A simple, step-by-step guide to easily grow quality cannabis indoors.
Growing cannabis indoors seems to be the next cultivation craze to capture the world. Many people are spending hours in front of computer screens searching on Google for guides on how to grow cannabis indoors.
As experts, we have decided to compile this informative guide. In the guide, we have included requirements such as grow lights, growing space, ventilation systems, and others. Also, we have added information on choosing the best medium, transplanting, and harvesting.
Let’s get started.
Step One – How much growing space is appropriate?
Planning on growing cannabis indoors? Space is an important factor to consider. Without space, growing cannabis indoors is impossible. As an aspiring cannabis grower, one option is using a growing tent. This is a small enclosure designed for growing two to five plants. It can be set up anywhere in the house.
Planning on growing more than 10 plants? A standard room such as an empty basement should suffice.
So, if a spare bedroom is also available in, use it as a growing area. Remember to check for the following dimensions. The height of the ceiling from the ground should be between 8 to 12 feet. This allows proper air circulation and enough space for installing grow lights.
Other options for beginners include a closet, cabinet or tent among others.
Before growing the plants, clean the room first. Remove any carpets or rugs from the floor. These promote mold and mildew growth especially when damp.
Step Two – Which strain is the best?
Selecting a strain is the second step in our informative guide on how to grow cannabis indoors. There are three types of strains:
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis sativa
As a beginner, learning the differences between the strains above can help in making the best decision. For cannabis indica and hybrids, they are bushier. Also, they yield fatter buds when it comes to harvesting.
For cannabis sativa, the plant grows very tall but unlike the other two strains, it yields smaller buds. To maximize yields, research and learn more about the conditions required to grow the plants. Also, take the time to learn the nutrition requirements and training methods.
Here is a little information to get started.
For bushier strains, they need a good amount of darkness and short periods of lights. Tall strains need longer periods of light and shorter periods of darkness.
Step Three – Which is the best – Seeds or Clones?
As a grower, choosing strains is more than learning the differences between cannabis plants. The practical part of it is learning how to select the right strains using seeds or clones. Let’s start with seeds.
Seeds are perfect for beginners. How? For starters, they are the source of all genetics. If a grower wants to create his or her own strain, seeds are perfect. This is because they are necessary for breeding. To become a better grower, start with seeds.
The time taken – from planting to harvesting – make one a better grower.
Also, growing from seeds results in stronger plants.
When it comes to clones, they allow for a quick turnaround but unlike seeds, clones can help determine the strain and sex of the plant. Also, time is not wasted with clones because there is no popping of seeds.
If the seeds are popped in the wrong way, one ends up with the wrong plant. Imagine popping the seeds wrongly and instead of a mixture of female and male plants, one has male or female plants only.
To prevent this, take your time when deciding between seeds and clones.
Step Four – What is the preferred medium – soil or hydroponics
Like any other plant, cannabis also requires a medium. The best medium provides support to the plants. Also, it provides the much-needed nutrients essential for growth. There are two popular growing mediums:
The soil is the most popular growing medium. Not only is it readily available but it is able to hold the required nutrients for longer. Also, it is the easiest to use. As a result, the soil is best for beginners. As an all-purpose medium, a mixture of two or more creates a super soil. By so doing, vital nutrients are added making it easy to grow cannabis.
The soil has a few cons though. For starters, it takes longer for plants to grow unlike in hydroponics. While soil is able to hold nutrients for a longer period, plants take longer to assimilate the nutrients. Lastly, growing plants in the soil mean the roots will go all over. If one lacks enough growing space, the end result will be root bound plants. This is not good.
When it comes to hydroponics, it is an all water and soil-less way of growing plants. Unlike soil, plants are able to assimilate nutrients faster. This means plants take less time to grow than in soil. Due to this, hydroponics is best for advanced growers.
Just like soil, hydroponics has a few cons too. For starters, plants have no buffer. In case of a single mistake, they suffer. Since the plants are growing in water without soil, exposure to too much moisture can promote mold growth and root rot.
Step Five – What sort of grow lights are best for growing cannabis?
Growing cannabis indoors means no exposure to natural light. To compensate for this, use grow lights. There are three types of grow lights.
