indoor growing vs outdoor growing
Growing Tips

Indoor Growing Vs. Outdoor Growing: Which is Best for You?

There has always been an agelong contention between indoor and outdoor growers about who does it better.

The main argument provided by indoor growers is the ability to control how the garden becomes and to what extent it blossoms.

However, the fact that outdoor growing of plants lets them get all the required nutrients and gives the best yields seems to be the stance of outdoor growers.

You may have done a google search countlessly regarding this question, searching for answers and practical tips on what to do.

This article will help you understand and have a broader picture that’d equip you to take the next step. You will see the benefits, demerits, and similarities of both methods and how to care for your plants.

What is indoor growing?

People who live in urban areas view growing plants indoors as more discreet and practical. To successfully grow your plants indoors, you need a good space, running water, indoor grow light, and a steady power supply.

The focus here is to have a stable, controllable, and sustainable environment to grow one, two, or more plants.

Advantages of indoor growing

There are a couple of advantages to consider when growing plants indoors; they include:

Complete Control

It is the biggest and most popular reason people in urban areas choose to grow plants indoors.

Here, you have the power to regulate humidity, water, temperature, lighting, and CO2 levels. You can also make the environment more conducive by eradicating diseases and pests.

indoor grow checklist

Image Source: growlightinfo

Shorter Growing Time

This advantage is a result of having complete control of the planting process. Indoor growers have recorded that they regulate and choose the start of the flowering period and much more.

Adequate Ventilation

Since indoor growers control the process, creating a proper ventilation system eventually pays off. Herein lies a major advantage compared to the convention method where you grow plants outdoors.

Unrestricted growth

Indoor growing offers you the opportunity to grow certain plants all year round, hence, enjoying unlimited supply.

Better Quality

Most persons believe that growing plants indoors guarantees better quality and viability of the plants eventually.

Disadvantages of Indoor Growing


The start-up costs required to grow plants indoors are usually expensive as every piece of equipment needed must be provided to have a successful planting.

The cost of the growing process is also expensive, as regular electricity must be available to power the process.

indoor growing electricity cost

Care & Maintenance

Compared to outdoor growing plants, you will need more maintenance and care for indoor growing since most of the process is artificial.

For instance, you need to regularly provide nutrients and moisture as these aren't naturally replenished. It still boils down to how you view this aspect; some consider this stage an advantage than a disadvantage.


You will also need to keep an eye on the filtering and ventilation process and maintenance to maintain discretion.

Now that we've considered indoor growing, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of growing plants outdoors.

What is Outdoor Growing?

If you’re a fan of having mother nature take her course, this method might interest you. Outdoor growing of plants is viewed as the most natural method of cultivating crops.

There are a few things to consider when planning to grow your plants using this method; they include:

  • The location of the plants should be where they won’t be easily identified or seen by people or animals; this is to protect them.
  • They need to have at least 8 hours of sunlight
  • They need to have proximity to a source of water
  • They must also be readily accessible once in 2 weeks

Advantages of Outdoor Growing


Many consider it the easiest method of growing plants; it also promises to supply as much of the moisture and nutrients required.

These naturally cited outdoor growing nutrients are given and replenished by the environment. It doesn't mean that you will back off from nourishing your plants with some extra supplemental nutrients some time to time.

Better Yields

Plants grown outdoors tend to become much larger, and outdoor growing systems result in better yields.

outdoor growing yield

The reason is that plants grown outdoors have the required space to expand and have access to all the needed sunlight for growth. Exposure to direct sunlight offers about 1000 watts per square meter, which is an obvious advantage over indoor-grown plants.

Also, some people believe that plants grown outdoors have buds with better tastes than those grown indoors.


Fundamentally, all you require to have successful outdoor growing is some water and seed. You don't need to buy ventilation or lights, and there's no need to maintain electricity.

Some people still put in lots of money to grow plants outdoors, but this isn't necessary.

Disadvantages of Outdoor Growing


Let’s face it, plants grown outside are more prone to being destroyed by the elements e.g., storms, heavy rain, or strong winds. To avoid this, all you need to do is grow them in pots and bring them indoors in any of these instances.

However, doing the latter counters the advantage of allowing your plants to expand properly.

