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So, you want to start your own little indoor cannabis grow op, but you don’t want to invest too much money into it. Maybe you are a beginner and just don’t want to invest too much in the first round, or maybe you are on a limited budget.
Sure, you could grow weed and have a setup worth thousands of dollars no problem, and yes, the quality will probably be out of this world. The bottom line is that you can get away with spending just a couple hundred dollars to start a cheap indoor grow op.
Here is a quick list of what you need to grow weed indoors cheap;
- Decent space for growing.
- Reflective materials.
- Grow lights.
- Decent soil.
- Planters & buckets.
- A Thermometer & Hygrometer.
- pH Testing Kit & pH Altering Liquids
- A fan (we have reviewed our favorite ones here).
- Plant Nutrients
- Most importantly, the seeds!
Yeah, the results probably won’t be as good as with a costly professional setup, but it is still possible to grow weed indoors for cheap and still get a decent result. (here is an idea of how much all the equipment costs individually).
10 Things You Need To Grow Weed Indoors Cheap
There are 10 main things that you are going to need in order to grow weed indoors on a limited budget.
Let’s go over the 10 things you need to grow weed with a limited amount of cash indoors.
1. A Decent Space
The first thing you will need in order to start a fairly cheap indoor cannabis grow op is a good space. Now, many people who grow indoors resort to using a grow tent, as they come complete with vents and racks for lights, plus reflective materials too.
Yes, a weed grow tent is very convenient for many reasons, especially when it comes to keeping the smell in and keeping pests out. Although you can find pretty inexpensive small grow tents, you are still looking at $100 at the least.
If you want to grow weed indoors and avoid this cost, you need to find yourself a good closet. Keep in mind that a single weed plant will need around 2.5 x 2.5 feet, or ideally, more like 3 x 3 feet to be comfy.
Therefore, how many weed plants you can grow in a closet will be determined by the size of the closet, and to a certain extent, the strain of weed you are looking to grow. Some cannabis strains grow taller than wide, and some stay short but get really bushy.
Simply put, a closet in your home is already there and totally free to use, but you will need to outfit it with reflective materials, which we are about to get to.
2. Reflective Materials – Aluminum Foil
The next important thing that you will need to grow weed indoors cheap is some kind of reflective material. You need reflective materials in order to increase light reflection in the grow space.
The more reflective materials you have, the more light gets reflected at the cannabis plants, especially from the sides. This is important because generally speaking, the more light you can beam at your pot plants, the better off you will be.
Some people use those car reflectors which people use to keep the sun out of their cars on a hot summer day, but even those can be pretty pricey.
The best, easiest, and cheapest option to go with here is some good old aluminum foil. Depending on how big your grow room is, you might need a few rolls of aluminum foil. Keep in mind that there are thin foils and thick foils.
You will want to go with some pretty thick aluminum foil because it is much more durable than the thin stuff, but it really does not cost a lot more. With $15 or $20, you can outfit a whole grow room with enough tin foil to last the season. Keep in mind that you will need high quality tape to put the foil up with.
Personally, last time we did this, we just used a staple gun to outfit our closet with reflective aluminum foil. Do also keep in mind that the more reflective your grow room is, the less money you will have to spend on a powerful grow light.
3. A Grow Light – Fluorescent or LED
One of the most important things that you will need in order to grow weed indoors on a limited budget is a decent grow light.
Now, cannabis plants do need high quality light and they need a fair amount of it. The lights might just be the most expensive part of this whole project, but if you choose wisely, you can get away with spending just a little cash, and still get some pretty decent results.
Professional cannabis growers will usually use HID lights, as they are the best, produce the most light, and provide the best cannabis results. However, these are super expensive and cost a lot to set up.
With that being said, the cheapest light bulbs are of course incandescent bulbs, but these are subpar, they do not put out enough light, and will not provide good results (we have covered our favorite 1000W bulbs here).
Your best option to go with here, in terms of an affordable grow light is either a small LED light setup or a fluorescent light setup. Now, fluorescent lights are the least expensive option to go with that can provide decent results, but beware that these produce on average 0.25 grams of bud per watt.
On the other hand, while LED lights are a bit more expensive (not by too much), they can produce twice the amount of bud per wattage output.
A problem with LED lights however is that they may need to be kept up to 30 inches away from your plants, which can cause issues depending on your groom room. You can probably get away with spending something like $50 on a low grade fluorescent setup.
4. Some Decent Soil
The next thing that you will need to get to grow cannabis indoors for a limited price is soil. There is simply no getting around the fact that you will need high quality soil (we have covered a massive guide here on the right soil to use).
The good thing here is that high quality gardening and potting soil really does not cost that much either way. You could get a low grade bag of mediocre soil for $5, or you could spend something like $12 for a bag of high quality soil.
Here, you do need to pay attention to the iron, magnesium, and nitrogen content of the soil, as these are all nutrients which weed plants need for growth.
We would not recommend cheaping out here, as the quality of the soil used for cannabis growth is going to make a heck of a big difference when it comes to the final result.
A single 20 pound bag of soil is generally enough to grow 1 plant with ease, and depending on the size of your buckets, could even stretch as far as 2 plants.
5. Planters & Buckets
Next, you are going to need some planters and buckets to grow the weed in. You can find these for cheap at your local hardware, gardening, or weed grow store (grow bags are good too, more on those here).
