Ask any cannabis grower and he’ll tell you how easy it is to grow cannabis. Whether you’re growing recreational or medicinal cannabis, you’ll be surprised as to how easy cultivating these plants. In fact, cannabis was discovered as rouge, roadside weed. Up to now, people still find the cannabis that grows in the wild. However, with delicate care, utmost dedication, you can turn a wild plant into a recreational or medicinal wonder.
But why grow cannabis indoors?
Indoor growing has many advantages. It allows beginner cannabis growers to properly care for their plants and to learn new growing techniques. Indoor growing reduces many problems of outdoor growing like pests, molds, severe weather conditions and poor lighting, humidity and soil conditions.
Indoor growing allows you to grow all kinds of plants and strains. If you’re new to growing cannabis, you’ll find indoor growing very convenient and rewarding. If you’re taking medicinal cannabis, growing your own supply will ensure that you have a constant supply of your medication.
Here are some tips to help you begin your indoor cannabis growing journey.
General growing tips
Understand cannabis growing laws in your state or country
We’ll start this list with a very basic tip: please understand the marijuana growing laws in your country. If you’re in Canada, where growing recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal, you can grow up to a certain number of plants only and will carry only a particular amount too. Every province may have additional provisions of this law so make sure to check local laws as well.
Also, growing cannabis may be prohibited from where you’re located like your apartment building or condominium unit. By understanding these laws, you’ll likely be more confident in growing weed on your own.
And if cannabis growing is not allowed in your area, there are still options for you. You may grow stealthily indoors or simply purchase your supply from a grower or breeder instead.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are people all over the world who support beginner growers like you. Just search for cannabis growing techniques and you’ll be flooded with results coming from professional growers and seasoned breeders. No matter what cannabis strain you’re growing, you’ll surely find good help online or even from your local seed bank or dispensary.
Read growing bibles and tips
Growing bibles come from expert growers, and this is one of the ways to get useful, trusted and expert tips for growing cannabis. Whether you’re looking for help for growing a specific strain or techniques for feeding, watering, training or drying cannabis, you’ll surely find these in a growing bible. Download one or two for easy access on your PC or mobile device.
Have a growing diary handy
If you’re serious about growing cannabis indoors or outdoors, document your work by creating your own growing diary. This will also help you identify your mistakes, do something about them and better your next growing activity. A growing diary can also be handy for future generations of growers. Pass it on to family or friends who are also new to growing marijuana.
Don’t hesitate to share your success and your failures
We recommend documenting (in writing, online blog or by video) your growing activity. It does not matter if you were successful or a failure, don’t worry. This is how successful breeders and growers started.
When choosing the right strain
Check for the strain’s climate requirements
Now we begin indoor growing with some tips regarding choosing the right strain for your indoor growing. You must start with selecting strains that can grow in your outdoor climate. Yes, this seems weird since you will grow cannabis indoors right? Experts say that as much as possible, select strains that will match your growing climate even if you’re planning to grow indoors just in case you need to move your indoor growing outdoors for any reason. An electrical outage or mold growth may be some reasons you need to revert to outdoor growing. But if you can guarantee that these may be avoided then you may not have anything to worry.
Grow easy indoor growing strains first
Select indoor growing strains to increase your chances of success. These strains are specially made to grow indoors and can be cultivated even by someone new to cannabis growing. Just some of the possible strains are Northern Lights, Pineapple Kush, Bubble Kush, Fat Banana, ICE, and Royal Cookies.
Consider recreational or medicinal strains
Now is the best time to consider if you want to grow cannabis for medicinal or recreational use. Recreational cannabis is strains with higher THC, the natural cannabinoid compound that brings out the psychoactive properties of weed. There is a consistent demand for recreational strains and of course, new recreational strains.
Medicinal strains have higher CBD content, which is the therapeutic compound in cannabis. With high CBD, strains are less psychoactive and therefore you may experience little to no psychoactive effects. THC also has medicinal properties but you need to deal with psychoactive effects.
