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How to Grow Marijuana in Soil

How to Grow Marijuana in Soil

Growing marijuana in soil has many advantages. For instance, it is the best way for buds to develop an excellent aromatic flavor which a lot of people love. Also, most growers still prefer to plant weed using soil. In essence, using the right type of soil, the resulting harvest will be more rewarding.

While hydroponics allows cannabis to grow efficiently and fast, it also has some drawbacks. One is that it is costly to set up the whole system. Also, it needs a lot of expertise to make the method work. On the other hand, the practice of using soil comes naturally, and it only takes a little research to learn.

So, in this article, we will cover the best soil for growing weed in both indoor and outdoor gardens. It includes recognizing the quality of soil, and knowing what supplies are best to use. Also, we share the recipe for making the best soil for marijuana plants.

In essence, we show how easy it is to assure nutrient balance within the medium. Using the best soil from the start helps lessen the need to pump chemical nutrients into the plant along the way. Also, this increases the chances of a healthy harvest of high-quality buds.

The Basics of Marijuana Soil

Before we get into making the ideal marijuana soil, we will need to learn the basics.

1. Why Grow in Soil?

There are many reasons why soil is the best medium for weeds. It is ideal for germinating, transplanting, or letting the plant grow. Here are the benefits, and disasters that could happen with using soil.

Grow in Soil

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Advantages of Using Soil

The soil is the most natural medium for growing almost all kinds of plants. It means that most people already are familiar or have experience in doing it. In effect, it is easier and less stressful to use than other modes of planting, which requires a learning curve.

Another advantage is its simplicity in making it work. Just watering the soil is enough for most plants to grow. Also, the supplies needed are few compared to using other costlier medium.

Disadvantages of Using Soil

Since soil is an organic material, it is natural for bugs to live in it. Therefore, the plants are more prone to suffer from pest infestations.

There is also the issue of slower growth. In contrast, marijuana grown using hydroponics enjoys an explosive growth due to faster and more efficient nutrient absorption.

2. What is High-Quality Soil?

The best type of soil can hold an amount of water that is many times its weight. It also holds the water for a certain degree of time before evaporating. Such characteristics are essential as plants need time to absorb the water.

High-Quality Soil

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Regarding appearance, we want to look for a loose texture that stays the same when wet or dry. It should also be dense enough for the roots to take hold, but at the same time, allow air to pass through.

3. What is the best Soil for Marijuana?

So, what exactly is the best soil for cannabis? The truth is, the plant acts exactly like weeds. It means that it is not very picky when it comes to its medium of growth. In fact, marijuana can grow fairly well in soil that is naturally disturbed. As such, it can pop up and thrive in places where the soil has experienced natural calamity or human movements.

But if the goal is to produce buds with a high amount of THC, the grower has to choose high-quality soil. Veteran producers know that the best soil has the right balance of nutrients and acid level. Not only that, but soil requirements vary in each growing stage.

To be specific, the ideal soil for marijuana has a lot of nitrogen during the vegetative stage. But as the cannabis progresses to the flowering stage, the need for nitrogen goes down. If the nitrogen level in the soil stays the same, this could result to small buds that are less potent. As such, constant monitoring of nutrients is vital.

When it comes to pH level, most plants can do with 6.0. A range between 5.8 and 6.3 is okay, but too high or too low pH may be disastrous to the crop. As a result, the buds tend to be of poor quality.

Best Soil for Marijuana

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4. What Supplies Do We Need?

To get started, we must find materials that help the seed grow in the right track. It means adequate nutrients and water for germination. For this purpose, it is a whole lot easier if we use peat plugs. But potting mix and composted manure can also do the trick.

4.1. Peat Plugs

Known also as peat pellets, these are small cylindrical seed holders covered in mesh. They give seeds a great start as they come complete with nitrogen and ideal pH level. Any garden shop sells peat plugs that come with a terrarium and small trays.

Peat Plugs

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Since water evaporates fast when using peat plugs, be careful not to let it go dry. Seeds need plenty of water to grow, so it is important to keep the soil moist.

4.2. Potting Mix

A great option to use when peat plugs are not available is potting soil or potting compost. This material is a mix of different ingredients that provide food for growing seeds.

Potting Mix

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An important thing to remember when using potting mix is to watch out for clumps. If not removed, marijuana plants may have a hard time rooting. So, make sure the potting soil is light and fluffy. Also, look for a brand that has peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or vermiculite. These things improve the quality of the soil by adjusting its pH level and nitrogen content.

4.3. Composted Manure

Another option is to use composted manure. It has plenty of nutrients and nourishment. Also, it is effortless to make at home.

