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How to Grow Marijuana in 10 Steps

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    How to Grow Marijuana in 10 Steps

    This is a super condensed version of this tutorial! You may also enjoy our marijuana life timeline or complete beginner's guide. The following tutorial is very basic, but if you follow these steps you will get to harvest

    Step 1: Choose Your Place to Grow

    Indoors or outdoors? A spare room? A closet? Learn more about different places to grow indoors. One simple way to get started is to put your plant inside a cheap grow tent.

    Step 2: Choose Your Grow Light

    If your goal is to harvest...

    1-2 oz - T5s or CFLs
    2-4 oz - Small LED grow light
    4-9 oz - 250W HPS
    7-14 oz - 400W HPS
    10-21 oz - 600W HPS

    Compare different grow lights.

    Step 3: Choose Your Growing Medium

    There is no best way to grow! Each option has its own pros and cons.
    • Soil - Close to nature, especially if growing in amended and composted soil without any liquid nutrients. Slightly slower growing but buds tend to have a stronger and more complex taste/smell. However, if you water soil-grown plants with liquid nutrients they start acting more like they're in coco or hydro.
    • Coco Coir - Coco is a hand-watered medium that looks and acts a lot like soil, but is actually made out of broken up coconut husks. Plants grown in coco grow slightly faster than in soil, and coco has properties that sooth plant roots, meaning it tends to be more forgiving than most other grow styles. Another advantage is pests are much less likely to attack plants in coco because many bugs need soil to live. If you're not sure which to start with, I highly recommend starting with coco! That's what I did
    • Hydroponics - Setting up a hydroponic reservoir takes more work than soil or coco but hydro grown plants get the fastest vegetative growth, meaning you get to harvest more quickly with the same electricity. Anecdotally hydro-grown buds are more potent than ones grown in composted soil, but have a slightly less complex taste/smell profile.
    Step 4: Get Nutrients

    If you're starting in super soil, you don't need to worry about adding extra nutrients. For regular soil growers, you want to supplement your plant with extra nutrients as it uses up the nutrients in the soil. For coco and hydro growers, you provide all your nutrients directly to your plants from the beginning. Luckily all quality nutrients come with an easy schedule to follow, so you don't have to think about it!
    • Vegetative Stage - Just about any general plant food that's high in Nitrogen (N) will provide what your marijuana plant needs in the vegetative stage
    • Flowering Stage - Plants need a low-Nitrogen ("Bloom") formula that is high in Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). Cactus or Succulent nutrients can be used in a pinch because they need a similar nutrient ratio.
    Learn more about marijuana-friendly nutrients

    Step 5: Where To Get Cannabis Plants

    If you don't have access to live plants, the best way to get started growing is to order seeds online.

    Step 6: Germinate Your Seeds

    I believe the best way to germinate your seeds is to plant them in a starter cube like a Rapid Rooter. These are designed to give your seed everything it needs for the first few days of growth. Just put your seed in the pre-cut hole and leave in a warm place until your seedlings appear! After germination, you place your Rapid Rooter directly into soil/coco or insert into a hydro net pot so you never have to worry about transferring seedlings.

    Step 7: Vegetative Stage - Water Plants & Adjust Grow Light

    In the vegetative stage a marijuana plant really does grow like a weed! It can recover from a lot even if you mess up!

    At this point your main job is to water your plants (or give them water if you're in hydro). Unless growing in super soil, you should also be checking the pH regularly, as this will prevent most nutrient problems. You should water your plants with nutrients, but give plain water at least once every other watering. Just follow the nutrient schedule that came with your nutrients, though it's recommended to start at half strength since most nutrient recommendations are a bit too strong for marijuana.

    During this stage your plant only grows new stems and leaves, and overall the plants will keep getting bigger and bigger. Many indoors growers choose to train their plants in the vegetative stage to grow in a flat, table-top shape, as this will increase your yields under indoor grow lights. But even if you don't do anything your plants will still grow just fine. Just try to make sure you keep your grow lights a good distance away so they're not burning your plants, and other than that just wait until your plant has reached half the final desired size.

    Step 8: Flowering Stage - Buds Start Growing!

    When your plant has reached half the final desired size, it's time to tell it to start making buds! After you do this step, your plant will about double in size so don't wait too long!

    You "tell" your plant to start making buds by putting your grow lights on a timer that is set on a 12/12 light schedule. This means the grow light is on for 12 hours, but the plant is in uninterrupted darkness for 12 hours every day. This daily dark period is like a message that tells your plant winter is coming. It will start growing buds within about 2 weeks after the switch to 12/12.