Determine how many plants do you want to grow indoors
Now you’re ready to grow a particular strain, it’s time to identify your growing area. Which one is suitable for your project? An extra room in your home, your garage or your basement perhaps? Or would you resort to growing inside a grow tent or growing cabinet? The location of your indoor growing area determines how many plants you can grow. For instance, a basement may hold more plants while a grow tent may only accommodate two, three or four plants.
We recommend starting with two to three plants first and after a successful grow and you’re more confident, you may cultivate more.
Growing closets or tents tips
If you choose growing cannabis in to grow tents or closets then you’ll get several advantages as well as a few disadvantages. Growing closets come with all you need to grow cannabis stealthily. Most basic setups come with growing lights, fans, growing containers, soil, and even plant food. Some high-end closets have dehumidifiers, digital control panels, power strips, and reflectors.
Basically, a grow cabinet saves you money, time and effort of installing all the growing components. The main problem with growing closets is the size. The most you can grow is around four small plants. It’s very rare you’ll find a growing cabinet or tent that can accommodate five plants or more. Another problem is the cost. Some growing cabinets can be as expensive as $300 to $400 depending on the size, capacity, updated equipment and design.
Consider these advantages and disadvantages of using grow tents and decide if this is the best option for your indoor cannabis growing needs.
Germinating cannabis tips
Learn how to properly select viable cannabis seeds
Most expert growers can tell early if a seed is worth growing or not. You must learn about this too and this starts before you even germinate your seeds. Start by checking the overall appearance of the seed. Viable seeds should have a dark color (dark brown, brown, dark blue or black). Seeds that are white, yellow or green are not viable and thus will never germinate. Viable cannabis seeds are usually covered with spots, stripes or any unusual pattern, which indicates that these are mature, and will be ready to germinate.
Hold a seed in between your forefinger and thumb and press on it gently. If it opens, discard it. Viable seeds are hard, with no scratches, pits, holes, and cracks. If you spot a seed with a cracked shell, don’t germinate it.
Never leave cannabis seeds in water for more than 24 hours
A popular way to germinate cannabis seeds is to place it in water. This is also a way to test for the viability of the seed. Seeds that float do not contain any viable insides and therefore won’t be able to germinate. Seeds that sink are heavy seeds because of their viable insides. These should be planted because these will germinate. As you use this technique, your seeds are allowed to remain in the water for less than a day. Leaving these for more than 24 hours can drown your seeds.
Peat pellet germination is still the best
If there’s a cannabis growing product that deserves an award that would be the lowly peat pellet. Peat pellets are ideal for germinating seeds. These can serve as a growing medium and will provide your seedlings with the nutrients they need to grow well. Peat pellets absorb water too and thus your seedlings won’t become dehydrated as they grow to mature plants.
And when you’re ready to transplant your seedlings to larger containers, you don’t need to remove your plants in peat pellets. You can directly place the pellets in the soil. There’s less chance that you’ll stress your plants as you transfer it to a larger container or final pot. Also, the peat pellets are very cheap. You can buy peat pellets from any garden supplies site locally or online.
Always use distilled water
When germinating cannabis seeds, use safe distilled or bottled water. Tap water, well water or rainwater may be accessible but these may contain dangerous chemicals and compounds that can affect the germination of your seeds.
Keep germinating seeds in a moist, dark and quiet environment
Germinating cannabis artificially is also, according to what is natural. In a natural setting, cannabis seeds fall from the female plant to soil or ground. This will be covered by dirt through wind or animal action. If the ground receives water through rain, it this helps the seeds germinate.
Seeds need darkness, moisture and a quiet environment that is followed by most germination techniques like the damp paper towel technique and the peat pellet technique. Cannabis seeds will soon sprout with the taproot appearing first. After a day, the first round leaves appear and then the first pair of serrated leaves. As the roots thicken, the juvenile plant begins to grow and is now ready to be transplanted.
Use only sandy clayey soil for cannabis growing
Transplanting seedlings is necessary to allow the plants to grow its optimum size and height. And when you’re transplanting to a larger pot or container, it’s best to use sandy-clayey soil. This soil is good for cannabis plants because it is able to absorb more water and nutrients and will also drain excess water and nutrients.
