If you are planning to grow marijuana indoors, then you will need to engage in proper planning, research and careful growing practices. Growing this extremely versatile plant indoors can have many advantages, but can also offer its own unique challenges. You will need a well ventilated grow room or outdoor enclosure without many windows. One of the main advantages of growing marijuana indoors is that you can potentially yield several crops a year, rather than having to rely on seasons. It is also much safer to grow your marijuana indoors since it’s protected from harmful insects or diseases.
To start your growing enterprise you will first need to buy some cannabis seeds from a reputable source, and ensure that they are the strain and type that you want. If you have limited space, you will want to make sure the marijuana strain you choose is within your height and width restrictions. Marijuana plants are just like any others, all they need is fertile earth, water and light. In a simple setup, this could mean a pot of soil and a couple of fluorescent lamps. Growing indoor marijuana can be as simple, or as advanced, as you want it to be. You can start off with nothing more than a pot of soil and a bright lamp.
Plan Your Indoor Weed Growing Space
Starting your own marijuana indoor grow room requires more than just careful planning, especially if your goal is to produce a substantial yield for the purpose of selling. The use and cultivation of medical marijuana has become legal in many states, but there are several factors that you will need to consider before embarking a potentially successful project. Many states have laws that require permits prior to starting your own growing operations. Even if you are only growing enough plants to provide yourself with a quality of medical supply, you will still need to secure your indoor growing area and ensure the plants stay safe.
Getting your cannabis grow room on track to produce high yields begins with choosing the right type of seed and knowing how to take care of your plants throughout different stages of their growth. Even the best equipment and the most high-end grow lights won’t help you produce substantial crops, if you do not know much about the life cycle of the strain of marijuana you have chosen to grow. Do your research, learn more about the life cycle of your marijuana strain, and know about their specific needs during every stage of growth.
Choosing the Best Soil For Your Indoor Grow
Some of the most vital decisions that you will make when starting your indoor marijuana growing process will be installing the right lighting and choosing the proper soil.
Both decisions are going to be important in determining the success or failure of your project, so make sure you do the research and get started with the right plan. Selecting the best soil type for germination and marijuana seedlings is a critical phase for successful growing. It can be the determining factor between success and failure of your crop. There are various growing methods to choose from and they each come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Soil is composed of many other minerals along with microorganisms such as mosses, bacteria, and particles of clay, sand or silt. Below are some of the recommended soil types to use when growing marijuana indoors:
- Clay – Does a great job in holding the water and nutrients so the plants can grow well. However, its small and sticky particles trap so much air that it can become heavy, more solid and dry in higher temperatures.
- Loamy – The best soil on the market for most strains of marijuana, which contains a combination of clay, sand, and silt. It is rich in calcium and the pH is at around 6, so it is the best type of soil in retaining water, nutrients and air.
- Peaty – Naturally loaded with useful organic matter and water, it appears in dark brown color when the soil gets saturated. It can retain a good amount of water and can keep your indoor marijuana plants hydrated for extended periods of time.
If you plan on using a soil mixture for your indoor marijuana growing, then you must decide which type of soil suits your strain of plant the best. For beginners seeking to use soil, the best is the peat mix, but it’s strongly recommended is to use soil-less mixes.
Soil-less mix is ideal for beginners growing indoor marijuana especially if you don’t have a lot of time on their hands to cultivate and monitor your plants. You can acquire most of the materials you will need from a local gardening store or online, like coco soil, promix, perlite, LECA or vermiculite.
A simple soil-less mix typically consists of 35% perlite, 50% coco, and 15% vermiculite. This mixture will help the marijuana roots get a hold of the soil faster and will promote growth in the plant’s early stages. Another great thing about using soil-less mixes is that it has the ability to keep the amount of water at a moderate level so beginners won’t need to worry about draining excessive amounts of water.
Water for Indoor Marijuana Plants
While it is true that indoor marijuana plants need a lot of water, these plants do not tolerate over watering, so be careful not to make mistakes in the amount you use. Marijuana is a plant that does not grow well with continuous irrigation. It is imperative to water you crop abundantly and then wait until the substrate gets dry to water again. The volume of water needed in each watering should be at least one-fourth the total volume of the pot or planter.