Not a good idea for urban dwellers

Most people who live in cities or well-developed areas may not buy into the idea of undergoing outdoor growing; they'd rather prefer to grow plants indoors.

Stress in dry periods

If you grow your plants in a place distant from a water source, you will have to transport water manually to your garden in dry seasons.

Risk of discovery

If you do not plan the outdoor growing site, thieves, people, and animals could damage it.

Risk of damage

Asides from being exposed to danger, planting outdoors make your crops susceptible to damage from animals, pests, and diseases.

No control of light

Since there is no form of control throughout exposure of the plants, on average, there is usually greater exposure to light.

One crop a year

There is only so much your planting outdoors can do regardless of whether or not you use outdoor growing nutrients. You will only get one crop each year unless you use an auto-flowering strain of the plant.

We cannot deny the fact that there are similarities and differences between both methods. Since the information in this article will help you make an informed decision, let's look at them.

Similarities Between Indoor Growing And Outdoor Growing

Funny but true; regardless of the method you choose to grow your plants, plants will always be plants. There are basic things that every plant needs to thrive, such as water, sun, and other nutrients.

Even if these basic requirements cut across all plants naturally, the exact preferences and specifications depend on the plant species in question.

Plants like cactuses thrive better in sunny spots with dry or well-drained soil. However, lilies prefer shade and don't grow in direct sunlight.

The code and the simple trick here is to create the optimal environment needed for the plant, whether outdoors or indoors; this is fundamental.

Also, be aware that both methods attract pests; however, the kinds of pests attracted by your plants vary based on whether they are outdoors or indoors.

For instance, Aphids are a bothersome bug you would regularly see on your plants. They multiply quickly, feed on your plant's nectar/juice, and transfer certain diseases to them.

Prevention and treatment of these insects are pretty much the same for indoor or outdoor growing methods. It is essential to know how to curb this and many other insects that could destroy your plant.

Differences Between Indoor Growing And Outdoor Growing

Here is a list of identifiable differences between indoor growing and outdoor growing.

Type of plant

So far, the plant species and the nature of the plant in question are by far the biggest difference between the efficacy of both methods.

While you may have memorized the benefits of both, also note that some plants do best outdoors while others thrive better indoors.

For instance, pothos, orchids, and other tropical plants thrive excellently indoors and can't stand freezing temperatures.


Outdoor plants need to be extra hard to survive the elements, but you can regulate the thriving factors for indoor plants.


Regardless of the time of the year, outdoor-grown plants depend on the natural light cycle. Since you cannot add ‘more light’ to an outdoor plant, you will expect the growing season to be a lot slower compared to the indoor plants.

Indoor plants get the best lighting possible as they enjoy the best of both worlds – exposure to sunlight and an additional artificial indoor grow lighting system.

indoor grow lighting

The benefits of using an artificial lighting system alongside natural sunlight are endless. There are many variants or options for artificial lighting for indoor plants; however, using LED grow lights tends to be more efficient for some reasons.

Here they are:

  • Quicker harvest cycles
  • Longer lifespan for plants
  • They are energy-saving and won’t burn off your plants
  • They give rise to healthy plants
  • They are environmentally friendly with zero to know emissions

A slight demerit to using artificial lighting for your indoor plants is that while you expose them to direct sunlight, they could get damaged since they aren’t used to such intensity.

Soil preparation

Preparing the soil for indoor growing is far different for outdoor plants.

Outdoor plants require that you properly loosen the soil, add organic matter, and maintain proper moisture. While indoor or potted plants do not require regular soil but require potting soil which must be nutrient-rich and sterile.

Indoor plants require less weeding, mulching, and digging since it requires using only a small space. While the preparation for outdoor plants is more intensive.


The routine differs from method to method. Outdoor growing tends to receive rainwater and has an adequate drainage system coupled. While indoor plants could easily dry out due to the nature of their planting.


There are many factors to consider when deciding what type of environment you wish to adopt for your plants. In the end, it boils down to what you need and want.

Whatever choice you make should not stop you from enjoying the bliss that follows hobby-growing. The fulfillment fully blossoms when you start to see your efforts being rewarded.

With the information provided in this article, you're sure to have a successful planting journey. So, don't waste any more time; hop right in and make the garden of your dreams.

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