Growing marijuana is a task that is both fun as well as tedious. People prefer to grow their own weed because of various reasons. Some people like to grow their weed themselves because they find it cheaper when compared to buying from the dispensary or even the streets. Then there are people who want to grow their own weed because they find it safer because they know that there’s nothing harmful going in the soil or water while they grow their own plants. Finally, there are people who grow their own weed just because they find the process of growing plants therapeutic. No matter which of these categories you fall into, we know that secretly all of you want to grow smaller plants!
In this article, we answer the question of – how to grow small weed plants in small spaces. This is of prime importance to indoor growers, and personal scale growers. This is because people who tend to grow their weed outdoors do not usually have a space restriction, especially if they are doing it on an industrial scale. There are just hectares of land available to them and their plants can grow as tall as they wish for. When it comes to growing your weed indoors, however, there’s always a dearth of space. There’s only so much height that your room or your grow tent can offer.
What do you do in such a case? How do you make sure that your plant does not grow beyond a certain height? Thankfully there are a number of gardening tips and tricks that you can make use of when it comes to ensuring that your plant’s height remains small. Over the course of this article, we shall provide you with all these tips and tricks that you can use while you grow your own plants. Do note that it is always best suited to allow your plants to grow to their natural length, because that is when you get the most yield per square foot ratio. However, if you are really short on space these are some tricks you might want to use.
Before we head into how to grow small weed plants in small spaces, we shall also be taking a closer and detailed look at what is the normal height that a weed plant can grow to. Let us first begin by understanding what the average height is for a marijuana plant:
Marijuana Height: How Tall Do Weed Plants Generally Grow?
Ask any grower out there and they will tell you the one common problem that they tend to face – the plants grow too tall, especially in the blooming phase. When you start off with a tiny seed you have no way of gauging how tall your plant is going to be. You may have an approximate idea but you’ll never know! This is just like a human being – when you are a baby, there is absolutely no way to tell if you are going to be 4’10” or 7’3”. In some cases, you might be even shorter or even taller! Genetics plays a very important part in determining the height and the same is the case with plants.
Marijuana plants of different genetic strains tend to grow to different heights. There are some plants which constantly remain at a medium height and don’t grow too tall. Then there are others which begin slow but then pick up pace as soon as the flowering begins and can grow almost twice their height during the bloom phase. Plants reach about half their height in the vegetative phase and the other half in the blooming phase. The more the height, the more space there is for new branches to pop out, leading to more flowers and more yield for you.
People who are looking for high yielding plants would generally avoid reducing the height of their plants. However, people who are looking for saving out on the space would certainly like to reduce the height, not because they don’t want it, but mostly because they don’t have the infrastructure. Genetics are the biggest reason behind a plant’s height.
Coming to the question at hand – what is the average height that a marijuana plant can grow to, the answer would depend upon the strain. Largely speaking, a regular (non-auto-flowering) Sativa plant can grow to 10 to 12 feet in height under natural conditions. This is the one that most people actually worry about. Indica plants, on the other hand, usually grow up to 6-7 ft at their tallest and are generally under that. These can be easily controlled and even if they attain full height, they usually don’t cause much of a problem in a grow room.
What Determines The Height of a Plant?
There are a number of factors that determine how tall your plant is going to be. Let us take a closer look at them point by point:
- Genetics – The genetic makeup of your plant is very important. If the plant that you are growing is one which comes from two-parent plants which are both very tall, you might end up with a plant that is also very tall. In the case of one tall and one short plant, the dominating strain will show its effect. Generally speaking, Indica plants are considered to be shorter and stockier in comparison to the sativa plants which are way taller. This is why when you buy marijuana seeds from a good seed bank, always make sure you are checking out their genetic makeup to know how tall your seeds are going to grow.
- Nutrients – the kind of nutrients that you provide your plants are also directly responsible for the height of the plant. There are some booster nutrients and plant food doses which result in the plant suddenly booming in height and thereby increasing the yield. You might want to limit these booster nutrients if you are looking forward towards having plants that are smaller in size. However, take care that you don’t end up underfeeding the plant.
- Temperature and Humidity – Temperature and humidity play a big role in how tall your plant is going to grow. When the temperatures are higher and the humidity is very low or very high, you are likely to get bigger plants because this basically causes ‘stress’ which results in your plants getting elongated. Keeping the temperatures cool and humidity moderate are two great ways in which you can ensure that your plants are staying safe.
- Training by the Grower – You also need to make sure that your plants have been trained well – either via low-stress or high-stress training methods. These training methods involve topping, fimming and using Screen of Green (SCROG) methods.
How to Grow Small Weed Plants in Small Spaces?
The biggest question about growing small plants in small spaces is – how do you do it! When it comes to growing smaller plants, these are some tips and tricks that you can make use of:
- Choose Your Seeds Wisely
When you are buying your seeds from a seed bank, try asking the sellers (or look up the plant description for the details) about how tall the plants are expected to grow. If you already know that you do not want to grow taller plants, try and get seeds which will result in shorter plants! Planning this ahead of time is a great practice. The sellers can tell you (based on the plant strain and genetics) as to how tall the plants that emerge from the seeds are likely to grow, so choose wisely!
- Get Indica Plants
We have already established that the average height of the Indica plants is lesser than that of sativa plants. Keeping this in mind you might just want to grow indica over Sativa strains. However, this is a matter of personal preference and not every grower might want to grow indica plants because the kind of high you get from them is different. Nonetheless, this is one way to know for sure that you will be getting plants that are smaller in size.
