How Much Marijuana Does a Plant Produce? Cannabis Production Guide
One of the most asked questions among new growers is “how much marijuana will a plant yield?” Certainly, it is important to know how much yield to expect before venturing into the Cannabis garden. It will absolve you of the stress of constantly checking the garden to weigh in your investment.
In addition to this all-important question asked by cannabis enthusiasts, we will provide here a comprehensive guide to Cannabis productivity. Just as it is with people, it is nigh impossible to find two matching marijuana plants. Therefore, the yield of the plant is not only dependent on the strain but also on the growing conditions of the plant itself.
There is no single, definitive answer to the question of how much marijuana a plant will yield, however, approximations can be made based on its genotype and phenotype. These approximations can be extremely useful in planning an efficient system and in setting an expectation from your chosen marijuana strain.
How Much Marijuana Does a Plant Yield?
As earlier mentioned, the amount of yield to expect from a marijuana plant depends on its environment. For marijuana grown indoors (i.e. in a grow tent with appropriate lights for each stage of the marijuana life cycle) a plant will yield 1 gram of marijuana for every watt of light. In simpler terms, if you use a 400W HPS bulb in favourable growing conditions, you should expect 400 grams of marijuana.
However, this figure is not set in stone, and there are more factors involved in this equation. One of these conditions is growing with the right equipment. For example, growing with a 600 W bulb should be done in a cabinet to match the power (1.5mx1.5mx2m). Using a smaller cabinet for a powerful bulb will reduce the amount of product.
Another factor in the equation is the variety of the plant. Answering how much yield to expect from a marijuana plant will not cover for an Indica plant. For indoor growing, Indica marijuana produces much more than Sativa. Outdoors is a different story, as we will see later.
As a rule of thumb, most strains found in cannabis catalogues will produce the equivalent of 1 gram for every gram of light received. This may vary depending on the genotype and phenotype of the plant. However, using the right equipment, nutrition, space, extraction, and ventilation solutions for Cannabis needs will yield around the average.
Knowing How Much Marijuana A Plant Will Yield In Hydroponics
The story is quite different from hydroponics, as growers generally agree on the expected yield of plants. Growing in hydroponics can yield up to 20% more than in soil. For this to be the case, the pH of the water has to be carefully controlled and the photoperiods are strictly adhered to.
Growing hydroponically is generally agreed to be more complicated than growing outdoors, as well as being a growing medium that requires more investment. However, for those growers who do hydroponics correctly, you can expect to get up to 1.2 grams per watt. This means that a 600W HPS bulb could give you up to 720 grams of production.
How Many Grams Does an Outdoor Plant Yield?
The answer to this question is more complicated than that of indoor growing. The yield to expect from outdoor plants is influenced by genetics and environmental conditions. One major problem with this type of growth is the lack of control over elements like light, water, temperature, humidity, etc
When the weather conditions are right, it can be beneficial, leading to the production of large, leafy marijuana plants up to 2 kilos – in the most productive plants. On the other hand, when the weather conditions are not favourable, harvests will take a hit.
Just much marijuana does an outdoor plant yield? We can estimate an average of 500 grams per plant to 2 kilos per plant if you grow in soil. But if you grow in pots, you will be limited mainly by the dimensions of the pot:
• 50 litter pot – Up to 600 grams per plant
• 26 litter pot – Up to 300 g per plant
• 11 litter pot – Up to 150 g per plant
• 7 litter pot – Up to 60 g per plant
How to Calculate Marijuana Yields in Advance?
Knowing the characteristics of a plant will help you determine the yield. Predicting the yield of marijuana doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Using the right tool, such as this calculator from Yield-o-Rama, will give you an expected yield.
When you enter the amount of light (in lumens per square metre) of the lighting system, the growing medium, and your level of experience, the calculator will give you an approximate result of what you will be able to obtain with each crop. It is a very simple tool and great help in garden planning.
Light and Fertilizers in Cannabis Production
Lighting is one of the most important factors influencing the yield of a marijuana plant. To optimize this factor, you need to grow indoors, as outdoors the plant can suffer directly from unfavourable weather conditions.