- T5 Fluorescent lights
- LED grow lights
- High-Intensity Discharge grow lights
T5 fluorescent grow lights are compact in size. They generate the full spectrum of light. This is ideal for the vegetative and flowering stages. Designed for beginners, T5 fluorescent grow lights are energy efficient.
This means they don’t consume a lot of power. As a result, they don’t generate a lot of heat and so, having an expensive ventilation system is not necessary.
Although they are affordable, T5’s result in smaller yields.
For LED grow lights, they consume less energy too which saves on electricity.
They generate the full spectrum of light making them the ideal grow lights. Unlike T5’s, LEDs can generate the exact wavelengths giving plants properties other grow lights may not. For instance, UV and IR. Although LEDs are energy efficient, they generate intense wavelengths. This means installing them close to the plants may bleach them.
To get started, choose 180 W to 1000W Full Spectrum Lights.
Lastly, we have High-Intensity Discharge lights. Three types are available – high-pressure sodium, metal halide and double ended HIDs. As the best grow lights for cannabis growers, HIDs offer the same spectrum as the sun.
Thanks to the intense light, plants grow to be big and healthy. To focus the light on the plants, use reflectors.
We recommend using Double ended HID lights – 600 w to 1000w.
Step Six – How are seed-popping and clone transplanting done?
If seeds are the preferred choice, start by popping them. Lay down paper towels before doing so. Make sure the paper towels are moist. This will help to know if they have tap roots. With the popped seeds, grow the plants in starter cells.
Don’t have starter cells. Use plastic cups or 1 to 2-gallon pots.
To get started, fill the pot or cup with your preferred medium and plant the seeds. Planting the seeds in pots eliminates the need for transplanting them later but for starter cells, transplanting is necessary.
For successful transplanting, allow the seeds to grow for 1 to 2 weeks.
Make sure the medium around the seedlings has hardened. Remove the seedling with the medium intact and transplant it to the pot. Check if the medium around the seedling is intact. This is the same process involved when transplanting clones.
There are a few things growers can do to avoid transplant shock. The first thing is not to mess with the roots. Damaging the roots will harm the plants. Next, do not disturb the root ball. This is true if one is using Rockwool instead of soil. After transplanting the clones, water them.
Step Seven – What happens during the vegging stage?
After 2 weeks, the plants are a little taller. This calls for adjustment of your lights. Maintain the 18 to 24 inches above the plant canopy.
There are other things to do during this stage. Water the plants, add nutrients by following the manufacturer’s instructions, check and adjust the pH.
On day 10, consider pruning and training the plants. Doing so creates more foliage meaning plants will capture more light. Pruning and training your plants stimulate the flower site growth. Also, it helps to control plant height and shape.
There are two methods of pruning your cannabis plants:
When it comes to training, try the Low-Stress method.
After two more weeks, the plants should be at the pre-flowering stage. This is the perfect time to determine the sex of the plants. To identify male plants, check for pollen sacks between nodes. For female plants, check for white pistles between nodes. For cuts for, this is the perfect time to do so.
After the pre-flowering stage, there is the flowering stage. Here, one has to do more pruning and training of the plants. Also, pests such as ladybirds will begin to invade your plants. This includes fungi and bacteria.
To get rid of them, use a natural pesticide. This is a process that needs to be done until harvesting.
Step Eight- How is cannabis harvested?
By now 10 to 12 weeks have passed which makes it ideal for harvesting. Signs that the plants are ready for harvesting include:
- Buds stop growing white hairs
- 40% of the available white hairs are turning dark and curly
To harvest the plants, chop them down branch by branch. Alternatively, cut the whole plant down. Remove the excess fan leaves, cut them down and store them in the drying area. To ensure proper drying, the room should be 70 degrees F and have 50% humidity.
In the drying room, set up drying racks. Use the clothes hangers to hang the plants upside down. Proper drying takes 3 to 7 days. After drying, cure the harvest.
By following the simple steps we have highlighted above, growing cannabis indoors is very easy. To get started, buy grow lights, choose the preferred growing space, choose the best medium and strain.
Remember, growing cannabis requires patience. Take time, be careful and the harvest should provide an endless supply until the next one.