Growing cannabis in small spaces

Marijuana crops in small spaces

Lots of people can’t grow marijuana at home because they don’t have enough space to do it. In this way, growers must be more creative when planning their grows, since, as we’ll see, any corner of our house can be used to grow cannabis for our own supply if we use the correct lighting system: CFL’s, LED panels, HPS lamps, LEC CMH lighting kits

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Cannabis grow in a 0.5m2 space

As we mentioned, spaces like the stairwell, under a desktop, inside a wardrobe, etc. may be suitable for growing marijuana at home, we only need to adapt a bit the available space.

Choosing the correct cannabis strain to grow

If we are going to grow cannabis in a small space, choosing which strain to grow is crucial. We’ll have to avoid Sativas if our space is short or if we don’t have air cooled reflectors like Cooltube, since these plants reach high heights during the flowering period. Using this type of reflectors allows us to have the lamp closer to the plants, so we have an available space slightly higher for our plants to grow.

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SOG crop under 250W CFL

Thus, in the case of having low spaces, we should grow mostly Indica strains or autoflowering plants rather than Sativas. Indicas and autos develop more compact and chunky plants, but yields are not compromised since they are good producers. We can try to grow Sativas by using different techniques to control the height of the plants, although it’ll be more difficult than growing mostly Indica hybrids or autoflowering varieties.

If we have a standard grow tent we can try any genetics, since height should not be a problem in most growing cabinets available in the market.

What growing technique to use in mini cannabis grows?

Let’s suppose that we don’t have much height in our grow and we know what seeds to use. Now we only need to know how to grow them. There are several growing techniques suitable to be used in our case, so we’ll explain the most commonly used ones in indoor growing spaces.

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Small SCROG crop with LED lamps

The Sea of Green (SOG), the Screen of Green (SCROG) and the Low Stress Training (LST) techniques can be very useful in our case. We can also use different pruning methods like the FIM, Super-cropping, etc. Basically, any technique that helps us to control the height of our plants.

We should also remember that cannabis plants usually stretch less if we use MH lamps during the pre-flowering stage (first two weeks into flowering). Something important when plants have to remain short and compact.

What light to use in mini marijuana grows?

Normally, all indoor growers must choose the correct lighting system for the available growing space. The larger the space, the more potent these systems can be, since the heat produced by the bulbs can raise the temperature of the growing space drastically.

If the height of our growing space is around 1.5 metres or less, we should choose 250W HPS lamps (even 400W if we use air cooled reflectors and a potent air extractor), CFL’s or LED systems, otherwise the heat emitted by the lamp will raise too much the temperature, affecting our plants. We can also combine two different types of lamps (for example, a 250W HPS on the center and LED strips/bulbs on the sides), whatever meets our needs best.

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250W HPS bulb, suitable for growing in small spaces

Appart from the lighting system, we should also take into account the required air extraction system for the space/lamp we are using, as well as the chosen pots; pots vary in sizes and shapes, so if we don’t have much height for our plants we should get low and wide containers, while if height is not an issue we should use taller and narrower pots.

LED technology for growing cannabis in small spaces

Over the past years, LED lighting systems have gradually improved their performance in indoor crops. New optics, motherboards, more watts, better spectrums and enhanced light penetration are some of the improvements achieved in LED systems.

Since they produce little heat, they are perfect for using in small cannabis growing spaces, but we must remember that we have to keep a distance between the lamp and the plants of at least 20cm, so the different colours are mixed and plants receive the correct light spectrum. Otherwise, plants won’t perform photosynthesis correctly, showing discoloration on leaves.

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LED lighting systems are increasingly used for growing cannabis

As we already mentioned, LED systems produce almost no heat, what enables us to use more light output per surface area, resulting in  higher yields. We can find different models in the market, just remember to use the same lamps (Watts) in case of using several systems in the same growing space.

Indoor micro cannabis grows

If we don’t have enough space for a small growing tent, we have a last option: micro cannabis grows. If you don’t need high amounts of buds and don’t have the required space at home to have a grow tent, then micro grows are one of the best options for you.

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Micro cannabis grow

In this case, we have used 18L containers to build up a micro growing space for autoflowering plants (we could also use an old, empty computer tower or anything similar). We prepared a small greenhouse for pots with the needed air intake/outtake, lamp and also light reflecting film to avoid light leaks.