You will need a small planter for the seedlings, just a few hundred milliliters will do for a seedling. However, you will need to transfer the seedling to a 1.5 gallon bucket once it starts to grow past 6 inches in height, and once it reaches about 1.5 feet in height, you will need to perform a final transplant to a 3 or 4 gallon bucket.
It is important to note that you do not want to start out with the biggest bucket or planter right away. Keeping a weed plant in smaller containers or buckets allows a strong and dense root system to form.
In a smaller bucket or planter, the root system stays compact and strong, but if you put a seedling in a 4 gallon bucket right away, the roots will keep growing outwards until they reach the edge of the bucket, which results in a weaker root system.
Don’t worry though, because even with 3 different sizes of buckets or planters per cannabis plant, you are looking at $15 at the most. As long as they don’t crack from the weight of the soil, you don’t need to go for super high quality buckets.
6. A Thermometer & Hygrometer
What you will definitely need to grow weed successfully indoors is a thermometer and a hygrometer, or a combination unit that includes both.
Having the right temperature is very important for cannabis growth, which is where the thermometer comes into play. Moreover, the right humidity level for weed growth is also very important, which is where the hygrometer comes into play (hygrometers measure humidity).
This is going to cost you a little bit, as high quality units, especially combo units, are not exactly cheap. For a decent hygrometer and thermometer combination unit, you are looking at spending around $40 or $50.
Sure, you can get one of these for as little as $20, but always keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and quality costs money.
7. pH Testing Kit & pH Altering Liquids
Something you will need to get to grow weed indoors is a pH testing kit. Now, some people think that they can get away without one of these, but those people are wrong.
Making sure that the soil your cannabis plant is in, as well as the water you feed it, have the proper pH level, is essential to its health, survival, and the bud you are looking to grow.
The pH level needs to be quite specific for weed growth, and the only way to know where you stand is with a test kit. You can try going for a cheap pH strip test kit. These usually come with a few dozen test strips, but they are not always 100% accurate, and they really only work for the water, but not the soil.
With that said, these are better than nothing and can be purchased for $10 or less. The better way to go is with an electronic pH testing pen, which is a bit more expensive, sometimes as much as $50, but they are much more accurate and can be used to test the soil.
Either way, chances are that you will need some pH altering liquids, either to increase or decrease the pH level. Both bottles of this stuff can usually be found for under $20.
8. Some Kind Of Fan Or Ventilation (You Might Need A Heater Too)
Pot plants do need a light breeze going most of the time. Moreover, ventilation and airflow help to regulate temperature and humidity, plus a bit of a breeze helps keep various pests away too.
Worst case scenario, if you really do not want to spend much, a cheap $15 fan from your local convenience, hardware, or appliance store will do fine. However, once again, keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
Personally, even going the cheap way, we would recommend setting aside maybe $40 for a half decent fan, just because you don’t want the motor to die out on you halfway through the season. Either way, a little fan is going to be necessary, especially if your grow room gets really hot.
On a side note, if you are growing weed and the temperature is too cold, you may also want to invest in a small space heater. Now, whatever you do here, make sure to get a reliable model that is known for safety.
You don’t want to cheap out here and buy a heater that is going to end up burning your house down because it overheats and catches fire.
9. Plant Nutrients
Something that you will definitely need are nutrients for your plants (we have covered a helpful buyers guide here). Now, you might not need any nutrients for the first month, especially if you got high quality soil that came loaded with the necessary nutrients for weed growth.
However, either way, good soil or not, at some point you are going to need plant nutrients, plain and simple.
Keep in mind that cannabis plants require different levels of various nutrients for the vegetative state and the flowering state.
You cannot feed weed plants the same nutrients throughout all growth stages. This will not produce good results. You should be able to find decent weed plant nutrients for all stages of growth for about $40.
10. The Seeds Of Course
If it was not already obvious, you will need the actual cannabis seeds to start growing plants. If there is one single thing we would recommend not going the cheap route on, it would be the seeds.
Generally speaking, the cheapest seeds will run you about $40 for a pack of 5, but these might be duds and they probably are not feminized.
If you want to get high quality seeds from a good strain, and you want them to be feminized, be prepared to spend between $60 and $80 for a pack of 5. No, weed seeds usually never come in singles (you can buy these online, via seed banks).
What’s The Minimum Amount Of Money I Can Get Away With?
Ok, so if we do the math here, if you go really cheap, and only buy the least expensive necessities from each category we discussed above, you should be able to get away with spending $250 on all of your grow equipment.
Do keep in mind that this is the absolute minimum though, but if you are looking for really good results, be prepared to spend more like $350 when initially setting up an indoor cannabis grow up. It is worth noting that a startup cost only happens once though.
Fans, lights, reflective materials, and even buckets, plus of course your thermometers can be reused. So, once you have the grow room set up the first time, you will barely need to buy anything for round 2.
Yes, setting up an indoor cannabis grow op is not exactly cheap, even if you go the cheapest route possible, but you can grow your own weed, you can choose the strain, and once the initial setup has been paid for, most of the equipment is there to stay.
If you ask any weed grower, they will tell you that it is an investment and it will pay off big time in the long run.
There we have it folks, everything you need to grow weed indoors cheap. No, it is not exactly super cheap per say, but most of the weed grow accessories and equipment will last a while and can be reused, such as planters and buckets, grow lights, fans, and other such things.
Personally, we would not recommend going the super cheap route, because the equipment may be substandard and the results you achieve might be subpar as well. You are absolutely better off spending a couple hundred dollars extra and getting solid and durable equipment, and of course, this will result in much better weed too.