Make the Most of Your Home Cultivation Space: Cannabis Micro Growing 101

cannabis micro grow
By Anthony Pellegrino Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

As recreational and medical cannabis become more accessible than ever, an explosion of at-home cultivation has taken place. However, not everyone has the space, whether inside or outside, to grow their own marijuana.  

If you lack space to start your own home grow, micro growing may be a solution. 

Read on to learn more about micro growing weed: what it is, what you need, and tips and tricks to start your own micro grow in a limited space.

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What is Micro Growing?

So, what is micro growing? 

A cannabis micro grow is similar to standard marijuana cultivation but on a smaller, “micro” scale. 

While the space you have to grow may be smaller, that doesn't mean you still can't grow high-quality cannabis. In fact, micro growers can produce top-shelf flower with all the flavor, aroma, and potency of standard grows. 

Besides the constraint to limit the size of plants (and the additional effort and attention to detail that will require), micro growing weed doesn’t differ significantly from standard cannabis cultivation

Micro Growing Weed Setups

micro grow cannabis

There are a wide variety of micro grow setups that you can use to start cultivating marijuana in virtually any space. 

Here are some of the most common micro grows you may wish to use at home: 

Micro Growing Cannabis in The Closet

One of the oldest and most popular micro grow methods is growing marijuana in a closet. In fact, the closet grow method has been used since long before the term "micro grow" became standard industry lingo.

Virtually every home or apartment has a closet. This allows closet growers to use LED grow lights to feed their cannabis plants, and provides a dark environment to mimic the day-night cycle (which is also ideal if you plan on using light deprivation).

Depending on your preference, you can use soil or hydroponics as a growing medium in a closet micro grow. 

If you're interested in starting a micro grow, a spare closet offers the most straightforward option. 

Micro Growing Weed in a Computer Tower

While you may think growing weed in a closet was cramped, wait until you hear about how cultivators use empty computer towers to grow cannabis.

To clarify, a computer tower is a metal frame that contains all the hardware of a desktop computer. If you were to empty it out (or just buy an empty computer tower), you would be left with a solid, metal box perfect for a micro-grow setup. 

Considering how small this sort of micro grow space is, many cultivators use LEDs when growing weed in computer towers. This is because LEDs are small, efficient, and powerful grow lights naturally suited to this type of setup.

Micro Growing Weed in a Grow Tent 

Those readers who are familiar with indoor cannabis cultivation may already know about grow tents. These tents are specifically designed for growing cannabis plants in a limited amount of space. 

No matter how much space you have available, you should be able to easily find a grow tent to fit your area, with small grow tents offering a simple solution for would-be micro growers.

With any micro grow method, you'll still need to select the right materials and set up your space and equipment. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get started. 

Requirements for Micro Growing Weed

micro grow equipment

The right equipment will allow your cannabis plants to produce regardless of the space you have.


Most micro growers use soil as their growing medium of choice, considering it is much easier to use in a tiny space than a hydroponic setup. 

Since micro growing requires limiting the size your plants can reach, you'll want to initially plant your seedlings with a lot less soil than you otherwise would. 

The less soil there is, the less the roots will grow and expand, which plays a huge role in determining the size of the plant.


You'll also want to make sure you use small pots to limit the cannabis plant's size. 

If you use the same size pots you'd find in a typical indoor grow, you'll likely find that the cannabis plants will grow too tall and too wide for your limited space. 

It's generally recommended that you only use pots that are 3L in size or smaller, depending on your micro-grow setup. 


Grow lights are crucial for successfully cultivating cannabis. Micro grows make this essential requirement all the more significant given the unique circumstances involved.

Many cultivators have claimed that finding the right grow lights is the most challenging part of setting up a successful micro grow.

Since micro growing cannabis involves such a limited space, it can be difficult to distance particular grow lights far enough from a plant. When grow lights are too close, they may burn or otherwise harm the marijuana plant. 

LED grow lights offer a popular solution for DIY micro growers: they can readily provide the full spectrum of light necessary for healthy plant growth, and they don't produce that much heat. This means they can be placed closer to plants than is possible with other lighting. 

