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Uncover secret of cannabis indoors
Despite popular belief, “how to grow weed indoors” is not a problem once you have the know-how. All you need to do is set aside some time everyday, identify a grow space and have the motivation to grow your own marijuana.
Cannabis, also known as weed, pot, marijuana, ganja, and more, is, in essence, the dried and cured buds of a female cannabis plant. This is the definition of marijuana. These buds can be used as recreational drugs, for medicinal purposes, edible items, and more.
The discussion over whether or not marijuana is legal varies in different countries throughout the world. Many are for marijuana legalization and have created organizations aimed at fighting for this cause.
In wanting to set up your own marijuana dispensary, you need to be aware of the effects marijuana can have on a person consuming it, particularly the effect on the brain.
The mere fact that you are reading this article, however, implies that you are aware, so let’s get right down to it. The following are some great reasons why growing weed indoors makes a whole lot of sense:
· Saves time and money
· Health reasons, i.e.: using marijuana for medical purposes
· Covert; it remains your secret
· Your own safety, i.e.: no need to deal with dodgy drug dealers anymore
· Continuous supply
· Best quality and choice of strains
Before starting: Growing Cannabis Indoor versus Outdoor
Amongst those interested in the topic of growing weed, the growing indoors versus outdoors debate is paramount.
In this article we explore growing marijuana indoors as well as the many advantages it holds over the outdoor alternative. This includes being in complete control of the environmental conditions – refer to ‘Set Up’ below.
The cannabis’ lifestyle in the wild follows the following process:
1. Seeds begin to grow in Spring
2. Cannabis grows during the Summer
3. As the days start getting shorter, the cannabis begins to flower
4. Pollination takes place
5. Female plants generate seeds
6. Cannabis dies in the Winter
Each of these cycles can be controlled and adjusted when growing marijuana indoors. Furthermore, you are guarded against the risk of your precious cannabis being stolen or discovered by authorities.
Trust us, growing weed indoors is the only way to go!
Browse by Table of Contents: Click any of the links below to free jump to each chapter.
When deciding to grow marijuana indoors, setting up the right space and environmental conditions within your budget is probably the most important part of the process. In the incorrect set up, growing cannabis indoors is bound to be a flop. So make sure you pay close attention to the following:
Naturally, the amount of space available to grow marijuana indoors depends heavily on your current living arrangements. Your current circumstance will determine the specific amount of space you have indoors to grow weed or, outside in an area shielded from the weather.
Considering the amount of space you will need depends on the following factors:
· How many weed plants you wish to grow?
From the get-go, it’s best to have a general idea of how many plants you wish to be growing at one time. There are various ways and means to make the plants go faster in order to make the rotations quicker. But, it’s important to know how much marijuana you are hoping to produce per rotation.
· What size you want your containers to be.
For example, if you have a limited amount of space, you could opt to grow several cannabis plants in smaller containers. While you may end up producing less weed per plant, your overall production will be greater.
Should this be the case, you could look into making use of the Sea of Green (SoG) method which forces the plants to flower at a young age. Alternatively, you could employ the Screen of Green (SCRoG) method which forces lower growing buds of your marijuana plants to the plants’ canopy through light optimization.
Read more about these two methods in the Growing Process section below.
· How long you plan on allowing your plants to veg
As long as you are consistent in exposing your weed to 18 to 24 hours of light per day, your plants will continue to grow larger. If, however, you don’t have a big enough space, you may need to opt for smaller plants exposed to approximately 12 hours of light a day in order to encourage flowering early on. Refer to the mention of the SoG method above. Should this be the case, be sure to look into marijuana strains that create short stealth plants.
· What types of seeds you are wanting to plant
As will be mentioned later on in this article, there are various types of seeds available for marijuana. For example, Leggy Sativa’s and Hazes are known to take up a lot of space, while a short, squat Indica is better suited to small spaces.
Should you have a room with a lot of space vertically but not horizontally, a tall Sativa with minimal branches may work. Make sure you do a sufficient amount of research on the type of marijuana seeds that best suit your situation.
