Growing Weed in an Apartment: The Do’s and Don’ts
Looking to get into a bit of urban gardening?
If you live in a big city, more than likely you live in an apartment complex.
Just because you do, doesn’t mean you can’t grow some good cannabis, though.
Today, we’ll talk about the ways you can grow weed in an apartment, some tips on apartment growing and the rules you’ll have to work with.
Am I Allowed to Grow in my Apartment?
There’s an increasing chunk of states that have not only legalized cannabis medicinally but also recreationally.
But that’s not all.
A good chunk of these states have also legalized growing your own plants.
But, does that mean we can grow in apartments?
If you own the house, then, of course, there’s no one to answer too.
But, if you have a landlord or live in a big apartment complex, you may be within the laws of your state, but could be in violation of your rental agreement.
Breaking a lease isn’t going to land you in jail or anything, but losing your place to live sucks.
So, before you germinate your seeds and turn on your grow lights, make sure you’re allowed to grow indoors with whoever is in charge of your lease.
Now, you don’t need to tell them you are growing marijuana or anything, but a lot of landlords don’t want indoor growing of any kind.
Water damage caused by the humidity, potential fires caused from the lights and pest infestations are just some of the reasons they don’t even want you growing tomatoes on their property.
Once you get the OK, you’re ready to start building your grow room.
Before we look at the best way to set up a grow room in an apartment let’s take a look at one of the most significant concerns of building in an apartment: The smell.
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Growing Weed in an Apartment: The Smell
Now, even if you’re abiding all of your state and local laws, as well as your rental agreement, you’ll still want to take preventive measures against the smell of a grow room.
Because the number one rule of having a cannabis garden is don’t tell anyone about your cannabis garden.
Smell is the easiest way to give away your garden, and there are easy measures you can take to prevent it from happening.
What you need is an exhaust hooked up to an active carbon filter.
As the odor is pulled through the exhaust fan, the carbon works to eliminate the smell.
You need to make sure your exhaust fan is recycling the air just enough to remove the odor.
If you want to learn about how to set up the ventilation for your grow room, you can read about it here.
Closet vs. Grow Tent vs. Grow Box
If you live in an apartment, you have a few different choices when it comes to where to set up your grow room.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of all your options.
The first one anyone thinks of is their closest.
It’s a nice confined space and will protect your plants from the eyes of unwanted guests.
But there are quite a few disadvantages to using it for your grow room.
First, because it’s going to be much taller than you need for your plants, you’ll have a ton of dead space to account for when setting up the perfect growing environment.
Larger space means you’ll need more airflow and light, plus it’s more difficult to manage the temperature and humidity.
Setting up in your closet will require a bit of work too.
You’ll need to remove your clothes (and find a new place for them), install an exhaust system and a grow light.
All before lining your closet with reflective mylar or foil.
You can grow great cannabis in your closet, but we recommend you go with one of the other options.
The next step up from a closet is going to be a grow tent.
These are inexpensive tents that you can set up in minutes.
The tent is the perfect size to grow in, and it’s easy to figure out the perfect amount of light and airflow needed for your plants.
Taking your grow to a tent also helps prevent the added humidity from causing water damage to your walls (which can potentially cost you your deposit), but also protects your floors from any potential water spills.
One thing I love about grow tents is they also are great at preventing light leaks.
This means that even with the lights in your house turned off you can’t tell you have a bright grow light on 24/7.
You can pick up a good grow tent for around $100, and it will pay for itself with the increase of quality in your first yield.
You can take a look at our guide to the best grow tents here.
Apollo Grow 48″x48″ Grow Tent
- Dampens sound and no light leaks
- 4’x4′ perfect size for up to six plants
- Affordable upgrade over your closet
The best option there is for growing weed in an apartment is using a grow box—also called a grow cabinet.
These are self-contained grow rooms that are perfect for growing cannabis.
Most even come preloaded with everything you need to grow.
The lighting, air ventilation system and even the hydroponic setups are included and you just need to plant the seeds and watch them grow.
If your grow box doesn’t include a hydroponic systems, we have buying guide here on THCoverdose.
If you’re a beginner or looking to grow cannabis passively, then a grow box is a win-win.
It contains the light and smell better than your closet or a tent making it the best for growing in an apartment.
If you want a grow box, check out our reviews of the best grow boxes here.
Growing Weed On Your Apartment Balcony
Now, there is a fourth option when it comes to growing weed in your apartment.
You can grow it on your balcony.
But, I have to strongly recommend that you don’t for a few different reasons.
- First, you can’t control the smell.
