Not everyone would like to share or reveal his/her indoor grow setup to visitors and neighbors. The best way to hide your plants is by having a closet grow. You can grow plants in stealth with the help of grow lights and save a lot of space.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about a closet grow. We will also share the step-by-step method of a DIY grow closet that you can build on your own.
Let’s dive in.
Closet Grow Basics
What is a closet grow?
A closet grow is a closet converted into a grow area for indoor plants.
Many people do not have a separate room or vast space for growing plants indoors, so they are left with the option of a grow closet room.
If you have a spare closet, you can use the space to make it a grow closet. You need to arrange proper equipment and make the perfect environment that indoor plants need.
Don’t worry about the process and equipment, as we will take you through every step of making an ideal closet grow system in the next part.
Why should you start a closet grow?
You might be living in a small house where you don’t have enough space to set up a large grow room.
If you are running out of space, it is good to go for a closet grower. It is the best way for people who cannot dedicate a large space for their grow area.
Another reason for starting a closet grow is that you might not want to expose your grow room to visitors, relatives, and neighbors.
If you want to grow plants in stealth, a closet grow is the perfect option. It will not only save space but will also remain hidden.
Beginners and people who do not have enough investment to set up a large grow room can use their spare closet.
Beginners can try growing different plants in their closets to gain some experience, and once they gain every information and experience needed, they can go for a larger setup.
Moreover, a closet grow is also suitable for people who only want to grow a few plants; they do not need a big space for indoor growing.
Closet Grow vs Grow Tent vs Grow Room
Before we compare these three indoor grow setups, we would like to discuss the basic definition of these terms so that they can be distinguished easily.
You can also refer to our blog post here for a detailed comparison between grow tent and grow room.
Grow Room: A grow room is a spare room transformed into an indoor grow setup. You can turn your spare rooms, garages, and backyard rooms into a grow room.
Grow Tent: There are special tents available on the market used to create an indoor grow setup. These are tents, so you don’t need to dedicate a room or closet for the purpose. You just need to buy a tent and accessories. Most importantly, these can be placed anywhere in your house where you have some spare space for the purpose.
Closet Grow: Closet grow is nothing but turning your spare closet into a small indoor growing area. It is suitable if you don’t have much space in your room or house.
Let’s compare Closet Grow, Grow Tent, and Grow Room on the basis of some important factors we need to see while selecting an indoor growing space.
Before you discuss any factor, it is a must to make up your mind about the purpose and usage of your future indoor grow setup.
If the purpose is to grow plants for commercial use, you need a grow room.
The goal could be making medicines, selling plants to third parties, or anything else. For creating a profitable business, you need a large area.
Grow tents and closet grows are usually used for personal purposes.
Experts also use them for research purposes as they are suitable for low volume production.
Grow tents can also be used for commercial purposes, depending on their size; however, they can’t compete with a grow room.
The primary purpose of a closet grow is keeping the plants hidden. If you want to hide the plants, there is nothing better than a closet.
Size is the most important aspect to consider while deciding about your indoor growing setup. Keep in mind that you need to decide according to your needs and purpose, as we discussed above.
Grow rooms are quite large, and you can even dedicate a place for the purpose.
If you have a spare room, you can use it. Otherwise, you can buy any suitable place for it or build a room in the backyard.
The size of the room should be according to the yield you are expecting. Keep in mind that grow rooms are large, so you need workers and helpers to take care of the plants.
Closet grows are quite small.
You only need a closet for that, nothing else. But if the closet is quite small that it cannot accommodate fans and other accessories for the setup, you might need some extra space. But still, these are perfect for saving space at home.
Grow tents are available in almost every size.
From a small cabinet-size tent to a large commercial one, everything is available on the market. You can buy a suitable one according to the space you have.
Surprisingly, grow tents are also available in the shape and size of a closet. Some people prefer to buy a closet grow tent as their height is suitable for large plants.
Grow tents are the easiest; these are perfect if you are a beginner and want to save time.
The tents are designed for the purpose, so they have insulations on the wall, inlets & outlets, zipper doors, and everything you need. You just need to buy a tent and accessories.
Most importantly, fixing accessories to the tent is also pretty easy; there are dedicated spaces for everything.
