Below are all the topics covered in our growing guide. That is followed by a list of where it’s legal to homegrow in the US and a quick overview of the growing process.
The best way to get quality buds and big yields is to grow strong, healthy plants. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important things you need to know about growing weed:
Where is it legal to homegrow cannabis?
Whether indoors or outdoors, growing marijuana is fun and rewarding, but it can also be challenging and takes a certain amount of patience, time, and money. We’ll walk you through all the steps of growing, from preparation, to seed germination, plant growth, and harvesting, as well as best practices and how to troubleshoot common problems.
What does a marijuana plant need to survive and thrive?
Enjoy, have fun, and learn a tip or two—growing weed is therapeutic and relaxing, and there’s nothing better than smoking weed you’ve grown yourself.
Think of all the equipment in your grow space as organs in the body—if one fails, the others will have to work a lot harder for a bit, and then will fail in a matter of time.
Inevitably, there will be fluctuations of temperature and humidity in your cannabis garden. These fluctuations can occur both throughout a grow space as well as within pockets inside a given room. They can also occur at different points within a given day or throughout a season as conditions change in the environment outside your grow space.
Proper air circulation will help maintain temperature and humidity, and also bring down odor. Ideally, air needs to move through a garden every few minutes, and you should create a vent to the outside. Oscillating fans, and intake and exhaust fans can move air through your garden quickly, taking odors out with them.
This is easily achieved by placing an exhaust fan near the top of the space to suck out warm air—warm air rises—and adding a port or passive fan on the opposite side of the space near the floor to bring in cool air. A complete air exchange throughout the entire grow space should occur once every minute or so.
Examine the tops and undersides of leaves for pests or discoloration—spider mites live on the underside of leaves—as well as stalks and branches. Also, check the soil for pests.
You can also use a timer for your fans, but a thermostat is better—you can set it to a specific temperature, and the fans will turn on when it’s too hot and turn off when it’s too cold.
The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flower.
Controlling temperature in your indoor grow room or cannabis garden can be achieved by manipulating these factors:
Most dehumidifiers and ACs have built-in thermostats, but if they don’t, you’ll want to buy an external one.
Attention to detail is essential if you are a beginner who is trying to learn how to grow weed. Even the most inconsequential detail could be the difference between a healthy plant and a dud. In this video, learn about the best type of container to use to grow your marijuana plant. We recommend a “smart pot,” which is a container that is made of breathable fabric that allows the roots of your plant to grow much larger. Larger roots mean a larger marijuana plant, which means a more bountiful weed yield when the time comes.
Anytime space is limited for growing, some basic rules apply: Since square footage is at a premium, plans must take full advantage of each available inch. This means choosing between growing indica-dominant strains such as Hashplant, Afghani #1 or planning on using drastic trellising and training techniques if growing out sativas such as Super Silver Haze, Jack Herer or Kali Mist.
Pro Tips for Proper Drying and Curing
Indoors, The decision of when to induce flowering in your plants is entirely up to you. If you want to learn how to grow weed, it’s important to determine how much space you have and to factor in the fact that your plants will stretch for at least a few weeks after flowering is induced. I usually recommend one week per gallon of container, so a plant in a five-gallon bucket should get approximately five weeks of vegetative time.
When you’re ready to begin the flowering stage, switch your timer to a 12 hour on/12 hour off light cycle. Be sure never to interrupt the 12-hour dark period with any light. This confuses your plant and can cause serious problems.
Pest Control and Management
Don’t prune or pinch plants at all once they’ve begun flowering – you’ll only be decreasing your harvest at that point. If the branches are threatening to reach the light, bend them or tie them down to keep them from burning. A trellis system constructed from chicken wire at canopy level (aka the ScrOG or Screen of Green system), will further spread out bud sites and increase your yields considerably. Simply train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen to fill empty spots.
Knowing when and how to harvest your buds is as important as knowing how to grow weed.