- Examples of the amounts of water for each size container:
- Using a 1L planter pot, use 0.25L of water per watering.
- Using a 4L pot, use 1L of water per watering.
- Using a 12L pot, use 3L of water per watering.
- Using a 30L pot, use 7.5L of water per watering.
Typically you will have to water each indoor marijuana plant 2 or 3 times daily, slowly and uniformly over the surface, to properly moisten all the soil. It’s recommended to place plates under each one of your planters so that it will catch any excess water, which will end up being absorbed over the course of a day. It is also very important to use a quality soil mix with good retention capacity and drainage. Your soil mix should contains clay pebbles, perlite and/or coco coir.
Indoor Marijuana Plant Lighting
Light is as essential as air and water when it comes to growing plants indoors, and like any plant, marijuana must have an adequet supply of light. Whether you are growing indoor marijuana in a small closet sized room, or a large bedroom, there are a few very important considerations that make picking the right light that is essential to your growing success. Thankfully, new technologies such as LED grow lights have emerged to make indoor gardening much easier and more efficient.
The first step is to make sure you are getting enough light in the space where you are growing your indoor marijuana. If your plants aren’t getting enough light, they will stretch out as they grasp out for more . One of the most important factors is making sure that all of the bud areas on each plant receives the same amount of light consistently. If the light is uneven, then the plant will grow unevenly and not produce buds in certain areas.
When using artificial lighting, you’ll need to remember that the power and intensity of the light diminishes the farther it is away from the plant. The main reason why marijuana plants grown indoors will develop smaller buds on the lower sections of the plant is because artificial lights cannot provide the same power across the whole plant evenly.
The exact distance you’ll want from your plants to your light source will vary, depending on the environment, equipment, and strain of plant being grown. On average, you’ll want about 35-40 inches from a 600 watt lamp to a young plant. As the plant matures, you can reduce the distance to around 18 inches. A good method to test the distance to make sure it’s not too close is by putting the back of your hand above the top of your marijuana plant. If the light starts burning your hand, then it will most likely burn the plant and should be moved farther away.
The Right Ventilation For Indoor Pot Grows
Although lighting and soil are the main factors most indoor marijuana growers focus on, in order for an eco-system to work efficiently, it must have the right air and ventilation system. You have to be able to control the temperature, the humidity and the CO2 levels. While your grow room may not be very large and complicated, it will still experience many of the same challenges as a large area, just on a smaller scale.
Part of a plant’s growing process is to rely on gasses in the atmosphere, which won’t be as readily available when growing indoor marijuana. Once the air supply is depleted, it can result in undesirable effects on the plant’s growth and in the quality of buds it will yield. For example, plants may not be able to function efficiently if there is too much humidity in the room, which is especially true in the summer months. Also, while it may be easy to extract the humid, warm air out of the grow room, you must at the same time maintaining a fresh CO2 supply.
Marijuana plants breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2) more than anything else. They need CO2 in order to create efficient photosynthesis along with your indoor grow lights, water and fertilizer. Removal of stale air along with a good supply of fresh CO2 in the grow room is crucial for cannabis growth, especially during its vegetative and flowering stages.
Closing Tips for Indoor Marijuana Growing
Becoming a successful indoor marijuana farmer is a step by step process that requires consistent attention and care. Marijuana grows fast, but not so fast that you won’t be able to take corrective measures if something goes wrong. The following are some tips to remember while maintaining your indoor growing operation and ensuring that your crop comes in healthy.
- Take your time and make a list of all the materials you will need to grow your indoor marijuana.
- Ensure that your grow room in set up for protection in heat, light, smell, and growth.
- Analyze your compost and soil mixture first. Make sure that you have chosen the right type of soil for the strain of marijuana you want to grow
- Start a grower’s journal and keep track of your plant’s progress so that you can gauge the success of future crops.
- Pay careful attention to the leaves and stalk for signs of distress during growing such as browning or tearing.
- Make sure your lighting is scalable, so that you can adjust its height as your plant grows taller. With taller plants, consider side lighting as well.
- Make sure you know how to spot any unwanted male plants so you can keep them from ruining your crop.