So you want to grow weed in your closet?
Follow our expert tips on help you grow some good weed indoors.
You can grow top-shelf ganja right from your home - save yourself some greens or use that money to buy some kickass marijuana paraphernalia. Growing weed indoors is becoming more popular today, and if you do it right, you can even produce strains that are at par, or even better, than what you can buy at a dispensary.
As you get started, keep in mind that the variety of seeds you choose plays a crucial role. Until you already have a mother plant, it’s best to grow straight from the seed to ensure that you are preserving good genetics for your future grows.
Before you buy a seed, know first if you want to choose a sativa or indica strain. It’s recommended to start with feminized seeds which have been chemically treated to grow female plants so that you don’t have to worry about tossing the male plants and sexing them later on. Auto-flowering cannabis seeds are also another great choice for indoor growing since they are not as light-dependent as other varieties. No matter how much light you give these seeds they will flower after some time. However the plants that grow from auto-flowering seeds tend to be smaller so these are ideal if have a small grow space.
Not everyone has the luxury of a large grow area in their homes. But even if all you have is closet space, guess what, there’s hope for you too! All you need is a grow tent or grow box, which come in many different sizes to accommodate the growth of a single plant and more. Grow boxes usually come equipped with their own hydroponic and light system already set up.
Growing marijuana in soil or good quality compost is also an option, if you don’t want to use hydroponics or don’t have the budget to do so. Growing in soil is a basic but effective way of growing marijuana, even indoors. It’s simple, easy to do, and environmentally sustainable.
If you are using hydroponics, it’s necessary to monitor the pH level of the water. Most tap water is acidic or alkaline; what you are looking for is a neutral pH. You can also neutralize the water by letting it stand for three days before using it.
You’ll need powerful artificial lights that are meant to imitate the sun. Commonly used lights are the HPS (High Pressure Sodium) although other kinds of lights such as LED, metal halide, and fluorescent lights can also be used. Cannabis is a light-loving plant so it’s in your best interest to expose it to as much light as possible especially since you’re growing it indoors. You can start with 250 watts/m² although ideally it should be three times as much if you can. Superior yields with top-quality dense buds depend largely on adequate light exposure.
Successful indoor growing also means that you don’t just give your plants lots of light, but also keep them near the light. This is important so that more light reaches both buds and leaves. To maximize your growing conditions, it’s best to have a 400W or 600W HPS lamp over a 2 m² growing area.
Make sure that the plant isn’t too near the light that it actually gets damaged since the light is pretty hot. Use the back of your hand to check if the light is cool or warm - whatever temperature you feel will also be felt by the plant. A good gauge is to keep a distance of around 40 to 50cm between the plant and the bulb. If your marijuana plants grow very tall you can bend and tie them.
The ideal temperature for growing cannabis plants is around 21.1°C – 28.3°C, although it can tolerate temperatures of 17°C – 33°C. It’s important to make sure that your plants always have adequate air supply which is necessary for them to grow properly so you may want to consider a ventilation system. There is also the option of adding carbon dioxide in your grow room which is effective in increasing the overall yield. But if you are a budding grower and only have a small grow room, additional CO2 might not be worth the added expense.
Cannabis plants do smell, but if you want to mask the odor of your grow (especially if you’re cultivating some dank stuff!) there are options. You can choose from a variety of ozone generators, ionizers, and carbon filters - these are all useful when it comes to cleansing the air before it leaves your grow room. (Tip: If you are working in your grow area, change your clothes before you head out, especially if you are reporting to the office! Marijuana odors can cling to your clothes for a couple more hours after exposure.)
During the first weeks of life, seedlings can grow well even with low light intensity.
Artificial lights are typicall switched on for 18 up to 24 hours a day. The seedlings will grow roots, branches, and leaves but won’t bear any bud yet. Once you reduce the light exposure to less than 12 hours per day, your marijuana plant will begin “flowering”. This usually occurs around 8-10 weeks although it can easily be more for other strains.
During the flowering phase, the female flowers are formed and visible. The plants become bulkier and will require more nutrients and bright light. During the flowering phase, you may want to consider using supplemental lighting to ensure that you get a better yield.
When the flowering process is finished, you can cut the marijuana plant down and dry the buds. It depends on you though - some tokers prefer buds that have been harvested early, while others prefer those that have been harvested late.
Have you grown weed indoors? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below.