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Beginner's Guide to Growing Weed

Beginner's Guide to Growing Weed

Growing weed can be a fun and rewarding hobby for anyone, even if you have no prior experience with gardening. This guide will walk you through the basics of growing marijuana, providing clear, easy-to-follow instructions to help you successfully cultivate your own cannabis plants.

Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, this guide covers all essential aspects of the process, from preparation to harvest.

Getting Started: Indoor vs. Outdoor Growing

The first decision you need to make is whether to grow your cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. Each method has its pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your specific situation.

Indoor Growing

Indoor growing allows for complete control over the growing environment, which can lead to higher quality buds. You’ll need to invest in equipment like grow lights, fans, and possibly a grow tent. However, the investment can be worthwhile as indoor growing enables year-round cultivation and better pest control.

Outdoor Growing

Outdoor growing is generally less expensive since you utilize natural sunlight and don’t need to purchase as much equipment. The main requirements are suitable climate and secure space where your plants can receive ample sunlight and protection from pests. Outdoor plants can grow larger, resulting in higher yields, but are subject to weather conditions and outdoor pests.

Choosing Your Strain

Selecting the right cannabis strain is crucial. Consider the following factors:

  • Climate Compatibility: Some strains are better suited for certain climates. Sativas, for example, thrive in warmer climates, while Indicas are more adaptable to cooler environments.
  • Space Availability: Indicas tend to grow shorter and bushier, making them ideal for limited indoor spaces. Sativas grow taller and may require more vertical space.
  • Experience Level: Autoflowering strains are easier for beginners because they automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage without needing a change in light cycles.

Main differences and definitions of Cannabis Sativa vs Cannabis Indica

Preparing to Grow

Seeds or Clones?

You can start your grow from seeds or clones. Seeds are readily available and can be shipped discreetly to many locations. Clones are cuttings from a mature plant, guaranteeing the same genetic makeup as the parent. Just remember that growing from seed naturally gives you a larger harvest since the plant can get bigger.


To germinate seeds, place them in a damp paper towel and store them in a dark, warm place. Once the seeds sprout, they’re ready to be planted in your growing medium.

Infographic and guide to cannabis seed germination methods.

Growing Medium

Choose a growing medium that suits your needs. Soil is the most common and easiest for beginners, while hydroponics and coco coir can offer faster growth rates and better yields but require more experience and equipment.

Cannabis growing medium infographic comparing: soil, coco coir, hydroponics, rockwool and living soil

The Growing Stages

Seedling Stage

In this initial stage, keep your seedlings under a light source for 18-24 hours a day. Ensure the growing medium stays moist but not waterlogged or soaking wet.

Vegetative Stage

During the vegetative stage, the plant focuses on growing leaves and stems. Provide 18-24 hours of light and increase nutrient intake, focusing on nitrogen-rich fertilizers.

Flowering Stage

Switch the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to induce flowering. This stage focuses on bud development. Reduce nitrogen and increase phosphorus and potassium in your nutrient mix.

Maintaining Your Plants


Cannabis plants require a significant amount of light to thrive and grow optimally. When cultivating cannabis indoors, it's essential to use high-quality LED or HID grow lights to mimic the natural sunlight and provide the necessary spectrum of light for healthy plant development. Ensure your grow lights are positioned at the correct distance from the plants to prevent light burn while maximizing light exposure.

For outdoor growing, it is crucial that your cannabis plants receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Ideally, they should be placed in a location where they can benefit from the maximum amount of sunlight possible, which will support robust growth and higher yields. Position your plants in a spot that gets uninterrupted sunlight for the majority of the day, and monitor their exposure to ensure they are not shaded by nearby structures or other plants.

Also read: The 3 Best LED Grow Lights on Amazon That Don't Suck 


Water your plants thoroughly but infrequently to allow the roots to dry out between watering sessions. This encourages strong root growth.


Use a balanced nutrient mix tailored for cannabis. During the vegetative stage, use a fertilizer high in nitrogen. Switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer during flowering.

Airflow and Temperature

Ensure good airflow to prevent mold and pests. Maintain temperatures between 70-85°F (20-30°C) during the vegetative stage and slightly cooler during flowering.

Harvesting and Curing


Harvest your plants when the trichomes (resin glands) turn milky white with some amber. This indicates peak THC levels.


Hang the harvested plants upside down in a dark, cool room with good airflow. Allow them to dry until the stems snap rather than bend.


Cure your dried buds in airtight containers, opening them daily to release moisture and prevent mold. This process enhances flavor and potency.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Nutrient Deficiencies

Watch for signs of nutrient deficiencies like yellowing leaves or stunted growth. Adjust your nutrient mix accordingly.


Regularly inspect your plants for pests such as spider mites or aphids. Use organic pest control methods or insecticidal soaps to manage infestations.

Mold and Mildew

Maintain proper airflow and humidity levels to prevent mold and mildew. Remove affected areas immediately to prevent spread.


Growing your own cannabis can be a highly rewarding experience, providing you with a personal supply of high-quality buds. By following this beginner's guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful cannabis grower. Remember, patience and attention to detail are key. Happy growing!

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