You are hereTop 7 Most Common Growing "Myths"

Top 7 Most Common Growing "Myths"

by Sirius Fourside

Some guy on an internet forum learned a super secret trick from his neighbor's cousin who is a master grower...

All you have to do is crumble 3 goldfish crackers per gallon of water into your nutrients every other feeding. The crackers use a wheat compound that’s hard to obtain for non-commercial use, and it makes buds grow up to 20% larger!

Does that sound crazy? Good! Because it IS crazy!

One of the downsides to an invention as incredible as the internet is that crazy, nonsensical “tips” can easily be spread to thousands of new growers without any fact-checking. And unfortunately, many fake tips just as crazy as this one not only exist, but are followed by inexperienced new growers!

That’s why today, we’re showing you the 7 myths we hear most commonly, and our verdict on their usefulness. Protect yourself against faux-info!


Myth #1 “Miracle Gro Plant Food is good for marijuana”

Keep miracle-gro away from your cannabis!Many of us have grown up seeing Miracle-Gro being used in our homes, so we know that it works for ‘regular houseplants’. Cannabis is just a tough weed, so Miracle-Gro should be great for it, right?

Not really.

The biggest problem with the standard Miracle-Gro nutrient formula is that it’s one formula for the entirety of the plants life cycle. Even if Miracle-Gro is good one for one stage of your plants growth, it won’t be good for all of them. The ratio of nutrients your plants need changes drastically between seedling and full flower, and marijuana needs a nutrient system to accommodate for those changing nutrient needs.

What's even worse than the standard Miracle-Gro nutrients is Miracle-Gro soil. Standard Miracle-Gro soil has "time-released" nutrients which contain high levels of nitrogen. While this formula will work okay in the cannabis vegetative stage (the first stage of life), the nutrients will continue to be slowly released throughout the plant's life including during the cannabis flowering stage, which is not good.

Standard Miracle-Gro nutrients contain too much nitrogen and not enough of other nutrients for your cannabis flowering stage, and as a result of the time-released nutrients you will notice that your leaves in the flowering stage will get nutrient burn and your buds just won't grow as big as they could. Learn what you can do to make sure buds grow as big as possible!

Important: Do not use “Miracle-Gro” soil or any soil that has “extended release” nutrients. These types of soil will continue to release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months. This can burn your cannabis plants in the flowering/budding stage and reduce your overall yields.

Never Use Miracle-Gro soil for growing cannabis - especially don't get any soils that have "extended release" nutrients!

There's nothing inherently wrong with Miracle-Gro nutrients, and if you're willing to learn about nutrients, you can use the various different formulas and get a cannabis plant to grow. For example if you're using regular soil, you could use the standard Miracle-Gro formula for vegetative, and their "bloom" version for the cannabis flowering stage. 

Yet there's so many nutrient systems that are specifically formulated to grow a plant like cannabis. Why not choose to get better cannabis nutrients that will almost always produce better results? Some options like Dyna-Gro are priced about the same as Miracle-Gro nutrients, but you will consistently get bigger yields and more flavorful buds.


Myth #2 “You can tell the sex of your plant by the number of leaf points it has.”

The explanation I’ve heard behind this one is: “The genes that control sex are linked to the genes that will determine leaf-tip structure. So if you have a plant with leaves that have [X] points, it’s a girl/boy!”

In short, this is definitely not true. The number of leaf tips has nothing to do with the sex of the plant.

There are a few ways to determine the sex of your plant, but the easiest is to wait 1-3 weeks after flowering. Female plants make white wispy hairs at the base of their branches, and male plants will produce little pollen sacs.

Similarly, you cannot determine gender by looking at how the stipules are oriented on the main stem. Some people used to believe that crossed stipules meant a male plant, and stipules that faced away from each other meant a female plant, but studies have shown this isn't true. The direction the stipules point has nothing to do with plant gender.

Unfortunately, there's no way to look at a young vegetating cannabis plant and be able to determine the gender. Cannabis plants keep their gender hidden until they start the flowering/blooming/budding stage.

Check out our full tutorial on determining the sex of your plant at


Myth #3 “Urinating on cannabis plants replenishes lost nutrients.”

Don't pee on your plants!Despite how bad this one sounds, it’s actually true to an extent. Urine diluted with water reportedly replenishes a few nutrients, the most notable one being nitrogen.

With that being said, there are many cheap, effective, and readily available means of giving your plants nitrogen without involving urine.

