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#2: How many plants should I grow?

August 12, 2018

Red and green peppers pile

New growers often think that the more plants you grow, the more yield you can expect. While generally, this may be true for outdoor growing, this is not correct for growing indoors.  When growing indoors the size of your yield will depend primarily on the amount of light your plant(s) get and the space they have to grow. The particular strain, having the right airflow and adequate nutrients are also important. 

As a VERY general guideline, growers will be able to produce 0.5 grams per 1 watt of light in your grow room. New growers can expect to produce less than this

So, whether you decide to grow 1 plant in the light/space that you have available, or 4 plants, you can expect to get a comparable yield.

How many plants should I grow?  

There are a number of things to consider when deciding how many plants to start growing with (apart from yield).  Below are a few of those points to help you decide.  

  • Variety of strains:Growing more plants means you can grow different strains. Also, you can expect different yields from different strains.  
  • Have a backup plan: Some of your seeds might not germinate. Or they may end up being males, or hermies when you get to the “preflowering” stage (only females provides buds).  Having more plants is more forgiving as it gives you options if you run into surprises.
  • Shorter harvest time: Multiple plants will fill the available growing space faster than one plant. So growing more plants will reduce the time spent in the vegetative stage, and the time before harvesting…we are talking 1 or 2 weeks at most.
  • More time consuming:  Each plant needs to be separately watered, trained, etc.  
  • More challenging to care for: If your plants end up having different needs, then you may have to compromise on the care given to some of them because they share a single grow tent environment.
  • The more plants you have, the more space you need to tend to them: Depending the growing technique you plan on using, your plants need between 2 – 6 sq.ft per plant.

Nowadays, I generally grow 2 plants because I have a better success rate than I did when I started growing, and because I am better at “training” my plants to grow bushier. Also, it’s more relaxing and enjoyable. But maybe you want to try multiple strains, or want to hedge your bets and grow more plants…its all good. 

Below are some suggestions for Example Grow Spaces

2'x2' Space – Up to 2 Plants

2'x4' Space – Up to 4 Plants

3'x3' Space – Up to 4 Plants

4'x4' Space – Up to 6 Plants

Tip: You will hear the word “canopy” a lot when it comes to growing. Your canopy is the amount of green space your plants consume (e.g. leaves, buds, stalks) within your grow space. The size of your desired canopy will impact the tent size you need, the amount of lighting you need, etc.  More on this in our next post!

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