Generally, cannabis growers are classified into two: beginner or novice growers and seasoned or professional growers. Just like any activity, sport or job, you’ll start as someone starting your way into growing cannabis. You’ll learn not just by reading books, manuals, and guides or by consulting the best growers but by serious determination and experience.
Ask any pro and he’ll tell you that it’s easy to grow cannabis once you get a hang of it. It may be quite a challenge especially for delicate, fussy strains but with careful planning, choosing the best strains for beginners and overcoming the challenges of common growing troubles, you’ll do just fine.
This guide will help you turn into a pro but we recommend growing your plants, following techniques to the T. Don’t worry about poor results, try and try until you succeed.
Indoor cannabis growing introduction
There are two ways to grow cannabis plants: indoors and outdoors. Outdoor growing is cultivating your plants in an outdoor environment whether your plants are grown directly in soil or pots or containers. Outdoor growing is relying on Mother Nature for air, good soil and sunlight and thus saving you the costs of growing cannabis.
But sadly, not everyone can afford to grow cannabis outdoors. There are growers located in areas of the globe which don’t have the ideal climate, the best environment to grow outdoors. This is where indoor growing comes in handy.
Should you grow cannabis indoors or outdoors?
Some growers have the ideal growing environment (picture warm days with gentle cool breezes during night time!) but still, choose to grow indoors. Why is this so? Let’s find out.
The type of cannabis strain you wish to grow
Not all cannabis strains are resilient and can do well outdoors. Some strains will grow better when it’s protected from the direct heat of the sun and even from strong winds. Take the ever-popular and very potent strain Northern Lights. This may be grown indoors or outdoors but growers prefer to cultivate this indoors.
When Northern Lights is grown indoors, you can enhance its yields, improve its bud size to even twice the regular size. Northern Lights’ automatic version is a small plant but can flower fast in less than 60 days. When given the right circumstances, you can even grow and harvest this strain up to three times a year indoors. You can never do this when you grow this strain outdoors.
The growing requirements of the strain
Certain cannabis strains need the protection and support of an indoor growing area. This may be due to the strain’s poor resistance to temperature extremes (heat and cold) or because it is vulnerable to pests and mold. When grown indoors, you can control your growing area and provide the best growing space without mold/mildew and pests.
Your area/region’s climate all year round
Growers are not anymore restricted from growing even the most exotic cannabis strains with the advancement in indoor growing equipment. Even someone growing in a cold region can grow strains like Afghan Kush, a strain that prefers warm and dry environments because of indoor growing.
If you are located in an area where it’s very hot and humid, you can also grow strains that require cool evenings and a Mediterranean climate when you grow indoors.
How much indoor or outdoor space you can provide
Sometimes it’s not about the climate or the strain you want to grow but it’s just impossible to grow anything outdoors. If you live in the city, in an apartment building, condominium unit or townhouse and you barely have a patch of soil outdoors then the only way to grow cannabis is in an indoor space.
And some people share their outdoor space with neighbors, with no fences and boundaries. It’s impossible to grow cannabis outdoors this way unless you can afford a tall fence or some kind of perimeter boundary.
Your experience as a grower
If you’re not confident about your growing skills and would like to watch over your plants better then, by all means, grow your cannabis indoors. Although some say that it’s easier to grow outdoors especially when you’re new to cannabis, you can’t just leave your plants to fate.
To be good at growing cannabis, you need to carefully consider all the different aspects of growing and all important factors of cultivating healthy cannabis crops.
Regulations for or against cannabis growing in your area
One of the reasons why cannabis growers turn to indoor growing is because of local regulations regarding cannabis. Take Canada’s new cannabis laws which may vary from province to province. It is legal to grow recreational cannabis as long as you are 18 years of age and grow only a limited number of plants and must be responsible for the plants’ security, odor control and local regulations where you’re located.
If you live in your property then you may choose indoor or outdoor growing but make sure to install a tall fence and place your plants under lock and key. But if you rent or you don’t own your home, your landlord or homeowner may have strict regulations regarding outdoor or indoor growing. Therefore, indoor growing may be your last resort to growing your supply.
Same goes for people located in places where cannabis is illegal (recreational or medicinal cannabis consumption and growing). Eager growers may resort to illegally or stealthily growing their supply indoors.
Why grow cannabis indoors?
