How to Grow Cannabis in a Small Space

Whether you want to grow some cannabis on the down-low or you just don’t have a lot of room, it’s completely possible to grow a healthy cannabis plant in a space as small as a mini-fridge.

Of course your plant can’t become huge in a space that small, but with some love and attention you can still get a significant yield come harvest time – up to around 45 grams, if you do everything right!

Here’s what you need to know to grow cannabis when you don’t have a lot of space.

Choose the Perfect Strain

When it comes to picking a strain to grow in a small space, there are other factors to consider besides your personal preference.

If your grow space is short and wide, you might want to go with an Indica, but if you have a tall, narrow space a Sativa strain will be a better fit – literally. You’ll also need to choose whether to go with a photoperiod strain or an autoflowering strain.

If you go with an autoflowering strain, you may have fewer strains to choose from but the growing process will be much simpler – you won’t have to adjust the lights, worry about replicating a day/night cycle, or decide when to start your plant flowering.

You’ll also get to harvest more quickly!

Pot Size

indoor tent scrog

You can set up a hydro system in a small space, but it’s complicated. Soil will be easier, but what size pot should you use?

If you start with a pot that’s too small, your plants will become rootbound and their health will suffer.

Start with a pot that’s too large, and your plant may outgrow your space.

You shouldn’t use anything smaller than a 3 gallon pot, but of course you can use a larger one if you have room. Fabric pots are a great choice for two reasons:

  • Air can permeate the fabric, which allows the roots to absorb more oxygen.
  • The tips of roots that reach the fabric and begin to poke through will dry out and stop growing. This is known as “air pruning,” and it will prevent your plant from becoming rootbound.

The Grow Space

Cannabis plants can grow happily in a small room, but that doesn’t mean you should just stick some plants and lights in your closet and call it a day.

It might work, but having a miniature grow room will make it much easier for you to keep the plants’ environment clean and control the climate to keep your plants healthy and maximize your yield.

Five feet should be enough height for any plant, but if you don’t have that much vertical space you can train your plants to grow shorter.

You can build a DIY enclosure like a space bucket to save money, or you can invest in something pre-made.

Many of the pre-made enclosures you’ll find are tents, which are ideal as it allows you to collapse your enclosure and store it after you harvest your plants – obviously a bonus, since space is a concern here!

Climate Control

  • Light. Since you’ll be growing your plants inside a very small space, you’ll definitely want to go with LED lights.

LEDs can get really hot, and they’ll burn your plants if they get too close, but HPS and HPL lights are both a lot hotter and less suitable for the small space.

In a tall, narrow enclosure, you may also want to consider placing the light on one of the walls rather than on the ceiling of your enclosure to maximize the light’s penetration through the plant’s canopy.

Wherever you place it, make sure you use a good quality light and make sure to leave some air space above (or behind) the light.

  • Water. There’s less space to move around your plant when it’s in a small enclosure, so make sure that when you water it you don’t splash any water up onto the leaves and buds – doing so can promote mold growth.
  • Ventilation. Your plants won’t thrive without fresh air, so make sure you have an air intake fan to bring in fresh air as well as an outtake fan to clear out old, stagnant air. Even one cannabis plant can give off a potent smell, so if that’s a concern you’ll want to include a carbon filter in your setup.
maturing buds
  • Temperature. Cannabis likes to be kept at 20-30? during their vegetative phase, so depending on where you live you may need to buy a small heater or A/C unit.

Keeping a heater inside your grow enclosure could be a fire hazard, so the simplest and safest way to control the temperature in the enclosure is to control the temperature of the surrounding room. For this reason, it’s best not to set up your enclosure in an uninsulated room like a garage unless you have to.

Training Your Plants

Since you don’t have a lot of room to work with, you need to make the most of it. You can encourage your plants to grow to fit the space with any of these training methods:

  • Topping. Topping is simply cutting off the tip of your cannabis plant. This will cause it to grow new branches to replace any you cut off, which will cause the plant to grow wider rather than taller – so, if your grow room is narrow but tall, you’ll want to skip this particular technique.
Scrog indoor tent
  • Screen of Green (ScrOG). This technique involves placing a mesh over your plants and gently weaving the branches through it, spacing them out to create a wide, flat green canopy – hence the name.

This forces the plant to grow out horizontally instead of vertically, and keeps all the buds spread out so that they all get as much light as possible.

  • Low-Stress Training (LST). Low-stress training means using bits of string to pull taller branches down to the level of the shorter ones to try and keep the plant growing compactly.
  • Defoliation. Put simply, defoliation means carefully trimming off fan leaves that are shading buds that need more light.

Cannabis can grow and thrive in all kinds of places, small ones included.

If you want your plant to be as healthy as possible and have a high yield (and of course you do!) you’ll need to choose the right strain for your space and set up an enclosure where you’ll be able to ensure that the conditions are ideal for growing cannabis.

Beyond that, your plant will only need what all plants need – some care and attention. Happy growing!

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