July 15, 2020 8 min read

By Lydia Kibet

Plants that are grown outdoors usually thrive with mother nature. However, things are different when it comes to growing marijuana. With the many legal restrictions, the conditions in which they thrive best, marijuana growers often prefer to grow their plants indoors.

There are several ways to grow marijuana indoors, and a hydroponic grow closet is one of them. A hydroponic closet is an enclosed growing set up where you can grow plants in a regulated environment.

If you'd like to know how to set up your own hydroponic grow closet and get started with indoor marijuana growing, then this article will show you how! You'll find the advantages of using grow cabinets and why most growers prefer using them. 

Before we get started, let's define hydroponics.

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing marijuana plants without using soil.

Instead, growers use nutrient-rich water solution and mediums such as rockwool cubes. The process needs a hydroponic water setup where there's a constant flow of water, and the roots are in direct contact with water. Hydroponics is increasingly gaining popularity because plants grow faster due to the easy access to nutrients.

As a result, higher yields!

What is a Grow Closet?

A grow closet is like a regular grow cabinet that keeps marijuana plants enclosed in a grow tent.

Grow closets are rapidly gaining traction among growers because they have a suitable growing set up for their plants to thrive. Using a grow closet is perfect since it utilizes a small space where all the elements of nature are recreated. Besides, you can set it up in a manner that your plants can give you optimal output. 

We've got the largest selection of grow tents available at Everything But The Plant. Check it out!

The best thing about a grow closet is that you can utilize grow lights to recreate sunlight and ventilation systems to regulate the flow of fresh air inside. You can adjust them in a way that they provide the most favorable conditions to your plants. Also, using a hydroponic grow closet is perfect because it can keep away insects and pests that may damage the plants.

How to Set Up a Hydroponic Grow Closet

Now that you know what hydroponics is, it's time to dive in and understand how to set up a hydroponic closet and get ready to grow your plants. But, before doing this, you need to choose the right closet in which you're going to grow your weed. Here are tips to help you get started the right way:

1. Grow Tent

A grow tent is an essential requirement while setting up a grow closet. This is because it is the primary enclosed structure where you'll be setting all your elements needed for growing marijuana.  A grow tent is crucial when it comes to lighting since it helps growers ensure that grow lights are utilized to the maximum, and plants are getting sufficient lighting. Besides, a grow tent helps keep away insects and pests

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2. Grow Lights

Indoor cannabis plants require grow lights in place of sunlight to boost the growth process. Therefore, grow lights are very important since growing weed using a hydroponic grow closet has no access to sunlight.

Hydroponic closet systems need light, and growers have to choose a LED set up. Many growers go for full spectrum grow lights rather than using grow lights of different spectrums during the various phases of the plant growth cycle.

Compared to other forms of lighting, LED grow lights are the most popular today because they're efficient, affordable, and consume less power.

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3. Nutrients

Nutrients are the most vital part of a hydroponic closet set up. But again, choosing the right nutrients matters because they are absorbed directly into the roots via water.

Also, Mixing the appropriate amount of nutrients is crucial - too little or too much of these nutrients will affect the plant's growth. As a grower and a cannabis connoisseur, you might want to look at nutrients that act as flavor enhancers - that is, if you wish to have an earthy taste of weed.

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4. Exhaust Fans

Since a hydroponic grow closet is an enclosed space, there's no ventilation, and the need for exhaust fans is essential. However, ensure that you're installing the right ventilation system in your grow closet to facilitate the free flow of air while releasing stale air. To do is, you need a system of inlets and outlets by drilling holes so that fresh air from outside can go in while air from inside goes out.

5. Carbon Filters

Growing marijuana, either hydroponically or using other methods, will always have a strong smell. The smell is a result of terpenes, chemical compounds emitted by the plants. Interestingly, the odor keeps insects away and attracts consumers. In fact, it is believed that the stronger the smell, the more 'high' you'll get after consuming the weed.  However, you wouldn't want a visitor to smell marijuana in your house, right?  This is why marijuana growers use carbon filters to contain the smell. The carbon filters trap the odor emitted by these plants so that no one would know if you have weed around.

6. Hydroponic Growth Setup (Reservoir)

Setting up a hydroponic reservoir is fundamental for any hydroponic growth.  A hydroponic reservoir is a small water tank that keeps plants. The tank is filled with water, and the plants suspended on the holes you're drilling on top. Since no soil is used, you need to have a medium like rockwool cubes, which is porous and retentive. Depending on the number of plants you're planting, you need to build a reservoir that is just the right size, hosts the number of plants you need, and holds the right amount of water.

