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Tips for Growing Cannabis at Home

With Spring right around the corner, it's just about time to start thinking about getting your garden started! We want to give your clone the best possible chance to survive and thrive. Here are our best tips and tricks to optimize your garden this year whichever way you choose to grow.

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General Grow Techniques

The first step is to prepare the medium you are planting the clone into. Some mediums may require soaking, conditioning, or some other form of preparation. Check with your local hydroponics shop for specific information about the medium you've chosen.


Next, fill your pots with the prepared medium. Fill to 1 inch from the top of the pot and gently tamp soil by pressing it down with your hand. This helps ensure that air pockets do not develop; these can dry out your roots and will negatively affect plant health. After tamping, you should have 1 ½ to 2 inches of space between the lip of the pot and the medium. This space is important so that you do not overflow the pot while watering.


Pro Tip: Some growers reduce “transplant shock” to their clones by soaking them in a vitamin and hormone solution such as Super Thrive. Super Thrive and similar products contain vitamins and hormones that are reported to minimize stress on growing plants. Prepare a batch by mixing one gallon of water with ¼ teaspoon of concentrate. Soak clones for 15 minutes before transplanting.

The size of your container will determine the health and growth rate of your clone. Controlling the container size will aid in keeping your plant properly watered, as well as determine how big your plant will get by harvest.


Depending on the size of the clone, begin with a small 4" or 1 gallon pot; as the plant grows you can gradually step up the size to a three-gallon container, then into a 5 gallon, and finally either transplant her into the ground or into your final container which can be as large as 20 gallons depending on the desired final size and available space. 

Root growth is important for young plants to establish quickly. To promote the fastest root growth, do not overwater your clone. Roots need to stretch for water.


You can test the water content of your container by poking your finger into one of the bottom drain holes. If there is moisture, wait until it is almost dry before watering again. Water only until a small drip starts to come out of the bottom, and then stop. 

Much like your tomato garden at home, feeding clones nutrients is an optional growing step. Cannabis will grow with no added nutrients under the proper conditions, however, you will generally get a better quality harvest if you use the proper nutrients on the right schedule.

If the clone is transplanted into fully balanced soil, feeding will not be necessary for 3-4 weeks. This time frame applies to each stage of transplant along the way. Once the clone has reached its final container size, it will require a feed approximately every third watering.  

The best nutrients vary depending on your desired outcome and growing location. Your local hydroponics shop will have specified advice on which nutrients will work best for your specific needs, as well as pre-mixed nutrient solutions, pH testing tools, and more resources to help you get started.

Growing Indoors

Our clones are kept under 24-hour artificial light to keep them in a vegetative state while they wait to be purchased. If the intended growth environment is indoors, it is important to use proper horticulture lighting to achieve results.


As previously stated, clones are kept under a 24hr light cycle at Airfield, however, this is typically under a very low-powered LED light. This means if you were to expose your clone to a harsh HPS grow light, the harshness of the light would likely put your clone into shock and kill it. For the first 4-7 days, avoid HPS lights and direct sunlight. Then gradually ween the clone into the desired lighting by starting with 1 hour and increasing the amount of direct light by one hour until it can stay under HPS for a full lighting cycle.


Cannabis clones require 18 hours or more (up to 20 hours) of light each day in order to grow as big as possible. This is called the vegetative state where they accomplish a majority of their growth. Once you bring your clone home, it is recommended that you keep it under normal lights (like a desk lamp or low powered LED light) and gradually reduce the amount of light your plant receives by approximately one hour per day until you've reached your desired daily light cycle. Altering the light cycle (such as adjusting from 24 hours to 18 in one day) will create stress on the plant and undesirable growth including (but not limited to) seeds, fluffy/airy bud structure, or potentially the death of your clone. 


When you feel your plant is ready to produce, switch the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness. Using a lighting timer will help keep the plants on a consistent schedule. 

The best mediums vary depending on your desired outcome and growing location. Your local hydroponics shop will have specified advice on which mediums will work best for your specific needs as well as a wide variety of resources to help you get started.

Cannabis clones will generally arrive with a healthy stem, however, if they are not constantly stimulated the fibers in the stem will weaken and be unable to support the plant as it grows. This can happen as soon as 3 days after purchase.


