Q&A: How Much Marijuana Per Plant?
One of the most common questions growers get consumed with:
How much marijuana per plant?
That is the million-dollar question.
The answer to that, however, is not so straightforward.
Growing includes many factors that can either make or break your plant yields.
These factors are unique to the growing space and the methods you are using, but also wholly dependent on the competence of the grower (you!).
Factors Affecting Marijuana Yield
This is a brief overview of the different factors that influence marijuana plant yields.
Remember that this is based on the experiences and accounts of experienced growers, but your actual results may vary.
Strain & Breeding
Of course, you can’t build a robust and bountiful plant with bad seeds or strains.
The grower who is wanting to go beyond just tossing in seeds they find in their bag will pay attention to strain.
Some growers have shared their favorite strains that have been proven, in their cases, to produce the highest yield.
Among these recommended strains include Gold Leaf at the top, followed by other familiar strains such as Strawberry Kush and Sour Diesel.
It’s important to note that just because someone says a strain will have a good yield, doesn’t mean you’ll see those results.
Knowledge shared in regards to strains and yields are wholly dependent on growing methods as well as the grower themselves.
Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors can significantly dictate your yields.
Marijuana plants grow best outdoors, since nature is the best growing environment.
A few factors play a role here.
Like the space that your marijuana has to grow (more room to grow = more yield), and the number of hours of sunlight on your plants during the vegetation stage.
That said, you CAN completely replicate this environment indoors with the right lights and grow room setup.
You know that light equals energy and the more energy a plant has, the more it will grow.
Experienced growers can expect to produce about 1 gram of bud per 1 watt (15 lumens), but again, it depends on so many other mitigating factors.
The more it grows, the larger the yield.
Here's what you can expect to yield, depending on the type, and strength of your lighting:
- Incandescent light (i.e. the lights you use in your house), will NOT help you grow marijuana.
- Smaller lighting under 4500 lumens (or 300 W) will usually yield you anywhere from a few grams to a few ounces if you’re lucky.
- If you use medium-sized indoor lighting (i.e. 301-600 W or 4515-9000 lumen such as LED, LEC, or HPS lights, you’ll start seeing multiple ounces of yield, from 5-20oz.
- When you get up to 10,000 lumens or more, this is when you can expect to get your yield into the pounds, with a possible 2lb yield (dependent on other factors).
Another factor to consider in your lighting is plants per lamp.
If you have four plants under one lamp, you’ll yield much more than if you have sixteen plants under the lamp.
It’s pretty basic logic.
Don’t automatically assume that you’ll yield more pot if you stuff as many plants under one light as you possibly can.
The space in which your plant is growing is also as important as the lighting—cannabis needs a lot of room to stretch its roots.
New growers, or those who aren’t quite ready to make the leap into purchasing equipment, will usually use a Solo cup for their seedlings.
You will still get weed out of these plants if they aren’t transplanted, but you will likely yield only 1 ounce or less.
Smaller pots in the area of 3-5 gallons will get you to a mid-sized grow where you can expect to yield multiple ounces from your plant.
You can expect perhaps up to 10 ounces in a small pot.
If you have planted or transplanted, your seed in a larger pot in the area of 6 or more gallons, you’ll likely get into yields in the pounds.
No matter what your container, you must match your lighting efforts with your environment as well as the other factors we’ll highlight to increase your marijuana per plant.
Another fundamental principle of horticultural, that greatly affects yields, are the nutrients used.
The marijuana plant needs to have sufficient doses of “NPK” which is the Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).
A successful grow depends on keeping up the NPK ratios in your soil.
The role of the grower is to ensure that the soil used and any additional nutrients you add contains a balanced amount of NPKs.
The thing about this is, though, there is no overwhelming consensus on the best levels, but there are some recommendations available for growers.
These are the general best practices:
While this may sound intimidating, you don’t have to be an expert chemist to get the basics of plant nutrients.
Training Your Plant with You as the Coach
This is where the grower becomes one of the biggest contributing factors to a plants yield.
Your success depends on your ability to research your plant, find the best tools to help with your grow and to remain diligent and consistent while growing.
Training your plant is likened to an exercise regimen.
This means that if you work with your plants enough in their growth process, you can influence the amount of marijuana per yield.
Robert Braskey is a grower who gives some helpful tips about yields and the various methods you can use to train your plants:
There are three main ways that you can dedicate yourself to training your plant:
- Bending and securing, commonly referred to “Low-Stress Training”, involves helping the plant to grow upwards through manipulating parts of the plant while being sure not to damage the plant
- Damaging or removing parts of the plant involves the basics of horticultural pruning in a strategic way to get you plant to grow in the best position for budding
- Manipulating timelines to get faster or bigger yields involves a number of techniques such as the “Sea of Green”, and may involve techniques like the 12:12 method to promote flowering from seedlings
Training your plant is not for the faint of heart.
It involves a lot of advanced research and dedication to ensuring you’re doing what’s right for your plant and not damaging by trying to manipulate nature too much.
Dry Weight vs. Wet Weight
An issue that comes up for growers is the difference between wet weight and dry weight.
Depending on the use of your harvest, you may want to be conscious of how your dry weight and wet weight stack up.
There is a lack of a definitive guide to dry weight vs wet weight amongst the growing community.
But one method that can help you determine any discrepancies in weight is the following:
- Take the weight of your crop at picking, which will be the “picking weight”
- Weigh the harvest again 24 hours later once some moisture has been lost in the plant
- Take this number and subtract it from the picking weight, which will give you your “lost weight”
- Divide the lost weight by the picking weight to give you the percentage (%) of weight your bud lost over 24 hours of drying
You can use this percentage to understand the discrepancies between how much your weed weighs when it’s fresh off the plant vs when it gets smoked.
Learn How Much Marijuana Per Plant Through Trial and Error
As we’ve shown, there are so many little factors that can make all the difference in your yield and how much marijuana you’ll produce per plant.
A grower should be prepared to try a few things that they will learn from as they become more skilled growers.
This includes doing research, talking to other growers, paying attention to the quality of your seed, and ensuring that you’re closely documenting all the procedures that lead to your harvest.
When you find that some techniques work better than others, share your knowledge with other growers as you’re able.
Replicate your best practices in your growing techniques to ensure that every seed you plant produces your ultimate yield to make your efforts worthwhile.
Do you have any tricks to increasing the yield of your cannabis?
Let us know in the comments below!