Living in an apartment gets so limiting sometimes. Outdoor cultivators have large gardens, house-owners their dedicated grow rooms, and what do you have? Growing weed on a balcony? Yes, precisely.
Don’t ditch the desire to smoke tasty, homegrown buds due to your living situation. Learn all about growing weed on your balcony right here, right now.
This cultivation practice is nothing to scoff at. It combines the best parts of outdoor cannabis gardening with some control over your setup. Plus, it’s oh-so-convenient.
Take advantage and see your plants thrive without sacrificing an inch of your actual living space.
We’ll explain the basics and share actionable cultivation tips to set you up for success. We’ll then share four strains perfect for this type of deal.
Can I grow weed on the balcony?
Before discussing the details, let’s dispel potential doubts. Is growing weed on my balcony worth my time and effort, you may ask. The answer is yes.
Ultimately, the best place to grow weed depends on your situation. Growing weed on a balcony is the perfect solution for apartment-dwellers who don’t have room to spare. It lets them cultivate outdoors, even in the city center. The results are way better than with windowsill setups.
But I have room for a tent, you say. Why choose growing weed on the balcony then?
Natural sunlight exposure does wonders for your crops. As a bonus, the sun is free of charge, leaving you free of massive utility bills. No investment in a ventilation system and heaters, either.
If you’ve cultivated indoors before, growing weed on your balcony is a way to dip your toes into outdoor setups. In this case, your marijuana plants are still in containers rather than direct soil. You have some control over the setup but learn to work with the elements.
Of course, growing weed on your apartment balcony comes with prerequisites, unique challenges, and concessions. Let’s discuss the upsides and downsides of this cultivation option.
Growing weed on your balcony: Benefits and drawbacks
Growing weed on a balcony is a fantastic way to get homegrown buds. It brings novelty to an experienced cultivator and poses a fun way to get started for rookies.
Still, most people choose it out of necessity, not preference. Let’s paint a full picture of this system to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
The perks of growing weed at home translate to balcony cultivation. Here’s why many people start growing weed on the balcony:
- The convenience is unprecedented. Many small apartment-owners can’t dedicate a whole room or even corner to cultivation. Luckily, your terrace is here to save the day.
- Nature helps you succeed. Sunlight and light rainfall are nectar for budding cannabis crops.
- It’s perfect for small projects. You can sow several specimens in pots and test the waters without significant commitment.
- It’s more protected. Outdoor growers have to watch for unwanted visitors (human and animal) tasting their crops. By design, your balcony doesn’t face such issues.
- It’s cost-efficient. Growing weed on the balcony is the second-best budget-friendly option (after straight-up outdoor cultivation on a patch of land).
Growing weed on your balcony brings several challenges to keep in mind, too. Notably:
- Discretion is a big issue. You must use the smallest available strains or practice training methods for privacy and security.
- There’s no way to control the smell of ripening buds. You’ll have to check whether your neighbors are cool with it and install protection against wandering hands.
- Sunlight might not be sufficient. Unless you’re facing the sunny side most of the day, you might need to supplement light with lamps.
- You’ll need protection from the elements, or harsh wind and heavy rainfall can hurt your crops.
As you can see, growing weed on a balcony has some tricky elements, but they’re not impossible. With that in mind, let’s move on to your steps towards success.
How to grow weed on apartment balconies: Step by step
Now you’re intrigued by the idea of growing weed on your balcony, let’s elaborate on the specifics. The following steps are your way to a hefty harvest.
Step 1: Analyze your space
To start, you need to know what you’re working with. Take a look at your balcony and determine the following:
- How much direct sunlight does the space receive? At which time of day?
- Is it hot or cold when you step outside? How much does the temperature fluctuate between days and nights?
- Do you have overhead and side protection?
- How much stretching space will your future crops have? Vertically and horizontally?
All these factors play into growing weed on a balcony.
The light cycle for weed is especially significant. Photoperiods require at least six hours of light a day (double for fruitful harvests) and uninterrupted darkness at night. Pick up grow lamps to use as light supplements on overcast days.
