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Have you ever wondered how much it would cost for you to start growing weed? Yeah, it’s not too hard, but you can’t just shove some seeds into dirt and expect it to turn out perfect, or to grow at all for that matter. There are various pieces of equipment you will need for this project.
Today we want to talk about how much does it cost to start growing weed, particularly a small indoor grow op, no more than 5 plants.
For a quick answer, for a single plant, you are looking at about $250 to $300 in total costs, and for 5 plants, you are looking at around $400 minimum. Let’s break this down and look at the individual components you will need.
Keep in mind that growing 1 single plant is really not worth it considering what you will need to buy, so we always talk about growing either 3 or 5 plants, but 5 is the number we will go with today, which also happens to be how many seeds generally come in a seed packet.
If you are trying to grow indoors on a budget, then this article will help you.
What You Need & Costs Involved
Here is a rundown of the essentials and approximate costs of each;
1. The Seeds
So, first and foremost, if you are planning to grow your own weed plants, you are going to need the actual weed plant seeds.
Now, these generally cost a moderate amount of money. For instance, for 5 high quality seeds, you can expect to pay around $65. Keep in mind that when it comes to purchasing seeds, you usually cannot just buy one (more on seed banks here).
Usually, they come in packs of 5, and depending on the quality and potency of the strain, can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 for a pack of 5 seeds.
Sure, when you purchase cannabis, some of it may come with seeds in it, which can also be used for growth, but this is not recommended.
When you end up picking seeds out of your flower, there is no telling how good or potent they will be, or if they will germinate at all. It is definitely recommended that you purchase your seeds from a reputable dispenser.
Cost: $40 – $100 (5 Seeds)
2. The Germination Medium
If you know a thing or two about growing weed plants, you know that marijuana seeds have to be germinated before you can plant them.
There are various weed seed germination methods out there, some of which are dirt cheap and others which can cost you a little extra. They can be germinated in nothing but water, which is totally free.
They can be germinated in paper towel and plastic bag, which will cost you maybe $5 at the most.
You can also use peat pellets to germinate your marijuana seeds, which is usually the best, easiest, and most successful way to go about it, but these can cost you up to $20 for high quality peat pellets.
Cost: $5 – $20 (For Up To 5 Plants)
3. The Planters & Buckets
The next thing that you will have to purchase in order to start growing your own weed plants is a variety of small planters and buckets. This is where the soil and the weed plants will actually grow.
Littler planters for sprouting plants will usually come in packs of 6, 8 or, 10, and depending in their quality can cost between $10 and $20. Keep in mind that these can only be used for initial planting and sprout growth.
The weed plants, as they grow, will need to be transferred to larger planters or buckets 2 or 3 times. This is essential to form a good root system. For a single planter or bucket, expect to spend between $7.50 and $15.00.
You will need 1 gallon buckets, and later on, for the end stages of growth, 4 gallon buckets, which are of course more expensive. Now, how much you spend here is going to depend on how many plants you have, and therefore how many buckets you need.
Cost: $17.50+ (For A Single Plant)
4. The Soil
Obviously weed plants cannot grow in just a bucket alone. These plants require soil, and high quality potting soil at that. You cannot just plant your weed seeds in dirt from your backyard.
That is a good way to ensure that nothing will grow, at least not successfully. Marijuana plant soil needs to have certain nutrients present, and certain amounts of each of them, because they are essential to healthy weed plant growth.
You can count on a single plant requiring a good 20 pound bag of high quality potting soil, and depending on the brand and quality of the soil, this can cost you between $10 and $30, but you could probably get away with spending no more than $15.
Do keep in mind that this is for a single plant, not a bunch of them. So, we would say that you will need about $15 per plant, for soil.
Cost: $15+ (Per Plant)
5. Plant Nutrients & Fertilizer
The next thing you will need to consider is that you will need to get some fertilizer and nutrients to facilitate the healthy growth of your weed plants.
Now, fertilizer and liquid plant nutrients do not come in sizes for single plants. Often, if you buy liquid nutrients, you will be able to use a single bottle for about 12 plants, if not more. (here is our buyers guide to finding the right Nutrients).
What you do need to keep in mind here is that marijuana plants go through 2 growth stages, these being the vegetative stage and the flowering state.
You will need to buy different liquid nutrients for each stage, but luckily you can usually find all in one bottles for each stage.
So, for both the vegetative stage and flowering state nutrients, you can expect to spend between $20 and $30 per bottle, so between $40 and $60 for both sets of nutrients, depending on the brand and quality.
