How to hide your marijuana crop

How to hide marijuana plants

Nowadays, it is getting more and more difficult to grow marijuana outdoors . It’s not about pests, diseases or adverse climates… the number one enemy of marijuana growers are thieves.

Marijuana hidden in an olive tree

Marijuana hidden in an olive tree

Here you will learn a system to camouflage your marijuana plants -a rather curious technique as well as safer than the usual methods.

With the increase of information and number of people growing marijuana, it is hard to find a place where the plant can go unnoticed. 

It will be easier if you have a small garden with fruit trees, olive trees and ornamental trees. If this is not the case, you can also try the camouflage method, but it requires a little more work because you will have to apply this technique to the trees you find in the woods, always in private land – we must own it..

Needed stuff:

  • PVC pipe or tube, 150 mm in diameter and 2 m long (depending on the tree)
  • Flanges, wire or rope
  • 50 L Light Mix substrate or similar
  • Vermicompost (worm humus)
  • Bat Guano
  • Bio Super Mix
  • Cannabis seeds or cuttings (in this case, we used the Queso strain from Kannabia seeds).
  • Spray polyurethane foam with applicator
  • Matte brown or greenish/grey paint
Applying polyurethane to the PVC pipe

Applying polyurethane to the PVC pipe

Construction of a pot-pipe to camouflage the cannabis plant

Dig a hole – about 25 cm in diameter and about 25 cm deep – at about forty centimetres from the base of a tree – an olive tree in this case.

Apply polyurethane foam on the surface of the PVC pipe. It is advisable to do it moving downward so the foam doesn’t give off the pipe. Leave 25 cm of space to be buried in the soil.

Once it is dry, use a cutter and sandpaper to give it a resemblance to a tree trunk and immediately paint it trying to make it go unnoticed.

Tree trunk with polyurethane foam

Tree trunk with polyurethane foam

Place the part of the PVC tube without foam in the hole in the ground. As you will see, the hole diameter is larger than the tube – the soil previously dug out will be used around the tube to bury it, always on the outside. It needs to be well pressed and immediately watered to make it stay firm.

Attach the top part of the tube to the nearest branch. To do this, use flanges, wires, ropes or any material that fix it safely.

Once fixed, the end of the pot-tube is at about 180 cm high, and it’s now ready to be filled with substrate.

Substrate preparation and finishing the camouflage

In addition to choosing your marijuana seeds, if you want to succeed in cultivation it is very important to acquire a quality substrate.  You will need about 50 l of substrate to fill the pot-tube, and in this case, as we are using a soil enricher , you must prepare the mixture before using it.

To prepare the substrate you should find a clean spot, while a 100l plastic container or a large barrel may be useful for mixing. Pour the soil and add the worm humus, bat guano and Bio Mix, using the recommended dosage by the manufacturer.

You can use flanges to fix the tube

You can use flanges to fix the tube

Mix it until it gets completely uniform. This step is very important for the plant to get the nutrients it needs throughout the growing period, hence it should be done with patience and care. We can use bat guano granules, for this type of nutrients are released more slowly.

Once mixed, fill up the tube with it and immediately add 10/20 litres of water, so the substrate settles.

If you skip this step, there is the risk that the plant lowers too much inside the tube. As previous experiences show, this was a common mistake in the first attempts. If this happens, to avoid problems with botrytis we recommend trimming the plant section inside the tube.

When we are certain that the substrate doesn’t lower anymore, remaining 20 cm below the top edge, we can transplant our plant.

How to transplant marijuana plants

As we mentioned, the strain used in this post is Queso from Kannabia seeds. Of course, you can use any other strain, either seeds or cuttings -just bear in mind the size of the tree and the plant characteristics. You can also use the camouflage method with autoflowering cannabis seeds. In this case, we recommend no more than 30L of substrate, using a smaller tube that can also be fixed in bushes.