Sandy-clayey soil also permits better aeration; oxygen can pass through the soil to the roots. Plants need oxygen to manufacture their own food and for different metabolic processes. You can purchase sandy-clayey soil from local garden shops or from online cannabis supplies stores.
Use the latest growing container craze: fabric bags
Aside from traditional ceramic or plastic pots, fabric pots are now fast becoming more popular. This is because fabric pots can efficiently contain enough soil to grow cannabis but can also drain any excess water or nutrients.
Fabric pots are also disposable and are cheap. You can buy fabric pots from local garden shops or from online cannabis growing sites.
Never, ever touch the taproot
No matter what you do, never touch the taproot. The taproot is the first structure that sprouts from a germinated seed. This taproot is essential to the growth of the plant, in absorbing more water and nutrients and for stabilizing the plant as it matures.
But as it is vital to a plant’s growth, it is also very fragile. Touching it can stress the plant and may even break the structure. So whatever you do, hands-off the root!
As much as possible, start growing plants in large containers
Avoid using a party cup or a very small container to germinate your seeds and to hold it while it’s on its seedling phase. Grow it straight away in a larger container or a larger pot to minimize any damage to the taproot and from the other precious structures of young cannabis plants.
Place newly transplanted cannabis seedlings under strong lighting and high humidity
At this stage, your seedlings need much higher humidity and will love strong lighting so that it can grow larger, taller and ready to grow more leaves, stems and longer roots.
Vegging phase tips
Provide fertilizer mixes with high nitrogen content
The vegetative stage or the growing stage is when cannabis plants are at their active stage of growth. When feeding vegging plants, your fertilizer mix must have higher levels of nitrogen. This nutrient is important in growing more leaves, stems, and roots plus will ready the plant to grow larger and denser buds come flowering time.
LED lamps are the best for vegging cannabis plants
There are different types of grow lights available for cannabis growers but the best has to be LED. LED lamps are perfect for growing indoors because these burn bright or even brighter without making the room hot. LED lamps are available in different wattages and colors, therefore, you can find the ideal lamp for your growing needs.
LED lamps are available almost everywhere and are cheaper to use. LED bulbs may be expensive but the costs will be augmented by its many good features.
Water your plants only when the ground is dry
For a successful vegetative stage, water your plants responsibly, water only when the soil is dry and high and not when the soil is wet. Water during the early morning, even when you’re growing indoors) because this is the time when everything is still fresh and evaporation is slower. Thus, your plants can absorb more water than usual.
If a puddle of water remains on the soil, use an electric fan to dry the soil. Wait until this puddle completely disappears before you water your plants again.
Vegging cannabis plants need ample space to grow
Cannabis plants in the vegetative stage are actively growing and thus need a lot of space to grow and to mature. Whether your indoor growing area is in a room or in a growing tent or cabinet, allow at least two inches or more space between two plants.
The best time to start training is during the growing phase
During the growing phase, your plants will be actively growing and hence it’s the right time to train. Training for cannabis plants is controlling its growth in an effort to get more yields. Just some of the most common training methods at this stage is pruning, trimming and scrogging or the SCROG method. Other methods are done during the flowering stage like topping and FIMming where the bud or main cola is cut to produce more flowers for more yields.
Flowering phase tips
Remove males for weed, let them stay for seeds
The flowering phase has that initial phase known appropriately as pre-flowering. This is when cannabis plants show their genders. Now if you want to grow seeds then let the male plants remain but if you want to grow weed then remove them as soon as they show.
The problem with cannabis seeds is that you can never tell if you’re growing male or female plants. You will only be able to find out once your plants are at the pre-flowering stage. Female plants will grow white wispy flowers called pistils while male plants will grow balls or sacs that release pollen when these mature.
Males should be removed right away to prevent accidental pollination if you are growing cannabis. If you don’t want to grow male plants, use feminized seeds and not regular seeds.
Watch out for hermies!
