If you are an MMJ cardholder in a legal state, you might have the chance to cultivate cannabis at home. Indoor growing requires planning, however. Ideally, you will only need to dedicate a small space to your plants.
Container gardening is a viable option for cultivators with limited space. In this guide, we look at how it works for cannabis plants.
What Is Container Gardening?
It is a method of cultivating plants that involves a container. You fill the container with your preferred growing medium. Then you put the seeds into the medium and care for the plant until it flourishes.
It’s a simple method for indoor growers, as it doesn’t require you to set up an entire grow room. You will, however, need space for the containers and grow lights. Also, it’s vital to control the temperature when growing marijuana plants.
Is Container Gardening Appropriate for Cannabis Plants?
Yes! You can quite easily run a small growing operation using container gardening. There are pots available in various sizes, so you can determine how many plants you want to cultivate. As a wild plant, many cannabis strains thrive best outside. However, this isn’t a practical option for many growers. Advanced growers can produce even higher yields than outdoor crops using indoor gardening methods. Yet this often requires an expensive set-up with intricate temperature and lighting control.
You can quite easily run a small growing operation using container gardening.
Novice growers can use container growing, too, but don’t expect your first crop to produce a record-breaking yield. You can produce a decent yield with essential methods and a standard set-up. This is especially the case if you only plan on growing a couple of plants.
How to Container Garden Cannabis Successfully
Container gardening is straightforward. You can grow successfully using a few handy tips and tricks. Below, we cover the essentials and provide a step-by-step guide to beginning your cannabis container garden.
Choose the Right Pot and Growing Medium
There are several types of plant pots, and selecting the right one is vital. Your choice will depend on your available indoor space and budget.
You also need to consider the pot shape. Taller, leaner plants are better suited to taller, narrower pots, such as sativa strains. Indica species, meanwhile, require sturdier and broader containers.
Here are some of the most common types of container:
Terracotta Containers: When you think of a traditional plant pot, you probably think of a terracotta, or ceramic, container. These provide excellent temperature control but may struggle with airflow and drainage. They’re also heavy and can only hold one plant.
Plastic Containers: A plastic plant pot is a much cheaper option. The holes in the bottom are perfect for drainage. However, you need to be wary of temperature fluctuations.
Fabric Containers: A big fabric sack or bag works well as a container. These are huge containers that can contain multiple plants, and they provide excellent airflow and drainage. However, you need to monitor the plants carefully to ensure they don’t dry out. Plus, the flimsy structure is a cause for concern.
There are also other types, but these are the most common. Growers these days tend to opt for plastic or fabric containers. The fabric option is a little better for a larger growing operation, but plastic plant pots are cheap and easy to find.
What About the Growing Medium?
As far as growing the medium goes, many growers opt for soil. Both regular and composted soil works fine. Other growers decide to use a soilless medium like coco coir, but this is typically the preserve of the advanced cultivator.
Most novices begin with soil unless they’re looking to start a hydroponics grow. It’s a good idea to fill the container’s bottom with gravel or stones to improve drainage, too.
Incidentally, if you’re growing a single plant in a pot indoors, you’ll need a way to catch water drainage. Keep the container on a tray or plate to catch the run-off.
Learn How to Pot and Transplant Correctly
Proper transplantation is vital to your plant’s health. When using container gardening, you will need to transplant your plant more than once.
At the start of the cannabis plant’s life as a seed, you will need to germinate it. Following this process, you must carefully transplant the germinated seed(s) without breaking the fragile taproot. Place the seed carefully in the soil using a pair of tweezers. At this stage, you should be using a small plant pot – or even a solo cup!
As the plant grows, you must transplant it into exceedingly large containers. When the leaves reach the edge of the pot, it’s time to transplant again.
Become Skilled in Indoor Growing
Indoor growing requires some special know-how. You must know how to control the lighting and temperature so that your cannabis plant thrives. You also have to deliver the right nutrients.
At this point, you need to consider your budget again. Those with cash to burn might want to invest in a whole lighting set-up. Otherwise, you can make do with a small room or greenhouse but must accept a smaller yield.
Now that you have everything to hand, it is time to start the marijuana container gardening process.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Container Growing Cannabis
- Germinate your cannabis seeds. Many cultivators prefer the paper towel method. When the taproot sprouts, it’s time to transplant.
- Take a small container – up to one gallon – and add some stones or gravel to the bottom. Fill the rest with your growing medium, then place the container on top of a tray or plate to catch water run-off.
- Make a small dent in the soil and transplant the seed with tweezers without damaging the taproot.
- Cover the seed with soil and add some water. First, add a tiny bit of water in a circle around the seed, not directly on top. Water until you see some run-off into the tray.
- Check the soil regularly. Water the plant when the top inch (up to your first knuckle) is dry to the touch.
- When the plant sprouts and develops a healthy root system, you can water the entire container rather than the circles around the plant. Keep watering until there is run-off from the container.
- When the leaves sprout outward toward the edge of the container, it’s time to transplant. Be careful not to damage the root system as you move the plant to a larger container.
- Water the plant whenever the soil is dry up to one inch from the top. Trim your cannabis and engage in regular growing practices until your bud begins to flower and it’s time to harvest.
Container gardening isn’t rocket science, so even novice growers can get started with this technique. As long as you have the right equipment, you can nurture a cannabis plant using indoor growing methods.
Some Final Tips on Container Gardening Cannabis
Here are some pro tips we have acquired from expert growers:
Sterilize Your Pots Before Reuse: Before you start over again with a new crop, always clean your containers by rinsing and draining them. A bleach solution with a 1:9 ratio of bleach to water can get the job done.
Clean Your Gardening Tools: The same applies to your gardening tools. The trichomes on marijuana can get sticky and jam up your shears, so make sure you’re cleaning all your tools regularly.
Don’t Re-Use Potting Soil: Although you might think you’re recycling by using your potting mix again, it’s not a good idea. First of all, all the soil nutrients are gone because the previous crop has used them. Secondly, plant pathogens can lurk in the soil, damaging your new crop.
Remember that Your Pots Are Portable! One of the beauties of container gardening is that you can move the pots around. They don’t have to stay on the windowsill forever! If parts of your house get different temperatures and drafts than others, consider moving the containers around occasionally. This simple step could increase your final yield.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Container Gardening
Container gardening is a good method of growing cannabis for cultivators lacking space and novices. It isn’t remarkably challenging to run a container garden, but you know what they say: Practice makes perfect!
It might take some trial and error, but a few minor mistakes will eventually lead you to a great harvest.
The more experience you have, the more successful your garden will be. It might take some trial and error, but a few minor mistakes will eventually lead you to a great harvest.
Make sure you check out our other cannabis growing guides, and you’ll be cultivating high yields in no time.