Cultivating Cannabis indoors has seen some dramatic amount of popularity in the coming years. When done properly, indoor gardens can produce an amazingly high quality medicine. Cultivating Cannabis in an indoor setting relies on the utilization of artificial lighting to mimic the UV rays of the sun. These lights typically take hundreds of Watts of electrical power to run and are commonly High Pressure Sodium lights,though MH, LED and new plasma units among other kinds have all been used successfully.
Cannabis grows best when given optimal lighting. More light provided, the more probability for an enhanced size in the flower as well as the yields. The plants should be kept as near the light as possible to maximize the light intensity reaching the leaves and buds, but not so close you burn them. If the light feels comfortable enough for you, then it is for the plant. For a 400W lamp, cultivators may not want to allow plants to grow within 40-50cm of the bulb. Cannabis plants can be bent over like a rainbow and manipulated when they become too tall to avoid burning. Some cultivators will deliberately train their plants in such a way to enhance the light coverage.
Some cultivators will utilize the SCROG (screen of green) technique, which allows the cultivator to maintain as much bud growth as possible equidistant to the lamp, maximizing the efficiency and yield.
It is important to maintain a fairly neutral room temperature, somewhere around 70 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause the plants to wilt and cooler temperatures may slow down growth and bruise the plant. The plants will need a gentle breeze from a fan, and a steady supply of fresh air which can be from your house or from outside. Stale air from the grow room should be continually sucked outside with a fan and deodorized with a carbon filter.
You can utilize clones or start from seed when cultivating indoors.
In the first stages of life, it would be optimal to start with lower light intensities, most tend to lean towards closer to fluorescent lights. The light cycle at this stage should be for 18-24 hours per day. During this time the seedlings are in a state of vegetative growth, they will continue to grow roots, leaves and branches but no bud. Clones are fairly similar in terms of care. If you purchase a clone from your local dispensary, the plant should already have healthy roots.
By changing the light cycle to approximately 12 hours, the plant can then transition into the flowering phase. The plants will remain in this stage of growth for the rest of the grow until harvest, which generally takes anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the strain. It is during this stage where the plants begin to bulk up and it will be very important to provide the most light possible and begin feeding more. When flowering, the plants are more prone to deficiencies, as they are growing so rapidly. Some cultivators introduce supplemental lighting to ensure the very best yields, as well as utilize a strict feeding regimen. You will know when to harvest much easier if you have a magnifying scope. It is preferable to have half the trichomes a milky white and the other a more orange color. When it is time to harvest, some cultivators prefer removing the fan leaves and bucking the smaller branches off the main stock so the plants dry faster and don’t smell like the leaves. when drying, some cultivators make hang the plants upside down on a line or by a drying rack and dry the finished product on those.
In general, longer periods of vegetative growth will grow larger plants and support greater yields during subsequent flowering. Typically 2 to 6 weeks of vegetative growth are used and during subsequent flowering the plants may increase to 2 or 3 times their original height.
Cannabis plants can be quite finicky, especially when working in an environment that needs so much attention. It is extremely important to do proper and sufficient research to ensure the best results. Knowing what cultivation method best suits you (soil, hydroponics, etc) and which mediums you feel comfortable feeding and working with. Depending on the grow method and the nutrients, your level of care for the maintenance of the room and the plants can really vary.
Indoor cultivation allows the plants to develop under very controlled cultivation conditions without the normal array of outdoor pests. Once the cultivator has the most optimal system in place and feels comfortable with the environment, the chances of producing a decent yield improves tenfold.