Last Updated on September, 2023 by Rob Wilson
When it comes to growing weed, the one basic thing that all growers know is that you can grow it in two broad ways: it can either be grown indoors or it can be grown outdoors. However, both these methods have further divisions and complications and there’s much depth to both of them. Growing weed indoors has been something which is a very recent phenomenon compared to how long we have been growing weed for! As horticulture improves, growers have since become more advanced and are able to create near-natural conditions and have been able to simulate outdoor growth indoors under a perfectly-recreated natural environment!
In this article, we shall be discussing the first of the two methods – growing weed indoors. We shall explore in great detail as to how many different ways are there to grow weed indoors, what all do you need in order to do so and what are some challenges you might face while performing the indoor cultivation of marijuana. However, let us first begin by addressing the most basic question: what is it all about?
Indoor Cultivation of Marijuana: An Introduction
When you grow marijuana indoors, what you are basically trying to do is that you are recreating the outdoor conditions but in an ‘ideal’ manner. There are a certain set of conditions which are considered ‘ideal’ for the growth of the plant and the marijuana plant needs to grow in such conditions in order to achieve a proper growth. These ideal circumstances cannot be created outdoors because there you depend a lot upon the factors of nature. However, when growing indoors, you have a much higher level of control. Here, you can ensure that all the right kind of recreated natural resources are provided to your plants in order to get the most out of them.
By giving your plants the perfect conditions to grow in, you are basically ensuring that you get a higher yield, as well as have a better and stronger growth, get better taste and ensure that you are getting the most value out of the time and money you are investing in growing your plant. Indoor cultivation of marijuana has also been picking pace of late because of the stringent laws around growing weed. While marijuana-related laws have been relaxing over the world of late, most nations in the world still outlaw it, some having harsh criminal penalties for it too. Even in places where weed has been legalized it continues to be a social taboo to be known to be possessing it or growing it. Hence, growing marijuana indoors gives you a lot of privacy as well.
Different Types of Methods of Indoor Cultivation of Marijuana
There are a number of different methods using which you can grow weed indoors but the three primary ones are these:
- In a Grow Room: A grow room is a room where the growers have taken care of every aspect of the surroundings to simulate an environment which is optimal for growth. Walls are coated with reflective layers, floors are lined with materials from where water can easily be cleaned, there’s ample space for keeping equipments, etc. Here, a number of potted plants are just placed inside the room instead of being in a subsection inside a room as we see in grow tents below. This is a technique that is great for the use of those growers who grow their weed on a large-scale.
- In a Grow Tent: When we say a ‘grow tent’, we are also including other similar mediums such as grow boxes or grow cabinets – the only difference between these being the size and the shape of the exterior. When you are growing weed inside a grow tent, you are basically creating a small subsection inside a room which has a grow light, reflective layers, ventilation systems, etc. It is basically similar to having a grow room but in a smaller, more tightly controlled area. These are setups ideal for growers who grow on a much smaller scale.
- Hydroponic Growth: ‘Hydroponics’ literally translates to ‘the labour of water’ which comes from the Greek words Hydros + Ponos. This is a water intensive method of growing marijuana where instead of using a soil-based growth, the focus is on providing a lot of water in the system which reaches the roots directly. In a traditional soil-based method you would need to provide water and nutrients to the soil from where the roots would seek and absorb them. Here, however, the roots don’t have to go through all of that as the water is directly in contact with them. Growers can also use a grow tent in combination with hydroponic growth.
Equipment That You Need to Grow Marijuana Indoors
When you grow weed indoors, there are a number of things that need to be taken care of – in order to provide your plant with the optimum conditions of growth. These are the elements that are necessary for the indoor cultivation of marijuana. Let us take a closer look at each of them in greater detail.
- Grow Tent: A grow tent is the basic exterior structure inside which marijuana plants are grown. A grow tent provides the growers with privacy, and it also ensures, with the help of its reflective interiors that all the light that comes out of the grow light is utilized properly and is bounced directly on to the plants, ensuring that no light is absorbed in the surfaces. Grow tents are also great for growers as they keep all the insects and pests out which might damage your plants!
- Grow Light: Grow lights are very important as they function as the replacement to the natural light of the sun. Light is critical for plants as the shoot grows towards the direction of the light and moreover, plants need light for the process of photosynthesis where sunlight is converted into energy which helps the plants grow faster and stronger. Grow lights also help the plants in processes of generating various pigments necessary for their growth. Furthermore, the hours of light that you provide also help your plants take the plunge from the growth stage to the bloom stage.
- Equipment for Circulating Air: Air circulation is essential for the growth of the plants. Not only does it help ensure that the plants are getting fresh air and oxygen, but it also helps in dissipating any heat that has accumulated inside. Often, there’s a lot of heat generated inside a grow tent due to the use of grow lights, heaters, and other heat-generating equipment and can damage the plants or the equipment if it accumulates inside for too long.
- Carbon Filters: Carbon filters are needed to contain the smell of weed. Marijuana often has a very strong smell associated to it and it is quite a ‘tell’. Anyone who smells it would know immediately that you are growing weed inside your home and hence you need to contain the smell. Carbon filters are lined with activated charcoal which helps absorb all the foul smell that comes from weed.
- Medium of Growth: You need to know how exactly are you going to grow your plants – are you going to use a solid medium or are you going to use water as a medium (hydroponic growth). Even in a solid medium of growth there are usually two options – soil-based growth and non-soil growth. Non-soil growth makes use of mediums such as rockwool cubes, coco coir or pete moss while soil-based methods of growth use soil as a medium. Growers need to be sure of what they are heading into before they start off with growing their plants.
