Growing indoors requires various types of equipment, depending on your space requirements, location, and desired harvest. And if you’re a first-time grower, it can seem intimidating trying to figure out everything that you’ll need while understanding all of the various types of equipment available for growers. So, we’ve put together a list of 30+ pieces of the most popular indoor grow equipment.
Here are the most common types of equipment and supplies used to grow weed, and what exactly they do.
Lighting is a huge part of growing weed. If you don’t have enough light, or if you’re using it inefficiently, you won’t maximize your harvest. Light fuels growth, and growth is what you want.
There are hundreds of lights out there that advertise themselves as grow lights. The most important part of choosing your light is making sure that it will shine enough light over the square footage over your grow space.
LED lights are usually the coolest and most energy-efficient lights when you compare brightness levels. These lights usually cost a little more upfront, but make up for it by running for upwards of 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced. They are also the simplest to run.
Compact Fluorescent Lights are the curly bulbs you see in many homes. These are great for growing seedlings and clones until they’re ready for bigger lights. The biggest problem with CFLs is that they aren’t very bright. They stay cool and are relatively energy-efficient, so they aren’t a bad choice if you’re growing one or two small plants.
High-Intensity Discharge lights are traditional grow lights. HPS and metal halide lamps are both considered HID lights. These lights are certainly very bright, with HPS lights being used to light stadiums. However, they also get very hot very quickly, and they are not particularly energy-efficient. Many HID lights have a lower initial price, but they need to get replaced more frequently than other lights.
PAR is a measurement of how much usable light your plants are receiving. It stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation. In general, your seedlings need between 200-400 PAR, vegetative stage plants need 400-600 PAR, and flowering plants need 600-900 PAR. A PAR meter helps you figure out exactly how much light your plants are getting. A good PAR meter will help you get the most out of your plants without burning them.
Indoor cannabis grows often line the walls of the room or tent with some kind of material that reflects light well. This sends some light back at the plants that would otherwise get absorbed by the walls. “Reflective” does not mean you want mirrors on your walls. Mirrors are actually relatively inefficient at diffusing light effectively. Instead, use mylar, panda plastic, flat white latex paint, or purpose-built grow tents.
Light Safety Glasses
The lights in your grow room are going to be very bright. It’s easy to damage your vision by accidentally looking at a light that’s pretending to be the sun. Many people use light safety glasses to avoid eye damage.
Sometimes, people don’t want to entirely renovate a room or closet in order to grow weed inside. That’s where grow tents come in. A grow tent is a self-contained environment for you to keep your cannabis plants in. These tents are usually produced to be air-tight except for intake and exhaust vents, reflective interior walls, and supports for lights. A good grow tent can make your indoor cannabis grow much easier.
These tents come in a variety of sizes. You can get a small one the size of a table, or a big one the size of a room. No matter how much space you have, there’s a grow tent for you.
Micro Grow Boxes
Very small grow tents are sometimes called micro grow boxes. These are very small grow boxes that usually come with lights and other equipment included. They’re designed for people who have very limited space.
Keeping your environment under control will keep your grow on the right track. Ideally, you’ll keep your grow within certain parameters. Plants prefer to stay within a certain temperature range and a certain humidity range. A solid environmental control system will allow you to control heat, humidity, air movement, and even CO2 levels in your grow room.
Cannabis plants prefer temperatures between 68 and 78 degrees, on average. However, many non-LED grow lights can significantly heat a room. If you are struggling to keep heat down, an air conditioner unit can keep your plants happy. Window air conditioner units will blow cool air into the room while venting hot air outside. They will also reduce humidity, so a good air conditioner might be a helpful addition to a struggling grow.
Marijuana has a strong smell. Many people don’t like that smell, including neighbors who can and will complain. If you’re trying to keep your cannabis grow under wraps, a carbon filter is invaluable. You place your carbon filter inline with your ventilation system, most importantly at the exhaust vent. You can also place a carbon filter at your intake vent, in order to prevent any scent escaping.