Now that you know the many reasons why most cannabis growers prefer indoor growing, let’s find out why indoor growing is better than outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Convenient for the grower
Cannabis growers will find growing indoors more convenient instead of cultivating cannabis outdoors. There are many reasons why it’s so. First, a larger outdoor growing area means you have a lot of plants to manage whereas an indoor area at home could mean you have only a few plants or fewer plants, therefore, these will be easier to manage.
Growing indoors is convenient to care for your plants especially during bad weather conditions. If a storm strikes or it suddenly becomes too cold, you can’t take your plants in. But come rain, sleet or hail, you can still grow your plants comfortably inside your home. You can adjust the growing environment temperature, air circulation, etc. without much effort as well.
You can check on your plants easier
When you grow indoors, checking on your babies will be a lot easier. You can easily move through your plants, check these leaf after leaf not just for pests or molds but also any nutrient problem which is mostly seen on the leaves and stems of plants.
Another reason why growers grow indoors is that their plants are still in their seedling phase. Usually, germination is done indoors using time-tested techniques like the paper towel method, the peat pellet method and the water in a glass method. These techniques are best done indoors and during the seedling phase, juvenile plants are carefully grown.
Some growers transfer their plants outdoors once these are stronger and have grown layer upon layer of new leaves. You can tell that the plants are drinking and eating well just by its appearance. This is the time when cannabis plants are ready to be taken outdoors.
Meanwhile, some growers let their plants remain indoors to grow well and bloom. They use special techniques to help their plants grow and may even use other growing medium like hydroponics.
You can protect your plants more effectively
When you grow plants outdoors, these become very susceptible to attacks of pests and molds. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it because there’s no way to keep pests such as hungry insects away from outdoor plants.
When you grow indoors, you can regulate everything including the health of new plants to watch out for pests. You can monitor moisture and humidity amounts to deal with molds. You need to clean your indoor surroundings to prevent mold and pests.
And if you’re dealing with sick plants, you can deal with these carefully and tend to your plants’ needs right away when you’re growing indoors.
Grow your plants stealthily
Another plus for indoor growing is you can grow your plants without fear of being caught. A large number of people grow cannabis indoors because they are prohibited from cultivating cannabis or marijuana use and growing is illegal from where they are.
Growers can confidently cultivate marijuana and harvest good yields for their consumption. There are cannabis strains that are small and will remain compact and tiny even when these reach their mature phase. These strains are better for growing secretly especially when you can only afford a small growing area indoors.
Regulations for growing
If you are bound by strict cannabis growing rules then indoor growing is your best option. As mentioned, some strains are perfect for growing indoors, stealthily. Just take the Dwarf family of strains which were developed for growers who have very little space to grow indoors. These plants can grow small and despite this, these can still give you good yields.
Indoor cannabis growing is a good option if local laws or building/residential laws do not allow the growing of cannabis. This is very true for growers in Canada where marijuana growing and consumption is legal but allows local building managers, owners and lessors may have their own rules against cannabis growing.
Create your growing environment
With indoor growing, you can create your unique growing environment that’s tailor-fit to the kind of cannabis strain you are growing. You can experiment on different kinds of strains as well as new and updated cannabis growing equipment like lamps, fans, dehumidifiers and more.
Curious grower, a successful breeder
Indoor growing lets you satisfy your curiosity about cannabis. Ask any grower and they will tell you how satisfying it is to grow cannabis and to finally be able to smoke your homegrown weed. Growing indoors lets you grow all kinds of cannabis strains and harness your skills as a grower and as a breeder as well.
What do you need to grow cannabis indoors?
Now that you’re aware of the many good reasons why more and more growers prefer indoor growing, you must be starting to plan for your indoor growing space.
Because you’ll be providing much of your plants’ needs, you must consider a laundry list of things before you proceed.
The right marijuana strain
The most important component of every cannabis growing project is the marijuana strain you wish to grow. It’s not just about cultivating cannabis but picking the right kind of cannabis strain to ensure a successful grow.
Remember the following
- Do you need recreational or medicinal cannabis?
- Will a smaller or more compact indica be best for you?
- The growing conditions of the stain
- The climate in your location or area
- Any restrictions about cannabis growing in your area
- Cleanliness of your growing area
- Recreational or medicinal strains
To grow medicinal cannabis, you must start with a clean, sterile area. You need to maintain a very clean growing area to cultivate the highest quality medicinal cannabis. Consider how medications are manufactured in very clean and hygienic factories and plants.
Whether you’re growing your medicinal cannabis in a tent, cabinet, in your attic or basement, the area must be cleared and cleaned from every mess. Use a strong cleaning solution to remove bacteria and other microorganisms that can contaminate your indoor growing space.
