What Is The Solo Cup Grow Technique And How To Apply It?

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solo cup challenge
Author avatar By Derek LaRose
September 29, 2022
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Are you thirsty for a new and exciting way to cultivate marijuana seeds? Try the solo cup grow method; you’ll have the cutest little cannabis plants. If you master this challenge, you get adorable bud-bearing weed cups

Read on to learn why people want to grow marijuana in these containers, its disadvantages, and how you can cultivate a canna-cup plant too. We also share our top five strains that thrive in this method. Drink up! 

Solo cup grow: Why is it hard?

Growing cannabis in a cup is an amusing venture, but there are a few challenges to this technique. Here are some of the difficulties you may encounter when embarking on this mini-adventure: 

  • Roots need space to grow and may get constricted in the small base of the cup. 
  • As the plants expand, it can be challenging to water them adequately to ensure enough fluid reaches the roots. 
  • Growing in potentially suffocating conditions, you have to create the optimal climate as they’re more prone to mold, dehydration, and diseases. 
  • As the plants get bigger and heavier, balancing them is challenging because the cups aren’t as stable as pots. This issue may cause plants to fall over. 
  • New strains of weed that aren’t hardy or have ruderalis genetics won’t survive growing in a cup.

Advantages of growing weed in a cup

Why would anyone want to grow cannabis in a cup? Here are the benefits of growing cannabis in a cup: 

  • Cups provide excellent insulation for marijuana plants, especially during their early stages when they’re hungry. Following the weed fertilizers steps, the cup locks the water and nutrients in so the roots can take what they need. 
  • Perforating holes in a cup is easy and practical. The tiny craters are ideal for excellent drainage while preventing excessive fluid loss. 
  • If you have limited space, a solo cup cannabis growing method helps you cultivate plants that fit anywhere from your bedside to a windowsill.
  • Plastic cups are probably the cheapest container to grow cannabis seeds in. 
  • With a clear plastic cup, you can easily see the entirety of your plant, including the roots. By monitoring this, you’ll be able to spot root rot or other issues before they manifest on the entire plant.
  • If you need to suddenly hide your plants (perhaps a surprise visit from the in-laws), transferring them to a secret space is easy.
  • Solo cup weed plants are easy to transfer. Simply cut the plastic cup and move the plant to another grow medium or container. 

Disadvantages of a Solo cup grow

Solo cup cannabis growing has its downside too. Here are some disadvantages of putting marijuana plants in cups: 

  • Stunted growth due to lack of space for roots to expand 
  • Some cups are made from harsh chemicals which could degrade and damage your plants. Eco-friendly or biodegradable ones typically don’t have this effect. 
  • During flowering, your plants become thirsty, so you’ll need to water them frequently, which may prove difficult while they’re in cups. 
solo cup grow

Solo cup weed grow method: step by step 

Are you ready to start growing weed in a cup? You only need to gather your cannabis seeds, a plastic cup, some soil, and a pair of scissors. Here are the steps to planting this mini marijuana masterpiece

Step 1: Cannabis seeds germination

Germinating is the first step in growing marijuana seeds, regardless of which medium, method, or container you plan on using. Also known as popping, this step involves sprouting your seeds, so they’re ready to be planted in the soil.

The best way to germinate before growing cannabis in a cup is using the paper towel method. Gather a plate, two paper towels, and some water and follow these steps: 

  1. Dampen the paper towels and place one onto the plate. 
  2. Put the cannabis seeds onto the paper towel, ensuring they’re at least one inch apart. 
  3. Cover with the remaining paper towel. Check that there’s no water pooling on the plate. 
  4. Store in a warm place and look out for taproots which take between 1–5 days to sprout. 

Step 2: Planting in a cup

Once taproots appear, they’re ready for you to plant them. Before you get started, poke a few holes at the bottom of the cup to create sufficient drainage.

Seedlings are hungry and need excellent nutrition to help them grow fast and strong. Add a potting mix or organic nutrient solution to your soil so your marijuana seeds get enough nutrients. 