Hermaphrodites are cannabis plants that have two genders. This happens in cannabis plants a lot especially when the plant is stressed. There are many factors that can stress plants including poor nutrition, under or over watering, pests, plant diseases, poor lighting, poor humidity, overlooked harvesting times and others.
There are also strains that are more prone to growing hermies. You need to watch out for these because these character traits may show up during this time.
Hermaphrodite structures are often seen in females as they try to self-pollinate to save their species especially when harvest time has passed. Female cannabis can grow male parts like balls or sacs and may also have small yellow structures that look like bananas. If you spot these structures, remove the affected plant altogether. But if you plan to grow feminized seeds then let the affected plants remain.
Provide fertilizer mixes with low nitrogen content
In contrast to cannabis plants in the vegetative phase, flowering plants have ceased growing and thus will now require a new set of fertilizer mix. A mix with lower nitrogen levels and more phosphorous and potassium is best. These nutrients will help grow larger and denser buds.
You can find fertilizer mixes ideal for cannabis in the flowering stage or the vegetative stage. At this stage when you’re not too experienced with feeding plants, it’s best to use commercially-prepared mixes with carefully measured components. Costly mistakes in feeding plants will be eradicated.
Low humidity during the flowering phase
Larger denser buds are prone to molds and mildew simply because moisture can accumulate inside the buds. Molds love dark areas rich in moisture and when these attack, you can never use your buds anymore. One way to avoid this is to remove moisture, increase lighting and reduce humidity. Open a window or door, use a dehumidifier or use fans to reduce humidity and prevent mold growth.
Special lighting schedules for regular/photoperiod plants
The flowering phase of regular and photoperiod plants are based on their readiness. If you think your plants are ready, switch your lighting to a 12-hour light and 12-hour darkness schedule which will stimulate flowering. But if you’re growing autoflowering strains, these plants won’t need special lighting because these will automatically flower in just 7 to 9 weeks.
Never harvest too late
You’ve gone so far and so far so good! It’s time for harvest time. The most important thing to remember is to never harvest too late. There are certain harvest time cues to check out and this will be discussed a bit later. Remember that harvesting later can also stress plants.
Cannabis plants are very sensitive in a way that it will sense that the air is getting colder and the nights shorter and thus soon, it will be too late to reproduce. It compensates by turning into a hermaphrodite to save its species. Female cannabis will grow balls and sacs filled with pollen. And just like male structures, it will ripen and open to release pollen but this time, feminized pollen. Another way is by creating bananas which are male reproductive organs that are coated with pollen; there’s no need to mature or wait.
Your precious female buds will soon bear seeds instead of weed if you wait longer before harvesting.
Avoid fertilizer and other chemicals a week before harvest
After harvesting, is the long and tedious task of drying. If you continue to water and feed your plants, these will develop a distinct chemical smell and taste that won’t be very pleasant. It is also very difficult to dry “wet” cannabis plants. Therefore, it’s best to stop feeding fertilizer and supplements a week before harvest time. Check the usual number of weeks it takes for the type of strain to be ready for harvest and base your schedule from this time. Watering should stop about a day or two before actual harvest so drying won’t take very long.
Be careful with harvesting your plants use gloves
Cannabis is very delicate and if you hurry, you can lose some of the precious weed you have been patiently growing for weeks. As much as possible, use gloves to protect your buds from contamination and from being ruined. Also, gloves will keep your hands resin-free because the resin is sticky and can cling to your hands and be very difficult to remove.
Understand harvest time clues
Harvest time is a fantastic time to create the effects that you want in weed. Depending on the strain, you can have light and relaxing effects, moderate psychedelic effects or very strong stoned effects.
There is a combination of clues you need to check out. One is the color of the pistils of the buds. The pistils are the flowy hairs found in the buds. These change color as the buds mature. When your buds have only a few hairs with yellow, amber or orange color then these are not yet ready.
Harvesting this early can have very light effects. Having more pistils with darker colors means that you’ll get a pleasing, moderate-high. If you find all the pistils have turned very dark, orange or red colors then you need to harvest fast. You’ll get buds with very strong psychedelic effects.
