The outdoor space naturally seems to be the best place to grow your cannabis plants. However, change in weather patterns, insecurity, spreading of pests and diseases can significantly lower your harvests. To ensure that you can get high yields, growing cannabis indoors seems to be the best alternative.
What are the Basics of Growing Cannabis?
You can get too high yields if you consider growing cannabis indoors. However, the whole growing cycle requires investment in the right equipment and time. It’s basically a hands-on approach that comes with many benefits.
Why Grow Cannabis Indoors?
Growing cannabis indoors has lots of advantages compared to the outdoor space. Common reasons why most growers opt for an indoor space include:
- Total control over the growing environment
- All-year-round harvests
- Consistency crop growth
- Control over flowering
How to Choose an Indoor Place for Growing Cannabis
Are you keen on growing cannabis indoors? Well, you have to choose the right indoor space. This means that you should also consider the settings, including lights and air circulation.
The right indoor space should be next to the window where the plants can quickly get airflow. It should also be noted that cannabis plants usually smell, especially during the flowering phase. When you are starting, it’s also right to grow only a handful of plants. This is because, as a newbie, you are to make mistakes. However, you don’t want to incur significant losses.
You need to regulate the indoor climate to create the best environmental conditions for the plants to thrive. Some of the things you need to consider include:
- Light intensity and duration
Note: Ensure that your indoor space is cool, dry, and has easier access to fresh air to ensure that the outdoor environment doesn’t alter the indoor space.
Cannabis plants need different amounts of light supply depending on the phase. For instance, light requirements during the vegetative and flowering phases are different. When the cannabis plants are in the vegetative phase, they need around 18 hours of light daily. When they are flowering, the time reduces to 12 hours daily. Understand that the light reduction from 18 to 12 is what triggers the flowering cycle.
Growing cannabis indoors requires a high level of air circulation. Your plants need a fresh supply of air to thrive. Besides that, Carbon dioxide (CO2) is also essential in facilitating the process of photosynthesis. So, you need to ensure that your indoor space has a steady stream of air.
Dehumidifiers and ACs
In case your indoor space is too humid, then you need to invest in dehumidifiers or dehueys. For effectiveness, use ACs and fans with humidifiers. Generally, fans are essential in helping the air move in and out. But if you find that the effectiveness is low, then you must consider investing in an AC.
Dehumidifiers and ACs are essential in ensuring that you get the right indoor climate. This is usually in relation to humidity and also temperature.
Timers or Automation
Timers are essential for light regulation. So, you definitely have to invest in them. Your plants need a certain amount of light at different phases, and that’s why you must regulate the light with a timer.
Timers are highly versatile, and you can use them with thermostats to set a specific temperature. Note that most ACs and dehumidifiers have in-built thermostats to make your automation work easier.
Optimizing Temperature and Humidity in an Indoor Space
You will continuously need to regulate your indoor temperature and humidity to ensure that your plants have a comfortable range. When the lights are on, you will need to regulate your temperatures between 70-85°F. When the lights are off, then the temperature range should be between 58-70°F.
But this usually depends on the variety of the cannabis plant. Cannabis of Indicas usually loves colder environments. On the other hand, cannabis Sativa are usually tolerant of high temperatures. Each stage usually requires different temperatures and relative humidity. Here’s the general overview:
- Seedlings/clones: 75-85°F; ~70% relative humidity
- Vegetative growth: 70-85°F; 40-60% relative humidity
- Flowering: 65-80°F; 40-50% relative humidity
Tools to Maintain Temperature and Humidity
There are cheap and readily available tools that you can use to measure temperature and humidity. You can conveniently use them in your indoor setup, and they include:
- An essential thermometer: you can use it to measure the indoor temperature.
- A hygrometer: measures the humidity level by using the water vapor content in the air.
- Infrared thermometer: it’s used to measure the level of surface temperature, although it’s optional.
You need to control the level of your indoor temperature so that your plants can thrive. To achieve this, here are some of the factors that you can manipulate:
- Airflow: regulate the flow of air by installing fans and ducting.
- Lights: use HPS, MH, and fluorescents for hot lights, but LEDs are generally acceptable as well.
- ACS: it’s ideal for rapidly cooling the overall indoor temperature if the fans aren’t highly effective.
- Heaters: if the lights aren’t generating enough heat, then you can use a heater.
