As cannabis prohibition continues to be reversed around the world, more and more of us are allowed to grow cannabis at home legally. However, even when growing in a legal country or state, stealth is often an important part of growing.
Whether you want to avoid bothering your housemates or condo neighbors with the smell of your plants, or you want to protect them from potential cannabis thieves, the following tips can help you keep your grow secret.
Keep Plants Hidden
If you’re growing outdoors, it can be a little trickier.
Of course you should make sure your plants aren’t visible from the street, but you should consider other angles too: make sure your neighbors can’t see from their yards or from any second-floor windows.
Second floor balconies and out-of-the-way corners of your yard are often good spots to place your plants. If you can afford the initial investment, semi-transparent greenhouses are a great option.
They’ll keep your plants hidden, you can install air filters to keep the smell contained, and you can even install motion sensors and alarms if you want to be absolutely sure no thieves can get to your plants.
Whether you just don’t have a great hidden spot for your plants or you want some extra security, you may want to camouflage your cannabis. There are a few ways you can do this.
- Use green mesh around your plants. This is common with all kinds of plants as a method of keeping birds and other pests away from your plants, so you won’t have to worry about it looking out of place. It’ll make your plants harder to see, and will also function as intended by helping keep birds off your plants.
- Grow other large plants in between and around your cannabis plants to partially hide them from view and make them harder to identify.
Tomatoes and Pride of Madeira are both great choices for camouflage plants – especially Pride of Madeira, which happens to look a lot like flowering cannabis.
- Consider growing plants that can help camouflage the smell of your plants in addition to the sight. Pungent herbs and flowers can both help mask the distinctive smell of cannabis.
- Grow companion plants. Some companion plants may not be the absolute best in terms of visual or olfactory camouflage, but any plants growing around your cannabis will still help, and many companion plants will benefit your cannabis in other ways. For example, chamomile will repel harmful insects while attracting beneficial ones, and garlic is a natural fungicide.
Keep Plants as Small as Necessary
If your best secretive spot isn’t big – say, a balcony with a waist-high privacy wall around the edge – you may want to grow autoflowering strains, or strains that don’t grow extremely tall.
You can also use low-stress training or topping to keep the plants short so that they don’t peek over the wall and get spotted.
Sights, Smells, and Sounds
If you aren’t discreet about what you’re doing, nosy neighbors may catch on. If you go in and out of your house with pots, bags of nutrients and soil, et cetera, anyone watching may become suspicious, and this is especially true if cannabis is the only plant you grow.
Don’t give your neighbors anything to wonder about! Some other things you should beware of are:
- Lights. Grow lights often have a distinctive color, and they’re always quite bright. If anyone out on the street can see bright purple light shining out of one of your windows, they’ll immediately know that you’re growing.
Use blackout shades or a curtain to block the light.
- Smell. This is a big one. If you’re growing outdoors, your only real option is to camouflage the smell with other smells.
Any herb or flower with a strong smell could help!
If you’re growing indoors, you’ll definitely want to use an airtight grow box with a good-quality carbon filter on the air outtake. With those two things, smell shouldn’t be an issue!
Cannabis is well known for its strong, distinctive smell, but not all strains smell the same, and some don’t smell as strongly as others. Some comparatively low-smell strains are Northern Lights, Papaya, Ice, Blue Mystic, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison.
- Noise. Between your grow lights and your ventilation system, your grow could end up making a fair amount of noise. Make sure your extraction fan hangs freely and doesn’t vibrate against anything.
You may also want to invest in sound-proof ducting, and a grow box with good insulation. If you live in a condo or an apartment, make sure you don’t set your grow box up against any shared walls.
Keep it a Secret
Keep your cannabis grow a secret – as in, don’t tell anyone! Your friends may not be thieves, but if you can’t keep your own secret, there’s a chance your friends won’t either.
If word spreads to the wrong person, there’s always the chance that a less upstanding friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend could try to make off with your plants.
Don’t Sell Your Cannabis
On top of the fact that it’s generally illegal to sell cannabis you have grown for personal consumption, it won’t help with secrecy.
If you’re selling, obviously anyone you sell to knows, and they may tell others… and if you end up with friends or acquaintances just “dropping by” to pick up some buds, your neighbors are bound to catch on.
When it comes to growing cannabis secretly, there are three main rules: don’t smell, don’t sell, and don’t tell.
Beyond that, make sure your cannabis is hidden from view, both from the street and from any neighbor’s windows.
Keep your fans and lights quiet, and keep the windows in your grow room covered.
And, if you’re growing outside, think about camouflaging your cannabis with other plants. Happy growing!
This guide will answer many questions about growing cannabis, like the following...
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