Growing Your Own Plants Indoors


Growing Your Own Plants Indoors

If you’re reading this, that means you’re ready to start growing your own veggies, fruit, and flowers, and that's huge! Once you get the hang of growing indoors you'll hardly ever need to purchase your own produce ever again.

But with great power comes great responsibility, though. so before we get started take a breath because we're diving deep into plant growing.

By deep we mean deep. Mediums, nutrients, temperatures, pest control, lighting schedules and much more. Think you're up for it?

Trust us, you're more than capable of growing your own flowers and produce. All you need is a little guidance and you're on your way to becoming the grower you always knew you could be, getting big yields in no time.

"Are you sure I can grow plants indoors?"

Of course, and then some! This guide is best for flowering and fruiting crops, and thankfully that covers the vast majority of plants. From orange trees to carrots to roses, most plants we know and love are grown generally in the same way. While the techniques and tips in our guide are the perfect roadmap to your dream harvest, some plants may require environmental conditions outside of what's outlined here.

So if you need to know everything you need to know about growing flowering and fruiting plants, how to harvest them, and how to keep stock all year long, this is the guide's your key to unlocking big time yields.

Ready? Let's get started!


Table of Contents




There's more to preparation than just clearing a space in your home or apartment to set up a grow room or grow tent. Much more.

From figuring out what kind of grow lights you're going to use to finding the right plant for your setup, prepping each grow is vital to your garden's success.

Throughout this Preparation section, we'll show you what you need to figure out what sort of plants you'd like to grow, where to grow them, and what you need to do to prep your garden to start growing.


Choosing Your Plant

Choosing Your Cannabis Strain

Choosing the plant you want to grow is the first thing you should think of before starting. As you've heard- and will probably hear a lot in this guide- all plants are different and will require different growing environments.

For example, ornamental flowers like roses need slightly higher temperatures than fruiting plants like orange trees do. They also require different humidity levels to survive, so keep in mind that different types of plants will require their own growing environments, nutrition, and training methods to give you the yield you're after.

That's why we suggest doing research on the exact plant you're interested in and choosing the one that'll be best for you and your growing conditions. 

Not sure what to look for? No problem. Here are some key aspects you should think of when looking for the best strain for your grow:

  • Overall size of the full-grown plant- Like we mentioned above, the overall size of a strain is important to know for two reasons:Tomato plants in a grow tent.
    • Garden size- If you know the full-grown size of the strain you want to grow you'll get an idea of how big of an area you'll need to use. Size can also tell how many plants you can grow in that area, and we all know size=yield.
    • Lighting- It's important to know how big your plant will be so you can figure out how strong your lights need to be. Too strong of a light and your plants will fry, too weak of a light and your plant won't grow. Depending on plant size and count you'll be able to calculate how many lights you need and how to position them in your grow.
  • Average yieldsYou'll want to get an idea of the yield your strain usually gives off in terms of quality, quantity, and size. A few questions you'll want to ask when strain hunting are:
    • Will the harvest consist of big or small produce? The bigger the flower, fruit, or veggie, the more nutrition and lighting your plants need. Make sure you know what you're going to harvest so you can give your plants all the time and nutrition they need (not to mention getting big the right size containers to cure and store them in).
    • How much should you expect to yield? We all know that yield is largely based on how well you care of a plant, but there's also a realistic expectation you should keep in mind when growing. If you're expecting huge yields out of plants that don't traditionally put out big yields you might be disappointed. Make sure you get the strain that gives you a yield you want.
  • Long day plant vs Short day plants- Short day plants (SDP's) require a good amount of darkness and short periods of light. Long day plants (LDP's) want long periods of light and short periods of darkness. This is important to understand because each plant type needs their own specific feeding, lighting, and environmental requirements and they usually don't mix well with one another (we'll get in to that subject in a bit).
  • Flowering times- This one is vital. Nearly all plants eventually flower, but what that means and when it happens tells you a lot about your plants.
    • Ornamental flowers have a limited time their pedals will stay at their most colorful before they die off.
    • The pedals on a fruiting plant's flowers will eventually shrivel and die as fruit swells. This flowering period lets you know your fruit will start to take shape.
    • In the case of lettuce, by the time it bears flowers it won't be of much use to you. When vegetables flower the parts of the plant we use- like the stalks, roots, and leaves- it's usually a sign that the rest of the plant might not be as useful as hoped.
    • No matter what plant you're growing, it's important to understand how long it will take to flower, whether or not you want it to flower, and in the case of fruiting plants, how long from the time a flowering it will be until fruit appears. This will have an impact on how much light and energy you use, as well as the amount of nutrition and the types of nutrition you give your plants.

Choosing genetics isn't only about the species of plant you get. It also involves what state you receive those genetics in, and there are two main ways to start plant life: seeds and clones.