It is recommended to have a small, low-powered fan in the room that you've decided to grow your clone. Clones that will be kept indoors should have just enough wind to move the leaves. This small amount of wind is enough to gently move the fibers of the stem adding resistance and allowing the stem the stimulation to grow faster and more sturdy to support new branches and leaves. Too much wind will give the clone windburn and can shock the clone, in some cases kill it.

There are a few factors to consider when deciding how much space to allocate for an indoor grow. The first of these is the ceiling height of the room. Cannabis plants can grow to be relatively tall depending on the strain type, so it is important to set up in a room with a ceiling 6ft tall or higher. If your ceiling is shorter than this, you can always grow a shorter variety of plants such as an Indica as opposed to a Sativa.


The next factor to consider when choosing an area is also related to space. You'll need plenty of room for fans, lights, and eventually the final transplant pot, so, it is imperative that you take your growing plant and everything it needs into consideration.

As a cannabis plant grows, it is developing cannabinoids and terpenoids that will definitely give off cannabis smells, especially as it gets closer to flowering. If you are concerned about the smell of a growing cannabis plant as it matures, you can look into air filtration systems and grow tents to mitigate this.

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Growing Outdoors

Our clones are kept indoors under 24-hour artificial light to keep them in a vegetative state while they wait to be purchased. If the intended growth environment is outdoors, it is important to gradually adjust your clone to the natural sunlight to achieve the best results.


Cannabis clones require 18 hours or more (up to 20 hours) of light each day in order to grow as big as possible. This is called the vegetative state where they accomplish a majority of their growth. Once you bring your clone home, it is recommended that you gradually reduce the amount of light your plant receives by approximately one hour per day until you've reached your desired daily light cycle. Altering the light cycle (such as adjusting from 24 hours to 18 in one day) will create stress on the plant and undesirable growth including (but not limited to) seeds, fluffy/airy bud structure, or potentially the death of your clone. 


To ween your clone off artificial light and adapt your clone to natural sunlight, begin with an hour or so of morning sun and increase the time by about half an hour each day over the course of a couple of weeks. This process is called "hardening off". Do not put your plant in full sun during peak hours during this hardening off period, this can lead to burns and stress on the plant. You can supplement with artificial light for the first couple of weeks to continue growth and get into a normal light cycle.  


When you feel your plant has been properly adjusted to natural sunlight, it can be moved outside full time. Be mindful that it should be getting at least 18 hours of light per day, any less will raise the potential of the plant becoming stressed or flowering prematurely. 

The best mediums vary depending on your desired outcome and growing location. Your local hydroponics shop will have specified advice on which mediums will work best for your specific needs as well as a wide variety of resources to help you get started.

Outdoor clones should be placed in a spot that has just enough wind to move the leaves. This small amount of wind is enough to gently move the fibers of the stem adding resistance and allowing the stem the stimulation to grow faster and stronger in order to support new growth. 

There are a few factors to consider when deciding how much space to allocate for an outdoor grow. The first of these is your climate. Sustained temperatures above 85°F will cause your plants to stop growing, while continued temperatures below 55°F can cause damage and stunting to plants, even death.


The next factor to consider is the amount of available sunlight. Cannabis plants require at least 18 hours of light per day to keep them from flowering prematurely, a majority of this should be direct sunlight. We recommend that you choose a spot where your plant(s) receive all of the direct morning and midday sunlight when the quality of the light is best. As the afternoon sun can be harsher than other times of the day, placing your plant in a spot where it receives indirect afternoon sun can prevent burns on the leaves of the plant and death. 


Another factor to consider is wind. Having a constant breeze is good for your plants, especially in hot climates. If you live in an area known for high winds, consider placing them near a windbreak of sorts like a wall, fence, or shrubbery.

As a cannabis plant grows, it is developing cannabinoids and terpenoids that will definitely give off cannabis smells, especially as it gets closer to flowering. Growing cannabis outside limits your ability to mitigate this odor through air-filtration systems or fans, consider placing them in a strategic location that reduces the chances of the odor encroaching on any neighboring properties.

Have a question we didn't answer here? Ask our e-budtenders! 

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