Use a magnifying glass to check for trichomes clarity this time. Trichomes are very small, mushroom-like structures that seem to be all over your buds. Some strains have more trichomes while some have only a few but you need to check this for harvest time cues.
The trichomes will turn from glass-like to very dull, amber-colored structures indicating readiness. When you find that only a few of the trichomes heads are dull and most are clear, the buds are not yet ready. If you see almost half of the trichomes dull and slightly amber-colored then this is the best time to harvest. If most of the trichomes are amber-colored then you must hurry because it’s almost too late for harvest.
Combine the two cues and you won’t miss harvest time.
Clean and disinfect your tools before harvest
You must protect your buds especially during the final weeks of its life. You should clean, disinfect blades, scissors and all other equipment you will use to harvest plants. Harvesting is usually done by hand and this is done carefully, with special attention to the bud structure. Aside from gloves, you must also wear suitable, clean clothing or a jacket to protect your crops from contaminants.
Drying cannabis tips
Use a designated room for drying cannabis
Drying requires a large area where your plants can remain undisturbed for weeks. Drying is also a slow process and compared to drying food, these have to be hanged or placed in an airy space so that drying is done evenly and efficiently.
Most home growers use a spare room, an attic or basement as long as the area is clean, moisture-free and undisturbed.
Use a digital hygrometer to accurately measure humidity
A digital hygrometer is very important at this stage to monitor the humidity inside your drying area. The drying area must have very low humidity to avoid mold and mildew growth.
Use a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help maintain low humidity inside your drying area. Most dehumidifiers these days are digital, easy to use and requires very little maintenance so you don’t need to worry about using it even when you’re a beginner.
- Be patient!
Drying requires a lot of patience. You may be too eager to smoke your crops at this time but as much as possible, give your buds ample time to dry out. How can you tell if the buds and plant parts are dry? Hold them with your hands and feel if these are dry or not. Crush a small portion of the buds and leaves to find if the buds are ready or not. Once these are done, you still have to cure them before storing or smoking.
You can harvest and dry plant parts too
The cannabis buds are not the only structures you can harvest and use. The leaves and stems may also be dried and used to make different cannabis products including joints, spliffs, oils, concentrates and more. Dry these together with the buds but in a separate tray or basket.
Curing cannabis tips
Avoid the newly-cut grass smell
Curing preserves the flavor of weed and it helps preserve the buds and plant parts so you can store these longer. A successfully cured bud has a distinct smell but a poorly cured bud has that unpleasant newly-cut grass smell. If you wait just a few weeks more, your buds will be cured and ready to smoke.
We had to reiterate this because some growers just can’t wait to taste their bus that they overlook curing altogether. We promise that your buds will taste perfect when you wait a little more weeks longer. When you’re done, you can already smoke and share the fruits of your own labor.
Cure in a room with very low humidity
Place your dried buds in smaller containers like a mason jar and place the jars in a room with very low humidity to continue the curing process. Invest in strong, good quality containers, but not plastic because this may reek chemicals over time.
Monitor humidity levels using a hygrometer and correct any mistakes by using a dehumidifier. It’s crucial that the humidity levels stay constant to perfect curing.
Keep the buds in a dark cabinet or closet
Curing needs another component, darkness. Light and heat can stimulate the release of THC and this is not what you need at this time. You need to preserve everything until you are going to smoke or use your stash.
Label your containers
Before you leave your curing stash, label your containers. Place the name of the strain, the date when it was harvested, the date it started curing and other important information. Use stickers if you can’t write on the surface of the container and make sure to clean and dry the containers well before placing your buds to cure.
Storing cannabis tips
Use a reliable humidor
A good way to store your cannabis after curing is inside the Mason jar you used for curing. But if you want to keep your cured buds in excellent condition, place these inside a humidor. A humidor is a special container usually for cigars and cigarettes. This small container also has a small humidifier that you can use to keep your buds crisp and ready to use. You can recycle a cigar humidor to keep your buds, pre-rolled joints, and seeds or you may buy these online.
How long do you keep cannabis?