When you know the expected yield of a marijuana plant, it is important to maximize its production too. This can be achieved by increasing the plant’s exposure to light. Controlled stress techniques such as defoliation, Super Cropping, Monster Cropping, LST and the best of all, SCROG, can also be used.
Another important factor that can be used to maximize the production of marijuana plants is fertilizers. Your plants must get both the micronutrients and macronutrients they need to thrive. During vegetative growth, plants need nitrogen, however, while in flowering you need to maximize potassium and phosphorus. While an overlooked factor, one of the best ways to increase marijuana yields remains to supply the right amount of nutrients at the right time in the life cycle of the plant.
Increasing Yield With a SCROG
After you know how much yield to expect from a marijuana plant, you may want to increase that number. The Screen of Green (SCROG) technique is a great way to increase yields.
SCROG works by covering the plants with a screen 40 cm above them. When branches grow about 10 cm, they are tied to the screen to grow further. Here are three ways of using SCROG to increase the yield of your marijuana garden:
1. No Waste of Light
In standard growing, the light that falls on the ground or parts of the cabinet without plants is wasted. However, with SCROG by creating a top layer of leaves, plants are encouraged to absorb more light.
2. Same Height on all Plants
When all plants are the same height, they are bound to receive the same amount of light. SCROG promotes a homogeneous harvest, where all plants will bear roughly the same amount of yield. Knowing how much marijuana a SCROG plant will yield, will give you an approximate amount of what the rest plants will yield.
3. No Dense Buds
One of the best features of SCROG is it eliminates those small buds that grow at the base of the Cannabis plant. The plants can now focus their energy on producing the top, denser, THC-rich buds. SCROG ensures that energy is not wasted on creating buds with less size and fewer cannabinoids.
Wet Weed and Dry Weed
How much marijuana a cannabis plant yields depends on whether you weigh the crop when it is wet or dried. Wet marijuana will always weigh more because it has more water which adds to its weight on the scales. Dry marijuana takes between 10 and 14 days to cure a bit, which can result in a small weight loss.
So, how much marijuana does a dried plant yield? As earlier mentioned, this depends on the strain. However, it is estimated that around 40-45% of the plant’s weight is lost during drying. For example, Sativa plants tend to lose less weight during drying, because it has less compact buds than Indica plants.
To get an accurate value, another 12.5% has to be subtracted. This is because of the leaves, branches, and plant debris that will be removed during trimming. In short, from the wet and freshly cut crop you get, you will have around 35% or less of dried buds.
We have come to the end of our guide on how to predict the productivity of marijuana plants. Hopefully, you have a clearer understanding of the yield that can be achieved from Cannabis plants.
Growing Cannabis Using the Sea of Green (SOG) Method
Cultivating marijuana indoors with artificial light is convenient and could result in high yields. You can use a multitude of tactics to further boost your crop’s level of cannabis production. The Sea of Green (SOG) method is one example.
It involves growing numerous smaller plants rather than a handful of larger ones. Benefits of SOG include a shorter vegetative stage, less space used, and maximizing the efficiency of your lighting. Those who grow cannabis indoors know that their energy bills are higher than average. SOG won’t reduce your bills, but it could increase the amount of marijuana you grow.
This article provides a detailed overview of SOG and offers tips and advice on getting the best from this cultivation method.
What Is the SOG Growing Method?
SOG is a low-stress growing technique that involves cultivating a huge number of small plants in a limited space. As the name suggests, your crop will look like a sea of green plants. Those who use this method also enjoy a shorter growing cycle. As a result, they can increase their number of annual harvests.
With the sea of green growing method, you force your plants into the flowering phase early. This is because you only need the plants to reach half their full size to ensure cola development. As well as having a shorter vegetative phase, the flowering cycle is also cut short.
In theory, you could benefit from eight harvests per calendar year!
Once you have gained enough experience, it is possible to harvest every 45 days or so. In theory, you could benefit from eight harvests per calendar year! Consequently, the SOG method is ideal for commercial growers. If you’re growing for personal use, you don’t need too many harvests. However, SOG ensures you don’t have to wait long to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The limited space required means that only small grow rooms are required. It also helps you get the best from your grow lights.
