hand touches growing cannabis plant

Achieving the healthiest growth and the best quality cannabis depends entirely on maintaining an optimal growing environment.

With a nickname like “weed,” you’d think cannabis would be easier to grow. 

Alas, our all-time favorite bud doesn’t sprout from sidewalk cracks through sheer force of will. In fact, cultivating high-quality cannabis requires growers to possess agricultural knowledge, meticulous planning skills, and a diligent eye for detail. 

In other words, you have to want to grow cannabis for it to appear—it has to be your expressed purpose, rather than a happy accident. 

But there’s a reason why marijuana is linked with the term “homegrown”: You don’t have to be a large corporation with heaps of cash to enjoy a successful harvest. Cannabis cultivators come from all walks of life. The leading characteristic growers share is a willingness to learn how to build the perfect environment to cultivate the healthiest plants possible.

Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors

The choice to grow cannabis indoors vs. outdoors is mostly personal. Some love the free sunlight and cheap land of the great outdoors, while others swear by the complete control and consistency of an indoor space. It all depends on your specific situation. If you’ve got the land, the warm climate, and the necessary legal parameters, then carry on under the blue sky. On the other hand, if you live in a city or worry about neighbors, then take your operation indoors. 

An indoor system takes weather out of the equation as a variable. This gives you full command over the environment and allows you to keep a watchful eye on temperature, lighting, and humidity. Of course, all that equipment costs money. Outdoor cannabis farms require less of a financial stake, as the money saved can offset a potentially smaller crop or shorter season. 

Whether you choose indoors or outdoors, many of the factors contributing to quality remain the same. However, because successful outdoor growth depends on shifting circumstances, our guide focuses on the tactics needed to achieve the best possible crop indoors.

How To Create the Ideal Growing Environment

When you nurture your cannabis, nature runs its course. This results in faster-growing, healthier plants, bigger yields, more vibrant hues of green, more intense aromas, higher potency, and more resilient plants that can fend off common cultivation issues (mold, pests, over/underwatering, etc.).

Here are the top six factors that contribute to a perfect growing situation. 

1. Light

Let there be light—but not too much light. Photosynthesis powers your cannabis plant’s transformation from seedling to full bloom. The light energy absorbed fuels growth and converts water into carbon dioxide while transforming any minerals gathered from the environment into potent sugars that help with development. Cannabis in the vegetative stage needs at least 13 hours of light per day. In the flowering stage, the standard is 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. This ensures the plants keep on a natural clock.

2. Temperature

The plant with a reputation for inspiring, relaxing vibes likes to bask in a comfortable climate. If the temperature is comfortable for you, it’s comfortable for your plants. Cannabis plants thrive in temperatures from 65 degrees to around 80-degrees Fahrenheit for both the vegetative and flowering stages. You can use various traditional heating options like electric heaters or even heat lamps and insulation to manage the temperature. You can also use heat mats to warm the soil. 

3. Air Circulation

Air circulation and exhaust keep a gentle breeze rolling through your leaves and buds. When air blows across cannabis plants, it helps to evaporate the moisture that’s released during the growing process. If that wetness wasn’t lifted off your plant, it could lead to various types of mold, like bud rot or powdery mildew. And trust us, you don’t want any of those significant bummers to devastate your crop!

4. Reflection

As we mentioned earlier in this article, light is the force that powers the growth of your cannabis. You don’t want to waste a single beam. Reflecting light at your plants helps you get the most out of your artificial lighting setup. Line the walls of your grow site with reflective material. This bounces the light back toward your plants instead of into the walls. Flat white latex paint is a cheap and easy way to create a reflective wall. 

5. Humidity

Cannabis plants desire a steady flow of moisture. The amount of water they need to flourish fluctuates based on the humidity levels of the grow room. Cannabis plants absorb moisture from the air when the humidity is high, causing them to drink less water from their roots. When humidity dips down, the plants need to pull more water from their roots. Optimal humidity levels are 40-60 percent in the vegetative stage, 40-50 percent in the flowering stage, and 40-45 percent in the final weeks of flowering. 

6. Water

You can’t rely on humidity alone to deliver all the necessary water to your cannabis plants. But be careful not to overwater, as a healthy cycle of wet and dry is needed for the roots to grow. To check if your cannabis plant needs a drink, stick your finger 1-2 inches into the soil. If the soil is wet, don’t water; if it’s dry, bottom’s up! The amount of water your plant requires depends on a few factors. Learn more here!

7. Testing

Regulators require cultivators to submit products for accredited third-party approval before hitting legal dispensary shelves. But without in-house testing, you’re flying blind when you send your precious crop out. Solutions like ours take the guesswork out of cannabis cultivation, so you know exactly what you’re breeding, growing, buying, selling, or consuming. We use cutting-edge technologies, like machine learning, imaging, and spectroscopy, to simplify in-house cannabis testing for breeders, growers, pharmacies, clinics, and cultivation enthusiasts. GemmaCert makes it easy for professionals and enthusiasts to ensure plant quality with sleek, straightforward, and intelligent solutions. 


While each plant is slightly different, taking care of the basics will ensure a comfortable growing environment and a cannabis product with the yield and potency you desire.

It’s time to get serious about cannabis cultivation with GemmaCert. Click here to browse our assortment.