Should you consider ready to use growing tents or cabinets? These are indeed easy to install, easy to use and may be upgraded when needed. These are not just for growing cannabis, you may also use these to grow exotic flowers, herbs, vegetables and many more. You can purchase grow tents and accessories from online distributors, local garden shops, etc.
Best strains to grow indoors
Choose any of the following strains that will grow successfully indoors:
Special Kush #1 was created by a popular seed bank company from Canada. This indica is the best if you are new to growing cannabis because it’s hardy and very forgiving. This loves warm and sunny climates but may also grow well indoors.
There are impressive qualities of this strain but growers say that this yields small tight buds. The yield may be enhanced by using training techniques like topping or trimming. With just the first puff, this indica will take you higher with its strong-bodied effect and hash-like characteristics. Special Kush is easy to cultivate provided you simply follow its growing requirements.
Northern Lights is possibly the most popular all over the world. Northern Lights is the best for people new to cannabis growing as well as for people who want to grow indoors.
Where Northern Lights began is still a mystery and many say that this is from hybridization of its 11 varieties. Some breeders say this was from a very complex procedure which is the reason why there are different versions from different seed banks.
Growing Northern Lights is easy once you follow its growing conditions. Your plants should consume the right nutrients and should grow in the best soil. Consider training your plants early so these can grow larger and denser buds for the best yields.
Pineapple Kush is one of the classic strains found across the world. This was made from mixing the genes of an OG Kush and a Pineapple strain, therefore, it has the genes of the potent OG Kush and the sweet and pleasant smell and taste of the delicious Pineapple strain.
Pineapple Kush comes with a heady high that will linger hours after you take it. This is the strain for relaxing on a weekend with friends. It comes with a steady effect that will make a good recreational as well as medicinal strain.
You can grow Pineapple Express indoors or outdoors and it will still provide good yields for as long as you follow its preferred growing requirements. It needs good nutrition, training, and good soil to grow and provide you good yields.
Blue Mystic is a strain made by combining the genes of two powerful ancestral strains: California and Oregon. This is a small plant that’s great for indoor growing because only grows a meter tall. This may fit in a growing cabinet, tent or growing bucket.
Blue Mystic comes with several impressive features. When you cultivate this indoors, train this early to get the best results. Blue Mystic should be topped or trimmed to get better yields. This is ready for smoking in as quick as eight weeks. This strain also has a distinct smell, like a very fruity strain. But if you want a stonier effect you must harvest at 10 weeks.
Fat Banana may have a funny name but there’s nothing funny about this strain’s strong effects. Fat Banana has a high THC content which leads to a couch-locked experience. This strain was made by combining an OG Kush and a Banana. It is capable of growing high yields and a towering 25% THC content. This strain is not for a beginner user.
If you plan to grow Fat Banana you’ll find this easy to do especially for someone new to growing cannabis. You must cultivate this indoors so it can develop larger and denser buds. This must be topped or trimmed so it can give you better yields.
Bubble Kush is indica dominant and comes with a 19% THC. This has a relaxing effect which will give you focus to finish any kind of work. Bubble Kush was made by combining a Northern Lights, Skunk and Afghan. This cross created a potent recreational strain which grows perfectly as an indoor plant.
Bubble Kush offers more yields outdoors at 450 grams per plant but still many prefer it for stealth growing and indoor growing. For a compact plant with good yields, Bubble Kush might be the best strain for you.
ICE means Indica Crystal Extreme and it has very powerful effects. ICE is popular for its lovely crystal-coated buds with a fantastic flavor and taste. You will get an impressive yield with lovely buds in just a matter of 8 weeks.
ICE was created by combining a Northern Lights, Skunk, and Afghan strain. This combination may be why it has a strong and potent effect. ICE prefers to grow indoors that needs an experienced grower. It is an efficient plant but you need to protect it from pests and mold. The large and dense buds are just too irresistible for insects that love marijuana.
Royal Cookies is an indica strain with an aromatic, candy flavor that’s like freshly-baked cookies. It has a pleasing aroma and taste and these are reasons why it’s mostly a daytime strain.
Royal Cookies comes with a sweet flavor that’s a clue for its high THC at 23%. The top THC content makes this perfect for relaxing and for relief from anxiety, stress, and pain. Growing Royal Cookies is easy because it can be done indoors or outdoors as long as you give your plants its growing needs.