    The first few weeks after the switch to 12/12, your plant will be growing fast! This extra fast growth period is known as the flowering stretch.

    Male vs Female - When your plant starts making flowers, you need to double check that they're all making buds and not pollen sacs. You can skip this step if you started with feminized seeds (since all plants will be female). If your plants are female they will start growing wispy white hairs that eventually turn into buds. If your plant is male, it will grow pollen sacs that look like little bunches of grapes, and these will open up into flowers that can pollinate your buds and make them full of seeds. It's important to identify any male plants as soon as possible and remove them from your grow room so your female buds don't get seedy. Learn more about male vs female plants.

    About 4-6 weeks from the switch to 12/12, your plant will stop growing bigger and focus completely on making buds. Your plants will not grow any more stems and leaves at this point, so you're basically just waiting for buds to fatten and mature until harvest. It's hard to be patient at this point because you aren't seeing a lot of new growth any more. But even though you might not see it, your buds are getting bigger and more potent each day!

    Most plants are ready to harvest about 10-14 weeks after the switch to 12/12 though some strains take more or less time.

    Step 9: Harvest Your Cannabis

    When plants are ready to harvest, the white hairs on the buds will have darkened and started curling in. You can choose when to harvest your buds based purely on looks, but if you want to get scientific about it you can use a magnifier to look at buds closely and determine whether they've reached peak potency. This is done by looking at the "trichomes" or glitter that grows on buds. When buds have reached the highest levels of THC the trichomes turn milky white. Waiting until a few trichomes turn amber can give buds more of a body or relaxation effect.

    Step 10: Dry & Cure Your Buds Like a Professional

    Making sure to actually dry your buds slowly and cure them in jars can increase their quality by up to 50%! When buds are ready to harvest, start cutting down one stem at a time. Trim off the extra leaves and hang buds upside down in an enclosed space like your grow tent or a closet.

    After drying buds for a few days to a week, the small stems will snap and most buds should pop off on their own without being bendy or leaving strings behind. At this point put the buds in quart-sized glass mason jars, filling them about 80% full. Open jars daily and make sure the buds don't feel wet or stick together. After the first 2 weeks you can open jars just once a week or less.

    The process of sitting in glass jars is known as "curing" and increases the quality of your buds considerably! The quality will continue to improve for up to a few months.
    Read the complete drying & curing tutorial
    I hope that gets you started, post any questions below!
    You're only 10 steps away from harvesting your own buds. Learn everything you need to know to start growing today!

    The hardest part is waiting for curing to be over. By that point it feels like you've been waiting an eternity!
    (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Poof!


    • tree dawg
      tree dawg commented
      Editing a comment
      when u say water every other feeding that is feed water feed water correct

    • NebulaHaze
      NebulaHaze commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, exactly

    This guide helped me a lot in deciding what I needed to do for my first grow.


      Nice summary Nebula! Once again, you have made a great contribution to making the world a more cannabis friendly place! 🌻
      Current grows...
      Recent grows...


        Thank you for posting this.....very helpful.

        could you pin this, I would like to refer to it often.


        • NebulaHaze
          NebulaHaze commented
          Editing a comment
          Great idea! I put it in the tutorial section of the forum so it's easier to find

        When you are ready to harvest, do you dry and cure if you are going to make FECO?


        • NebulaHaze
          NebulaHaze commented
          Editing a comment
          You should at the very least make sure buds are dry. People debate whether or not it's better to cure the buds first. I highly recommend trying it both ways to see what you like better, though I'm not sure whether it makes a difference with FECO. When I've made dry ice hash (which is raw kief/trichomes from dried buds, not FECO), the results felt more "speedy" when buds were newly dried, and more "heavy" when the buds had been cured for a while.

        is that right last line of step 8 flowering.!0-14 weeks.Or 8 -14weeks....thank you Nh your site is great and helpful


        • SoOrbudgal
          SoOrbudgal commented
          Editing a comment
          10-14wks is what I see Sww

        Short and informative


          Thanks for going to the time and effort to post this. You should be nominated for a Nobel prize in my opinion.


            Simple easy to follow instructions. TY
            Be nice Be humble Smoke Ganja create Peace Respect Nature

            Soil grower with coco/perlite mixed in
            indoor/outdoor grower
            1 4x4x8 tent -veg.& flower - 2 450 viparspectar
            1 3x3x6 tent- seedlings veg t-5, CFL 54watt w/reflector- viparspectar 450 veg. light only


              Thanks to these tips everyone can grow weed like a professional. I hope my efforts will be rewarded, too.


                are my 3 cu ft pots big enough 4 outside grow


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