- Fertilizers/Nutrients: Fertilizers and nutrients are naturally present in soil but many a times, in fact on most occasions, they are not enough. Nutrients that the plants need are divided into various categories but the three most important elements are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium – these are known as NPK and every bottle comes with a detailed description of the ratio in which these are contained. Plants need different nutrients at different stages of their growth and using these Nutrients and Fertilizers help the plants attain a better growth, a better taste and higher yields as well.
- Dehumidifiers/Humidifiers: Humidity is another thing that is essential for the growth of plants. When the temperatures are humid, plants don’t need to seek water from the soil and the roots aren’t overworked as water is absorbed directly from the leaves. However, when you enter the flowering stage and when you need to provide more nutrients to the plants via the soil, this is when the humidity levels need to be lowered. Hence, using a humidifier/dehumidifier is important, especially if you are living in places which are naturally humid.
- Air Conditioners/Heaters: Air conditioners and heaters are needed for those growers who live in places where the temperatures tend to go to the extremes. Plants don’t do so well in either of the climatic extremes and a stable temperature needs to be maintained for their proper growth. Air conditioners help lower down the temperatures during the summer months and also help counter the excess heat generated by grow lights or other equipment in the surroundings. Heaters will help ensure that even during harsh winters your plants are getting a warm environment to grow in.
- Other Accessories: Lastly, there are a number of other smaller things that you might be needing while you grow your plants, such as shears to help cut them at the right time, insect traps to make sure that any insects which might have crept in are caught over there, using clip-on fans to create a breeze which helps strengthen the breeze, getting good water canisters, etc. These are smaller additions that add a lot of ‘value’ to your growth.
- Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana
- Different Types of Weed
- How To Grow Your First Marijuana Plant
- Countries with Legal Weed
- Growing Marijuana in an AeroGarden (Step by Step Guide)
- Introduction to Growing Marijuana
- Fimming vs Topping: Which Are the Best Pruning Shears for Growing Marijuana?
- Coco Coir vs Soil: Which is Better for Growing Cannabis?
Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Marijuana Indoors
1. Do I need all the things mentioned above to grow marijuana indoors?
Not really. While there are some things that are 100% essential such as getting grow lights, setting up a grow tent, and providing air and water, there are some things without which your plant can still grow but the growth won’t really be that good. These are humidifiers and dehumidifiers, heaters and air conditioners and other smaller equipment such as clip-on fans or insect traps. You will still be able to grow weed without them but the experience without them would be quite different as they help add a lot of ‘value’ to your growth in the long run, giving you better and healthier plants.
2. Is it legal to grow weed indoors?
Legality is a subjective matter depending on where you live. If the country or the state has outlawed the growing of marijuana then you might be in a problem. Even if weed is legal in your country or state, you need to know if you are allowed to grow weed and if so how much. There are some places where you are only allowed to grow weed for medicinal purposes while there are some places where you cannot grow weed but can only buy it. Hence, you must know what your local law enforcement rules are before you start with your growing operations. Most people who grow indoors do so because that gives them a much higher level of privacy compared to growing outdoors.
3. What is the difference between growing marijuana indoors vs growing marijuana indoors?
When you are growing weed outdoors, you are leaving much of it to the mercy of nature! Natural factors such as light, water and air present in outdoor growth as well, but when you grow your weed indoors, you have a much better amount of control on these factors of growth. This can ensure that ‘optimal’ levels of growth are provided to your plants. Sometimes when you are growing outdoors, there might be excess rain, snow or longer nights, or there might be problems with pests and insects, etc.
4. What are the drawbacks of growing marijuana indoors? (expensive)
When you grow your weed indoors, there are a lot of advantages when you compare it with growing it outdoors. However, there are some drawbacks as well – primarily, this is about the costs associated with an indoors setup. While growing your marijuana outdoors, you do not need most of the equipment because all the basic elements are present in nature. Sunlight, air and water, as well as naturally occurring nutrients in the soil will help ensure that your plants grow – but their growth won’t really be optimal. When you create circumstances for an optimal growth indoors, you need to buy certain equipment, the cost of which can be substantial. However, this is a one-time investment as almost all these things are going to last you for multiple years at the least.
5. What are the different stages of the marijuana plant’s life cycle?
When it comes to the life cycle of the marijuana plant, there are seven major stages:
- Vegetative Growth
Each of these stages need to be observed carefully as they all have different needs and requirements and different lighting, as well as need to be sheared and trimmed. Different stages of growth also involve the use of different nutrients and fertilizers based on the needs of the plant. Every indoor marijuana grower should know the different requirements of the plants based on the stage of the life cycle that they are in.
6. What is the role of grow lights in indoor cultivation of marijuana?
Grow lights are perhaps the most important element in the indoor growth of a marijuana plant because they emulate the natural light of the sun. Growers nowadays prefer using LED grow lights that provide a full-spectrum lighting which ensures that the same light can be used for all stages of growth as plants require different shades of light during different phases. Grow lights are essential as they provide a replacement to sunlight which helps the plants generate the energy which is required for processes such as photosynthesis and the production of necessary pigments and enzymes which help them grow. Hence, grow lights are critical for growers!
We hope that this article has helped you gain a better insight on growing weed indoors and that this helps you understand what all equipment is needed for the proper and healthy growth. To sum things up in one line – all that is needed to be known about growing marijuana indoors is that it is all about the ‘control’ that it gives you – by controlling all the natural factors being simulated indoors, you will be able to provide your plants with the perfect conditions which will help them grow faster, grow bigger and provide higher returns as well. If there’s something that you feel that we have missed out on, or if you want to know something more, then let us know in the comments below or drop us an email about the same!
Happy Growing! 🙂
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