  1. Seeds- When you start your garden the old fashion seed-in-the-ground way, you open up your future grow to a lot of benefits:
    • Seeds are perfect for first time growers- We feel it brings your closer to your plants and makes you a better grower once you know how it's done naturally.
    • Seeds are the source of all genetics- Whether you want to create your own strain or you want to hone in on the traits of a particular strain, you'll need to breed your plants. While seeds aren't 100% necessary to start growing, they are vital in breeding and enhancing strains.
    • Growing from seeds can often lead to more resilient plants- Keep in mind that a clone's job is to grow an entire plant from one leaf/clipping. Clones start off from a place of restoration, which can be taxing for the wrong clipping. Starting from a seed and keeping them well maintained usually results in stronger plants than clones.
  2. Clones- Clones will get you up and running quickly. That's why you usually see growers opt for clones over seeds, because while seeds might give you a stronger plant, seeds can't tell you the sex of the plant until it's too late. That's not all:
    • With clones there's no need to pop seeds and possibly waste them. For example, if you pop seeds wrong and they don't grow or you get a plant you weren't looking for (we can't tell you how many growers needed female plants and grew males instead).
      Clones are already on their way toward a full grown plant and are identical to the plant it's cloned from, so you'll know the sex is what you need it to be ever time.
    • Clones are perfect for growers who would like a quick turn-around. Popping seeds and then growing seedlings can be tricky, and while raising clones can also be tricky, rooting clones can be done pretty quickly. Hands down, if you want to grow right away consider finding or taking clones.


Choosing Your Grow Tent/Grow Room/Green House

Using a Grow Tent

Once you've figured out the type of plant you're looking to grow and how you want to start your garden, the next thing you'll want to look in to is where you're going to house your plants.

Are you going to buy a grow tent? Want to build a green house? Do you want to plant straight in the ground outside, or do you want to convert a room in your home or apartment?

These are the questions you'll want to think about when getting all of the pots, seeds, or clones to get started.

But before you get down to figuring out what sort of housing you want for your plants, you'll first want to figure out the canopy (the area of plants you're going to light) of your grow. To do that, there's a two-step approach:

  1. How much space do you want to allocate for your grow room- To know how big your garden can be, you have to know the grow space's limitations. Before you buy your clones or a bag of seeds, measure out the area you want to use to grow your plants to get an idea of how many plants you can hold in that space
  2. How many plants can you grow in that space- As a good rule of thumb, if you're not sure how big your buckets are going to be in that growing space, give your plants 2-4 sq.ft. per plant in that space you just measured. Divide that number by 2, 3, or 4 to figure out how many full-grown plants can live comfortably. The minimum is 1 sq.ft. per plant, so you may need to grab some buckets and measure it out yourself.

After you've measured out your space and have an idea of what it'll take to grow your garden, let's talk about how you're going to house them. At GrowAce we believe there's essentially three types of ways you can house your plants:

  1. Grow Tents- Probably the most common among indoors growers, grow tents are increasingly convenient way of growing and housing your plants. Whether you need a place in your garage, somewhere in your room, or you need a tent the size of a whole room, you can likely find the tent you need to grow most any plant you can think of.

    • Tents come in a wide range of styles and sizes for any grower and nearly any plant.
    • With a tent there's no need to drill/mount hanging hooks or vents for lights and fans.
    • In tents you have superior control over grow environment than in most other setups.
  2. Grow Room- No matter if it's a closet, your bedroom, a garage, or a room in your house or apartment, there's no doubt that utilizing your own space can be more convenient than buying a tent. You can get fresh air in quicker and circulate it naturally throughout your garden.
    • In a grow room there's no need to purchase a whole new tent, just equipment like reflective material and some fans to convert your room (which can be cheaper than a tent depending on the canopy you plan to grow)
    • Grow rooms utilize the space you already have, including windows (ventilation) and power outlets so again, there's not too much to purchase to convert a room in to the grow of your dreams
    • Bonus: in the right setting, you can utilize light from the sun to supplement light when lights are out or dying
  3. Greenhouse- When growing inside just won't happen but you don't have tons of room outside either, think about building or buying a greenhouse. In a greenhouse you get all of the benefits of growing outdoors (temp, abundance of light) with the added benefit of indoor growing (supplemental lighting and ventilation)

    • In a greenhouse you tend to save money on lighting by utilizing the sun’s light, which is actually one of the most optimum light sources available
    • In the event you need extra lighting you only need T5's or lower powered HID's to hold you over until the sun comes back out (though you can always use LED or high powered HID's, too)
    • There's also plant training techniques like Light Dep that help you get bigger plants in greenhouses
    • Because they're already partially acclimated to outdoor environments, you have the potential to take greenhouse-grown plants out of the green house and plant them directly outside without lots of training like you would bringing indoor plants outside


Choosing Your Medium (Soil/Hydro/Coco)

Grow Room Medium

Once you have an idea of the strain you want to grow and where you want to grow it, now comes the stage of preparation that's probably the most important part: choosing the medium you want to grow in.

