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DIY: Cheap Indoor Grow Setup | Low Budget Grow Room

Last Updated: December 06, 2022By Joshua Mezher

Contrary to popular belief, setting up an indoor cannabis grow at home is super easy. This straightforward step-by-step guide will explain how to grow marijuana indoors inexpensively and hassle-free. The beauty of the cannabis plant is that you don’t need to be a seasoned grower to have your own healthy harvest at home. Want to grow it indoors? Amazing! It’s called weed for a reason, and we want every grower to grow a weed plant as though it were any other houseplant. Cannabis is an excellent plant to share your home space and a great companion plant that heals the body while calming the busy mind. In addition, cannabis expresses such a variety of smells and displays, so many different shades of the rainbow, that everyone will quickly fall in love with it. We also asked a wide range of marijuana growers what most interested them when they were considering growing their Marijuana.

why grow weed survey results 

Whether you plan on growing indoors with a marijuana closet grow, single plant grow box, grow tent, a budget grow room or a more prominent indoor weed growing setup in a spare room with all the bells and whistles, you are here because you want it to be a reasonably cheap cannabis grow room setup & you are probably wondering if its easy. Making it affordable is key because weed-growing equipment can get pricey. Please make sure you follow factory specifications and our suggestions of what you need for your cannabis grow room setup to flourish. However, keep in mind that the costs associated with keeping a cannabis indoor grow setup running long-term are challenging to stay cheap when considering energy consumption.

 small indoor cannabis plant and grow kit

What You Need to Grow Weed Indoors On a Budget

Whether a first-time or a seasoned grower, you will need a few core elements for any size of cannabis crop. These suggestions are for regular soil marijuana plant crops, not hydroponics. Hydroponics can be fairly expensive to maintain, so if you're looking to set up a relatively cheap grow room, we suggest using the soil method.

Budget Cannabis Growing Essentials:

Those are the bare bones of growing weed cheap! We offer most of these in our online shop. Several other accessories can help produce the best marijuana yield possible and aid with clean-up, including a watering can, spray bottle, and pest prevention. This can be an expensive toolkit to put together on your own. You can check out our complete grow kits at a Pot for Pot to save money as a new grower. We have everything you need to grow cannabis, and you won’t have to take care of shipping costs from multiple websites.

Grow Room Requirements

When setting up your marijuana grow room, you need to follow a few grow room requirements. These are essential for any grower wanting to produce healthy flowering of cannabis buds.

Grow Setup Must Be Lightproof

Designating the amount of light and darkness your marijuana plants receive is very important for an indoor grow room or grow tent. Making your grow room lightproof ensures that your marijuana plant can get the right amount of light depending on the stage of her lifecycle. (Hint: she needs more light and less darkness during the vegetative stage.)

You need your grow room to be lightproof because as your marijuana plant matures, you’ll have to adjust the amount of light and darkness it receives. Only a light cycle of 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light will trigger a photoperiod cannabis plant into the flowering stage. If your grow room isn’t lightproof, this can disrupt the plant's growth cycle. Light leaks during the plant's dark time can confuse the plant and mess up her hormones.

That being said, we recommend growing auto-flowering marijuana plants. While they are still light-dependent, they do not need a specific light schedule to transition to the flowering stage. Auto-flowering cannabis is the best option for a stress-free cheap indoor grow room and is recommended whether you're a first-time grower or a seasoned vet.

👉Related: 10 Best Grow Lights for Growing Weed Indoors

Your Grow Room Needs an Air Management System

An indoor marijuana grow room setup or grow tent setup needs a good ventilation system to control the heat from the grow lamps and the stench of the plants. Grow lights give off a fair amount of heat that can damage your marijuana plants if it isn’t ventilated. And as your marijuana plants grow and begin flowering, they can smell quite strong, which can be an offensive odor to neighbors or houseguests. 

Several solutions can do this, but one of the easiest ways is to install an air extractor, or exhaust fan, with a carbon filter. An air extractor can absorb the heat and smell without expelling it outside. The carbon filter prevents unwanted marijuana odors from polluting the air and attracting undesirable attention from neighbors.

You’ll also need to find a way to provide more air to your marijuana plants. Most indoor pot growing setups have 250 ppm of carbon dioxide, but marijuana plants will absorb this quickly, especially if your cheap indoor grow setup is small. You’ll need a way to get more air to your plants without letting in light. This can be done by installing an intake fan to bring fresh air to your marijuana plants. You’ll also need an oscillating fan to circulate the air throughout the grow room for even air and humidity distribution. Hot air can stress your plants.