Should you have the luxury of owning two individual spaces available for growing marijuana, you could maintain a continuous supply by keeping the plants in vegetative and flowering stages at the same time.
As you can see, the options regarding space for indoor weed growing are endless. It just comes down to finding the perfect method for you.
Boxes versus Tents
In the event that you are simply unable to uncover enough space in the form of a room or two to dedicate to growing marijuana, but you are still determined to do so, you are not yet out of luck.
You can look into buying a grow box or tent. These can accommodate the growing of between one to up to 30 plants.
A superior grow tent is light proof, includes reflective walls, contains built-in ventilation, a place to hang lights, and waterproof flooring. Grow tents are cost-effective and easy to set up and grow your plants in. It’s also compact and keeps your growing space neat and tidy.
Furthermore, the majority of grow boxes available come fully equipped with lights and hydroponic systems already set up.
Finally, the select few include several different chambers, aimed at achieving various stages of growing simultaneously, resulting in a continuous supply of weed. As mentioned, there are various types of grow boxes and tents including the Gorilla Tent, Stealth Grow Box, PC Grow Box, and more. So, be sure to do your research!
Obtaining the correct temperature and combination of air aimed at reaching the perfect growing medium for your marijuana is essential. The last thing you want is for your plants to be too hot or too cold resulting in them either drooping or losing their colour. In fact, a cold, humid consistency is ideal for rapid, quality growing.
The ideal temperatures for growing weed are between 70°F and 83°F (21.1°C and 28.3°C), with a decrease of 10-15°F during the night. Marijuana plants will, however, tolerate anything between 60°F and 92°F (17°C and 33°C).
Just like with any plants, cannabis plants require an ample supply of fresh air for peak growing. Therefore, ventilation within your weed growing space is important.
An alternative often used is the addition of carbon dioxide into your growing space in order to improve the output. This can, however, be a costly exercise.
Another reason why the existence of sufficient ventilation in your growing room is important is in order to control the odour released by the marijuana. These odours can vary depending on the particular strain of weed being grown.
For example, the original Skunk is particularly smelly. In order to keep the odour under control, and away from neighbours and / or authorities, you will need to make use of carbon filters, ionizers, or ozone generators.
Do some research to identify which one suits you and your growing room best. Lastly, remember to wash yourself and your clothes after being amongst your marijuana.
Hydroponic Versus Soil
For those new to growing marijuana, hydroponics involves the growing of plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.
Many within the cannabis community are under the impression that in order to grow weed indoors, you have to make use of a hydroponic system. This, however, is not the case. You can easily grow weed indoors using a container filled with soil or quality compost. See below the pros and cons of both:
No matter what plant you’re growing, soil is widely understood as the best, easiest method with which to grow it in. It already contains all the nutrients your plant needs and is easy to maintain.
|Most basic growing system i.e.: perfect for beginners.||Favourable environment for harmful pathogens to be introduced. Mould spores and parasite eggs are near to impossible to find in soil.|
|Environmentally responsible as it saves water.||Can result in a messy growing room|
|Contains greater taste than hydroponic grown marijuana|
To grow cannabis in soil, follow the following guidelines:
· No “extended release” / “slow release” nutrients, i.e.: Miracle Gro
· Should you make use of regular, high-quality potting soil for normal plants, you can add specially-made soil nutrients during the flowering stage in order to ensure your cannabis gets all the nutrients it needs to develop great quality buds
· A quality soil mixture usually contains the following ingredients: coco fiber, perlite, compost, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish meal, crab meal, bone meal, blood meal, kelp meal, peat moss, pumise, composted forest humus, humic acid, sandy loam, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, rock dust, Mycorrhizea fungi, etc.
As mentioned above, hydroponic growing involves growing plants without soil. Using this method, plants receive their nutrients as simple inorganic ions dissolved in water.
|Gives you the ability to control the all nutrients your plants take in. This means you can adjust the nutrients based on the specific strain you are growing or the stage at which you are growing.||Can be costly to enforce|
|Lower risk of disease as no pathogens exist in water||Requires some technique / experience|
|Growers who have tried both admit to hydroponic systems producing a higher output of marijuana stocks|
|Growing process is faster than soil alternative|
Hydroponics is, however, more than simply dissolving nutrients in water. Your cannabis needs air to grow as well, which is where it can get complicated.
