Are marijuana plants fragile?

Published Apr 15, 2019 01:30 p.m. ET
Common facts and fiction about marijuana plants

Ever since the very first time a person uses cannabis and decides that they enjoy it the thought of saving money and what it might take is almost always a lingering thought. How could it not be? With average market prices ranging from $6-$12 per gram, it’s no surprise that a much cheaper alternative would be appealing. The thing that stops most people from ever trying to grow cannabis for themselves is the idea that marijuana plants are weak and fragile, requiring very specific environmental factors to flourish. How much of that is true? Well, we will lay it out for you with some of the most common myths out there corrected by facts about growing marijuana that just might surprise you.

Myths vs facts

1. Cannabis plants require high temperatures to grow.

A lot of people assume that growing marijuana requires a greenhouse type of effect with extremely high temperatures and humidity levels. Though they do prefer a slightly higher level of humidity than we are normally comfortable with, they can thrive even in dry climates. The ideal temperature will depend on the marijuana strains you choose to grow, but any kind can grow quite well as long as daytime temperatures stay within 20-30 degrees Celsius, and night time ones don’t drop below 15 Celsius.

2. All marijuana strains require additional nutrients and fertilizers to grow.

Cannabis once grew in the wild, long before it was widely cultivated by humans for personal use, and never once was anyone there to sprinkle extra vitamins on them to get to this point. Marijuana plants are quite capable of thriving in even the most destitute of places and tend to do well as long as they are grown in a healthysubstrate, to begin with.

3. Marijuana plants will only grow well under controlled light sources.

One of the most significant purchases that are madetowards growing cannabis is generally the lighting system. The thing is that lights are entirely unnecessary as long as your plant can reach a suitable replacement for sunshine. Some people have excellent luck with a plant that sits on a windowsill that delivers a sufficient amount of light. The key is how the lighting source might affect the plants growing process. If you were to plant marijuana either indoors or outdoors with access to natural light early in the planting season than the sun would naturally transition through cycles that are necessary to trigger the different growth phases. So it’s not the source of light that is important, it is the amount of light. A simplefluorescent light is often enough to provide the essentials for a marijuana plant to grow, so nothing fancy is necessary.

4. Cannabis plants are most often grown hydroponically.

This is a myth that was hyped up by the media who showed mass amounts of cannabis plants being grown in what appears to be high scale grow ups complete with scientists and professionals. Though hydroponics is an effective way to grow marijuana, it will do just as well in any other kind of substrate that contains enough nutrients to survive off of for the season. If the marijuana plant’s required 24-7 access to water, you wouldn’t see them squirreled and hidden away in the middle of cornfields.

5. All marijuana plants will require a large amount of space to grow.

There are thousands of different marijuana strains that are out there to choose from, and every single one will grow a little bit differently than the next. Some marijuana strains, mainly Sativa, will end up 6 feet or more tall and look like a tree. Those are going to require a lot more extra space than a small bushy Indica. To get around this pesky restriction, a lot of growers will use a mother plant and harvest clones while will result in a much shorter amount of grow room that’s needed. There are other methods to choose from as well that can manipulate the size of a marijuana plant, so no they do not require a large room. Often 1-4 plants can be grown to full maturity inside of a small weed grow tent. Though it is good to pay attention to what size of room you are looking at and how a marijuana strain will get before purchasing the seeds, growing them in a small area and keeping them trimmed is entirely possible and easy to achieve.

6. Touching or transplanting cannabis plants will kill them.

Most marijuana growers will transplant seedlings at least one or two times in their lives. The first occurs after germination which is generally done outside of the soil or substrate. The second is usually moving established seedlings into final 2-gallon pots or outdoors to finish. It is not recommended to tug or pull on branches or stems of marijuana plants, but moving them, or touching them alone is not enough to kill one as long as you are gentle with the root system.

7. Smoking around a marijuana plant can kill it.

If you are a person who smokes in the home than this myth might be a bit of a deterrent for you, but luckily it’s entirely untrue. Cannabis is actually really good at absorbing excess CO2, so a little bit of cigarette or weed smoke isn’t going to affect it at all. Some growers will even recommend that you do it to stave off potential pests.

8. Using anything other than distilled water may be detrimental to a cannabis plant.

A marijuana plant originally came from the outdoors where you will not find bottled or distilled water laying around in puddles. Though it is best to steer clear of bleach or chemically treated well systems, any regular tap water that is safe for human consumption will work fine for cannabis as well.

9. A marijuana plant requires a constant supply of water.

Some people think that they wouldn’t be successful is growing cannabis because they aren’t always home to check up on things, and marijuana plants require a tonne of water right? While it is true that a consistent daily watering schedule is recommended, a plant will not shrivel up and die while you are out of town for a few days. As a matter of fact, some growers say that going up to 7 full days without watering is safe as long as you provide a good dose of moisture to the dirt or substrate before leaving.

10. Cannabis plants are prone to pests.

If you do a quick search of marijuana plants and pests what comes up might scare you a little, but the truth is that any indoor plant is susceptible to pests and predators that might have to be dealt with. The unfortunate part about bringing nature inside is that it invites other creatures that depend on plants for their survival to move on in. Luckily, most pests can be taken care of with minor treatments, and an infestation is a rare occurrence that can be avoided with a few steps to keep them away.

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