How to Plant and Grow Cannabis

Planting and Growing Information:

Be sure to grow in a location that's between 70°-85°F during the day (the ideal range for cannabis growth). Nonetheless, cannabis plants can comfortably tolerate weather down to 60°F during the day, with cooler temperatures at night. The cannabis won't do well once the temperatures drop below 45°F. Due to that, begin your growing cycle in spring to avoid dealing with harsh cold weather. Pick a spot with 6 hours a day of sunlight and 5-6 hours of indirect sunlight. While sunlight encourages growth, darkness regulates the plant's flowering cycles. Pick a spot with southern exposure to maximize sunlight if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Pick a northern-facing location if you live in the Southern Hemisphere.

For better drainage, blend your soil medium with perlite, a mined volcanic glass that prevents the soil from getting too soggy. The soil should have a pH of 6-7. Either soil or coco coir could be used as your primary growing medium. Since coco coir's loose structure lets it soothe roots and prevents heat stress, choose it if you live in a hot environment. Regardless of your pot medium, mix it with perlite for a 70% soil/coco coir to 30% perlite ratio.

Some states might restrict the size of your plant and restricting the root space with a container will limit how big the plant grows. Be sure to choose breathable fabric containers rather than plastic ones. Breathable containers are important because they allow more oxygen to get to the roots to promote growth and overall healthier plants. If you want a larger plant and a higher yield, pick a larger container. 10-20-gallon pots are standard, but you may get 100-gallon pots if you wish. In the event you want to use a proprietary soil blend, growing in containers also lets you have more control over the soil.

To maximize your yield, grow your cannabis in the ground. By doing so, it allows the roots to spread out so the plant can reach its maximum size and therefore, produce the most buds. To avoid overcrowding, space the plants 6 feet apart. For a stealthier approach, plant your cannabis in raised beds alongside vegetables. You must water your plants daily. Try to plant near a water source if you're planting far from your property.

Start with clones if you want to be sure to get female plants. The only plants that can generate buds are female plants. You must remove the male plants if you start from seeds. Furthermore, as clones are already grown cuttings, there is no need to worry about germination or handle delicate seedlings, making them simpler for beginner gardeners. Cloned plants might, however, pass on pests from the original plant, which is a drawback. Clones have a secondary root system in place of a long taproot, which many people believe makes the plant less stable. You might not be able to find the strain you want in cloned plants, depending on where you live. Starting with clones reduces the growth period by about 3–4 weeks. In comparison to indica, sativa grows taller and is more suitable for outdoor growth.

If you want to create specialized strains, start with seed. For instance, heat-tolerant seeds of the sativa, Haze, African, or Hawaiian varieties may be desirable if you live in a hot environment. For beginner gardeners, look for "feminized" seeds on the seed packet. Feminized seeds have a longer growing cycle than autoflower or standard kinds, which results in a bigger yield. They are also guaranteed to generate buds. The growth cycle will take about 5 months from seed to harvest. Your seeds should grow on a wet paper towel inside a plastic bag. Allow the bag to sit in the sun for a few days. Make a hole in the soil of a 2-inch container as soon as you notice a root emerging from the seed. With the taproot running down, plant the seed and lightly cover it with soil.

By progressively exposing your seedlings or clones to the outside, you can harden them. When a plant that was grown from seed has at least 5 complete leaves, it is ready to be planted outside. Plants should be moved into 1-gallon containers. For one month, move the plants outside in the early mornings and late afternoons for direct sunlight and fresh air. They should be ready to be moved outside within a month, once they have gotten used to the intensity of direct sunlight.

Plant your cannabis outside. After carefully moistening the dirt, make a hole large enough to accommodate the plant's root ball. Your plant will come out of the pot if you turn it on its side and support the weight of the plant as you do so. To promote growth, carefully pry apart any roots that are firmly joined together with your hands. Backfill the hole with soil after inserting the plant, then water the plant until the soil is damp but not inundated. If you're having trouble taking the plant out of the container, make sure to squeeze the container's sides.

Plants can be staked to increase stability as they grow. When you transplant tomatoes, install a sturdy tomato cage. Around the perimeter of the container, bed, or growing space, add 4 metal T-post poles. Next, place a horizontal wire trellis across the top of the tomato cage and a roof over the tops of the poles. Last but not least, enclose your four poles in outer wire fencing to form walls that will support the flowering plant. Depending on the ultimate height of your plant, purchase T-posts that are 6 to 10 feet tall. For the caging, use heavy-duty, vinyl-coated wire caging with holes that are 4-6 inches square. The walls of the caging should be placed one foot off the ground or container. Your cannabis plants need daily watering (for most climate zones). Watering should be done when the soil is 1 inch deep and dry. If you're worried about fungus and excessive watering in rainy climates, add additional perlite, gravel, or clay pebbles to the soil.

Every week, prune the outer 30% of the big new shoots. Cannabis plants can reach heights of up to 12 feet, and your state may have laws regulating plant height. Additionally, pruning can produce a bushier shape, which promotes more side shoots and, subsequently, more buds. Cut off branches at a 45° angle with clean, precise cuts. Pruning should be stopped until mid-summer to avoid affecting bud development. Pruning improves light exposure and airflow. Wherever disease may spread, always remove any yellowing, dead, or dying leaves.

Avoid having pests eat your buds. To prevent budworms, use Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (BTK), a naturally occurring bacteria that is safe for both people and pets. Check for budworm caterpillars (also known as tobacco budworms) in the evening if you think there may be an infestation. Discard diseased buds and remove any caterpillars from the buds. To keep pests like cicadas away from your plant, scatter diatomaceous earth around it. Plant natural insect repellents like rosemary, marigolds, and basil around your cannabis plants.


During the vegetative phase, add a high-nitrogen fertilizer every 3 weeks, which means that in terms of the growth timeline, you'll apply the fertilizer until mid-summer. Be sure to switch to a high phosphorous fertilizer to promote bud growth once the plant enters the flowering phase. If you'd like to opt for an organic fertilizer, you can try compost, fish emulsion, manure, or worm castings.


Be sure to harvest when the wispy “hairs” turn reddish-brown. You will harvest around October if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Cut the buds from the plant with 6-8 inches of stem below each bud. For a week, hang the buds by their stems to dry. Trim the stems' buds, then store them in a glass container. Now they are prepared to be used.