Within a hydroponic system, therefore, you will need to make use of a growing medium that encompasses air, such as: Rockwool, perlite, clay pellets, and / or coco fiber. You can make your own mix for cannabis that includes 50-70% coco coir (made from the husks of coconuts) and 30-50% perlite (creates space for drainage).
When making use of a hydroponic system, your aim is to develop healthy roots as, should this be achieved, you will no doubt have healthy buds.
There are various different types of systems including the wick method consisting of no pumps as well as the more involved Aeroponics method, complete with misting emitters. See these and more below:
1. Aeroponics: the roots of the plant are contained in a dark box, filled with water, with tiny nozzles producing a fine mist of nutrients over them. This results in a humid, oxygenated environment perfect for the roots to grow without drowning.
2. Continuous Flow / Top Feed System: a popular DIY hydroponics system, the Continuous Flow method makes use of a simple PVC pipe with holes in. The cannabis is grown through the holes with the nutrient-filled water continuously running through the pipe.
3. Deep Water Culture (DWC): the roots of the plant are placed in the water nutrient mixture. In order to provide the required oxygen levels, an air stone is added to oxygenate the mixture.
4. Drip Irrigation: involves tiny emitters dripping water filled with nutrients directly onto the roots placed in a pot. Both environmentally responsible and effective, this method provides the plant with the perfect amount of both nutrients and air.
5. Ebb and Flow: marijuana plants are placed in a tray hovering over a pool of water filled with nutrients. The nutrient water flows into the tray, providing the roots with their necessary intake of nutrients, and then flows back into the pool below.
6. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT): similar to the method mentioned above, the NFT method also makes use of a tray of including the plants’ roots above a pool of nutrient-filled water. The tray is, however, tilted resulting in a thin film of liquid consistently flowing past the roots. Being one of the most popular methods used by beginner indoor growers, we have included more details on what is required for the setup of this method below:
|a.LED full spectrum lights of around 50 to 250 Watts or high pressure sodium lamp of around 400 to 600 Watts.|
|b. Constant fan or ventilation system in the case of a sodium lamp.|
|c. Seedlings in pots on tray in chosen growing medium. The most common mixture used here includes half potting compost and half perlite. Make sure the pots don’t sit in the solution but are raised to allow drainage. Alternatively. you could make use of a NFT tank complete with pump spreader mat and Rockwool cubes.|
|d.24 hour timer to regulate light cycles. An added tip is to use this in conjunction with a high-powered switch or relay switch to avoid burn out.|
|e. A pH tester to ensure water and nutrient solutions maintain a pH level of between 6.0 to 7.0.|
|f. Nutrients for both the vegetative and flowering stages.|
|g. Matt white paint or white plastic to cover the walls of the growing space to ensure light is properly reflected back onto the plants.|
|h. You may also need the following: measuring bucket and jug. big syringe and pea netting or string to support top heavy plants. A Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter is also beneficial to check nutrient solution.|
7. Wick System: weed plants are placed in pots including a growing medium. A dense wick of cotton runs from the pot to a pool of nutrient-filled water below. The plants’ roots then pull up their required nutrients through capillary movement.
When making use of the hydroponic system for growing marijuana indoors, you will need to manually introduce nutrients as opposed to the soil methods where nutrients are already included.
Growers making use of the former method usually buy these nutrients from a hydroponics store or through the internet. As with most plants, cannabis requires the following nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and several trace nutrients.
When purchasing these nutrients, keep a lookout for the amounts in this order, for example, 10-5-5 means 10 parts nitrogen to 5 parts of phosphorus and 5 parts of potassium.
Unlike other plants, cannabis plants grow rapidly in a short amount of time and therefore require a lot of energy from light in order to grow and produce buds.
While young marijuana plants may be able to grow from the light provided through sunny windows, older plants won’t produce more than a few flimsy hairs during the flowering stage.
