Growing marijuana on terraces

The terraces and balconies of our homes are versatile spaces that offer unexplored potential for lovers of cannabis cultivation. In this article, we will explore how to take advantage of these outdoor areas to grow your own cannabis plant discreetly and efficiently.

From choosing the right strains to care tips and other considerations, we'll guide you through the essential steps to turning your outdoor space into a successful, personal cannabis garden. Discover how to bring cannabis cultivation to life on your terrace or balcony and enjoy the satisfaction of harvesting your own flowers at home.

Achieving homogeneity in plant height is important when discretion is necessary
 Achieving homogeneity in plant height is important when discretion is necessary

How to grow marijuana for personal use on your balcony

Growing marijuana outdoors - and specifically on balconies - is one of the most popular systems because it takes less effort, means and care than growing cannabis indoors. Also, this way you can get a good yield with minimal investment.

The most important thing to take into account to get best results is the availability of a terrace with high solar exposure, i.e. a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight every day. In addition to this essential requirement, the other stuff you will need is:

  • Quality seeds, preferably indica or indica/sativa strains, as they are usually bushier and have more compact structure. Using feminized cannabis seeds or selected cuttings is also useful, for this allows us to optimize the available space and ensure that you take full advantage of the soil, pots and any other farming gear used.
  • 0.25 litre, 11 litre, 25 litre or 45 litre pots (the largest pot size is only suitable for growers who have large terraces, the rest will have to use the first three ones).
  • Quality soil, containing vermicompost, mulch, perlite and black peat or coco coir (coconut fibres). The type of soil should be similar to Biobizz Light Mix or Bioaigua Soft Mix.
  • Vermicompost (worm humus).
  • Bat guano, powder and liquid bat guano.
  • Nutrihemp (seaweed extract).
  • Neem oil, pyrethrum or any other organic insecticide such as Ain thc.
  • Propolis (a fungicide and a stimulator of plant defences).
  • Bacillus Thuringiensis.
  • Fertilizer for cannabis growth and flowering (preferably organic).
  • A small sprayer (2 litres).
  • A pH tester and pH down acid reducer.

This plant has just been transplanted
This plant has just been transplanted

Cultivation of cannabis on terraces step by step

Once you get hold of all the needed materials, you can start growing!!

The best time to start the crop on the balcony is between April and May. We prefer doing it during the first waning moon of May, since if we do it earlier, plants will probably grow too tall and exceed the capacity of the pots.

First, we need to germinate the seeds. Once we see the small roots coming out we transfer them to a 0.25 litre pot and water them. During the following days, we will water the plants as the soil dries out (use pH=6 water). Place the pots under direct sunlight and the small seedlings should spring within 5-10 days; otherwise, the plants will grow too tall and will be too weak and lanky.

After about three weeks, plants should reach 20 cm in height and three sets of true leaves should have appeared. At this time, remove the plants from their pots (when the soil is dry) and, if there is a good root structure, it will be the right time to transplant them to the 11 L pots.

Transplant to 11 liter pot
Transplant to 11 liter pot

In this case, make the following blend:

  • 80% of the recommended soil
  • 20% of vermicompost
  • 1/2 kg of bat guano powder
  • 250 grams of nutrihemp per 100 litres of soil

Mix it thoroughly to blend it evenly and proceed to transplant.

The first two weeks after the transplant, water the plants whenever the soil is dry with tap water, only adding the needed acid to reduce water pH to the right value.

By the third week after transplanting, you should start adding - once a week - the corresponding dose of growth fertilizer to the water.

Around the fourth week after transplanting, (eight weeks after the start of cultivation, i.e. early June) apical pruning is done to encourage horizontal growth rather than vertical. You should proceed as follows:

The plant should have produced its seventh or eighth pair of true leaves; trim the apex (the top sprout) just above the fifth true pair of leaves, which will enhance the growth of six to ten new main branches.

Apical pruning of cannabis plants without using ropes
Apical pruning of cannabis plants without using ropes

Right after pruning, do the final transplant to a 25 litre pot - for those who don't have much space - or to a 45 litre pot, in the case you have more room for the plants to develop.

For the final transplant, the potting mix will be the following:

80 litres of used soil + 20% vermicompost + 1/2 kg bat guano +200 grams of Nutrihemp per 100 litres of soil.

After the transplant, flush the plants with tap water for the first two weeks, and after the third week add fertilizer for growth to the water once a week until the onset of the first buds. This will be around August and our plants will be between 100 and 125 cm tall (excluding the pot).

When the first flowers appear forming buds, water them with water and flowering fertiliser once a week (the rest of irrigations should be done with tap water with adjusted pH). When you see that the buds are shaping up, add liquid bat guano to the nutrient mix, and then increase the frequency of fertilisation to twice a week, until you see the first signs of ripening in the buds (pistils get dry and turn brown-reddish).

Then, start watering with tap water until harvest to clean the plant and improve its taste and smell. If the plant turns yellow during the cleaning process, it's fine, as we want the plant to use its own nutrient reserves. In this way, it will be sweeter and it won't be too aggressive for your throat when you smoke it.

Cannabis plants limited in height
These cannabis plants have been limited in height

When 80% of the pistils of the buds are dry it will be the right time to harvest. However, if you want to be sure, the best option is to use a magnifying glass or a microscope to examine the state of ripeness of the trichomes.

For more information on this subject, visit our post:

When to harvest marijuana plants?

In today's article we will see the different ways that exist to determine the optimal harvest point of the plants, observing the pros and cons of each one and guiding you in this important moment of cultivation. From the advice from the seed bank to the color of the pistils or trichomes, today we explain everything you need to know to harvest your plants at the best time.