Perfectly dried and cured cannabis can last for many months. When kept in a good storage container, free from moisture and light, you can bet that your stash can last for six months. But as they say, it’s best to consume freshly-dried cannabis rather than the smoke old pot. This is why it’s important to grow only the supply you need.
Secure your stash under lock and key
Most countries and states that legalize the growing of recreational and medicinal cannabis to keep their stash safe and secure. This will ensure that children and pets can’t get to them. Never keep your stash in the cupboard, inside the refrigerator or anywhere in the kitchen because these could be mistaken as food especially cannabis edibles. If your child accidentally ingests cannabis or any marijuana product, take him to a doctor right away. For pets like dogs, cannabis can cause terrible seizures and thus your pet must be taken to a vet ASAP.
Remember the rules of storing cannabis in your area
You may only be allowed to keep a small amount of cannabis in your area according to cannabis laws. Never overlook this or else suffer serious fines and penalties. And if cannabis is illegal from where you are located, keep your stash very well to avoid suspicion. You may otherwise just let someone else grow cannabis for you if this is too dangerous to do.
Proper storage techniques
Never place your stash at the back of electric appliances since these can emit heat. Heat can damage the THC in your stash giving you weed with a poor taste, smell and effects. Never place these inside your pantry or leave it in your storage area because any strong smell can affect the natural aroma, taste, and flavor of your weed.
Additional pest control tips
Maintain cleanliness and hygiene in your indoor growing area
Pests can sneak into your growing area without you knowing. Even if you are growing in a tight growing tent or cabinet, most likely that insects and pests can penetrate these and ruin your crops. One of the most practical ways to control pests is to maintain cleanliness inside your growing space. Always remove dead leaves, loose soil, and litter whenever you can. And if you are growing inside a large room or basement, the more you need to make sure that everything is clean and in order.
New plants should be isolated first
One of the most common ways that pests enter an indoor growing environment is from a vector, a new plant. When you’re growing different plants and strains simultaneously inside a room, a new plant can pose a threat to all your crops. It’s best to create a small quarantine area like a separate growing cabinet for new plants.
As the new member of your growing area remains under quarantine, inspect its leaves, stems and even the soil for any pest. Remember, pests like crickets can burrow deep into the soil and just come out when everything is settled. Meanwhile, minute pests like spider mites can hide along the underside of leaves and be very difficult to distinguish because of their color. Mold is another issue that new plants can bring in so be sure to monitor new plants until you’re certain that these are healthy and are free from pests and molds.
Only use natural pest control means
We don’t recommend any chemical-based pest control products because these can harm your plants and affect the overall flavor, taste, and effects of the buds. A safe way is to use water inside a water sprayer. Spray water on the bug or pest and once these fall to the ground, remove with a piece of tissue.
Don’t overlook pest control because chances are many of these bugs are still waiting and hiding. You must diligently do this until harvest time. Also, monitor leaf health, any bite marks on leaves and stems and wilting of leaves. These signs will tell you if your pest control efforts are working.
When using neem oil, NEVER spray on your buds
Neem is a natural oil from neem trees. This is a natural and popular way to remove pests from cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. Dilute neem oil with water and place inside a sprayer. Spray this liberally all over the plant but never on the buds. Neem can discolor and affect the smell and taste of the buds. However, it is very effective in removing almost all kinds of pests.
Ladybugs will be your best friend
Ladybugs are insatiable predators and will kill most small pests like aphids and spider mites. Use ladybugs to kill these pests inside your growing area. You can place a dozen of these hungry bugs and they can help you all season long. No need to use chemical pesticides.
Additional humidity control tips
Use an intake/exhaust fan system (for a small grow tent or cabinet)
Humidity may be easily controlled by opening a window or a door. You can also use fans to improve humidity levels. Two large USB fans would do or use a large fan as an exhaust fan and a small one as an intake fan.
Install the large fan on top of the growing room where hot and humid air usually accumulates. The smaller fan should be installed at the lower part of the room to take in the clean, fresh air. The flow of cool air in and stale and warm air out is instantaneous and this can help improve humidity levels inside your small grow space.
