Growing cannabis in soil indoors: all you need to know about it
Mar 29, 2020 Indoor Growing
There are two common growing media, namely soil and hydroponics. If you’re a beginner, deciding between the two can be tricky.
We recommend growing cannabis in soil, and we’ll explain the pros and cons and share tips on the best ways to optimize this growing medium.
You’ll also learn how to troubleshoot potential problems and rectify them. Your plants will thrive when you put these simple methods into practice.
Why is growing cannabis in soil indoors a good option?
Many cultivators choose the option of growing marijuana indoors when the outdoor conditions, such as the weather and environment, are not ideal. It’s easier to manage the lighting, temperature, humidity, and pests in a controlled location.
Growing cannabis in soil is also an excellent choice because it comes naturally to most people with gardening experience. It has been the primary cultivation medium for centuries, and plants adapt to it like fish to water.
Pros and cons of growing cannabis in soil
While cultivating weed indoors with soil is straightforward, there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:
Growing in soil is easier
There’s minimal setup necessary to grow cannabis in soil compared to using other mediums. Most quality soils have microorganisms and organic matter. The former will convert the substances into nutrients that your plants feed on.
Soil growing mimics natural growing
When you grow marijuana in soil, it’s natural for the plants because that’s how they’ve flourished in nature since the beginning of time.
Soil is readily available in most stores
You can get good-quality soil for marijuana plants at most grow stores. The benefit of using soil meant for cannabis cultivation is that it typically contains the nutrients your plants need and is perfect for drainage and water retention.
Growers can mix their own soil
If you don’t like store-bought soil and want to make your own marijuana-growing soil, it’s very straightforward as long as you remember the different compositions for each stage of the growth process.
A typical set of ingredients for your soil mix includes one part vermiculite, one part coco coir peat, one cup humus or worm castings, and two parts compost.
Soil can contribute to pests on plants
As soil to grow weed is organic, there are usually many types of insects living in it. These bugs can cause problems when they attack your plants.
Soil plants grow slower than hydroponic plants
When you grow marijuana in soil instead of using hydroponics, you should expect a slower growth rate. The waiting time for harvesting is about six months.
Tips for indoor soil grow setup
If you’re growing weed indoors in soil, here are some tips to help you with the setup.
Find a high-quality soil mix
Soil for marijuana plants should have the following traits:
- Light and loose texture
- Excellent drainage ability
- Optimal water retention
- Balanced pH levels
The best soil for cannabis plants is loamy soil, a combination of silt, sand, and clay because it’s rich in nutrients and oxygen and offers excellent water retention and drainage.
Avoid soils with extended-release nutrients
Although you want to ensure your cannabis plants get the nutrients they need, we suggest you avoid using soil that offers “extended-release” nutrients.
These soil types will keep feeding nitrogen to the roots for as long as six months, which can burn your weed plants in the flowering phase. As a result, you could end up with lower yields.
Add perlite for improved drainage
Marijuana-growing soil needs excellent drainage to stay healthy. One way to improve your soil’s ability to remove excess water and add oxygen to it is to add perlite.
Be careful not to add too much perlite as it’ll make your soil too light, and your plants may lose nutrients. An amount of between 10–15% will suffice.
Use the correct container
When growing cannabis in soil, using the right pot or container is essential because your plants’ roots need a healthy environment to develop.
The container you use should provide the roots with the following:
- An optimal amount of water. Excessive liquid can cause roots to rot.
- Oxygen for root development.
- Plenty of space to extend.
Here are some pots you can use in your indoor soil grow setup:
- Plastic canisters
- Ceramic pots
- Fabric containers
Water is critical to your cannabis plant’s survival, but not in excess. Unfortunately, many beginner growers water their marijuana plants too often, causing over-watering.
Too much liquid in the soil means there’s insufficient oxygen, and your plant can fall sick or die. To be safe, you should only add H2O when the soil for marijuana plants feels dry up to about an inch deep.
