*Illinois and Washington are adult-use states but require a medical card to homegrow.
Whether indoors or outdoors, growing marijuana is fun and rewarding, but it can also be challenging and takes a certain amount of patience, time, and money. We’ll walk you through all the steps of growing, from preparation, to seed germination, plant growth, and harvesting, as well as best practices and how to troubleshoot common problems.
Your homegrowing journey starts with the question: indoors or outdoors?
What does a marijuana plant need to survive and thrive?
Growing weed indoors is more expensive because you’ll need to spend money on equipment and utilities, but you can control every aspect of the grow environment and set up an indoor grow almost anywhere. Expect to grow some killer weed—indoor is known for its potency and quality.
The best way to get quality buds and big yields is to grow strong, healthy plants. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important things you need to know about growing weed:
Leafly’s complete marijuana growing guide
At the end of the day, you want to grow a strain you like. A single plant can yield between a half-pound and a full pound of dried buds, depending on how big your plants get, so you’ll have a lot of it come harvest time.
You might be surprised which states don’t allow homegrowing—only five medical states and one medical territory allow homegrowing at all, and some adult-use states require a medical card.
“Growing cannabis in tight spaces is not my usual recommendation,” said Stephen Lipton, the cultivation manager at The Farm Recreational Marijuana Dispensary, an award-winning recreational facility in Boulder, Colorado, specializing in what it calls “craft cannabis.” At any given time, Lipton oversees close to 15,000 plants across seven different facilities in Boulder County. “If you have a really tight space and it gets too hot or too humid, you’re going to have big trouble.”
Know the law.
Though the 12-hour interval is fairly universal, knowing exactly when to induce flowering is less clear. For the home grower, it usually comes down to space; the longer one waits to trigger the flowering cycle, the taller their plant will be. A good rule of thumb: cannabis will only continue to grow 30 to 50 percent once the light source is reduced. If the plant is growing in a closet, growers should trigger the flowering cycle, understanding that there must be more than two feet of space between the canopy of the plant throughout the entirety of its life.
Harvest and cure.
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I personally feel like growing in something like coco coir under a small HID light like a 250W MH/HPS or 315 LEC is one of the best ways to ensure good results the first grow if you’re just looking to grow 4-7 ounces.
Coco coir offers a great root environment with beautiful water-holding and drainage ability, so you get above average vegetative growth rates. Any hydro or coco nutrients made for cannabis will do a great job. Growing with coco coir will also teach you about pH and overall get you really familiar with the cannabis plant’s nutrient needs. By the end of a coco coir and small HID grow, you’ll have learned 80% of what you need to know about growing in either soil or hydro if you choose to do that down the road. You’ll also have a good base knowledge if you wanted to move onto bigger grows!
The most important elements of a successful grow are…
The last incredibly important thing is to always dry your buds slowly and cure them after harvest! A lot of growers skip those steps, but they are necessary to get buds with the best smell, smoothness and potency. If you just smoke buds directly off the plant it will taste horrible, give you a headache, hurt your throat and possibly not even really be potent! The dry/cure will dramatically increase the overall quality and appearance of your buds!
When it comes down to it, that’s all you really need to grow successfully. If you get an auto-flowering strain you don’t even need a timer or to worry about light schedules. Just plant the seed and wait until harvest.