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What’s the Best Number of Plants to Grow

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There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to the best number of plants to grow in an indoor setup. I’ll walk you through the benefits of growing just one plant vs the benefits of growing many, and then give you some real-life examples with specific setups. That way you get the information you need to make the best decision for your garden

phlizon full-spectrum LED grow light

One or Many Plants: Costs vs Benefits

Growing Just 1-2 Cannabis Plants at a Time

Pros

  • Easier – Fewer plants make it easy to pay attention to each individual plant and it’s often easier to reach all the plants.
  • Much Simpler – You won’t need to compromise as much between plants with different needs.
  • Less Time Daily – Spend less time on a daily basis caring for plants (making nutrient water, watering, training plants, etc).
  • May Be Only Legal Choice – Many growers live in an area with a limit on the number of plants they can grow (for example in Canada you are only allowed to grow 4 plants at a time, and each legal US state  has different growing rules). These growers don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to how many plants to grow.

Cons

  • Less Variety – You’ll only be able to grow one or two strains, instead of many strains at once.
  • Fewer (or Smaller) Harvests – Yield is based on how well you fill the grow space with plants before they start flowering. With just one or two plants, it takes extra time for each plant to fully spread out in the vegetative stage so you achieve the best yields. This results in fewer harvests a year. Alternatively, if the grow space has empty spots during the flowering stage you’ll end up with smaller yields.

Should you grow just one or two plants at a time and let them get big?

It took 8 weeks in the vegetative stage to train the plants to grow this way. Yet it was a joy to focus on just one plant and get to form a relationship with it.

In the flowering stage, the plant rewarded the effort with buds that filled the space where the plant was trained

Growing Many Cannabis Plants at a Time

Pros

  • Faster Harvests – Especially in a large grow space, several plants can fill the space faster during the vegetative stage than just one or two plants. This allows the grower to switch to the flowering stage sooner.
  • Max Yield for the Time and Electricity – A shorter grow period results in extra harvests. If you are looking to get the biggest yield in the shortest amount of time (maximizing your yield for the electricity), this is an effective strategy.
  • More Variety – With a higher number of plants, you’ll have the ability to grow a greater variety of strains at the same time.

Cons

  • More Daily Care – You will usually spend more time on a daily basis tending your plants, and it’s often more difficult to reach the plants in the back.
  • Different Plants Have Different Needs – Each plant prefers slightly different levels of nutrients, light intensity, etc. The differences can be especially stark when growing many different strains at once.
  • More Difficult to Train – Training plants to grow wide and flat results in the best yields, but it can be more difficult to train multiple plants. Some plants grow much taller/faster than others, and you have work around all the other plants. To simplify things, some growers avoid any training when growing many palnts at once.
  • May Be Illegal Where You Live – It may be against the law to grow a large number of plants even if growing is legal where you live.

Should you grow many plants so they fill your grow space faster?

It only took 6 weeks for those plants to completely fill up this grow space. Imagine how long it would have taken for one plant to grow this big!

No Matter How Many Plants You Grow…

  • Similar Yields Per Square Foot – Plants yields are based mostly on the size/shape of the canopy in relation to your grow light, not the number of plants. Filling the total surface area of plants under the light with bud sites is what matters, and it doesn’t really matter if you use one plant or many to fill the space before flipping to the flowering stage.

That means even if you can only grow a few plants at a time, you can still get the same yields in your grow space as someone who can grow more plants! It just might take a little bit longer in the vegetative stage.

It doesn’t matter whether this canopy was created by one plant or many. However you got here, your yields will be about the same as long as everything else is equal!

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  • Miya Lin
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