If you live in a light-polluted city, consider autos that don’t get too stressed after disrupted light/dark periods. If you’re not growing autoflowers, cover your plants with something opaque at night.
Your climate determines your strain choice for growing weed on the balcony. If it’s harsh and cold in the fall, go for the more resistant indica family. Sunny-staters are free to plant sativa.
The size of your terrace also plays a role. As a rule of thumb, if you can barely fit a coffee table and chairs, choose tiny indica strains.
Step 2: Get the medium and pots
Growing weed on a balcony entails container cultivation. Visit a local gardening shop and get pots and saucers to catch the excess water.
Read up on your strain of choice to determine the ideal container size. Err on the side of caution, and get bigger ones if you’re unsure. After all, stretching space is rarely a bad thing.
The growing medium is a vital part of growing weed on your balcony. Good soil goes a long way in boosting harvest quantity and quality.
Get airy, organic soil with excellent drainage and natural marijuana fertilizers. Place rocks at the bottom of the pot to avoid root rot.
Step 3: Find the perfect timing
The timing for growing weed on a balcony is essential. The right time to sow seeds depends on whether you’re growing photoperiod or autoflowering cannabis.
The latter case is more straightforward. Autos finish their life cycle in under three months, letting you cultivate at the peak of summer. Avoid planting before May rolls around and never harvest past early October to sidestep lingering cold spells.
What about photoperiod cultivators growing weed on a balcony? The specifics depend on your climate. In general, don’t take your pots outdoors before early April. Harvest in mid-October, the latest.
Step 4: Train your plants
Now, this is the tricky part of growing weed on your balcony. Training techniques are lifesavers, keeping your crops compact and maintaining discretion.
Wait for vegging to take hold before grabbing your scissors or mesh wire. Research the following techniques and choose one (or several) for your needs:
- Screen of Green—ideal for lanky plants with long branches
- Sea of Green—perfect for short and bushy crops
- Topping—necessary for whichever tall plant you pick
- Low-stress training—useful for promoting lateral growth
- Supercropping—great for managing height
Step 5: Check and manage growth
You’ve made your crops manageable and suitable for their space. All you need to do next is care for them till harvest time.
In this regard, growing weed on a balcony is no different than other systems. Provide optimal conditions and watch for signs of trouble to maintain plant health.
Good gardening practices include:
- Regular feeding and watering
- Checking for signs of stress and deficiency
- Trimming excess foliage and branches
- Protecting your crops from adverse weather
- Providing light supplementation if necessary
Growing weed on a balcony: Safety tips
You’re cultivating in a 420-friendly state and staying within your rights. There’s no need to worry about safety and security, right? Unfortunately, you’re mistaken.
Cannabis still faces stigmatization across the US. You might get weird looks for your gardening project or downright complaints from neighbors.
On the opposite extreme, we have those a bit too enthusiastic about marijuana. Passers-by might spot your ripe buds brewing and steal some while you’re not looking.
Bypass both problems with our tips on safely growing weed on your balcony.
Tip #1: Choose the right strain
Smart strain selection is key to growing weed on your balcony. For one, picking the right genome will help you achieve abundance. What’s more, you’ll find it much easier to keep your grow patch secure from start to finish.
The following rules help you choose the best cultivar for your terrace garden:
- Go for indicas instead of sativas. Short sativa strains exist, but indicas are generally the way to go. Their horizontal growth seamlessly fits the edges of your balcony.
- Choose strains with lower light requirements. Setting up grow lamps outside is conspicuous, so pick plants that thrive with what’s available.
- Pick hardy cultivars. Finicky plants that get stressed from training aren’t ideal for balconies. Find a resilient one that won’t mind the branch manipulation.
Tip #2: Hide your crops
Even if your community is cool with 420, it’s better not to advertise that you’re growing weed on your balcony. Moving the crops from a direct line of sight thwarts nosy onlookers and potential thieves.
Employ training techniques to prevent your plants from spilling over the balcony edge. Taming vertical growth can boost yields, too, killing two birds with one stone.
