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Growing Marijuana in a Greenhouse – The Basics

Apr 5, 2020
Where Should you Grow?

Growing Marijuana in a Greenhouse-The Basics

Numerous individuals across the country are opting to try their hand at growing marijuana. As a result, the interest in greenhouses has also risen. Growers discover that there are many benefits to using a greenhouse as opposed to a grow room. However, it is important to be aware of the drawbacks of choosing this option as well.

Why Use a Greenhouse?

Growing marijuana in a greenhouse allows a person to bypass the complexities of establishing a grow room for cultivating plants indoors. Greenhouses also offer benefits over outdoor growing, as they are secure and offer a more predictable and consistent environment for the plants. Greenhouses offer the best of nature without the harsh elements of the environment.

Growers know the greenhouse option brings natural heat to the plants, reducing the need for external sources. However, the grower can still control the temperature in the growing area with the help of purchased equipment. There is another reason that people may wish to consider making this investment, and one that many feel is the most important.

Growers who use a greenhouse to grow cannabis state the finished product is more potent. The key to seeing similar results is to choose a strain with strong genetics. Keep this in mind as you go to purchase seeds. Know the strain and the provider to obtain the best yield and product.

Why Not Just Grow Marijuana Outdoors?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier to grow marijuana outdoors? Many growers, especially those who have been cultivating cannabis outdoors for a while, often ask this question. They feel nature is best for any plant and oppose excessive grower interaction. To them, a greenhouse investment is too much of a commitment.

However, these growers are ignoring the drawbacks of growing any plant outside. Weather can do great harm to a crop in a short period of time, pests and diseases can decimate the crop, and others may decide to help themselves to your hard work and effort when the plants are grown outdoors. Using a greenhouse helps to reduce these risks or eliminate them completely.

While pests can make their way into a greenhouse, they tend to be smaller than those encountered outdoors. For instance, rabbits and deer probably won’t make their way into a greenhouse but will enjoy the cannabis grown outdoors. As these critters can make their way through a multitude of plants in a short period of time, any measures that may be taken to prevent this from happening should be used. A greenhouse keeps them at bay.

Another benefit of using a greenhouse is that a variety of plants can be housed in the structure. This makes it easy to hide cannabis plants among other species. Others won’t know you have marijuana cultivating in the greenhouse unless you let them in to explore. However, the aroma of the plants will be greater in a greenhouse. Determine if this will be an issue for you when deciding where to plant the seeds.

The Basics of Greenhouse Growing

Marijuana cultivators have several options when growing cannabis in a greenhouse. Some opt to keep the plants separate by using containers or pots. Others find they prefer to sow the seeds directly in the ground. Hydroponic gardening is another method for growing cannabis and should not be overlooked. Each solution offers its benefits and drawbacks that growers must be aware of before proceeding.

Container gardening allows you to move the plants when needed. For instance, growers who wish to hide their marijuana crops from others prefer this option as they can hide the plants from prying eyes. Additionally, the plants can be relocated when extreme weather is imminent to protect them from harm.

Growing cannabis directly in the soil, in contrast, is ideal for those who don’t have a lot of time to tend to the crop. Plants fare better when planted directly in the soil. However, to obtain good results, the grower must ensure that the soil is of the highest quality.

Hydroponic gardening offers large yields. In addition, growers find they have more control over different elements related to gardening. As a result, this is one growing method that every cannabis producer should investigate.


High-quality marijuana seeds remain the key to a successful harvest. Spend the extra money to get the best seeds available. Doing so pays off in the long run. Weak seeds cannot produce the results their high-quality counterparts can, regardless of how much time and effort you put into the garden.

The soil is also of great importance to your overall success. High-quality soil ensures the plants have everything they need to grow and thrive from day one.  When both the soil and the seeds are the best available, the plants will be bigger than previously seen and provide a bountiful harvest.

Consider each seed as an investment in the future. Fewer seeds are needed when they are of good quality. Keep this in mind and care for each seed as if it were the only one you had. When you do so, your garden is sure to be a great success.

Choosing a Greenhouse

Several types of greenhouses are available. This includes attached, freestanding, and connected greenhouses, along with polytunnels, cold frames, and hotbeds. Buy the best greenhouse you can afford to get the maximum yield. Make certain the greenhouse has adequate ventilation and go one size larger than you think will be needed. This allows for expansion in the future. Finally, ensure the selected greenhouse will be appropriate for the selected location on the property.

Essential Information

Once the greenhouse has been chosen, select the cannabis strain, gather the soil, and begin planting. Northern Hemisphere growers ought to sow their seeds in April and move the plants to the greenhouse in May. A propagation light should be used when starting seeds indoors. However, be sure to set the plants outdoors for several hours each day to acclimate them to direct sunlight.