- You have to train them like crazy to be able to grow to a decent size while not being noticed by your neighbors.
- Finally, most likely, your balcony isn’t going to provide the type of sunlight your plants need to thrive.
If you do opt to grow outdoors, then you need to look into a growing method such as Screen of Green (SCROG).
With this method, you train your plants to grow flat through chicken wire.
This helps fight against the lack of light your plants will get below their leaves, and provide an even amount of light for your buds.
Plus, it helps you keep your plants hidden under your balcony wall through the length of their life.
Tips for Growing Weed in an Apartment
If everything checks out and you’re allowed to start growing in your apartment, here are a few grow tips that will help keep your grow safe and yields fats.
You need to grow with LEDs if you’re growing in an apartment.
For starters, they will help to keep your electricity bill low, but they also will keep the heat low.
And they aren’t as bright as your traditional HPS lights, making it easier to keep your garden hidden.
Plus, they are quieter than other growing lights.
Make Sure Everything is Airtight
Speaking of keeping your garden hidden, air and light leaks are the easiest way for people to tell you’re growing.
If you can keep where you’re growing airtight, your carbon filter will work to eliminate the smell, and someone could be standing a foot away from your plants and never know that you were growing.
Soundproof the Walls
One thing many new growers don’t think about is the noise their garden will make.
And, if you’ve been living in an apartment for any amount of time, then you know how quickly someone will file a noise complaint on you.
A lot of grow boxes are already soundproofed, but if you’re growing in a tent or your closet, make sure to soundproof the room that it’s in.
Your lights will make noise, your fans will make noise, and if you’re growing hydroponically, then your pumps and the water will make noise too.
Remember, a quiet garden is a hidden garden, and noise complaints are never good for the size of your yield.
So, can you grow weed in an apartment?
Yes, just make sure to see if having an indoor garden violates your lease, and then take the precautions needed to prevent smell and light leaks.
Also, I have to recommend you pick yourself up a grow tent or a grow box.
They’ll help prevent you from damaging your apartment—which can prevent you from getting your deposit back.
Have you grown in an apartment before?
I would love to hear about your experience! Let’s smoke over it in the comments below!
Last update on 2021-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Are you living in an apartment but still want to experience the joy of growing your cannabis? When you don't own the place, you need to be careful. But with these tips, you can safely grow in your apartment.
Growing Weed in an Apartment – Balconies
Spring time has finally come around which usually means good weather, depending on where you live, and growing weed in an apartment on your balcony or roof is a great way for medicinal and recreational consumers to grow their own affordable crop. In this post we’re going to show you one of the best ways to grow cannabis on your balcony, depending on your growing conditions and the needs that you need to meet.
Growing Weed in an Apartment | First Step
1. Controlling Light Schedules
For cannabis plants to properly develop and produce a decent yield, they need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight and an uninterrupted period of darkness – this means you’ll need to have a balcony with no light contamination at night time such as street lamps or the lighting from your own house. This is generally one of the more complicated issues regarding growing weed in an apartment.
If you have a space with more than 4 hours of direct sunlight and you’re sure that there’s no light contamination at night you can grow both feminized seasonal plants, regular plants as well as autoflowering strains.
When your growing area has light contamination at night, you’ll have to grow a non light-dependant autoflowering plant. If not, your plants might not even flower correctly due to having their nocturnal cycle interrupted.
2. Growing Weed Discreetly
When growing on a balcony or roof space, one of the most important points is discretion, as your neighbors might not be as in favor of your new hobby as you are, and some of them might even want to take tour plants. Plus, the aroma can be quite a give away for the authorities. In order to avoid any of these scenarios we recommend following these steps:
- Cover your growing area along the perimeter, and along the top if growing on the roof, using green shading mesh or bamboo meshing. You can also use plants or fake plants as decorations to cover your plants.
- Choose a strain that doesn’t grow too tall and flowers fast that produce earthy, incensed aromas. Avoid long-flowering plants that produce sweet, fruity aromas, which can be quite the give away.
- Grow different types of aromatic plants in order to cover up the smell of cannabis, such as mint, rosemary, thyme, and many other types of herbs. Some of these plants also come in handy when it comes to repelling insects and can also be used by people for cooking and other beneficial activities.
- Prune and train your plants in order to control their size in order to suit your needs, especially when growing seasonal plants. You can check out this post in which we explain the different type of pruning when it comes to cannabis plants.
3. The Right Sized Flowerpot
Choosing the right flowerpot is incredibly important; there’s a difference between autoflowering pots and pots for normal plants, for example.
