The basics: How to grow weed?


Not everyone is familiar with growing weed. Many new growers wonder where to start and what they need for a successful cultivation. Moreover, many people think growing weed is difficult. But is it true? No. Growing a cannabis plant is very simple and everyone can do it when understanding the basics.

Cannabis plants are just like any other ordinary plants you find in a home or garden. If you are able to keep ordinary garden or house plants alive, then growing a cannabis plant won’t be a problem.

So, how to grow weed? Let’s take you back to the basic principles of growing a cannabis plant.

Basics of growing cannabis

For a successful culture it’s important to understand to get familiar with the cannabis plant. Important items are: 

  1. Lifecycle of a cannabis plant
  2. The gender
  3. What does a cannabis plant need to grow indoors or outdoors?

1. Lifecycle of a cannabis plant

Cannabis plants belong to the category “short day plants”. This means the plant grows when the days are long and flowers (developing buds) when the days get shorter. In nature, that happens when the summer turns into autumn. When growing indoors, the grower has to mimic nature. This is done by a light scheme and creating proper climate settings.

The cycle of a cannabis plant follows a fixed pattern. First the germination of the seed, the seedling stage followed by the growth phase (vegetative phase) and at last the flowering phase after which the plant dies.

Reading tip: stages of a weed plant

Growth phase

Once you have germinated your seeds and the seed grows out the medium you have a young seedling. Seedlings need 14 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness every 24 hours. As long as this light scheme is followed the plant will remain in the growth phase. However, most growers keep a schedule of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.

The growth phase lasts about 2 weeks, but can also last 8 weeks. This is determined by the grower. Growers who eventually want to grow a small adult plant will keep their plant in the growth phase for about 1 to 2 weeks and then switch to the flowering phase. Growers who want to grow a large plant let their plant grow for 2 to 8 weeks after which they switch to the flowering stage.

Flowering phase

The flowering phase will start when the plant receives less than 14 hours light a day but most growers opt for a light schedule of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. The flowering phase of a plant takes about 5 to 12 weeks depending on the species.

2. The gender

Cannabis plants are homogeneous plants. This means the plant only produces male or female flowers. In this case weed buds. Cannabis enthusiasts are often only interested in female plants. This is because only female plants develop smokable cannabis. Therefore growers usually opt for feminized or autoflower cannabis seeds. These are cannabis seeds that produce a female plant with 99% certainty.

Tip: check all our feminized cannabis seeds and autoflower seeds

3. What does a cannabis plant need to grow and flower indoors or outdoors?

Growing a cannabis plant can be done both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, nature does the job, but indoors you will have to imitate nature. Growing outside is by far the most simple way of growing cannabis. Especially in the open ground where the plant finds enough nutrients, light from the sun, water from the rain and wind. In cold climates, outdoor cultivation is often unsuccessful. Therefore many growers choose to grow indoors. For this they have to simulate nature as well as possible which is fairly simple if you know what to do and what to use.

  • A grow lamp which mimics the sun
  • An extractor and a fan to mimic the wind and to provide the supply and discharge of fresh air with which the plant can absorb enough CO2.
  • Pots with earth to mimic the soil. Do you choose a pre-fertilized soil? Then you hardly have to worry about fertilizers and pH values. As soon as you have more experience you can experiment with plant nutrition, improve the acidity of the water and apply cultivation methods such as SOG or Scrog.

How to grow your own weed plant and what do you need?

Now you know how a cannabis plant works, you are probably wondering how you can grow your own cannabis plant and what you need for this. Check out the list below.

  • Feminized or autoflower cannabis seeds
  • Light-tight grow room
  • Grow light and time switch
  • Extractor and fan
  • Pots with pre-fertilized soil

Light-tight grow room

To grow your cannabis plant you need a light-tight grow room. For this you can buy a grow tent. Such tents have many advantages. They are easy to set up, have all the necessary openings for air hoses and power cables and they are provided with reflective material on the inside which makes the light of your grow lamp more efficient. People who have experience with construction work can easily create their own grow room. For example by using slats, wood, tarpaulin, drywall and a reflective interior (no aluminum foil!).

Grow light and timer

A very important part of growing cannabis is lighting. Especially for the size of a harvest. For a good result growers use at least 300 watts of lighting per m2. Here a standard rule applies: the stronger the light, the greater the yield. Advanced growers achieve about one gram of weed per watt of lighting. However, when you are just starting out you should not immediately consider yourself rich. If you grow half a gram of weed per watt at your first crop, you may already be very satisfied.

For lighting there are basically three choices:

  • HPS grow lights
  • Fluorescent grow lights
  • LED grow lights

HPS grow lights

Most growers opt for HPS grow lights. HPS is a reliable lamp, creates deep radiation and they are affordable. However, HPS grow lights require a separate ballast which makes this type of lighting slightly more difficult to install. HPS lamps should hang above the plants at a distance of 10% of the wattage. 250 Watt is thus a distance of 25 cm, 300 Watt is a distance of 30 cm, 400 Watt is a distance of 40 cm etc.

Fluorescent grow lights

Fluorescent grow lights: here you can think of energy saving lamps, TL and T5 lamps. These kinds of lights are cheap but they have a disadvantage. Fluorescent light provides little depth radiation and therefore needs to be hung closer to the plants.

LED grow lights

The best and the most expensive lamps are LED grow lights. LED’s are easy to install and offer a lot of depth radiation. Timers and relays To prevent extra work, most growers opt for a timed light switch. The timer ensures the light switches on and off at the right moments. Moreover, for safety it’s advisable to purchase a relay.

Extractor and fan

An extractor and fan are used for the supply and exhaust of air. In contrast to the lamps, the extractor and fan must be switched on continuously. Besides, the extractor must have sufficient capacity to allow the air and heat to dissipate.

The extractor

An extractor will suck the air out of the grow room and should be installed at the top of the grow room. At the bottom of the grow space there has to be an opening. This combination creates under pressure. As a result, fresh air is continuously drawn in and the dirty air will be discharged.

In the case of an extractor, the capacity is indicated in cubic meters per hour. This is the number of cubic meters of air the extractor can move in one hour. Based on your grow room in m3 you can easily calculate the desired capacity of the extractor. To prevent the grow room from becoming too hot, most growers opt for an extractor that can move the air content of their grow room at least 3 to 5 times in one minute. With the help of the following rule you can calculate the required capacity of an extractor.

Formula: capacity of extractor in cubic meters = (content of grow room in m3) x 5 x 60

Note: it is convenient to opt for a little overcapacity. In addition, most growers opt for an extractor with a connected carbon filter to control the smell of flowering cannabis plants.

The ventilator

A grow room should also be provided with a fan. Such a fan ensures the air to circulate. For this, most growers use a normal table fan or a swivel fan. Swivel fans are better because the wind doesn’t continuously wind in one direction.

Note: the fan should be aimed just above the plants so the plants move slightly but not be blown over.

Pots with pre-fertilized soil

For the cultivation of a weed plant growers choose light-tight pots with pre-fertilized soil. The pre-fertilized soil is required for the correct PH value. When choosing a pot there are various options. From 5 liters to 25 liters and larger. The larger the pot, the larger a cannabis plant can become.

Growing your own cannabis plant?

Now you know what you need, you can basically start to grow your own cannabis plant. For this you do need cannabis seeds which have to be germinated before you put them in the soil. How you do this can be read in the blogs below.

Reading tip: How to germinate cannabis seeds? and how to plant germinated cannabis seeds?