How to Grow Cannabis Indoors
As people continue to realize the tremendous health benefits associated with marijuana, it is becoming progressively popular all over the world. As a matter of fact, Canada and some states in the United States are in the forefront to legalize marijuana, and many other countries are expected to follow suit. A few years ago, marijuana was misunderstood as a harmful narcotic, but things are changing and many people are realizing how health-promoting horticultural experience growing marijuana is.
Is it really possible to grow marijuana successfully at home? How can I get started? What equipment do I need? And what’s the most cost-effective space do I require? These are some of the questions that run through your mind when you hear about growing marijuana at home. If you’re interested in learning more about growing cannabis indoors, welcome to the marijuana growing community, and don’t let these questions discourage you. Actually, weed growing is simple with determination and right information and because we want you to enjoy the entire process, here is a step by step guide to cannabis growing indoors.
Successful growth of marijuana at homes starts with adequate preparation which is more than designating a grow space. Preparation entails choosing the most appropriate strain to use. The three most common cannabis strains are indica, hybrid, and sativa and you must understand that these strains are different, thrive in different growing environments, and require different nutrition and training methods for them to produce maximum yields.
Before spending your time, resources and energy, decide on the strain that can do well in your area as well as the available space. Just to give you an overview of what to expect, hybrid and indica plants tend to become bushy and provide fatter buds during harvesting. Sativa plants grow tall, are less bushy and during harvesting, they provide smaller buds. With that in mind, choose the best strain to start with and experience the joy that comes with growing marijuana at home.
2. Choosing genetics
Marijuana genetics is available in either seeds or clones. Seeds are perfect for first-time growers as they give you an opportunity to experience the entire marijuana growing experience. Besides, seeds are easy to grow and will make you a better weed grower. However, ensure that you choose high-quality seeds for maximum yields keeping in mind that the characteristics of the plants be it aroma, height, quality, or color depend on the seed. If looking forward to starting with indica plants, the seeds should be dark brown with a teardrop shape, hard, and must have darker tiger stripes. For sativa strain, the seeds are black, brown or tan mottling.
Alternatively, you can choose a donor plant, take few cuttings and grow them in your growing space. These are called clones and come with various advantages; they grow faster thus saving time, saves you money because there’s no need to buy seeds, and the features of the final products are the same or better in terms of aroma and taste and you can weigh the available options and start growing weed. If you want to be part of marijuana growing experience, choose seeds but if you want a quick turn-around, clones will be a perfect choice.
3. Designate marijuana grow space
After designing the strain and genetic to plant, it’s now the best time to choose a grow space. It doesn’t necessarily have to be full-size room as marijuana can excellently grow in a cabinet, corner of an unfinished room, a spare room or in a closet. Many people are preferring grow tents and you too can try them. They are convenient and given that they come in different sizes, you can find a perfect grow tent depending on the space available.
Grow tents come with openings for electric cables, they keep plant smell and bright light inside and have openings for fresh air to enter and used air to exit. If you want to become a successful cannabis grower, start small and aim high; it will be easy to monitor the plants, you’ll make a few mistakes, and the entire process will be cost-effective. Its worth to mention that growing cannabis indoors requires sanitation to keep the project tidy, neat, and free from potential contaminants and hazards. You can keep the growing space clean by wiping the areas surrounding the plant twice a week using a wet microfiber rag.
Most importantly, the designated space must be light-tight to avoid confusing your cannabis plants, and here are other key considerations that should be on your fingertips;
Stealth – Choose a secure place to ensure that your plants are safe from thieves and nosy neighbors
Convenience – Select a place where you can monitor the plants a few times a day with ease
Temperature and humidity considerations – The grow space should get fresh air from outside
4. Choosing your cannabis grow lights
Just like how light is important to outdoor plants, it is equally important to indoor plants and the light source you use in the grow room determines the quality and quantity of your harvest. Light is crucial in the survival of your cannabis plant as it serves as the primary source of energy. Basically, plants will get energy from the light you provide through photosynthesis and the light energy is converted to chemical energy and sugar such glucose is produced to provide food for your plants.