Autoflowering pots tend to be 18L or 20L at the most, although the size of your pot is going to depend on the amount of space in which you’re going to be growing; if you don’t have much space and/or want discreet plants, we recommend using 7 or 11L flowerpots.
Flowerpots for seasonal plants
For normal light-dependant cannabis plants, you’ll need to chose your flowerpot size based on your available space and when you plan on planting them. If you have enough space to grow large plants from the start of the season, we recommend transplanting more than once, with the last transplant towards mid/end of July. If you don’t have much space, we recommend growing from June onwards and transplanting to 18L at most towards the start of July.
If you’re experienced with pruning and training, you can use larger flowerpots, especially when planting normal seasonal plants.
4. Type of Flowerpots
The type of flowerpot you’re going to use is something you’ll also need to keep in mind. There are various different types, such as black and white flowerpots, as well as fabric pots and auto-pruning pots for the roots. These are generally the most used pots when growing cannabis.
White plastic pots are the best at keeping your plants’ substrate from heating up, which is why they’re a better choice than white flowerpots. Balcony growers generally use white plastic flowerpots.
Fabric flowerpots are a great choice; they don’t heat up much and allow your roots to air much more, which increases root growth, which in turn means large yields. However you’ll need to water more frequently, and feed them more often too. You can also transplant straight into the ground while in the flowerpots or into larger pots without needing to remove your fabric pot.
Root pruning pots come in various different sizes, although the white ones are probably best for cannabis. They allow for air flow through the roots and keep them growing at a constant pace, although not as intensely as fabric pots.
5. Protecting Roots from Heat
As we were saying, choosing the right flowerpot is incredibly important if you don’t want your plants’ root system to end up heating up too much and dying off. We recommend keeping your flowerpots off the ground if at all possible using bricks or any other material that’s going to be cooler than the floor.
You’ll also want to try and avoid the sun directly hitting your flowerpots if they’re dark in color; you can use cardboard, rocks or anything else that you can put around the flowerpot to keep it shaded.
When Should you Start Growing Weed in an Apartment?
Outdoor growing season starts as soon as spring arrives, although depending on where you live it may or may not be possible to start growing, this depends on the temperature and how hot the sun is. Regardless of this factor, we recommend growing various autoflowering plants (normal or XL) combined with a few seasonal plants that are either fast, early versions or normal flowering plants.
In general, you can start growing cannabis on your balcony towards the end of March, although we’re going to go through the various different stages right now to make it clearer.
If the weather is right for it, you can grow you first set of plants at the end of March, taking plenty of care to keep an eye on how cold it gets and if it rains or is too windy. We recommend starting with autoflowering plants, as there are an enormous amount of different auto strains out there that can produce over 200g, and reach up to 300g in some cases. In order to do so, you’ll need plenty of sunlight and growing space as well as an intense feeding schedule. Autoflowering strains take a total of 70 to 90 days to fully mature.
Around the first half of may, if you have enough space to grow in, we recommend starting your second round of autoflowering plants. If you don’t have enough space, you’ll need to hold off and if you weren’t able to germinate earlier due to bad weather, now is the time to do it. Around this date,your first round should be about 4 weeks old, and once the new round is about a month old you’ll be able to harvest and plant again.
This is the first two weeks of June and this is when you’ll need to plant your seasonal strains if you’ve chosen to do so. Make sure to grow them discreetly, and make sure you have no light contamination at night.
The first two weeks of July is when you should germinate and plant your third and last round of autoflowering plants, around 4 weeks before harvesting the second round. If you started the second stage in May, the fourth stage becomes the second and last round of autoflowering plants.
This stage is for growers lucky enough to have a decent climate at the start of September; you can plant autoflowering plants and harvest towards the end of November, if your climate allows.
Growing Weed in an Apartment | Feeding and Prevention
Feeding plants grown on a balcony isn’t any different than a normal grow indoors or outdoors. You’ll need to keep in mind that your flowerpot is going to heat up a bit more in the sun, reaching temperatures over 40°C which can double on the inside. We highly recommend using enzymes and root stimulants, as well as beneficial fungi and bacteria.
Preventing Pests and Fungi
It’s just as easy for plants on a balcony or roof to get insect and rot infestations as it is for plants grown indoors and outdoors if the growing conditions aren’t ideal. You’ll need to take certain measures to increase your plants’ natural defences when it comes to bad weather and insect infestations.
Spring time has arrived, and outdoor crop season is officially here! Read on to find out some of the best tips and advice on growing weed in an apartment!