Use cannabis-friendly nutrients
The best soil for weed indoors will usually have plenty of organic matter, so you may not have to add nutrients. If you do, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are essential for every marijuana plant during each stage of its development process.
Start nutrients at half strength
Be aware that when growing cannabis in soil, excess nutrients can cause “nute burn” in your plant. Overfeeding usually happens because the nutrient companies’ recommended dosage is too high.
To avoid the problem, start with only 50% of the suggested amount. If your plant looks pale, increase the dosage until it looks healthy again.
Maintaining an indoor soil grow
With an indoor soil grow setup, there are several factors you’ll need to be aware of:
If you have a few plants, you can water them by hand and save on energy costs compared with using an automated irrigation system, which will also require money to set up.
There’ll be some wasted cost in nutrient and water consumption when you grow cannabis in soil. Only some of the amount you feed your plant will be absorbed by its roots. The balance will dry up or evaporate.
There can be more work when you use soil for weed plants. Besides watering and adding nutrients, there’s also the problem of pests and diseases to deal with.
Unless you have a cultivar that’s resistant to such threats, you can expect to put in more effort to rid your plant of these nuisances.
Growing weed indoors in soil requires you to be vigilant and pay attention to your plant’s needs and the threats it faces. You’ll need to ensure that the soil drains and retains water well, has optimal pH levels, the correct amount of light, and ensure that it doesn’t lack nutrients.
Time until harvest when growing in soil
When you grow cannabis in soil, the growth rate is slower than if you used hydroponics. You can influence your plant’s development by controlling the environment and giving it plenty of light.
Typically, the time to harvest cannabis with soil grows is between 1–6 months, with a 1–3 months vegetative stage and budding time of 2–3 months.
FAQ related to growing cannabis in soil
These are questions we frequently get from cultivators about growing marijuana indoors in soil. If you have further queries, please get in touch with us.
When growing cannabis in soil, do I need fertilizer?
If you want a healthy marijuana plant that produces a high yield of buds, you have to feed it with the nutrients it needs. Often, soil for weed plants contains what your plant requires, but you may have to add marijuana fertilizer if you notice a nutrient deficiency.
What is the best all-in-one soil medium for growing cannabis?
If you’re looking for the best soil for marijuana plants, loamy soil’s your best bet. It’s made up of silt, sand, and clay and contains organic compounds. Loamy is excellent because it’s filled with nutrients and oxygen and provides optimal drainage and water retention.
Why are mushrooms growing in the soil with my cannabis plants?
Mushroom spores love to settle and propagate in soil that’s cool and moist and doesn’t get much sunlight. The soil for growing weed indoors is ideal because that spot underneath your marijuana plant meets the criteria.
How long to flush cannabis growing in soil?
Flushing involves giving your marijuana plant water with the correct pH minus the nutrients before harvest. It’s done to improve the quality of your buds. When growing weed indoors in soil, cultivators typically flush for 1–2 weeks before harvest.
Be careful not to do it earlier because it can affect the quality and volume of your yields.
How soon to use nutrients growing cannabis in soil?
Soil for marijuana plants naturally contains nutrients your cannabis plant needs. You’ll need to add nutrients via fertilizer if you want quicker growth and higher yields. Begin feeding your seedlings when they’re about 1–2 weeks old. That’s when they enter the vegetative stage.
If required, increase the amount after six weeks to help your plant grow healthy, robust leaves.
Soil or hydroponics? Which is the best medium?
As it’s a toss-up between growing cannabis in soil and using hydroponics, we suggest you start with the former medium if you’re a beginner.
It’s easy to set up and manage. Just remember not to over-water your plant, make sure the soil pH is optimum and feed it with the nutrients it needs, and you can look forward to a great harvest.
As you’ve seen, growing marijuana indoors in soil is relatively straightforward. If you’re keen to learn more, check out more tips about weed cultivation from our experts.