This post discusses how to grow cannabis in detail so, strap in, and let's get started!
What are the Growth Requirements of Cannabis Plants?
Whether you are growing marijuana indoors or outdoors, the basic requirements remain the same. Cannabis plants need the following to guarantee their growth;
Like other plants, cannabis requires a decent amount of light exposure to grow and thrive. It's actually the lighting that controls the flowering periods of marijuana plants. This can take place naturally in the outdoors or artificially by controlling indoor growth lights.
It almost goes without saying, but it's worth mentioning that weed requires water to grow. However, the amount of water your plant will need will depend on its growth stage and other environmental factors.
For your weed plant to mature and bud, it'll require nutrients to help it stay healthy. This means you'll have to supply these nutrients for your plants, whether inside the home or outside.
4. Temperature and Humidity Control
Since cannabis thrives in temperate climates, you'll want to modify the temperatures and humidity to optimal levels to ensure it grows strong. The ideal conditions include temperatures ranging between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit and 50-70% humidity.
The last essential factor for cannabis to grow is airflow. If you plan on growing marijuana outdoors, you don't have to worry about this since the wind will have you covered. Nevertheless, if you are hosting your plant indoors, you can set up fans to generate the airflow the cannabis needs.
Choosing a Location for Growing Cannabis
You have two options when choosing to grow a cannabis plant; indoors or outdoors.
i). How to Grow Marijuana Indoors
Growing cannabis indoors is a more controlled process than growing it outdoors. It's also cheap and easy to maintain once you get the hang of it and deal with a few plants at a time. Since you can control many factors during the indoor growing of cannabis, you can achieve consistently potent buds if you maintain the right environment.
Your indoor cannabis should sit somewhere it can access water and air without obstruction. Some suitable places popular among indoor growers include spare rooms, grow tents, unused bathrooms, closets, or garages. An essential consideration to make when choosing the most appropriate location is the temperature.
When the marijuana is in its vegetative stage, it's best to maintain higher temperatures between 70-85o F. As the plant approaches the flowering stage, you can lower the temperatures to anywhere between 65-80oF. This will ensure the weed develops an appealing color and aromatic smell.
Since natural light isn't easy to access indoors, you'll need to invest in some grow lights to ensure your plant receives the energy it needs to grow. At the same time, you'll need to ensure that the temperatures stay in a good range, which might require you to install an air conditioner or fan. The cost of necessary equipment is one of the factors that discourage people from growing cannabis indoors.
ii). How to Grow Cannabis Outdoors
Since most marijuana growing requirements are naturally found outside, it's much cheaper to grow marijuana outdoors than indoors. Unfortunately, leaving your marijuana growing outdoors won't provide any privacy or protection from threats. The best way to ensure your cannabis thrives outdoors is to select a suitable strain that can survive in your immediate climatic conditions.
You can say goodbye to the costs of buying grow lights since your plant will be in direct sunlight for most of the day. However, you'll still need to get proactive in protecting your cannabis plants from extreme weather like excess rain or drought.
Plus, you can judge the temperatures depending on how you feel, as a rule of thumb. If you feel it's too hot, temperatures are probably too high for your weed plant, and the same goes for lower temperatures. It could be necessary to take precautions like setting up protective barriers for your plants since extreme temperatures aren't ideal for growing cannabis.
What are the Best Grow Lights for Marijuana?
There are different light sources that you can use to nurture your marijuana plant. You'll need to provide up to 18 hours of light each day while the weed plant is in its vegetative stage. Fortunately, as the plant gets to the flowering stage, it will require only 12 hours of light every day. This reduction in lighting hours is what controls the flowering cycle of cannabis plants.
Since the lighting is an important aspect of growing weed, you'll want to maintain a light-tight grow room for your plants. Nevertheless, here are some of the lights you can use to grow your cannabis indoors.
i). HID Lamps
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are the ideal option for lighting your indoor plants. They are energy efficient and deliver more light compared to the amount of power they use. These lights are available in two primary forms; metal halide and high-pressure sodium. The first emits a bluish-white light and is great for the vegetative stage of cannabis growth. On the other hand, the second produces a red-orange light that is suitable for the flowering stage.
Unfortunately, HIDs release a lot of heat, so you'll need a well-ventilated area to install them. You'll probably need to buy some fans to keep the air cool, but this will add to the initial cost of buying these bulbs.
ii). Fluorescent Grow Lights
Another popular option among small-scale cannabis growers is fluorescent grow lights. They are a great option for two main reasons: they are cheaper and don't generate excess heat, which eliminates the need for a cooling system.