Humidity refers to the water vapor content in the air. Some of the most effective ways to regulate the level of humidity involve:
- Dehumidifiers: they help to remove moisture content in the air and increase temperature.
- Humidifiers: you can use them to increase the moisture levels if the indoor space gets too dry.
- Airflow: fans help regulate airflow and ensure that the moisture content effectively moves in and out of the indoor space. You can also open up your indoor space to facilitate more airflow, which will eventually help control the humidity level.
- Water: if you can’t afford a humidifier to increase the water vapor content in the air, then use a spray bottle to spray a layer of mist to the plants.
Soil and Other Media for Growing Cannabis Indoors
Soil is definitely the most common medium for growing cannabis. However, you can also use a hydroponic tray or Rockwool cubes. The traditional medium, which involves soil, is considered to be one of the best mediums. It’s quite forgiving, and that’s why it’s the most ideal for first-time growers. Just make sure that you choose high-quality potting soil. Ensure that this medium doesn’t have artificial components because this might eventually affect your harvests.
Finding the Right Soil for Cannabis
Generally, the best soil should have a healthy level of soil bacteria and mycorrhizae. These are essential components that aid in converting nutrients into more superficial elements that the plants can efficiently utilize. You can also use the regular soil mix. Still, then you should consider adding some supplements, especially those that contain liquid nutrients.
You can make the soil by yourself. Most growers usually combine bat guano, worm castings, and other components. The mixture is then left to sit for a few weeks before finally getting used. You can also purchase such a mix from your local nursery. If you are a first-time grower, then it’s recommended that you simply buy high-quality potting soil. Such a product usually has an adequate nutrient supply. It can effectively get your plants through their growth cycle without you adding anything.
Taking Care of Your Indoor Cannabis Plant
One of the main tips for growing cannabis indoors requires that you learn how to take care of the plants. The maintenance process starts immediately after you have planted the seeds and will only end after harvesting. Here’s an overview of how you can take care of cannabis plants at different stages of development.
Caring for the cannabis seedlings
After germination, you need to weed your seedlings. At this point, they are definitely delicate, and they need extra care. However, the seedlings don’t need so much water since excess supply can easily drown them.
Make sure that you set up an effective watering routine. So, you need to water the seedlings once after 4 to 7 days. The watering timeframe will definitely vary depending on your setup as well as the climate.
When it comes to feeding, you still have to be careful regarding the nutrient supply. The plants are still young, and they, therefore, don’t feed so much. So, simply make sure that they receive plenty of sunlight and water them when necessary.
Caring for Cannabis in Vegetative Stage
This stage is considered to be the “teenage” years of cannabis plants. So, a lot of resources have to be utilized to ensure that they turn up fine. In some instances, you might be forced to transfer them to bigger containers. This is because they would be growing rapidly.
It’s essential to change the growing environment to allow the root network to expand. This will allow the plant to grow bigger and stronger. At this point, your marijuana plants will need more water. This is because they will be growing bigger. However, you still have to be moderate with the nutrients. It’s still so early to significantly increase your nutrient intake in the vegetative stage.
If you cultivate your plants indoors, you should start to implement a nutrient regimen at this phase. However, if your plants are outdoors, then you have to wait until you clean the weeds. This way, your plants will be able to effectively maximize the nutrients.
While the plants are in the vegetative phase, make sure that you give them the “grow” nutrients. Well, this is usually a fertilizer that’s rich in nitrogen. After a couple of weeks, go ahead and top the plants. This will encourage them to spread and grow out instead of growing up.
Understand that chopping off the top part of the plant will be worth it in the long run. Your plants will end up experiencing an even amount of light supply.
Your plants will be growing rapidly, and you can start to prune them. If you notice dead leaves and branches, remove them. This will allow more light to still hit the leaves of the plants, resulting in more yields. Pruning is also important in reducing the risk of molds and pests because it facilitates more airflow.
Taking Care of a Flowering Cannabis Plant
If you have pot plants, ensure that you have effectively set them up before entering the flowering stage. Move them earlier into the appropriate environment because the flowering stage is quite sensitive.
It’s also possible to still prune your plants earlier into the flowering stage. But once they have fully flowered, refrain from doing that. The bud will be growing out, and the energy demands will be higher. So, you need to increase the water supply. Ensure that you have a watering schedule that you use every couple of days.
