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How to Grow Weed Indoors for Beginners [Follow-Along Guide]

I’m here to tell you that growing weed indoors step-by-step is easy. Just follow along.

Because it’s the first choice of thousands of beginner growers, I’ve decided to put together the most comprehensive soil weed growing guide on the internet.

In this guide, we will go through the whole growing process, from choosing the seeds and soil to harvesting and curing the buds. Hopefully, by the end of this guide your cannabis growing knowledge will grow as much as your plant.

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We are giving away a PDF version of this post, so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let us know where to send it (takes 5 seconds).

Preparation stage

The first week (or week 0 as I like to call it) is when you prepare your grow.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole week, however it can often be longer.

You might think:

“So, it’s not a week at all?”

And you’d be right.

You won’t be doing any growing this week as you can’t grow plants without the seeds first.

Week 0 is focused around finding the best soil, seeds, lights and setting up your growing tent.

Even if you are growing hydroponic marijuana you have to do the prep stage, which might be even longer for hydroponic setups.

Seeds

For this indoor soil growing guide we will use one of the most popular strains ever: White Widow.

But, we won’t use just any White Widow.

For this occasion we will use the autoflowering version of this plant.

Well, for a few simple reasons:

Autoflowering plants are smaller, but they don’t cut down on the yield, they are easier to grow, and they grow faster than regular plants.

You will want only feminized seeds for this grow as male plants do not grow flowers.

“Your plant is only as good as your soil.”

I find this to be one of the biggest truths of growing cannabis.

Beginner growers often experience problems with their soil, such as malnutrition and over-watering.

Both of these will have a long term effect on your plant if not dealt with in the quickest manner.

This is not to say that cannabis won’t grow in slightly bad conditions, far from that.

It’s called “weed” for a reason. It will grow even in sub-par conditions, however the end result might not be what you hoped for.

So, in order to avoid any confusion, do your best to get the perfect soil, and if you fail, you can still make it up by adding nutrients.

Feel free to buy any of the branded soil mixes, except for those that are labeled “extended release”as they will release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months, meaning that you will have n0 control over the pH levels of your soil.

The best option out there for first-time growers is “Super Soil”, a special mix of soil that can be found in stores. KindSoil is one of the more popular brands of Super Soil.

With any Super Soil mix you won’t have to add any nutrients, as the mix comes premade, so water will be the only thing you add to it—by watering the plants.

Fun fact:

Did you know that earthworms in soil can increase the yield up to 75%? According to scientists from Netherlands, earthworms might be one of the most important parts of a soil-based grow.

However, this study was done on wheat plants so I wouldn’t suggest you throwing earthworms in the mix if you haven’t had at least a dozen successful grows.

Lighting setup

Lights are super important for growing cannabis and insufficient lighting is one of the biggest reasons why many indoor grows fail.

Lighting depends totally on the size of your grow.

Basically there are 2 most common options for lighting:

CFLs give off more heat than LEDs and are better suited for growing in small spaces, such as tents.

Their downside is that they tend to spend more energy and you will have to readjust them more often than LEDs.

So, my end recommendation is this: if you have room for LEDs and you are willing to go through the hustle of setting up LEDs, be my guest.

For a small first time grow, I would suggest getting a CFL setup with lights up to 300W.

Keeping CFLs close to the plants will bring in the best yields and ensure the biggest plant growth.

The tent

Growing tents are perfect for those that tend to grow in their garage or colder areas of the house, as the tent holds the warmth within itself, helping plants get bigger as soon as possible.

If you plan on growing marijuana in a closet, or a similar closed space that doesn’t let too much heat out, I would suggest that you approach it with caution.

Either way, the most important thing is to keep the temperature at a constant 25°C (77℉).

In case you do go with a tent, you will have to extract the air from the tent, which is removed using a fan that sucks the air out through tubes.

Most modern tents have a carbon filter which prevents the smell of weed leaving the tent, so keep that in mind when shopping for one.

If you still think you can make do without a tent, then get ready to spend some money on fans and/or ventilation systems.

Most modern air extractor fans include temperature and moisture controllers, which will come very handy when calculating your VPD (we’ll get to that later), so I strongly suggest you get one of those.

Light schedule for growing weed indoors

Light periods for autoflowering plants are really easy to grasp:

All you have to do is keep the light turned on.

Like, all the time.

I am not joking when I say that you should keep the lights on 24/7.

Giving 24 hours of light is crucial when growing autoflowering plants, as it may give them the best chance to grow bigger in the vegetative stage and then eventually flower when their time comes.

Autoflowering plants do not need darkness.

Autoflowering plants are not dependent on changes in the light cycle to commence flowering.

This is why they can be grown using a light cycle of anything from 16 to 24 hours daily.

This is also what makes them perfect for first time growers as light periods are one less thing to worry about.

Germination & seedling stage

Time to put those girls into action!

But first, some more prep.

VPD for weed

Creating the perfect environment for your plants doesn’t necessarily end with buying all the right gear.

