Indoor plants are finicky creatures, and they can only thrive in very specific climate conditions. Creating the perfect grow room environment is much easier said than done, but the fact of the matter is that some growers make it more complicated than it needs to be.
The trick is to keep things simple, and you can do that by following these 5 steps to creating a grow room environment that your indoor plants will love.
Step 1: Deliver the Right Amount of Light
It’s obvious that plants need light to survive. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to perform photosynthesis that converts light energy into fuel and food. But the question is, how much light is enough, and how much is too much?
Before you answer those questions, you first need to decide on the type of light that’s best for the grow room. High-intensity HPS bulbs are great for high yields, but since they produce a lot of heat, many growers opt for LEDs instead. It’s important that you weigh the pros and cons and each lighting system to decide on the right one.
A lot of growers don’t realize that there is such a thing as too much light, so you want to take the right steps to make sure your lighting system isn’t too bright. They should be bright, but not too bright, so try to strike the right balance.
Step 2: Keep Air Moving
When creating the perfect grow room, you need to consider the real outdoor environment that plants are used to. Outdoors, the air is always moving and circulating, so there’s never the risk of stale air. Indoors, this isn’t always the case, so it’s up to you to simulate that natural wind that’s beneficial to plants and vent out the old air with new fresh air.
Simulating a natural breeze is easy – just place a few oscillating fans around the grow room and keep them running on a low setting. Remember, this is supposed to create a gentle breeze, not a destructive windstorm, so don’t overdo it with the fans.
The other aspect of keeping air moving is expelling old air out and bringing new air in. The best way to do this is to set up a ventilation system. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is; all you really need is an intake and exhaust fan and a bit of ducting. It’s especially easy in a grow tent since most tents are built with venting holes that fit standard 8-inch ducting.
Step 3: Prepare for Humidity Fluctuations
Humidity is another important aspect of a grow room environment, and the good news is that moisture in the air doesn’t usually cause problems unless it’s extremely high or low. When that happens, you’ll have to deal with problems like dried out plants, mold, mildew, and even root rot.
That said, it’s normal to experience humidity fluctuations, and that’s usually OK. Just make sure to prepare for them by using a humidity controller so that the moisture doesn’t go too far out of the ideal range. Use a controller like an Inkbird and sync it with a humidifier/dehumidifier (once again, it’s a lot easier than it sounds).
It’s definitely a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ideal humidity range based on the phase of plant growth since it changes as the plants mature. Humidity should be much higher for clones and seedlings than it should be for flowering plants.
Step 4: Be Smart About Temperature Control
Temperature and lighting go hand in hand, and since the temperature is often affected by the lighting system, it’s important to always think about lighting when controlling temperature. This is more important for some lighting systems than others since not all bulbs give off much heat. On the other hand, some bulbs give off lots of heat, so the key is to just be smart.
When controlling temperature, remember that there’s about a 20-degree window for the plants to stay relatively happy. There’s definitely a sweet spot for temperature, but as long as you stay within that 20-degree window of 65-85°F, your plants should be OK. Plants are starting to tolerate more heat, but you should avoid putting that stress on them.
The only real temperature-related problems happen when the room dips below 65 or creeps above 85, so do your best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Just like with humidity, you can use an Inkbird temperature controller and sync it with a small AC unit or heater so that it is activated when temps aren’t ideal.
Step 5: Don’t Be Stingy on Reflective Material
When browsing indoor light systems for grow rooms, you’ll notice that all the best fixtures are built with intense reflectors. This is because a lot of light would be lost and directed towards the ceiling if there wasn’t a reflector to bounce it back down to the plant canopy.
High-quality light reflectors are the only way to bounce light back towards the plant. Every grow room and grow tent should have reflective material lining the walls and ceiling to make the most of the light output and make sure the crop is getting as much light as possible.
To recap, creating the perfect grow room environment involves 5 major aspects: light, air circulation, humidity, temperature, and reflection.