Cheapest Way to Grow Weed Indoors

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Ah, yes, payday. That wonderful day of the week when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you’re like a lot of us, however, that skimpy direct deposit doesn’t leave much for fruit let alone for supplies to cultivate weed.

Fortunately, there are ways to grow weed cheap — even indoors. Here’s the skinny on a cheap indoor grow setup.

General Money-Saving Tips for Cannabis Growing

As compared to outdoor grown plants, indoor growing does generally require greater upfront costs, but it also usually provides a greater yield. That being said, there are a few ways to minimize those initial costs:

  • Skip the Grow Tent – Build your own mini grow-room from an old cupboard or closet. Just be sure to cover the walls of your space with a reflective material to make more efficient use of the light you provide for growing.
  • Go LED – They’re usually more expensive than their popular cousin, high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, but they use far less electricity and are more efficient overall
  • Make Your Own nutrient-rich Super Soil – The great thing is you can reuse it over and over again.

What You Need to Grow Weed Indoors and On a Budget

You can spend a fortune on an indoor grow setup, but when you come right down to it, light and soil are really your top two priorities. Good ventilation is probably your third.

Nutrients are important, too, but, as previously mentioned, if you have the know-how, you can make your own nutrient-rich compost from table scraps and other easy-to-obtain resources.

Let’s walk through the basics.


Hands down, the best light for your plants is natural sunlight. No matter how good your artificial lighting might be, it can’t replicate the full spectrum of light from the sun.

So wherever and whenever you can, try to take advantage of sunny windows. Or start your plants indoors, then move them outside.

If, however, you have to rely on grow lights, LED lighting is your best choice. These days most of them are manufactured in China, so be aware of longer lead times in today’s slow-moving economy.

Note there was a time when LED lights weren’t all that great, but today’s options have come a long way providing a full light spectrum that your weed plants want and need. LED lights might cost a little more at the start, but they consume the least amount of electricity.

Most plants require about four square feet of space each, so figure that in when calculating how many lights you need to purchase.


Second only to light is a healthy grow medium that your plants will need to get their roots down into. Cannabis can be grown in water and air but for the purposes of this discussion, we’re talking about soil.

Sprout of cannabis growing indoors, macro shot

There are a variety of good potting soils, but all share certain important qualities such as their ability to retain water, their texture, pH value, and how well they drain. Great soils also contain the right balance of nutrients needed to produce healthy yields.


You can find helpful guidance online with lists of “Top Ten” soils for cannabis, but they all come down to the core macro nutrients all cannabis needs, namely nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Cannabis also benefits from smaller amounts of such secondary nutrients as calcium, magnesium, and sulphur.

Trimming Scissors

Do you have a pair of pruning shears or good scissors you use for other gardening needs? If so, there’s no need to go out and purchase a special pair for your marijuana cultivation.

The only thing that you must do is sterilize your shears before each use to ensure you don’t contaminate your plants with pests or other plant diseases. You want your weed to be healthy, and you want your tomatoes healthy too!

Why do you need trimming scissors? To get the best yields out of your plants, you’ll need to trim away leaves and branches that aren’t getting sufficient sunlight.

You’ll want to trim away bud sites low on the plant that aren’t getting much light as well. The idea is to direct sunlight and nutrients to where they can most benefit your plants.

Additionally, buds that are trimmed before being placed in jars have a better aroma. And because leaves are harder on the throat than flowers, buds trimmed of their leaves are generally more pleasant to vape or smoke.

Ensure You’re Working With Good Cannabis Soil

Soil is the last thing you want to skimp on when growing cannabis, so if you don’t feel confident creating a super soil of your own, you’ll be best off to purchase a quality soil online or at a trusted local supplier. Besides having a good mix of nutrients for growing cannabis, your soil should also contain beneficial bacteria that helps break down the soil so the roots of your plant can readily soak up the nutrients it needs.

Growing Marijuana Without Nutrients

There really isn’t any such thing as growing without nutrients. All plants need them to grow. More often, however, when people use the “no nutrients” term, they mean avoiding chemically produced, store-bought soils specially formulated for cannabis.

Fortunately, you can create your own nutrient-rich soil on the cheap. There are a variety of natural or homemade sources of nutrients easily found online that you can add to your potting soil.

Start by fortifying your soil with compost. Then build from there.

Things to add include eggshells, kelp meal or humic acid, and worm castings, or bat guano. Mix them well into your soil then let it sit for thirty days before putting in your seeds or clones.

FAQ’s about the Cheapest Way to Grow Pot Indoors

What are the best lights for growing cannabis indoors?

Most artificial lighting options fall into one of three categories: Fluorescent Grow Lights, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights, and LED Grow Lights. They’re all good for growing cannabis indoors, and you can find good deals online for all three.

Of the three, however, LED lights are the most energy-efficient, providing more light per watt than the other two options.

Does growing cannabis indoors produce better weed?

Naturalists will argue that weed grown outdoors is best because it can take full advantage of the best light source ever. Outdoor-grown plants are also generally not hampered by lack of space.

Medical Marijuana in Ccannabis Flower Before The Harvest Concept of herbal alternative medicine, cbd oil, medicine industry in a greenhouse

However, because an indoor grower can have complete control over the environment, his or her weed plants will more often produce better quality buds. When you grow plants indoors, you can make sure your plants get just the right amount of light, are raised in the ideal temperature and have the best soils and aeration.

Of course, it all comes down to how well you tend to your babies.

How can I save my dying cannabis plant?

In order to save your plants, you have to first figure out the root cause of their stress. Are your plants getting enough light?

Are you feeding them too much or too few nutrients? Overwatering or underwatering? Poor ventilation? Your plants might even be infested with a culprit too small to see by the naked eye.

Often you can solve the problem by making note of the problems you’re seeing in your plants and then doing an online search for the causes and how to best rectify them.

Final Thoughts

If you want (or need) to grow cannabis on a tight budget, know that it can be done! But it’s important to know where you can skimp a bit and where you should not. Nutrients are essential to your crop, so unless you have a good recipe for nutrient-rich soil and have the resources to get what you need, don’t cut corners on quality soil.

Whenever possible, it’s always best to consider not what you CAN’T do but what you CAN. You CAN save money on seeds by buying autoflowering genetics with shorter grow times or, better yet, by cloning good mother plants. You CAN reuse and recycle a lot of your materials like your soils and the pots you grow your plants in.

And you CAN make optimum use of free resources like natural sunlight and open windows to take advantage of natural airflow.

With a little effort and ingenuity, you CAN put together a decent setup and raise your first handful of indoor plants for as little as $200. That’s not a bad investment for a product that WILL give you hours of year-round enjoyment!