6. Other Accessories

You may need several other accessories such as:

  • Timers: Timers are useful for growers who need to automate grow lights, especially when they are not there for a while. 
  • Insect traps: Insect traps help to trap insects to protect your plants from damage and ensure the overall wellbeing of the plants are maintained.
  • Clip-on fans: The fans provide cool fresh air inside a grow cabinet, therefore, strengthening the stems of the plants.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Grow Tent

Grow tents play a significant role while setting up a grow cabinet. Here are some of the factors to consider while choosing the best grow tent for a hydroponic grow closet:

Enough space

Having adequate space is a major concern, and it must be dealt with before starting anything. Getting the right size of the grow tent will speed up the growth process. Unlike a grow tent that is too small or too big.  You should have everything in the right size, be it grow tent size, size of the plants, or size of the hydroponic growth set up. 


Ensure the grow tent you're buying is durable enough to sustain your plants. There are several things you need to check. First, strong poles are vital to support the whole structure. So, they should be firm and strong enough to carry the weight of your grow cabinet set up. Inside a grow cabinet, timers, carbon filters, grow lights, clip-on fans, among others, are available. Second, zippers are very important, and you must ensure that the zipper is of good quality. You can quickly identify a top-quality zipper by checking reviews of the tent you're about to buy.

Observation window

An observation window is crucial because it allows growers to take a quick look at the plants without having to open the zipper every time. In fact, opening the zipper may leak out a lot of light. Therefore, having an observation window as part of the grow tent will allow you to watch your plants as they grow.


Before buying a grow tent for your hydroponic grow closet, check the level of reflectiveness of the inner layers. How reflective the inner layer is will determine the level of growth and the amounts of yield. The more reflective the surface is, this means the plants get more light. This is a clear indication of a faster growth rate and more yields. Usually, experts recommend 95-100% reflectiveness.

Canvas quality

Canvas is a layer of cloth around the poles that help prevent light leakage. That's why they should be thick and double-stitched. Getting a grow tent with a quality canvas is essential. This will make sure that light stays inside, speeding up the plant's growth. The majority of the grow tents utilize Mylar Oxford 600D cloth, which is the best option for many marijuana growers.

Removable tray

While a removable tray isn't that necessary in a grow tent when growing weed using a hydroponic closet setup, it is important. This is because hydroponics is all about water, and due to the large volume of water, spillage is a must. So, using a removable tray will ease the cleaning process.

Benefits of Growing Marijuana in a Hydroponic Grow Closet

There are several benefits of growing weed in a hydroponic grow closet. They include:

Climate control

Unlike growing marijuana outdoors, with a hydroponic closet, you can simulate the temperature, amount of light, air, water, and even humidity in your control. A perfect climate will boost your plants' growth and production. With a favorable climate condition, this means your plants will thrive faster and higher yields.

Faster growth

Marijuana plants grow faster with a hydroponic grow closet because it is a more organized manner. For example, marijuana growers will attest that plants grow 20% faster when using hydroponics than the soil.


A hydroponic closet will ensure that your plants are safe and keep you away from social taboos and troubles. Besides, your marijuana plants are kept away from the eyes of the public. Growing weed outdoors might discourage a lot of growers because of what people will say about you. So, grow cabinets are the best to grow your plants.


Marijuana plants emit strong smells and use bright lights, which might have otherwise been quite irritating if you were to grow in a regular grow tent. Hence using a closet hydroponic system is perfect for growers, especially when it comes to controlling everything.

Keep insects and pests away

As mentioned earlier, growing marijuana inside a hydroponic grow closet keeps pests and insects away. Therefore, keeping your plants safe from any potential damage. Besides, using hydroponics to grow cannabis, you don't have to pull weeds!


Since your plants don't have to spread their roots down in search of nutrients they require. Instead, they grow in a nutrient-rich water solution; therefore, you can pack more plants closer together. Thus, a grow hydroponic closet saves a lot of space.

Disadvantages of Growing Marijuana in a Hydroponic Grow Closet

While marijuana growers revere a hydroponic closet, it has some setbacks.

Managing elements can be challenging

Provided that the size of the grow tent isn't that big, growers may find it challenging to manage all the elements inside. Everything can be squeezed, and controlling them can be overwhelming.

Providing proper ventilation can be problematic

Given that you need a grow cabinet inside a grow tent, it becomes even more difficult to provide the appropriate ventilation. This is because you need to set up a ventilation system to allow free flow of air for the plants to breathe.

Water-based diseases

Growing marijuana hydroponically may protect your plants from soil-based diseases, but water-based infectious diseases may damage your plants significantly. Such diseases are dangerous to marijuana plants.

Heat buildup

A lot of heat is bound to build up in a grow cabinet because it is hard to provide an outlet for hot air while growing marijuana in a hydroponic grow closet. That's why growers install ventilation systems to allow free flow of air.

Wrap up on Hydroponic Grow Closets

By now, you know how to set up a hydroponic grow closet, what you need in a grow tent, and how to choose the best grow tent. We hope you're now ready to get started with indoor marijuana growing using a hydroponic closet!

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