Tips on Using the Sea of Green Method
Here are a few things to note with SOG:
- Genetics are key. Don’t choose a plant that likes to grow wide and bushy because you will be packing numerous plants together as it is.
- Don’t choose a plant that tends to stretch in the early flowering stage. Opt for a plant with a short flowering time.
- Ensure all the cuttings you use are identical in size and from the same mother plant at the same stage of growth. Ideally, the cuttings you use will be 3-6 inches long and have actively growing tips.
- We don’t recommend using seeds if you intend on using the SOG method. This is because the seeds will inevitably result in plants growing at different heights. As a result, the shorter plants will be left in the shade.
- Make sure you use at least four plants because the SOG method won’t work with less. However, you must also be careful not to use too many. If there is an excess of plants, there will be greater branch growth but less bud production. are the sensible choice because they possess a single primary cola and grow short. If you try to use a sativa, make sure you top it several days before forcing it into flowering.
- Use several grow tents to get the best results. The different chambers are necessary because you have contrasting light schedules in each one. You can have a room specifically for the mother plants, for instance. Then you can have a larger tent for growing the plants. If you have space, consider a drying room. This should be a dark, controlled environment to keep your bud after chopping down the plants.
Sea of Green Technique Step-by-Step
Once you have chosen your cuttings, make sure they are exposed to at least 18 hours of light a day until they are 10+ inches tall. About two weeks after transplanting your clones into bigger pots, tie a bit of string to each branch. Next, gently bend the branch until it sits flat rather than reaching up. Take the string off once the branches thicken during the flowering stage.
When you’re ready to proceed, force the plants into the flowering stage by exposing them to a 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness schedule. Once you see a dense canopy of buds forming, trim the branches underneath and use them as clones. Wait until enough pistils have turned brown or the trichomes become cloudy before harvesting.
Although the SOG method provides you with lots of plants, the average yield per plant is lower than the traditional form of growing. This should not come as a shock since you are forcing the plants into flowering much faster than normal. On the plus side, your yield per square meter will increase significantly.
Experienced growers often top their seedlings by removing their tips once the plant has at least four pairs of leaves. By doing this, you can increase the number of bud sites. However, if you have several plants already, you don’t need to top them because you already have enough bud sites.
You are not tied to a specific hydroponics method when using SOG. You’ll find that the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), flood and drain, and dripper systems all work well. You can also try SOG with a Deep-Water Culture (DWC) system. However, the size of the system means you’ll have to plant several cuttings per bucket.
How Many Plants per Square Foot Can You Expect to Grow with SOG?
The number of plants per square foot that you can cultivate with SOG depends on your growth space’s size. Once you calculate that, you can decide how many plants you want and the size of the pots.
However, most experts recommend growing no more than one plant per square foot, or two at the absolute most. Growing one SOG plant per square foot is the equivalent of 10-11 per square meter (1 square meter = approximately 10.75 square feet). Also, you shouldn’t use any pots with a capacity of fewer than three liters.
Please ensure that each plant has sufficient soil to develop a healthy root system. If you plan to cultivate 10-12 plants per square meter, use pots with a capacity of 7-11 liters, which equates to around 2-3 gallons.
If you opt for two plants per square foot, that’s the equivalent of 20-22 per square meter. In this case, you need to reduce the vegetative phase for a faster harvest. Additionally, you won’t need pots much bigger than 5 liters.
How Much Does One Marijuana Plant Yield with SOG Method?
How long is a piece of string? In all seriousness, your yield per square meter or per plant varies depending on several factors. These include lighting, strain genetics, how big you let the plants grow, and so on. One method of boosting yield involves adding extra CO2 to the grow room.
In the best-case scenario, you could benefit from up to an ounce per plant.
That said, if you use the right lighting and genetics, you could get approximately half an ounce per plant. In the best-case scenario, you could benefit from up to an ounce per plant. If you use the SOG method to grow 20 plants per square meter, your yield could exceed 20 ounces in this instance.