Once you have your lights figured out, your limiting factor is the ambient CO2 in your room. If you’re really trying to bump your growth, you can increase the amount of CO2 in your room. The easiest way to add CO2 to your grow room in a regulated fashion is a CO2 tank kit. This includes a CO2 meter, a valve, and a pressure regulator. Low tech options include adding dry ice to your room or using a propane-burning CO2 meter.
Your cannabis grow benefits from keeping temperatures under control. The simplest way to do that is by venting hot air out of the grow tent or room. Many people achieve this by connecting ductwork from the exhaust vent on their lights to the tent’s exhaust vent. Flexible tube ducting is the easiest to use in small spaces.
In general, it’s more likely for a grow to be to humid than not humid enough. Depending on your climate, both are possible, though. Low humidity leads to nutrient burn and plants drying out. You can use a standard humidifier that is rated for your room size. If your humidity is regularly below 40%, you may need to use a humidifier. If you want to try something low-tech, you can also try leaving trays of water under the grow lights.
If your humidity is above 55% regularly, then consider getting a dehumidifier. Too much water in the air leads to mold and mildew, which can quickly ruin a crop. Remove sources of standing water if any exist in your room, and add a standard dehumidifier rated for your square footage.
A hygrometer measures the ambient humidity. Many humidifiers and dehumidifiers have built-in hygrometers. You can also get them separately, with simple digital displays. Hygrometers are the easiest way to keep track of the humidity in your grow tent.
In order to get proper airflow through your grow, fans are invaluable. Many fans are designed to be placed in connection with your ventilation system. These fans help push hot air out to the exhaust vent and pull clean air in. You can also include oscillating fans on the edge of your grow to keep air moving through your plants to prevent pests.
Bug problems plague plenty of harvests When you can’t get rid of pest bugs in other ways, insect foggers are useful. These machines blow insecticide through your grow room and kill the bugs. Just make sure your chosen insecticide won’t harm you or stick to your plants.
Ozone is a molecule made of three oxygen atoms. It kills mold, mildew, and bacteria. On the other hand, it’s also bad for cannabis and humans. Ozone generators are machines that work to create just enough ozone to sterilize your grow room without hurting you or your plants. The biggest risk of an ozone generator is a cough or aggravated asthma while the ozone is present. Many consider the cleanliness of their grow worth risking a coughing fit.
Timers have many uses in an indoor grow. Most growers plug their lights into timers to keep the light cycle regular. Others use timers to run fans, ventilation, and hydroponic pumps. If you have something you want to automate, a timer will help.
Just make sure that your timer is heavy-duty enough to handle the wattage you’re attaching to it. Many lights will use more than their designated wattage to turn on, so always make sure your timer can handle at least 20% more watts than you plug into it.
If you’re using a hydroponic system, you’re storing water somewhere. If you’ve put fertilizer in your water, it needs to be aerated. Water without enough oxygen can lead to the fertilizer losing effectiveness. You can get air pumps designed for hydroponics, or for a smaller grow you can look for aquarium air stones.
In order to clone a plant, you need to encourage your cuttings to grow roots. Cloning gel is a simple, plant-safe gel that’s full of rooting hormone. Applying some cloning gel to the base of your cuttings will encourage them to root quickly, and that gets you to your next vegetative phase sooner.
The best way to keep track of problems and how things are going during your grow is by using a grow journal. People use grow journals to track heights, dates of trimmings, fertilization, signs of problems, and more. If it affects your grow, you can and should write it down.
To fertilize your cannabis in a hydroponic grow, you need to have a place to store water. Hydroponic reservoirs are critical for successful hydroponic growing. You can use rain barrels or barrels designed specifically for hydroponic grows.
When you’re harvesting cannabis, you should be looking at your trichomes. These are the small hairs on your plant where more cannabinoids are found. A jeweler’s microscope will help you figure out what your trichomes are doing.
Nutrient supplements feed your plants. When your plants are in the vegetative phase, they need a ratio of 3-1-1 nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium. In the flowering phase, they need 1-1-3 N-P-K. You can get cannabis-specific nutrients, or look for something more general or aimed at tomatoes.
pH Testing Kits
Your growth medium’s pH can cause many problems if it’s out of whack. Using a pH testing kit helps you track whether you’re having nutrient problems or pH issues. The ideal pH for your growth medium is between 6 and 6.5, or slightly acidic. This helps your plant absorb nutrients efficiently.