With the correct light setup, your cannabis plants will grow strong and healthy. However, if the lighting setup is poor, you’ll end up with thin and weak plants. If you want to enjoy cannabis growing experience, here are a few grow lights to consider;
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights
HID grow lights provide the best overall value on the basis of efficiency, cost, and ease of operation. There are two main HID lamps used although they depend on the stage of development your cannabis plants are in. For instance, High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps are excellent for the mature flowering stage, while Metal Halide (MH) lamps are mostly preferred during the vegetative growth.
Fluorescent grow lights
Besides being cost effective, Fluorescent grow lights are easy to use. Also, they don’t emit much heat thus eliminating the need to have an external ventilation system. However, they produce low yields but will be perfect for anyone looking forward to growing cannabis for the first time without using a lot of energy.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) grow lights
If the price was not a consideration, LED grow lights would definitely be the perfect choice for marijuana growers. They are efficient, create little heat, use little energy, and produce high-quality plants and maximum yields as they have more wavelengths across the light spectrum.
Induction grow lights
Induction grow lights date back in the 19th century when they were invented by Nikola Tesla. Besides being efficient, they last longer but they come with a hefty price tag.
5. Provide air to cannabis plants
For cannabis plants to grow strong and healthy, they require a steady flow of air and because you’re growing them indoors, it is your responsibility to provide a good flow of air across your grow room. If wondering how this is possible, you can have a portable fan on one side of the floor to bring in the fresh air, and fix an exhaust fan on the other side up to remove warm air. Monitor the temperature in the grow room with a wall thermometer to ensure that it’s 58-70 degrees Fahrenheit when the lights are off and 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit when the lights are on. If temperatures deviate from the expected range, raise them up using heaters or cool them down using air conditioners and this will ensure a constant breeze in your grow room.
6. Picking your control and monitoring
After choosing your preferred grow lights and climate control equipment, you’ll need to set up a self-monitoring system to control them, and an adjustable thermostat and 24-hour timer will do. An adjustable thermostat automatically controls the temperature in the grow room while the 24-hour timer controls the light. When blooming, marijuana plants require 12 hours of light in a day and 16-20 hours during vegetative growth, and the light/dark cycle should be uniform to minimize the risk of stressing the plants.
7. Choosing the cannabis grow medium
There are two media that cannabis plants thrive in; soilless (Hydroponics) and soil. For a starter, it is recommendable to use soil as it is simple and produces high yields. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the soil you use does not have artificial extended release fertilizers which are not good for cannabis plants. Super soil or rather organic pre-fertilized soil is a perfect choice as it will support your weed from start to finish and will not give you a reason to add nutrients.
8. Feeding your plants with nutrients
Cannabis plants require macronutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in large quantities and micronutrients like copper, calcium, magnesium, and iron in small quantities. If you want to look at your cannabis plants and smile, feed them with the right nutrient solutions at least once a week.
9. Water your cannabis plants
For cannabis plants to thrive, they require a constant supply of clean water that’s free from high amounts of dissolved minerals which can cause root disease and prevent water uptake.
10. Drying and curing
If you have followed all the above steps, you are now on the last step which is equally important and should be done with care. Dry your plants completely to remove moisture and reduce the risk of mold formation.
Many people who love marijuana would very much like to grow their own plants at home but they fear due to the perception that the process is tedious, expensive and time-consuming. However, with the right information, perseverance, and dedication, cannabis growing is simple and rewarding. We have made things easier for you and our step by step guide will get you started. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that for your plants to grow healthy, they require correct lighting, temperature, fresh air, grow medium, water, and nutrients. When you have these parameters on your fingertips, growing marijuana indoors will save you money, time, and you’ll have a consistent supply of fresh weed all year round.