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How To Successfully Grow Weed On Your Windowsill
Windowsills aren’t a bad place to grow cannabis. Of course, a kitted-out grow tent is preferable, but not everyone has access. Windowsills provide good lighting and a warm environment—just be sure to keep your crop hydrated.
Cannabis is a robust and durable plant species with an extraordinary ability to grow and adapt almost anywhere, from the cold and harsh terrains of Russia all the way to the tropical and humid environments on the equator.
Some cultivators have the luxury of massive indoor warehouses to grow entire crops of towering sativas, and others have acres of fertile land from which to harvest their buds. Others aren’t so lucky—some of us only have a small apartment space to work with, often with no balcony or outdoor space at all. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t grow weed.
Pros and Cons of Growing Weed on a Windowsill
Growing cannabis on a windowsill comes with a host of advantages and disadvantages. The ease of placing a pot on the window and allowing the sun to take care of things tempts a lot of growers. However, the lack of control over environmental factors can detract a lot from the results. Check out the major pros and cons below.
- Cost saving
- Direct natural sunlight
- Smaller space
- Plants can be visible to others
- Limited sunlight hours
How to Grow Weed on a Windowsill: The Basics
When thinking about growing weed, you probably conjure images of grown tents, LED lights, and complex automated systems in your mind’s eye. However, many growers achieve impressive yields using much simpler setups—such as cultivating plants on a windowsill.
Although this low-tech method lacks the equipment and environmental factors to completely optimise output, it provides a great option for casual home growers looking to obtain a personal stash. Plus, it minimises overhead costs and attracts novices with its simplicity.
How Much Light Will Your Plants Need?
Generally, the more light a plant has access to, the more energy they create, the quicker they grow, and the heavier the harvest.
Cannabis plants thrive when they receive between 10–12 hours of direct sunlight each day. This quantity plunges them into an anabolic state of steady and constant energy production and growth.
However, plants will survive on much less than this. Some growers simply don’t have access to an open garden or optimally positioned windowsill to take advantage of the sun all day long. In these cases, cannabis plants can survive on as little as 1–2 hours of direct sunlight each day. Of course, these plants will produce much less of a yield, but growers need to make the best of their situation. Plus, the very best cultivators out there learned by developing the ability to adapt to external circumstances.
Choose the Best Spot for Your Cannabis Plants to Grow
Limited light exposure poses one of the biggest issues when growing cannabis on a windowsill. Positioning your plants on a south-facing window will offer the greatest amount of direct sunlight, as the sun rises in the east and makes its way westward throughout the day. If you have access to a south-facing window, your plants will receive between 8–10 hours of direct sunlight per day throughout the summer months.
East-facing windows provide the next best option. Although not optimal, this positioning will still expose your plants to enough direct sunlight to fuel a good amount of growth for a satisfactory harvest. Plus, these windows will orientate your plants towards the sunrise and early afternoon sun.
Although west-facing windows still provide a good amount of light, they leave plants exposed to intense and dehydrating afternoon heat. If you have no other choice, make sure to keep up with your plant’s watering demands and avoid wetting the leaves, as this can magnify the sun’s rays and burn plant tissue.
Artificial Light Supplementation
If you find yourself with limited options and only have a north-facing window at your disposal—or you’re surrounded by high-rise buildings—we advise that you still try your best. Your plant will have access to ambient light throughout the day, and you can throw in supplementary light if your plants are looking particularly stunted.
Modern LED lights provide the best option when it comes to artificial indoor lights. They give off little heat, are cheap to run, and emit wavelengths that mimic sunlight. Most models feature stronger intensities at the blue and red wavelengths of light—parts of the spectrum that drive cannabis plant growth and flowering.
Supplement your windowsill grow with lights to hit the 10–12-hour requirement per day. If your plant only receives four hours of direct sunlight, fire up your lights for an additional eight hours to fuel optimal growth.
Of course, shining a spotlight on your grow will increase the odds of attracting unwanted attention. Cultivators in legal states and countries can go ahead, but those growing in illegal areas might want to move their plants away from the window when turning on supplementary lights.
Select the right pot for the job
We’re not talking about strains here, yet. You need to choose the right container that suits your windowsill well. Because windowsills are often narrow structures, you’ll need to choose a thin pot for it to fit fully into the space. However, your plant will still have enough room to spread its roots if the pot you choose is tall. Anything around 2 litres will be small enough to fit on most windowsills, yet big enough to ensure decent-sized plants.
Another important factor to consider when growing on a windowsill is hydration. Most windowsills are positioned above heaters and radiators, and spending some of the day in front of hot glass can take a toll on plants. This is where pot selection is very important. Pots with water reservoirs can be used to ensure your plant has access to all the water it needs.
Use nutritious soil for good yields
Not all soil is equal. Ensure you use the best soil you can find for this growing operation. Using small pots means you can only use so much soil, so the more concentrated it is with nutrition, the better. Make sure the soil you purchase is rich and dark, yet airy—nothing muddy or containing clay. It should also contain all of the required macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—as well as micronutrients.
Choose the right strains for the job
Now that you have everything you need to begin growing weed on your windowsill, it’s time to choose the right strain for the process. Autoflowering varieties are key here. These strains grow to small heights and have a rapid grow cycle, meaning they won’t have to be exposed to snooping neighbours for long. Plus, autoflowering strains don’t require a change in the light cycle to begin flowering. And finally, they are known for their hardy genetics, and are easy even for beginners to cultivate. These three strains are ideal for windowsill growing.
Easy Bud is, you guessed it, very easy to grow. This makes her a good candidate for windowsill cultivation as she’s able to handle potentially harsh environments. She is an indica-dominant variety composed of 55% indica genetics, 15% sativa genetics, and 30% ruderalis. She is the daughter of parent strains White Indica and a ruderalis variety, and offers tastes and scents of citrus and herbs. Her 12% THC level offers a mellow and relaxing high that is subtle but effective. Even as an indica, she can be smoked during the day to reduce stress.
Easy Bud will grow to easily manageable heights of between 50–60cm indoors on a windowsill, and is capable of producing between 275–325g/m² in ideal conditions. The yield from a windowsill grow will likely be significantly smaller. Still, you won’t be waiting long until harvest; this lady explodes from seed to harvest in as little as 8 weeks.
Cannabis plants can grow just about anywhere, and if you are really out of options, then it's possible to produce a good harvest on a windowsill.