How to grow marijuana whether indoors or outdoors is something every weed user should know.
At least the basics. This way you’ll have a better understanding of the plant and most likely, you’ll probably appreciate it even more.
Research is the most important beginning for first-time weed grower. A grower will need to research into what kind of weed seeds they will be using; specifically what strain of cannabis plant the seeds are from as Indica and Sativa plants grow differently. Sativa grows into tall and spindly plants and so tend to be less suitable for people, growing indoors and with limited space.
Sativa plants are also reputed to be less potent than their cousins, the Indica plant. Indica is better suited for indoor growing because of its size; it is a shorter plant, but bushier than the Sativa varieties and reputed to be more potent. Skunk plants are not natural plants.
They are grown from hybridization between two or more cannabis plants and developed specifically to produce more THC than natural cannabis. Seeds for Skunk varieties of cannabis are available to buy, but the act of growing; even germinating the cannabis seeds constitutes an illegal act in Great Britain. Offenders can receive heavy fines and prison sentences.
Obviously the seed-strain a grower uses will indicate how best to grow the plant. Using outdoor strains for indoor growing might not work out too well. Using indoor strains for outdoor growing won’t work well either. So the grower needs to decide whether or not to grow indoors or outdoors.
Legality aside, growing cannabis outdoors is far easier than growing indoors. Nature provides all the nutrients and essential gasses the plant will require to grow, however, most Sativa and Skunk varieties need far hotter climates than Western Europe provides.
Cannabis plants grown under those conditions will probably fail to reach their full potential in terms of potency and yield (the amount of flower, usually measured in grams), and that’s IF they haven’t suffered from the cold and frost; which can cause the plant to stop flowering and below freezing temperatures can kill it. Also, despite it being a source of water, rain in large quantities can slow the plants growth or cause mould or rot to develop.
Controlling and monitoring the quality of soil is harder outdoors, especially if a grower is not experienced in gardening. It’s an Annual plant and will die soon after it has successfully flowered, so a typical outdoor grow will be limited to one crop. All that aside, it isn’t unheard of to hear about growers, growing outdoors, to have had their crop stolen right out of the garden!
The first principle to remember about growing cannabis indoors is that natural conditions necessary for successful plant growth and development must be duplicated artificially. All that nature provides, all it’s signals instructing the plants development, must be provided by the grower.
Specific types of grow-lamp replace natural sunlight and the cycle of day and night, while fans create the circulation of air. Because soil in a plant-pot doesn’t benefit from the organic cycle of renewal in nature, its nutrient levels and how acidic or alkaline (P.H level) it is must be monitored and controlled by the grower. Though soil is still used, many indoor growers successfully adopted soil-less grow-mediums and techniques; many of which are hydroponics systems. Humidifiers and air-conditioners replace naturally generated humidity and the cycle of the seasons is in the hands of the grower.
There are several ways to begin growing: You can use seeds from Marijuana that is available to you locally, you can use a cutting from a female “Mother” plant, or you can order seeds by mail.
The most affordable way to start is to use seeds from Marijuana you already have acces to. If you have access to a variety of Marijuana, try to take seeds from the best and freshest buds.You should select the largest ones you can find. They should be chocolate brown in color and often they will have black stripes on them. Try crushing them between your fingers. If they crush then they are not actually useable. If they are firm enough to withstand crushing then they can be used.
See Germination below for info on starting your seeds.
If you want to grow absolutely the best Marijuana in the world, then you need to get “super” seeds that have been genetically engineered by master growers. Although it is illegal in America to buy Cannabis seeds, you can order from Canadian seed banks by money order. There are some reliable ones that carry the best strains in the world.
The other way to begin growing, if you have access to a healthy female Marijuana plant, is to take cuttings and root them. This is called Cloning.
How To Germinate Weed Seeds
To germinate your seeds, you can either start them in wet paper towel or plant them right in your growing medium (soil for conventional growing or rock wool for hydroponics). To start in a wet paper towel, simply wet a paper towel with warm water and place your seeds on it. You want to space your seeds at least an inch apart. I recommend germinating 3 or 4 seeds for every one plant you intend to grow. However, if you are using expensive seeds you might want to do less!
Fold the paper towel in half and place it in a tupperware container or bowl and cover it. The stick it someplace dark and warm. Germination will take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks. Try checking the seed every 2 days. Once your seed has sprouted a long white root, about a half inch or longer, you can plant it.
When you plant, you will make a small hole in the soil or rock wool and insert the sprout root down. That means the white root goes down into the hole and the seed is up at the surface. Tuck the sprout in gently but snugly.
How To Clone Weed
Cloning is actually relatively easy. First thing you do is take a cutting from a healthy mother pant. The cutting should be from the top or outmost parts of the plant.
You want to take a cutting about 4 inches tall with 4 smaller branches on it as shown above. After you take the cutting, you want to cover the stem in cloning gel. This will only take a few drops and the gel is widely available from hydroponic suppliers. Check our growing supplies page for links.
