Basic Guide

If you are new to growing, this basic marijuana grow guide should help put you onto the right tracks for growing your own dank.  The aim of this guide is to give you an idea of what you need to consider when growing marijuana step by step.  If you can’t find it here or this isn’t enough detail, this website offers you the opportunity to get a greater understanding of all the subjects discussed in this basic weed growing guide.  The main thing is to remember to enjoy yourself and develop your own style as, once you get going, you’ll realise that it really is quite simple.

Picking your seeds
When picking your seeds, you may want to answer the following questions before you dive headlong into marijuana growing:  Do I want to grow an indica, sativa, or an auto-flowering strain?  How much room do I have in my grow room?  What strain suits the medium I intend to grow in i.e Soil or Hydroponics? How long will it be in flower before I need to harvest?  What yield am I expecting to get from my chosen strain?
You can answer all these questions by looking through our helpful compendium of strain reviews.

Once you have chosen your seeds you will need to get them started.  The first step in growing marijuana is germinating your seeds.  Germinated SeedsThe simplest and most common way to germinate your seeds is by soaking them for 24 hours in a glass of distilled water (no longer) and then placing them in a warm and moist paper towel.  Once it has sprouted its taproot, it needs to be put into the growing medium.  A clear and concise step by step guide to marijuana seed germination can be found here along with other techniques which may be more suitable to your own growing style.

After your seed has germinated and started to sprout its first true leaves, it officially becomes a seedling.  This stage in the growth cycle will last from two to four weeks.  It is best to put a seedling under at least 16 hours light every 24 hours.  Make sure the light is not too bright at this stage of your marijuana plants development, as it can damage the seedling.

Vegetative growth
Vegetative growth is when your marijuana plant really starts to develop, with changes to size and shape visible day-to-day.  You will need to keep your plant under an 18/6 lighting regimen, as well as under the brighter lights that are 6500k.  The vegetative growth stage will last around 4 – 5 weeks before flowering can start, depending on the strain you are growing.  It is within vegetative growth that you can take clones and train your plant to increase your final yield.  More information on vegetative growth can be found here where we discuss SOG, Scrog, LSTing.

Male or Female
The aim for the vast majority of growers is to produce the unfertilized female plants otherwise known as Sensimilla.  The sex of your marijuana plant can be determined using its pre-flowers, which develop in vegetative growth.  Although your seeds may be “feminized”, there is a lot you can do as a grower can still affect the sex of the plant.  Stressed out plants can become hermaphrodite or will grow as male.   Stress can be caused by growing the plant in the wrong light or temperature, amongst other issues.  You can find out more about how to determine the sex of your marijuana plant and how to avoid stressing your plants here.
Male Female Cannabis

Flowering is the stage in which your marijuana plant will finally produce its smokable buds, this being the main aim for almost all growers. During this stage you will need to reduce the amount of light it receives to 12 hours light, and giving it 12 hours complete darkness.  You will also need to adjust down the brightness of the light, using a bulb with 2700k.  You will run this light regimen until your plant is ready to harvest.   Far more detail on flowering can be found here.

Harvesting MarijuanaKnowing when to harvest your plant is important if you want to get the most out of those buds you’ve been growing.  It’s not difficult to tell when your plant is ready, although you will need some equipment to give your eyes a helping hand.  The best way to tell whether your plant is ready for harvest is to check the plants trichomes.  Using a magnifying glass (x30 is recommended), check that around 80% of trichomes are cloudy, 15 % are amber and 5% are clear.  You’ll never get this spot on and it’s a rough guide to get a decent amount of THC out of your grow.  When this is the case, it’s time to give your plant the chop.  A detailed guide on harvesting marijuana can be found here.

Drying and Curing
Dried and Cured BudsNow you have come this far, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start smoking those dank and sticky buds straight away.  They will however, bring you much more joy if you take the time to dry and cure your weed properly.  To dry your weed, you hang it until the bud are dry to touch, but do not snap when bent.  The most common technique for curing is known as “burping”, which involves putting your bud in an airtight glass jar and opening it for a couple of minutes every 12 hours over the course of a month.  A step by step guide to drying and curing your weed can be found here.

Things you will need to consider:

Good, balanced, clean water is essential for the growing of marijuana plants.  Good water is PH neutral (ph7) and water that isn’t will need to be altered.  It is water that carries the nutrients into the marijuana plants roots.  A good supply of decent water is imperative if you want to grow good buds.  It is equally as important not to over water your plants either as it can rot your roots. Confused?  You can clear up any questions you have here.

A decent source of light is essential to growing weed.  If you are growing weed outdoors, then you do not need to worry about light.  However, you will need to supply the lighting to your planting if you’re growing indoors.  There are many different types of lighting available for indoor growers, alongside the different lighting cycles for the various stages in a marijuana plants life cycle.  Check them out here.

