How to start growing weed in a closet?
Would you like to grow your own but don’t have any garden space? Perhaps you have a lack of space in your apartment – or nosy neighbours? Never fear, there is an option that may surprise you – growing weed in a closet! Sounds crazy, but the results will amaze you. Read on to find out why growing weed in the wardrobe could be the answer you’re looking for and the three best strains that are most likely to thrive:
How to get started?
- Preparing the closet
- Getting the lighting right
- Growing medium
- Choosing the right seeds
- Air conditioning system
1. Preparing the closet
First of all, you will need to empty your wardrobe. Completely clear it of all clothes, shoes, magazines and anything else you may have lurking in there. You could opt for a cupboard or cabinet but wardrobes or closets are the ideal types of indoor furniture because of their size and the fact that they usually have in-built storage shelves. It needs to be at least four feet height and 70 inches in breadth. The higher the better, especially if you are planning to grow a tall Sativa.
Clean everything thoroughly. Hoover it from top to bottom and then give everything a good wipe with a mild bleach solution. It cannot be emphasised enough that no traces of dust, dirt and mould should be left in the wardrobe! Leave to dry.
Make sure the inside of the wardrobe is white. Most modern flatpack wardrobes are already white but if yours has a natural wood finish, get some paint and give it a makeover. This is to maximise the effect of the artificial lighting you will need to deploy.
2. Getting the best lights for growing weed in your closet
The good news is that there is no need to spend lots of money on really expensive lighting systems when setting up your closet. As the plants are growing in a confined space, too much exposure to light could harm your plants. However, choosing the best light is very important as it is the only source of light to which your seedlings will be exposed.
Three main types of light are suitable for closet grows. They are Fluorescent grow lights, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights and Light Emitting Diode (LED) grow lights. Each of these has its own set of pros and cons.
Fluorescent grow lights
Fluorescent grow lights are cheap, don’t emit a lot of heat, offer a broad light spectrum and use standard plug socket fittings. They work well in small spaces and are ideal for use on seedlings and the vegetative phase. However, most fluorescent grow lights aren’t as powerful as other light sources and this can affect the eventual yield.
HID grow lights
There are at least three types of HID lights: Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH), High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH).
HID lights offer a great spectrum for all stages. MH lights are ideal for the vegetative phase, HPS for the flowering and CMH for all phases. They have been used successfully by indoor growers for many years. It is essential to choose dimmable HID lights as they may produce too much heat in the confined space of a wardrobe.
HID lights give great harvests but will use loads of electricity. These days, they’re pretty much considered the old school option because of LED lights.
LED grow lights
LED lights are undeniably the best choice for stealth grows. They are easy to install, ultra-energy-efficient and emit little heat. If you are worried about electricity bills, LEDs are the right choice for you. They are long-lasting and available in a wide range of shapes and styles. Choosing one can be confusing and the initial start-up cost can be high, but overall, we recommend LED lights for growing weed in a wardrobe. A 600W LED grow light is ideal. Use an adjustable height hanging system to alter the position of the light as the plants grow.
The world is your oyster when it comes to things you can use as containers. We’ve even heard of old computer towers being used, but whatever you use, make sure it has enough depth for the roots. Fabric pots are becoming increasingly popular. They allow excess water to drain and allow oxygen to access the roots.
Good ventilation is vital for weed plants to grow healthily. Stagnant air quickly leads to mould and damp and a ruined crop. You have to bring fresh air in from outside of the room and exhaust the hot air out of the room. No matter how you do it, you need to at least have cool air in and hot air out. And the whole point of bringing in fresh air is not just for temp control but also to replenish the CO2 the plants will be absorbing extremely rapidly.
Ventilation is probably the most difficult and confusing challenge you will need to overcome – even more so if you need to avoid detection. If your room has a window, leave it open as much as possible.
You could also install an exhaust fan, although this will involve some potentially noisy drilling. One option is to use a small oscillating fan – or two would be even better if you have the room. Place one desk fan at the bottom of the wardrobe blowing cool air in and one fan at the top (near the light) blowing the hot air back out. You will need to leave your closet door slightly ajar.
5. The growing medium
Soil is the obvious choice for growing in a closet, although it can be a bit messy when it spills. Soil is the foundation for a good weed crop so use the best potting mix you can afford, ideally one with a perlite blend. It will have enough nutrients for two to three weeks so you won’t need to worry about fertiliser for a while. You could also use Rockwool or coco coir.
You could also use a small hydroponics system which uses water as the growing medium. This method has many advantages allowing a greater degree of control over the irrigation and added nutrients. Plants also tend to grow more quickly so researching hydroponics is always something we would recommend.
It is worth remembering that weed smells as it grows so if you are worried about people finding your stealth grow, you need to choose less pungent varieties. Keep things discreet by keeping some clothes piled on top of the wardrobe for maximum effect. Deploy a generous use of air freshener to help mask the smell – we like Neutradol One Touch which effectively masks odours without being overpowering. It’s fair to say though, that no method of growing weed is 100 percent safe from detection.
