How to grow one weed plant

If you are thinking about growing marijuana yourself, you are likely unsure or indecisive about how to begin. The first step, of course, is deciding what kind of setup you prefer.

Are you going to grow outdoors or indoors? Will you grow just one marijuana plant or many?

What strain should you buy, and what equipment do you need?

We will cover all this and, how to grow a weed plant, and more below.

When people are first looking at growing their own marijuana plant for the first time, they generally end up reading articles and guides about how to set up a big, successful operation.

While success is certainly something you should be looking for, the fact is, that growing marijuana for only yourself does not need to be a huge endeavor.

Why not start out with just one plant.

In the United States, more and more people are becoming interested in growing their own marijuana.

Whether this has to do with the changing legality of it or if it is simply a trendy thing to do at the moment is irrelevant.

The point is, people are getting sick of needing to buy sub-par marijuana to enjoy it. Therefore, they have decided it is time to grow their own.

Download my free Grow Bible to learn more about growing your own marijuana plants.

Growing your own marijuana can have a lot of positives to it. You will know exactly where your weed comes from this way, and how the plant was treated.

There will be no question of whether residual chemical fertilizers are in the product, if it is really as high quality as the seller claims, and so on.

It just simplifies things in that it removes any room for confusion or mistrust.

Of course, growing your own marijuana can also have its downsides. It is, after all, still illegal in most places, even in those that allow some amount of marijuana consumption.

That being said, it is safer for your personal health because you won’t need to deal with someone else you don’t know to provide you with marijuana.

Like growing any consumable plant, it is also highly rewarding.

When you finally get to consume the end result after months of work, you will enjoy not only the product itself but also the great feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

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Why grow only one marijuana plant?

There are a number of reasons why growing just one plant can be extremely beneficial.

First of all, with only one plant you are better able to focus your efforts, making it more likely that the one plant will grow better than the individual plants in a plot of more than one marijuana plant.

“Cannabis is photoperiodic-reactive; flowering can be controlled with the light and dark cycle.”

Jorge Cervantes

Additionally, security is better with just one marijuana plant.

While authorities are known for busting people who have a large-scale growing operation contained within their home, who has ever heard of someone growing just a single plant having their house raided?

The fact is, law enforcement has bigger fish to fry.

Even if they did want you and your one plant, one plant is far easier to hide, making it unlikely anyone would notice it anyway.

One marijuana plant in soil
Why grow only one cannabis plant?

Even better, growing only one plant is going to be extremely inexpensive when compared to other grow setups that generally include more plants and therefore more expensive equipment and resources.

One plant only needs the bare minimum, so whether it’s seeds, soil, nutrients, lighting, or even water, you just don’t need as much.

Growing one marijuana plant is the perfect way to try your hand at growing marijuana without investing a huge amount of money and time, making it much more low-risk than if you were trying it with many plants.

And still, with all that attention for one plant, you can grow a pretty heavy yield to get you through the year.

Getting started: how to start growing your first weed plant

Now that you have decided you are going to try growing just the one plant at home let’s get into the details of how to actually do it.

First of all, don’t get tied down with the stress of how difficult you think it might be. It simply isn’t as hard as it sounds — after all, there’s a reason marijuana has the common nickname “weed.”

Like any weed, it is able to grow just about anywhere.

How to start growing marijuana
How to start growing marijuana?

One thing you should know about growing weed is that it is a flowering plant.

In case you haven’t gardened before, this means that it will grow buds just once per year naturally in the fall. It “knows” when to start growing buds when the sunlight begins to dwindle below a certain point.

Although you will be growing your marijuana plant indoors, this is still an important fact to know because it will affect how you set up your lighting and schedule the lighting for your plant.

Unless your plant has more than 12 hours of light exposure every day, it will begin to flower — and a plant that flowers too early is going to have a much smaller harvest than if it flowers on time.

And when you’re growing just one solitary plant, the size of that plant’s harvest becomes critical.

As a good rule of thumb, make sure your plant has grown (in its middle “vegetative” stage) for a bare minimum of one month to a month and a half before you even attempt to have it enter the flowering stage.

While growing in its vegetative stage, make sure your plant is getting between 16 and 20 hours of sunlight (or other kinds of light) per day — the higher, the better.

Buying a lamp is going to be necessary for growing it indoors.

Optimal lighting for your single cannabis plant grow

Even if your plant has a nice window that exposes it to lots of sunlight, it is still going to need to be helped along with an actual lamp.

This lamp cannot be any desk lamp or floor lamp; it needs to be a lamp designed specifically for growing plants.

Luckily, lighting doesn’t have to be expensive — and it certainly can be kept at a lower cost when you only have one plant.

Also, keep in mind that lighting is the most expensive piece of equipment that you are going to need to buy, so even if you aren’t happy with the price, it is the only item that will cost as much.

Marijuana lighting for a single cannabis plant grow
Marijuana lighting for a single cannabis plant grow

The kind of light you buy will depend on the situation you have in your house.

If your plant will be next to a window that provides excellent light exposure already, for example, then buying a fluorescent light bulb will be your best bet as it just will add on some extra lighting hours after the sun goes down.

Try buying a T5, a T8, or a CFL to get the minimum amount of light your plant will need.

This, however, is not going to maximize the amount of light your plant is getting.

The lighter, the better when it comes to growing a marijuana plant, so if you really want to get the best results then just going for the minimum isn’t going to cut it.

If you don’t have a window setup, try a 250-watt HID light bulb instead, which includes both HPS bulbs and MH bulbs.

These can cost less than $30 although the bulbs don’t fit in a regular bulb fixture so you will need to include the more expensive cost of an additional fixture.

The best lighting option for a marijuana plant is a 250-watt HID lamp so it may be worth it nonetheless.

If your plant is not receiving enough light, you will clearly know because it will begin stretching and reaching upwards, having more upward growth than outward growth.