In case you are growing your plants indoors, you need to switch to “bloom” nutrients. These are nutrients that contain high amounts of potassium and phosphorus. They are usually great at accelerating the production of buds. If it’s an outdoor setting, then you can still add these nutrients via top dressing.
It should be noted that the light requirements of some marijuana strains usually change during the flowering stage. If you are growing your plants indoors, you need to change the light cycle to 12 hours daily.
Note: the harvest season will soon be approaching at this point. So, before you start harvesting your cannabis, make sure that you flush the plants. This is usually done by giving them only water a week before you finally harvest them.
Generally, taking care of cannabis plants mainly involves regulating water supply, controlling weeds, nutrient supply, and managing pests and diseases.
Timeline for Growing Marijuana Indoors
There are different stages that your cannabis plant will undergo when you are cultivating them online. Generally, there are four main primary stages that the plant will go through, from the seed right to harvesting.
- Germination: takes place between 3 days and 10 days
- Seedling: it occurs between 2 weeks and 3 weeks
- Vegetative: between 3 weeks and 16 weeks
- Flowering: it takes place between 8 weeks and 11 weeks
If you are keen to smoke the cannabis plant you have grown, you will have to wait between 10 weeks and 32 weeks. Well, this can also be classified as 3 months and 8 months. However, you can shorten the whole process if you decide to use an auto flower seed or a clone.
Understand that the growing timeline may vary due to different factors. The biggest variance is usually created by how big you want your cannabis plants to be and how often you plan to harvest them. In case you are planning multiple harvests, then you will end up with smaller plants. If you want bigger plants, then you will end up with fewer harvests.
Did you know that it will take you less time to grow 5 weed plants than 10 weed plants? You may end up growing 3 harvests of 5 plants within one year and just one or two harvests of 5 plants within one year.
Understand that in both cases, you are also more likely to yield the same amount of wood. More harvests are recommended because you will always end up with fresh weed frequently. Besides that, you will have more opportunities to try and cultivate different strains of cannabis.
However, you must also be ready to put in more work if you want more harvests. For instance, you have to be ready to weed the plants often. The cleaning process, as well as maintenance, will also be frequent.
The Cause of Growing Period Variability
The biggest variability normally occurs when the plants are in a vegetative state. Well, this is when the plants start to flower but right after the seedling phase is over.
It should be noted that the flowering stage normally takes around 8 weeks. However, some cannabis strains might take 9 weeks or even more. It all depends on the type of strain you choose to grow.
The best thing about indoor cultivation is that you have the best chance to control the plants’ size. This is possible because you can always flip the plants and accelerate their growth to flower quickly. But you should only do this once you have analyzed and noticed that the plants are big enough while they are in the vegetative stage.
Advantages of Growing Cannabis Indoors
Growing cannabis indoors isn’t easy for the grower, but it has many advantages to the plants. They include:
You are responsible for controlling the indoor climate. This means that your plants will end up with excellent growing conditions if you effectively manage everything. You can provide sufficient temperature, humidity, and levels of CO2, among others.
Multiple Growing Seasons
If you are growing cannabis indoors, then you are not at the mercy of the natural weather. The external environment can get hostile. That’s why there are specific growing seasons for cannabis plants. However, you can tailor your indoor season to meet your needs. So, you can have multiple growing seasons. As a result, you can have the maximum amount of harvests per year.
Cultivate the strain of your choice
Due to different climatic changes, it’s impossible to grow some cannabis strains outdoors. This is because the elements of weather might not be effective in supporting optimal growth. However, you can grow the stain of your choice as long as you customize and regulate the indoor climate.
As long as you effectively control the indoor environment and take care of the environment, your plants can have a clean and hygienic space. If you cultivate your cannabis plants for medical use, then understand that a hygienic environment is important.
Having control in an indoor space means that you can control parasites, fungus, germs, and other microorganisms. As a result, you will produce high-quality plants ideal for use by people with weak and sensitive immune systems.
Growing cannabis indoors leads to better security. This is particularly important in states that have specific regulations for growing cannabis plants. If you grow your cannabis plants indoors, then it becomes easier to comply with the stipulated regulations.
There’s no doubt that growing cannabis indoors leads to high yields. You have total control of the climate and can conveniently regulate everything. The safety of your plants is also guaranteed, and you can plant them throughout the year. However, you need to ensure that you invest in the right resources for climate regulation. This way, you will end up with optimal yields and get value for your investment.