One of the many myths about home-growing cannabis is that it’s super difficult, and you need to have a special green thumb to succeed. Ironically, that’s one of the counterproductive effects of having a massive overflow of information online. With so many tips, bits of advice, supercropping techniques, and “ultimate guides to success,” people end up believing they need a Ph.D. on how to grow marijuana.
Truth is, you don’t. Above all, remember marijuana is called “weed” for a reason. It grows out there in the wild, facing the vagaries of the weather and ultimately achieving its goals, survival and reproduction, without any extra help. That said, knowledge is power. Once you understand the fundamentals of cannabis growth and its needs, you are all set to start your own home-growing journey and eventually become an expert grower.
Is It Legal to Grow Marijuana?
Marijuana advocacy movements worldwide are bringing in positive changes in the cannabis scenario. However, there’s still a long way to go before it’s a globally accepted recreational and medical resource.
In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational marijuana. Although their first post-legalization years were plagued with obstacles and organizational clampdowns, they eventually proved the advantages of decriminalizing marijuana were worth the hassle.
Laws around marijuana legalization and decriminalization are very different from one country to another, even from one state to another in the United States.
You can check the map below for more info about the legal status of marijuana in the world. If you live in the United States, you may refer to this State-by-State Medical Marijuana Laws article.
Illegal but decriminalized
Illegal but often unenforced
How to Grow Marijuana at Home?
Now that we have settled the legality issues let’s see what the essential knowledge you need to enjoy a nicely home-grown smoke is. Read on because I’ll answer the main questions that rookie growers have.
What Does Marijuana Need to Grow?
Cannabis is a photoperiodic species, which means the plants will flower once the sunlight they receive everyday changes. Outdoors, this happens when summer starts to give way to fall and days become shorter. In the case of indoor growers, they easily manipulate their artificial lights to force the flowering stage.
If you’d like to skip on the lights manipulating hassle, maybe growing autoflowers is the answer you’re looking for. Read this guide to find everything you need to know on autoflowers cultivation.
Like every other plant or human being, for the matter, marijuana plants need water. However, for optimal results, the amount of water you feed them depends on the growth stage and your local climate.
Temperature and Humidity
Getting the right temps and humidity levels are key factors to taking your cannabis plants from seedlings to flowers successfully. Although there’s an error margin, stepping too far over the line can have disastrous consequences. Ideally, your weed will thrive in a 20°C -30°C environment with 50-70% relative humidity.
There are many ways to feed nutrients to your cannabis plants. You can either choose a nutrient-rich soil to grow in, get liquid or solid nutrients to add later, or even decide to combine whatever method works best for you and your strains.
Airflow and Wind
Finally, weed plants need wind. Good airflow and breezes play a beneficial role for your plants, whisking pests away, avoiding diseases, and strengthening your plants’ stems.
Outdoors VS Indoors: Where to Grow Your Weed?
Both outdoor and indoor growing have their unique pros and cons. Choosing one or another depends entirely on your preferences, needs, and budget.
Outdoor cultivation is definitely cheaper and easier. You have access to free sunlight, wind, and many other natural resources, depending on your garden’s soil. Also, you don’t have to deal with space limitations, and your plants will likely grow taller. The downside is that your plants may be exposed to small predators and harsh, changing weather.
Indoor grows give you more control over your crops. You get to manipulate the flowering stage and oversee proper climate conditions. However, initial investments in grow tents, lights, ventilation systems and the like might quickly get off budget.
How to Choose the Best Strain for Home Growing?
Choosing the right strain is a frequent concern among beginners. Every strain has flavor, potency, and characteristics that make it unique. That said, selecting the strain is a very personal decision since it’s tied to your taste.
Nevertheless, here are a few things to consider when choosing your perfect strain.
Indicas species are prone to thrive in cooler climates, while sativas can tolerate higher temperatures. Having your local climate in mind, consider which strains are more likely to thrive in your area. Also, choose your strain after deciding whether to grow indoors or outdoors. Some strains benefit more from outdoor environments, while others are especially vulnerable to certain pests and diseases, which makes them better candidates for a controlled-climate indoor grow setup.
Expert breeders are always putting their best efforts into creating hybrid strains that portray the best characteristics of sativa and indica species. Therefore, the market is currently flooded with hundreds of different hybrid strains for you to choose from.
However, you’re likely to be limited to those genetics that is legally available within your state.
Time and Space Limitations
How much time are you willing to invest in your crops? Are you a patient person, or is waiting not your thing? Finally, outdoors or indoors?
If you’re growing indoors and you don’t have a lot of space, maybe it’s a good idea to grow indicas, as these tend to be shorter and bushier. On the other hand, if you want a quick turnaround for your smokes, look for strains that take 8-9 weeks to flower instead of 12. Autoflowers have an even shorter flowering period.
Pointers to Successful Marijuana Cultivation
Growing cannabis is not rocket science, although there’s some artistic edge to it. Expert marijuana growers are not born but made. However, investing time in your plants, researching, and experimenting will eventually lead you to become one yourself. Wherever you are in your journey as a cannabis grower, here you have a comprehensive collection of articles to help you find your own path.