The Basics Of Indoor Marijuana Growing
Welcome! You have reached this page because you want some information about indoor marijuana growing. In this article, you will find valuable resources on the basics of cannabis growth and development.
The first thing you should know before getting started is that growing marijuana indoors is easier than you think. The three basic components you need are free:
- The will to learn.
- 15 minutes of free time per day.
- A suitable indoor or outdoor growing spot.
As long as you have these, it is only a matter of time before you are enjoying the fruits of your own labor in a smokeable, edible or hash form. Feel free to bookmark this article and refer back to it anytime you feel lost.
Advantages of growing your own marijuana
Although getting your bud from a dispensary (or a dealer, depending on where you live) is infinitely more convenient, that’s usually about it. How many times have you been let down by paying a lot for weed that wasn’t worth it? Or how many times have you wished that you could have some bud “right here and now”?
If you are growing your own cannabis, you can:
- Protect yourself from drug dealers and similarly shady characters
- Save money in the long run
- Have a consistent source of ganja (hallelujah!)
- Always get consistently high-quality bud
- Have a ton of fun in the process!
Remember that growing cannabis requires you to have some equipment, but can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want. We’ll talk more about equipment below.
The Basics of Indoor Marijuana Growing
Cannabis plants are resilient and even grow on their own in some parts of the world (it’s not called “weed” for nothing!). The primary goal of most people who grow their own marijuana is to produce female cannabis flowers (buds) that are high in cannabinoids.
So, the ultimate goal is to reach the harvesting time your female plants successfully and cure the buds properly in order to get the most out of your indoor crop. The final part of growing is the only aspect of growing that requires true willpower and patience.
Getting “sinsemilla” (=cannabinoid rich buds without seeds) is a combination of many different factors. The two most important are:
- Marijuana genetics
- Environmental factors
You could be the best grower in the world (if one exists). You could employ all training techniques in the book. You could even get the most expensive equipment. There is literally nothing you can do that will make a plant surpass its genetic limits.
That’s generally why some seeds are worth more than others and why you should never pick your seeds from seed mix bags.
Instead, you should always get feminized seeds (unless you want male plants) from reputable seed banks. There is a number of useful tools online to help you pick the best genetics.
How long until buds appear on my cannabis plant?
This is also a matter of genetics. Some strains begin flowering within two months, while others take much longer. It all depends on your growing style and requirements. Also, be aware that there is a considerable window of between the period after you harvest your plants and before you smoke them.
Drying and curing are important (we really can’t stress this enough) parts of marijuana growing, and it is what most rookie growers get wrong. In total, you should add at least three more weeks for these two steps. It will take about one week for your bud to dry and at least two weeks to be cured properly.
On average, growing cannabis properly will take you about four months.
- 3 months for the full development of the plant (seed, vegetation, flowering)
- 1 month for drying and curing
Of course, it all depends on the strain you picked and how patient you are. Be advised, however, that hastily dried and uncured buds will be of considerably inferior quality.
The Right Environment for Your Marijuana Plants
Creating the perfect environment for your marijuana plants is not difficult. As we said above, they can handle themselves pretty well outdoors, so with a little bit of care, they can easily reward you with amazing yields.
In order to reach their full potential, cannabis plants will need:
- High quality, bright lighting (if no natural sunlight is available)
- Proper ventilation
- A growing medium (each one comes with its own pros and cons).
- Frequent (but not too frequent) watering
- The right temperature (nothing below 10ºC or over 30ºC in any circumstances)
Have you noticed how we have already covered the most important parts of proper marijuana growth and the only expense so far is getting quality seeds? Marijuana plants have simple needs. A little bit of care can go a long way!
Rookie Mistakes in Marijuana Growing
Let’s clarify one thing here: Marijuana growing is simple, but not that easy. By deciding to grow your own weed, you are entering a journey full of joys and times of disappointment. You are bound to make some mistakes.
Some of the most usual mistakes beginners make are:
Overwatering their plants
Did you know that if you add too much water to a plant you run the risk of actually drowning it? Well, you can! Like an overprotective mother, newbie growers tend to water their plants far too often, essentially asphyxiating them.
If the topsoil of your container is dry, water the plant. If not, your plant is good to go. Make this standard practice every time you are watering your plants.
Not paying attention to the environment they are growing into
Regulating the environment of your plants is of paramount importance, as extreme fluctuations in temperature or lighting can result in dramatic changes in the final yield.
Not being patient enough during harvesting and curing
An all-too-common mistake. You see your plant full of buds and can resist the urge to harvest prematurely. Or, you harvest and you think “huh, what could go wrong if I oven-dry my buds?”.
Congratulations, you just destroyed your crop!
