Growing cannabis indoors sounds so easy, right? All you have to do is acquire some seeds, get hold of a few buckets and fill them with good soil, obtain a grow light, give the plants water, light and nutrients, and away you go. The truth, alas, is less simple. There are a number of pitfalls to avoid.

There are a number of point to be borne in mind when growing cannabis indoors. Photo: Daniel Oberhaus (2015)

There are a number of point to be borne in mind when growing cannabis indoors. Photo: Daniel Oberhaus (2015)

Make it light-tight

Make your growing room light-tight. Otherwise, light leaks will confuse your plants and might cause them to produce male flowers, leading to less THC.

Get decent air conditioning

Something you’ll appreciate at an early stage of growing cannabis is the need for proper air conditioning. You won’t be able to keep the grow room’s temperature and humidity at the right levels just by using the house’s air conditioning or opening windows.

Don’t overdo it with the light

A 1,000-watt grow light will be much too hot for a few square feet of growing area. It’ll burn the plants and waste electricity. Better to go for 600 watts.

Filter all water

Don’t fool yourself that you can use tap- or rainwater when growing cannabis. You’ll need a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration unit. Without one, water will contain amounts of minerals or other contaminants that are bad for cannabis plants. RO gets rid of all these. Filter all the house’s water with a water softener, or the RO unit will have tenfold as much work to do, and you’ll be called upon to replace expensive filters way too often. Whole-house water filtration has the pleasing side effect of removing the chlorine, minerals and other contaminants that are harmful to people, plumbing and appliances like water heaters.

Don’t overwater. If things are too wet, fungal root diseases might arise. A good trick is to wait until the plant’s lower leaves droop slightly before watering. Ensure that your growing container has holes so water can drain out.

Keep it clean

Don’t allow your growing room to get dirty. Cannabis plants are bioaccumulators, taking in everything from the air and soil around them. Pests and contaminants present danger. Make a bi-weekly cleaning routine – and stick to it. All you have to do is wipe the areas around your plants with a wet rag.

Choose the right soil

Don’t just use any old soil. It may have chemical properties that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Coco coir is a wise choice when growing cannabis. It costs as much as premium potting soil. Don’t get stuff that’s excessively cheap, or it’ll contain too much dust or other materials. These make it too dense, so it’s prone to waterlogging, which drowns roots.

The way to choose the right coco coir is to get it from a company that concentrates on this product and has a minimum of one horticultural scientist who has significant control over matters. Gardening companies often employ coco coir as a loss leader to lure in customers who then purchase nutrients or other products that are considerably more profitable. The company ought to be open about its sources and manufacturing standards. There should be technical support that’s suitable to growing cannabis. The coir should be brown with a slight reddish tinge. Change the coir with every crop cycle, or pathogens might develop.


So those are the things to bear in mind. People growing cannabis generally learn something new with every harvest. You’ll be on a learning curve, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

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