Your medium will determine how many nutrients you use, what type of nutrients you'll use, how you feed your plants, and how challenging correcting issues will be.

There are three popular grow mediums to choose from with their own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure you make the right decision before growing those plants:

Soil is the perfect all-purpose medium. Most soil doesn't need much supplemental nutrition because it's already loaded with nutrients. Heck, if you mix up your own super soil you can even eliminate around 90% of supplemental nutrition and just use water for the majority of a plant's life.

  • Pro's
    • Great for beginners, lots of buffer room in terms of feedings and readings.
    • Retains nutrients the best of all mediums (Needs little nutrients when you start, and all you do is add a little when your plants need them).
    • Recommended Skill Level: Novice, Advanced, Professional.
  • Con's
    • Plants generally take longer to grow in soil.
    • Nutrient issues may not show up right away, and when they do it can be difficult to quickly fix (plants can get so sick in soil they’re beyond repair).
    • Unlike hydro where roots will hang down in bucket, soil roots go all over the place and if you don’t have enough room for those roots you’ll get root bound plants, and those are never good.

Hydroponics is an all-water soil-less way of growing medium. It's a lot less messy than dirt, and if you run in to nutrient problems they're much easier and faster to fix than soil problems. Hydroponic grown plants even take less time than soil plants to harvest.

  • Pro's
    • Nutrients are absorbed much faster than in soil.
    • Hydro is usually faster growing than soil or coco.
    • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Professional.
  • Con's
    • There's no buffer when growing with hydro like there is with soil- one wrong step and your plants are going to feel it.
    • Nutrient issues may be easier to fix than in soil, but you're likely to get more nutrient spikes with hydro than in soil.
    • Because of moisture collection at the root level, basins and water sources need to be constantly checked and cleaned to prevent mold, fungus, and root rot.

Coco is the perfect middle ground between hydroponic and soil mediums. Though there's no nutritional value to coco like with soil the nutrition it receives tends to be held in longer than hydroponic applications. That means you won't have to run such a heavy flow of water like you would in hydro, yet you can assure your plants are getting nutrition from the very beginning instead of trusting soil has enough to carry you through to flowering

  • Pro's
    • Retains nutrients much better than hydro but doesn’t hold on to them too long like soil can.
    • These generally take a little longer than hydro to grow, but tend to grow a little faster than soil.
    • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Professional.
  • Con's
    • Nutrient issues can be tricky to resolve due to the semi-retainable medium.
    • Not a ton of buffer when working with coco.
    • If you don’t break down or mix coco properly you can spike the pH levels of your plants and harm them.


Choosing Your Grow Lights

Choosing the Right Grow Light

We're almost done with the vitals of what you need to get started! Take a breath, we're almost ready to start growing.

After this step, all you have to do is grab some tools, nutrients, fill those buckets, and get going. But before we get to the easy stuff we have to figure out one last thing: what sort of light you're going to use to grow your plants.

Your light's one of the last things that are going to determine how much you'll be able to yield, how challenging it will be, and how much energy you're going to consume growing your plants.

As with most things in the grow room, all types of light you can use have their pro's and con's in the garden. Some add tons of heat to your grow, others don't give you enough power, and some even have too much power without adding a degree of temperature to your grow room's environment. Be sure to look at the benefits and challenges with each light before growing your plants under them:

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights: HPS (High Pressure Sodium), Metal Halide (MH), Double Ended (DE) HPS/MH, Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) Grow Lights

  • HID's offer the closest light to the spectrum of the sun (HPS and MH bulbs).
  • These give you the intense light necessary to grow big, healthy plants with huge yields from start to finish (especially when trained properly).
  • Wide range of reflectors and wattages to suit any grower’s needs, so there's bound to be an HID for any application you need.
  • Manufacturers like Yield Lab Grow Lights can grow anything under the sun: flowers, fruit, veggies, herbs, spices- anything.
  • Wattage Recommendations:
    • Standard grow lights (regular HPS/MH) are your run-of-the-mill lights.
      • 400w Grow Lights offer good coverage for 1-3 plants in a 2x4ft or 3x3ft area.
      • 600w Grow Lights are strong enough for 3-4 plants in a 4x4ft or 5x5ft area.
      • 1000w Grow Lights are the strongest of all standard grow lights and can grow around 5-6 plants in a 6x6ft area.
    • Double ended grow lights are much more intense than standard single ended bulbs because of the dual base connections they offer, firing from two connections instead of a single connection at the base of the bulb.
      • 600w's