Curious about growing weed indoors?
Having your own grow room is not only fun but it also saves you some serious money on weed that you’d otherwise spend in a dispensary.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about becoming a home weed grower. With a little effort, some planning, and lots of love you’ll be able to quickly get a good grasp of how to grow marijuana indoors.
Growing Weed 101: The Essentials
Before we discuss each stage of growing weed, let’s make sure you know the absolute basics. Here are the most common questions each novice grower will ask themselves at one point or another before setting up their first grow room.
How Long Will It Take for My Weed to Fully Grow?
Usually, it takes about 4 months from planting the seeds to harvest. Growth times can be extended with extra vegetation time, resulting in bigger plants and more generous yields. And, of course, you’ll need to take the drying and curing time into consideration.
What Do I Need to Grow Weed Indoors?
Grow room equipment can vary based upon your needs. If you don’t have room for a large set up, consider buying a small tent, a minimal light setup — including reflector hood, ballast, and bulb), a light timer, light hanger cables, and a small fan or two for better air circulation. You’ll also need a growing medium (soil/soilless), and a ventilation system.
You can use air-cooled lights as a good initial investment. They will allow your plants to reach closer to the source of light and is great for growers with limited ceiling space.
To maximize the yields from your first grow room, opt for full-spectrum LED lighting — not only are LEDs more economic in the long run than other lights, but it also takes less space than MH/HPS bulbs.
First-timers often choose 600W–1000W lighting systems. When using the latter, you’ll need to purchase air conditioning and CO2 systems. You’ll also need a thermometer with a hygrometer to maintain correct heat and humidity levels.
How Much Do You Have to Spend for a Weed Growing Kit?
There’s a large degree of difference when it comes to grow room budgets. Smaller indoor grows can be assembled for $1000 or less for a small soilless 3×3 or 4×4 setup.
The Main Stages of Weed Growth
There are 3 distinct stages of weed growth: germination, vegetation, and flowering. In this section, we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of each stage, shedding more light on harvesting weed at the end.
Stage 1: Germinating Seeds and Rooting Clones
Novice growers tend to plant seeds because they don’t have access to clones. If you want to grow from the seed, make sure you buy your seedlings from a decent seed bank rather than picking out a bag of schwag and hoping to get good genetics.
Marijuana plants can only grow as much as their DNA potential allows them to grow. The amount of effort is always the same, no matter the quality of your seeds — and we guess that you don’t want to waste your precious time.
Regular seed packs contain both male and female seeds, so plant at least two times as many seeds as you want total plants because you’ll need to get rid of all the males to prevent pollination.
You can also use feminized seeds to eliminate the risk of unwanted males, but this will prevent you from getting clones for future crops as they usually become hermaphrodites.
When growing with clones, you can ensure that your next plants will be identical to the parent. To ensure a steady supply for yourself, keep a mother plant in the vegetative stage for longer.
Stage 2: Vegetative Stage
Once your seedlings have sprouted, the plant enters the vegetative stage. This growth phase usually lasts up to 4 weeks when growing regular-sized plants. However, some people extend the vegetative stage up to several months to power the plant through the rigors of flowering thanks to increased root and leaf growth.
A marijuana plant in its vegetative stage needs to receive about 18 hours of light daily, although some growers use a full 24-hour period of light for veg. It’s good to keep the plant in the vegetative stage until it gets to roughly half of the desired size — they still stretch taller during the first few weeks of the flowering stage.
Stage 3: Flowering Stage
The flowering stage can be triggered by switching to a 12 hours on / 12 hours off system. Flowering lasts upwards of 8 weeks depending on the strain, with sativa strains typically taking more time to become fully mature — some can stay in the flowering stage for 12–14 weeks.
It’s paramount to ensure that 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness so the plant can produce healthy, resinous flowers with maximum cannabinoid content. Even a small amount of light interrupting the desired darkness period can lead to issues with quality.
Remember to flush your weed during the last 14 days of the flowering cycle to keep additional nutrient mineral salts away from your cannabis.
Stage 4: Harvesting Weed
Time is of the essence when it comes to maximizing potency and yields. When you harvest your plants too soon, they will lack some THC they could otherwise develop. Too long and THC will start to transform into CBN, which makes the strain more sedating.
Then you’ll need to trim the buds, dry them properly for about 7–10 days, and give them at least 2 weeks of curing which will draw the most out of your strain’s aroma, flavors, and potency.
Curing is actually the make-or-break factor in the final product.
So, now that you know how to grow weed at home, you can start your first grow tent and launch your beautiful adventure with cultivating your plants. Remember that your setup doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. It’s important to learn some basic growing principles before you start to upgrade your grow room.
Here’s a question for all our experienced 420 growers: what tips do you have for novice “farmers” who’d like to get the best out of their first yields? Share them in the comments!