Small areas you might not have thought of that are perfect for growing cannabis plants

Published Aug 6, 2019 09:20 a.m. ET
iStock / Natan Bolckmans

Now that pot is legal in Canada, a lot of people are contemplating for the first time, the idea of growing a few cannabis plants. The trouble is, most individuals only have the visuals from the media and Hollywood movies, which often portray massive and high-tech operations. Though it is always ideal to dedicate an entire room to the process, if you intend to grow marijuana with ease, then your best bet might be a space that you’d least expect. The goal is to provide enough breathing room, alongside the best nutrients, and environment, which is all that it takes for cannabis plants to thrive. This type of project doesn’t need to take up a massive area and choosing a smaller spot can help you save money on maintenance and utilities. Here you will find a list of must-have requirements of any grow spot for cannabis plants, which will be followed by a list of three unique ideas that you might want to try out.

Cannabis plants requirements

When learning to grow marijuana for the first time or any other plants for that matter, one of the essential things to learn is what they need to thrive. This allows you to provide the ideal setup and a growing medium which can ultimately increase your chances of a fruitful yield. There are a few primary needs that must be met to keep cannabis plants happy. Below is a brief description of each essential grow requirement, alongside a short description of why they are necessary.

Water is a vital element for all forms of life and cannabis plants enjoy a lot of it. This is the reason why hydroponics is the preferred method for so many growers. Though you might not be able to waterproof your grow spot, it should be in a safe place that is easily accessible with a mister bottle and watering can.

  1. Sun
    Sufficient lighting is often an overlooked step that results in droopy and unproductive cannabis plants if they survive at all. If planning to grow indoors, then you will need to invest in a grow light. It is recommended to start with is a minimum 200W CFL lamp, which will last throughout the various growth stages with minimal effort. Though a fair number of UV rays is necessary, too much can stress out your cannabis plants. So, .0it is important that the grow spot has enough room to install a light and timer that can be adjusted to the appropriate level of exposure as needed.

  2. Nutrient-rich soil
    If you thought that any dirt would work for growing marijuana, then you will be surprised to find that, like most fruit-bearing species, it takes a lot to encourage a high production. It is recommended to use soil that is rich in nutrients to grow cannabis.

  3. Airflow
    Cannabis plants consume large amounts of CO2 each day, and the more they get, the healthier they will be. When choosing a grow space, if it isn’t outdoors where the wind and normal air circulation will do this job for you, then an area that is well ventilated is highly recommended. The second thing that is impacted by airflow is the strength of the stem. Hence, it’s a good idea to leave enough room for a small fan within a foot or so of your cannabis plants, as they sway back and forth under pressure, the stem will thicken, leading to a healthier and hardier plant.

  4. Heat
    What most people won’t tell you about how to grow marijuana is that there must be a fair amount of warmth. This is often created by lighting or other sources like forced gas heat inside of a home. Though cannabis plants are a hardy species, very few are suited for cooler temperatures. They are initially a tropical plant species and require the desired range to photosynthesize efficiently. When choosing a grow spot, try to be sure that it stays within 21%-26% through the day and nighttime. If you are growing cannabis plants indoors, even if it’s on hot summer nights, taking it easy on cooling measures like air conditioning might be necessary to maintain a consistent temperature.

  • Humidity
    Cannabis plants love hot and moist conditions that are common in the tropical regions from which they originated from. Above-average humidity levels encourage a better intake of water through the leaves, but the exact range is important. Too high, and you will risk mold growth and disease, but too low, and your cannabis plants could take a turn for the worst. Precisely how much is recommended, depends entirely on the growing stage that the plants are in. Ideally, the humidity levels should rise by approximately 5% each week.

    • Seedlings: 65%-80%
    • Vegetation: 40%-70%
    • Flowering: 40%-50%
    • Final two weeks before harvest: 30%-40%
    1. Room to grow
      The last vital requirement for growing marijuana will vary depending on the strains that you chose. Hence, it is a good idea to pick a grow spot before settling on a particular breed. Some Sativa cannabis plants will quickly exceed 5-6 feet tall, while shorter, bushier Indicas are naturally more suitable for smaller spaces. Though technically, you can prune any plant down a bit, however, there is only so much that can be done, especially by new growers, who will be less experienced at such extreme methods of manipulation. There is no one size fits all measurable grow space. However, it is most recommended to stay larger than 3ft tall x 2 ft wide x 1 ft deep. That’s right! Grow space isn’t just limited to what you can see above ground, as cannabis plants have extensive root systems and without sufficient space to spread, the plant can become malnutrition and self-exterminate.

    Three cool grow spot ideas

    It can be hard to think outside of the box, especially when there is nowhere to draw insights from. Luckily, a little bit of inspiration can go a long way, so to help get you started here are three grow spots that we don’t think the average Joe would come up with themselves.

    1. Above the fridge
      If you have kitchen cabinets above your refrigerator, they can make an excellent grow room for cannabis plants. A lot of people don’t realize how much heat is produced by fridges which can help you to maintain your temperature goals, and most of us are too short to use those cupboards for much else regularly anyway. If you don’t have any, that area of notoriously wasted space is suddenly the ideal place to keep a grow tent.

    2. Inside of a closet
      Though it would be nice to have an entire room or basement to dedicate to the growing of cannabis plants, the average closet can offer all the same functions in a fraction of the space. If you do decide to try this method, then fans and lights will be necessary, as a closed-door will slow down air flow and eliminate any natural lights from making it to the leaves.

    3. Outdoor window boxes
      Sometimes, it is the most straightforward solutions that are the best ones, like window boxes, which have been around for decades. Though most people think about setting up a cannabis plant on the inside of a window if you want to grow marijuana easy, then why not let mother nature do the work for you? Simple hanging flower boxes from windows! The sun will naturally guide cannabis plants in the appropriate direction if they are planted early enough in the year. The best part about this option is that pests and other predators will be less likely to feast on the sweet juices from the plant materials when they are just out of reach.

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