Another critical reason to have proper ventilation is to prevent mold from developing on marijuana plants. The exhalation process of a marijuana plant is called transpiration, where water loss happens through the plant's stoma. Because of this, the flow of fresh air is essential in your indoor grow setup. Temperature and humidity are also critical to monitor so your marijuana plant has a healthy lifecycle.

Several fans are available on the market, but the brand we recommend is AC Infinity. Their fans can provide precise air movement. The EC Motor uses electronic pulses to obtain ten speeds, from gentle breezes for cannabis seedlings to a powerful airflow for flowering. They are also compatible with smart controllers so that you can adjust the speed from the comfort of your living room. With each component sealed to IP-44 specifications, peak performance can be maintained even in harsh environments with high humidity and temperatures.

Space Requirements for a Healthy Cannabis Harvest

As any new or seasoned grower would speculate, marijuana plants (like any plant) start small and can grow quite large, depending on the strain of marijuana you are growing. On average, you will want to allocate 1.5-2 square feet per marijuana plant in your indoor grow setup. This space can vary depending on the size of the marijuana plant and the size of the pot it is growing in, but you will want at least the radius of the pot between weed plants. Ideally, you want enough space so that the canopy of the marijuana plant can spread without touching its neighbor's leaves. Not having enough room to grow can stunt your marijuana plants and decrease your harvest's yield.

It may seem advantageous to cram as many plants as you can into your indoor grow setup, but the opposite is true. When a single cannabis plant has space to develop a canopy, she will produce more than a few plants that are competing for space.

Reflective Walls Can Benefit Your Plants

One more thing to optimize your cheap marijuana grow setup is to have reflective walls. Reflective walls amplify the lamp’s light to help increase the plant’s yield. White or metallic walls will reflect more than black walls. A grow tent is an excellent solution for creating an optimal growing environment, but you can also line your walls with tin foil or other reflective material. While a grow tent can be easier to build, it can also be limiting as there usually isn't as much space for your marijuana plant's height to grow or air room for ventilation.

You can create your own cheap indoor grow setup using DIY materials or a grow tent. Once your room is ready, you’ll need the right equipment to give your plants the best chance of developing a strong crop.

Consider a Waterproof Floor for Indoor Grow Setup

Your plants will need water; eventually, water will leak onto the floor. To protect your floors, you’ll want to ensure that the marijuana plants have over-waterproof flooring. This can be tile, plastic, cement, or rubber. 

Another reason you’ll want waterproof flooring in your room setup is if you need to create humidity for your developing plants. In environments with extreme low humidity, adding a humidifier or spraying the floor with water can help increase the humidity levels in your indoor grow setup. Extra humidity also creates moisture that will damage your flooring if it isn’t waterproof.

If waterproofing floors seems like a major hassle, skip it and ensure you have saucers under your plant pots. If you take this route, check the saucers regularly for water overflow. 

 indoor weed growing kit with cannabis plant in fabric pot

Grow Room Equipment for Cheap

When equipping your indoor grow setup for cannabis, you can do it bare bones or increase your crop's yield with measurement and control tools. Either option will work, but the more you invest, the better quality your weed plants will be. If you are planning on selling your product, a small investment in your grow setup can make a huge difference in your crop's yield and ultimately earn a lot more revenue than the cost of investing. Here are some grow light options for a healthy cannabis harvest:

Indoor Grow Lights for Cannabis Plants

Whether building a basic indoor grow setup or an upgraded room, you need high-quality lighting for healthy plant growth. Cheap grow lights may seem like a good idea but this is the one piece of equipment that paying more actually helps with producing your homegrown cheap weed. Consider your grow light a long term investment. You’ll want to invest real money on the best lamp bulb for your budget when outfitting your small indoor grow setup. There are three types of lamps that work best indoors for growing marijuana: 

  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs): Fluorescent lights are great during the vegetative phase because they emit little heat and are very energy efficient. Unfortunately, CFLs don’t cover the full UV spectrum, so they aren’t the best lights during the flowering phase. A cheaper option, you can expect to grow about an ounce of pot for every 100 watts.

  • High-Pressure Sodium Lights (HPS): HPS lights produce the full UV spectrum for all growing phases. These are the most powerful lights which can boost your crop growth. A big con to HPS lights is that they aren’t efficient and can increase your energy bill significantly. They also produce a fair amount of heat that will need a management system, or the heat can damage the plants. A HPS bulb can produce about three ounces of marijuana for every 100 watts.