We have a small Sunnon fan acting as air extractor and a LED system, everything we need to successfuly harvest our small plant. As you can see, you can grow marijuana almost anywhere, it is all up to your imagination and skills as grower.

Happy mini grows!

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Our micro cannabis plant is almost ready to harvest

August 20, 2015 | Indoor marijuana growing
7 Comments


7 comments on “Growing cannabis in small spaces

  1. Papa Indica

    I grew with LED’s for a long time, before I switched I was getting outstanding results with them. I actually had a friend who used 1000w HPS getting upset that I was getting nicer, fatter buds with a 405w LED. The only reason I ended up switching is because of replacement costs, although I’m doing just as well, if not better, now with my 600w HPS. I’d have to disagree with LED’s putting out no heat to speak of, all of them that I ever used put out some heat. It’s certainly not on the level of the HPS but, you still need to think about air extraction to reduce heat in your grow. If you’re using a little 90w UFO then you’re probably gonna be fine but, anything bigger will put out enough heat that you will have to do something.
    Happy growing!

  2. rick goodman

    i am a 30 year grower, who is in the process of switching to a recirculating deep water culture set-up. i first tried a non-circulating system which consisted of 4 bubble buckets. while it was a constant struggle to keep the tempeture in the nutrient solution at tolerable levels, it was well worth it, due to the explosive growth and overall robustness of the plants. absolutely amazing is the only way to describe it. i am now in the process of building a ten bucket system, that if i can afford, will include a chiller.i pretty much learned on my first try, from videos that i saw on you-tube, and i was wondering if you could reccomend or point me to any available resources, that can answer some of the many questions that i have about growing with this method. the yields i got my first trywith dwc indoors was almost on average, 4 times what i normally achieve in soil. thank you

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi rick,

      We’ll be pleased to help you in any way we can! Feel free to ask your doubts and we’ll try to solve them together.

      All the best!

  3. Nana Kwame

    I am a beginner and I want to start my first grow. Could you tell me step-by-step the things I need and how to it? I just want to start with 3 plants only. The space I have is my apartment.

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Nana,

      Here you have a post in which we tell the basic tips for growing cannabis indoors. A short brief:

      -Growth (2-4 weeks, depending on strains): 18 hours of light / 6 hours of darkness per day. Min. 18-20C, Max. 26-28C. Humidity: 60-70%. White/blue light spectrum. Growth nutrients.

      -Bloom (8-12 weeks, depending on strains): 12 hours of light / 12 hours of darkness per day. Min. 18-20C, Max. 26-28C. Humidity: 40-60%. Orange light spectrum. Bloom nutrients.

      Hope it helped! 😉

  4. John

    Hi, I have very limited space and would like to try the indoor micro cannabis technique.
    I have links to the sunnon fan used in the picture and the greenhouse for pots as well.
    Where can I find the light that goes on top of the mini greenhouse and is the sunnon fan on the side stuck with tape and or a hole is cut out of the greenhouse and the fan is taped there to extract air

    when I purchase the mini greenhouse with the pot included and the sunnon fan, what else do I need to get my plant up and running?? will I need the light reflecting film there as well??

    Can you give me links to all the equipment exactly in the picture so I can start a micro cannabis grow??

    I’ll be growing my plant while I’m at work in my tiny bedroom space, will this be safe, not too much heat or risk of fire or anything??

    Any help and/or advice for growing my first micro cannabis plant this way safely and properly will be appreciated as well.

    Thanks for your help and hope to hear from you soon thanks again

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi John,

      The fan used for the micro grow was screwed to the small greenhouse (if you screw it through a foam it will reduce noise and vibrations). Just make a hole in the greenhouse and screw the fan on it.

      Here you have the sunon fan with an adapter. You can use two pots of the same size – which is up to you – to make the greenhouse. Still, here you have to link to the greenhouse that we used. Unfortunately, we don’t have the LED system shown on the post anymore, but we’ll soon have LED bulbs available. You can use reflective film or just white containers. If you want to try micro grows, I would suggest using Indica strains only dur their low height.

      The only problems you’ll have with this system – especially if you put it in your bedroom – is the noise from the fan and the smell once your plant is flowering.

      Hope it helped!

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