Hence why the use of artificial light when growing weed indoors is so important. There are various different kinds of grow lights that can be used when growing marijuana indoors yet, the following three, are the most popular.
The first two, LED and HID grow lights are the more powerful out of three. It should be noted that while the more powerful the light, the further away it should be kept from your cannabis, the greater area it will also be able to cover.
These lights (as indicative by the name) cover the full spectrum of light consumed by growing plants which is why they are the ones we recommend for use over the rest.
Within this spectrum, there are peaks during photosynthesis. The trick, therefore, is to align the spectrum of individual LEDs to correspond to these peaks. If this is the case, nearly all light produced will be used by the plant.
This results in an environmentally responsible environment, high produce, and low cost. Although LED lights can be expensive initially, they work out more cost-effective in the long run. LEDs also don’t release energy as heat removing the risk of burning your cannabis.
2. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights
Normally, you will require two different types of these lights for growing marijuana indoors:
· Metal Halide (MH): Ideal for vegetative stage of growing as they contain a mainly green and blue spectrum light
· High Pressure Sodium (HPS): These lights can be used throughout the growth cycle, but are ideal during the flowering stage due to their high levels of red and yellow light
While HID lights are less expensive, they do produce heat so need to be placed in a well-ventilated area. They should also be lifted as the plants grow to avoid burning the tops of the marijuana leaves.
3. CFLs and Other Flourescent Grow Lights
CFLs and Flourescent lights use low amounts of electricity and are perfect for growing clones or young marijuana plants. These lights are often used during the vegetative stage. While they are not usually considered powerful enough for the flowering stage, they can be used to grow marijuana from seeds to harvest if the plants are trained to grow short and bushy. They won’t, however, result in a large output and do generate heat.
The main cost associated with growing weed indoors is the increased cost of electricity due to the lighting requirements. Despite the increased cost in electricity, however, it still works out cheaper, overall, to produce your own marijuana than having to constantly purchase it.
To give you an idea, growing cannabis indoors in a normal set up can result in an increased electricity bill of approximately $100 per month. This includes a 600W light, carbon filter, AC unit and a powerful fan.
This, however, would also produce more than a pound of buds more than twice a year, which averages out at around 3 ounces (85 grams) each month for just $100. When you actually do the math, it’s not so bad.
For an ideal indoor set up, you’re looking at spending around $800 to $1500 to grow a few plants. This includes a grow tent, grow light, fan, and growing supplies. A cheaper alternative is to make use of a Space Bucket, which will produce an ounce or so of marijuana and will only cost approximately $100 to set up.
Once your growing area is set up and ready to go, it’s time to bring in the actual plant.
Bear in mind that once you’ve started growing your cannabis, it takes around three months before it will be ready for harvesting and another one month to be dried and cured.
So take note that it will be approximately four months from when you start growing your own weed indoors before you can actually consume it.
While we recommend starting with your own seeds, should you have access to quality clones, that is an option as well. Starting with a clone will give you a head start of a couple of weeks to a month as the plant would have already started growing.
Be sure not to expose the new plant to too much light or nutrients. Moving to a new environment can be stressful so take things slow and check on your clone regularly initially.
When it comes to clones, be sure to look into exactly what you are getting, as genetics will ultimately determine the size and quality of your marijuana stocks. Just like with animals, the end result of your cannabis will be according to the traits provided from its parents.
As a starting point, make sure you can identify a Sativa from an Indica strain. These are the two most popular strains along with Hybrid, which is a mix between the two. Most likely, the majority of the strains you encounter will be some sort of Hybrid.
See a more detailed breakdown of these below:
· Indica: cause a body high and are shorter and bushier than Sativa plants with thicker, rounder leaves.
· Sativa: cause more of a mental high. Grow bigger and need more light than Indica plants. They also take longer to mature and long, thin leaves.
· Hybrid: often bred to carry the best traits of both Indica and Sativa.
The next step will be to decide whether you would like to grow Regular, Feminized, or Auto–Flowering strains. Read more about these various types below:
· Regular: known to be the type that produces the highest output of marijuana. These include males and females. Growers will need to remove the male plants from the crop as soon as possible so as not to allow contamination of the female plants.