On the complexity scale, the next one is closet grow. It is a bit more complex than a grow tent because it is a confined space.
Moreover, it is not meant for the purpose. So, you need some modifications for the lights, carbon filters, sensors, ventilation system, and other equipment. You might need to make holes inside the closet or on the ceiling.
Grow room is definitely the most complex one because of its size.
You need heavy accessories, and it needs more time to be ready for growing plants. There is a need for insulated walls, proper flooring, exhaust systems, plant racks, lighting systems, electricity & water connection, and a lot more.
A grow room can’t be moved. If you are moving to a new house, you need to do everything from scratch. You need to set up everything, including flooring, ventilation system, and insulation.
In contrast, a closet grow room setup remains intact when you move it; you only need to fix the ventilation system after moving to a new place.
The best option is a grow tent. You can easily move the tent wherever you want. You can shift it to any room, upstairs, garage, or another house without hassle.
The cost of a grow room depends on its size. It is apparent that it needs a big investment, so it is not suitable for beginners.
For a grow tent, you need to buy all accessories along with the tent. So, the cost of the tent is involved.
In contrast, if you already have a closet for a growing setup, you can save money. However, it has some extra cost of modification that could be negligible or significant.
Overall, these grow tents and closet grows are cost-friendly and suitable for beginners.
How To Transform Your Closet Into A Grow Room?
1) Grow Lights
The most important equipment for indoor growing is grow lights. Plants need light to produce their food and carry out photosynthesis. Therefore, if your grow lights are perfect, you will see good results.
Choosing a grow light could be difficult for a beginner as many types of grow lights are available, such as LED grow lights, CFL, and HID. But in the case of a closet grow, the most suitable one is LED.
LED lights are not only efficient, but they also produce less heat.
A closet is a confined space, so there must be minimal heat release from the grow lights. Other types of grow lights produce too much heat and can create various hazards.
Therefore, the best option for a closet grow is LED grow lights.
You might think that LED grow lights are costly. There is no doubt that the initial cost of these lights is much higher than a CFL, but in the long run, these are cost-effective.
LEDs are efficient, so they consume less energy and offer directional lighting for optimal results. Moreover, they have a longer life span of about 15-20 years, which is much more than a CFL. Thus, investing in LED lights is a good idea.
As far as the performance is concerned, LED lights are commendable.
They offer different spectrums and intensities, so the grower can easily control everything according to the type of the plant and the growth stage.
For example, in Spectrum X LED grow lights, you can easily control the brightness level and the spectrum you need. There are knobs and control buttons to achieve the required light.
You need to choose an LED light according to the size of your closet.
There are different sizes available, and for closets, there are closet grow lights. Once you buy them, you can easily hang them inside the closet.
A timer can control the duration of light inside the closet. It is vital to set a strict duration for lighting, and a timer can help you achieve that.
You can set the desired duration according to the plant and its growth stage.
Timers are easily available, and they are quite beneficial. They can automatically turn on/off the lighting and save you from a big hassle.
Some latest LED lights, such as Spectrum X, have a built-in timer.
Ideally, 100% of the light should be given to the plants, but in reality, some of the light is absorbed by the surrounding.
Therefore, it is better to insulate the walls of the closet. You can use mylar insulation. If your closet is dark-colored, then insulation is a must.
In the case of a white closet, you can ignore insulation, but it is better to have it.
4) Ventilation System
The ventilation system of an indoor grow area has different functions.
First, it keeps the air fresh inside the closet. We know plants give off oxygen, and they need carbon dioxide to prepare food. Thus, the exchange of air is important to ensure the required concentration of carbon dioxide.
The system also controls the temperature, smell, and humidity inside the closet. Therefore, it is a vital part of any indoor grow setup.
Image Source: 101growlights.com
For a closet grow setup, you need exhaust fans and intake fans. Both fans are important, and you can place them in suitable positions.
It is better to use an aluminum venting pipe to expel the air out of your home.
Another important thing is the carbon filter. If you want to eliminate the smell produced by plants, you need to use a carbon filter at the exhaust.
Otherwise, your neighbors might get a clue about your indoor grow setup.
Inside a closet grow, you need pots to grow plants. You can use one or several pots according to the area you have.
Temperature and humidity control are both essential.