This is not good for a marijuana plant because bushy plants are the ones that are capable of growing huge, potent buds that every marijuana user dreams of.

Additional plant lighting information

When you get into the more minute details of lighting, things can get a bit complicated.

If you really want to maximize how much light you are exposing your plant to, however, it is a good idea to really understand what you are dealing with.

Although all the lamp options will likely be good enough to grow a healthy plant and get a decent yield, different kinds of lamps can achieve different results.

If you go with a VHO lamp, for instance, your plant will probably grow as much as three times as fast as a plant that is growing underneath a more “standard” type of lamp.

With a VHO light, you can expect to need to keep raising the light up more and more every day because the plant will be growing so fast.

That being said, a VHO lamp may be out of your price range.

Additionally, you might not have the physical space for growing a plant that big. It is, therefore, important to consider all the aspects before deciding on a lighting system for your plant.

One of the best timers you can use for whichever type of lighting you go with is a vacation timer.

These timers are intended to be used in regular household lights to make it appear as if you are home when you are really on vacation.

Although they were not created with the purpose of setting a timer for growing marijuana plants, they nonetheless work wonders.

It is a good idea to use a timer anyway because it will keep things extremely consistent, and it will be easy to remember how you treated your plant during one grow “season” when you need to consider how to change this treatment for your next plant that you grow.

Best temperature and humidity for a single cannabis plant

The key factor to remember with the temperature and humidity surrounding your plant is the fact that it should be different during the day (or during the artificial “day” created by your lighting technique) and the night.

When the lights are on, the temperature should be between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This should drop down by about 15 degrees for the nighttime temperature.

Generally speaking, keep the area around your plant relatively dry.

This encourages more resin to coat the surfaces of your plant, as an excess in humidity will instead keep the leaves dry and fairly resin-free.

That being said, be sure the temperature is not too warm when you have a dry environment because this could lead to an unhealthy amount of drying out of your plant altogether.

It will start to turn brown, and its roots won’t be able to take in the proper amount of water to keep your plant healthy.

Temperature and humidity for growing marijuana
Temperature and humidity for growing marijuana

Another reason you need to keep the humidity down is that humid areas cause plants to have broader leaves.

This is because, in dry climates, marijuana plants are able to respirate easily and quickly — in other words, the moisture is pulled off of their leaves in a dry climate more easily.

Therefore, marijuana plants growing in humid climates grow broader leaves to be better able to respirate despite the humidity.

Broader leaves are bad for the consumer of marijuana, however, because they will have a lower resin to leaf surface area ratio.

Since you are only growing one plant, these seemingly small details can make a big difference in your final product and how much you get out of that plant.

If your grow room space (or, rather, the room where you happen to be growing your new favorite potted house plant) is too humid, you will need to employ some sort of method to dehumidify it until it is down to a healthy humidity level.

That being said, you should only use a dehumidifier if you already own one or if you are not worried about the extra cost.

Generally speaking, investing $100 or more in a new dehumidifier is a bit overkill for just one potted marijuana plant, so decide for yourself if it is a good idea.

Ventilation for a single plant

While connected to humidity and temperature, ventilation is a separate aspect that needs to have as much consideration as the other aspects of growing your marijuana plant.

Ventilation is a preventative measure against things like mold, fungi, and other unhealthy issues that could develop for your plant.

While it is perhaps more important for a room filled with marijuana plants rather than just one marijuana house plant, it still should be taken into consideration.

Ventilation system in marijuana grow room
Marijuana ventilation system

A lack of proper ventilation can cause the pores in the leaves of your marijuana plant to start to clog, causing that leaf to eventually die off.

If there is too much leaf death, eventually your plant itself could die.

More likely is probably just the fact that your plant will be losing some valuable resources since its leaves are responsible for absorbing the energy of the sun and using it for faster and better growth.

This is probably going to be more important if you are growing your marijuana plant inside of a small closet or cupboard.

Since you will likely need to enclose it this way just before and during its flowering stage, however, you should probably plan ahead and make sure there is enough ventilation before you even start growing your plant in there.

Ventilation is perhaps the most important during the flowering stage of your plant’s life, because, without enough air movement and fresh air in general, the thick, juicy buds are prone to developing mold.

Moldy buds are completely unusable, so this would be completely devastating to your plant and to your final yield.

If you have set up the closet or cupboard (or other enclosure) and are in need of a source of ventilation, try putting in a fan. If you can set it up in a way that the fan is pulling fresh air in from the outside, then it will be perfect.

If not, a fan that even just moves the air around can be very helpful.

Using a fan from an early age of your plant has the additional benefit of encouraging it to grow a thicker stalk, as it registers this as potentially harmful wind and therefore grows stronger to counteract it.

The thicker and stronger your plant is, the better.

Watering one weed plant

Watering is important for marijuana plants for obvious reasons.

What may not be so obvious, however, is that the quality of the water is equally important.

It makes a big difference what city you are living in and how your city specifically treats its water.

There may be more chemicals in your water than in a neighboring city’s water, for instance.

Also read Best water for marijuana plants

Regardless of where you are located, you will likely have some chlorine in your water.

(All water in the United States is treated with at least some amount of chlorine, for example.) It isn’t a very healthy additive to marijuana plants.

Watering marijuana
Watering marijuana

Luckily, chlorine is quite easy to get rid of.

You simply need to let the water sit for 24 hours or more, with the container holding the water open to the air around it.

This will also ensure that the water becomes the same temperature as the room.

Watering plants with water that is room temperature is definitely healthier for them than shocking them with ice-cold water, so this process kills two birds with one stone.

The next thing to consider is the quantity of water you are feeding your plants.

If your plants are growing in a container that holds three gallons of soil, then up to three quarts of water can be given to them.

The key is to observe how the soil is in terms of its moisture.

You want the entire soil to be moist evenly — this is why it is better to water a larger amount once in a while than to water a small amount more often.

