Growing cannabis indoors takes more than tossing seeds in the soil and watering them. Although you might have the seeds ready, it would be advisable to take some time to learn how cannabis is grown indoors and the materials/equipment required, among other things. Several factors ought to be put into consideration when growing plants indoors. While growing the herb in an open field or a greenhouse might be simpler, it isn’t the same growing indoors. Nevertheless, open land and greenhouses aren’t available to all, which is why many choose to grow the plant indoors in confined spaces. Outlined below are 5 tips to help you get started.
Always choose the right spot to grow your crop. Some of the factors that will influence your choice include humidity, temperature, light, and space. These factors do affect how well cannabis will grow, hence ought to be ideal for supporting healthy growth. Consider starting small (in a closet, cabinet, etc,) before expanding to larger spaces. Starting small makes it easy to manage as well as maintain the plant’s ecosystem accurately. This eliminates room for costly mistakes while improving your chances to succeed. With a small space, you’ll not need expensive equipment such as air conditioning, lights, and humidifiers, nor additional labor.
The environment in which cannabis is to be grown ought to be just right to promote healthy growth. Elements such as temperature, light, and humidity should be monitored and controlled in real-time to facilitate optimal growth and a bumper harvest. The best thing about growing cannabis indoors is that the plant itself will tell you when something isn’t right. Paying particular attention to such cues will help you correct the issue before the plant dies, hence a blissful bud.
Proper lighting is required to facilitate photosynthesis and other chemical reactions required for healthy growth and development of the plant. Artificial light is the only best way to make this happen. T5 bulbs or fluorescent grow lights are the best options for indoor lighting. These light bulbs produce less heat, hence can be kept up to 4 inches away from the leaves without burning them. The bulbs should, however, be closer to the plant during its initial growing stages (seedlings).
Determining the right distance between the light source and the plant is always a challenge for many beginners. To do this, place your hand close to your hands (a few inches away) for a few seconds. If the temperature feels uncomfortable under the skin, you then need to move it a bit farther until you can find a soft spot and distance. T5 and fluorescent bulbs create just the right wavelength to promote/maximize budding. You’ll also need a timer to help time day and night cycles for optimal growth.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperatures in the closet/cabinet need to be just right to enable the herb to transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. We recommend temperatures of about 80 degrees F with lights switched on, and 60 degrees F when they are turned off. Temperatures higher than this will only result in wilting, while lower temperatures will cause stunted growth.
You’ll also need to keep humidity levels in check as well. Maintain humidity levels between 60 and 70% during the vegetative stage, and as low as possible when the plant starts flowering. High humidity levels during the flowering stage increases the risk of mold growth in the nuggets, hence not recommended. Be sure to monitor humidity levels throughout the plant’s budding stage, and use a dehumidifier when necessary.
Soil and Seeds
The cannabis plant doesn’t demand much when it comes to selecting soil. You only need high-quality potting soil to grow the plant. You, however, need to ensure the soil doesn’t contain artificial fertilizers at all. Consider a natural soil like KNF inputs for Korean natural farming. The only nutrients the cannabis plant requires to grow well are potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. All these occur naturally in the soil, hence no need to use nutrient additives.
Choosing the right seedling can however be a tricky endeavor for many first-time cannabis growers. While you can choose between cannabis Sativa or indica strains, the crucial thing is to choose/start with feminized seeds. Only feminized seeds will be able to produce buds upon reaching maturity. The indica strain is however recommended for beginners because it is easier to handle and doesn’t grow tall making it ideal for small or confined spaces.
Once done with seed selection, you’ll need to start germinating them. This process is relatively easy; place the seeds on a moist paper towel and in a well-lit spot for 24 to 32 hours. This should activate the germination process, pole small oils in the already prepared soil, and plant the seeds 1 inch deep. Be sure to leave enough space to allow the plant to grow to full maturity without competing with each other.
You could also choose to use a healthy clone to skip the germination process. The clone can be placed directly in the soil. Ensure the soil has enough moisture to support growth and for roots to set.
The Seedling Stage
Lightly water the germinated seeds for at least ten days, or until the vegetative stage. The best way to do this would be to avoid flooding the soil and ensuring the soil on top is slightly dry before doing it again. Overwatering the plant might kill it.
The plant should have entered the vegetative stage 14 days after germination. The plant starts producing leaves and stems during this stage, hence requires at least 18 hours of ‘daylight’ for healthy growth. Don’t forget to water the plant as well as control temperature and humidity during this stage. Check to see if the light bulbs are too close to the ever-growing leaves and move them accordingly.
The Flowering Stage
This is the final and most crucial stage in the growing cycle. The plant will start producing buds at this stage and requires 12-hours of darkness to produce the best buds. Use a timer to ensure it only gets 12 hours daylight and 12-darkness until the buds grow into the desired size. The cannabis indica strain takes anywhere between 7 and 9 weeks to mature, while Sativa can take a bit longer.
Give It Tender Lover and Care
Although it may sound cliché, the plant requires tender love and care throughout the growth period. Look out for signs of distress and anything else that seems out of place until the last day of harvest. The key to success when growing cannabis is keeping just the right conditions for optimal growth. Gardening and taking care of plants is therapeutic and good for your health too.