  • Light-Emitting Diode Lights (LED): LED lights can produce the correct light spectrum for all growth phases and are very energy efficient. LED grow lights can be more expensive upfront but can save money over time. Another con to LEDs is that they aren’t as powerful as other options, but they also produce very little heat which also helps with utility bills. A LED grow light can produce about two ounces of marijuana for every 100 watts.

Depending on how many cannabis plants you are growing, you may want to weigh which lamp will be the best option. CFLs will be your cheapest option but won’t produce as much yield as HPS lights. LED lights are quickly becoming the top choice of professional and hobbyist cannabis growers.

The Importance of Grow Lights for Cannabis Cultivation

The more light you have, the bigger your harvest's yield.  Think of it as the engine; the bigger it is, the faster you can go.  While lighting for cannabis is a highly debated subject, our team at a Pot for Pot believes that the best form of light for your marijuana plants is the sun.  First and foremost, it is a free, giant fireball in the sky! Not to mention it is a true full-spectrum light source that the plant evolved to grow under. Plants grown under sunlight have stronger immune systems and more vigorous growth. 

A sunny window with 4 hours of direct sun will grow a couple of baggies of weed indoors. You will send your cannabis crop's yields through the roof with full sun all day. But having too much weed has never been a problem for most growers.  If you live in a house with very little direct sunlight, you can always supplement with a natural spectrum COB LED grow light. These lights are affordable, have low energy costs, and emit a natural spectrum of light that can proudly sit over your cannabis plant in the corner of your living room.

👉Related: How To Grow Cannabis Using LED Grow Lights

 

 frosty cannabis bud next to superb soil

Ensure You're Working With Good Cannabis Soil

The better the soil and the more light you have, the better your marijuana plants will grow.  We tailored our home grow box to include everything you need to go from seed to harvesting your own organic cannabis flowers at a price that won’t leave you stressing over the thing that’s supposed to relax you. To make it easy, we blend over 18 ingredients into our Superb Soil to provide all the nutrients needed to go from seed or clone into a beautiful budding marijuana plant. Nothing beats the smell and taste of a naturally soil-grown cannabis harvest.

Also included is premium beneficial bacteria that work in symbiosis with your cannabis plant's roots to break the soil down and maximize your plant's nutrient uptake. It may seem simple, but a healthy environment makes all the difference.

Pest Control is Important to Maintain Healthy Crops

Anyone that has gardened before knows that pest problems can inevitably arise. It doesn't have to be expensive to manage them, though. There are several ways to prevent pest issues. Growing weed indoors (as opposed to outdoors) will make your cannabis plants less susceptible to pests invading your crop as it's a more controlled environment.  The first step is ensuring that your cannabis grow space is properly sealed. The best way to prevent pests and diseases is to maintain ideal environmental conditions, like proper ventilation and air circulation.

Before introducing a new cannabis plant into your grow space, you may want to quarantine it in a grow tent or have the grow room sectioned off to ensure it doesn't bring in any new critters with diseases and invade your cannabis harvest. If you find any pests on a cannabis plant, quarantine them immediately. It's also vital to ensure you sterilize hand tools and instruments before bringing them from the grow tent to the grow room to prevent cross-contamination. Thoroughly cleaning your indoor grow area between the cannabis harvests and removing dead or decaying plant matter throughout the grow will also help prevent pests and molds. Additionally, checking your clothing for pests and contamination before entering and exiting the indoor grow setup will help with pest and disease management. 

Finally, neem oil is a natural preventative deterrent and is included in a Pot for Pot's grow kits.

Other Equipment that Can Boost Your Yield

Aside from great soil and lighting, here are a few more tools that can enhance your cannabis plant’s growth:

  • Reflector: Directs light on the ceiling and walls back toward your cannabis plants.

  • Ballast: Controls the energy used by your lamp to reduce energy costs.

  • Time Switch: Automatically manage your grow light schedule by turning the lamps on and off based on the cycles you set.

  • Air Extractor: Pulls heat from the room and helps manage the smell of growing indoors cannabis.

  • Carbon Filter: Neutralizes the odor from the cannabis plants.

  • Air Intake: Helps circulate and pump fresh air into the room to enable healthy weed plant growth.

  • Thermostat Controller: Regulates the air extractor to help maintain an optimal room temperature control.