When starting your solo cup grow project, remember that seedlings are fragile, so handle them carefully. While transplanting cannabis sprouts from the paper plate to the soil, it’s advisable to use tweezers or earbuds to prevent accidents. 

Step 3: Take care of the cannabis plant

The only difference with a solo cup weed grow is the roots won’t have much room to expand, giving you smaller than usual plants. If you know how to harvest cannabis, you’ll notice your yields are less than expected with cup growing. 

As your marijuana seeds grow, feed them sufficient nutrients and water. If you’re placing these on a windowsill, they can become easily dehydrated, so check that the soil is always moist. The cluttered roots may require a lot of water, especially during the early stages. 

If you’re nurturing a large cultivar, you should train your plants so they don’t get too big. Pruning is essential, so they don’t lose sufficient nutrition. Take care of your flora daily, as growing weed in a cup makes them vulnerable to deficiencies and lockout. 

solo cup cannabis
Best Outdoor Strains

Best 5 strains for the growing weed in a cup method

There are some strains better suited for a solo cup grow than others. The best cultivars for cup growing are those that don’t become monsters and are hardy and generous. Here are our top 5 picks:

Critical Kush feminized

Wave goodbye to sleepless nights because the buds from Critical Kush feminized seeds relax your pants off. These cannabis seeds are straightforward to grow, and as descendants of the famous Skunk#1 strain, they’re incredibly hardy. 

These photoperiods have a compact structure, making them ideal for growing cannabis in a cup. When cultivating discreetly, invest in odor filters as they have a dank scent. This indica dominant hybrid flowers in 7–8 weeks and is a heavy-yielder. 

Wedding Cake autoflower

Have a slice of pure euphoria with the delicious buds from Wedding Cake autoflower seeds. Veteran growers are the perfect match for this strain. These plants burst with sweet terpenes, and the buds are colored in vibrant hues. 

These autoflowering cannabis seeds become short plants providing an abundant harvest and entering the flowering stage without switching light cycles. They don’t develop side branches, making them easy to manage for your solo cup weed project. 

Zkittlez feminized

Taste the rainbow with the candy-flavored buds from Zkittlez feminized seeds. This stout, bushy plant is ideal for intermediate to advanced growers. Its dense, voluminous foliage makes it prone to mold and can get so heavy it’ll weigh the plant down.

Its short nature and high-yielding properties make it the perfect strain for the solo cup cannabis growing method. Regular trimming and pruning keep the bushy foliage down and prevent mold build-up. 

Zkittlez feminized

Blueberry autoflower

Chase your blues away with this fruity, sweet toke. Blueberry autoflower seeds give you the classic Blueberry strain in a shorter form and faster time. These small, dense plants are brimming with lavender foliage and heavy purple buds

Their bushy foliage may pose a challenge when growing weed in a cup. Prune and regularly trim before flowering to ensure buds get sufficient nutrients and light. Beginners and veterans find success with this cultivar. 

Amnesia Haze

Forget your worries with the mind-blasting buds from Amnesia Haze feminized seeds. These terpene-rich plants are short with dense foliage requiring your attention with trimming and pruning.

It’s the ideal strain for a solo cup weed grow because it’s generous and thrives in any set-up. Your main challenge is keeping the foliage light for better airflow as it’s prone to mold and mildew. 

Raise your cups for cannabis 

Embarking on a solo cup grow challenge isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding to see glorious buds grow out of a tiny cup. Your plants flourish as long as you feed them properly, prune and trim, and keep them hydrated. 

Choosing the correct strain delivers the best results for this challenge. At Homegrown Cannabis Co., we offer a wide range of high-quality cannabis seeds, including those we recommended for your solo cup weed endeavors. Shop our selection of top-shelf marijuana seeds today.


About the author: Derek LaRose

Also known as Kronic from The Cannabis Kronicles, Derek LaRose is a young ambitious cultivator and a staple educator for indoor cultivation.