How to Grow Dense Buds | Dense Buds vs Airy Buds

Just about anyone can grow cannabis.

But, it takes a master to grow delicious, dense buds covered in so much resin that makes you want to eat it.

You could get all the sophisticated equipment in the world and still end up with airy buds.

Conversely, you might spend very little and enjoy a huge resin-covered harvest.

So, what’s the trick, then? It’s pretty simple.

Today, I’ll show you to how to grow dense buds every time you stick a seed in the soil.

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How to Grow Dense Buds? Get Back to the Basics

If you’ve grown any cannabis before, you know that it needs air, light, and nutrition to produce buds. The nutrients we recommend here are the key to growing dense cannabis.

If grown indoors, it’s even better because you now get to control everything including the temperature.

You need to feed the plants right for them to produce any buds at all.

But, growing dense buds? That’s a different matter altogether.

So, pay attention to…

Growing indoors? Check out this guide on the best strains to grow.

Nutritients Needed for Dense Buds

It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive nutrients in the world.

It only matters when you feed your plants.

This is why you have Grow and Bloom fertilizers, so you get the timing right.

Also, don’t overdo it.

I get that you love your plants to death. But, don’t kill the buds by overfeeding them in the growth or bloom phase.

For example, if you feed too much nitrogen, the plant will only grow leaves and forget about buds.

Similarly, feeding too much potassium in the growth phase can inhibit leaves and stunt growth.

Remember, with cannabis, less is more. If you don’t have access to nutrients, you can also grow them organically.

Utilize used coffee grounds during the growth phase. For calcium, use eggshells, and banana peels for the flowering phase.

The plants will thank you if you introduce some compost too.

Watering for Dense Buds

But, no matter what nutrients you use, don’t over-water the plants.

By watering them only when they require it (when the soil is dry), you're training the roots to dig deeper and fend for themselves.

So, remember that it’s all about timing, and you’ll have dense nugs in no time.

To learn more about how to mix nutrients, watch this video

The Lighting

Lighting is not a problem if you’re growing cannabis outdoors. However, it’s a major factor to consider when growing indoors.

You can choose from CFLs, LEDs, HIDs, Fluorescents and many more. You can read this article has the lights we think are best.

Generally, cannabis plants require at least 50 to 75 watts of light per square feet. Now, providing an exact amount of light is tricky.

If you grow using lights that aren’t very powerful, you’ll have small nugs. Similarly, you need to pay attention not to overdo it either!

Just like overwatering can kill your babies, too much light can mess with them too. About 65w per square feet is a good rule. Anything above and you’ll probably see burnt leaves.

Calculating the Lighting for Dense Cannabis Flowers

So, how do you calculate just how much light your grow room would need?

It's very easy. First, calculate the width and length of the canopy.

For instance, if the length is 15ft and the width is 10ft, you get 15x10 = 150 square feet. Now, to get to the perfect wattage, divide this number by 4.

This will tell you how much light you need for every individual plant.

In this example, it is 150/4 = 37.5 square feet.

  • Multiply this number by 65 since it’s an ideal wattage per plant.
  • And you get 37.5x65 = 2437.5 or approximately 2450w of light.

So, based on this example, you need 2450w of light for a 15x10 Grow Room.

Don't forget to leave some space in between the plants, so they aren't too crowded.

Now that you know the number of watts required, your work is cut out for you. However, you need to work on this a bit more to get dense buds.

Just purchasing a 2450w (usually 2000w is available) and hanging it over the plants will not work.

You'll kill them all because the light is not distributed evenly.

Then you’ll have hot spots where the light is concentrated only in a few regions.

Instead, you can go for four lights that are 600w each to make sure that all the plants get equal light. The distance between the plants and the light also matters.

Hang it too low, and you'll burn them; hang it too high, and you'll have tall, lanky plants. Most LED lights can be hung at a distance of about 20 inches.

But the distance differs from one light to another.

So, read the manufacturer's instructions carefully, and you'll have perfect dense buds.

The Correct Temperature

Cannabis plants love temperatures that range anywhere from 20°C to 28°C.

It’s a good idea to use powerful fans to keep the temperature as low as possible.

Some growers use air conditioners to keep both temperature and humidity in check.

However, it’s not necessary unless you reside in a location with a very hot climate.

As long as you keep the temperature below 26° to 28°C, you'll enjoy perfect buds.

But as soon as the temperature exceeds the threshold, you’ll notice that the plant grows buds that are unappealing.

A lot of heat can kill the terpenes too.

And without the terpenes, you’ll harvest buds that don’t even smell great.

The Humidity Levels Needed

Humidity also plays a key role in growing herb with dense buds.

The humidity will determine the amount of water the plant takes up.

In fact, you need to manipulate the humidity at different stages of growth.

For example, it’s optimal to maintain anywhere from 40 to 60% during the vegetative phase.

But when the plant starts flowering, you’ll have to reduce the humidity to less than 50%.

When only 2-3 weeks are left for harvest, you need to reduce the humidity further.

If you successfully reduce the RH to less than 40%, you’ll have fantastic, juicy buds.

Humidity is easy to control, but you need to be very careful.

You don’t want to battle against issues like mold and mildew that usually crops up if humidity is not controlled properly!

Watch the plant for any signs of disease and nutrient deficiencies too.

In a nutshell, humidity can help you only if you get the timing right.

We took a look at the best dehumidifiers and the best humidifiers for your grow rooms. If you're struggling to maintain your humidity levels, come back to check those guides out.

Use Bloom Boosters to Make Your Cannabis More Dense

Bloom boosters aren’t just fancy additives.

They are much more than that.

Not only do they encourage more buds, but they also help the plants pack dense colas.

The only con is that they are expensive.

If you can’t afford them, then you can use inexpensive ingredients like molasses!

Blackstrap molasses is great for humans, but they are amazing for your cannabis plants too!

If you can’t get molasses either, use brown sugar or even sugarcane juice.

If you don’t have to access to any of these ingredients, use plain sugar!

Sugar encourages microbes.

And microbes will help the plants develop beautiful dense buds.

Note that you can’t use any “DIY” stuff when growing hydroponically, though.

Use Several Techniques Till You Get It

One of the most common techniques to grow dense buds is defoliation.

Defoliation is effective because you’re removing excess fan leaves.

It also helps the buds to receive more light.

And now you know that more light equals dense colas.

You could also use LST or Low-Stress Training to grow better buds.

LST is nothing but stretching the stems to expose the buds to more light.

With the help of cable ties, you can stretch the stems to the edges of the pot and tie them.

Once you’re happy with the way the plant has grown, you can remove the ties.

However, the plant will continue to grow the way it was trained!

Other techniques include HST or High-Stress Training.

You can also try Monster Cropping.

But, these techniques are more suited for advanced growers.

If you're a beginner, you can stick to only defoliation, and you'll still have buds that make you proud!


If your first yield garnered nothing but airy buds, then it's no surprise you're studying how to grow dense buds.

We all love dense bugs, it's just something about them that make cannabis consumers giddy!

To get dense cannabis buds make sure to:

  • Grow the right kind of strain
  • Use the correct lighting, nutrient and humidity levels in your grow room
  • Practice different growing techniques to get more light and nutrients to the buds

Were any of these tips able to help get your plants to grow denser buds?

If so, come back after your harvest and let us know!

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