If you only give your plant a little amount of water, the water won’t make it all the way to the bottom of the soil (and therefore the roots at the bottom won’t get any water access).

If your particular city adds more chlorine to its water than most other cities, then buying anti-chlorine drops may be a good idea.

These drops can be found at any pet store because they are used to prepare an aquarium to support fish (which can’t survive with chlorinated water either).

That being said, before watering your plant in any amount you need to be entirely sure that its container has proper drainage holes at the bottom.

You should see the water coming out the bottom when you water your plant.

If this doesn’t happen, it either means that you aren’t feeding it enough water to reach the bottom or somehow the water is getting caught inside the soil — and that can lead to significant health problems.

As long as the soil has sand and perlite in it, however, it is unlikely that it will have drainage issues.

To check for the correct time to feed your plant its dose of water, check the soil to see if it feels moist.

If it does, don’t water it yet — wait for one to two days before watering again, because even when the top feels dry, the bottom of the soil may still be moist.

Never water your plants when they don’t clearly need to be watered, as that can lead to a myriad of overwatering issues.

Germinating your single cannabis seed

Once you have purchased your seed and the supplies you need, it is time for germination to begin the growing process.

There is no one perfect or right way to germinate, but it certainly can be kept simple and effective.

Germinating the marijuana seed
Germinating the marijuana seed

First, put the seed about a quarter-inch to a half-inch into the soil, covering it completely.

The soil should remain moist but never get truly wet and should stay at a nice, warm 75-degree temperature.

All you have to do after that is wait to see the tiny sprout beginning to appear in 3 to 7 days (which can vary according to the strain and a number of other factors).

An additional option for germinating the cannabis seeds is to put the seed inside several moist paper towels. You can also use a damp sponge for this.

Then keep the paper towels or sponge moist (but not wet, much like with the soil method above) until you see the seeds sprouting.

They could sprout in as little as 24 hours or as long as a week.

After germinating the seed(s) this way, you should plant it into the soil.

This should be done as soon as you have seen the seed cracking open to allow the tiny sprout to emerge.

Keep the soil moist but not wet, and make sure it is covered on the top.

Be sure to give your new plants plenty of light once they are planted in the soil.

The lights should be only about two inches away from the soil, and should not be moved upwards until the seedling has grown a decent amount.

Some people provide their young seedlings with 24/7 light for maximum growth, but this part is up to you.

The vegetative stage of your marijuana plant

The “middle” stage of your plant’s life is its vegetative stage when it will grow the most in its leaves, branches, and height.

Its stem will be getting thicker and stronger, and it should be growing many new leaves at an increasingly fast rate.

The vegetative phase is crucial for your plant being able to absorb as much energy from the sun as possible (as the leaves absorb this energy), and therefore will contribute to a healthy flowering stage later using all the energy it had acquired.

A larger plant means more and bigger buds, so you should take the vegetative stage seriously.

The marijuana vegetative stage
Marijuana vegetative stage

That being said, you can only grow your marijuana plant to use as much space as you have in your home.

If you just want a small plant for personal use of marijuana, then just 30 days of the vegetative phase should do the trick.

Some people even go as short as two to three weeks of the vegetative phase and still get everything they need from their plant.

Some growers (especially experienced ones) use training methods to get their plants to grow outwards rather than upwards, thus maximizing the amount of growth without growing too huge for the indoor space that they have.

The flowering stage

With indoor marijuana plants, you are responsible for everything.

The soil, the water, the nutrients, and even the “sun” all come from you.

Because marijuana plants respond to the amount of light they are receiving, you will need to change the number of hours of light that your plant is exposed to — in fact, it’s actually the number of hours of darkness that triggers their transition to the flowering stage, but the same rule applies.

To trigger the flowering stage (which should be done after your plant has had ample amount of time to grow and develop), you will need to expose it to 12 hours of “sunlight” (or lamp-light, as it were) and, more importantly, 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness.

Make sure the darkness is complete and does not have even one instant of light, as this will cause the plant to stop entering the flowering stage.

Additionally, the 12 hours of light your plant does receive should be as strong as possible, so be sure to keep using your lamp.

The marijuana flowering stage
Marijuana flowering stage

The beauty of growing one indoor potted plant is that you can move it to wherever you want it, whenever you need to.

In this case, before you start triggering the plant to enter the flowering stage you should move it to some sort of enclosed location, such as a closet or cabinet.

There, set up your lighting so that you are able to expose the plant to its 12 hours of lighting and 12 hours of darkness perfectly.

Using an outlet timer is probably your best option because it leaves out any room for error.

Remember, make sure the 12 hours of darkness are total and entirely uninterrupted.

If there is any light that gets into the enclosure (i.e. if you accidentally open the door during the 12 hours of darkness), even for a second, your plant will start getting stressed and confused about the seasons.

This stress can cause all sorts of problems, not least of which would be it developing into a hermaphrodite, or else it may simply have lower quality and lesser quantity yield at the end.

The flowering stage usually lasts between 8 and 10 weeks, and it will remain in this phase until the harvesting time has come.

Our free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants.

Harvesting and curing your cannabis plant

After you harvest the plant (by removing the buds and the leaves curling around them), you will need to cure the plant matter in a way that makes it smokable (and enjoyable).

After drying the plant matter by hanging it upside down in a cool, dry room for days at a time, store the dried plant matter in clean glass jars, closing the lid tightly.

Leave some extra room in the jars because the extra air will be helpful in the curing process.

Harvesting and curing the marijuana plant
Harvesting and curing the marijuana plant

Your main concern when curing marijuana is the development of mold.

This will only happen if the plant matter is too moist when you start storing it in jars, so be sure it is quite dry before doing so.

Open the jars every so often (first once per day, then once every few days) for several weeks until the aroma and texture seem just right.

After that you will be able to smoke the product to your heart’s content — just make sure to store them properly (in a cool, out-of-the-way location).