  • Rotating Fan: Rotates and circulates the air for an even distribution of CO2 to all plants.

  • Hygrometer: Measures the humidity in the grow room.

  • Thermometer: Measures the temperature in the grow room.

  • Water Tank: Helps to make the nutrient solution.

  • EC Meter: Measures the nutrients and minerals in the water.

  • pH Meter: Measures the pH levels in the water to perfect the balance.

  • Watering Can or Pump: Helps water the cannabis plants.

All of these tools can enhance your cannabis growth, but it might not be feasible to buy all of them on a budget. All you need is a head on your shoulders and a dash of motivation.  You don’t need a few hundred dollars, a grow room, a grow light, or even a green thumb.  With just a bit of sun, you can enjoy the journey of harvesting your own homegrown cannabis. The truth is, if you are one of those people who kill plants, that’s because you never had a plant worth caring about.  Using our kit combined with auto-flowering cannabis seeds, all you need to do is add water, sunshine, and a little love.

In Fact, we asked the public what they spent on their grow setup and what they typically used: And we found out!

cost of indoor marijuana grow setup survey results

budget marijuana grow setup equipment survey results

6 Stages of Marijuana Growth

While having a great setup can give you everything you need to become a cannabis grower, it's still important to learn the stages of marijuana growth to look at what's to come. 

The growth of marijuana plants is made up of six stages. Each stage requires its own unique demands, such as different levels of light, water, and nutrients. 

Many growers take anywhere between four to eight months to grow marijuana seeds to plants ready for harvest. Having said that, the timeframe varies where you're growing. For example, indoor growers have the ability to make their marijuana plants flower after only a few weeks.

The quality of your marijuana plants depends on your knowledge of cannabis growth stages.

Germinating Stage (1 to 7 Days)

Growers advise against planting a seed until they are mature enough. You will know that most cannabis seeds are ready to be planted once they appear shiny and light to dark brown in color. Additionally, mature cannabis seeds are dry and hard to the touch. 

To germinate marijuana seeds, keep them in a dark, wet place. Some growers keep their marijuana seeds in a cup of water or wrapped in a wet paper towel and kept inside the cabinet. 

Seedling Stage (2 to 3 weeks)

The seedling stage is perhaps the most fragile stage of growing marijuana plants. During this stage, growers expose marijuana plants to sunlight for 18 to 24 hours while making sure that the soil stays moist. 

Healthy seedlings will develop traditional-looking marijuana leaves that appear vibrant green in color.

Vegetative Stage (2 to 8 weeks)

Marijuana plants enter the vegetative stage once it develops seven sets of pointed leaves. During this time, growers relocate the marijuana plants to a larger pot to allow them to flourish. 

During the vegetation stage, it is important to increase warm water, moist air, nitrogen, and potassium-rich nutrients to aid in the plant's development.

Pre-Flowering Stage (1 to 2 weeks)

It can take anywhere between 7 to 14 days for a marijuana plant to enter its pre-flowering state. When it does, growers can determine the sex of the plant by looking at the nodes. Female marijuana plants have two pistils growing on the buds while male marijuana plants have small green sacs full of pollen on the node areas.

Flowering Stage (6 to 8 weeks)

The flowering stage occurs when plants receive less than 12 hours of sunlight per day. For marijuana plants to completely enter the flowering stage, growers keep them away from sunlight for a period of 10 to 12 hours.

Harvesting

Marijuana plants are ready to be harvested when the colors of the stigmas on cola buds turn from white to reddish-orange. The plants are also ready to be harvested once the trichome heads turn from transparent, to milky in color, to opaque, and then amber.

So in closing whether you also might be curious about people's perception of personal growers and their cannabis. Well, wait no longer here are the people's opinions!

perception of marijuana growers survey results 

Ready to grow your own marijuana plants? Set up your own grow room with our budget grow box today!

Frequently Asked Question  

Is homegrown marijuana better than commercial cannabis?

Quality homegrown marijuana can be better for you than most products you can buy from dispensaries because you control what your plants are fed. Having said that, some dispensaries have high-tech grower systems that allow them to create marijuana plants that carry more flavors and give different highs, but some dispensary weed is full of pesticides and pests. Buyer beware. 

How much do you need to spend to grow marijuana plants at home?

The cost of having a small to medium personal grow will really depend on your setup. However, a good baseline is anywhere between $125 to $200. The cost would likely go higher if you add more tools, such as grow lights, to boost your production. 