6. Choosing the right seeds for a closet grow
As mentioned earlier, it is sensible to carefully choose varieties of cannabis that don’t grow too tall. Sativas grow tall and lanky. Indicas are better as they tend to be shorter and bushier. Autoflowers are great plants for wardrobe grows as they rarely grow taller than one metre and are generally straightforward to grow with the best characteristics of Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis. Here are three fabulous strains that would thrive in a closet, grow and reward you with a delightful crop in the privacy of your bedroom!
1. Girl Scout Cookies autoflower
Girl Scout Cookies Autoflower is a complex cross between West Coast OG, Durban Poison and Rudéralis and is a reliable plant that copes well with being grown indoors in an enclosed space. Its high levels of THC have made it famous for medicinal use across the world, but especially in the land of its birth, California. The result is a vigorous, easy-to-grow autoflowering cannabis strain, nicely balanced Sativa / Indica genetics, with a short flowering season and an impressively powerful end product.
Autoflower Girl Scout Cookies strains are small to medium in size, with a solid structure, with a small distance between the nodes and medium-sized leaves. It develops into a fairly compact plant, with the formation of a beautiful and thick main head, which is accompanied by many other compact flowers on all secondary ramifications. Its fragrance is so strong and omnipresent, that we recommend using a good odour filter with active charcoal to contain it. Or your stealth grow will not remain hidden for long!
Girl Scout Cookies Auto has a pleasing richness in terms of smell and flavour, with tangy, sweet and earthy notes, and it also shows a superb balance in terms of its effect. It is ideal for beginners as well as for connoisseurs and is suitable for anyone looking for a physical and mental effect, good power and long-lasting. The stone is a heavy, cerebral high that does not lead to couch-lock. You might want to have some chocolate chip cookies on hand though to deal with the munchies.
2. Northern Lights autoflower
Northern Lights Autoflower is the result of the cross between a Northern Lights and a Ruderalis. The result is an Indica-dominant auto-flowering hybrid, vigorous, robust, easy to grow, short flowering, powerful and highly productive – inf fact, it is famous for being one of the most highly yielding autos.
The Northern Lights Autoflower is a marvellous small plant, with a solid and compact structure, with a small distance between the nodes and fairly large leaves. It grows like a small Christmas tree, with a generous production of delicious, fairly compact resinous buds, which focuses mainly on the central stem, but also all of the secondary ramifications. It makes it possible to achieve a quality culture in a reduced space indoors, or more confidentially outdoors. Depending on where you live, it is possible to get several crops a year. We recommend adding 30% coconut coir to your substrate, to improve the oxygenation of the latter, and optimize the general development of the plant.
Northern Lights Autoflower has a sweet aroma and taste, with notes of ripe sweet fruit, exotic wood and earth. The effect is powerful and relaxing, ideal for a relaxing evening.
3. White Widow autoflower
White Widow is a legendary strain so many growers couldn’t wait to find out what the autoflower version was like. And the results did not disappoint. The White Widow Autoflower is a strain famous for its proclivity – its Ruderalis genetics mean that it is possible to achieve three to four crops per year. White Widow Autos are nice, small plants, ideal for stealth grows; the plants typically measure at maturity between 90cm and 1.50m and will allow you to harvest around 100g per plant. The plant will be mature and ready to harvest about two months after the end of its growth phase. Be careful with the fertilizers; this variety fears root burns, which you will lose on the final harvest.
White Widow Auto is an attractive plant, with dark, green leaves that are covered in a lovely sticky resin by the time you are ready to harvest.
The taste of White Widow Auto is very close to the original White Widow; perhaps the taste is a slightly chemical lemon flavour with notes of incense. The taste is generally a little more earthy than with the classic White Widow; this is certainly due to the Ruderalis genetics. The taste is a little attenuated which is not necessarily bad since the flavour is ultimately more subtle. The smoke is quite light, you can smell it in your throat but it does not make you cough.
7. Invest in an air conditioning system
An air conditioning system is not strictly necessary but will make your life easier by performing the following functions:
- Reducing the temperature – things can easily get a little too overheated in that closet!
- Dehumidifying your room – use a hygrometer to check that the air doesn’t get too dry
- Bringing in new air – if you are concerned about ventilation, an AC unit will definitely help.
How to care for your weed plants?
Once your plants are in place, you can relax and enjoy watching them grow – and they will grow fast. However, don’t close the door and forget about them! You will need to check on your plants at least twice a day – possibly more if they are showing signs of stress. Once in the morning and once at night is a good starting point. Check the soil to see that it is not too dry or too wet. You will also need to closely observe signs of change in your plants’ pistils to determine the right time to harvest so regularly checking on plants throughout their life cycle is a good habit to get into.
How many plants can I fit in my closet?