The downside to fluorescent bulbs is that they need a lot of space in relation to the amount of light they produce and are generally less efficient than HID or LED grow lights.
iii). LED Grow Lights
LED technology isn't a new concept but is the best option for many people who grow marijuana indoors. LED lighting is expensive, which is the main challenge it poses, but it's considered worth the cost because of its durability, energy efficiency, and fuller light spectrum.
Which Growing Medium Should I use to Grow Marijuana?
Understanding the best soil options is another crucial part of learning how to grow cannabis. There are different media options to choose from, but the most common one is using soil. If you are growing marijuana for the first time, you should probably start with soil since it's the most forgiving medium available. In addition, it'll provide you with enough flexibility before you master how to grow cannabis by yourself.
We recommend you go with organic soil that's free from artificial chemicals which could hinder the growth of your cannabis plants. Buying high-quality potting soil is the easiest way to acquire a suitable medium that won't require you to add liquid nutrients all the time. Also known as super soil, this medium comes already fertilized to ensure it can support the growth cycle of your cannabis plant without an additional nutrient supply.
You can whip this growing medium up with some soil, worm castings, bone meal, fish meal, and bat guano. However, since finding the necessary components can be tricky, you could just buy a pre-made batch at the local grow shop.
What Type of Container Can Cannabis Grow In?
Finding the perfect container for your cannabis will depend on factors like the grow medium, plant size, and indoor setup. The cheapest options are plastic pots and cloth bags, which are easily accessible. However, if you are on a high-end budget, you can choose an air pot that features an innovative design for allowing air to flow to the roots of the plant.
You could by planting the cannabis seeds in a one-gallon pot, and once the plant grows to a considerable size, you can transfer it to a bigger pot. Some strains of fully grown weed plants could even need a ten-gallon container to accommodate their size.
Your container should allow the plant's roots to develop naturally without running out of room. Also, they should hold enough soil to anchor the plant firmly to ensure it can grow as it should. One issue to check on the container you choose is the drainage. This is because waterlogging causes the roots of cannabis plants to rot. As such, the container should allow a steady drainage rate to ensure the soil isn't too wet.
The pot should also allow oxygen to enter the soil because the plant roots need oxygen to work as they should. Plus, the microorganisms that help convert nutrients in soil can't survive without oxygen. This means that the container should be perforated carefully to allow fresh air to circulate through the medium.
The Growth Stages of a Cannabis Plant
It'll take about 10-32 weeks to grow your marijuana plant to maturity if you are using seeds. If you want to grow weed within a shorter time frame, you should use a clone or autoflower seed. Indoors, you can stimulate the flowering stage of the plant by adjusting the lights, but if you are growing it outdoors, you'll be at the mercy of the seasons.
The stages of marijuana growth can be separated into four categories; germination, seedling, vegetation, and flowering. Understanding these stages is crucial in learning how to grow cannabis indoors and outdoors.
i). Germination Stage
After planting your seed, it'll take 3-10 days for it to germinate. The seed should be hard and dry with a brownish color. Once the seed germinates, you can transfer it to the growing medium, and the growth process will continue. The stalk will grow upwards, and the roots will develop downwards, at which point you should notice the fan leaves on your cannabis plant.
ii). Seedling Stage
The seedling stage of your weed plant will take about 2-3 weeks, and during this time, you should provide 16 hours of light for your plant every day. As it develops, your seedling will produce more fan leaves that will only have one ridge blade, but more blades will appear with time.
A mature cannabis leaf features 5-7 blades, and once your seedling starts developing such leaves, it can be considered ready for the next growth stage. You should avoid overwatering your plant at this stage since it has small roots and doesn't require a lot of water to thrive.
iii). Vegetative Stage
The vegetative stage of your weed plant takes about 3-16 weeks. During this time, your plant will need at least 6 hours of direct light and up to 10 hours of indirect lighting. This stage is the most significant since it's the time when the plant grows in size. Therefore, it's the right time to start topping and training your plant to ensure it develops as you want.
Since it'll get larger in size, your plant will need more water and nutrients. At this point, you should start watering the plant away from the stalk to encourage the roots to branch out in search of moisture. It is during this stage that you can identify the male plants from the female plants because they will develop their sex organs. You'll want to separate the males from the females to prevent any pollination from taking place.
iv). Flowering Stage
The flowering stage of your cannabis plant takes 8-11 weeks. You'll need to deliver 12 hours of light every day, and you'll notice resinous buds that will make the entire process feel worth the effort. For outdoor weed plants, flowering will occur naturally since they will receive less light as summer ends and fall sets in.
During the first weeks of this stage, the plant will display pistils and white hairs, which indicate budding. In the middle of the stage, the plant stops growing, and the buds start to grow in size. At the end of the flowering process, the buds get sticky, and at this point, the hairs will turn orange, and the trichomes turn amber. At this point, your buds will be ready for harvest, and you can now enjoy the fruit of your labor.