Setting up your first indoor grow room is a huge step forward in learning the nature of cannabis. Being a home grower gives you the knowledge of what a high-quality mature cannabis plant should look like. Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff will help you a lot during your next visit to a dispensary, when your plants start blooming and you don’t want to make a break for your supplies. Growing cannabis indoors is actually quite easy, although it requires both time and patience, as well as continuous willingness to learn. In this guide, you’ll learn how to grow your first cannabis plant indoors to get the most out of your harvest. Let’s dive deeper into this!
Learning How to Grow Cannabis Indoors
Before we elaborate on the necessary equipment and the growth stages of cannabis, let’s shed light on the quality of your source material — the seeds.
Always Buy High-Quality Seeds
Growing cannabis indoors starts with the seeds. Unlike many people believe, you won’t grow high-quality plants using just any seeds. If you want premium yields, you need premium seeds — that’s the name of the game. Otherwise, you can have the best equipment on the planet and know every growing tip like the back of your hand — but inferior genes will always provide inferior yields. On the other hand, using high-quality seeds in your indoor grow space increases your chances of bulky, resinous yields, even under not-so-perfect conditions.
Always buy your seeds from a trusted seed bank. You don’t need to use the top-shelf seeds for your first plants — just make sure you don’t grow them from the dreaded bagseed.
Don’t Use Extra Nutrients If the Soil Is Already Fertile
You can use any high-quality potting soil for growing cannabis indoors, just keep in mind to ignore soil with additional fertilizers. Also, avoid soil with extra nutrients, as the only three nutrients cannabis plants need to grow healthy are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, all of which naturally occur in soil.
Choose the Location Carefully
Picking the right location for growing weed is just as important as finding high-quality seeds. You need to make sure your plants are positioned correctly for healthy growth. If you’re just getting started as a home grower, opt for smaller spaces and indica varieties so that you can experiment with different settings. With smaller spaces, you have better control over the plant’s environment, such as light, temperature, and humidity. You’ll also need fewer lights, which gives you higher cost-efficacy.
Ensure Proper Conditions for Germination
Your seeds must sprout the right way, so you need to provide them with enough moisture and access to sunlight. To trigger the germination process, place your seeds on a wet paper towel and expose it to sunlight for 24–32 hours. Once done, poke tiny holes in the soil — about an inch deep. Your seeds should have enough space to grow into full maturity without taking the space from the other plants. A freshly germinated seed will need much moisture to receive the necessary amount of nutrients for healthy growth.
Take Control of Light, Heat, and Air
If you neglect the amount of light, heat, and air your plant receives during growth, you won’t be able to make up for it even with the best growing skills in the world. Here’s what you need to remember about using air, light, and temperature to replicate the natural environment for your indoor crops.
- Air: Proper airflow and ventilation are crucial for maintaining the optimal air quality, which is paramount for growing top-shelf cannabis. With 1–2 indica plants, you can use up to 2 plants. Larger grow rooms will require a decent exhaust system to ensure undisturbed airflow.
- Light: Good light is invaluable for maximizing your strain’s yield potential. Opt for powerful lights, such as HPS, LECs, or LEDs if you want to get the highest yields with a sticky layer of trichomes. Full-spectrum lighting systems will help you recreate the plant’s natural environment.
- Temperature: Growing cannabis indoors requires you to mimic nature’s changing seasons so your plants can fluently transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage. The best temperature for growing weed is between 70–85 F with lights on. When the lights are shut, reduce the temperature to 58–70 f.
- Humidity: During the vegetative stage, it’s best to keep the humidity at around 60–70%. Once the plants have gone into the flowering stage, you’ll need to reduce the humidity as much as possible to prevent mold from destroying your crops.
Mind the Timing for Each Stage
There are three main stages of growing weed, both indoors and outdoors. In this section, you’ll learn how to adjust the timing for each stage.
- Seedling stage: this phase requires you to hydrate the seedlings regularly. Just remember not to overwater them. Once you water the soil, wait until its surface gets dry to the touch before you decide to add more water. The seedling stage shouldn’t last more than 2 weeks.
- Vegetative stage: during this stage, the plants will grow stems and leaves to withstand the weight of flowers. You’ll need to provide the plants with a minimum of 18 hours of light when they’re vegetating. When growing cannabis indoors, you can keep them in the vegetative stage for as long as you prefer.
- Flowering stage: as the name suggests, the flowering stage is where your cannabis will grow beautiful flowers. At this stage, you want to keep the plants in the dark for at least 12 hours every day until the harvest. This stage typically lasts 7–9 weeks.
Then, you’ll be ready for the harvest. But is that everything? No, actually not. We still have two things to cover.
Dry and Cure the Buds to Elevate their Aromas & Potency
Drying and curing your buds are the last steps on your way to growing cannabis indoors. Again, you’ll need to be careful and patient during these processes. You should aim at the optimal drying environment, which is about 70 F with 50% humidity. Once the buds have dried, you can transfer them into glass mason jars for up to a month to increase their density. Curing will also enhance the aromas and flavors of your cannabis — doing the same with its potency. Are you up for setting up your first indoor space for growing cannabis?