Composted Manure

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While manure is readily available in some gardens, it will take 4 to 6 weeks to turn it into a suitable material. Mixed with soil, it acts as a fertilizer to plants. And unlike other additives, using animal wastes does not build up in the soil. Instead, it helps keep the medium organic.

5. What is Super Soil?

A new type of soil called Super Soil is fast gaining popularity among cannabis growers nowadays. This medium, made by Subcool, is by far the best soil for growing marijuana.

Super Soil

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An advantage of using Super Soil is that it already has the right nutrients and acid balance. As such, all that growers need to do is water the plants. But keep in mind that this type of soil is not suitable for seedlings as it may burn them.

As it happens, Subcool shared the recipe on how to make Super Soil. But while this “hack” sounds very appealing, it requires intense research to make. Also, there are some problems with bugs and pests growing in the soil if not properly done. Moreover, it takes a dozen ingredients to make so it can be quite expensive.

While we can easily buy Super Soil in garden supply centers, there is no harm in trying to make it. Especially since we can use organic materials at home.

How to Make Super Soil for Marijuana

Ever since the secret about Super Soil came out, growers are using it to produce top-shelf organic buds. While it is ideal for large producers who aim bigger yields, small-time home growers can also try making it.

In 3 steps, here is what we need to prepare and do to make our own Super Soil.

Step 1. Base

Prepare high-quality organic potting mix. The recommended amount is 8 x 30 pounds.

Step 2. Additives

Here are the things to combine with the potting mix to create a super-charged soil.

2.1. Azomite

This material comes from volcanic rock and contains over 70 minerals and trace elements. Since it contains gold, copper, silver, and calcium, to name a few, its basic use is to remineralize the soil. Having abundant, diverse minerals is a good way to ensure the health of the plants.

The recommended amount is 1/2 cup.


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2.2. Bat Guano

Bat feces is a rich source of nitrogen. Also, it comes with an outstanding balance of other minerals such as phosphorous and potassium. Most importantly, it does not leave any metallic taste on the buds like other additives.

The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

Bat Guano

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2.3. Blood Meal

This additive is not vegan-friendly, but it is an excellent source of nitrogen. Made from the dried blood of mostly cows, it seems like an unpleasant idea for fertilizer. But it is a popular gardening product that increases the growth of cannabis during the vegetative phase.

The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

Blood Meal

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2.4. Bone Meal

During the flowering phase, the fine powder of animal bones provides phosphorous for more and bigger blooms. Just be cautious of this ingredient if there are vegans who use the buds.

The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

Bone Meal

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2.5. Dolomite or Sweet Lime

Rich in calcium and magnesium, this mineral rock prevents organic nutrients from escaping the soil. It also keeps the pH level from being too acidic.

The recommended amount is 1 cup.

Dolomite or Sweet Lime

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2.6. Epsom Salt

Magnesium aids in nutrient absorption. It also happens that Epsom Salt is rich in this mineral. Thus, we use it to avoid deficiency. But be careful in adding it. As with all other additives, too much of a good thing can be bad.

The recommended amount is 3/4 cup.

Epsom Salt

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2.7. Kelp or Humid Acid

Fungi are important in the soil’s pH level, so we use kelp or Humid Acid to feed them.

The recommended amount is two tablespoons for humic acid and 1/4 cup kelp meal for every five gallons of the material.

Kelp or Humid Acid

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2.8. Rock Phosphate

Another natural fertilizer that works by upping the levels of phosphorous in the soil is Rock Phosphate. For best result, bone meal and Azomite is added to it. Aside from acting as a pest-repellent, it is also the fertilizer of choice for marijuana in the flowering stage.

Rock Phosphate

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As a result, the flowers are usually big and vibrant. Also, the buds have a richer flavor.

The recommended amount is 3 pounds.

2.9. Worm Castings

Because it is nutritious, the more worms, the better for the plants. The worm’s poop is known as the “worm cast.” According to research, it is heavy in micronutrients as well as macro nutrients. As such, it plays a vital role in soil fertility and plant growth as well.

The recommended amount is 25 to 50 pounds.

Worm Castings

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Step 3. Mix them Up

Once all the ingredients are available and ready, mix them. Usually, it takes a full week of mixing it using a shovel. Then, we store it once it has all come together as one color. During storage, the composting process begins. In a month or two, it should be ready for use.

Mix them Up

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Organic Soil is Best for Marijuana Plants

Again, using soil as a medium is excellent for growing marijuana. Especially if it is organic, the nutrients can give the plants a steady supply of nourishment as it grows. In the end, we can harvest fat and potent buds with wonderful flavors.