Once you coat the stem in cloning gel, you want to insert the cutting into a cloning system. We recommend the 4 plant kits from EzHydroKit. They will work well as cloning kits and veg growth kits for your plants. Simply insert the cutting into some pre-soaked rock wool and stick in the kit. The drip system will automatically water your cuttings and roots should appear within one week. Use a light nutrient solution at first(cloning solution is best) until the clones get strong, then switch to full strength solution.
The most important thing when cloning to keep the clones moist. This can be accomplished with a humidity dome. But we have found that in the EzHydroKit you don’t even need a dome! You will also want to use a fluorescent light on the clones. This will give them light without burning or stressing them. Once the clones have good roots and seem strong they are ready to be grown under larger lights.
Hydroponics Weed For Beginners
Growing hydro for the first time? You’re going to want to start simple and cheap. Try growing 1-8 plants with compact fluorescents or small HPS lights. You can make your system yourself or buy one ready-made. Stay away from overpriced commercial systems…you can easily wind up spending $400 to $3000 for something you could have found for much less!
Weed Plants For Sale Online
Marijuana is a strong and resilient plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors, in soil or with hydroponics. Its basic needs are nutrition, light, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water.
Weed Plant Growth Day By Day
Marijuana growth consists of two stages: Vegetative and Flowering. During the first stage, which is the vegetative stage, the plant will begin its physical growth, developing its roots, stem, branches, and leaves. Outdoors, vegetative growth will occur any time there are more than 12 hours of sunlight each day. This is usually March through August. For indoor growing, you can control the amount of light hours your plants receive per day. Indoor growers usually give their plants 18 hours of light every day until the plants are 6 inches to 12 inches tall.
The second stage, flowering, is when your Marijuana plant will produce its buds. It will still grow bigger, but its growth will be focused on buds more than on branches and leaves. Outdoors, flowering takes place from August through December. Indoor growers give their plants 11-12 hours of light per day during flowering.
Weed Plants Male and Female
Marijuana plants are either males or females, or in rare occasions both. The female plants are the ones that produce the desired buds for getting high. If you have male plants growing with your females, the males will pollinate the females and cause them to produce seeds instead of buds, so you need to identify and remove males as soon as possible.
Male plant are usually thinner with less dense growth. Females are usually fatter with more dense growth. The real way to tell the sexes apart is by the growth that occurs at the nodes, or intersections between branches and the stems. The first place to look is on the top-most nodes.
The male flowers are usually irregular in shape while the female flowers are smooth. If you see the pistils coming up then you can bet it’s a female.
Lights For Growing Weed
The more light your plant gets the better it will grow. Outdoors you want to plant where there is sunlight for the entire day with no obstructions or shadows. Indoors, you will use artificial lighting. The rough estimate for yield is .5 grams per watt of artificial light.
There are several types of lights you can use indoors. HID lights and fluorescents are the two general categories.
HID or High Intensity Discharge light consist of Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS). HID lights are usually in the 150w to 1000w range. The bulbs use compressed gas to make bright light and they require special ballasts to transform electricity. The output is measure in lumens and is usually between 75 and 105 lumens per watt. So a 150w produces roughly 12,000 to 15,000 lumens and a 1000w produces 75,000 to 100,000 lumens. Prices for complete sets, including bulb, reflector, and ballast range from $160 to $600.
These lights are very effective, but they are expensive, large, and produce a lot of heat. The heat must be exhausted with the use of a fan and flexible exhaust pipe. These lights are also the kind that can be spotted by police using Remote Thermal Sensing from helicopters or cars. They can detect the heat coming off the HID lights. They can also detect large increases in your electrical bill. They still need a “reason” to get a warrant but this is one big way they can sniff growers out.
The other kind of lights which have been gaining in popularity are fluorescents. Fluorescents come in a variety of sizes, from tubes to compact spirals. Fluorescents put out about 55 – 70 lumens per watt and they are available in sizes from 15w to 125w. So the total output of fluorescents can range from 825 to about 9000 lumens. The advantages of fluorescents are that they are cool running, so you can put them very close to the plants and they cannot be detected by police helicopters. And they are energy saving, so they will not jack up your electric bill, further alerting police and NARCS. Prices range from $30 to $170.
The HID’s are much more powerful, but they will cost more to buy and use and they will generate heat. You cannot put them very close to your plants and the lumens received by the plants greatly decreases the further they are from the bulb. Some experts claim that the fluorescents are actually better grow lights because they are more efficient and you can put them just inches from your plants.
For large indoor growing operations, you will want to use 1000w HPS. For smaller growing set-ups, such as one to four plants, you’ll want to use several compact fluorescents or a small HPS.
Another way in which lights differ is their colour spectrum. This represents the wavelength range put out by the light. Full daylight during early summer is around 5000 to 6500. This is the range put out by metal halide lights. It is best for vegetative growth. Winter light or sunset light is around 2700. This is the spectrum put out by high pressure sodium lights. It is best for budding.
Plants combine light-energy with Carbon Dioxide, water and nutrients to form Carbohydrates; this is Photosynthesis. Carbohydrates provide the energy for growth and development. Using indoor grow-lamps, a cannabis grower can provide the cannabis plant with the optimal light spectrum and intensity to encourage the plant to accelerate photosynthesis, and therefore speed up growth and development. The cannabis plant benefits from receiving different kinds of light at certain stages of its growth, an example of this is light in the Blue spectrum encourages vegetative growth, while light in the Red spectrum encourages healthy flower production.