You could also add companion plants, which repel pests and prying eyes. Add some decorative plants, hiding the marijuana in plain sight. Nobody will ever suspect what’s hiding between the ficus and fern.
Tip #3: Cover the smell
Besides the tell-tale cannabis appearance, the smell could give away the fact that you’re growing weed on your balcony. Installing a carbon filter isn’t an option here, but there are ways to tame the smells of maturing trichomes.
Fill your garden with flowers and herbs— known as companion plants. Mint, lavender, and roses emanate aromas that keep your canna-patch under wraps.
4 top cannabis strains to grow on your balcony
We’ve discussed choosing strains already, but how does it look in practice? Here are four cultivars perfect for growing weed on the balcony.
Note: We share feminized seeds that suit this purpose below. If you have some experience and want to get buds even quicker, try autoflowering variants of these marijuana superstars.
1. Northern Lights
Northern Lights feminized have a mixed heritage but develop like indicas, suitable for growing weed on an apartment balcony. These resilient herbs are among the easiest strains to grow and ask for very little to prosper.
Train your plants to stretch horizontally, and they won’t reach past three feet in height. Trim its bushy foliage to help buds develop. You’ll soon be collecting an abundant harvest.
The sweet smells of these flowers translate into a taste explosion on your palate. Several puffs in, and you’re carefree and happy, immersing yourself in your favorite hobby.
|Flavors||Sweet, skunk, citrus|
|Effects||Euphoric, carefree, relaxed|
|Flowering time||6–8 weeks|
|Yield||17 oz./m² indoors / 31 oz./plant outdoors|
2. Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese feminized is a spicy specimen with an unusual quirk perfect for growing weed on the balcony. It prefers cooler climates, thriving even if the nights get cold in your city condo.
You’ll need some training experience with these babies. They stretch quite tall when left unattended, showing your garden to the world. Weave the branches through a mesh or top your crop to help it stay in its lane.
An aromatic affair awaits upon curing the buds. This potent strain gets the creative juices flowing, making it perfect for anybody seeking motivation and inspiration.
|Flavors||Blueberry, cheese, spice|
|Effects||Creative, relaxed, uplifted|
|Flowering time||8–9 weeks|
|Yield||17–19 oz./m² indoors / 21 oz./plant outdoors|
3. Afghan Kush
Afghan Kush feminized is a pure indica cultivar that makes growing weed on your balcony a breeze. Used to mountainous regions with very little sunshine, this one flourishes even in low-light conditions.
These beauties grow quite short, dedicating energy to lateral development. Keeping them hidden is effortless, even without companion plants. Once you collect the colas, it’s time to wind down. Revel in the quintessential indica flavor and effect profile that eliminates worry from your system.
|Flavors||Earthy, wood, incense|
|Effects||Sedative, serene, sleepy|
|Flowering time||7–9 weeks|
|Yield||15–17 oz./m² indoors / 15–21 oz./plant outdoors|
LSD feminized makes growing weed on a balcony easy and prolific. This high-yielder shows incredible resistance towards common cultivation errors that plague cannabis.
Basic maintenance is enough to make this hardy herb thrive. Growth is predominantly vertical, keeping things concealed. Your effort results in sweet-and-spicy buds that send you on a wild cerebral ride. Light up to perceive new colors and sounds and discover why this cultivar got such an evocative name.
|Flavors||Earthy, sweet, skunky|
|Effects||Cerebral, trippy, calming|
|Flowering time||7 weeks|
|Yield||21 oz./m² indoors / 21 oz./plant outdoors|
Growing weed on your balcony: Possible and productive
Today’s takeaway is simple. Is growing weed on my balcony even possible? Yes, and it can bring one hell of a harvest.
Don’t shy away from cultivation due to space restrictions. We in the 420 community are a smart bunch; we make things work, and so can you. Study our tips and pick the perfect strain to maximize the output. Once you do, visit our shop and buy seeds to launch your growing journey.
Stay tuned to our blog for more inspiring guides on all things cannabis.
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.