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Big Cannabis Yields in Small Spaces

Last updated: 11 November 2023

big cannabis yields in small spaces

There are all kinds of cool things happening in the world of small indoor cannabis growing at the moment. People are even growing weed inside their desktop computers. It’s quite amazing how a little thought and ingenuity can turn your small area into an efficient, high-yielding grow space.

In this article, we’ll be looking at everything from closet setups to futuristic automated grow boxes that control every aspect of your operation. We’ll also recommend selected growing techniques and offer some shorter-growing strain choices to help you generate those big cannabis yields in small spaces.

What Your Space Needs

To photosynthesize, your plants will require some kind of lighting. Small grows operate best under high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, although some light-emitting diode (LED) lamps will do the job as well.

You will also require an extractor fan, filter, ducting, oscillating fan, and a method of cooling or heating the air. Other things to consider are:

Having Enough Vertical Space

having enough vertical space

what your space needs

This is where your strain choice becomes of paramount importance. Most pure Sativas and Sativa-dominant hybrids will stretch toward the light, even in a small indoor grow room. Plants that grow too close to the light are susceptible to light burn or light bleaching, which can place significant stress on them.


Keeping your small marijuana growing space clean will have far-reaching benefits for your lovely weed plants. Cleanliness means hygiene, reducing the likelihood of problems arising from disease, pests, or mold. In urban areas, between 4-11% of fine particles in the air are made up of fungal spores. In fact, there are between 1,000 and 10,000 fungal spores in every cubic meter of air. Some of these can be lethal to your plants and don’t need much of an invitation to attack. Keep your small indoor marijuana grow space clean and sterile to avoid such issues.


In order to photosynthesize, plants need to be able to breathe. Your little ladies require carbon dioxide, but the earth’s atmosphere is only made up of 0.04% of the stuff. So, there’s not a whole lot to go around. Without fresh air, your plants will literally starve. Warm, dank, stale, and humid environments are conducive to these problems: fungal growth, disease, and pests.

How to Set Up Your Space

Firstly, choose where you’re going to grow your ganja, or more specifically, what in. You can choose between grow tents, grow boxes, cupboards, closets, or really anything you can make work. Tents and grow boxes are custom designed for the purpose and have their own pros and cons. We’ll take a closer look at each of these below, as well as include some extra ideas on microgrowing.


Growing tents come in all different shapes and sizes and are well suited to growing weed in small spaces. They’re made from durable canvas and come with hanging space and existing ventilation ports, offering a sterile environment away from external pathogens. But perhaps the best thing about grow tents is their mobility. You can collapse and remove a grow space in a matter of minutes. Conversely, you can have your new grow space up and running in no time at all.

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Grow Boxes

Grow boxes are small, discreet grow spaces that come as kits and include everything needed for your small cannabis grow. They can be tucked away in closets, or some are even disguised as stylish cabinets with sophisticated décor that can be hidden in plain sight. They normally come complete with ventilation and airflow systems, lighting, and a filter for odor control. The more advanced units – and therefore the more expensive – also come with futuristic climate control options. You can control humidity, temperature, CO2 levels, light and darkness hours, watering, nutrient schedules, and general atmospheric conditions all through a central processor.


While tents offer the benefit of mobility, closets offer the advantage of stealth. It’s possible to line existing closets with a waterproof and light-reflective surface, essentially turning them into a fixed grow box. You’ll need to get a little creative – and show us your carpentry skills! – by cutting out both air intake and outtake ventilation ports. You may even have a ready-made coat hanger to fasten your lights to. If not, you’ll need to rig something up.


Microgrowing is like growing in small spaces, but on an even smaller scale. You wouldn’t believe what people are capable of these days. If you can dream it, you can do it. A Google search for “growing cannabis inside a computer” will have your mind spinning with the possibilities. We have an entire blog post dedicated to microgrowing as well! Nowadays, people are growing out of fridges, ovens, bedside cabinets, and more!