Research into light systems would be advisable as there are so many different kinds and types. Some will suit one kind of weed grower and their grow locations, where others will not. For example; fluorescent lights suit small grow-rooms because they radiate less heat than other lights and consume less electricity.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are by far the best lamps to use in larger grow projects; but they are more expensive and require a ‘ballast’ to operate the lamp by converting electrical energy from the mains to the correct voltage for the lamp, and also a cooling system for the lamp itself. Two examples of commonly used HID lamps are Metal Halide lamps, which radiate in the white and blue spectrums and are used during the growth stages, and High Pressure Sodium lamps, which radiates in the red spectrum to stimulate flower growth, are used for the budding stage.
Whichever lights a cannabis grower uses, they must maintain a distance of 2 to 3ft between the light and the tops of the cannabis plants. Pulleys are a straight forward way of maintaining that distance throughout the cannabis plants growth. During its flowering stage, however, a cannabis grower will require the use of a timer for the grow-lamps to simulate a 12 hour period of day and turn-off for a 12 hour period of night; it should be mentioned that timers should be checked for faults because if a lamp on a timer doesn’t switch off in the flowering stage, the cannabis plants will revert to their vegetative stage.
What Nutrients Do You Need To Grow Hydroponic Weed
The nutritional needs of marijuana are similar to that of tomatoes and many other plants. They require certain mineral elements for their growing process. The minerals are divided into major and minor.
The major elements needed are: Calcium (Ca), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Ma), and Sulfur (S)
The minor elements are: Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Molybdenum (Mo), and Chloride
During vegetative growth the plant requires more Nitrogen and during the flowering phase it requires more Potassium.
Hydroponic nutrients are usually in separate parts that must be mixed together. This is because Calcium cannot be mixed with Sulfur without creating a compound (Gypsum CaSO4 . 2H2O) that is not soluble in water. So those two are kept separate until they are both dissolved in your nutrient reservoir.
When you hear about N-P-K in fertilizers it is the Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (K) content. There are many different combinations available and different growers swear by different N-P-K ratios.
3 -1.5 – 4 is good for vegetating marijuana plants. 2.5 – 2 – 5 is good for flowering. As we said earlier, this reflects more Nitrogen for veg phase and more Potassium for bloom stage.
There are also a variety of bio-enhancers designed for increasing your buds. These often contain vitamins and hormones and can be beneficial if you care to spend the extra money.
pH must be maintained within the optimal range because the plants ability to take in certain nutrients depends on the pH. If the pH gets too high or too low the plants necessary chemical processes become strained.
The optimum range for marijuana is 5 to 6.5
pH can be checked by testing strips, drops, or digital meters.
Growing Weed in Canada
There are many ways to grow marijuana. The conventional way has long been growing in soil. This is still a great way to grow, especially outdoors. However, modern hydroponic techniques offer very exciting alternatives to soil.
The idea behind hydroponics is to perfectly control all aspects of the growing environment, including air, water, growing medium, nutrients, pH, temperature, CO2, and light.
Hydroponic methods include drip systems, ebb and flow, aeroponics, bubblers, and NFT or Nutrient Film Technique.
In drip systems, nutrient solution is slowly pumped through micro tubes and dripped over a growing medium, such as rock wool. The plant’s roots grow through the rock wool, which is a moisture retaining medium.
In ebb and flow, a largest tray containing rock wool and or grow rocks is periodically soaked in nutrient solution and then drained.
Aeroponics takes a high power pump and forces nutrient solution through misters, creating an environment rich in both oxygen and moisture. Most systems that claim to be aeroponics are actually really just sprinkling water through cheap spray nozzles. It takes a very expensive pump and superfine misters to actually create a mist! So if you see an “aeroponics” system on eBay for $30 it’s bogus!
Many systems that claim to be aeroponics are actually bubblers. Bubbler systems consist of a bucket and an air pump. The plant’s roots sit in the bucket which is filled with solution and the air pump bubbles the solution with air. This is an ok way to grow but not the best.
NFT or Nutrient Film Technique uses a submersible water pump to move a thin layer of water along the bottom of grow trays. Rock wool blocks sit in the grow trays and receive a steady flow of nutrients as well as oxygen. This is the best and easiest overall method! NFT plants grow amazingly fast and their root systems are awesome!
The government only has a few ways to catch you growing. The easiest way for them to catch you is if you are ratted out by someone. Thus, keeping your grow operation a secret is of vital importance.
The next way they can catch you is by remote imaging, a technique that employs heat sensing to scan your house from a helicopter. They will only be able to see the heat from bright lamps such as MH of HPS lights over 400w. They cannot detect fluorescent lights because they barely produce any heat!
Another way they can catch you is by smell emanating from your house. This would usually be from a very large operation with 10 or more large plants. You can use a carbon filter to purify the air or better yet, do not grow this many plants.
Lastly they can sometimes use reports from the electric company of unexplained jumps in electrical use. Again this would only be from several very large HPS or MH lights.