Cost: $40 – $60 (For 5 Plants Or More)
6. The Lighting System
Something that you will want to invest a decent amount of money into is the lighting system. Marijuana plants require a specific type of light, a specific strength of light (lumen output), and they need to have lots of it.
One thing to keep in mind here is that you definitely cannot use a normal incandescent bulb. Not only are those too weak, but they also do not emit the right light spectrum, or enough light period (more on growing light schedules here).
Each plant will require a specific amount of light to grow, so the more plants you have, the more lights you will need.
Honestly, this is somewhat hard to gauge, as you can buy single fluorescent bulbs, strong ones, along with the necessary fixture, for somewhere around $40. However, you will need 1 of these singular fixtures for each plant.
Next, you can go with a long fluorescent tube setup, in which case you will need a fluorescent tube mount and various fluorescent light tubes, which can cost you closer to $75 for a decent setup, but also has the power to grow 2, 3, or more plants, depending on the size of the fixture.
Then, you have your high quality HID lights, which are by far the best for growth, but single bulbs can cost $30 or more, and that is without the fixtures. So, for a single plant, if you are going low quality, you could get away with spending $40.
However, if you are growing 5 plants and want a large all in one setup, you can spend as little as $100 or up to $350 depending on what kind of lights you get, the quality of them, and the amount you need for your plants.
Cost: $40 – $350 (For A Full Light Setup)
7. The Air Fans
Marijuana plants do not thrive in still and very humid air. They require light but constant air flow and ventilation in order for you to achieve the best results.
Here, you get away with spending $25 on a cheaper fan, but honestly we would recommend getting something a little better. So, you might want to spend closer to $50 or $75 for a high quality air fan.
Remember guys, this thing will be running for anywhere from 4 to 8 months depending on the kind of plants you have. If you go the really cheap way, you will probably end up having to buy another in just a few months.
Cost: $25 – $75
8. The Thermometers & Humidity Monitors
The other vital thing that you are going to need in order to grow weed the right way is a combination thermometer and humidity monitor.
You need one that is accurate and updates constantly, as marijuana plants require a certain temperature and humidity level to thrive.
Here you can expect to spend between $30 and $50, but we would recommend going with something a bit pricier, at least if you want something accurate that is going to last a while.
Cost: $30 – $50
9. Grow Tent or Reflective Materials
Something you also need to consider is where you are going to grow the marijuana. The bottom line is that you need reflective materials to really direct as much light as you can, from as many angles as possible, at your plant. The more light the plant gets, directionally speaking, the better off it will be.
Now, if you are using a closet, you can get away with using tin foil, or something like one of those car heat protectors, those silver things people put in their windshields.
For the tinfoil and tape, you will need maybe $25 total, but for the higher end reflective materials, you are looking at $75 or more.
Many people do not like indoor closet growing, as you do have to outfit a closet, which is why many people get grow tents (we have reviewed our favorite ones here).
Weed grow tends come complete with racks for lighting, ventilation features, and reflective materials too. For a decent grow tent, you are looking at around $100 to $150 minimum.
Here is a helpful article on the benefits of using a grow tent.
Cost: $25 – $150
There are a couple of other smaller things you will need, especially when it comes time to harvest, dry, and cure your marijuana, but these are inexpensive things.
- Netting – You may require some netting to keep top heavy plants upright. $20
- Scissors – You will need scissors for trimming. $15
- Gloves – When handling the finished product, you will want latex gloves. $5
- Jars – To cure your marijuana, you will need glass mason jars. $3 – $20
- Timer – In case you will not always be there to keep an eye on things, you will need a timer for your lights. $15
Indoor vs Outdoor Costs
Let’s just keep something in mind here. Growing weed indoors is exponentially more expensive than growing it outdoors.
When growing outdoors, all you really need is soil, a bucket, and maybe some wiring to keep animals away.
Of course, there is a reason why outdoor weed is not nearly as tasty or potent. Yeah, it costs way more to grow it inside, and takes more effort, but the chances of success are so much higher (here are 6 good methods for outdoors for growing bigger buds).
After all, it is all about the finished product.
Ok, so when it comes down to it, you could grow 5 outdoor weed plants for under $150 no sweat. However, here we are talking about indoor growth, which results in a much better final product, but also costs more to get going.
Let’s say that you want to grow 5 plants indoors (seeds come in packs of 5 usually, so this is what we will work with), you will have to spend around $400.
If you go with a really high quality setup, for 5 plants, you can easily spend double that. Keep in mind that growing a single plant will still cost you around $250 to $300 minimum, so you may as well spend an extra $100 and grow 5 plants.
The difference in startup cost between 1 or 5 plants is not big, especially when you consider your final yield.