development. Without healthy roots, your cannabis will never thrive. Roots are in charge of water retention, nutrient absorption, anchoring the plant, and they also facilitate vegetative growth.
You can also use a timer for your fans, but a thermostat is better—you can set it to a specific temperature, and the fans will turn on when it’s too hot and turn off when it’s too cold.
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.
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.
Make sure all equipment is on, no breakers have flipped, and everything is running smoothly. Check lights, timers, fans, dehueys, ACs, and anything else that plugs into the wall or has a battery.
You can let your plants get as big as you want, and can control when they flower and when you harvest, and you can start another batch right away or whenever you want. You can grow any time of year, even straight through winter or summer, and you’ll get consistent crops each time.
Setting up fans.
Standard plastic containers are a popular option for growers operating on a budget. These pots are inexpensive and provide the essentials for your plants.
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.
The two main types of HID lamp used for growing are:
For growers who have a little extra money to spend and want full control over their indoor garden, environmental controllers will allow you to automate the process. These devices are essential for if you’re away from the garden for a long period of time.
For most first-time gardeners, we recommend buying a quality potting soil that will provide your plants with enough nutrients to get them through most of their growth cycle without having to add many amendments or liquid nutrients. This pre-fertilized soil—often referred to as “super-soil”—that can grow cannabis plants from start to finish without any added nutrients if used correctly.
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.
Fluorescent light fixtures, particularly those using high-output T5 bulbs, are quite popular with small-scale cannabis growers because:
Dehumidifiers and ACs.
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.
Inevitably, there will be fluctuations of temperature and humidity in your cannabis garden. These fluctuations can occur both throughout a grow space as well as within pockets inside a given room. They can also occur at different points within a given day or throughout a season as conditions change in the environment outside your grow space.
The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flower.
There are many different media to choose from, including good ol’ fashioned pots full of soil, rockwool cubes, a hydroponic tray, and more.
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.
Check out our buying guide on indoor lights for more info.
If you can’t afford both MH and HPS bulbs, start with HPS as they deliver more light per watt. Magnetic ballasts are cheaper than digital ballasts, but run hotter, are less efficient, and harder on your bulbs. Digital ballasts are generally a better option, but are more expensive. Beware of cheap digital ballasts, as they are often not well shielded and can create electromagnetic interference that will affect radio and WiFi signals.
You’ll also want to take this time to check over your weed plants for pests, mold, or nutrient deficiencies.
The first thing you need is a space in which to grow. This space can take any number of forms.
If not, you’ll need to get your hands on some seeds or clones in order to grow a cannabis plant (imagine that!)
To grow weed indoors, you’ll want an enclosed space that allows you to control the environment and also to keep out prying eyes and other pests (even if it is legal, the fewer people who know you are growing, the better; theft is unfortunately all too common).
Seeds Or Clones.
You best bet for soil is to go with a brand that has been used by cannabis growers for decades, like Fox Farm. Their Ocean Forest Potting Soil is full of nutrients that marijuana plants need.
You space will need access to power and ventilation, and the walls will ideally be covered in Mylar or some other reflective material.
So why then does it seem so complicated to grow marijuana?
In terms of how much light to get, a good rule of thumb is to get a minimum of 50 watts of lighting power per square foot of canopy. Better, shoot for 65 watts.
There are two seed banks we recommend. The first one is our favorite place to buy weed seeds, but they only ship to the US and Australia. The second ships worldwide.
In a small grow tent, the whole area of the tent will likely be taken up by your plants. In a large grow tent or other grow space, part of the area will be taken up by plants and part will be aisles for you to get in and tend to those plants.
Indoor Grow Room Checklist (Items Needed For Growing Weed Indoors)
It is a detailed 70-page guide that guides you through the whole process. It will answer any questions about growing you may have and also a lot of questions you didn’t even realize you had.
We are trying to maximize our yields, both in terms of size and in terms of potency.
Nowadays, I recommend everyone use LED grow lights, no matter the size of the grow.
This pH meter is inexpensive and works great. The General Hydroponics set of pH-up and pH down solutions is ideal for adjusting the pH levels to maintain balance.
A Suitable Space.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, I’d save money on the tent and stick to a budget brand. They work just fine.
It’s even better if that guide is free.
Why are there so many things to think about and why do I need so much equipment?
You can also use ventilation to adjust the environment inside the tent, but only if the environment outside is suitable. For example, if you want to lower the temperature inside your grow room, but the temperature outside is even higher, then ventilation will solve nothing.
Once the plant has reached the desired size, keep it in that pot. Weed grows incredibly large, if you give it a large enough pot. For “normal” sized plants, you’ll want to end up in a 3 or a 5 gallon pot. Smart pots should be at least 5 gallons and always twice as large as regular pots.