Last updated: September 10th, 2021
How to grow Cannabis at home and never run out. Even if you have never done this before.
On this Page
- Building an Indoor Grow Tent:
- Buying a complete Grow Kit
- Doing an Indoor Grow
- Transplant the germinated babies into the pots
- Watering your Plants
- Vegetative or Reproductive
- Make them flower
- Spotting Male and Female Plants
- Cannabis Fertilizer
Growing Cannabis is (kinda) easy because…
- Cannabis a strong, hardy, fast-growing plant … (4 months and you have a harvest)
- Cannabis will grow under not so ideal conditions
- The equipment needed can be bought legally (Amazon and others)
- Big rewards, because you won’t need to spend money on Marijuana
- Don’t rely on a shady character to supply this to you ever again
What do you need to Grow Cannabis Indoors?
Build A Grow Tent
Everything happens inside the grow tent.
The grow tent is a big box that you can close with a Zipper. Everything happens inside.
The bright light will stay inside it.
Grow tents also let you filter the old air …. and remove the cannabis scent to stay discreet (more on that later on this page).
But honestly, you don’t HAVE to use a grow tent.
You could also grow without a tent. For example inside a cabinet, wardrobe or little storage room.
Grow tents come in different sizes.
→Click here to chose the right grow tent for your space. (You will stay on my website)
Where to set up your Grow Tent?
Your indoor setup will ideally be placed:
- in a closet
- in a garage
- a cellar
- the attic
- or your garden shed
You could put it into your living- / bed room … but the fan makes some noise.
Make sure nobody else can access the place. Be very discreet with your setup, nobody should really know about this. Even if it’s legal where you live, there still may people try and steal your harvest.
You will need electricity and a window or a vent for air exchange.
The temperature should not be below 53F / 12C or it all gets too cold (you need a heater).
Above 86F / 30C is too warm.
LED Grow Lights
Cannabis needs lots of light. The more the better!
In nature, Cannabis plants want full sunlight.
No electric light is as strong or as colorful as the sun. But LED Lights work very well.
LED lights are the best for Home Growers because they use the least electricity and produce the least amount of heat. They also grow excellent plants. So on this website, I focus on LED Lights.
There are different size LED lamps available.
The bigger your grow tent, the bigger the LED light needs to be.
Click here to chose the right LED Grow light (You will stay on this website)
Ventilation, Airflow, and Smell Removal
Cannabis needs fresh air to grow properly. The weed also smells (nicely) once its flowering.
Also, you need to get rid of old used air. For example out of a window or vent.
The carbon filter will remove the typical Marijuana smell so other people won’t have to smell it.
The Ventilation Fan
It looks like this: (if you’re confused about how to use it, please keep reading … there will be a video).
Video: How to use the ventilation fan in a grow tent
How to remove the smell?
Cannabis has a strong (delicious), smell when it goes into flower. The smell starts at the age of 4-6 weeks.
The smell is usually the reason why grow operations fail to stay undercover. The neighbors complain.
Even if you’re in a place where all of this is legal, you still may want to get rid of the smell and stay discreet. After all, your harvest could be worth $1.000sands of dollars and it’s better to not flaunt that.
So we need to use an air filter to remove the smell.
Those Carbon Air filters have activated charcoal in them.
The air from inside your grow tent is pulled through this filter, and the smell (most of it) gets removed.
The filters don’t always work 100% reliable. Its an organic process.
To make the filters work well and really remove the smell, the air needs to travel slowly through them. Then the carbon has enough time to filter the organic smells.
If your fan is running full spedd and your filter is too small, it won’t filter much.
So if in doubt, use a bigger filter. And always use a speed-controlled fan.
Click here to chose the right size fan. (You will stay on my website).
Click here to chose the right sized Carbon Smell Filter. (You will stay on my website).
Pots for your Plants
Now you need pots to grow your plants in.
There are Plastic Pots, Fabric Pots, and Air Pots.
Plastic Pots are the standard everybody has been using forever. They are super cheap. Unfortunately, they don’t let air penetrate and your plant roots have less oxygen available. You should avoid using these.
Fabric Pots are made from … fabric 😲. The fabric is breathable …. so oxygen can reach the roots of your plant and it will grow well. The problem is that they are prone to over-watering. Because they stand on the ground and excess water can not drain easily.
Air Pots are the latest development. They are great because they let oxygen reach the roots so the plants are happy. Air Pots also have space between the soil and the ground … which means excess water can drip away at the bottom. Even if you over-water your plants it’s not a problem. Because the excess water just drains out. Unfortunately, these are difficult to find and more expensive.
Summary: if you can, buy Air Pots. if not, fabric pots will do.
Soil, Potting Mix …. your Grow Medium
The better the potting mix, the easier your life. And the more you’ll harvest.
You can use pretty much any potting mix, as long as its good stuff.
Avoid mixes that are full of wood chips.
If you click this link, it will bring you to some soils that are available in your country.
There is also soil made especially for Cannabis, like Ocean Forest.
Then there is also the so-called ‘Super-Soil’. It’s supposed to have all the nutrients in it … so you don’t have to bother with giving nutrients.