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Plant Strains Suited for Small Spaces

Certain cannabis strains are better suited to small spaces than others. In general, you’re not going to grow a Sativa-dominant strain, as these usually stretch into quite tall plants. That leaves us with Indica and autoflowering strains to consider. We’ve made your job a little easier by categorizing these strains for you below:

Indoor Cannabis Seeds – This collection of cannabis seeds was created especially for indoor cultivation. These strains thrive under artificial light and in small indoor cannabis grows.

Small Marijuana Plants – If the final size of your cannabis plants is of the utmost importance, this is the category for you. These seeds produce short-growing plants that come loaded with THC.

Low-Odor Cannabis Strains – This assortment of seeds is best suited for the stealth grower – someone who needs to grow their pot without anyone else knowing about it. An odorless growing experience like this will leave nothing to be desired from your closet grow.

Indica Seeds – As a general rule, Indica strains of weed are shorter than their Sativa counterparts. Many Indica-leaning hybrids share the genetic traits of their Indica lineage and are therefore ideal for growing in small spaces.

Autoflower Seeds – Autoflowering strains are created by crossing Indica and Sativa strains with Ruderalis, an exceptionally short species that grows wild in northern areas of Asia and Russia. Autoflowers grow short and flower quickly, making them ideal for stealth growers operating in small grow rooms.

Train Your Cannabis

With only a small marijuana growing space to work with, you’ll want to maximize your yields by using all the available area. This means creating a level canopy using a number of different training techniques. High-stress training (HST) can be implemented relatively early in the form of topping. This can be combined with low-stress Training (LST), in which different branches are tied down, producing offshoots that become new cola sites.

Selective pruning can increase the yields of your small indoor cannabis grow. Removing unnecessary vegetation from the bottom of your plant focuses more energy at the top. And that’s where all the biggest buds form – nearest the lights!

You can combine these techniques with scrogging (ScrOG), in which branches are woven through mesh just before the lights are flipped to the flowering stage. This opens up the plant, creating a nice even canopy. Anything below the canopy can be pruned.

Finally, you may wish to also employ the Sea of Green (SoG) method to your small cannabis grow room, with a greater number of plants per square foot than usual. This is particularly useful in areas where there are no legal restrictions on the number of plants you can grow. It means less time in the vegetative state and ultimately higher yields.

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Control the Climate

There is a so-called ‘goldilocks zone’ that your cannabis plants will appreciate growing in. This is different for every individual strain, although they generally thrive in moderate temperatures between 20-28oC (68-82oF). Cannabis grows best in mildly humid environments of 40-55%, although this could be higher when your plants are in full vegetation mode. It’s also particularly easy to enrich CO2 levels when growing in small spaces, which will accelerate vegetative growth and increase bud yields.

Keep the Lights a Good Distance from Plants

plants get too close to the light

keep the lights a good distance from plants

If your plants get too close to the light, they can burn or bleach, leaving them stressed. Light-stressed cannabis may even turn hermaphrodite, followed by producing dreaded seedy bud. You can use a light meter to gauge the optimal distance between your lights and the canopy. Light meters can be expensive, but you probably walk around with an able substitute in your pocket.

If you have a decent smartphone, you can download a light meter app that taps into your camera’s light sensor – and these apps are surprisingly accurate. Your plants will have different light requirements based upon their stage of growth. You can use this as a guide, although keep in mind that strains differ slightly in their light requirements, and it’s always best to stay below the maximum values. As a wise man once told me: “Stay well below 100%. Because you don’t want to see what happens at 101%.”

Seedlings and clones: 5,000-7,000 lux

Vegetative: 15,000-50,000 lux

Flowering: 45,000-65,000 lux.

75,000 lux is the absolute maximum light a plant can take, and some strains will show signs of light stress here. All strains will bleach or burn if you reach 85,000 lux.

Summing Up on Growing Weed in Small Spaces

Find yourself a good place to grow your weed, then decide what you’re going to grow it in. Choose an ideal strain that’s suited to growing in small spaces. Set up your small grow with good ventilation and ensure your lights aren’t too close to your plants. Control the climate so that your plants live in the ‘goldilocks zone’. Make sure they have fresh air, as well as good air movement around the limbs and canopy. Finally, train your weed to increase yields. Happy growing! If you have any questions, fire them in the comments below!

Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.

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