The plants grown in 25 litre pots will reach a height around 100-150 cm, depending on the strain, and will give a yield between 200 and 300 grams (of dry buds), while cannabis grown in 45 litre pots can grow up to 125-175 cm in height and produce a yield between 300 and 500 grams, depending on strains and phenotypes.

Aspects to consider when growing cannabis on terraces:

  • If the sun shines directly on our potted plants, roots can reach 40°C, which is not advisable. To avoid this we can use white pots and protect them from the sun by using other plants or any other thing as shading protection which can help reducing the contact with direct sun and therefore lowering the temperature of the soil/roots.
  • It is advisable to grow other plants (flowering or leafy plants) on our terrace in addition to marijuana, as they will help creating a suitable microclimate and enhance biological richness in the environment, as well as helping us to camouflage our secret garden.
  • If our terrace is very sunny and gets very hot during the day, it is highly desirable to wet the terrace floor and walls in the mornings and evenings, as well as refreshing the leaves of our plants long before the flowering stage begins, especially in June and July, which is the peak of the red spider pest.
  • If the terrace is very exposed to the wind, we must use ropes, stakes and stones to tie the plants and prevent them from falling or breaking.

Marijuana plants ready to harvest
Marijuana plants ready to harvest

Phytosanitary treatments outdoors

Outdoor crops are exposed to numerous pests, so you should do periodic treatments that will prevent the use  of chemical insecticides later on. Chemical treatments are a lot more toxic and harmful for our health, and for our family and pets.

Start pest control treatments when you transplant the plants to the 11 litre pot, using neem oil or a pyrethrum-based insecticide mixed with propolis to avoid red spider mites, whiteflies or aphids, as well as the various types of fungi that affect cannabis.

The treatment should be applied every 15 days until the end of July, at which time we will begin the next treatment, spraying with Bacillus thuringiensis (to avoid the appearance of dangerous caterpillars) which should be alterned with another treatment based on propolis to prevent powdery mildew. Continue doing these treatments until two weeks before harvest.

It is important to carry out all treatments as well as watering and transplanting early or late in the day to avoid strong heat, as it could damage the plants. 

We wish you happy growing for the new season!

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.

Comments in “Growing marijuana on terraces” (5)


YankeeGirl519 2022-09-15
I live in South Florida and have 4 plants that I started from seedlings in April. They since have been transported to 5-gallon buckets and have been kept outside in the hot, humid South Florida weather during their whole growth with very little maintenance. At this time, the plants are approximately 5 feet tall and were very vibrant and healthy, but lately they seem to be deteriorating. I recently moved them to the patio, where there is less direct sunlight (it seemed the leaves have been burning from the hot sun lately-leaves turning brown and crumbly). I trim the yellow large leaves every few days and water them every 3-4 days. According to what I have researched, they should be ready to harvest next month in October. But I am not sure why they seem to be deteriorating at this point when they have been so healthy. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you

Alchimia Staff

Tim Alchimia 2022-09-16
Hi and thanks for your comment. It sounds to me like your plants are running out of nutrients. Yellowing leaves are usually a sign of nitrogen deficiency and quite common in outdoor plants at this time of year. You can try and remedy the situation by feeding the plants a bit more but at this stage in the season, so close to harvest, you'll need to be careful how much extra fertiliser you add if your don't want to end up with an excess of nirogen at harvest time, which can affect flavour and smoothness of the smoke. A good-quality flowering fertiliser should have enough nutrients to help the plant finish well without overdoing the nitrogen. Be sure to stop feeding at east a week before harvest, preferably two weeks before. I hope that helps, best wishes and happy growing!


PTnewgrower 2020-06-09
I put 5 northern light on a plastic pot with perlite, vermiculit, humus “worms”, soil, 1 spoon of calcimag per pot and something on the bottom for drainage “brown balls” I don’t overwatering for sure but anyway don’t grow more then 4cm. Can you help me and sorry about my english

Alchimia Staff

Tim Alchimia 2020-06-09
Hi, thanks for your comment and question. Your English is just fine, there's no need to apologise at all! I have o check a few things to try and help you better. How long is it since you germinated the seeds? Indoor or outdoor? What kind of temperature and humidity conditions are the plants exposed to? What about light levels? And finally tell me a little bit about the seeds, Northern Lights from which seed bank? Depending on the version of Northern Lights it is, it could either be very Indica or an Indica/Sativa hybrid, which would definitely have an impact on the vegetative vigour. Let me know and we'll see if we can work out what has gone wrong. Best wishes and happy growing!


GrowingMarijuanaTips.Com 2016-08-09
I've never thought that marijuana makes a nice night plant. I mean look at those buds! They seem like to glow in the dark. Beautiful!


Billy 2016-06-28
Great article, and lovely pictures. What about the smell? Doesn't it reek when they are flowering, and with so many plants or top colas. I bet you can smell that cheese a mile away, no? Please share your thoughts.

Alchimia Staff

Dani Alchimia 2016-06-30
Hi Billy, That's correct, the main disadvantage og growing in a balcony is the intense smell of the plants when they're in bloom. Unless you have cannabis-friendly neighbours it is always better to grow indoors. All the best!


Guest 2015-10-02
Very nice article very detailed but you didn't cover Autoflowring plants. As they do not like transplant so suggest a soil mix (not commercial) for the same. please suggest homemade potmix from seed to harvest for 20L pot for autoflower as well as photoperiod.

Alchimia Staff

Dani Alchimia 2015-10-05
Hi Guest, If you want further information about autoflowering plants, you can read this article. Thanks for your comment, All the best!

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This is the official blog of Alchimia Grow Shop. This blog is intended exclusively for the use of adults over the age of 18 years.

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