growing weed indoors

Growing weed indoors

“Airflow is also a key element of raising healthy, strong cannabis plants, as it mimics the natural environment and keeps indoor plants resilient, as well as helps deter mold,” explained Bill Campbell, director of cultivation for cannabis grower CAMP.

Soil is the medium that cannabis evolved and thrived in for thousands of years, so why mess with success? “Cleanliness is definitely an issue if you’re growing with soil. It’s most likely going to attract insects and it just has a tendency to get everywhere in my experience,” shared Jimmy B Harvests, a YouTuber who documents his adventures in growing cannabis and other plants at home.

The easiest option is starting with a clone, a cannabis seedling that has been cut from a more mature female plant. All you’ll need to do is purchase one from a dispensary and bring it home. Another advantage is that clones take the guesswork out of sexing, since all clones are cut from female plants.

“Food items around the house could be composted and mixed into the growing media, but proper composting is critical to get those nutrients bio-available to the plant’s roots. People planning to compost or vermicompost should do some research on their setups to maximize the conversion of food waste into usable plant nutrition,” explained Michael Esposito, a scientist and microbiologist at MCR Labs.

Temperature and humidity

Soil or soilless? That is the question. For a completely inexperienced home grower, it can be as easy as sticking a seedling into some potting soil. But many home growers who make soil their medium of choice really get into all the ways to enrich soil and make it the best it can be for cannabis plants like crafting their own super soil or making the perfect compost tea.

And while light is critically important to the success of your indoor home grow, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention dark, too. Photoperiod cannabis plants need 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness in order to move out of vegetative growth and into the flowering stage, so if you’re not able to control overnight light pollution in your grow room, think about an autoflower variety instead.

The easiest option is starting with a clone, a cannabis seedling that has been cut from a more mature female plant. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Growing medium

Bryan Mitchel of cannabis cultivation equipment company Plan C Design recommends picking up a water analysis kit at your local hardware store. “Be sure to look at the chloramine and chlorine section. Chloramine is harmful to a plant’s roots and needs to be filtered out of the water before use with a KDF (kinetic discharge flux) filter. If your chlorine levels are more than 30 ppm (parts per million), let the water sit overnight with an airstone in it,” he explained.

Last, while you can buy feminized seeds (seeds that should not develop into male plants), there is always a chance that you get a stray male or two in the mix. This means you will have to learn how to identify male and female plants.

If your space is too humid, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier—also known as “dehueys.” However, keep in mind that while dehueys will reduce humidity, they typically increase temperature—you may need more fans or an AC when adding a dehumidifier.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Here are some ways to control it in your marijuana grow room:

Dehumidifiers and ACs

For the most part, weed prefers these temps at each growth stage for optimal health:

Terra cotta pots offer a unique set of benefits to growers in hot climates.

Soil and other media for growing weed indoors

Unless you’re growing in a large, open space with a lot of ventilation, you’ll need air-cooled reflector hoods to mount your lamps in, as HID bulbs produce a lot of heat. This requires ducting and exhaust fans, which will increase your initial cost but make controlling temperature in your grow room much easier.