Speedy Chile has impressive fast-flowering characteristics. This is a powerful strain created by mixing the genes of a Chile and a Green Poison. These are very strong strains that have cerebral and physical qualities.
Speedy Chile will give you a buzzed yet focused effect. You will be alert and focused. And despite a tiring night, this strain can give you renewed energy. Take a few tokes and you’ll be ready to do different tasks all day long.
Growing Speedy Chile is easy because it prefers indoor growing. This way you can monitor its development and to protect its buds from pests and molds. This will give you average yields and will flower faster. You’ll be able to enjoy its potent buds in less than 7 to 8 weeks.
OG Kush is a popular strain that’s cultivated indoors. This strain has parented a large number of strains in the US because of its stable genetics and potent characteristics. The most impressive characteristic of the OG Kush is its fantastic odor.
OG Kush comes with a dank flavor which could be smelled despite a long distance. The potent flavor will linger in your mouth and your head. And due to its potent effects and odor, many say that this is not for an average or beginner user.
Growing OG Kush is quite a challenge, therefore, it’s best to cultivate this indoors. As long as you provide this strain with the right growing environment, the best soil and the best food, you can expect large and dense buds come harvest time.
Creating the ideal indoor growing environment
Grow tent or grow cabinet
There different grow tents and growing cabinets from online or local stores. Most beginners rely on ready-made cabinets with all the important components of marijuana growing. And of course, you can make your own growing tents or cabinets using basic materials at home.
Grow tents that may be purchased online come with complete equipment so you can start growing right away. Here, you can keep your cannabis plants safe. A good tent should be able to keep light with reflective panels along the inner walls of the cabinet. This must have a good door that will keep light inside.
The tent must keep the strong smell in and removed with an effective exhaust system. There must be openings where electrical cords can pass through. A tent should be easy to set up and must have a locking mechanism to keep your plants safe and secure.
Growing lights for your indoor growing area
Your cannabis plants are like regular plants because it is dependent on light to grow. The better your lights are, the more your plants will grow and give you good yields. There are several grow lights available in the market with HID lamps, CMH lamps and LED lamps.
LED lamps are more preferred by cannabis growers. This is the most modern kind grow lights and is known for being energy efficient. LED bulbs are available in different colors, wattages, and designs and are very expensive. But no you don’t need to worry about costs because this kind of bulb will take a long time to get replaced.
As a rule, when using LED bulbs, cheap bulbs produce small buds while high quality and expensive bulbs can produce a good harvest.
The right ventilation system
Cannabis plants need fresh air to grow healthy and strong. Ideal humidity and ventilation must be maintained inside a grow tent or grow space to prevent molds and mildew. WPM or white powdery mildew is one of the most common types of mold that destroys cannabis crops.
It’s difficult to spot WPM because this eats plant leaves from the underside. Your plants could become useless and can even die in one night! Most growers find out about WPM when it’s too late and their buds are already worthless.
To prevent this, maintain the ideal humidity inside your indoor growing area at all times using fans. And to remove strong odors, use a carbon filter. Carbon filters are available in garden stores and cannabis shops and are easy to use or install.
If you are new to growing cannabis, learning about the humidity needs of your plants should be done early. Many factors can affect the humidity in your indoor growing space. If you want to grow healthy plants, you must begin with maintaining the right humidity levels.
Remember, low humidity keeps cannabis plants contented and happy
The optimal humidity of cannabis seedlings and clones is from 70% to 80% which is very high for ripe buds. As your young plants start to grow taller and wider as these are in the growing stage, these need 40% to 60% humidity.
During the flowering phase, cannabis plants should be kept at 40% to 50% humidity. But by the time your plants are at the end of flowering when your buds becoming bigger and denser. Now, these need less than 40% humidity.
Measure humidity accurately
A precise humidity reading is very important and the best way to do this is to use a digital hygrometer. A digital hygrometer will accurately get humidity readings as well as temperature readings so you will be able to adjust these correctly. Get daily readings and make adjustments accordingly. Be diligent and you’ll provide the best growing environment for your marijuana plants.
How a dehumidifier works
A dehumidifier will remove the moisture inside the growing area. The most updated models are capable of improving humidity levels very quickly so there’s less harm done on your plants.
There are some ways to reduce humidity inside your grow room but the best and the most effective method is with a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are available in different sizes, capacities, and technologies. There are also several dehumidifier designs.