- Provide Nutrients Slowly
Another thing that you might want to consider is to reduce the plant’s intake of some booster nutrients which result in a sudden and rapid growth of the plants. This is doubly true during the flowering stages of the plant’s life cycle when booster nutrients generally trend to help the plants get more buds by having them grow taller and have more branches.
- Provide the Right Humidity and Temperature
Now we come to one of the most important points here. Having the right temperature and humidity are very important for growing plants of the right size. Keeping the temperatures from being too high or humidity from being either too high or too low would keep the plants from growing too tall. As explained above too, when these factors are too high or too low, the plants start getting stressed and as a result, begin to stretch out and grow taller.
- Intensity of Light
Keeping the light closer to the plants is also a good way to keep the plants from growing too tall. Plants usually tend to grow in the direction of sunlight and as a result, they are always stretching to get more and more light. However, if the source of the light is kept as close as possible to the plants (especially if it is something such as an LED light which operates at cool temperatures), it could actually be beneficial for the growers and prevent the plants from stretching too much.
- Low-Stress Training
The process of low-stress training basically involves your plants being bent in an angle that the height is reduced. This begins when your plant reaches a height of 6” and is carried on till almost the flowering phase. If done right, this process can help you reduce the height of your plant by up to as much as 2 feet by gently bending it. The top of the plant keeps moving towards the pot. Once you have reached an optimum height you can also use a light string to tie down the plants. One thing that you must keep in mind while doing this is that you will have to apply minimal and gentle pressure so that the stems do not snap or break.
- Pre-Flower Topping
Topping your plant is another great way of ensuring that you are reducing its height. Topping is something that can be achieved once your plants reach about 12 to 18 inches of height. You also need to see if there are at least three levels of branches/nodes and only then you can start off the process of topping. The idea is to identify the central and top-most shoot and cut it off. By cutting it off, you will basically ensure that multiple branches spawn off from there and the vertical growth is being reduced. However, this has to be done slowly and gently and it can’t be done frequently because the plants need quite a bit of time to heal and recover from the topping process.
The third major way in which you can reduce the height of your weed plants is via fimming. Fimming is the process in which you would follow things almost in the same way as you would in topping, but instead of cutting off the top part of the shoot, you would cut it down at the halfway mark. Fimming makes sure that the lower portions of your plants have a denser growth, and it also ensures that the stress on the plants is lower than what it would be if you were to use topping. Everything else remains the same between the process of fimming and topping its just the location of the cut that makes the difference here.
Pros and Cons of Growing Small Weed Plants
Now that you know everything about keeping your plants small in height, let us take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of growing small weed plants:
- Plants become easier to manage
- Leaves and buds on the bottom portions benefit the most because of a direct access to light
- Ensures that the plants fit in the grow tents and the grow rooms
- Plants consume lesser resources
- The concentration of THC/CBD improves if there are lesser leaves/buds
- Yield per square foot reduces
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Plants and Their Height
Here are the answers to some common and frequently asked questions about growing weed and the height that these plants can reach up to.
1. What is the optimal height for a marijuana plant?
There is no singular ‘optimal’ height. If you are growing outdoors in a farm you might want to allow the plant to attain its natural and full height which is an optimal height for the plant. However, if you are an indoor grower you might have a different understanding of the concept of ‘optimal’ height for your plants which might be somewhere around 6ft or whatever fits your tent/room well.
2. Which are better suited for small size – Sativa or Indica strains?
When it comes to growing smaller plants, it is generally the Indica strain which has smaller plants. However, even these plants can grow about 6ft in height. But when you compare them with Sativa plants, which are generally an even taller variety of plants that can grow twice that height, the indica plants are generally considered more manageable and more indoor-friendly.
3. Are auto-flowering plants as good as regular plants?
Yes, auto-flowering plants are as good as regular plants – but there are a few caveats. These plants are often low-yielding compared to their regular strain, and in some cases auto-flowering plants would carry a lesser THC/CBD content than compared to the regular plants. However, this difference is actually quite small and insignificant – and one which doesn’t really prevent most growers from growing these kind of plants. Autoflowering plants are great for newbie growers because they don’t really need to adjust the lighting conditions to trigger the flowering and they grow faster as well as shorter.
4. Can training damage my plants?
The process of training is a double-edged sword. If done right, it is great for your plants and will help you maintain and sustain them well and ensure that they remain of the right height. However, a small mistake there and you might end up causing some sort of a permanent damage (or at least one that might take a long time to heal). You need to be extremely careful when chopping off parts of your plant.
5. Can temperature impact height?
Yes, the temperature of your grow room does have an impact on the height of your marijuana plants. If you are growing in a place which has a hot temperature, you might end up with taller plants, especially if you also have a poor airflow. This causes plants to stretch due to the stress and increases their height. Keeping the room temperatures low and ensuring a proper airflow will always be beneficial for ensuring a regular height.
We hope that by this point in the article you know everything that there is to know about how to keep the size of your weed plants contained so that you can grow them in small spaces. Plants growing tall can cause quite a bit of a problem, especially for those growers who are growing them indoors in grow rooms or in grow tents. Plants need to be allowed to grow to their normal size and scale – but only when it is suitable for the grower. Keeping your plants smaller helps maintain your privacy as well as increases your convenience. If there are any more questions that you have when it comes to keeping your plants small in size, feel free to mail us or let us know in the comments below and we shall get back to you really soon!
..Happy Growing! 🙂