Choosing the right grow medium for a one plant grow

There are a variety of other aspects to consider when you are growing any number of marijuana plants.

For instance, what type of container will you grow your plant in? And what type of soil should you put into that container?

Other aspects to consider when growing one marijuana plant
Other aspects to consider when growing one marijuana plant

Containers and transplanting

When choosing a container for your plant, you can buy a breathable pot of some sort, and rest assured knowing it is the best option for growing a marijuana plant.

One good type of breathable pot is a fabric pot. Other pots are fine as long as they have drainage holes with something beneath to hold the water that trickles down and out.

Try to avoid letting this water sit for a long time, as it could spark the interest of unwanted visitors such as mold or insects.

As a general rule of thumb, the first container you use should be about six inches across or less. If you don’t use a fabric pot, a clay or a plastic one should be fine.

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Another aspect of the container that you need to consider is how big it is.

This will depend on how fast your plant is growing as well as how big the marijuana plant is in general.

If you didn’t already know, it’s important to note that transplanting will absolutely be necessary for your plants at some stage — probably more than once.

Transplanting is a tricky process, even when it is done perfectly. It always causes some amount of shock to the plant, which means it slows down the growth inevitably to a certain extent.

Containers and transplanting your marijuana plant
Containers for transplanting your marijuana plant

Transplanting is nonetheless important because otherwise, you would need to start growing your seedling in a giant pot.

While this may sound harmless to the new grower, it is in fact very dangerous because it is easy to overwater a plant that is growing in a pot too large for it.

If you overwater your plant, all sorts of health issues can arise — mold and root rot can easily occur because of the excess of unabsorbed water, and the lack of oxygen can cause big problems for the plant.

One of the most common problems that happen with new growers is overwatering, as it is easy to misjudge exactly how much your plant needs and the prospect of underwatering is perhaps more daunting to many new growers.

To help avoid this problem, simply don’t start growing your plant in a pot that is too large for it — begin it in a small one and have larger pots that increase incrementally as your plant grows. In other words, plan on transplanting.

The way to transplant your marijuana plant is simply in theory, but rather touchy in practice.

First, get the larger container ready for the plant by filling it with soil and creating a hole for the plant.

Then take the pot that contains your marijuana plant, tip it upside down, tapping the bottom until the plant and the soil pops out.

There should be a chunk of soil with the ball of roots coming out without any physical effort, then place the entire chunk into the hole in the new container.

Water the plant plenty and baby it a bit more than usual, as the process can be shocking.

If you are not comfortable with the idea of transplanting your marijuana plant, an alternative option is to use a Jiffy-Pot or a similar product.

A Jiffy-Pot is a container made of peat moss that has been compressed.

It helps with any potential transplanting issues because it protects the roots until the plant has been transplanted into a bigger pot.

Once in the new soil, it will start decomposing and allowing the roots to break through it, making for a smooth and protected transition to the new pot.

If you do use a Jiffy-Pot, make sure that the larger pot has at least 3 gallons of soil.

The key to transplanting marijuana is to always plan ahead.

Depth is perhaps more important than width, so if you are going to grow a large plant, be sure that the pot is correspondingly large in volume.

The last thing you want is for your plant to become rootbound in a container that is too small.

A rootbound plant is one that has its roots grown around the outside of the pot, forming a sort of wall.

When this happens it either doesn’t allow water in or out, meaning it will be thirsty all the time or will invite root rot or other health problems.

Even if you change pots, the effects of being rootbound can last for a long time afterward.

Best soil for your single grow

For your growing medium (or the soil), the solid choice is always organic potting soil.

You could also look for mediums that are peat, coco, or sphagnum-based, as they work quite well for growing marijuana as well.

The key is to choose a soil or medium that is airy enough for oxygen to reach the roots.

Growing your marijuana plant in soil
Soil for growing marijuana

You can buy a medium that already has a certain amount of nutrients contained in it — organic soils are generally this way.

This means you won’t need to feed nutrients to your plant much or at all until the flowering stage.

When you do feed nutrients to your plants, go the organic route whenever possible as it is less likely to cause a nasty “nutrient burn” to your plant.

Anything that has lots of salts is a bad idea (Miracle-Gro, for example).

The quality of your soil is almost as important as the quality of the seed that you buy — in other words, it is vital.

You need to make sure that any soil you use is sterilized to avoid the presence of parasites or other annoying and harmful critters.

Luckily, high-quality cannabis soil can be found just about anywhere — your local garden center and even stores like Walmart or certain grocery stores will have it.

Besides having an airy quality (which also allows the soil to drain properly — another important way to avoid the development of mold or fungus), good-quality soil should also have a balanced pH level (between 6.5 and 7.5).

If the soil is too acidic, then the marijuana plant will not thrive and has a higher chance of being male (which, if you know anything about marijuana plants, you know is not ideal).

In addition to being airy enough for draining and oxygen access, the soil should also have hummus in it because it does need to retain the water and nutrients you feed it to a certain extent.

Some growers prefer to form their own soil so that they can ensure it is exactly the mixture that they want.

If you are interested in making your own soil, the best way to do it is by mixing together sand and moss (with a 1:2 ratio) as well as another part of either sponge rock or pearlite and soil (a 1:4 ratio).

Always make sure the pH level is balanced — use a pH testing kit or litmus paper to do this.

If the pH level of your soil (whether homemade or store-bought) is too low by one point, add half a pound of lime per cubic foot of soil.

If you want to use your own soil from your backyard, you will absolutely need to sterilize it.

To do this, moisten it and then put it in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for sixty minutes or so. Warning: it will smell terrible.

After that, put in some of your fertilizer of choice — one tablespoon per gallon of soil should do the trick. Make sure it is mixed in completely.

Fertilizers and nutrients for your single marijuana plant

Another mistake that many new growers make is adding too many nutrients to their young, vulnerable plants. If you do it, you will end up burning your plants.

Nutrient burn can have some major negative health effects, so it’s best to avoid causing this at all costs.