Buy a complete Cannabis Grow Box
Where to get Cannabis Seeds?
Now it’s getting interesting….
You could buy seeds online, or you could find seeds (in a green bag), or you could even breed seeds yourself.
Buy Cannabis Seeds Online
You can buy seeds online and they will get shipped to your door.
I like the Cannabis Seed shop called ILGM (ILoveGrowingMarijuana).
They are breeders (they make their own seeds … instead of re-selling).
They are breeding for the best genetics, which means you get ‘high-performance’ plants.
They are from the Netherlands where they know all there is about growing recreational Cannabis.
Shipping to the USA is free of charge. Orders arrive within 4-15 weekdays at your door.
If you like, here is a special discount voucher (only available from my website) to give you $6 off: how-to-marijuana
Healthy seeds have this beautiful tiger marble color. Dead seeds are hollow, white and soft.
Using seeds you found in a ‘Green Bag’.
If you ever bought weed and there were seeds in it …. you could’ve planted those. Free Seeds!
But, the plants from those ‘bag seeds’ might not be as ‘genetically great’ as other bought seeds. That has to do with genetics (F1 Generation … too much to get into now).
Germinate your Cannabis Seeds … and finally, start this Grow! 🙆♀️
You start by germinating your Marijuana Seeds. There are a 3 ways to do that:
A) Germinate Seeds in Soil directly
Earlier on this page, I talked about buying good quality potting mix. You could now fill your pots with that soil and stick 1 Cannabis seed into every pot. Just make a little hole into the soil (1/2 inch, 2cm deep) and let a seed fall in.
B) Germinate with peat pellets.
These Jiffy peat pellets are like a baby crib for seeds. They are soft and clean.
The germination success rate is highest this way. Underneath is a video on how to do it.
You can buy peat pellets here ⤴ (external link)
C) Germinating in Water or on Paper towel
With this method, the seeds are being soaked in water or palced on a wet paper towl.
After 2-4 days they will sprout.
When sprouted, you use tweezer and, very carefully, put them into their soil. It’s best to not touch the little tap root … after all this is a new born thing.
How many seeds should you Germinate?
There are male and female Cannabis plants. But only females grow buds.
So us home-growers, we only want females.
Normally, seeds turn out 50% male and 50% female. So you have to destroy the males. That means if 4 plants fit into your grow tent, you want ot germinate 8 seeds.
But, these days many seeds are feminized. that means they grow females only. So you don’t need to destroy males.
Transfer the youngsters into Pots
When the plant has popped out of the jiffy peat pellet, transfer it into a pot with fresh garden soil.
Fill up the pot with soil, make a deep hole in the middle and insert the whole jiffy peat pellet with the young plant.
Put it quite deep into that pot, bury half the stem for additional support. The buried stem will grow roots.
Gently and lightly compress the soil and slowly give a bit of water.
Germinated plants need to receive Light
Plant needs light now!
Cannabis grows fast and drinks a lot of water.
Yet, overwatering can kill these plants very quickly.
Young plants need water approximately 1 x per week. Mature plants 1 x per day.
There is no set rule on watering. You need to give water when the soil getting dry. But don’t let it dry out completely, because then it becomes hard and new water has difficulties penetrating the soil…creating dry pockets that hurt your plant.
Touch the soil with the back of your fingers. Does it feel slightly cold-ish? It means there is enough water left. But if it feels warm you need to give water.
If your plants suddenly have their leaves hanging down, it probably means they are dangerously thirsty. Give water and the leaves go back to normal.
Excess water should be able to drain out of the pots. That is no problem with the above-mentioned air pots. Don’t leave your plants stand in water, they may drown.
Since more and more chemicals (chlorine, fluoride) are being added to our water supplies, it can be beneficial to use filtered water.
Vegetative or Reprodutive
The Cannabis plant has 2 phases in life. Vegetative (growth) and reproductive (flowering).
During growth, the branches and leaves are built up. Then, in flowering, the plant creates buds on those branches.
So how do we know our plant is flowering?
There are 2 types of plants. Photo-flower plants and Auto-flower plants.
Photo-flowers will go into flowering when we put them into 12 hours light and 12 hours darkness. In a grow tent, you will change the light duration. Outside growers cannot really create such a schedule without difficulty. Outside, cannabis starts flowering when the days become shorter in the mid of summer.
Auto-flowering plants are a special breed that goes into flower automatically … after about 4 weeks of age. These plants can be left under 20hr light / 4 hrs darkness for their whole life.
Auto-Flowers are good for beginners. They tend to yield a harvest faster and are quite easy to grow. You can buy Auto-flower seeds here ↗.
Your plants are now germinated. You have put them into pots. They stand under your grow lights. Not too close to avoid the leaves getting burned.
Plants look something like this in week 4. time to make them flower!
The Reproductive (Flowering) Stage
After around 3.5 weeks, switch the light to 12 hours on / 12 hours off.
Now the plants will change from “vegetative’ (growth) phase to “flowering” phase. the plant now thinks it’s late summer and time to make seeds.
Do this with a few steps in between. E.g. a couple of days on 15 hours light on.