Prune large fan leaves to improve humidity
Larger fan leaves at the bottom of cannabis plants are lovely but these can block out air and light causing an increase in humidity especially inside the plant canopy. Large fan leaves should be removed to enhance airflow. Small underdeveloped buds found along the lower canopy can also receive lighting if these are removed.
To remove large leaves, cut these with a sterile blade or scissors. Remove and discard; never leave these lying around inside your growing area as these can attract pests.
Grow only a small number of plants
Maintain humidity levels inside a small growing space by cultivating only a small number of plants. Overcrowding can dramatically increase humidity and can affect the growth and health of your plants. So make sure to grow only the number of plants you need to avoid overcrowding.
Use carbon filters for strong smells
You can’t avoid weird smells inside an indoor growing area and this can sometimes be a nuisance. Very awful odors are due to incorrect air circulation and overcrowding. And if you are growing cannabis stealthily, you may end up alerting neighbors and may lead to people discovering your stash.
Using carbon filters is one way to remove smells. Like using charcoal inside your refrigerator, carbon filters can remove odors and sanitize the air. Look for reusable filters and carbon filters which can fit your exhaust system. These are mostly available from local cannabis or garden stores and also online.
Create a watering plan
Watering plants is also one of the factors that increase humidity levels inside a grow room. The most important rule is to monitor your plants for overwatering or under-watering. You can tell this is by checking the soil. If you see puddles of water then forgo watering for a few hours more. If the puddle remains, check for other signs of dehydration, the root lock, etc. Use a fan to evaporate water and dry everything out.
Additional hydroponic growing tips
Hydroponic systems may be simple or complicated
Hydroponics is growing plants without soil. The roots of your plants are suspended in nutrient-rich water in a hydroponic system. This can be as simple as a plant in a vase full of water to as complicated as a system with hoses, pumps, and filters.
Complicated hydroponic systems need time and effort to master but once you are able to successfully cultivate plants, then you can grow anything from this system. Make sure to use quality equipment and plants that can grow in this setting.
Regular pH monitoring is a must
pH monitoring should be done regularly to ensure that your roots are receiving nutrients at the right pH. Root pH should be neutral so this can receive the necessary nutrients. For any pH changes, use pH corrector products available in most garden supplies shops. Follow instructions on the packaging. Meanwhile, pH strips for checking pH are available in garden supplies shops as well.
Watch out for root rot signs
A common problem in hydroponic systems sis root rot. This is a funny, yucky smell and sticky fungus that grows in the plant roots. You can easily see this since plant roots are suspended in water in a hydroponic system.
Root rot is caused by a fungus that thrives in dirty hydroponic systems. Prevent this by cleaning everything at least once every week or every other week. Replace hoses that move water from the reservoir to the nutrient bath because this is most fungi develop.
Experts say that once root rot happens, your plant may not be saved. So it’s best to prevent this from happening by regular, major cleaning of your hydroponic system.
Use only hydroponic nutrients
Hydroponic systems for cannabis plants require a special nutrient solution. Don’t use regular fertilizer mixes unless these are specified safe for hydro plants. Follow the instructions carefully. And as much as vegetative cannabis plants grown in soil have different nutritional needs than plants in the flowering stage, hydroponic plants have the same requirements as well. Remember these when buying nutrients for hydro growing.
Backup power is a must
The only problem that most growers have to deal with when using hydroponics is a power outage. Short power interruptions may not be a big deal but longer, storm-caused power outages can affect the life of your plants.
If you are serious in growing cannabis and other plants in hydro, we recommend having back up generator power for your pumps, filters, and lighting. A small diesel power generator is a good idea while there are also battery-powered pumps, lamps, and filters. We also recommend storing enough gas and batteries in case power outages last for a long time. Otherwise, you might be forced to harvest early if you’re in the flowering stage or to cultivate your plants in a simpler hydro set up or in soil.
Additional cloning tips
Select parent indoor cannabis plants well
The most important thing to consider when cloning cannabis plants is where do you harvest your cuttings. Usually, growers and breeders keep a breeding stock of plants, healthy plants where they harvest clones.