Giving your plants a little helping hand will not do them any harm, in fact, it comes highly recommended if you are going to get the most out of your grow. You should approach nutrients with care, as there can be too much of a good thing.  The main nutrients involved in marijuana cultivation are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K).  During vegetative growth you will want a high nitrogen, lower phosphorous fertilizer, and during flowering you will want low nitrogen and high phosphorous. Although this is a very basic guide to marijuana nutrients, more detail on nutrients can be found here.

Hopefully this basic guide to marijuana growing should help you get on your way to producing yourself some fine nugs to smoke.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, this website will have it in more detail.  Just search the site or use our A to Z found here.  Happy growing.


19 comments on Basic Guide
  1. Green Man

    A cheap alternative to spending a lot of money on a high end humidifier is to place a bucket or tray of warm water in to your tent with a fan next to it allowing the fan to blow across the water, The heat coming from the grow lamp will slowly evaporate this water, and in the process add humidity inside the grow tent.

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  2. lindsey l.l.

    anyone kno how to get more humidity into a 12x6x8 room size tent inside a wooden building ?

    I have VICKS VAPORIZER plus a COOLMIST PRO RUNNING ALL the time and still only get 20% to 30% humidity

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    Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
  3. Todd Randall

    Good Day, I’m starting a Grow Station company and would like to get info. on the possible use of some of the content on your site. I’m certainly willing to use an Attribution Link that would revert to your site. I thought it ethical to ask for your permission. Maybe you could give me a shout? My Ph. 774-419-2097. Or give me a Ph. number to contact you? Hope to hear from you soon. Thank You

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    Rating: +3 (from 15 votes)
  4. Troy Astroboy

    I just adopted a Marihuana plant I found on the street, just about to die.. I just wonder if it´s a boy or a girl!!!

    Im so thrilled

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    Rating: +1 (from 11 votes)
  5. Pat Benny

    I’m well into my second year growing. I have some seeds that I have no ides what strain they are or where they came from and they all look different. My first crop last year was ruined by a male plant. Since the plant was so big, I decided to let it grow to see if it would stand up on the straw bale. The plant was twelve feet high when I cut it down. I have planted on straw bales last June, last September and this past February. My latest plant is curing now.

    I highly recommend straw bale gardening. The coolest thing is that the bales eventually break down into potting soil that puts Miracle Grow to shame. I should also mention that none of the twelve plants that came up were germinated. I just stuck a finger in the soil and dropped in the seed. They sprout in seven days.

    One piece of advice: Save the smaller leaves that result from trimming, because you never know when some moocher will come around looking for free weed, lolol.

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    Im Starting My Plant In A Few Days ! This Was Very Helpful .

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    Rating: +3 (from 11 votes)
  7. bill

    This website has every thing. I wish they reference where most of this stuff can be purchased

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    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  8. Shaggy

    I’m growing my first plant and I’m putting it in its pot now. Instead of straight sunlight can it be through like tinted glass, or would that not work?

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    Rating: +4 (from 30 votes)
  9. Tinybubbles

    I want to thank you for this guide I am a new grower and have successfully grow my first two plants one male and one female.

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    Rating: +7 (from 15 votes)
  10. jesus

    Why me plants dont grow welk after a week old .cqn i feed them ???

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    Rating: 0 (from 10 votes)
  11. Gabriel Savoie

    What would be the optimal temperature to grow your plants.. my grow space is about 88°

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    Rating: 0 (from 26 votes)
  12. Patrick Monk.RN.

    First small outdoor grow this year, looking good. Pineapple-Tsu; Swiss-Tsu; C-6; from clones. Almost ready to bud. Thank heavens for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful way.
    Just curious, Cannatonic and Harelequin are popular medicinals here in N.California but not mentioned here?
    Patrick Monk.RN. SF. Ca.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  13. Green Man

    Hi there, you can feed your seedlings in the early stages however you must be careful not to over do it. Feeding 1-2 times a week at most and try to use a high nitrogen plant food during vegetative growth (at the start) and a low nitrogen plant food during flowering. You can get more detail in our nutrients section, here.

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  14. chadeator

    first time indoors. do i feed my seedlings or just water.

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    I have a room 8 ft by 12 ft How much lighting will I need for the best product Can I use the new leds or do I need the hps lights

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    Rating: +2 (from 22 votes)
  16. Green Man

    There are a number of potential reasons for this problem:

    – Seedlings too far from the light is most common
    – Over-watering
    – Under-watering

    These are the most likely causes of your plant problems.

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  17. GG781

    hi~~~Why does my seedlings can not stand upright, all lay down
    We look forward to your reply

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    Rating: +4 (from 28 votes)

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