From the beginning, growers want to recognize high-quality soil. Not only will it help lead to a bountiful harvest, but it also reduces the need for other treatments along the way.

So, refer to this article for the basics of soil. By following the guidelines here, the foundation of knowledge is set to allow for better decision making in cultivating cannabis.

Finally, we should keep an open mind when it comes to soil. There are so many ways to improve its quality, as well as ruin it. Thus, the best action it to take care of the medium as much as we take care of the plants.

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Comment Section

34 thoughts on “How to Grow Marijuana in Soil

By Carol Miller on 24 October 2015

Do plants grown in soil have more leaves?
Should the plants be pruned during the growing stage to become shorter and bushier?
Can the plants be grown to have less leaves?
Are there strains that genetically have very little leaves?

By latewood.ILGM on 27 October 2015

Carol Miller
Really. You should join our Support Forum.

Do plants grown in soil have more leaves?
A. NO. This is a matter of fertilizer balance and environment.

Should the plants be pruned during the growing stage to become shorter and bushier?
A. This is a matter of a growers methods. You can make the choice to prune and train plant to be shorter.

Can the plants be grown to have less leaves?
A. Yes Stifle Nitrogen, and you will have less leaves, less foliage, and less buds.

By Lambert on 6 August 2017

My plant is starting to bud butt most all leaves are three leaflets why?

By latewood_ILGM on 9 August 2017


It is hard to say. Perhaps it is genetics or environment or...

See what I am getting at? I invite you to join our support forum and after reading a bit you can post images of your plant and the awesome membership and experts on staff will address any concerns you have. 🙂

Happy growing.

By bud on 12 January 2016

I have a 3x3 foot growing area iam using 5gal. pots now 6 of them would like to use 3 gal. pots more pots more plants the roots in 5 gal. pots are really small any way what do you think

By bud on 12 January 2016

I have a 3x3 foot growing area iam using 5gal. pots now 6 of them would like to use 3 gal. pots more pots more plants the roots in 5 gal. pots are really small any way what do you think

By Candy on 14 July 2016

Great article thanks. Could you tell me if it is necessary to purchase new soil each grow or can you give it New nutrients

By Roly on 3 December 2017

Hi, as far as I can gather if you flush your old soil and ensure you've removed any 'Salt' residues the soil would be reusable but you would have to add the necessary minerals & fertiliser obviously :0)

By latewood.ILGM on 14 July 2016


Overcrowding your grow tent is a bad idea. You will have healthier plants and a better yield with 2-3 plants in that space.

By latewood.ILGM on 14 July 2016


I would be wary of attempting to use the same soil over and over. Salt buildup, disease and pests can be transferred to your new plant. considering what you get out of a healthy Cannabis plant; I would think that the small investment for new soil is a better idea.

y0ou may be able to alternate grows by using a method called "solarization"; Which basically is using the sun the sterilize your used soil, killing anything that would be detrimental to your grow.

By john davis on 5 March 2017

what about growing in coconut coir whats the proper way to use it

By JEFFREY KENNEDY on 25 April 2017

my seed order came very quickly so happy. Thank you

By Roy ILGM on 26 April 2017

Awesome! If you like, people love to follow grow journals, you can put one up on our support forum – I❤️GM

By Sean on 17 June 2017

If you are looking for all natural worm castings to enrich your soil and fight pests, see

By Amy on 29 September 2017

Is compost manure good for all stages?

By latewood_ILGM on 3 October 2017

Compost is used by many conventional growers; However, it can be a magnet for pests if one s not proactive with pest management.

Do not use manure compost on seedlings. It might be too hot. A grower has to gauge compost and know what they are using beforew adding it to a medical marijuana grow. 🙂

Happy growing

By FredyJohnSmith on 16 January 2018

I always go for manure as it is easy to make and cost's almost nothing.

By Greenleaf on 6 March 2018

Those ingredients for super soil are for how many lbs. of base soil? I'm not sure what is ment by 8x30 lbs. as written in the beginning of the directions. I apologize if it's a stupid question. I'm new to growing.

By Greenleaf on 6 March 2018

Anyone know how Fox Farms Forest Ocean Soil stacks up as a good veg. soil. Thanks.

By Greenleaf on 6 March 2018

Never mind about the 8x30 question. I figured it out.(I am stupid).

By Ann on 27 July 2018

Being uneducated about something is not the same as being stupid. In fact it’s smart to ask questions. We all have been beginners before. Just saying...

By Larry on 24 March 2018

Seedlings 18 days young is for farm forest of ocean to hot?

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