Commercially-available dehumidifiers come in two different models: refrigerant dehumidifiers and desiccant humidifiers. A refrigerator dehumidifier is a very common type of dehumidifier that condenses moisture from the air. The moisture-filled air passes through a cold evaporator coil system and this is cooled in a temperature below the air’s dew point.
The result is moisture collected from the coils. Moisture will turn eventually to water and this is collected in a pan and manually removed from the machine. This is why some dehumidifiers models have a drainage system attached to a hose so water can be automatically removed from the machine.
Meanwhile, dirty air inside the machine is taken to the warm condensing coils and is heated once more. This is removed out of the machine at a pressure. This manner of removing moisture dries a moist or wet area faster and also prevents the growth of mold and mildew. A refrigerator dehumidifier is more efficient especially when you are removing moisture in a larger area or space.
On the other hand, desiccant dehumidifiers work by passing moisture-filled air into a rotor. This has a desiccant material which can quickly absorb moisture. After the water has been removed from the air, this becomes dry and easier to blowback into the environment.
The moisture collected in the rotor will be removed by heat. This will evaporate and removed from the machine. Desiccant humidifiers are easy to use. The material is usually silica gel in a porous form. This gel comes with microscopic pores which attract moisture.
When heat is added, the moisture evaporates and then removed. After moisture is removed from the gel, this is ready to collect more moisture from the environment and may be reused over and over again.
The best dehumidifier models for your money
To help you pick the ideal dehumidifier for your indoor growing area, we have three of the best products for you.
HomeLabs 50 Pint 2500 sq. ft. Dehumidifier
The HomeLabs dehumidifier is the best for any growing space area. This is fully-electronic which means all you need is to place it inside the grow room and power it on. It can remove moisture from the air quickly because it can take in up to 50 pints of water in 24 hours. Compared to other dehumidifiers, it is quiet and is very easy to use.
Eva-Dry New and Improved E-33 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier
For a smaller growing space, the Eva-Dry E-33 Renewable Humidifier is a good choice. Despite its size, this handy humidifier can remove the moisture inside your growing space to prevent mold, root rot, and mildew.
The Eva-Dry is rechargeable and will continue to work in one complete charge for days. You can use this handy dehumidifier in a room that’s around 333 cubic feet. It comes with a power indicator window located at the front of the device that will tell you if you need to recharge the device. To charge, just connect this to a working power source.
This mini rechargeable dehumidifier can absorb up to 10 ounces of water. It is completely spill-proof so making a mess is impossible. Some growers use two, three or more Eva-Dry mini dehumidifiers inside a growing area.
Ivation 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier
The Ivation is a 70-pint dehumidifier that can be used inside a very large room. It can take up to 70 pints of moisture from the air in a day so you can prevent moisture build-up inside your growing area. You can say goodbye to root rot, bud rot and white powdery mildew.
The Ivation has a high dehumidifying capacity. You don’t need to worry about removing water from this appliance because it has a large-capacity 1.3-gallon tank.
You can adjust the fan speeds so you can dry up larger areas faster. If you need to dry up a larger area and maintain humidity in a larger growing area then this 70-Pint dehumidifiers is for you.
Open a window to improve humidity and use fans
Open windows and doors immediately after you water your plants. Watering is the most common reason why indoor areas become humid. As water evaporates from the soil and on the plants, this turns to water vapor and accumulated water vapor in a closed area can increase humidity.
Aside from opening windows and doors, add a fan to blow humid air out of the growing space. One fan has to be installed at the top of the room to remove humid air out of the room while the other fan must be placed at the bottom to blow fresh air in.
Cultivate only a few plants
Grow only a small number of plants this is because more plants inside a small growing space will create more moisture and thus affecting humidity. Therefore, you should always take time planning the number of plants you need depending on the size and shape of your indoor growing area.
Water only when the soil is dry
Improve humidity levels inside your growing area by watering only when the soil is it is dry. Wet or moist soils is a sign that your cannabis plants are still absorbing water. Too much water will drown plants and will make humidity worse.
All about pots and soil mixes
You can use any kind of pot but for a better way to grow your plants, use a fabric pot. These are better than clay or plastic pots because this will let excess water and nutrients drain from the soil and roots.
Fabric pots also allow oxygen to reach the roots more efficiently and your plants need oxygen for proper growth and development. When choosing the right soil mix, choose a sandy clayey soil because this can absorb water and nutrients better. This kind of soil will let excess nutrients and water drain from the roots.