Plants typically spend the months of May and June in the vegetation stage before entering the flowering stage after the summer solstice. As the sunlight begins to decrease each day, the plant recognizes this and begins to flower. It does so to fertilize and produce seeds. Cannabis plants typically flower for eight to 12 weeks, unless you have employed methods to lengthen the growing season.

In areas where there is less sunlight and more rain, autoflowering seeds should be purchased in place of photoperiod ones. These seeds flower after a specific time period rather than doing so when light conditions change. Smaller plants are to be expected, but these seeds produce better due to the climate they are grown in. In fact, a grower might find multiple harvests are possible in one year.

Setting Up a Greenhouse

There are many ways to set up a greenhouse. Each grower needs to determine which layout best meets their unique needs. What works for one might not be ideal for another. The following are some options to consider as you move forward with establishing the greenhouse.

Automated Systems

Consider automating systems within the greenhouse. These systems handle many tasks on behalf of the grower, allowing him or her to focus on those chores that must be done manually. Furthermore, an automated system reduces the risk of human error. For example, an automated watering system ensures that all plants receive the same amount. Before rushing out to buy different automated items, however, be sure to prioritize those which will be of most help to you. The systems can be costly, depending on which items you desire, and you want to make certain you get those that will provide the most benefit to you.


Marijuana  remains in high demand. For this reason, every grower needs to ensure that their crop is protected from those who wish to take it for their own use. Consider using white shading paint to hide the contents of the greenhouse from prying eyes. Additionally, it helps to keep the temperature within the greenhouse down on the hottest days of the year. If only one or two cannabis plants will be grown, hide them easily by growing tomato plants. Conceal marijuana within the tomato plant with the help of green plastic plant mesh. 


Supplemental lighting may be needed in a greenhouse. There are times when certain plants require more light, and a partition should be established to separate these plants from the main crop and provide them with extra illumination. In addition, the growing season can be extended with the help of supplemental lighting.

HID lights are best for marijuana plants. They are only needed when plants don’t receive enough light from the sun. This helps to save on energy costs while providing a bigger harvest which is the goal of most growers.

Start the Growing Season Sooner

When the sun comes out, the interior of the greenhouse becomes much warmer than the outdoor temperature. As a result, cannabis plants can be started earlier in the year. This allows for more time for the vegetation phase, and the plants grow bigger and stronger when they enter the flowering stage. The end result is a bigger harvest.

Take care when growing cannabis early in the season, however, to make certain greenhouse temperatures do not drop drastically at night. Greenhouse heaters can be of help in ensuring this does not happen.

In fact, extending the growing season may mean fewer plants must be used to obtain the same yield. Some growers find they are so successful with only one plant that the plant begins to grow out of the greenhouse. It becomes necessary at this time to tame the plant, which can be done with the help of tying techniques.

When a plant does grow heartily within a greenhouse, it tends to be tall and bushy. Keep this in mind and monitor the plant growth. This helps to prevent issues from arising because of it growing out of control.

Early Flowering

A darkening system can stimulate marijuana plants to flower early. The darkening system dims the interior of the greenhouse until a complete blackout is achieved. This can be done at any time, including on a bright, sunny day in the middle of summer. The system simulates shorter days and longer nights, and this is what encourages the plants to flower early.

While a darkening system can be expensive, it allows you to harvest marijuana much sooner. To be successful, however, the plants must have 12 full hours of sunlight every day followed by 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness. In addition, no light can reach the plants during the 12 hours of darkness. Any light will disrupt the process, even if it is only for a second or two. Keep this in mind and make certain no light makes its way into the greenhouse.

Extend the Growing Season

Grow marijuana later into the year with the help of a greenhouse. Although temperatures start to drop in the fall, the sun remains out for many hours. The greenhouse traps the heat from the sun and keeps the inside of the greenhouse at a good temperature for growing marijuana. As a result, you can grow more cannabis every year.

Final Tips for Greenhouse Growing Success

If choosing to go the route of growing in a greenhouse, remember that new, high-quality soil is required every year. Don’t try to save money by purchasing soil once and reusing it. There are exceptions to this, however. Certain grow mediums used in hydroponic systems can be reused. This isn’t the case with traditional soil.

A clean greenhouse is essential so be sure to keep your greenhouse environment sterilized and tidy. This helps to prevent pests and diseases from overtaking the crop. Additionally, protect the crop with the help of a fence or other barrier to prevent other types of invaders. Certain greenhouses on the market today come with opaque walls, locks, and additional features to keep others from obtaining the crop.

Additionally, measures will need to be taken to reduce the aroma of cannabis plants. When multiple plants are grown in a greenhouse, this smell can be overwhelming. An in-line ozone generator will be of help in keeping the smell to a minimum, so others aren’t aware of what is being grown in the greenhouse.

Keeping these factors under consideration while growing your crops in a greenhouse will improve the quality, yield and success of your marijuana crop and the greenhouse will serve you for many crops to come!

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