This really depends on the size of your closet, although it would be hard to fit more than ten plants in the largest type of wardrobe. For a small space, you can grow one or two plants. A large wardrobe with roughly the same grow space as a 3 by 3 grow tent can accommodate between two to four plants. If this is the first time you have grown weed – or anything – we recommend starting with one or two plants.
Curious to the cheapest way to grow weed in a closet and what the best lights are? Check it out!
Everything I Used to Grow Two Cannabis Plants in My Closet
If you smoke a lot of weed, growing your own cannabis plants is a great way to save money on bud while learning essential skills for self-sufficient stoners. Last year, my husband and I decided to try growing two weed plants in the closet of our spare bedroom, partially as a learning experience but mostly to see if we could actually turn some old Northern Lights seeds into something smokeable. Spoiler alert: it worked!
This list includes everything we used to successfully grow two marijuana plants in the closet. If you have more space you can definitely do more than 2 plants, but as our first grow we wanted to keep things simple.
First things first: We used the Cannabis Grow Bible to walk us through the indoor growing process. Let’s just say “Bible” is an appropriate word for this book because it was a godsend and probably the main reason our plants yielded us any weed at all. This book walks you through every phase and digs deep into every detail of the process, so you know exactly what to prepare for as your plants grow and their needs change. If you read the whole thing you’ll have a botany degree when you finish, it’s that good. There are many variations of this book out there, as well as plenty of free blog posts and ebooks on how people grow their weed, so you might find one that works better for you than the grow bible, but I highly recommend having something like this on hand so you can learn as you go.
One reason we wanted to grow our own weed is because of the Northern Lights seeds we had from a friend. If you don’t already have seeds on hand, you can buy cannabis seeds online through Seedsman. They sell regular, feminized, and auto-flowering seeds from 80+ breeders around the world, so it’s likely they’ll have seeds available for your favorite strain.
We chose soil for our growing medium over hydroponics because it required less of an investment to set up. We used a Foxfarms soil and perlite blend.
The seeds started off in a seedling domed nursery in front of a sunny window to make sure they would sprout. From there, we transferred them into the solo cups for a little more space before moving them into 3-gallon fabric pots filled with the perlite soil, which were then placed in the large plastic storage bin. The plants stayed in the fabric pots for the remainder of the grow.
We insulated the bin using Mylar sheets and a spray adhesive to cover the interior sides.
We added some LED strip lights to the bin to keep light reaching under the leaves. These are the lights surrounding the small plants in the pictures. We ended up keeping them in there for the full length of the grow.
Once the plants outgrew the strip lights, we used this 600W LED grow light and an adjustable hanging system to hang the lamp from the closet rack.
We also made it very easy on ourselves with these mechanical outlet timers for when the plants started to flower. In this stage, your plants will require 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness, so if you use outlet timers to automate this process, you won’t have to worry about getting too high to remember to turn off the light.
Airflow / Odor Control
We regulated airflow with (4) 120mm computer fans and a 12 volt molex adapter, which can power up to 5 fans at a time. You can see where the fans were placed in holes cut into the side of the bin.
Once the plants get a little bigger, this 4″ inline centrifugal fan will keep the space breezy without too much noise. Attach it to this 4″ flexible dryer vent tubing.
This 4″x18″ carbon filter will keep your landlord’s nose out of your business. If that’s not enough, we also used this HEPA air purifier, which is worth every penny and a life-saver if you need to quickly get the smell under control.
We kept this temperature controller on the outside of the door so we could check the temperature at a glance.
This humidity and temperature gauge sat right inside the bin. It measures indoor temperatures and humidity every 10 seconds and has an alarm if anything goes off balance.
We also kept a small oscillating fan and ultrasonic humidifier going most of the time to help with airflow and humidity.
Water / Nutrients
This auto-drip irrigation pump and tubing system can be programmed to water your plants at whatever schedule you set, which is a must-have if you want to go away for the weekend.
The plants were fed using Fox Farm liquid nutrients and we just followed the directions on the bottle to determine what amount to feed them.
Make sure you have some nice pruning shears for trimming the leaves when the brush starts to get thick. Throw the leaves in a salad or smoothie for some tasty nutrition, or give them to your pets if they like leafy greens. My cats eat pot leaves like it’s catnip.
It took about 4 months for the plants to get to a point where we were ready to trim the buds and hang them to dry. We dried the stems on clothes hangers for about a week and a half before trimming the buds, then finally performed the ultimate test of smoking our first homegrown bowl of weed. We actually forgot to weigh the final product to see how much we grew, but we got high and we’re still smoking it months later so I’m going to call that a win.
For your home grow, remember that your first attempt is a big learning experience and that the amount of weed you’ll grow can vary significantly depending on your care methods, the seeds you choose, and the strain. Once you buy your setup and learn the process, you can expect to get more quantity and potency from your plants.
Growing weed indoors can be a fun and fruitful experience if you smoke a lot of herb. Here's everything I used to grow 2 cannabis plants in my closet.