· Feminized: a good seed to start with if you are new to growing weed indoors. These seeds have been chemically treated to ensure they grow to be females. Most growers are only interested in the female plants as these are the only ones that produce buds. Buying Feminized seeds removes the task of having to sort through your plants and get rid of the males.
· Auto-Flowering (Ruderalis-Based): the perfect choice for indoor growing as these seeds are not reliant on light. They are bound to flower at some point despite the amount of light they have taken in. Furthermore, they are usually smaller in size and faster growing than regular strains. Lastly, with Auto-Flowering seeds, you are able to maintain vegging and flowering plants within the same space.
Growers looking for seeds are able to purchase them through the Internet or reliable companies known as seed banks, who ship seeds all over the world.
Once having purchased your seeds, you can keep them in the fridge until planting, but it is advised not to freeze them. Seeds kept in a cool, dry place are likely to last for 5 years or more!
Below are a list of the most reliable seed banks with the best service, high quality seeds, subtle packaging and quick delivery.
1. Herbies: providing over 2500 different strains of marijuana, Herbies is located in the UK but deliver across the world with great service.
2. Bonza Seeds: provide free, subtle, tracked deliveries worldwide with no signature requirement and a delivery guarantee.
3. Marijuana-Seeds.nl: also found in the UK, they don’t provide branded strains of marijuana including Green House, Barneys, and Sensi, but they do supply great quality white label seeds such as Big Bud and White Widow. They are quick to deliver, across the world, and also provide excellent service.
4. Cannabis-Seeds-Store: another store in the UK, the Cannabis-Seeds-Store supplies weed strains such as Super Cheese Feminized and Green House Seeds Jack Herer Feminized. They are contactable via telephone and offer the best prices, guaranteed.
5. GreenHouse Seeds: having been awarded with over 32 Cannabis Cup Awards, GreenHouse Seeds is officially one of biggest and best seedbanks out there. They also founded and continue to motivate the StrainHunters Series.
Now it’s time to start (officially) growing your cannabis! The ideal scenario for growing weed indoors is to place your seeds into some Rockwool. They will then grow into a cube, which can be placed into your growing medium.
Once this has taken place, the seeds will grow through the Rockwell and into the substrate underneath. Alternatively, you can initiate germination by putting seeds in a moist paper towel.
The next stage, once your seeds have germinated is vegetation. In this stage, your weed plants will grow stems and leaves.
With the majority of cannabis strains, you can prolong this stage for as long as you would like as long as you provide 18-24 hours of light per day. This is where you can control whether you would like to produce small or large plants. It’s also the point at which you would introduce the SoG method.
Should you wish to create a mother plant for the purpose of cloning, this plant will need to remain in the vegetative state continuously. Below are some requirements to keep in mind for marijuana in the vegetative stage:
· They require additional blue and green spectrum light
· Ideal humidity is between 45-55%
· Ideal temperatures are between 75-80°F
Should you be growing regular seeds, keep a lookout for male pre-flowers between 10 to 14 days.
As soon as you make the transition to providing 12 hours of light and then reverting to 12 hours of darkness, your weed plants will enter into the flowering stage. Depending on the strain of marijuana, this stage can last between 7 to 16 weeks.
Below are some requirements to keep in mind for marijuana in the flowering stage:
· They require additional red spectrum light
· Initially, they require increased Nitrogen
· Towards the end of the stage, they require less nitrogen and increased Phosphorus
· Somewhat less humidity than in the vegetative stage
Ideal flowering conditions depend heavily on the specific strain of marijuana you are growing. For example, thick, tight bud strains require less humidity while other strains are prone to nutrient burn resulting from being fed too many nutrients. Be sure to do research into your particular strain to identify the ideal flowering conditions required to produce the best result.
Harvesting & Curing
The end is near… Below are steps to producing the end product:
1. Identify the Right Time to Harvest
This is very important. You don’t want to begin harvesting too early or too late and ruin the quality of your marijuana stocks. Be sure to make use of a magnifying glass to know for sure when it’s time. You will need to study the colour of the trichomes (small hairs on the plant) in order to identify whether each plant is close to harvest time or not.
