Are you finally interested in marijuana growing? Beginners, you have come to the right place. If you didn’t know, marijuana supplies you with CBD that has medicinal effects, and THC the thing that makes you high when you smoke weed.
You shouldn’t be overly excited because this new exploit comes with a whole new set of challenges. Our guide to growing weed indoors simplifies the entire process, on your behalf. Each and every step discussed herein is simple and easy to follow.
Let’s grow marijuana the easy way for the first time!
- Step 1: Select Your Desired Strains
- Step 2: Set Up Your Grow Space
- Step 3: Choose A Grow Medium
- Step 4: Choose Grow Lights
- Step 5: Ventilation
- Step 6: Start Growing Marijuana
- Step 7: Feed Your Marijuana Plants Nutrients and Water
- Step 8: Curing
- Our Final Take
Step 1: Select Your Desired Strains
The first thing that you must do as a beginner is to decide which strain of marijuana you want to grow. Indica provides heartier plants. The plants can withstand harsher and tougher conditions better than most sativa plants.
Indica plants have a shorter flowering period that may last approximately eight weeks. Sativa plants tend to have a longer flowering period, which may take up to fourteen weeks to fully mature.
There are more temperamental varieties of sativa, and they’re also sensitive to fertilizer as well as changes in humidity and temperature. You should know that not all strains of marijuana have the same psychoactive qualities.
Just as sativa and indica grow well in different climates/indoor conditions, they tend to produce different effects to the end user. Many seed banks will give you specialized verities of cannabis seeds that have been bred to thrive indoors.
Here are our recommendations on the best online seed banks:
- I Love Growing Marijuana
- MSNL Seeds
- True North
- Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds
- Crop King Seeds
- Quebec Cannabis Seeds
- Seed Supreme
- Seed City
- Tiger One
Step 2: Set Up Your Grow Space
Choose an out-of-the-way to grow space/room with little or no traffic. A spare bedroom, store, or a corner in the basement would be perfect.
For a beginner, we recommend you start small and grow gradually as you learn the ins and outs of growing cannabis indoors.
Starting small makes the entire process less expensive to set up. In our experience, it is much easier to care for a few plants as a beginner than a large scale indoor garden.
You will hardly suffer serious setbacks as a first-time marijuana grower when dealing with a handful of cannabis plants.
There are a few grow space options you can consider for starting, including a grow tent, closet, cabinet, or box.
Most importantly, you must ensure you have sufficient headspace that will allow your plants enough vertical space to flourish during the flowering stage.
A typical grow space should have:
- A grow tent or an enclosed space with reflective walls
- Lightings, such as an LED or HID setup
- At least one fan and one carbon filter
- Pots or hydroponic systems
Some other tools that we recommend for basic maintenance of your cannabis plants are:
- A pH testing kit
- A nutrient kit
- A thermo-hydrometer
- An automatic timer for your lighting
- Grow pods for seed germination
- A power bar with a surge protector
- Trellis netting
When setting up your equipment, the first thing you should do is set up the tent or enclosed grow space, in a way that will allow the maximum amount of airflow possible.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleanliness is of the utmost importance when growing cannabis indoors. Therefore, make sure the space you’re working with is easy to clean.
Materials, such as raw wood, drapes, and carpeting seem to be hard to clean. Generally, you need to choose a grow system that is easy to clean regularly.
Step 3: Choose A Grow Medium
Soil is the ultimate grow medium that most growers, both beginners, and experts, are well-acquainted with. There are many brands of potting soil in today’s market. We urge you to look for a brand that is organically certified. If you don’t see a visibly labeled organic certification, there may be chemical fertilizers mixed into the soil.
Examine the ingredients listed on the bag. The ideal soil may have ingredients, such as organic fertilizer, earthworm casting, micronutrients, and bat guano. Dubious potting soils may contain unsafe ingredients like phosphoric acid and anhydrous ammonium nitrate.