A good thing to keep in mind with nutrients and marijuana plants is to always start off slow.

If you aren’t sure of how large of a dose to feed your plant, give it less than you would expect.

Also, remember that you should not feed your marijuana plant any nutrients at all until it is at least three weeks old.

Fertilizers and nutrients for your marijuana plant
Fertilizers and nutrients for your marijuana plant

One good way to introduce your young plant to your fertilizer is to dilute it quite a bit, then slowly increase the amount of fertilizer within your fertilizer and water mixture.

If you need a recommendation for what brand to try for your marijuana plant, go for either Eco-Grow or Rapid-Gro, as they are both commonly used in the growth and care of marijuana plants.

Because adding a fertilizer generally always has some effect on the pH level of the soil, be sure to continue testing your growing medium for its pH level to ensure that it remains at a good value.

More often than not, feeding your plant fertilizer will cause the soil to become more acidic (or a lower pH value).

If this goes untreated, it will eventually start having adverse health effects on your marijuana plants.

It will lead to poor performance in terms of how well your roots are able to absorb the nutrients they need, simply because salts are the result of the fertilizer breaking down in the soil.

When these salts accumulate, your plant will start to have these problems.

Some growers employ a method call leaf feeding, which should not be done until your plant is at least a month and a half old. It involves taking your fertilizer and dissolving it in warm water, then putting it into a (clean) spray bottle of some sort. Then simply spray the leaves of your marijuana plant with the solution and they will absorb the nutrients they need.

As long as you increase the amount of fertilizer given to your plant in a gradual way, you should be able to get away with feeding it quite a bit of fertilizer in the end.

Marijuana plants are very hardy plants, after all, so you just need to do things that make sense to them and work for their mechanisms.

Before your plant is three months old, only feed it once every few days.

Then, once you are getting ready to spur the flowering stage to begin, lower the amount of fertilizer you are feeding your plant.

Most importantly, you need to flush out the fertilizers completely one or two weeks before you harvest it so that you can safely consume the product later.

Certainly don’t add any fertilizers in the last few weeks of the flowering stage.

If you are someone who is interested in keeping things as organic as possible, you may want to look into using worm castings instead of chemical fertilizers.

Organic worm castings, although expensive, are certifiably organic in every way.

They are fed with all-natural materials, and their castings are incredibly rich and healthy for marijuana plants.

If you are willing to bear the extra expense, the results should be highly positive.

How to prune one pot plant

Pruning is generally an optional endeavor, although some growers absolutely swear by it.

It can work wonders for a plant that you want to grow wide instead of tall, however, so for an indoor plant, it may be a good idea to look into the methods of pruning.

Download our free Ganja Livity lifestyle guide to learn more about rolling perfect joints!

That being said, try choosing a strain of seed that won’t need pruning, to begin with.

Check the description and reviews to see that it is a shorter and bushier strain so you won’t have to deal with a monster plant.

Otherwise, you will need to babysit your plant quite a bit more, and after a certain point, you just don’t want to dedicate so much time to one house plant.

Pruning your marijuana plant
Pruning your marijuana plant

If you do start seeing your plant growing taller than you would like, it’s time to get into pruning. Simply cut off the top of your plant, right where the top two branches meet.

It should be done with a razor-sharp blade, cutting straight across.

This method (called “topping”) will also serve the purpose of increasing the resin amount of the new growth, as tops always produce more resin.

Topping also helps with speeding up the growth of branches that are further towards the bottom of the plant, which wouldn’t happen without this pruning method.

Single marijuana plant grow boxes

Automated grow boxes are a great way to start growing weed at home.

Beginner Seeds

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  • Easy to grow
  • Great for indoors or outdoors
  • Guaranteed feminized seeds
  • Every plant will produce flowers

Grobo, for example, is an automated cannabis grow box that automatically handles lighting, ventilation, and watering for you.

With hundreds of grow recipes to choose from, the system will optimize your grow during both the vegetative and flowering stages.

It’s everything you’ve learned in this article, rolled up into an easy-to-use box. 

Becoming an expert at growing marijuana takes practice and learning. Let my blog help you get started.

Thanks for reading.

Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible. For any grow-related questions please visit the marijuana support page.

Are you ready to start growing your first cannabis plant at home? Feel free to ask questions or share your experience in the comments!

Happy growing!


FAQs about how to grow a weed plant

How long does it take to grow weed?

That depends on many factors. It can be anywhere from 7 weeks to 8 months!

How hard is it to grow weed?

It’s not the hardest plant to grow. But it’s far from the easiest. You’ll need to have the correct lighting, make sure the males and females stay apart, prune, and water.

How to make a weed plant grow faster?

I have a few suggestions. Plant a fast-growing strain, use a good light, water with plant food.

Avatar for Robert Bergman

Mr Robert Bergman PhD


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

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113 comments on “How to grow one weed plant”

  1. Hi Jeffery,

    Thanks for your comment. Autoflowers can flower just fine in 16/8. In fact, that’s one of the perks. The more light exposure the faster the growth. This is why autoflowers have a much quicker turnaround as well!


  2. is it possible to give your autos too much light. the question is can you grow autos and regular plants together if i had my regular plants with a 16 0n 8 hours off light cycle will it hurt my autos from finishing

  3. My LED lights have a full spectrum of colours including UV light . Do you need UV for growth ?

  4. ROYAL SCREW UP. I’ve been growing for over 40 years and have seen just about everything. Here’s one I’ve never seen. I had 4 beautiful plants growing in my 3×3 grow tent, all topped, and defoliated at flowering and again 21 days after flowering. Something happened with my timer and the LED lights were on 24 hours for 2 weeks instead of the intended 12/12. When I finally discovered this, I reset the timer to 12/12. The plants are really strange now, very leafy and full of little vines about 1-2 inches long. The vine leaves don’t look like cannabis leaves. I think the plant is trying to flower again, and none of the trichomes are turning darker. Even worse, the crop is now seeded, likely because I have a hermie or two. I’m going to leave the plants in the tent for another 2-3 weeks to see what happens. What happens will not be good I’m sure. I’ve never heard of anyone screwing up a good crop like this. I’ll probably use whatever I get for bubble hash or green butter, if its has any potency at all.