Starting from seed, we should germinate it first. Once it opens and the root is 1 cm long, it is planted into a 0.52 l pot and placed in a sunny spot. After 15-20 days, when the roots expand in the pot, it is transplanted in the pot-tube with a 10 cm soil layer and 20% of vermicompost. Then it needs to be watered with tap water.

If you start from a cutting, once it is rooted using clonex gel, transplant it into the pot-tube in the same way as the seeds.

How to fertilise and water

Using this substrate mixture allows us to grow the plant without the need of fertilising it. You can use a liquid fertilizer, although the results are quite good without using it , what has great advantages as you will see. If we use Ph6 water, we ensure the absorption of all needed nutrients for the plant to grow. This is an important aspect, sometimes it is worth buying a Ph meter rather than using additives or stimulators.

Choosing the mixture and whether or not to use liquid fertilizers is an entirely personal decision. You can use the fertilising method of your choice, like in any other marijuana crop.

Before watering, we must flood the base of the pot; by doing so the roots grow throughout the tube-pot, seeking the moisture in the ground. Especially in the first two months of growth, the top part also needs to be watered, a fairly easy job if done with an irrigation lance with curved end.

Flood watering

Flood watering

Given the difficulty of checking if the substrate is dry from the top, you must sharpen your sense of observation and interpret the behaviour of the plant against possible water stress, which can be either excess or lack of watering. The knowledge of the strain and your experience will make you improve as you grow marijuana. We recommend the product Aptus Regulator , which reduces the water needs of marijuana plants by up to 30%.

Advantages of camouflaging marijuana plants

Growing 2 meter high marijuana with roots reaching the ground has great advantages.

As it merges with the tree greenery, the plant is perfectly camouflaged preventing it from being seen by anyone passing near where you have planted it. Friends, nosy people, thieves, hunters and environmentalists in uniform… they can only spot it if they walk very close to the trees. It can’t be seen! Very little or nothing can be spotted from the top as well, it can easily go unnoticed by a helicopter or any other flying object.

Completely camouflaged marijuana

Completely camouflaged marijuana

The length of available space fot the roots promotes their rapid and healthy growth, resulting in a pest and disease resistant, strong and healthy plant. A plant that develops at more than 2 meter high is properly ventilated, preventing pests.

We used olive trees here, but it also works with lemon trees, orange trees, almond trees, willows, bay trees or elsewhere, as long as there is an abundant plant mass; even brambles can be used, although it can be painful because of their thorns. We’ll talk about guerrilla cultivation techniques related to the best suited marijuana plants for this kind of cultivation in next posts.

Alright folks, I hope these lines and pictures help you growing and camouflaging your marijuana plants. With your experience you can improve and adjust the camouflage method to your needs and conditions. For instance, as you can see in the pictures, painting the tube was something I made after the start of this crop.

Queso in a tube-pot

Queso in a tube-pot

One love!

We are not going to say goodbye without first thanking María Otro for her contributions. Thanks María, you are legend!

October 17, 2014 | Outdoor cannabis growing
19 Comments


19 comments on “How to hide your marijuana crop

  1. THC Wiki

    Thank you for your great post. and sharing for us.

    1. Dani Alchimia

      Hi friends,

      You are most welcome, glad you liked the post!!

      Best vibes!

  2. keoweebuds

    Man I absolutely love the idea of making a fnake tree trunk using PVC and FOAM and SPRAY paint. Then stuffing tree limbs and branches in the top. Make 20 of those ans u can easily suuround a decent size grow..

    I love the cannabis growing out of the PVC pipe…so it looks like a tre trunk but the top of that trees ain’t a regular tree…lol…its a bushy mj plant. Sweet ideas…

    So I like to use the natural landscape to my advantage…grow in the middle of a briar or thorn bush crop….ain’t no body trekking into those thorns …I included…so that is always a great place to grow…or just find private property and hide the plant allong an old farmers tree line……another way insure it plants don’t get stolen

    1. Dani Alchimia

      Hi keoweebuds,

      A camouflaged crop is crucial when trying to successfully harvest a guerrilla grow, so all ideas are welcome.

