How to Deal with Overcrowding Plants for Home Growers

By Aaron M.
The more plants you grow the more weed you’ll harvest, right? Overcrowding plants can cause serious problems for your plants and are the main reason newbie home growers have low yields. Read this article to learn how to deal with overcrowding and grow better bud.

Growing weed is pretty easy, but there’s a huge problem plaguing most novice home growers and they don’t even realize it. I’m talking about overcrowding your garden.

The average home grower is limited when it comes to growing space. To maximize their setup they try to stuff in an extra plant or two. What they don’t realize is that they just ruined the potential of the entire crop.

Overcrowding makes your plants compete for the essentials they need to grow, such as light, air, and duh … space! Overcrowded plants grow less vigorously, produce lower yields, and are at much higher risks for developing health problems.


Is Your Weed Garden Overcrowded?

Way before your plants begin to flower you’ll be able to tell if they’re overcrowded. Truly though, if you start with a plan for your grow you’ll know exactly how many plants are optimum for your set up. Read our other articles on cannabis cultivation to help guide your growth plan! 

Space Between

Are the leaves of your plant's intermingling? Do you find branches in the dark? Can you fit a hand between in the space between plants? Could you’re girls be suffering from overcrowded grow space?

For optimum growth, you want plants to at least to have an inch or two of space between them. It’s okay for them to begin to hug each other from time to time, but you must be vigilant in providing adequate space for you each plant to breath.

Is Your Weed Growing Taller or Wider? 

If your garden seems to be getting too tall a little too quickly it could be overcrowded. Generally, male plants grow taller quicker than females, which is a simple evolutionary trait to ensure pollination. First, make sure you’re not growing males.

How To Feminize Your Weed Seeds

Sativa strains will typically be taller and lankier so the genetics your cultivating should be taken into consideration when trying to figure out if your garden is overcrowded or not 

When plants shoot up tall too quickly it’s a sign of overcrowding. If you’ve ever seen an industrial hemp field you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

Farmers sow hemp seeds close together and the cannabis grows straight up towards the sky. That’s because they want more stalk and seeds. We don’t! We want flowers and buds.

If you see that your garden is too tall for their age and that there is little room in between each plant, you could be on your way to a failed crop. You have to make a plan and stick to it and try not to shove in more plants than your space can manage!

Risks of Overcrowding Your Crop

The biggest risk your taking by overcrowding your garden is basically reducing your potential yields. Optimizing your space means exactly that, optimizing your s-p-a-c-e!

If your garden qualifies as overcrowded, which it probably does, then you’ll likely expect to see PM, powdery mildew, as well as mold and potentially other problems such as mites. 


Once powdery mildew sets in on a crop, it can be difficult to manage. Especially if you're dealing with an overcrowded jungle bush garden. Powdery mildew is a common sign that there isn’t sufficient air circulation in your grow space. 

In a small home grower’s garden, air circulation shouldn’t be difficult to achieve, especially if you’re using LED grow lights, which you should be. What’s the number one cause of poor airflow in small home gardens? Overcrowding! 

If you don’t overcrowd your plants' chances are you’ll have less risk of encounter mildew, mold, and other issues. What kinds of other issues arise from overcrowded cannabis plants? 

Overcrowded plants will have to fight for a limited amount of resources like light, air, and nutrients. Plants stretch out in search for the resources that they aren’t getting.

This causes the branches and stems to become weaker and weaker, unable to support their own weight sometimes. If you veg out a bunch of overcrowded, overextended plants, what do you think will happen? 

Even if you’ve got the best seeds or clones in the world if you’re plants aren’t strong and healthy when it’s time to flower then they won’t produce a quality yield. Sorry!

It’s more likely that either your tops won’t get very big at all. And if they do, they’ll probably be falling over sideways under the weight of all that dank THC being synthesized in the calyxes. 

Solution to an Overcrowded Weed Garden


Here’s your solution to an overcrowded weed garden. Don’t over pack it with plants, to begin with! Once it’s begun, you’re done. Do you have another safe place to grow those plants?

Depending on your setup, each plant could require anywhere from one to five square feet or more. Most small home growers will require just one to three square feet, but optimization requires an analysis of your grow space, lighting, and methods.

You can learn how to optimize your growing space and use methods to get the maximum yields from your plants in our other cannabis cultivation articles linked below.

Thanks for reading and be sure to stay tuned to Slyng News for your daily dose of cannabis content. 


1.Clayton Dillard Rolling Papers. Retrieved September 06, 2018 from

2.Steve Davis Complete Guide to Stopping Powdery Mildew On Your Marijuana Plants. Retrieved September 06, 2018 from

3. Une culture de cannabis découverte dans le sous-sol d'une maison cambriolée près de Rouen. Retrieved September 06, 2018 from

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About the author: Aaron M.

Aaron is a freelance cannabis writer for Slyng, covering medical marijuana, cultivation and other cannabis culture topics. He's also an independent musician and songwriter releasing his debut album one single at a time.