If you don’t control the temperature, your plants might not grow well and offer good results.
In the case of low temperature, there will be more moisture in the area, resulting in mold. While in the case of extreme temperatures, the plant might suffer from water shortage.
The best way to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity is using a Thermo-hygrometer. It will help you maintain optimal conditions for your plants.
7) Drainage System
Your plants need water, and you would never want a wet closet due to water leakage or any other problem. The excess water is expelled, so there should be a drain system.
For a closet grow, you can use a water bucket/container to collect water. You can place the bucket under the plants and make a complete drainage system using pipes.
This way, your closet will remain dry and last for a long time.
Closet Grow Setup Step by Step Guide
We are going to take you through each step of making a closet grow. We will guide you about every aspect and action.
After reading this guide, you will be able to create a closet grow on your own.
1) Get a Closet
The first thing you need to do is get a suitable closet according to your space. If you already have one, you can skip this step.
It is better to buy a dual door or big closet so that there can be enough space for plants and equipment.
You might have space restrictions, but make sure there is ample space for plants, LED lights, a ventilation system, and especially the drain system.
Usually, beginners forget about the drain; thus, it is important to keep it in mind while choosing a closet.
2) Buy All Equipment and Get Tools
Now, get all the equipment and accessories you will be needing. You can also check out any closet grow kit in the market.
We have already discussed what you need, but let’s have a look at the checklist.
- Intake fans
- Exhaust fans
- Aluminum venting pipe
- Drainage pipes and container
- LED light
- Mylar sheet (not necessary)
- Duct tape
- Grill vent
You will also need some tools to do modifications in the closet. You need the following tools.
- Drill machine
- Circular saw machine
- Screw drive
Once you have everything you need, you are good to go to the next step.
3) Insulate the Walls (Not Necessary)
It is a good idea to insulate the walls of the closet.
You can buy mylar sheets for that. Some people also use white color in their grow room, but mylar is better.
If your closet is already white, you can leave this step.
However, if you want to achieve perfection, insulate the walls using mylar sheets.
4) Setup the Ventilation System
Setting up the ventilation system is the trickiest part.
First, you need to decide the positions for your intake and exhaust fans. It is a good idea to place intake fans near your plants and exhaust fans at the top.
Make holes according to the size of the vents and fans. Install the fans properly and use aluminum venting pipes to take out the exhaust air from your home. You can connect the pipe with your window.
After installing the fans, power them using the adapters. Make sure they are working fine.
5) Drain Installation
The best place for a drain system is underneath your plants.
You need to create a shelf for your plant pots so that you can place a container under the shelf.
Make a few holes in the shelf for water discharge. Connect pipes to the pots and let them go to the water container.
6) Hang Lights
Hanging lights is pretty easy. Some lights have hanging stings to hang them easily. You also need some eye bolt screws.
Insert the screws into the walls of the closet. Attach the strings to them, and then hang the lights.
The distance between the light and plant needs to be in control; hang the lights accordingly. If your light has intensity control, you can control the brightness without changing the distance between the features and plants.
7) Install Timer and Thermo-hygrometer
Place the timer and thermo-hygrometer inside the closet. Placing them is not enough; you need to watch them carefully to understand the requirements of the plants.
We have discussed every step of creating a DIY grow closet. You might have a complete idea of the equipment and steps.
You can start your closet grow now.
How to ventilate a closet grow?
You need intake and exhaust fans to ventilate your closet grow.
For this, you need to make a few holes in the closet to install fans. Closet grows are small, and there are a few plants only, so you need 1-2 small intake and exhaust fans.
How to keep a closet grow room cool?
There are two things to consider if you want to keep your closet grow cool.
The first thing is the grow light.
You should prefer LED grow lights as they emit negligible heat energy and prevent overheating inside the closet. On the other hand, incandescent lamps and CFLs emit more heat, so they must be avoided.
The second one is the ventilation system.
Make sure you have a perfect ventilation system that can take fresh air and expel the hot air outside. This way, your closet grow will stay at normal temperature.
How to eradicate the smell produced by plants?
The best way to eradicate the smell is carbon filters.
You can place a carbon filter at the exhaust of the closet grow. It eradicates the smell, and the exhaust air will be like normal air; no one can detect you are growing plants indoors.