Growing marijuana indoors is one of the most popular cultivation methods. It is the reason why we are enjoying potent strains that we know and love today. But are we affecting our plants’ health and development by selfishly growing these indoors? Don’t forget to think about this as you buy indoor marijuana seeds to grow your next batch of indoor plants.
Why Grow Cannabis Plants Indoors
There are many reasons why growers prefer to cultivate their precious cannabis plants indoors. Most growers say that indoor growing protects plants from disease, pests, and molds. Pests and disease can ruin cannabis plants and this can affect yields. Growing your plants indoors, even during its seedling form, can help make them stronger and survive better.
Indoor growing also allows you to grow your marijuana even if conditions such as climate, soil and water conditions are not favorable. Take note that different cannabis strains have their own preferred growing environment. Some strains will grow well in warm, tropical climates while some prefer a Mediterranean climate.
Indoor growing will let you create an ideal environment inside your home or a designated area. You will consider temperature, humidity, and nutrition for your marijuana.
And if growing cannabis is not permitted in your country or state, indoor growing will let you grow secretly. With indoor growing, you can grow your supply for recreation or medicinal use. Indoor growing lets you grow medical cannabis for a friend or a family member.
What you’ll need
Your preferred cannabis seeds
Peat pellets (as many as the number of plants you want to grow)
Soil, preferably sandy clayey soil
Water with neutral pH
Lighting, preferably LED lighting
Digital thermometer and hygrometer
The first step in growing indoor cannabis is to germinate your seeds. Test the viability of the seeds to make sure that you are growing seeds that will sprout.
The glass of water technique is the best way to check for viability. Fill a glass with water and place your seeds in. For a small drinking glass, place only three to four seeds.
Let the seeds remain in the water for an hour and check which are floating and which have sunk. Seeds that have sunk at the bottom are viable seeds and will germinate so collect them. Seeds that have remained floating do not contain viable material and therefore will not germinate. Discard these seeds.
Place each of the seeds inside each moist peat pellet or cube. But before using peat cubes, let the cubes soak in water for two hours. The peat pellets will absorb water and will become soft. It will now be easier to place the seeds inside the pellet.
Place the pellets in a growing tray or in a vat of water. Let these hang from a basin filled with water. Place these in a quiet place to help the seeds sprout. The seeds will take around two to five days to germinate.
Your seeds will soon grow what is known as a taproot. The taproot is the very first structure that comes out of the seeds. This root will dig into the soil, will stabilize the plant and will take water and nutrients from the soil as well.
Once the taproot appears, the seed has sprouted. Unlike other germination methods, you can’t take the seed out from the pellet. But you can still tell if these have sprouted because the taproot will grow out of the pellet.
Over a day or two, the seeds will also grow round leaves. These are leaves from the seed’s cotyledons. After a few more days, the very first serrated leaves will come out. These are the very first leaves that the plant has made on its own.
Aside from leaves, complex roots will now grow from the taproot. These are signs that the newly sprouted seeds are now ready to be transplanted to a larger pot or container.
As your seedlings grow new leaves and roots, you may now transfer these in a large container with more soil. This larger container will become your plant’s final growing pot.
Choose a pot with holes at the bottom so you can easily drain excess water from the roots. The holes will let oxygen to move from the air to the soil for healthy roots. A sandy-clayey soil is an ideal soil for cannabis grown indoors or outdoors. This soil is best for growing cannabis because it can take in water and nutrients and drain the excess better as well. This will prevent root rot.
When transplanting your seedlings to their final pots, there’s no need to remove the seedlings from the pellets. Dig a hole in the middle of the soil, for the peat pellet to fit inside. Take the seedlings and place it inside the hole.
Place more soil in the hole to cover the plant. But no matter what you do never touch the roots when you transfer your seedlings. Water the transplanted seedlings until you see water runoff from the holes at the bottom of the pot. Place transplanted plants under strong lighting so that it can grow healthily.
Create the ideal lighting schedule that your cannabis plants need. If your plants require a warm environment, you should provide this an environment which is warm using lighting and the right amount of darkness. Although your plants need the most efficient lighting, these need darkness for root growth and development.
A lighting schedule perfect for cannabis is an 18/6 light/dark schedule. This will give your plants enough time to get the best light but at the same time darkness in a day. You can switch your plants to a 12/12 schedule once your plants bloom.
Feeding and watering
Your indoor plants require the best nutrients for plant growth. Cannabis plants require different nutritional requirements according to their growth phase. Seedlings, until they are transplanted to their final pots, do not need nutrients because it will get these nutrients from the seed coat and the peat pellets.
As your plants are at the growing phase, these need nutrients that have higher nitrogen content. This is needed to grow more leaves, stems, and roots. During the flowering phase, these will cease growing and will need nutrients for bud growth and better yields. At this time give your plants fertilizer mixes with higher potassium and phosphorous but reduced amounts of nitrogen.
You must read the nutrient or fertilizer packaging to avoid costly mistakes when feeding your plants. Take regular pH readings of the soil found near the roots. This should have a neutral pH so that nutrients may be absorbed readily for optimal growth and development of your indoor plants.
At this point, consider the kind of seed you are growing. If you are cultivating regular or photoperiod plants you can choose when your plants will bloom. To trigger flowering, you will switch your current lighting schedule to 12/12 light/dark. Follow this schedule closely so your plants can start blooming buds.
When you are cultivating autoflowering plants there’s no need for a light schedule. Your plants will flower automatically quickly in its schedule which is earlier at 7 to 9 weeks. This flowering time is earlier than most indicas and sativas.
At the flowering stage, continue your feeding schedules, watering schedules but do so when the soil is dry and not when it’s moist and wet. Continue exposing your plants to a 12/12 lighting schedule until your plant’s bloom.
If you are growing cannabis plants to harvest weed, it is crucial that you separate the male plants from the females to avoid pollination. Continue caring for your plants but give less and fewer nutrients as you approach harvest time.
There is a technique to identify if your plants are close to harvest time. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the flowers and the trichomes for signs of readiness. The pistils will change from a light to a very dark color. Meanwhile, the trichomes can change color and clarity from crystal clear to amber. These signal that the buds are ready for harvest.
But if you are growing seeds, leave your plants (both male and female plants) to pollinate. The male plants will soon pollinate females and it won’t be long when you have growing seeds. The seeds are ready for harvest when the pods drying up.
If you are cultivating cannabis for weed, avoid watering your plants days before harvest. This will make it easier to dry your buds before you store them. Once your buds are ready, cut the buds from the plant using a sharp knife or scissors.
You may also harvest the buds, leaves, and stems, to use these for joints, teas and making edibles.
Collect the seeds and place these in a dry basket. Place these inside a large, dry mason jar. You may place dried buds and seeds in a humidor, a special storage compartment equipped with a humidity control system. A humidor is an efficient way to keep seeds and buds.