Indoor Cannabis Growing: Relative Humidity and Temperatures
The most refined techniques to grow cannabis become irrelevant when relative humidity and temperatures are not being controlled – learn more about these two major factors.
Final results of an indoor grow are greatly influenced by the way growers keep in control of parameters that influence their plants growth. There are two basic factors that can easily be forgotten when we’re busy thinking of other ways to increase yields, size, and overall health of our plants – temperature & relative humidity. This blog summarizes ways to keep both of these factors within an optimum range, and provides specific information what conditions should be maintained to achieve best results.
HOW TEMPERATURES AND HUMIDITY LEVELS INTERACT
It’s important to know that humidity levels and temperatures are closely related to one another. When we talk about humidity, we usually mean relative humidity (RH), which is the ratio of partial pressure of water vapor to the maximum vapor pressure of water at the same temperature. You get the whole idea when knowing the basic principle that warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. This is one of the reasons why it’s necessary to extract a lot of warm air from our grow room, and ideally allow cool air to enter – warm air simply holds too much water vapor in it.
HUMIDITY LEVELS AND TEMPERATURES: FROM SEEDLING TO HARVEST
We need to define what humidity and temperature control actually means when growing cannabis. It makes sense to divide the life of cannabis plants into 4 different stages in which humidity levels, and temperatures, should be adjusted to ensure healthy growth. Don’t think that humidity and temperature control is complicated and not worth it! It’s generally very easy, and more about keeping parameters within a certain range, and as constant as possible.
The first thing you need to do is to buy a hygrometer and thermometer, preferably a digital one with memory function, also showing maximum and minimum values of the past. Some hygrometers aren’t the most accurate, so don’t bother having several devices in your grow room to compare values. Now that we’re able to closely monitor our conditions, we can get to the essence of humidity and temperature control – the actual humidity levels and temperatures we aim for.
1. Seedling Stage
- Seedlings and clones like high humidity levels of 65-70%
- Reason: The root system is not established
- High humidity levels allow water intake through leaves
- Temperatures with lights on: 20-25 C° (lights off: 4-5 C° lower)
2. Vegetation Period
- Humidity levels can be lowered by 5% each week (acceptable range: 40-70%)
- Temperatures can be increased a little bit (no obligation)
- Reason: Roots absorb more water; evaporation through leaves cools plant(s)
- Temperatures with lights on: 22-28 C° (lights off: 4-5 C° lower)
3. Flowering Period
- Humidity levels need to be lowered to 40-50% (extremely important)
- You can get away with 55% (anything over 60% is real bad)
- It’s best to slightly lower temperatures in flowering
- Temperatures with lights on: 20-26 C° (avoid high temperatures)
4. Late flowering (1-2 weeks before harvest)
- The following steps are no necessity, but can improve yield, flavour and appearance
- Bring down humidity levels as much as you can: 30-40%
- Lower daytime temperatures, and also increase the temperature difference (day/night)
- Temperatures with lights on: 18-24 °C (lights off: minus 5-10 C°)
ADJUSTING HUMIDITY LEVELS AND TEMPERATURES
We’ve got a pretty good idea on humidity levels and temperatures we aim for. Now it’s time to get to the practical part, and to find ways to bring things back in balance when they’re not. Most growers will struggle to keep both relative humidity and temperatures down, which is of primary importance in the flowering period – we got that. In some colder regions, and depending on the lighting solution, the opposite scenario might be the case, and temperatures or humidity levels must be raised.
Remember the basic principle that warm air holds more water than cold air? Keep this in mind, and be aware of the fact that relative humidity and temperatures interact with one another.
Finding ways to control humidity and temperatures is crucial when growing cannabis indoors. This blog shows practical steps for best results.
What’s the Best Grow Room Temperature and Humidity Level?
Ideal grow room temperature and humidity varies depending on the stage of plant life. Cloning requires higher temperature and humidity than vegetative growth and flowering plants have different ideal atmospheric conditions as well. In order to master the art of marijuana growing, dialing in the proper environment at the right time remains the most essential ingredient for success. So, what is the best grow room temperature and humidity level?
Measuring and Changing Temperature and Humidity
In order to properly measure temperature and humidity, you’ll need a thermometer and hygrometer. Best to invest in a digital one that can give you current readouts as well as highs and lows when you’re not inside the room. To raise heat, you’ll need a heater and to lower heat, you’ll need an air conditioner. These can be outside or inside the growing space depending on the size of your space and how much the temps and moisture levels fluctuate. A humidifier and a dehumidifier can be employed to raise and lower humidity rates. Larger grow rooms can benefit from a controller that uses a sensor to keep track of temps and humidity and turns on the appropriate appliance to regulate and keep them within your set parameters.
Because cannabis cuttings root best in warm conditions with high humidity, the cheap trays with clear plastic domes work remarkably well. In cool conditions, a heat mat should be placed underneath the trays to maintain an optimum temperature of 74-78 degrees F. and relative humidity at 75-85%. No matter where and into what medium you plan to root your clones, keep warmth and high humidity on your priority list. Clones allowed to get cold or dry will perish quite quickly. Too much humidity (over 90%) can also cause mold and rot, so cut a quarter-sized hole or two in your clear plastic dome to allow some air movement and circulation.
The Vegetative Stage: Best Grow Room Temperature
The best grow room temperature during the vegetative stage of growth is 70-78 degrees F. when the lights are on during the “daytime” and no more than 10-15 degrees cooler at “night” with a relative humidity of 45-55%. With these settings, your plants will best be able to convert light into energy for growth. This is the time when the plant puts on leaves and branches and expands it’s root system throughout your growing medium. If it gets too cold or hot, growth stops and you eventually risk losing your plants altogether.
The Flowering Stage: Best Grow Room Temperature
The best grow room temperature during the flowering stage of growth is 68-75 degrees during the day and no more than 10-15 degrees cooler at night. If you’re supplementing with CO2, daytime temps can be as high as 75-82 or so. During flowering, you should lower your relative humidity to 35-45% and even lower (30%) for the last couple of weeks before harvest. This will help you avoid issues with mold, bud rot and PM (Powdery Mildew) that can arise in higher humidity.
Drying and Curing
The drying room is a place that must be carefully monitored. Keep in mind that your plants will be giving off a large amount of moisture into the room as they dry. It’s important to pull wet air out and keep air circulating in the room without actually having fans blowing right on your hanging branches, which can dry them out prematurely resulting in a harsh taste and burn. Also, growers in dry places such as Colorado struggle to extend their drying time with humidifiers, while farmers in more humid climates such as Northern California use dehumidifiers to pull water from the air in order to avoid mold growing on their buds.
The ideal temperature for a drying room is between 65 – 74 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity between 45 – 55 percent in a dark well-ventilated room. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can evaporate and be released at temperatures above 80 degrees, diminishing the scent, flavor and potency of your buds. Within 6 – 10 days your branches should snap instead of bending and the buds should feel popcorn dry on the outside. This is the time to cut the individual buds from the branches and put them into glass jars to begin the curing process. Cure your buds in a cool (68-72 degree F.) and dark place.
Successfully growing cannabis requires specific tools, tactics, and techniques. Knowing the best grow room temperature is a good start.