You will see the first buds after approximately 4 weeks of 12/12 hour light. Hurray! But now … you have to eliminate the males.
How to spot a male plant
As mentioned earlier, only female plants ‘make buds’.
Unless you bought feminized seeds, there will be a few males that you have to remove. If you don’t remove them, they take up space and will pollinate the females. The females then make seeds and not that much bud.
This is a male:
4 weeks into flowering you’ll see first buds.
Both males and females have buds. They look differently.
Females are white hairs, males are hanging ‘balls’.
You must remove males once you have identified them. Because they will pollinate the females. And then the ladies won’t produce as much yield anymore.
Cannabis is a hungry plant. It grows fast and needs lots of nutrients.
That means we need to feed it well to make it fat and juicy.
There are special marijuana fertilizers available. But even standard Tomato fertilizer would work.
Don’t give fertilizer right from the start …. let the plants age a bit. Perhaps 3 weeks old. Because they don’t need much food when they’re young and your soil already has some in it.
Fertilizer is mixed into the water. And then the plants are watered with that.
How much depends on the product you’re using. My favorite Cannabis fertilizer is Veg n Bloom. Because it is made by Cannabis growers who know a lot about chemistry.
You cannot give fertilizer directly, undiluted. That would kill the plant.
Always keep an eye on your plants. If the leafs aren’t nice, darkish green they may be hungry and need more food.
Pest Problems, Bugs
Bugs do occur even indoors where there is seemingly no way for them to get into the box. Somehow they pop up anyway.
If you notice small white spots on your leaves have a good look at the underside.
You might see tiny bugs moving around slowly.
Often these are spider mites and they need treatment quickly. Or they’ll wrap up your plants in webs. And then … it’s a wrap.
To combat these militants buy a mild pesticide. I recommend Neem Oil. It derived from plants. Remember your crop is grown for human consumption. You can’t use heavy poisons to treat it.
Mix the Neem oil with water as recommended on the bottle. Wait until the lights in your grow box turn off for the night. Then generously spray the whole plant top to bottom. Pay extra attention to the leave undersides. Make the plant drenching wet.
Let it dry until the lights turn back on. This should get rid of the pest. If not, you can repeat it during the next dark period.
Are they Ripe yet?
It will take 2-3 month flowering time until they are ripe.
During this time, buds will grow. All you need to do is give water and fertilizer.
The next photo shows plants that were flowering for 2.5 month. They have nice buds but they aren’t ripe yet.
Your plants are ripe after 2 – 3 month of flowering.
You can tell they are ripe when most of those white hairs have turned brown.
Also ,the plant growth will have slowed down.
They will smell heavily and the buds will be compact and hard.
If you have a microscope you could check the trichomes (sticky, icy looking things covering the buds) for their color. If they look brownish its another indicator that the plant is ready to harvest.
Plants harvested very late tend to have a sleepy effect. Plants harvested early seem to have a more activating high.
Harvesting is easy. Cut the whole plant just above the soil.
The hardest part is done.
You have grown the plant and there’s not much that can go wrong now.
Avoid touching the sticky buds. Anything stuck to your fingers is lost.
Now a lot of work begins. Its time for …
Trimming the buds
Use small scissors (nail scissors) to remove leaves from your buds.
Those big leaves can go into the bin. They have no active ingredients. Smoking them would just make you cough.
Then there are the smaller, icing-covered leaves in between the buds. Cut them (most of them) out but keep them.
They are smokeable. But they are even better used to make butter or hash.
The cleaner you trim your buds, the better they’ll look. And the nicer they’ll be to smoke.
Drying your precious harvest
Dry slowly, but not too slow.
For example, a good way to dry is spreading your buds on paper and leaving them in a dark room. They will dry slowly.
It is a bad idea to dry the material with a hair dryer or in an oven. It will taste like hay afterwards.
But if they dry too slowly, they might catch mould which quickly ruins them.
Drying them slowly will make them develop a pleasant smell and taste. Slow drying will also make them milder to smoke.
Your buds should feel dry after around 7 days. Then you put them into a large plastic bag over night (don’t compress).
On the next morning, they’ll feel moist again. Leave em dry for another 12 -24 hrs and put them back into the plastic bag.
Carefully slow down the drying process.
At some point, the material is dry enough for the stems to snap upon bending. They should make a nice ‘crack’ sound.
This is the time to stop drying. You don’t want to make it 100% totally dry. Because some minor humidity is needed for the curing process.
You can now go ahead and smoke some. But it won’t have its full strength yet.
Curing. Make good Buds even Better
Freshly dried Marijuana can be consumed. It will have an effect.
However, it could be a lot better.
Over the next 2 – 4 month or so, chemical processes in the weed will decrease chlorophyll and increase THC + other active substances.
Meaning the stuff gets easier to consume and more potent in its effect.
Curing is done best in glass jars. Glass is neutral, plastic could leave its taste on the buds.
Put it into glass jars and store them in a dark place. Open the jars every few days to let in some oxygen.
This process is a bit like wine or cheese making. There are no fixed rules. Make your own.
This is how you grow your own at home.