How To Grow Cannabis In Your Closet
Not having a backyard or dedicated grow space doesn’t mean you can’t still grown your own cannabis. When growing for personal consumption, it can even be done inside your bedroom closet.
Closet grows are limited by available space and tend to be simpler and smaller than other setups. Closet setups require less equipment, less effort, and less investment than most other grows. However, the size restrictions do lead to some potential downsides as well. Nevertheless, closet grows are convenient, simple, and excellent for first-time growers.
Pre-Growing Considerations — Seed Selection
Before you even begin to think about growing methods and equipment, you have to consider the plant itself. Some strains will be more responsive to the growing conditions and size limitations of your closet.
When selecting seeds, consider what kind of bud you are expecting to get from the plant. The genetics of your seed will determine what kind of flavour, colour, taste, and THC or CBD levels your plant will have. Perhaps more importantly, it will also determine the height and width of your plant. Make sure to choose a strain that will comfortably fit inside your growing setup.
For closet growers who are restricted by available space, autoflowering seeds can be an excellent choice. They tend to mature into smaller, more compact plants than those produced by photoperiod seeds.
Additionally, autoflowering plants have quicker flowering and harvest times. Some strains have been known to race from seed to harvest in roughly two months. One such speedy specimen is the ever-popular Quick One, which is both short and fast to boot. Another strain of equal potential is the highly sought-after Girl Scout Cookies Automatic.
When it comes to the actual growing of your plants, there are many potential factors to consider. Lighting, growing medium, nutrients, containers, and airflow are just a few of the things you will have to think about. While doing so, keep in mind the restrictions that closet space may put on things like lighting, heating, plant size, and airflow systems.
1. Closet Size
This is the most important consideration when it comes to designing a closet growing system. The equipment and growing styles you use will depend on the space available to you. As such, closet size will have a direct effect on the kind of marijuana you can grow, and the total yield that you can expect to harvest.
In a small growing space like a closet, simple lighting setups are the way to go. You shouldn’t overspend on powerful lighting systems for your closet grow. Too much light could end up damaging your plants or causing heating issues. Cooler lights like CFLs and LEDs are very well-suited for closet growing.
>Even though some LED brands are somewhat expensive, LEDs should be your first choice for closet lighting. With a bit of research, some tech-savvy growers may even be able to build their own LED lights for cheap. Some programmable LEDs come with settings that allow you to control spectrum and intensity. Programmable lights can help make sure that your plants get exactly what they need, when they need it.
3. Growing Medium And Irrigation
Before starting your closet grow, you need to decide whether you want to grow your plants in soil, or hydroponically. Commercially available grow boxes with pre-built hydroponic systems are expensive, but convenient. Soil and watering pots work too. However, a hydroponic system may be advisable for a closet grow since it can sometimes be difficult to manually water all the plants in such a constrained space. Moreover, it can avoid potential spills or messes.
Soil can be messy and hard to clean up if spilled. As such, some closet growers prefer to use other growing media. Common alternatives include perlite, coco coir, rockwool, and clay pebbles.
The nutrients you use to enhance your grow will depend on your choice of strain, method of water delivery, and growing medium. For instance, organic nutrients are known to have a harder time working their way through hydroponic systems. Make sure that the nutrients you are planning to use match up with the growing conditions you have created in your closet. Using too much of the wrong nutrient at the wrong time could irreparably damage your plant. Moreover, some nutrients may not be as effective for your specific kind of grow as you think they are.
Plagron Green Sensation is a 4-in-1 fertiliser solution that can drastically increase the quality of your plants. It can single-handedly do the work of four different growing boosters on its own. The solution includes a PK-fertiliser that can improve plant resistance, flowering, and final product quality. It also contains enzymes to combat oxygen waste, stimulate soil life, and prevent the symptoms of deficiencies. The enhancers it contains trigger natural nutritional reactions in the plant, improving its taste and final yield.
Good airflow is crucial to any grow, but is especially important for closet grows. In tight spaces, available air gets used up very quickly, making effective airflow all the more crucial. Airflow needs to be properly controlled so that smells can be effectively managed. This is essential for closet growers seeking to maintain privacy. Make sure to keep your closet door perfectly shut and well-sealed so as to prevent air and odours from leaking out.
A small vent fan, roughly 10–12cm wide, should be enough to properly control the airflow in a closet. Some closet growers prefer to cut a hole in the door of their closet, fitting the fan into it. In order to keep the hole as small as possible, other growers prefer to use vent ducting. This way, the fan can be set up outside of the closet, with the smaller vent tube being fed in through the hole.
Make sure that the air not only has a way into your closet, but also a way out. A couple of air holes about 5–8cm in diameter should be enough. Try to place your in and out air holes at opposite ends of the closet. This will give your setup a reasonably higher chance of achieving proper airflow.
6. Plant Height
Oftentimes when closet-growing, you may have less than two metres of available vertical space for your plants. As such, you must make sure that your plants remain under this threshold, and that your lighting and airflow setup can accommodate it.