The best soil medium should have all the nutrients that young plants need therefore there is no need to feed your plants fertilizer mixes. The nutrients in good soil can sustain your plants for 3 weeks starting from the germination phase. life. After this, you may now add growing nutrients to your soil.
Common disadvantages of growing cannabis indoors
Be prepared for indoor humidity changes
It is easy for humidity to drop or rise indoors. Humidity can rise immediately after watering or due to a blocked exhaust fan. An increase in humidity can be very dangerous to cannabis plants during the flowering stage and before harvest.
When indoor humidity changes are overlooked, your plants might suffer from molds and mildew which could affect your yields. When not dealt with immediately, mold can cover and ruin your crops and making your buds useless.
Air circulation, temperature, and humidity monitoring
Growing indoors means that you will be providing light, air, soil, nutrients, and water. Because of this, you need to ensure that even the growing conditions are just right and this includes the right temperature and air circulation.
Indoor growing is not for any regular grower because you need to provide your plants’ growing needs and mistakes can be very costly. Incorrect air circulation indoors can lead to higher humidity levels causing mold and mildew growth.
Meanwhile, increased temperature inside the growing area due to intense lighting and by plant, respiration can increase in humidity and may lead to mold and mildew proliferation. You must take time to monitor these factors to avoid neglect and costly effects.
Accumulation of foul-smelling odor
Almost all cannabis strain causes weird odors that may accumulate inside your growing area. Foul odors are natural for some plants while some may develop strong odors when air circulation is poor. And of course, the foul-smelling odor is not just irritating, it can become too much for your family or neighbors to handle.
Not enough space for more plants
Indoor growing becomes a problem if you have too many plants growing at the same time. Too many plants inside a growing area can affect humidity and temperature.
Whether you are growing your cannabis inside a grow cabinet, drawer or tent, there is a limited number of plants you can cultivate. You must choose plants that will only grow compact. Indica plants are the best for growing indoors because these are smaller and are compact.
Sativa plants are taller and wider and won’t be good for indoor growing. You will only be able to choose a limited number of plants when you grow cannabis indoors.
The cost of growing cannabis indoors
Compared to growing outdoors where everything is almost free, indoor growing can be very costly. Outdoors, you get free lighting, air from the wind, free water from rain and free nutrients from the soil.
And when you cultivate cannabis indoors, you need to pay for everything including water nutrients, lighting, and air. Consider that your fans, dehumidifiers, and lights will run all day, 24 hours daily and this is very costly for the first time and average grower.
Even the cost of the equipment can leave a hole in your pockets! A type of LED lighting specially-made for cannabis growing already costs $250 while regular cannabis seeds may cost around $20 per pack of five seeds! These are average costs and usually, it is very expensive to buy premium seeds online or locally.
How to start a basic indoor growing set up?
It’s time to learn how a basic indoor cannabis setup is constructed. We will first discuss how to make a simple indoor setup and then proceed with some popular samples of growing tents and cabinets. A successful indoor grower is aware of a DIY and a ready-to-use setup and can select which one works for his growing activity.
Growing indoors using a basic set up
To grow only a small number of cannabis plants, basic indoor marijuana set up would work well. A basic set up requires the following components:
- Small cannabis plants in a pot. These are cannabis strains that can grow indoors
- An LED lamp
- 2 small USB fans
- A power strip
- Digital thermometer and hygrometer
- Reflective material
- Plant food, water, fertilizer mixes
Identify the growing needs of the strain you wish to grow indoors.
Get to know your strain’s many growing requirements including lighting, humidity, water, and nutritional requirements. There are cannabis strains that are very easy to grow and do not have any strict growing requirements when it comes to food and water however, you must need to know about these before you grow anything.
Select your grow area indoors
Just like people, cannabis requires a safe, quiet place to grow. Growers often use a spare room, an attic or a basement area, wherever the growing needs of your cannabis plants are provided. You may grow a pot of weed on a kitchen window if you need just a small stash or you may also use your terrace or in your patio.
Take note of the safety of your plants. The area must not be visible from the outdoors and should be inaccessible to children and pets. The area must have low to no moisture to prevent the growth of molds and mildew.
There must be at least a source of natural light in the area. You can save electricity when there is an open window or doorway where your plants can get natural light.
Set up curtains or tents to secure your plants.
Use a reflectorized material so that light may reflect your plants. This will optimize lighting inside your indoor growing area. The most common are white sheets, white cardboard, mylar sheets or white paint.