Best Strains for SOG Grow
As experienced growers know, not every technique is suitable for the thousands of available cannabis strains. An increasing number of people find that the best SOG results come from cloned plants. This means using cuttings from a mother plant to get genetically identical plants. When you use such cuttings, you derive the benefit of equal growth rates.
Clones also have the advantage of becoming mature faster than seeded plants because they are already more developed. With clones, your canopy is the same height and produces the same number of flowers.
Even so, the flowering time depends on the cannabis strain. If you use cannabis plants with a lengthy flowering period, you lose speed as a primary SOG technique benefit. In general, an indica is a better SOG strain than a sativa due to its faster flowering time. Also, sativas grow taller, which is not what you want when using the sea of green technique.
However, there are a couple of sativa-dominant hybrid strains worth considering, like:
Nonetheless, you’ll find that indica-dominant hybrids are a better option. Here are five to bear in mind:
Sea of Green Pros
- Although you end up with a smaller per plant yield, the average yield per square meter is far higher. You also benefit from multiple harvests each year.
- The shorter growing time also reduces the risk of pests, diseases, or errors. As a result, there is a much better chance of your crop growing healthily for the duration of its life cycle.
- You can use the SOG method in a small grow room because you need far less vertical space.
- Once your plants are ready for harvest, you can trim them quickly due to the high bud-to-leaf ratio.
- As there are fewer fan leaves to remove, less organic waste is created.
- You shouldn’t have to worry about underdeveloped lower buds.
Sea of Green Cons
- Although there is less to do once your plants reach the flowering stage, you have to put in lots of work early doors. Tasks include finding suitable clones, taking cuttings, potting the plants, and setting up drippers.
- While your plants are less likely to attract pests or pathogens, your entire crop could be wiped out if they get sick. This is because the plants are closely packed together.
- You will need to dispose of large amounts of the growing medium after each harvest.
- You can only use certain types of plants because of the way SOG works.
- If you enjoy making edibles, the lack of trim leaves is a blow.
- You have to be very careful not to exceed your state’s legal cannabis growing limit. If you elect to grow plants continuously using SOG, there is a chance you’ll end up breaking the law. Penalties for excessive marijuana growing range from a heavy fine to prison time.
Final Thoughts on Sea of Green Method
If you use the SOG method of growing cannabis, you will benefit from higher yields per square meter, along with faster harvesting. You can force your plants into flowering in weeks. You also gain access to premium quality buds before someone growing marijuana naturally.
It is a growing method that involves plenty of work initially, but once the plants hit the flowering stage, it should be relatively smooth sailing. However, you have to be careful not to use too many plants. For a start, you will pack the plants too densely so that the lower parts don’t receive enough light. Then there is the small matter of breaking the law by inadvertently growing too much marijuana!
A guide to the sea of green method
When cultivating weed indoors, it’s essential to do so as efficiently as possible. Indoor crops often work with limited grow space, and the added expense of artificial light compels growers to maximize their resources. Cultivators face this challenge with every crop : how do you make the best use of limited space and ensure every plant gets as much light as it needs?
Necessity is the mother of invention. As cannabis cultivators moved indoors in the 1980s and 1990s, they began to experiment with techniques that would maximize yields with limited resources. One such technique surpassed the rest and spread through the cultivation community over the years: the sea of green method.
What is sea of green?
The “sea of green” method, also known as “SOG,” is a low-stress technique that grows many small cannabis plants at once as opposed to a few larger plants. Sea of green plays on the idea that if plants in a small space are forced into their flowering phase early, they only need to grow to half their size to support cola development. The small plants flower in less time and take up less space — a win-win situation.
The sea of green method clusters your many plants in tight quarters together under grow lights. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The sea of green method clusters your many plants in tight quarters together under grow lights. As the plants grow together, they develop a canopy of buds under the light, creating the so-named “sea of green.”
With equally given care, regular nutrition, and a watchful eye on each plant, you can raise a successful SOG crop in any grow room.
How much does a sea of green plant yield?