If the soil is labeled as potting soil or a container mix, then it’s a mixture of a few ingredients that together develop a material that will hold onto moisture longer than most soils would. Good potting mixes have good water retaining capability and they don’t become too compacted.
The most ideal choice for a first-time grower is super-soil or organic pre-fertilized soil. This type of soil may not need any additional nutrients during the entire growth stage.
Read how to choose the best soil for growing marijuana to learn more
Hydroponic system offers support for the root system. They hold the roots and make nutrients, water, and oxygen available.
There are three main factors that contribute to marijuana roots ability to grow in a soilless or hydroponic grow medium: nutrient content, pH, and texture.
Instead of soil, soilless mediums use the following:
- Expanded clay
- Coco coir
- Oasis cube
The texture of any of the aforementioned soilless types is determined by the physical structure as well as the size of the particles. Good texture promotes strong root penetration, drainage, nutrient uptake, oxygen retention, and aeration.
Irregular shaped soilless medium, like expanded clay and perlite, have more surface area for holding more water than round soilless mediums.
Step 4: Choose Grow Lights
Lighting is probably the most important consideration. If you mess this up, you are done. Great lighting equals a great harvest. There are several types of grow lights that you can consider, including incandescent, fluorescent (T5), CFLs, HIDs, and LEDs.
Grow lights attempt to supply a light spectrum similar to that of the sun, or to give a spectrum that is tailored to the needs of your marijuana plants. Outdoor conditions are imitated with varying spectral outputs, temperatures, and color from the grow light.
Your typical lighting system should hang approximately 18 inches from your plant canopy. The light strength varies by manufacturer.
They’re inexpensive and may be resourceful for low light plants. However, they’re not powerful, run hot, and must be kept away from the cannabis plants.
They’re cheap and compact. They’ve fewer heating problems and they consume less electricity. When compared to LEDs, fluorescents have poor efficiency and lower yields. You will also need a socket for each bulb.
HID (High Intensity Discharge)
These lights are less expensive than LED grow lights. They offer good coverage, deep penetration, and high yielding. But, HIDs tend to run hot, not energy efficient, need ballast and proper ventilation, and the bulbs need to be replaced more frequently.
They’re probably the most expensive grow lights in the industry, but they’re very efficient compared to the other lighting systems.
These lights are super easy to operate because they’re plug-n-play. They offer more spectra control and run cooler than HIDs. Most LEDs come with small fans built in and don’t need additional cooling except in special circumstances.
See how to choose the best LED grow lights for help with selecting the right one.
Step 5: Ventilation
Ventilation is really important for successful growth because you need a lot of Co2 coming in and the hot air getting out. You can easily get rid of pathogens and pests that blight buds through proper ventilation.
Ventilating your grow space to eliminate excess humidity and heat can be as simple as keeping the door open. With small spaces, it is fairly simple to dissipate moisture and heat, since only small amounts are produced.
The larger space and the more lightly used, the more moisture and heat are produced, which must be dissipated.
In a small grow space/tent, fans should have the capacity to move the area’s entire volume of air every ten or so minutes. For example, a fan that is installed in a 200 cubic foot grow spaces is capable of moving 20 cubic feet per minute.
There should be an easy flow of air from the air intake on one side of the grow space to your carbon filter on the other side.
Place your fan near the intake to promote airflow. Keep in mind that as your plants grow, you’ll need to adjust the position of the fan constantly.
How much humidity and temperature do I need?
Temperature is relatively easy to determine. Anywhere from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You definitely don’t want to go over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity should range from 60 to 80 percent. Make sure it is nowhere near 80 percent because it will promote mold growth, which can ruin your entire plant.
Step 6: Start Growing Marijuana
1. Seedling Stage
The first step for growing your own marijuana plants is to sprout the seeds. This is when you introduce a dormant seed into the growth cycle. Sprouting in a closet or a grow tent may be a simple operation that is fairly inexpensive, and successful.