  5. I enjoyed reading this. “Etiolated ” “reaching” or “leggy” seedlings can be re-potted with about 1 inch below the first set of leaves above ground. The buried stems will root. Be sure soil is airy, MOIST BUT NOT WET. If the stems remain free, the plant will become top-heavy and fall over, Marijuana plants are piggies for BRIGHT DIRECT SUNLIGHT, ALL DAY. Without such light, or a very good substitute, they start stretching.. It is helpful to correct your water Ph to a little bit acidic (6.5 or so) using citric acid or vinegar. This helps dissolve nutrients so plants can absorb them. Be sure not to shine any lights on your flowering plants during their longer- night cycle, not even briefly. I don’t know if this is true for autoflowers also.

  6. Hey,,I’m using 3 full spectrum grow bulbs,2 at 80 watt,1 at 120watt all LEDs…my grow box is lined with reflective paper…but my flowers are airy,

  7. thanks ! i have a plant and i dont have a good lightining ! so can i put my plant under sun light?? and how much hours? I mean i should to put my plant 12 hours in darkness and 12 hours in sun light?

  8. I have a dilemma
    One plant, One box.
    Do I put the plant over to the side and grow horizonantally or
    in the centre of the box and straight up?
    450mm verticle space
    550mm horizontal available

  9. This has been very helpful. I am growing a single plant outdoors exclusively using sunlight. I move the plant throughout the day to maximize the amount of light it receives. That pretty much puts me on the cycle of the sun with respect to how much light it receives. Is that ok?

  10. Thank you for all the info. this is the first plant I haven’t killed. It’s very relaxing growing.

  11. I am growing the girl scout cookies I need to know if I should prune my plant Thank you Danny

  12. This sounds really complicated. What happens a if I make a mistakes somewhere along the line…. and how do you know if the seed you buy are good and how do you tell if they are female and male…

  13. Robert, its michael, just to let you know ive star my plants in doors. The gori glue were very sucess. But only 2 out of the five gold leaf came up.

  14. I bought white widow auto fem seeds. What is the lighting times. is it 16 x8 and then change to 12×12. or is it different with auto fem

  15. Guestion??? Does anyone know of a strain called cush cush ,kush kush?? I’ve got it but want seed to bring back to pure strain had to cross with a sativa called purple bud 2 to get seed as I was growing from clones

  16. If you know someone that raises rabbits, get some rabbit shit from them and work it into the soil for your plant. But not too much,because rabbit shit has a high nitrogen content

  17. The suggestions that you tell to fellow cultivators is exceptional and extremely easy to read and learn how to grow properly

  18. Thank you for sharing this article. This will help a novice in growing cannabis on how to grow their very own plant in their house.

  19. Of course, growing your own marijuana can also have its downsides. It is, after all, still illegal in most places, even in those that allow some amount of marijuana consumption love this saying.

  20. Is there any way that you could get me a list of materials I would need for a grow box for one plant I would really appreciate this would be my first time growing I got a medical license babe I just enjoy growing gardens and stuff so if you can help me out I really appreciate it

  21. Hello, so I am not a smoker av lots of dem as friends, nd I need dere money insted of dem spending it on oda sellers of weed….so can U help me know wat specific seed is best to plant nd how can I get it

  22. My son owns a landscape install company and he swears by the use of compost tea when planting or transplanting. Shock and plant death is reduced greatly, to almost nil. Perhaps Nil is overstating it but he does thosands of plants at a time. Something i hope someone at your level experiments with and mentions here. Red frog compost tea for example. No this isnt an ad attempt. Thanks for the clear and simple writting. You keep this endevour fun and more stress free.

  23. Hi Robert, your depth Of knowledge is astounding, Thanks for writing all this invaluable information, you are a champion.

  24. Thanks for all the info,but i have been growing 2plants a year but the seeds i got this time are not growing,thank you for your troubles.

  25. Yes, I agree. VERY easy for me to understand. I love that the article is directed at ONE plant! (I’m growing 3) Don’t need large capacity instructions! Thank you Robert!!

  26. Found the article very helpful. Thank you Robert and ILGM team and customer support rocks. Have the best confidence my 1st grow will be a success and feel like a kid in a candy store

  27. (1)at a height that is safe and comfortable for you and your green experience ( refer to Mr Bergman’s superb Bible on this subject…..(2) the leaves are looking for light……or way too much wind…maybe.
    Bon Chance

  28. Thank you.. I’m hoping for the best. Going to join you’re forum. Every time I start the seeds to sprout and plant it dies every time.

  29. How big should your plant be before topping it. And if the leafs are upward what does this mean

  30. I like indoor planting. Recently I decide to grow one Marijuana at home with my wife. She supports me always. I just bought seeds, my grow tent is ready, I also prepared a fan inside. For the light, one of my old friend sent me a Jcbritw 30w, he used it for seedling very well.
    Hope this light works great for me too.

  31. Thank you for what you’re doing. I’ll begin growing two plants for two of my kids who are doing without other needed things now in order to have the medicine they need. I’m 84 and have the time, space, patience and motivation that I’m sure will be needed to actually make this happen, long term. By the way, it’s “sort of” legal in Canada which helps more than a little.

  32. Both my seeds and new grow tent arrived today on 4/20, hoping that’s a good omen! Still waiting for my lights to get here. I’m completely new to this, but I’m hoping to do well. Thanks!

  33. oh yeah, almost forgot.