Cannabis can grow in many mediums, but you need something to put it in. You can find pots made from a variety of materials. Plastic pots are light and effective at retaining moisture, but they can lead to root rot. Ceramic pots allow for moisture to evaporate, but they’re heavier and can over-dry your plants. Finally, fabric pots help aerate your plants’ roots and drain well, but they can degrade over time.
Propagation kits are mini-greenhouses than help bring your plants from seedlings to the vegetative phase. Most of them are plastic trays with lids and cells with a growth medium.
ScrOG stands for Screen Of Green, one of the most effective training methods. In order to grow a Screen Of Green room, you need to have a screen over your plants. These screens helps you spread your plants out into an even canopy. They are most often metal or wood lattice with multiple supports. ScrOG kits provide you with screens of the correct size that you can easily raise or lower to suit your grow room.
The simplest way to water your plants is by hand. A watering can is essential for any indoor cannabis grow. Look for a watering pot that spreads out the water. A single spout can disturb your plants’ roots, so spread out the water with a wide spout with multiple holes.
A good pair of plant shears is necessary for almost every growth phase. Ideally, you should have multiple pairs of various sizes that you keep sharp. You should have one large, heavy-duty pair of shears for topping plants and cutting them down at harvest. You should also have a smaller pair of trimmers for removing small stems and removing guard leaves from your buds after harvest.
Drying and Curing Equipment
After the harvest, you need to make sure you finish the process. Drying and curing weed will help mellow any harshness and preserve it for long-term storage. Curing weed properly takes some equipment.
Once your plants are harvested, it’s time to dry your bud. There are multiple ways to do this. The most old-school method is to use a clothesline and pins to hang each plant up across a room. However, this takes a lot of space that you might not have.
The other option is to use a drying rack. There are two primary kinds. The first type is a vertical, round, hanging set of mesh shelves. There are anywhere from six to a dozen shelves on which you can leave your bud to dry without blocking airflow. The second option is a rectangular hanging rack with clips pre-attached. This condenses your weed horizontally, instead of vertically.
Airtight Glass Jars
Once your weed is dried, it’s technically smokable. However, curing it will make it smoother, tastier, and easier to store. Remove anything extra from your buds, and then place them loosely in airtight glass jars. Once a day for two weeks, “burp” the jars to release excess moisture and allow new oxygen in. This will keep your nugs from getting brittle or moldy during the curing process.
Jars should be glass to prevent trichomes from being lost to the plastic. They should also be airtight, because keeping the humidity stable is a key part of the curing process. Mason jars are often used to cure weed.
The best way to keep track of your harvests is a weed scale. Some plants produce dense nugs, while others produce popcorn buds. Weighing your buds will help you understand how your grow actually went. You can track what plants are usually more successful. You can compare buds from plants that you’ve trained or left to grow on their own. Just remember to write down your results to track trends from harvest to harvest.
Bubble Bags and Bubble Magic Machine
Hash is a perennial favorite form of cannabis. Bubble hash is a modern style of hash, produced with trimmed leaves. Making bubble hash involves using pressure, ice, and cold water to extract the cannabinoids. You also need a series of bubble bags, which are canvas mesh bags of different fineness.
To make bubble hash, put your cannabis trimmings in the bucket lined with bubble bags, add cold water and ice, then stir for twenty minutes. Let the mixture sit, and half an hour later you can remove the water, trimmings, and then the bubble bags. You’ll find the hash on the bags.
A Bubble Magic machine does the hard work for you. Instead of having to stir cold water for ages, the machine takes care of it. It’s similar to a drum washing machine, stirring the mixture automatically.
Growing marijuana can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be. Even if you decide to not use any equipment at all, you should understand what’s out there. Otherwise, how would you know what you’re missing? Knowledge and the right lights and tools will help you maximize your cannabis crop.