At times growing cannabis can be smelly and noisy, and if you are not careful with how you grow it can attract unwanted attention. Even if you are in a legal location it may not be something you want to shout about. Follow our tips for stealth grows to help keep your plants under the radar.
How to hide indoor stealth grows
Don’t Tell anyone!
As the old second world war saying goes, ‘loose lips might sink ships’. The first and most important rule for any stealth weed grow is simple, don’t tell anyone about it. The less people that know about it, the less risk you have of either being burgled for your precious plants or getting a visit from the police. Remember, these plants along with the equipment can be worth a lot of money so avoid telling anyone unless its absolutely necessary.
Hide your cannabis plants
If it is possible, grow cannabis indoors to keep your plants out of sight of any nosy neighbours. Your plants are much less likely to be stolen or spotted by someone unwanted if they are inside the house. Also do not make your indoor grow too obvious, for example, having a large tent by the window while a piece of shiny silver ducting is hanging out of it screams illegal cannabis grow.
The ideal room for a stealth grow would be a room that is not overlooked by neighbours, is not near the front door and doesn’t need to be accessed by anyone other than yourself.
Hide the smell of your stealth grow
Nothing gives a cannabis grow away more than the strong odour of a plant in bloom. It may not be obvious to you if you have been living with the smell for a while but it is very recognisable to a non smoker.
Using a good carbon filter and having an airtight grow room will help a lot with this. However it is also worthwhile having a few odour neutralisers in use around the house such as Febreeze or ONA gel, however DO NOT use these inside your grow room as they can badly affect the smell and taste of your plants. If you are living in an apartment block then it may also be worthwhile growing strains that are lower in odour such as Northern Lights or Northern Lights Auto.
Use quiet equipment
Having fans, air pumps and water pumps can be noisy, if you have the luxury of living in a detached house without any neighbours then you wont need to worry about this as much. However if like many of us you live in a flat or house with neighbours close by then you should make sure any equipment that you buy is of a decent quality and check any online reviews first to see if anybody mentions the noise levels. If you want to take further measures to reduce the noise levels you can also purchase some sound reducing foam to line any walls adjacent to neighbours for as little as £30-50.
Reduce your electricity consumption
Unless you are growing outside then your electricity bill will undoubtedly increase with the use of the all of the electrical intense equipment needed, and a sudden spike in your electricity usage may flag up with your electricity supplier. However there are lots of things you can do before and during the grow to minimise the increase of your electricity consumption.
One simple and basic thing you can do that is often overlooked is to choose a strain that finishes faster like an autoflower, because the less time your grow is in operation the less time your lights, fans, heaters, pumps, filters etc. are running and therefore the less electricity you use. To cut down on your energy consumption try using more energy efficient grow lights such as LED or CFL bulbs. These consume a lot less electricity than standard HID lights and also give off a lot less heat.
You can also reduce your non-grow related electricity consumption by doing things such as switching all of your normal household light bulbs to energy saving bulbs, making sure you turn off all appliances when not in use and generally trying to be more energy efficient.
Make your stealth weed grow invisible
Lots of growers schedule their lights to come on at night as this is the coolest time of the day and therefore it avoids the temperature rising in your grow room too much. While this is great for the plants, it may look suspicious to neighbours if every night if from 10pm right through the night till 10am your bright grow room lights are shining. To avoid this make sure you are either using a blackout tent or that you pull the curtains well and cover any light leaks.
If you want to do a large grow then you will need to construct your own grow room, have a read of our comprehensive guide to building your own DIY cannabis grow room.
How to hide outdoor stealth grows
If you have a big enough garden and decide to grow your cannabis plants outdoors there are still lots of things you can do to hide your activities from any prying eyes. Follow some of these tips to keep your stealth grow hidden.
Hide your weed with other plants
Even in a fully legal location growing weed outdoors still poses some risk. Plants can be worth a lot of money once they have fully grown, so its a good idea to make sure neighbours or passers by can’t see your cannabis plants.
Grow some taller plants around the edge of your garden or grow area, not so much as to block out the sunlight, but enough so that passers by won’t see the top of your cannabis plants.
These tall plants are great for shielding your garden from passers by:
- Tomato plants
- Staghorn sumac
- Corn plants
- Sunflower plants
Grow with companion plants
You can also grow other plants that look similar to weed such as Chinese Chaste Tree or Japanese Hops. Both of these have similar looking leaves to cannabis plants but produce very different flowers. Sprinkling some of these plants among your grow will make a bunch of flowering cannabis plants stand out a lot less.
You can also use different types of companion plants in your garden to hide the smell of the cannabis. Growing strong smelling herbs such as lavender, peppermint will help to cover the obvious aroma of weed.
Companion plants such as basil and dill are also great for helping to repel spider mites and other nasty bugs.
Use fake flowers and plants
There are plenty of highly realistic fake plants and flowers that you can purchase for pretty cheap nowadays. If you are concerned with neighbours seeing your grow you could place these among your cannabis plants to make them look like a different plant. For example, putting some fake white flowers clipped to your cannabis plant may cause people to completely overlook your grow.
Repair any fence gaps
If your garden fence has any gaps where people could peek through its important that you fill these gaps or holes. You can simply cover with fresh fence slats, although another cheap and quick alternative is draping materials over the inside of your fence, such as camouflage netting.
If you prefer a more natural look you could also install a trellis and some climbing plants such as roses or star jasmine. You should bear in mind that these climbing plants will take some time to grow however.
Make your garden fence taller
Whether or not you are trying to hide cannabis plants in your garden, making your fence taller is a great way to deter intruders. Install a one or two foot trellis fence on top of your current fence to extend the height and then use a trellis plant such as a rose bush to climb along the trellis. Not only will the extra height hide your garden better, it will deter potential thieves from climbing. Also by using a thorny plant such as a rose bush to climb along the trellis you will further hide your plants, and it is a great way to give anyone that does attempt to climb it a nasty surprise.
Warning a I live here!
You would be surprised how effective a simple sign can be at deterring thieves. Install a sign on your garden fence or gate warning any potential intruders that a dog lives in your house. You could go the extra mile and put a dog kennel and dog bowl in your garden in clear view of anyone that might be considering climbing your fence and I am sure that it will make them think twice about stealing a few cannabis plants.
Grow your weed inside a greenhouse
I know you are probably reading this thinking, how on earth is a glass house going to hide my plants! Well although a greenhouse is glass, it still provides some additional restriction to what your neighbours can see. If you position the greenhouse so that your neighbours can only see one side of it, you could also install a tint on the windows of the greenhouse on the side facing their house. Your plants will still get plenty of light from sides of the greenhouse but your neighbours will be none the wiser.
You could also grow other plants such as tomato’s and courgettes in your greenhouse to hide your cannabis plants from view.