Install lighting and USB fans
Position the lamps over your plants. This should be at least a few inches from the tips of the plants. This will allow plants to get the best amount of lighting and prevent burning.
When installing USB fans, a place near the top of the growing tent or closet to remove warm and stale air. The other fan must be installed at the bottom. This will be the intake fan that brings cool, fresh air into the growing area. Use a safe and expertly-designed power strip to plug in your electrical equipment.
Clean and disinfect the growing area
Use disinfectant soap and water to clean the area completely before you take your plants in. This ensures that your growing area is free from molds, microbes, and pests which can ruin your plants.
Take your plants in
Your basic growing area is ready so take your plants in. After a few hours, it’s time to feed and water your plants. Feeding your cannabis plants depend on what growing phase your plants are in.
There are nutrients which suit plants during the vegetative phase and there are also nutrients in the flowering phase. You can purchase these from cannabis growing shops online and from local garden shops.
When it comes to watering, you must do so only when the soil is dry and not when the soil is wet or moist. This ensures that your plants can take in water well and prevent conditions such as mold or mildew that thrive in moist or wet roots.
Growing inside grow boxes
Aside from a simple setup indoors, you may also use a ready to use grow box. If you are growing only one or two plants, a small grow box may just be everything you need. These are cheap, easy to install and won’t take much of your time to setup. Here are three of our favorites:
Dealzer Grandma’s Secret Garden 3.0
The Dealzer Grandma’s Secret Garden 3.0 is a grow box that is made from durable materials and is designed to give you the best yields. It looks like a small refrigerator but inside you have an efficient growing cabinet with all the things your plants will need.
It comes with 160-watts of LED grow lights, reflective walls, fans and enough space to grow two large plants. You can also grow seven small autos or ruderalis strains using this grow box. The door is secured with a locking system to further protect your plants from prying eyes especially when you’re not home.
The Stanley Stealth Hydroponic Grow Box
The Stanley Stealth Hydroponic Grow Box may be smaller than other grow boxes but it comes with all the things that you need to grow your cannabis secretly. It has a 150-watt LED light, a hydroponics system, USB fans, CO2 and a water cooler.
It is completely automatic therefore you just install it and check up on your plants after two weeks. This grow box is quiet therefore it’s perfect for growing weed secretly in a home, condo or apartment unit. It comes with some extras like a 1.5-gallon tank, bubbler stones, and rock wool plugs to name a few.
Yield Machine Max 4-Foot LED Grow Box
The most affordable grow box online is the Yield Machine Grow Box. This is ready to use a grow box that will guarantee high yields because it has everything your plants need to grow and flower.
This grow box has an efficient LED lighting system and reflectorized grow box inner walls. It comes with three fans that will remove stale and smelly air from inside the box and take fresh air in.
This can fit two adult plants and is taller than most grow boxes too so you can grow taller and stately sativas too. And with this grow box, you can get up to 5 ounces of yield but you may still improve this with training methods.
Dealing with harvest time indoors
Indoor harvest can happen immediately after blooming or possibly later depending on what kind of cannabis you want to smoke. You need to prepare for harvest time with a good tool that most growers and breeders use is a magnifying glass. You need a magnifier to check for certain harvest time indicators. We recommend using a magnifier with an LED light so you can better check these important factors.
Take note of the following signs
Take note of the pistil color
The most obvious sign that your plants are ready for harvest is the pistils changing color. Pistils are the tiny hairs sticking out from the flowers. These will change color to tell that the buds are ready for harvest. When the pistils are 50% to 70% brown, expect that your precious buds are ready for harvest and you should expect weed with light and stimulating effect.
If the pistils are changing color and are 70% to 90% brown then your buds are ripe and will have very heavy effects. At this time, the buds will be good for recreational and possibly medicinal use. Finally, if the pistils are 90% to 100% brown, then you should get weed that is narcotic and with very powerful recreational effects. Use a flashlight and a magnifying tool to check the color correctly.
Take note of trichome clarity
Trichome clarity is about how clear or how cloudy the trichomes on your buds. The trichomes are small mushroom-like structures that are outside and inside the buds. Usually, the buds are covered with trichomes and these can change clarity to indicate readiness.
Use a magnifying glass with an LED flashlight to check the clarity of the trichomes. If the structures are clear then you need to wait longer for harvest time. When the trichomes are whitish or amber-colored, you may now harvest your plants. When your trichomes are all amber-colored then it may be too late for harvest.