2. Cut the Weed
Now it gets easier. You can choose to cut the main stem, individual branches, or dig up the entire plant. Cutting the cannabis up into smaller pieces is preferential for drying purposes.
3. Hang to Dry
Like biltong, marijuana needs to be hung upside down to dry in a well-ventilated room. The drying stage can last anywhere between days to weeks depending on the degree of ventilation, temperature, and humidity of the space in which the cannabis is being hung. When the stems crack when bent, it’s ready to progress to the next stage.
4. Trim the Branches
The way in which you wish to trim your dried weed depends largely on personal preference. As a tip, however, don’t get rid of the leaves as these can be smoked or turned into hash or food.
5. Curing the Buds
While your buds at this stage, after being dried and trimmed, are able to be smoked, they will come out even better if cured. To do this, place the buds in an air-tight glass jar. Open the jar to air for 15 minutes twice a day. Do this for approximately a month and you’ll have the ideal buds ready to be smoked.
The following are two growing methods mentioned earlier on in this piece that technically fall under the topic of training your weed plants. While these are aimed at more experienced growers, keen beginners are welcome to learn.
Sea of Green (SoG)
The Sea of Green (SoG) method is considered a natural method employed to keep plants short. When making use of the SoG method, you can decide how many plants you would like to include and what size you would like to grow them to before entering flowering stage. It’s important to remember that your plants will still grow in the flowering stage so bear that in mind when determing your maximum height in the vegetative stage. The SoG method is popular with those making use of the auto-flowering strains of marijuana. Unlike many other training methods, the SoG method makes use of many small plants as opposed to a few big cannabis plants.
Screen of Green (SCRoG)
The Screen of Green (SCRoG) method makes use of a net or wire mesh covering the marijuana plants which controls the height of the plants in order to result in a preferred shape when the plant enters the flowering stage. It is important to note that you should only make use of the SCRoG method if you are certain that all your plants are female. When making use of this method, it is recommended to use a type of screen that will be easy to remove once the plants have grown into it. Below are some examples of the preferred material to employ:
· String: the easiest option by far as you can simply cut it when you no longer require the screen
· Twine / Hemp cord: also easy to cut, but can result in fraying
· Plastic fencing: can appear sloppy
· Chicken wire / Fishing line: not ideal as the plants get caught up in it and it can end up ruining your cannabic crop when it comes time to remove the screen
When making use of the SCRoG method, be prepared to set aside at least an hour or two per day to sit and prune and rearrange your plants.
How to Grow Weed:TIPS AND ADVICE
1. One of the most common mistakes made my beginner indoor weed growers is lack of research. For example, you may try use Miracle-Gro to quicken the rate at which your cannabis is growing which will only end up harming your plant due to the fact that it does not contain the correct ratio of nutrients needed to grow healthy marijuana.
2. Another common mistake made by beginners is the urge to want to skip crucial steps in the growing process to get to the harvesting. By doing this, however, you run the risk of ruining your entire crop and having no harvest at all. We would suggest enduring through the entire process of harvesting your first plant before trying any new (although probably already done) experiments.
3. When purchasing seeds, good quality ones are dark-coloured and hard. If you come across marijuana seeds that are small and white, they have not yet matured and won’t germinate.
4. Below is a guide relating to what size container to use depending on the desired amount of cannabis you wish to produce:
· 12” = 2-3 gallon container
· 24” = 3-5 gallon container
· 36” = 5-7gallon container
· 48” = 6-10 gallon container
· 60” = 8-10+ gallon container
5. The following are some things to look out for when growing your first crop of cannabis:
· Odd colouring or spotting on the leaves
· Leaves falling off, curling, or dying
· Rotten or bad smell
· Signs of mould on buds or leaves
· Very slow growth
· “Stretching”, i.e.: when your plant grows very tall with lots of space between the nodes
· Signs of bugs including mucus trails, eggs, spots, etc.