A little bit of patience might be the difference between average weed and mind-blowing ganja. It is especially important that you don’t fuck this up!
Placing the lamps the wrong way
Marijuana plants need a lot of light. If no natural sunlight is available, then indoor lamps are the way to go. However, you can’t just hang them arbitrarily! Every type of light has its own specifications.
Read the manual and place your lamps the correct way.
One frequent rookie mistake is thinking that nutrients are similar to food for marijuana plants. They’re not. Plants photosynthesize, meaning they turn light into food. Nutrients are just there to give a necessary boost to your plants (when in soil) and are essential to hydroponic growing.
In any case, try to start on the lower side of the specified dosage to protect a harmful nutrient buildup in your plants.
Marijuana Light Needs
The light needs of your marijuana plants will differ depending on where you will be growing your crop. Although there are a lot of great cannabis grow lights currently on the market, there is no substitute for natural sunlight.
If you live in a relatively warmer climate and have access to a balcony or a private yard, you can always try sticking a plant in a pot and see what happens. Indoor growers will need artificial lights for their crop. In any case, it is important to understand how important light is to your plants.
Outdoor Light Needs
If you are lucky enough to have an accessible outdoor area that gets more than 8 hours of sunlight per day, you are in luck. Just plant your seed in mid-spring and harvest in the autumn. Nature will do the rest.
Remember that cannabis is designed to grow and thrive in the wild. Therefore, outdoor plants will generally be taller and more productive than indoor ones. Sunlight is the best kind of light, and, depending on its genetics, a marijuana plant can grow over 1.5 meters in height.
Indoor Marijuana Light Needs
Before you ask, growing marijuana in front of a sunny window is not sufficient. Cannabis plants are not like common houseplants. Although they will eventually grow to some extent, it is unlikely that they will produce flowers and buds without adequate lighting.
If you are planning on growing indoors, you most probably need to purchase grow lights. Luckily for you, there is a huge assortment of them readily available on the online market. Your grow light fixture can be as small as a lamp or as big as a greenhouse. Choose according to the power needs of your plants and remember that each type has its own pros and cons. It is entirely possible to grow one plant under a sufficiently powerful lamp!
The Life Stages of the Marijuana Plant
It’s the circle of life: All living beings grow, mature and eventually die. As much as you love your marijuana, it will go through a series of life stages and then bid you farewell after harvesting.
These life phases are a heavily contested topic in the marijuana growing world. Everybody and their mother seems to have a different view on how many they are! We think that they can be categorized into four main stages:
Each life cycle has its own particularities and can be broken down to further sub-stages. However, this structure will have to do for now. Different stages have different needs in terms of light, water, and nutrients.
The Vegetative Period in Cannabis
The vegetative stage of your cannabis plant is where you will notice a vigorous growth on your plant. It is around this period you’ll have to transplant your cannabis, as it will establish a larger root system and will need more room to grow.
At this point, marijuana plants require more water and nutrients, as they are in a state of growing frenzy. For better absorption, try to water your plant away from the stalk as the roots expand.
During the late vegetative stage, it will be time to identify whether your plant is male or female. This is extremely important, as male plants are useless for people who don’t breed cannabis. Generally, you want to determine the sex of the plant as soon as possible to avoid wasting time and/or pollinating other plants.
The flowering stage is the final life phase of your plant. As summer draws to an end and days get shorter, your plant will focus all its energy on producing offspring. Female plants will start producing juicy, resinous flowers that will be the culmination of your hard work. Plants enter the flowering phase as soon as they start receiving less than 12 hours of light per day.
During that stage, your plants will be quite sensitive, so it would be wise to avoid experiments:
- Try to support your plants with wooden stakes and trellises as the buds will weigh the branches down significantly
- Be wary of overwatering and give your plants a steady supply of nutrients.
- Do not prune your plants two weeks after they have entered the flowering stage.
You will need a magnifier to detect when the plants are ready to be harvested. Inspecting the trichomes on the marijuana flower is your best bet to determine whether the time is appropriate for flowering. Refer to our harvesting article for more information on how to detect the appropriate time.
Marijuana Growing 101
This article serves as a very broad introduction to the world of indoor marijuana growing. We focused on the absolute basics to give you a glimpse of what’s it like to grow your own marijuana. You can find more in-depth information about each topic in articles all over our website!
Main points of this tutorial:
- Marijuana growing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive and can save you a ton of time, effort, and money.
- Genetics, sufficient lighting, and a balanced environment are the most important parts of a successful grow.
- Good growers allow their freshly harvested buds to dry and cure before smoking
- Avoiding rookie mistakes is as easy as a Google search 😉
- Every life cycle of the cannabis plant has different needs and requirements.