      Thanks for your comment,

      All the best!

  3. keoweebuds

    Oh yeah forgot to mention sometimes on the side of roads where the ditch is…usually loaded with tons of different plants…..well at night after you found it spot place a few plants allong a road. Like in groups of 6…..drivers flying by will never notice them and even if the grass gets cut on the aide of a free way road what not. They don’t touch the ditch and the foliage and variety of plants gets super thick. So a person could easily drop a few buckets here and there in the sit hea with all that other plant growth to camouflage them. Another idea. Plant a few right in the open… Hell people probably say who would plant pot there…say a business park. In middle if there landscaped areas……no one will care if they notice and moat people are just busy driving getting out and in car for work

  4. Nelly

    Hello,
    I’m new here,and wondering if someone from here is familiar with granddaddy og marijuana seeds..??

    1. Dani Alchimia

      Hi Nelly,

      Haven’t grown/smoked the Grandaddy OG, but I’ve grown the Original Grandaddy Purple and it is an amazing plant, uniform, compact and delicious!! If you’re looking for a potent, flavourful Indica, I’d give it a try!

      Best!

  5. Hayward Patterson

    Will it grow any differently from growing in a pot or ground ? Will this style of grow decrease yields ?

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Hayward, thanks for the question. As a general rule, plants will grow bigger if planted in the ground than in a pot, as there is nothing to restrict the size of the root ball and as a result the size of the plants. That said, a plant in the ground in poor soil probably won’t do as well as a plant in a large pot of high quality soil. A plant in the ground with very good soil will yield more than a plant in a pot of the same soil. It will need less maintenance too, when plants are in pots we need to be constantly vigilant with regards to watering, making it a constant job in hot weather. One big advantage of planting in pots is that you can move them to a safe place any time you like, whereas when in the ground, the plants are rooted to the spot!

      I hope that’s helped, all the best!

  6. Hayward Patterson

    So basically growing in a pvc pipe/tube is just like growing in the ground ?

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Nearly but not quite, the open base of the tube allows the roots to escape and access the surrounding earth, but because of the height of the tube, irrigation is more of a challenge. It’s also worth noting that cannabis plants generally like to have a wide, laterally spreading rootball, rather than a narrow, deep-reaching set of roots, so the shape of the tube won’t allow the plant to fully express itself as it would if planted directly in the ground. But yes, basically it’s a lot better than just using a normal pot with a base and great if you need to hide your plants.

  7. Hayward Patterson

    How much would you yield from a outdoor grow style like this ?

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Hayward, that’s a difficult one to answer, there are so many variables: Genetics, climate, solar exposure, soil, time of planting, etc. This method doesn’t achieve plants as big as if they were planted directly in the ground, because the roots are somewhat restricted, so they won’t yield as much, but they won’t be stolen from you either!

  8. Turkey

    Thank you for some NEW ideas. the critters are pretty bad but the dang thieves are so much worse. Y’all have a fun & successful season!! Have fun with it outdoors.
    ((TN))
    Ajax

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Thanks Ajax, wishing you a great year outdoors too!

      Happy growing!

  9. Hayward Patterson

    Will a pipe with a bigger diameter make a difference in quantity ?

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Hayward, thanks for your question. Yes, I’d imagine that the extra volume of soil offered by a larger diameter tube could only benefit yields, if it’s possible to use a bigger tube without it standing out too much, I’d have a go! All the best and happy growing!

  10. Andy

    Great idea. I once saw a cannabis plant grown virtually flat in a rock garden by snapping the stalk quite early on and then bending or breaking any branches above a certain height, do you guys have a tutorial on this at all? That would be amazing.

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Andy, thanks for the question, we haven’t got a tutorial on the exact method you’re talking about, but it sounds like an extreme version of some of the techniques we talk about in two of our articles on plant training and pruning if you check them ot I’m sure you’ll find some help, if not leave us a comment and we’ll try to help.

      All the best

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