When it comes to strains, pick ones that produce short-statured plants that begin flowering as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will have to aggressively train and prune your plants to keep their growth under control. How tall a plant will grow mostly depends on its biotype.
Indica-dominant plants like Blueberry Automatic are more compact and manageable than sativas. Though, not always. Indicas can be further condensed by switching them into their flowering stage after just one week of vegetative growth.
Sativa-dominant plants are notorious for their ability to stretch themselves upwards. If you do decide to grow a sativa in your closet, manipulating the length of your vegetative period may help. Putting your sativa plants on a 12:12 light cycle from day one will get you on the fast track. Sativas tend to stretch so much during their early flowering period that you will still end up with monster-sized plants. Strains that originate from equatorial climates are completely unaffected by this technique since 12:12 is their natural light cycle.
Make sure to carefully top and train your plants to make the most out of available space. Techniques like manifolding can help keep your plants regularly topped, and your grow in check.
Controlling Plant Stretch
One way to restrict the vertical growth of your plants is by manipulating phosphorus levels. When phosphorus levels are reduced, vertical growth is restrained. By carefully and cautiously restricting phosphorous during a plant’s early flowering stage, a reduction in height can be achieved with little to no negative effects. This technique should be used very carefully since phosphorus is an essential macronutrient for cannabis plants.
Another way to control the vertical stretch of your plants is to carefully maintain the grow’s daytime and nighttime temperatures during the early flowering stage. If daytime and nighttime temperatures remain the same during this stage, stretch is reduced. If you can produce lower temperatures during the early morning, stretch can be reduced even further. However, avoid early morning temperature dips during the late-flowering stage as this may affect terpene and cannabinoid production.
How Light Spectrum Affects Plant Stretch
The ratio of red to far-red light that your plants are exposed to will affect their ability to grow vertically. If there is significantly more red light than far-red light, the plants will have shorter internodes, and less height. With too much far-red light, you can end up with tall, lanky plants with weak stems.
It should be noted that the amount of red or far-red light does not just depend on your light settings. It will also depend on the amount of light that can penetrate the canopy and actually reach the plant. If your plants are densely packed together, you should expect that the lower buds and leaves will have a harder time achieving adequate exposure to light. This is especially true for red light since plant leaves block and absorb it, while allowing far-red light to pass right through. This means that your lower leaves will naturally be getting more far-red light than just red. This disparity triggers a shade avoidance response in cannabis plants, encouraging them to stretch.
7. Drying Your Harvest
Drying and curing homegrown bud can be an oft-overlooked problem for closet growers. Space restrictions will affect your ability to dry marijuana just as much as your ability to grow it. Commercially available drying boxes and tents may be particularly useful for closet growers. Whatever you choose, ensure that your drying apparatus has proper airflow.
Make sure to dry your buds in a separate room from any growing cannabis plants. The conditions required for both activities are not the same. The temperature and humidity in a grow room is too high for effective drying.
Before beginning, properly clean your drying space with a hydrogen peroxide solution. It is important to decrease the number of microorganisms in the space and to keep the air clear of mould spores. The drying space should be able to hold a temperature of 20°C/68°F and a relative humidity level of about 50%. Any more humidity could lead to the development of mould or fungi. Any less could lead to uneven drying in your buds.
Growing Equipment And Accessories
By using the right equipment and accessories, you can maximise your yield and minimise your frustration. Zamnesia offers a wide range of growing accessories that can simplify the process and increase your chances of success. Here are some items we think may be of particular help to closet growers.
Plagron Seedbox Germination Kit
This germination kit provides an ideal environment for healthy seed germination and the robust growth of young plants. The Plagron Seedbox Germination Kit supplies room for 12 seeds to be inserted into pre-prepared coco germinating plugs. This kit contains a bottle of Plagron 250ml Seedbooster solution. Using a mixture of Seedbooster and water, the kit’s germination plugs can be expanded, allowing you to plant your seeds inside of them. The Seedbooster solution gives plants a head start by encouraging healthy and vigorous early growth. This will not only lead to higher yields, but will also produce more resinous and aromatic buds.
Magic Mushroom Hygrometer/thermometer
This 2-in-1 thermometer and hygrometer is just as suited for your cannabis grow as it is for your mushroom grow. This unit can help you achieve ideal temperature and humidity levels in your grow or drying room. It is an easy-to-use tool that is perfect for all cannabis and mushroom growing systems. It can be conveniently mounted inside or outside your grow space, and its long cables and easily attachable probes don’t interfere with your grow.
Written by: Top-Shelf Grower
Veteran cannabis cultivator originally from Dublin, Ireland and currently on the loose in southern Spain. 100% committed to Top-Shelf reporting until captured or killed.
Growing cannabis in a closet is one of the simplest and most convenient ways to grow marijuana. Maximise your growing potential with this guide!