    Never use 24/7 photo period. 18/6 is as long as you want to grow from seed. Roots grow when the lights are out. Plants need rest just like humans. Without rest we do not grow properly. Plants are so much like humans. PH is a major issue if not correct. Check a bottle of multi-vitamins. Now, look at your nutrient bottle. I’ll bet it is the same ingredients. Get the idea? Good for you. Peace 🙂

  34. Brittaney Verkuyl,

    Good for you. If you need help, join our support forum and we can help you there. Peace

  35. Markeeto,

    Strains are crossed with “ruderelis” to make an auto flower strain. Look it up! 🙂

    feminized would have been better if you can just grow one. Since you have autos, you might as well start one. Potency is derived from the genetics. Although autos are less potent, they have potential to be pretty decent these days. Grow technique has a lot to do with potency.

    You do not need a tent. IN fact; Tents can be a pain in the butt.

    Let the wife know that one plant will not provide you with enough “meds” from harvest to harvest, and the penalty is the same for 1 or 4 plants which is what I advise you grow. 4 plants will allow you to harvest, dry cure and grow another batch and possibly never run out of “meds” Again, this is all based on how well you do.

    I advise you to get on the ILGM forum and post there for a lot more in delth training. 🙂
    Happy growing.

  36. Hey, I am starting a blog about this specifically. Well, really it is about me trying to grow for the first time. I am starting out with one plant. Maybe if you have time you can check out my blog and give me some pointers. Thanks!

  37. I was wondering what the differences are between the real version of a strain and the autoflower version. How does it autoflower? I know autoflower is smaller and less potent and the yield is obvs less. How less potent are they? I plan on growing my plants indoors. Does a 24/7 light regimen help things? Is the potency limited by the whatever “they” did to make it autoflower? I bought 4 strains of
    5 seeds of autoflowering plants from you guys and wondering if I should have bought the real deal. My wife is already getting wiggie with all that I’m buying for lights, blinds and whatnot for this project. I’m not allowed to buy a tent… :-/ I am fairly new to growing. I’ll start with 1 plant, it’s what she’s restricted me too. I’ll try to expand to multiple plants if all goes well with the 1. How should I store my extra seeds?
    Thank you.

  38. The constant reminder to ‘download’ the book were so annoying I quit reading 1/3 of the way through also it was not at all the ‘simple’ way to do it that I was looking for. You need to put out the Reader’s Digest version of this lonnnnnggggg article

  39. What if your only option when ordering seeds is to have them shipped to the grow site? I have read you should never, ever do that. I don’t want to spread it about that I am growing, even if it is just one or two plants, so having them shipped to a friend isn’t really an option. And I imagine that a PO Box could easily be traced to me and ultimately the grow site. What to do?

  40. CeeCee,

    I suggest you join our support forum. We can help you get started and to grow successfully. All plants need nutrition, and yes; You should always PH your water and nutrient solution before feeding your plant 🙂

    Happy growing

  41. I am thinking about growing my own and purchasing seeds from you. I plan to order the auto flower seeds. Will I still need to use fertilizer with the auto flowering seeds? Will I have to test PH in water (before watering) and test PH of soil?

  42. Lavergne,

    Full Spectrum white light is the best. Nodal spacing will be tighter with Blue light, stretching occurs more with red light.

    Blue light produces tighter dense nugs, while red light is nice in flower as it mimics the natural spectrum a little.

    Choosing lamps because they are cheaper is not a good idea. You get what you pay for. Your yield will be directly proportionate to how intense your lamps are, and whether or not you provide the correct spectrum’s, and all the other elements needed to grow successfully. I strongly suggest you join our support forum and research all the options you have in order to grow successfully.

    Happy growing 🙂

  43. Can I use 6500K led lights for the complete growing cycle? Or do I need the red & blue grow lights. There is a big difference in the price!

  44. betty,

    This is a common issue of over fertilization. Your PH could be off, also

    Young plants are susceptible to root burn if given to strong a solution of nutrients, or if they are placed in too hot of a soil, too soon.

    Please feel free to click on the forum button in the top right of this page and we will help you grow successfully. I promise! 😉


  45. rick,

    Have you done a search for t2 bulbs? Any lamp or bulb companiy should have whatever you need.

    Join our forum. Some one there might have a source already.

  46. Laura,

    After the original drench (watering in), we should allow the pot to dry almost completely. Pick up the pot when you drench it. Feel the weight. Adter a day ro 2 or 3…You will realize the pot is very light. It is time to water.

    For the first day or 2; Stick your finger in the soil to monitor the dampness. In no time all of this will become 2nd nature, and you will soon figure out how many days between waterings.

    note: You water less in veg when the plant is small. In flower you will water at least a day sooner. Happy growing

  47. why do my marijuana plants leaves turns brown on the end of the plant, what am i doing wrong. the plants are growing good its just the leaves are brown on the end of the plant. help,

  48. Hi this is my first time EVER trying to grow a marijuana plant I’m not sure on how often I should water my plant? Thank you.

  49. Very helpful!
    Since I keep a small aquarium, not only do I have the de-chlorinating drops you mention, I also have access to possibly the best fertilizer going: the water removed from the tank during a water change. If the fish tank is healthy, there’s nothing in the water but a gentle, kindly amount of nitrate. Keep fish, and you never need to buy a fertilizer again. (Well, unless you’re raising a whole lot of plants and your fish can’t keep up with them, I suppose.) 🙂

  50. Brenda,

    I suggest you fo into our store and look at the Flower Power Starter Pack. Or just buy Bloom and Boost.

    Any commercial base nutrient for Bloom will work. Some are better than other.

    Happy Growing 🙂

  51. what strain would you recommend for a new grower?Someone that doesn’t have a green thumb.

  52. I need tips for outdoor, Arizona growing. Its been 115f this week and ill have starts soon

  53. Thank you so much for your help and taking the time to share this wonderful knowledge, SPECIALLY helpful for someone like me who lives to smoke, but would love to grow my own medical marijuana. So I knew very little actually after reading I realized I knew even less then i thought. So thank you ur the best. I’m gonna keep u posted o how things turn out, still have some shopping to do first but I now have a list of what I’m gonna need for a basic set up. So within a week or 2 I want to have everything needed . And can start my journey and hope to get successful gains. Once again thank you 4 ur time and knowledge, nothing but love and respect 4 u.