The assured technique is always one that closely emulates the way a seed sprouts outdoors while providing the perfect sprouting environment.
It may take three to seven days for a sprout to enter the seedling stage. This stage is defined by the establishment of a small yet stable root system.
The seedling stage can last anywhere from one to three weeks. However, variations may occur due to under/over watering. Make sure you use a good starting soil. One that has a combination of fungi and microbes to feed your marijuana plant.
A soil that can automatically adjust to the ideal pH level for your sprouting plant is preferable. The ideal pH levels ensure maximum nutrient absorption.
2. Vegetative Growth Stage
The vegetative stage starts when your marijuana plants begin to develop large, green leaves. This occurs because of an increased capacity for the plants to absorb as well as process Co2 and nutrients.
In the vegetative phase, the root system of your plants will continue to expand in the outward direction, while vertical height increases.
The vegetative stage can last anywhere from three to five weeks, but this stage can last as long as you want.
This is so since marijuana plant cycles are activated by changes in light. You can keep your cannabis plant in a permanent veg stage by controlling the amount of light.
You can keep your mother plants in the vegetative stage long enough to keep on cloning and clipping them in order to create more plants.
3. Cloning and Clipping
The simplest way to start your indoor garden is with marijuana seeds. However, you can use clones to expand your garden, instead of planting from seeds when your plants are in the veg stage.
To start cloning
- Choose a strong cutting, and clip it at a forty-five-degree angle with a sterilized cutting blade
- Remove small side branches and leaves from the base of the cutting, remaining with a good cluster of leaves at the top of the cut
Cloning Techniques You Can Use
How to Care for Clones
Your marijuana clones will root faster when you maintain humidity levels ranging from 95 to 100 percent in the first couple of days. Then, the humidity should be reduced gradually between 80 and 85 percent in the following week.
A humidity dome or tent can help keep the humidity high. You can mist your clones several times a day as an alternative to the humidity dome.
Fresh clones tend to produce roots quicker when the soil or rockwool is a few degrees hotter compared to the ambient air temperature.
A growing medium with warmer temperatures increases chemical activity. You need to keep the root medium temperature at 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, for the best results.
Make sure the air temperature is 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler compared to that of the growing medium.
4. Flowering Stage
Once the vegetative stage is over, your cannabis plants will have produced enough to grow flowers, fruit as well as seeds. This will be so, if proper pollination requirements, nutritional requirements, and environmental conditions are met.
At this stage, you will have to switch your LED light to flowering mode, if it has this option. The plants will need as much light as they can get because they’re undergoing complex changes. The spectrum offered by most LED grow lights favor red spectrum, which is the most ideal for the flowering phase.
For this stage, you will have to place your lighting timer on a 12-12 cycle. This means your cannabis plants will get 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness on a daily basis.
As soon as you switch your lighting cycle, your marijuana plants will believe it is autumn and they will naturally start to develop buds. You should know that your plants are very sensitive to light during this phase. Therefore, make sure there are no light leaks in your grow space.
Make sure there are no other light sources in the vicinity that can puncture your grow space, and complicate the cycle of your cannabis plants. As your plants grow, the light may not reach all buds equally. It is important that you remedy the situation.
The simplest solution is to train your plants with the trellis system. However, if you skip this step and yield is a concern, it may be wise to invest in a few extra light sources. The additional light sources should help brighten any shady areas within the grow space.
Look out for potential issues…
The flowering stage is by far the most important phase to stay on top of your marijuana plants health. It is also the stage when your plants are most susceptible to potential issues. We advise you to address any problems in time before they become difficult to fix.
The typical growth problems that you may encounter may include:
- Leaves drying up or falling off
- Spotting or coloring
- Appearance of mold
- Plants producing a bad smell
- Slow growth or if the plants are stretching
Confirm the sex of your plants…
Unless you bought feminized marijuana seeds, the flowering phase will be the best time to observe the sex of your plants. Normally, ordinary seeds will have a 50 percent chance of being female and developing buds.
