At some point, everyone who uses marijuana considers the possibility of making the leap and growing a plant on their own. In some states, that’s now a possibility.
Eight states have legalized adult-use marijuana. And more than half have legalized medical marijuana. Depending on the specific laws of each state, people now have the opportunity to grow plants in their own home.
However, something to consider is not several plants, but just one. That’s the easiest way to learn how to do it right.
Growing Your First Marijuana Plant
The following tips are aimed at those who have never grown marijuana before. If the laws in your state allow you to do so, than read on.
Yes, cannabis is a weed, which means it can grow well under lots of different conditions. However, it’s also a flowering plant, and if it doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will flower too soon.
Marijuana plants need about 16 to 20 hours of light a day during the vegetative, pre-flowering state. Depending on the time of year, even leaving it in a window all day will not get it enough sunlight. You will need to purchase lighting.
If the plant sits in sunlight for close to 12 hours, you likely can supplement after the sun goes down with a fluorescent lamp. However, the safest – but most expensive – route is to use a 250-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp, or a high pressure sodium blub. While these can be purchased for under $30, the cost of the fixture to put them in could run about $150 to $200.
This is your most expensive outlay, but also very important. Keeping the plant in light for 12 hours a day is essential for it to fully mature and flower properly.
You can buy seeds at most dispensaries, just consult with them about the type of plant you want to grow. Take the seed and bury it about a half inch or so into the soil, covering it completely. Provide enough water to moisten the soil, but not soak it completely. Within a week the sprout will appear.
Temperature and Humidity
It’s best to keep the area around your plant dry. Avoid humidity as it can lead to less resin forming on the plant’s leaves. You can invest in a dehumidifier, although that’s probably a tad expensive for just one plant. Just try to find an area of your home that is dry (that’s why closets are often a good choice).
If you do set up in an enclosed area, it’s not a bad idea to place a fan in the room. Keeping the air flow moving around the plant will help you avoid any mold or fungus growing on your plant. While this step is not absolutely necessary, it’s not a bad idea.
As with many plants, it’s often best to water larger amounts in one dose rather than small amounts more frequently. This ensures that water seeps through the soil to the bottom of the plant, giving all the roots access to water.
The Flowering Stage
The vegetative stage should last about a month. At this point, if you aren’t already using a closet or enclosed space, now is the time you will want to do that. To trigger flowering, switch to 12 hours of (still strong) light and 12 hours of total darkness. Work hard to make sure there is total darkness for those 12 hours, not even a few seconds of light. The idea is to mimic what actually occurs in nature. Typically, flowering takes around two months.
Drying and Curing
After removing the buds from the plant and the leaves around them, hang them to dry. This could take a few days. Once dry, the buds then can be placed in a glass jar for curing. Open the jar frequently at first, then less so over the next few weeks. Toward the end of the curing phase you are simply checking the smell and feel to see if the cannabis is ready for use.
How Long Will It Take?
Obviously, that’s not a tip, but more like a Frequently Asked Question. The answer: about four months. It typically takes about three months to grow a plant, plus another month for drying and curing.
Keep these tips in mind, and in four months you may have your first marijuana plant of your own to use.