You will have to know how to properly set it up, and more importantly, how to make the perfect atmosphere for your plants to grow to their potential.

Dehumidifiers decrease environmental moisture and release heat, which can be helpful in certain cases like very moist and cool areas, such as basements.

If you want know how to grow big buds indoors, you have to understand the importance of VPD.

Whether you are growing weed in a closet or a tent, you will have to control the atmosphere.

Humidity is one of the more important factors to control and this is in part due to the fact that different humidity levels are best for different growing stages.

In general, the air humidity for growing weed indoors is as follows:

  • 70-80% after you see the first leaves
  • 40-70% during the vegetative stage
  • 40-50% during the flowering stage

Learn how to grow weed indoors with this step-by-step guide that'll teach you exactly how to turn a seed into a smokable dried flower. Free eBook included.

Learn How To Grow Autoflowers: Week-By-Week Guide

Autoflowering strains provide fantastic results in little time, often surging from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks. Both beginner and advanced growers will have a fun and easy time raising these varieties.

Learn to grow autoflowering cannabis.

  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?
  • 1. How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
  • 2. Light schedule for autoflowering strains
  • 3. A note on pH
  • 4. Autoflowering grow guide: How to grow autoflowers week by week
  • 5. Which autoflower to choose?

Autoflowering cannabis plants are hardy, fast, and easy to cultivate in confined spaces. What’s not to love? Learn how to grow them week by week below.

HOW LONG DO AUTOFLOWERS TAKE FROM SEED TO HARVEST?

Autoflowering strains typically move from seed to harvest in 8–10 weeks. However, some varieties can take up to 12 weeks to fully mature. Strains such as Bubble Kush Automatic and Quick One fall towards the faster end of the spectrum, whereas varieties like Royal Creamatic and Royal Haze Automatic take a few more weeks to ready their buds for harvest.

Many growers elect to cultivate autoflowers because of their speedy growing rate. Their hardy genetics and forgiving nature also make them easier to grow and therefore more beginner-friendly.

Their impressive resistance to pathogens and pests allows them to withstand the challenges of outdoor growing.

However, their yields aren’t as spectacular as those obtained from photoperiod giants, but, the trade-off for brevity makes the decision worthwhile for most growers.

LIGHT SCHEDULE FOR AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS

As the name suggests, autoflowering strains don’t require a change in the light cycle to enter the flowering stage. Many growers choose to keep their autoflowers on a light schedule of 18 hours on and 6 hours off during the entire growing cycle. Other cultivators choose to keep their lights on around the clock in hopes of maximising photosynthesis and growth rate, however, this can get quite expensive.

Because of this unique trait, outdoor growers can achieve multiple harvests during a single growing season. By germinating seeds week after week in early spring, you can theoretically rake in your first harvest after

8 weeks, with subsequent weekly harvests when growing fast strains.

A NOTE ON PH

The pH value of your soil will determine how well your plants can access the nutrients within. If the pH becomes too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic), nutrient lockout will occur and deficiencies will set in. Cannabis plants thrive in a soil pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. Use a pH tester to track pH throughout your grow.

AUTOFLOWERING GROW GUIDE: HOW TO GROW AUTOFLOWERS WEEK BY WEEK

Follow the fail-safe week-by-week grow guide below for a quick and easy route to harvest time. We cover all of the parameters and variables you need to consider—at the correct times—to ensure your plants remain healthy, vigorous, and productive.

(Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4) (Week 5)
(Week 6) (Week 7) (Week 8) (Week 9) (Week 10)

WEEK 1: GERMINATION AND EARLY SEEDLING STAGE

Germination usually takes 1–3 days. During this time, your seeds will activate and send a root down into the soil and a shoot above the surface. To begin the germination process, you’ll need to prepare a suitable soil mix. Autoflowers don’t need as much nutrients as photoperiod varieties and prefer light and airy soil.

You can make your own potting mix using the following formula:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts compost
  • 2 parts perlite, moistened
  • 1 part vermiculture, moistened

After you’ve prepared the mix, add some Easy Boost Organic Nutrition to the blend. These pellets will slowly release adequate levels of nutrition into the soil, providing foundational elements and minerals for the entire growing cycle. Add some mycorrhiza to the soil to help your plants flourish later down the line. These symbiotic fungi will bind to the root system and help your plants uptake nutrients more effectively.

Next, poke a 10–15mm hole into a pot with your soil mix. Sow your seed directly into its final pot to avoid the stress of repotting later down the line. Transplanting causes plants to go into shock, and autoflowers grow so fast that they’ll struggle to recover. Place a seed in the hole and cover lightly with soil. You’ll see your seedling emerge in the next few days.

Environmental factors play a key role in optimal germination. Aim for the following to boost your success rate:

  • 70–90% relative humidity (RH)
  • 22–25°C air temperature

Autoflowering cannabis strains grow fast, remain compact, and offer great results. Use this guide to learn how to cultivate them week by week!