If you find you have male plants, it will be wise to destroy them, since they’ll not develop buds and they’ll only waste the light that would otherwise benefit the females.
The easiest as well as the quickest way to determine the sex of your marijuana plants is to look at the joints.
You should designate a plant as a male if it has pollen sacks or little balls on the joints or intersects.
Female cannabis plants have a teardrop-shaped bud on the joints or intersect. The buds usually have little white hairs sticking out of the top of the calyx.
The end of your flowering phase….
Adjust your lighting, fans, and ventilation as necessary. As your plants are near the end of the flowering phase, you will start to see yellowing of some leaves. This is completely normal.
The duration of this growth stage typically lasts about two months but may vary depending on the conditions the plants are exposed to.
Step 7: Feed Your Marijuana Plants Nutrients and Water
You can only achieve hefty and healthier yields if you feed your cannabis plants sufficient nutrients or fertilizer. The essential macro/primary nutrients that your marijuana plants require are potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. The important micronutrients your plants require in smaller amounts are copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Feeding nutrients to your plants is necessary if the soil mix you are using is not pre-fertilized. You should use a good nutrient solution to feed your cannabis plants at least once every week.
The nutrients are normally sold in two separate forms: powder or concentrated liquid. They’re supposed to be combined with water. The formulated mixture is suitable for the vegetative phase or the flowering stage in the marijuana growth cycle.
According to research, the need for additional nitrogen is necessary during the vegetative phase, while potassium and phosphorus are ideal during bud development.
Read this guide for the best nutrients and fertilizers you can buy for your cannabis plants
For a beginner, this may probably sound like one of the easiest things to do for your cannabis plants. But, there are hidden challenges you should be aware of.
The ordinary water that is supplied to your home may contain dissolved minerals, pathogens, or fungus. While the contaminants may not be harmful to you, the same can’t be said of cannabis plants.
The contaminants can build up around the roots, preventing nutrient uptake. This may prove to be a serious setback for most beginners. For this reason, we advise you to filter all the water before you supply it to your marijuana plants.
Possible things that may go wrong with watering…
You are certainly not a pro. So, the possibility of you over-watering or under-watering your cannabis plant is high. Excess water may result in soggy soil, which may possibly drown the roots. This may cause a possible fungal attack and slow growth.
Under-watering isn’t big of a problem, but it is a common occurrence if you use small pots and you don’t realize the needs of rapidly growing plants.
You should know that small pots tend to dry out quickly and may need daily watering to keep up with the demand.
Step 8: Curing
After harvesting, you hung your buds to dry for three to ten days. After ten days, the buds should be ready for the curing process.
Trim your buds off the larger branches, and place them in a mason jar up to three-quarters full and close the lid. Write the date and strain on a piece of white tape, and place it on the jar for future reference.
This is usually useful if you are studying the cure times of your buds in order to determine the best time to start the curing process. Open the jar at least once or twice a day for a few seconds to release any moisture buildup and to check up on them.
If the outside parts of the buds feel wet when you touch them, leave the jar open until they feel dry again. This will ensure there is no mold growth.
Repeat the checking process for a couple of weeks. If the buds still feel wet, continue the checking process for another week. The buds should be ready to use after a curing period of two to three weeks. But, you can always extend the curing process as you see fit.
Our Final Take
There is so much that goes into growing marijuana indoors. What we have shared with you in this post are the basic steps that will help introduce you to your new hobby.
It is definitely not a walk in the park, but it is a thrilling process once you completely understand all that there’s to do.
The success of the entire process depends on the seeds you buy, the stage of the grow space, plant care in every growth stage, supply of nutrients, and proper watering.
You may come across a unique set of challenges during each growth stage. However, the solutions are simple, do everything right and avoid overdoing things, such as over-watering.
The information provided here isn’t by any means everything that you need to know. However, you can always learn more from expert growers and other educational sources.