Use your magnifying lens to compare trichome clarity of your buds. Always check trichome clarity under good lighting.
Putting all these together
Most growers will recommend checking the trichome clarity and pistil color to evaluate harvest time readiness. This means that for best results, the pistils should be around 70% to 90% brown and have milky white or amber-colored trichomes. Your buds are ripe and heavy and thus have perfect recreational or medicinal effects.
Some important things about harvest time
Check the resin
Checking the resin color is another way to check if it’s time to harvest your flowers. Resin changes in color as your plant’s age. Resin darkens as your plants become more mature. These can start clear and then becomes opaque-yellowish in color.
Your plants are ready for harvest when the resin is sticky and clear but as this starts to become darker, it also changes characteristics.
When resin starts to change color and becomes darker, it’s time to harvest ASAP. At this point, the compounds that make up resin are being broken down. If you overlook this period, your plants will not be good for recreation as well as for medicinal use.
Flowering time of your strain gives you clues
Another way to indicate that it is time for harvest is by referring to your strain’s flowering time. This may not be as precise as checking the trichome clarity and the pistil color but this is very consistent and easier to do. There’s no need to use tools as well.
Flowering times of indica vs sativa strains
Indica plants will be ready for harvest in just 8 weeks. Sativas will be ready in just 10 weeks. Automatic cannabis plants harvest after just 7 to 9 weeks from the seedling to flowering phase.
Sativa strains have longer harvesting times because it has longer flowering times and grows taller than indicas well. Indicas are smaller and bushier and thus will flower and harvest quicker. Ruderalis strains are the smallest of the three and will harvest even faster than the two strains.
How to harvest indoor marijuana plants
Once you have determined that your plants are ready for harvest, prepare your plants.
Select which cannabis plants are ready
Decide which plants are ready. Set these plants aside and prepare the tools you need for harvest and drying area. When reusing tools, clean and sterilize scissors and blades and any other tools that will be used to prevent contamination.
Stop feeding your plants at a week before harvest
Your plants should be free from nutrients and fertilizer because this can affect the overall taste and aroma. Your plants may taste and smell like chemicals if you overlook this. Stop watering at least three days before harvest time.
Do you want flavored weed?
To add unique flavors to weed, this is the time to do so. You can do this by watering your plants with juice or any liquid with flavor. Your weed plants will taste and smell like the liquid you used. The most commonly used by growers are wine and natural fruit juices.
Use sharp scissors or blade to harvest your plants
Always use sharp and clean tools to cut down plants. Some growers will harvest only the buds while some will harvest the entire plant.
The buds are dried together with the leaves and stem but in a separate tray or basket. The body of the plant may be used as bulk plant matter and cut into small pieces after drying. These may be used to make joints, concentrates, teas, and other cannabis products.
To harvest the buds, cut directly underneath it with a clean-cut and place these in a small basket or basin. To harvest the entire plant, take your scissors or blade and cut it from the ground. Never uproot them. Place your harvested plants in a basket or a tray. These will be dried together with the buds.
The best way to dry buds
The buds have to be dried slowly to get the best results. Use a room where you can adjust the humidity levels and lighting to dry these well. An attic, a guest room, garage or basement should do well as long as there is no moisture.
Leave your buds and plants inside the drying area
Install a wire clothes hanger in the growing room and hang your plants. You may also use a newspaper on a table and simply place your plants on it. Newspaper will naturally dry the buds and plant parts.
The buds need to be dried in a separate area to help you easily identify where they are. Use clothespins to hang your buds or arrange these side by side in a large vat on top of newspapers. Monitor the humidity inside the growing area using a hygrometer. Maintain low humidity levels always and keep the drying area dry and dark.
Cure your buds after drying
After two weeks, your buds and plants should be very dry to touch. You may smoke a small amount to find out its effects as well.
But before you can smoke your buds for recreation or medicine you must cure these first. Curing is preserving the natural characteristics of the buds and will make these buds last longer when stored. Curing also removes the smell and taste of yucky newly mowed grass on fresh or dried weed.
Curing is done by placing your buds in jars without light. Place these inside a cabinet or a cupboard for at least two weeks. After this period, you are ready to smoke your pot.
Store your cannabis securely
Now that your buds and plant material are dried and cured place these inside containers like a mason jar or a microwavable plastic container. Place a food-grade desiccant or small bits of rice inside the container to preserve your buds and to remove moisture.
When cannabis is stored right, these can last for years. Place a label on the container with your name, the date of harvest and the name of the strain.