April 24, 2017: 2:41 PM CT
Disclaimer: This article contains information about cannabis, which is illegal under federal law as well as under state laws in some states. This article is intended to be for educational and entertainment purposes only.
(Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)
Millions of Americans now live in states where adults can legally cultivate their own cannabis. If you’re flirting with the idea of growing your own pot plant at home but you don’t have much of a green thumb, chances are, you’re going to run into a few hang-ups along the way. But have no fear, most of these hang-ups are avoidable with the proper preparation and care. Here are seven common mistakes to avoid in the process of cultivating your own cannabis.
________________________________________________________ 7 mistakes to avoid when growing cannabis:
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 7: Marijuana plants grow at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in operation since 2006, on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. A group of activists have submitted about 50,000 signatures in an effort to force a referendum on a marijuana dispensary ban in Los Angeles to take effect next week. A minimum of 27,425 valid signatures from registered voters is needed to let voters decide on the issue in March, and until the number can be verified, the ban will not be enforced. . The ban would not prevent patients or cooperatives of two or three people to grow their own in small amounts. Californians voted to legalize medical cannabis use in 1996, clashing with federal drug laws. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Where you should grow depends on where you live. The ideal conditions for growing cannabis outside include a warm climate year-round, good sunlight and low humidity. If you don’t have these conditions for outdoor cultivation, you might want to explore indoor cultivation options. If you do grow indoors, make sure your grow room is properly outfitted with grow lights and ventilation. [Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
Lighting is one of the most important factors when growing cannabis. The more light your plant gets, the bigger yield you’ll reap. If you’re growing indoors, make sure to provide enough lighting using either fluorescent grow lights, high intensity discharge (HID) grow lights or LED grow lights. Never use incandescent bulbs (the old-fashioned kind), because they don’t emit the right spectrum for growing cannabis. [Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images]
If you’re growing cannabis from seeds, not clones, make sure to research your seed supplier and purchase seeds suited for your grow location. Feminized seeds may be preferable, since you won’t need to worry about isolating male plants from female ones. Only female plants produce usable marijuana flowers. [Photo credit: "thöR/Flickr]
Both overwatering and underwatering can kill your cannabis plant. To see if your plant needs to be watered, stick your finger into the soil about an inch. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If your cannabis plant’s leaves look vibrant and strong, you’re on the right track. If the leaves look weak and curly, you may be overwatering. Leafly has good information to check out about properly watering cannabis plants. [Photo credit: Liz West/Flickr]
For cannabis plants, pH determines which nutrients can be taken in. If your pH is in the right range, then your plant will be able to uptake all the nutrients it needs and grow properly. The best way to avoid pH problems is to buy a pH testing kit and make sure your soil and water fall into the correct pH range. The pH scale runs from 1 to 11. Cannabis plants prefer a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. [Photo credit: Aqua Mechanical/Flickr]
Cannabis plants tend to grow better with the addition of proper nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but it’s pretty easy to overfeed your plant. According to Grow Weed Easy, most nutrient companies include feeding schedules and recommended doses that are way too high and may damage your plant. The website recommends using 1/4 to 1/2 of the recommended dosage. [Photo credit: Advanced Nutrients/Facebook]
It’s important to harvest your cannabis flowers at the peak of ripeness, otherwise your buds may lose potency. There are a couple methods for doing this, according to High Times. You can examine the pistils (long hairs) that cover the buds. The pistils will start out white and stringy at the beginning of flowering and will turn to a dark red or brown color as the buds reach maturity. Another way to determine harvest time is by examining trichomes, the resin glands that contain THC, and harvest your buds before the trichomes turn to an amber or dark color. [Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]