Can you grow marijuana plants indoors using a hydroponic system?

Yes, you can. However, the cost of growing marijuana seeds, and any other plants for that matter, from start to finish using a hydroponic system can be incredibly expensive. 

How much do you need to spend for the cultivation of marijuana seeds using a hydroponic system?

The cost would depend on your setup. Some factors to consider include electricity, light fixtures, space rental, water, nutrients and CO2. One can expect to spend around $3,500 to bring marijuana plants from seed to harvest. 

Can you grow marijuana plants using aeroponics?

Aeroponics is a great way to grow high-quality marijuanas at home. Having said that, you should expect to shell out at least up to $1,000 for a starter kit.

Are indoor gardens worth it?

Investing in an indoor garden is worth it because you can produce an array of healthy herbs and flowers, such as lettuce, parsley, carrots, green beans, and marijuana. Self sufficiency is not only a money saver, but also a big confidence booster. To accomplish that, you would need an indoor grow kit that meets the needs of your plants. You would also need to provide an ample amount of full-spectrum light.

Are indoor grow tents worth it?

Indoor grow tents are a worthy investment if you want a dedicated space for your plants or if you have pests and pet hairs in your home, which can be detrimental to the growth of your crop. Weed grow tents, specifically, can greatly reduce the light and odor that leaks out from the garden and into your home. It’s also a great option if you want to grow weed discreetly.

Are smart gardens worth it?

Smart gardens make gardening incredibly low maintenance. It’s best to invest in one if you constantly find yourself without enough time to monitor your crops. Smart Gardens are equipped with the technology needed to make sure that your garden has enough water for weeks and enough lighting to help the plants grow regularly and evenly. They work great for herbs and veggies that stay short, but are not the best fit for growing cannabis that needs several feet of canopy space. 

How do you build an indoor growing system?

There are several steps that you need to take if you want to set up a grow room and raise plants and weeds indoors. If you’re new to indoor gardening, we suggest sticking to the basics. The steps you need to take to build an indoor growing system include finding a suitable space to set up your garden, deciding how to configure your space, ensuring your setup will get good light coverage, and setting up a suitable ventilation/ air circulation system.

What do you need for an indoor grow setup?

If you’re thinking of setting up an indoor garden but can’t break the bank in the process, don’t be discouraged. It is possible to build a space as an indoor grower without spending more than $200. Keep in mind, however, that the budget will only afford you the bare necessities to grow plants indoors. You can upgrade your garden later on. 

The most basic items you need for your indoor grower include a grow light, a planting medium like Superb Soil, and a pot. Once you’re ready to upgrade your indoor grower, you can purchase a ventilation system, carbon filters, reflective walls, and grow tents. 

What equipment is needed for a grow room?

To grow indoors you need soil, pots, seeds to grow, water, and light. That's it. However, there are a number of additional things that you should consider purchasing to ensure a good yield. Basics include high powered grow lights, fans, temperature and humidity controls, and grow systems.  Then there’s extras including racking stations, trimming tables, storage, drying equipment, irrigation systems, and various additional bells and whistles. 

What is indoor gardening called?

There are many types of indoor gardening. There is soil-based, aeroponics, and hydroponic gardening. All are effective ways of growing and nurturing a wide variety of edible plants all year round. Indoor gardening can also be used to grow weed plants. 

What is indoor grow system?

An indoor grower can grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, weeds, and other types of plants inside your home. Indoor grow systems utilize a range of technology and scientific methods to help you get the most yield of the highest quality.

What should I buy for indoor gardening?

There are tons of fantastic products, tools, supplies, and books that could help you through the process of indoor gardening. Some specialty products include a glass terrarium, a four-tier mini greenhouse, a glass cloche with base, non-stick pruning shears, a tabletop portable potting tray, a soil moisture gauge, bonsai scissors, and plant watering devices. The best and easiest way to grow weed indoors is with a grow kit 

What should I line my grow room with?

Choosing the best wall covering for your indoor grow room can make a significant difference in the yield you get. If you’re on a budget, painting the walls of your indoor grower with flat or matte white paint can help reflect the light without creating any unnecessary hot spots.  

If you have a little more to spend, consider lining your indoor grow room with Mylar. Developed by NASA, Mylar is a synthetic and reflective covering designed to reflect between 90% to 98% of your indoor light source. That being said, Mylar can pick up dirt, which decreases its ability to reflect light. 

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