Get Leafist articles and new strain alerts in your inbox

What are the Essentials to a Basic Cannabis Grow Setup?

Starting with quality equipment is always preferred, but if you don’t have a healthy budget, the essentials will get you started. We’ll explain what you need to start a basic cannabis grow setup and why. A little later, we’ll be more specific about which products in each category are ideal for having the most successful grow.

A Good Growing Medium

Starting with a good growing medium (properly mixed soil) is necessary. You’ll want the mixture to be at least 70-percent soil with peat and 30-percent perlite if you aren’t using a naturally composted soil. Whatever you do, don’t use Miracle-Gro. I mean, if this is all you can afford, use it but pick up a bag of cheap top soil to mix with it so that the fertilizer and nutrients aren’t too rich.

Ventilation/Air Purification

You’ll need a ventilation and air purification system. You’ll use ducting that is similar to household dryer venting that is flexible. For filtration, you definitely want to use a carbon air filter as it helps reduce the odor of the grow while cleaning the air. The idea is to push the bad air out of the space without giving it away to the whole neighborhood that you’re growing marijuana.


The thing with lighting is, you’ll need more than one type throughout the growing process. In the beginning, a source that’s a little hotter is ideal, but near the end you need lighting that is on the blue light spectrum. Blue light is cooler and helps your cannabis plant near the end of its growth cycle.

The hotter lights need to be further from the plant than the cooler one, so an adjustable light system is also ideal. You can simply hang chains from beams in your grow room and adjust the height as needed.

Water Supply

The water supply doesn’t have to be directly in your grow space unless you’ve decided to grow hydroponically. Depending on how many plants you’re growing (most people are allowed up to 6 legally) a couple of gallons a day is all you need, but bring a watering can so you’re not overwatering. If you have plumbing in your grow, simply install a spigot and attach a traditional garden hose.


The only time you’ll need to purchase nutrients for your cannabis plants is if you’re growing in soil and aren’t using composted “super soil”. Hydroponic growers need nutrients too. It really is best to purchase a pre-mixed nutrient like Dyna-Gro as an example, to ensure that you’re not over-feeding. You may need to increase your feeding schedule as the plant starts to flower and bud because that’s when it’s the hungriest.

Transplant Containers

Cannabis plants need room to grow. So, in a room in your home, you can’t really dig into the ground to let them grow naturally in a controlled environment. You’ll need to have stock on-hand for transplanting. After the starter pot phase is done, you’ll want to purchase a 2-gallon container with bottom drainage for every plant. The next size you’ll need is a 6 – 7 gallon container with bottom storage for every plant.

Final Words

These items really are the essentials, the bare essentials, of setting up a home grow space (for those where home growing is legal). You will need hanging lines for the drying phase after harvest, you’ll need fans to move air around, and you’ll need a good thermometer/humidity monitor to keep the environment ideal for  your cannabis plants too.

We’ll have more in-depth articles on every topic here in the next couple of weeks – stay tuned!

In case you missed it

See More ›

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)? What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Which Grow Lights Are Best for Growing Cannabis Indoors? Which Grow Lights Are Best for Growing Cannabis Indoors?
Study Shows No Increase in Adolescent Marijuana Use in States after Medical Marijuana Legalization Study Shows No Increase in Adolescent Marijuana Use in States after Medical Marijuana Legalization
California Marijuana Doctors See Spike in Business California Marijuana Doctors See Spike in Business

😗💨 Weekly Rollup

Get a weekly digest of news and strain information. Delivered every Friday.