  54. Hi, been growing my own for a long time, off and on. One thing we have always done to help the plants and harvest is to bless the plants regularly with the following phrase; Ohm Shiva Shankirah, Hari Hari ganji. Sounds crazy, but why mess with success. I feel it gives me more of a connection with my plants!

  55. Your seeds should have developed a little tap root in just a few days. If not, it is probably because it has been too cold or not enough/too much water. Other things that could be, is the seeds are “duds” and will not germinate at all no matter what.
    I have been successful with just a couple of coffee filters, unbleached of course, and a have them placed between a couple of plates to keep it dark and warm.
    Make sure you keep it warm and moist!
    If not germinated within a week, something is definitely wrong.

  56. I am trying to get a couple of tutincommon seeds to germinate . soaking between cotten balls for 7 days and no changes. any suggestions ?

  57. Hi Mominos, the best advise on your grow house can be gotten from our experts on the forum. Be sure to upload some pictures there and people will help you out soon.

  58. My 1st plants didn’t do well because I didn’t,prepare for them. I am in very cold weather so I have a 5 ft greenhouse. Basically shelves with a pic vinyl cover. I bought a grow light and they grew but stretched. Can I continue to use the greenhouse with your guide for preparation?

  59. Hi Jeffrey, all our autoflowers are feminized. You can ask [email protected] for the Grow Bible. We aim to reply to every email within 24hrs on weekdays. I’m not sure what you’re asking about growing the autoflowers but it’s probably best to ask grow related questions on our support forum. Our experts there will definately be able to help you out. 😀

  60. Started 3 WW (A) ?? Are these all F or. M plants?? I’m a newbie just germinated 3 of them 1 had a stong, little stem peeking out the other 2 were smaller so not sure if they wI’ll grow or not. ( hoping) I don’t have alot of room inside to grow so opted for the low Plants untill spring when I can grow the taller variety. Any help on what ( A) at ands for ide appreciate it just want to make sure that 3 WW ( A) together I’m not mucking it up .
    Also No luck in downloading your guide even after 4 attempts all I proceeded to do was place an order that I have the number on and was placed the same day as my regular order and nothing in the mail yet!!
    Please reply to my e-mail becsuse it’s touch & go even getting onto this thread ( still learning my way around ) and it stops giving me info after a bit

  61. I’m sorry some of the stuff that I have read is very poor year directions that you’re going its setting people up for failure your book is a lot better and a lot more organized can’t wait to receive my free copy

  62. I had this same problem, I have tried it three times and still no download or email. But your info has proven to be very usefull, thanks.

  63. What happens when your plant’s are in the flowering stage and you go from florescent lighting to led ? Will this do any harm or put them into shock ? I also put mylar up instead of the silver insulation. So any thoughts would be appreciated.

  64. Catherine Stark,

    Starting a seed in a 5 gallon pot is not recommended. You end up wasting 1/2 the grow media used to fill the pot because, the taproot will go straight down and all the roots will gather in the bottom of pot leaving most of the grow media unused.
    Plants should be started in a starter cube of any sort, 4″ pots, or, a solo cup. Then transplanted to 1 gallon pots until they are 12-18″ tall. Then you transplant into a 5 gallon pot. This will allow the much bigger root zone to spread out and you do not waste grow media.

    As far as LED lamps. Many new growers are investing in LED lamps and finding success. They are very expensive. Personally, I do not find the expense (5-10 x’s more expensive) to be worth it. I use digital lamps for late veg, and flowering. I use a T5 for propagation and early veg. Both lamps systems cost about 20% of what a good viable LED system would cost you.

    Perhaps it would suit you to join our forum, and you can ask for latewood, and I will show you why we use HID lamps and not LED

    Happy growing! 😀 latewood

  65. When I plant my 2 OS Kush seeds, do I have to start them in smaller pots and keep transplanting or can I go big (5 gal) right out of the gate?

  66. Hey Pat, thanks for this Monday morning chuckle! We’d love to see this monsterplant, if you like you can share it with us on our forum or social. Hope it doesn’t take over your home and happy harvesting! 😀

  67. I received your book and have been doing all I can to keep up with your advice, thank you for that. The one thing you do not touch on is my biggest problem. I received the seeds from you and it was a fruit mix of Pineapple, strawberry and blueberry. I started 1 pineapple seed and not after 6 weeks of veg this thing is so bushy that I can’t even see inside to the stem? The plant is only about 10″ high and it must have 30 tops and it is out of control!. Thanks again for your help and I’ll let you know how it comes out!!

  68. D_$ on,

    Well my friend. If you want that type of explanation, I need you to join our support forum. There we can show you pictures and give you links to some good units. Too much info to attempt to place here in the blog. Hope to see you there.

  69. got my seeds and am anxious to get started. I also had trouble with download. contacted customer servive and was sent quickly!

  70. My name is Charles, I have tryed to down load your grow bible twice and have had no luck. Is the offer for real?

  71. The book is full of info for the beginner and the intermediate grower and the support you get from Robert and the gang is as good as you get.

  72. I’ve downloaded the bible, and I also thought it was a bait and switch when I didn’t receive the link. I contatqctex support and received the link quickly. It is an amazing source of information. Yes they market to you, but it isn’t excessive. They aren’t running a charity. I am. Erg glad I got the bible and the newsletter.

  73. Great information Robert, I do have your grow bible too.
    I am setup to grow a single plant using Coco in 10 gal fabric pot (74L) seed is currently germinating in 8x8cm Jiffy Pots, Q: When the time comes to transplant into fabric pot should the Coco medium be pre-soaked with nutrients or just water? current PH 6.5.