The only downside to LED grow lights is that many high-quality options can be prohibitively expensive, especially for hobbyists or small-time cultivators. 


While watering is obviously essential for any sort of plant cultivation, it's especially imperative while micro growing cannabis. 

This is because most micro grow setups (besides hydroponics) intentionally use significantly less soil than you otherwise would to limit the size of the plant. While this helps control the size of the plant, it has the unintended side effect of requiring more frequent watering. Put another way: the less soil there is, the faster it'll dry out. 

Keep this frequent need to water in mind when setting up your micro grow. If it’s possible in your space, do yourself a favor and ensure you can water the plants comfortably and efficiently. 

Pro tip: the base of the plant is the only place that should regularly be watered. If you regularly water the leaves or the buds, you run the risk of mold developing on your weed. 


Ventilation is another factor you'll need to pay extra attention to with any indoor micro grow setup. Strong cannabis plants require proper ventilation and air circulation. 

How you ventilate your grow ultimately depends on your setup. For example, if you're growing cannabis plants in your closet, you can simply keep the door open or make holes in the door, allowing air to circulate. Likewise, a small desktop fan makes for excellent ventilation and airflow, and its small size makes it ideal for micro growing. 


Finally, your plants need nutrients - like calcium and nitrogen - to grow big (well… relatively big) and strong. 

Since micro grows need to be watered more frequently than other indoor grows, you'll likely need to adjust the amount of nutrients you feed your plants with each watering. 

You'll find that many nutrients you purchase will likely have information right on the bottle with the proper amounts. However, these figures are typically meant for normal, full-sized plants. So, you'll need to be mindful – and maybe do a little math – to ensure you aren’t giving your micro grow plants too many or too few nutrients when feeding them. 

Ideal Cannabis Strains for Micro Growing

It’s important to remember that not every marijuana strain is suited for this type of small scale cultivation. 

But don't worry! There are plenty of high-quality cannabis strains to choose from that will thrive in a micro grow.

Ultimately, the best micro grow strains are those that stay relatively short and narrow and will grow and flower quickly. 

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is an excellent strain for micro growing as it doesn't take long for it to start flowering. If you begin a Blue Dream plant from a clone, you may find it starts to flower in as little as 10 weeks. 

Gelato 45

Like Blue Dream, Gelato 45 grows and flowers very quickly. It has long been a favorite of indoor growers, making it an ideal choice for micro growing. 

Critical Kush 

If you're an indica fan, you may want to try planting some Critical Kush. This is a legendary indica-dominant strain well suited to indoor grows with limited space. 

Easy Bud

Finally, one of the best strains for micro growing is Easy Bud. As the name suggests, this strain is easy to grow: it’s resilient, small (rarely growing over two feet in height), and perfect for beginners.

Tips and Tricks for Micro Growing Weed

micro grow weed tips

Once you have your bases covered (lighting, watering, ventilation), there are several other techniques you can introduce to have the best micro grow yield possible.

Use the Screen of Green (ScrOG) Technique

This indoor growing technique involves using a grid-like screen or net, such as chicken wire, to limit the height and width your cannabis plants will grow. Once the cannabis plants have grown through the holes of the screen, growers can weave the branches within the holes so that the plant will grow vertically instead of horizontally.  

This is an excellent technique for micro-growing, as you can have your cake and eat it too: you can limit the height of your plants without restricting the growth and the eventual yields your plants will produce. 

Defoliate Your Micro Grow Plants

If you want your micro grows to compensate for their limited size and produce the best yields possible, be sure to defoliate them as they grow. This process involves removing excess foliage so that more light can penetrate the plant, leading to bigger, better buds. 

Choose the Right Strains

As we mentioned earlier, not every cannabis strain is an ideal candidate for micro growing. Instead, you'll want one that naturally produces smaller plants and faster flowering times. 


Micro growing offers a home cultivation solution for medical cannabis patients and recreational consumers alike who may not have the space to start a traditional outdoor or indoor grow. And if you follow the tips laid out in this article, you can still produce top-shelf quality flower despite the space limitations.

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The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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