Choose a healthy female that grow new leaves and stems almost every day. The plant must have good genes, without any pests or molds and should have all the qualities you want in a strain.
Use cloning gel
Cloning solutions are made of hormones that can help stimulate the growth of roots in a cloned cutting. These are mostly available in gel and powder form. Most growers prefer to double-dip their cuttings first in gel and then in powder to ensure success.
You can purchase cannabis cloning gel from growing supplies stores online or offline. Make sure to follow instructions well.
You can’t clone autoflowering cannabis
Autoflowering cannabis is types of cannabis plants which can grow faster without the need for specific lighting schedules. Usually, photoperiod or regular cannabis requires a 12-hour lighting and 12-hour darkness period to grow flowers but autos will flower in just 7 to 9 weeks without the aid of any schedule. Autoflowering cannabis is also smaller than most cannabis plants making these perfect for stealth growing.
The problem with autoflowering cannabis is that you can’t clone them to get plants with these awesome traits. If you clone an auto plant, you’ll end up with plants that are in their vegetative stage with no autoflowering characteristics.
Cloned plants are weaker?
Compared to plants grown from seeds, clones don’t have taproots. This is the first structure that appears out of cannabis seeds after sprouting. The taproot improves the strength of the seedlings and possibly the plant because it anchors the plant better in soil. The taproot also absorbs water and nutrients better.
So if you want stronger and more resilient plants, go with cannabis plants grown from seeds and not from cuttings.
Use sterile tools to harvest cuttings
Any tool you will use should be sterile or as much as possible, brand new, to avoid contamination of the clones. Use a strong cleaning solution or boil metal tools for at least five minutes before use.
Cut cleanly using one sharp move. Cutting using poor tools can affect root development. Avoid heating the tip of blades and scissors to sterilize it because you can make the tip blunt and this can affect the way you cut your clones.
Additional training tips
Some training techniques are for experts
Save high-stress training like topping and fimming for experts. Although these are very effective, slight miscalculations and inexperience can affect the health and growth of your plants. So please use low-stress training techniques only if you’re new to growing cannabis.
Just an overview, the topping is removing the main cola cutting it several millimeters from the bottom of the flower. A successful topping will split the stem into two and this will grow flowers on each stem.
Meanwhile, fimming is cutting a bit closer to the bottom of the bud. A successful FIM can create four distinct stems and each stem will grow a bud. As you can see, these methods can dramatically multiply your yields BUT you must be very efficient in doing these to avoid costly mistakes.
SCROG is a reliable training technique
SCROG is short for a sea of green or screen of green where you will grow your plants under a screen made of twine or wire. As your plants grow, you need to keep the stems and leaves from passing through the screen and just allowing buds to pass through. This keeps the plants small and allows lighting to reach all the buds. Scrogging ensures that all the buds get equal lighting and air and this can enhance yield.
The screen used in SCROG may be removed once the buds are already in bloom however, growers let the screen remain until harvest time.
Some cannabis strains do not respond well to training
Not all indoor cannabis plants respond well to training so you need to do a little bit of research first. Usually, very sensitive and hard to grow plants will not grow well with training because this can only stress them out.
Some cannabis strains are just too finicky to grow and require a very controlled environment to grow well. As a beginner, grow only easy strains and slowly improve your skills so you can cultivate just about any kind of strain.
Trimming must be done sparingly
Trimming is removing almost all the leaves and stems leaving only a few ones and the buds or main cola. This is done because the grower wants to maximize his efforts in growing larger buds.
If you must trim, use sterile tools. Set aside cuttings to be used as clones. This is why we recommend using sterile cutting tools for trimming. Place cuttings in water or if you will use these as clones, dip in cloning gel or powder first.
Large fan leaves should be removed
As mentioned earlier, large fan leaves should be removed to improve humidity and lighting inside the canopy. Large leaves also block air moving in and around the plants causing the branches and stems to grow weak. A small breeze under the canopy can strengthen your plants and help endure the weight of large dense buds.