Indoor Cannabis Cultivation Guide Version 1.2
Section 1: Choosing a space to grow
Choosing a space to grow indoors is just as important as choosing the proper
space outdoors. Your garden should be located in an out of the way place (not
the bedroom). Basements, attics, and closets are all great places. Once you have
a few possibilities in mind make sure the have access to electrical outlets.
Plan ahead for anything that might require a repairman to visit your house. If
your garden is located in the same room as the furnace, and the furnace
explodes, your in big trouble. Once the permanent garden location has been
selected it is time to prepare it. (For the rest of this document I will assume
you have chosen a closet as the grow space) Paint the walls flat white. Do not
use tin foil because it can actually focus light like little laser beams and
burn holes through the leaves. Next, cover the floor of the closet with plastic.
This will help stop water damage to the floor.
Section 2: Containers
Your plants will need to be grown in some kind of cannabis or container. Large
plastic pots (like the ones bushes come in) work best. Fill the bottom inch with
large gravel to help drainage. And the rest with high quality potting soil with
some sand mixed in. Buckets can also be used but drill drainage holes in the
bottom. If your containers previously held other plants then they must be
sterilized with bleach or alcohol.
Section 3: Ligthing
Since there is no sun in your closet you will have to provide a sun loving
plant like cannabis with alot of artificial light. There are three options
available to the grower: flourescent lights are cheap, efficient, and don't put
out much heat. Metal halide, or MH bulbs, are more expensive but put out much
more light than flourescents. They also put out more heat so ventilation is
needed. MH bulbs also require a separate ballst in order to work. High Pressure
Sodium lamps, or HPS, put out as much light as MH lamps but with a little less
heat. Ventilation and a separate ballast are also required.
Flourescent lights are the cheapest light to use. They run at about $2 a
tube. They produce little heat so ventilation may not be needed unless the space
is very small. The light spectrum put out by these lights is suitable for all
stages of growing. Because flourescents disperse light over a large area, they
need to be kept within three inches of the tops for the plants to receive enough
light. This means you will have to mount the lights in a way that the can be
Metal Halide Lights
Metal halide lamps put out the most light. They also produce alot of heat. A
strong fan is needed to keep room tempertures down. MH lamps put out light
mostly in the blue spectrum. Blue light is used best by the plant during
vegative growth. MH lights can also be used for flowering with no adverse
effects. A separate ballast is required for these lights to work. They come in
sizes from 40 to 1000W. One 1000W lamp will provide enough light in a closet to
grow four plants.
High Pressure Sodium Lights
High pressure sodium lamps put out almost as much light as MH and with less
heat. Good ventilation is still required though. HPS lamps produce light in
mostly the red and orange end of the spectrum. The plants uses this light best
when flowering. HPS lamps can also be used for vegative growth with little slow
down in foliage production. HPS lamps require a separate ballast for operation.
Some growers switch between MH and HPS depending on what stage the plants are
in. MH is used in vegative growth and then the light is swithched over to HPS
once flowering begins. Most growers use flourescents to start seedlings and root
clones. The flourescents are weaker than the MH and HPS lamps and therefore do
not stress them too much. Choose whatever light is best suited for your
situation. If your are growing in your attic go with MH or HPS. If your growing
in the closet like us, then use flourecents. (For the rest of ths document I
will assume the reader is using flourescent lighting)
Section 4: Factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis
There are other factors other than the obvious amount of light that reaches
the plants that affect the rate of photosynthesis. These can be manipulated by
the grower to achieve maximum speed of growth and larger yields in a shorter
period of time.
The humidity in the enviroment is the amount of water vapor present in the
air. Most growers know that humidity in excess of 85% percent increases the
probability of the appearance of bud mold. The humidity is also critical during
germanation when the seedlings are extremely fragile. Humidty should be kept
over 80% at this stage in the plants life to prevent the soil from drying too
fast. Experimentation has shown that a relative humidity of 65% to 80% increases
growth rate. Below this level the plants develop extremely narrow and tissue
paper thin leaves to try to prevent excess loss of water. Above 80% relative
humidity the plant have trouble disposing of toxic chemicals through
Cannabis can survive tempertures from 32 degrees F to over 100 degrees F.