A SOG yield per plant depends on the number and types of plants you cultivate. During the flowering phase, a SOG-grown cannabis plant will develop a single large cola at the top. These plants require little training to develop their buds aside from typical plant upkeep.
While these smaller plants may not develop as many colas as a 10-foot-tall sativa, you can grow many more plants in a smaller space and produce similar yields with SOG.
A healthy grow space is a must for ideal yields. SOG plants require correct pot size, type of light, water pH, nutrients, soil types , environmental conditions, and other growth factors . Cultivators who dial in their formulas can tease maximum yields per square foot out of their SOG crops.
How to use the sea of green method
It takes just a few simple steps to cultivate a successful crop with SOG.
First, either germinate seeds or obtain cuttings of other plants to create clones. It’s easier to use clones for your SOG crop because you can make sure the plants are of the same cultivar and will grow the same way, all conditions being equal.
Place your plants in pots that are seven to twelve inches across, to ensure they have enough soil to develop healthy roots. Arrange your pots with approximately one or two plants per square foot, being careful not to place the plants too close together. This creates a seamless plant surface area, and while this at first sounds like a good idea, it encourages the plants to compete with each other for light and stresses the plants. More stress conserves biomass, and in turn, limits the production of buds.
Once your plants are snug in their pots, light your grow space with 18/24 hours of light until they reach 10-12 inches in height. Be careful that your plants are at even height, so each one is receiving an equal amount of light .
This phase of the growing cycle is called the vegetative stage , and how long a crop stays here depends on the cultivator’s preference. Some grow each plant at 18/24 light until they reach around 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) in height. Other growers will switch the lighting cycle when the plants are 4-6 weeks old, or even six inches tall.
It’s not recommended to switch from the vegging phase sooner than four weeks, as the plants aren’t quite mature enough for flowering. Adding an extra week or two may boost yields as it’s all about finding the perfect ratio of yield to harvest speed.
When you’re ready to switch to the flowering phase , convert your light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 of darkness. The light switch will force each plant to create a wide canopy of green, focusing all their energy into developing a single cola.
It’s important to keep light evenly spread in this phase and far enough from the plants to prevent any hot spots. Pro tip: as the canopy develops, trim the branches underneath to propagate as clones for future SOG crops.
Finally, it’s harvest time when your plants are ready. A good indicator of harvest readiness is the clarity of your buds’ trichomes : once they’re white and cloudy, your SOG crop is ready to go.
How long should I veg for best yield?
It all depends on the resources you have to work with and how much time you have to produce your crop. Most growers will veg for four to six weeks or when their plants reach ten inches in height. Some cultivators switch to the flowering light regimen when the marijuana plants are only about six inches tall, or two to three weeks into their growth.
Other SOG method growers who can invest in larger pots and don’t need to cram as many plants per square foot can allow for more extended vegging states, up to seven or eight weeks. The larger pots provide more room for roots to spread. Adjust based on your growing situation, space, and the strain you’re cultivating and know that practice makes perfect. Successful SOG is all about finding the ideal balance between yield, growing conditions, and fast harvest time.
Do clones flower faster than seeds?
The SOG method is especially useful when working with clones. A clone is a cutting from an adult cannabis plant that can be replanted and produce buds. Clones save you the trouble of popping male seeds on accident or obtaining a cultivar of poor quality. And while clones face many of their own issues when it comes to successful replanting, they do flower faster than their seed counterparts.
Clones guarantee identical plants in your SOG spread, helping ensure your canopy is the same height and produces the same flowers. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Clones reach maturity more quickly because they’re further along in their development than a cannabis seed yet to pop. Clones also guarantee identical plants in your SOG spread, helping ensure your canopy is the same height and produces the same flowers.
However, it’s essential to understand that flowering time varies from cultivar to cultivar. Each variety of cannabis may take more or less time to flower, regardless of the SOG method. Too, not every strain is viable using SOG. Indicas generally perform better than sativas, as they naturally have faster flowering cycles and develop shorter plants. Know what strain you’re growing and its average flowering time to ensure a thriving SOG canopy of buds.