How to grow Cannabis - The Basics

Posted by Jean Rossouw on


Currently in South Africa it is legal to cultivate and use cannabis in your own home. Thousands of people are asking questions around the topic of “How do I grow Cannabis?”. Good news, it is quite simple to do so on an entry level…

A very important thing to remember is that since marijuana is a flowering plant, it only bears it's "fruit" once a year. In nature this happens during the Autumn season when there are fewer "light hours" during the day.

Cannabis flower

This is an important part for those wanting to grow cannabis indoors, as the plant lighting will have to be very carefully controlled. To keep the plant from flowering it has to remain exposed to light for a period of 12 hours or more each day.

One is able to harvest whenever you want, but a plant that flowers while it is still young will prove to have very little bud to harvest. It is therefore in the interest of the grower to only harvest when the plant has matured to a state where one can confidently let it flower and reap the rewards of all the effort that was put into growing.

Typically, to grow a healthy specimen, a young seedling or cutting should be allowed to grow for 5-6 weeks before flowering is triggered. While the plant is being grown, it should be kept in sunlight for a minimum of 16 hours per day. It is recommended to extend this to anything between 18 and 20 hours per day. For those wanting to grow inside their own homes, it is a must to use a lamp or other lights to provide additional lighting to keep the plant within an appropriate photoperiod.

COB LED 50W light and grow tent

Of all the things you will need, the most expensive will be the procurement of adequate lighting. Luckily though, one is able to obtain lower quality lighting that will do the job too. To grow a single plant at home one has multiple options available. At Green Leaf, we offer energy efficient, low cost LED lighting options. Our COB LED 50W packs enough power to last more than 50 000 hours, and is the perfect light for beginner growers. Just plug it in and place your plants underneath it, simple as that!

Our other lighting option, the Samsung Quantum board LED offers a perfectly diffused full spectrum light for a large area. It is probably one of the best lights on the market when it comes to light spectrum and coverage. Therefore, I must say that this is an amazing light. My plants love it!


An important thing to remember is that the less intense the light, the less the plant will develop. Fluorescent lights can only be used to supplement plants that receive great amounts of natural sunlight during the day.


Cannabis Buds

Once your plant has grown to be a fine specimen, you will want to induce the flowering state. To do so one simply needs to even out the light cycle so the plant receives 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark every day. Within the flowering cycle and during the 12 hours of light, the plant will need as strong as possible light to provide as much energy as possible so the plant can flower as much as possible.

When the plant is in the dark cycle ( not receiving any light ), it is crucial that absolutely no light enters the plant space. Any small light beams can disrupt the plant’s flowering and confuse the plant, forcing her to hermaphrodite (creating seeded flowers) or severely weaken yield and quality. For this reason, it is important to check the quality of your grow tent or grow room, to see if there's any light leakage. 

Careful attention to growing and light cycles might be the most important aspects of growing a healthy cannabis plant, but there is a lot more one can do to increase other aspects of the flowers it produces.

Make sure to use a pot that has proper draining holes, alternatively use a grow bag which is way more beneficial for the root system. Again, check out our products section for Grow Bags and order yours today! Having a plant soak in stale water will affect the PH level of the plant. Stagnant water also attracts all kinds of bugs and mould.

When choosing soil, a bag of organic potting soil will suffice. Peat-, coco-, or sphagnum-based mediums are great choices. Make sure to pick an "airy" soil that will allow air to penetrate to the root area. Roots take in oxygen, while the plant above ground breathes in CO2.

Some soils come already infused with nutrients. This will affect how much additional nutrients you give your plant. A good rule of thumb is to always go as organic as possible. Stay away from salt based synthetics or other artificial nutrients as much as you can.

Horticulture is an act of patience and caring. Be sure to have as much fun as possible. Happy growing :)

Please contact us for any recommendations or tips for your growing space. Our team has years of experience in the field of horticulture.

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