How to grow Marijuana Indoors
Would you like to grow some of the green stuff for yourself?
Great! This is a simple beginners guide to growing Marijuana indoors.
- Never buy Marijuana again.
- Grow so discreetly that your neighbours won’t notice
- Don’t rely on shady character to supply this to you ever again
Growing Cannabis is easy because…
- It’s a strong, fast growing plant (grows literally like a weed)
- Hard to ‘screw up’. Cannabis will grow under not so ideal conditions, making it ideal for beginners
- Quick turnaround. Just 4 months from seed to smokeable product
Grow Equipment – What do you need?
You will at the very least a good light.
A good setup also needs fan and grow tent.
Other stuff needed are potting mix, pots, smell filter and Fertilizer.
This can all be bought online. I’ll give you the links here later.
The parts slowly one-by-one:
Cannabis needs lots of light. The more the better!
Light = weight (of your harvest).
The better your light, the more you’ll harvest.
There are 3 types of lamps used
HID lamps, LED Lamps or CFL Lamps.
LED is modern and energy efficient.
They are expensive to buy.
But they use little electricity. What you spend at first you’ll save later.
Cheap LED lights are available, but they produce small tiny buds and you waste time.
Only quality, more expensive LED lights are currently able to produce a good harvest.
My favourite LED grow light is the Hans panel.
… that means High Intensity discharge.
They come as HPS or MH (More on that later).
It’s a bit of an old-school light.
It gives you a big harvest but uses heaps of electricity.
These lamps are cheap to buy. What you save on initial purchase, you lose over time on electricity.
… means compact Fluorescent. (Energy Savers).
They work surprisingly well for small setups.
If you want a small home grow with just 1-3 plants, you could pay $80 for a 150Watt CFL with reflector and your good.
Cannabis needs fresh air to grow properly. Grow areas that are not well ventilated tent to develop insects like spidermites which will diminish the harvest.
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.
Very small setups with only 1 CFL lamp can work without active ventilation.
You put all that into a tent:
The Grow Tent
The grow tent:
- keeps the bright light inside
- keeps the plant smell inside
- has reflective insights to direct all light to the plants
- has opening for fresh air to enter at the bottom and used air to exit at the top
- has openings for electric cables
Pots and Soil
Fabric Pots are a new development. They work better than solid plastic pots. Because oxygen can reach the roots and excess water can drain.
For our grow box, 2 gallon fabric pots work well.
Buy great quality garden soil from the garden centre / hardware store. Get the best one you can. It’s the basis for your healthy plants.
It will have some nutrients in it for the first 3 weeks of your plants life. So you won’t need to worry about fertilizer initially.
Beginners growing Marijuana indoors.
Where to get Marijuana Seeds?
If you ever found some in a little green bag, they will probably do well!
You could also order seeds online.
A good seed shop will hide the seeds well in the parcel.
I recommend these guys in Holland,
Healthy seeds have this beautiful tiger marble color. Dead seeds are hollow or black.
Where to setup a Grow Box
Growing Indoors is safer than outdoors. You are able to hide your setup well inside your house.
Also, you won’t be dependent on the weather. Cannabis needs lots of sun.
Your indoor setup will ideally be placed in a closet, a garage, a cellar, the attic or your garden shed.
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.
Germinate some seeds!
How many seeds should you start?
Lets say your grow box fits 10 plants (more on this later).
If you have feminized seeds, meaning all seeds will produce female plants, you would start 12 seeds. (2 in reserve).
If you have normal, not feminized seeds, you will end up with roughly 50% males and 50% females.
Males don’t produce Marijuana, so you will ‘delete’ them. later.
So you would ideally start with 20 plants. But that’s not realistic since they won’t all fit into your grow box.
Start with as many as you can. Using feminized seeds than is most efficient.
We use Jiffy peat pellets. Put 10 of these into water and let them soak until they are big and fat.
Put 1 seed into each peat pellet. The seeds should be 1/2 inch deep (2 cm) and covered with dirt.
Put all the 10 peat pellets into some plastic container, or onto a plate or so.
Leave that at room temperature.
As long as the plant hasn’t popped out, it won’t need to be under light.
Keep it moist. pour water carefully into the container, the pellets will soak it up. Don’t pour over the peat pellets or the seed will wash away.
After 3 – 7 days your plants will sprout.
Now is the time to switch on the light in your grow box. The lights now must be switched on for 18hrs and off for 6hrs. Program your timer for that.
Put the new babies under the light.
They will grow very quickly, keep them moist. But they may not stand in a puddle of water.
Soon roots will grow out on the sides of the peat pellets. Now you urgently need to transplant into a pot with potting mix.
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.
And put this back under your light.
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 is dry.
A trick is to touch the soil with the back of your fingers. Does it feel slightly cool? 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 fabric 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.
The Vegetative Stage
Your plants are now germinated. You have put them into pots. They stand under you grow lights. Not too close to avoid the leafes burn.
The light is 18 hours on and 6 hours off. Some people tell you to leave the light on for 24 hours, but you are nice enough to let your plants sleep and keep them healthy.
Leave them under 18 hours of light for 3.5 weeks. Water when necessary but not too much.
Start Flowering in week 4
Plants look something like this in week 4. time to make them flower!
The 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
4 weeks into flowering you’ll see first buds.
Both males and females have buds. they look differently.
Females are whitish 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.
Fertilizer for hungry plants
Cannabis is a fairly hungry plant. It grows fast and needs lots of nutrients.There are special marijuana fertilizers available.
Fertilizer is always mixed with water. And then the plants are watered with that.
You cannot give fertilizer directly, undiluted. That would kill the plant.
Most fertilizers work. Even tomato fertilizer. But the ones that are specifically made for Cannabis, for example FloraNova work better.
To achive best results, you want to use a set of growth and bloom fertilizer.
I explain exactly how to mix and dose fertilizer in my guide on giving fertilizer here.
How often to give fertilizer?
You start giving fertilizer when the plants are 2 weeks old.
To keep your plants healthy and strong, you use the 3-by-1 rule.
That means you give fertilizer 3 times, and then you give pure water 1 time.
For example: If you have young plants, you may water them every 2nd day.
You give water with fertilizer Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And Sunday, you give them pure water.
So you avoid excess salts being built up in the soil which could harm your plants.
Also, I recommend using filtered water to really give your plants the best life possible. Read more about that here.
Download the feeding schedule (printable)
You will need a TDS meter to dose correctly, as shown in the video above.
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, the bugs are everywhere
Bugs do occour 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 like. 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 dry 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.
Would you like to start home growing?
You could buy the grow equipment on eBay or buy a complete grow box set.