Cannabis will grow best with a temperture of 70 to 75 degrees F day and night.
Higher than 90 degrees F the enzymes within the plant begin to breakdown and
photosynthesis is affected. The same is true for low tempertures.
Carbon dioxide is a gas that is essential for the light reactions in all
plants that carry on photosynthesis. CO2 is absorbed through the leafs stomates
and is combined with water and light energy to form glucose (used by the plant
as energy) and oxygen (which is released). Therefore supplementing CO2 to the
existing amount in the air will speed up photosynthesis and therefore, growth
will occur faster. Experimentation has also shown that CO2 can help cannabistoloerate higher tempertures (up to 95 degrees F) with little affect on the rate
Although only a small portion of water absorbed by the plant is used in
photosynthesis a shortage of water does affect the rate photosynthesis occurs.
This happens because when the plant is low on water the stomates on the leaves
close preventin the release of waste gases and other toxic chemicals. This
closure will severely slow down or even stop photosynthesis from occuring.
Section 5: Sea of green
Sea of green, or SOG, is the theory of harvesting many small plants
frequently, instead of large plants less frequently. In an SOG setup the closet
is divided into two light tight spaces. In the top space the lights are
permanently set on a 12/12 light/dark timer. On the bottom the lights are kept
on for 18 hours per day. Flourescent lights are used throughout. The bottom
shelf is used to start seedlings and root clones. The top shelf is used for
flowering. Using this setup harvesting can take place once a month.
Cannabis like all other plants puts out waste through the stomata on it's
leaves. Outdoors wind, rain and sun are present to evaporate these toxins from
the leaf surface. Indoors the grower must create an enviroment. The best way to
do this is with a fan of some kind. If the grow room is large enough then an
regualar cooling fan can be placed inside and left on all the time. If you are
running a small closet operation then just opening the door twice a day to look
at them will create enough air movement for healthy growth. A fan controlled by
a thermostat will also work well. These can be found at most electronics stores.
If a large number of plants are to be kept a dehumidifier may be needed. If
humidity levels are too high then the chances of mold will dramaticly increase.
A dehumidifier will cost a grower about $100 so it isn,t really practical for
the closet grower.
Section 7: C02 supplementation
Some growers add C02 to their grow rooms to increase growth rate. This has
proved itself to be effective in many experiments. C02 supplementation also
helps the plants withstand higher tempertures of up to 95 degrees without
slowing down growth. There have been complaints however, that C02
supplementation during flowering reduces potency. Therefore, C02 should be
stopped when the lights are turned to 12/12.
Section 8: Early sexing
Since you control the light cycle in an indoor operation it is easy to sex
the plants early and eliminate all the males. Just turn the lights down to 12/12
when the plants are eight inches high. Use a magnifying glass to examine the
flowers and eliminate all the males.
Here is a female plant. Notice the white hairs.
Section 9: Obtaining seed
If you do want to pollenate some females to produce seed for the next crop it
can be done so that only a few buds are pollenated and the rest remain as
sinsemilla. First collect pollen from a male. The male should show desirable
characteristics, like fast growth, potency and resistence to pest and mold. To
collect the pollen just shake the branches into a plactic bag. Black paper can
also be used to collect pollen. Just lie it on the floor around the plant, in a
few days the paper will have quite a bit of pollen on it. The pollen can be
stored in film canisters until it is needed. When needed, use a paintbrush to
brush on the pollen to the LOWER branches of the female. The best way to be sure
that all the seeds are mature before harvest is to just never harvest the
pollenated branches. Let them die naturally so you can be sure they produce
Section 10: Harvesting and drying
When you want you plants to start flowering just turn the lights down to 12
hours light and 12 hours dark. Then be patient and wait for flowering to
complete. It helps the drying process a little if you don't water the week
before harvesting. When you cut the plants remove the large fan leaves the and
add them to your compost pile as they are not usable for smoking. Place the
plants in shoe boxes or paper bags and stir them around daily. In about three
weeks the buds should be totally dry and ready to smoke.
CANNABIS GROW GUIDE