When it comes to growing marijuana indoors, people tend to go for one of two approaches. Some may prefer to figure things out on their own and treat the entire process purely as a learning experience; others want to grow the best weed they can from day one.
While neither of these methods for growing marijuana indoors is blatantly wrong, we’ll give you two guesses as to which approach yields the best results. There are seemingly innumerable parameters that need to align for the perfect crop when growing marijuana indoors for beginners.
Still, if you manage to tick these five boxes, you’ll be well on your way to the best harvest you can imagine. Keep reading for our quick indoor marijuana growing guide.
Making the most of your indoor marijuana grow
Once you’ve decided to start your very first crop of indoor cannabis, the very next question may very well be, “How can I get the biggest, fattest buds from my setup?” If you’re growing marijuana indoors, the world’s your oyster when it comes to strain choices, as long as you’re able to meet the space, light, and nutrient requirements.
Some strains like OG Kush grow very bushy and may need more surface area; others may reach your lights in no time and need to be topped and low-stress trained to maximize their potential. Be sure to read about the overall size and other environmental requirements your chosen indoor strain may have when growing marijuana indoors.
Five keys to a great indoor cannabis crop
Aside from water, lighting for growing marijuana indoors may well be the next most important factor. Whether you’re growing a super-tough autoflower strain like Blue Amnesia or a super-finicky Jack Herer, ample full-spectrum lighting will make all the difference in the world. Even autoflowers, which aren’t super picky about lighting, still benefit greatly from a quality light source.
All plants benefit from the best lighting possible during their veg stage. An optimal LED light may be the priciest component of your setup, so we recommend scaling it to your intended setup and get the best one you can afford. Look for full spectrum lights with active cooling and a wattage appropriate for the intended grow area. If you’re growing marijuana indoors for cheap, you may want to opt for some E27 fittings with CFL bulbs.
Quality growth medium
Now that you’ve locked the “above ground” requirements, your growth medium forms the next most important aspect of your setup. Many veteran growers turn to hydroponic systems with grow tables and constant nutrient cycling, but the majority still opt for good old dirt. The best soil for growing marijuana indoors will have good drainage, good nutrient retention, and lots of oxygenation.
However, not all dirt is equal, so look for one of the many high-quality cannabis-specific soils or, if you’re feeling creative, you may choose to mix up your own batch. Look for quality organic soil with natural ingredients like worm castings, compost, and coco coir, among others. The next step for growing marijuana indoors with dirt will be to enrich your soil with bonemeal f to promote root growth and perlite or vermiculite to promote good aeration and water retention.
Topping & Training
When growing marijuana indoors in soil, you may have limited space to some degree; this doesn’t prevent you from still making the most of what you have available. Once you’ve established that you have a healthy, vibrantly growing plant, you can top the tallest branches.
Be sure to even out the branches and ensure that light will hit all the bud sites at the same intensity. You may also want to thin out some of the middle leaves and remove ancillary branches lower down. Combine topping with some low-stress training like tying and bending branches to further optimize your plant’s bud-wielding powers.
Hold the Nutes!
Something that may seem counter-productive to some indoor marijuana growers: plants need nutrients to survive, and they can’t absorb too many nutes, right? Well, yes and no. While plants can only absorb a finite amount of nutrients, the remaining solution in the soil may lead to nutrient burn. Overfeeding is a common mistake new growers make, which drives the point home of following manufacturers’ guidelines and a set feeding schedule.
Overfed marijuana growing indoors will show symptoms similar to thirsty ones. Watch for bent leaves that are twisted or even crispy. If you observe these symptoms but have been watering regularly, you may need to flush the soil after removing as much of the affected foliage as possible.
Prune old growth
Once you have a well-established plant, and well before you proceed with flipping it into the flowering stage, you should do one last major pruning of the lower and middle leaves. Removing foliage from the middle of the plant will help light penetrate better, improving overall plant health - a necessity when growing marijuana indoors.
Along with low-stress training, pruning also saves the plant from pushing energy into regions that won’t end up producing cola anyway - just another way to improve the size of your crop. Try to avoid unnecessary pruning close to flowering, as you don’t want to stress the plant at this stage.
Unlocking the botanist within
Growing marijuana plants indoors is one of the more rewarding experiences in the cannabis lifestyle. Maybe you’ve been growing some outdoors in summer, but now you’re thinking of growing marijuana indoors during winter. As luck would have it, the internet is filled with like-minded folks happy to share their experiences.
You’ll soon find that growing marijuana from seeds indoors is a lot simpler, even soothing in its own right. Aside from the joy of learning a valuable skill in botany, the sense of pride that accompanies lighting up some bud from your very own harvest is a high all of its own.