Anecdotal information from experienced farmers suggest 2,000 to 2,500 plants per acre may be achievable. On the flip side, industrial hemp is “grown for mass-market products such as textiles and bioplastics,” and this traditional hemp, “has a planting rate of 400,000 per acre (roughly 100 plants/square meter), and is drilled in like wheat” ( Betsy 2019 ). Michael Bowman, the founder of the National Hemp Association, went on to describe the plant, “It [industrial hemp] grows tall and you harvest the tops for seed production and then use the stalk for a number of industrial purposes” ( Betsy 2019 ). Many articles have mentioned that the industrial hemp market will be dominated by foreign producers, like China, and that CBD hemp grown for oil production will be the more lucrative route for farmers to take in the USA. The market differences, between industrial hemp and CBD hemp, are echoed in the article, “ Hemp can be lucrative, but there are drawbacks ,” which quotes National Hemp Association board member, Alex Seleznov: “Prices for hemp fiber and seed will be competing with foreign producers, mainly China… Fiber and seed producers want a production mill within 30 miles of where the hemp is grown, and that’s just not feasible in this country” ( Journal-Advocate 2018 ).
The article goes on to point out that: “That leaves CBD, Seleznov said, and that means a different kind of farming. While seed and fiber hemp plants can be grown close together and harvested with most traditional equipment, CBD-producing plants, much like their THC-producing cousins, have to be planted at wider intervals and have to be harvested by hand” ( Journal-Advocate 2018 ). The main difference between hemp farming for CBD oil and traditional hemp for mass market products comes down to spacing: CBD hemp plants need space (only 1,000 to 1,600 plants per acre) so they can grow and bush out to foster more bountiful flower yields. Traditional, industrial hemp requires tall stalks in order to be profitable so they’re planted close together at a rate of 400,000 per acre to get longer stalks (crowded plants will grow tall and skinny to reach for the sun). Nemadji’s next blog will go into what kind of yield you can expect per acre/plant and where to find certified genetics for planting your hemp crop . Ask us about our partnerships and look at split processing your fall harvest to maximize its value: end products are more valuable than raw biomass! How Many Cannabis Plants Can You Grow Per Square Metre?
Congratulations on committing to cannabis cultivation. Now you need to settle upon the right number of cannabis plants to grow. We’ve got practical advice you can use to determine how many plants to fit per square metre. Factors that determine how many plants you can grow per square metre. Factors that determine the number of cannabis plants you can grow 2. Guidelines for number of plants under HID lighting 6.b. Factors that determine the number of cannabis plants you can grow 2. Guidelines for number of plants under HID lighting 6.b. Before you get started with your indoor grow operation, you need to have a plan. Among the things you need to think about is how many cannabis plants you can feasibly fit in your grow space. FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF CANNABIS PLANTS YOU CAN GROW. From the available space in your tent to the size of your pots and the type of lights you’re using, several factors influence the number of plants you can reasonably fit per square metre. The first thing to consider is the type of cannabis you’re growing—the strain genetics. Sativas tend to grow tall, while indicas are stocky and bushier. Autoflowers grow particularly short, with some varieties reaching only 50–60cm. Even those without significant spatial limitations tend to choose shorter cannabis varieties when growing indoors. After all, you are responsible for providing illumination, so you need to account for the space taken up by your grow lights. Moreover, if you’re growing different strains and some end up being much taller than others, this can deprive smaller specimens of light, resulting in stretching and reduced final yields. If you don’t plan on training your plants, consider growing the same type of strain, or two strains with very similar heights, to avoid running into issues with spacing and lighting. Of course, the smaller and more compact your plants, the more you can fit per square metre. It’s up to you to decide if you’d rather crop several small autoflowers or just one or two ultra-vigorous hybrids. The dimensions of your growing area will largely dictate how many plants you can grow per square metre, and in general. If you’re like most home growers, you’ll likely be using a grow tent set up in a suitable location in your home. Grow tents are available in many different sizes, from small 50 × 50cm tents to large ones that could fill half your room. The right size depends on what strain(s) you’re growing, how large your indoor growing space is, and what type of grow you are going for (heavy training, leaving plants to develop as is, etc.). As an example, if you just want to grow a single untrained photoperiod indica plant, a 1 × 1m tent should be sufficient.
As you add more plants, you’ll need to scale up accordingly. But again, don’t just account for the eventual size of the plants themselves, but also lighting, ventilation, and other equipment. Depending on the diameter of your pots, several can fit into one square metre. But the size of your containers doesn’t just impact how many plants can fit per square metre, but also how big the plants will get overall. Said differently: The larger your pots, the bigger your plants will get. Recommendations for pot sizes: • ½ litre: Seedlings and young plants up to. 25cm • 5 litres: Plant height up to 60cm • 11 litres and more: Average plant height (check strain description) For the average indoor grow, you can fit nine 11-litre pots per square metre. Use rectangular planting pots to fully take advantage of your available growing area. With round planting pots, you’ll be wasting valuable space.
See our planting pot calculator to find the optimal pot size for your cannabis plants. 21L - 1 plants m² 18L - 2 plants m² 15L - 5 plants m² 11L - 9 plants m² 5L - 18 plants m² 3L - 25 plants m² The environmentally friendly RQS fabric pot, complete with proprietary “Aqua Breathe” geotextile layer, lets your plant’s roots breathe for optimal growth.