Additionally, a real cannabis nutrient system allow you to control exactly how much nitrogen you’re giving your plant, so you give the exact right amount of nutrients at the right stage of life.

Unfortunately, the amount contained in urine is determined by several factors and is extremely difficult to measure (and who would want to?). Many growers who do try to use urine to feed to their plants end up giving them nutrient burn with it, while their plant suffers from other nutrient deficiencies at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but nutrient burn due to urine seems much worse (psychologically) than the standard variety.


Myth #4 “Flushing plants with plain water removes chemicals.”

Flushing your plants in the last two weeks of a grow is one the most common pieces of knowledge when it comes to pre-harvest time.

So is flushing your plants before harvest a good idea? Yes. But not for the reason that most people think…

Any time you feed your plants, they intake nutrients which - in too-high amounts - are not able to be used by the plants and therefore can add a 'chemically' taste to your buds. Flushing in the last two weeks gives your plant a chance to “drink water” without extra minerals to further alter the taste. It also clears out any build up of excess minerals or nutrient salts in your medium (such as coco coir, or water for DWC).

However, flushing does not "leach out" nutrients/minerals that are already in the buds. While your plant can use up extra stored nutrients in the leaves of the plant, this does not remove a "chemical" taste from your buds if you've provided too many nutrients throughout the flowering stage.

Many people believe that flushing with plain water takes nutrients (and thus bad taste) out of the buds, in a sense, returning them to their ‘natural flavor’. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case.

When it comes to ensuring good taste and smell of your cannabis plants, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Instead of relying on the flush to prevent extra nutrients from being stored in your buds, it's better to avoid ever giving the plant more nutrients than it can use in the first place. That means keeping nutrient levels as low as you can throughout the grow while preventing nutrient deficiencies.

Learn more about how to improve the taste and smell of your home-grown cannabis buds


Myth #5 “You can grow weed in an Aerogarden.”

Aerogarden does what it says, just not for the herbs we want...A surprisingly large amount of people have written into to ask if growing weed in an Aerogarden actually works. In addition, there are many people who have tutorials written for it, and some swear by it!

Weed can be successfully grown in an Aerogarden, that has already been established.

But the reason the Aerogarden makes this list is due to the impracticality of growing weed in it.

In reality, an Aerogarden saves you from having to buy growing lights and a top fed dwc (bubbleponics) kit. The problem is that the lights they provide aren’t strong enough for flowering marijuana, and they’re a bit too close to the reservoir which is too small for comfortable growth.

Some people say it's only for small cannabis plants. Why not grow smaller plants in it? Well, why pay $250 for part of a small grow, knowing that you're going to have to add bigger cannabis grow lights anyway, and also knowing that you'll be struggling with your roots in a too-small reservoir?

There are lots of better (and cheaper) ways to grow hydroponically that are much better suited to growing cannabis.

Learn which methods are great for growing hydroponic cannabis


Myth #6 “Male plants should be kept for their THC.”

Let’s just start with this: definitely do no keep male plants unless your goal is to have them pollinate your female plants.

With that being said, some male plants actually do produce THC, albeit a much lower amount than female plants. How much lower? About 7 to 9 times lower! Plus, male plants don’t grow buds, so you’d have to extract that small amount of THC from the leaves.

And more than 30% of male cannabis plants never produce any significant amount of THC at all!

Yet all that pales in comparison to the real issue, which has nothing to do with the male plants low THC levels.

The real problem is that your male plants can accidentally pollinate your female plants, or even the female plants of other growers in your area. Once your female plants are pollinated, they will produce less bud and lots of seeds that could also potentially be males!

If you’re looking to make your own seeds, skip keeping male plants in your house and check out our article on making your own feminized seeds!


Myth #7 “Adding juice/food to plants before harvest increases taste/potency/flavor.”No OJ for your MJ!

Here’s a brief list of things people have been told to feed their cannabis to improve its taste/flavor/potency:

  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Urine (Urine? Again?)
  • Molasses diluted with water
  • Egg whites diluted with water
  • Vanilla Extract

The only one of these that actually has any tested effect is…molasses! And even molasses is only used in tiny amounts right before flowering.

People love being able to do something productive for their plants while they’re growing, and what better than giving them a treat like you’d give a pet?

Frustratingly, the best thing you can do during those times is check on your plants, and be patient if they’re doing fine. Adding any of the things listed above – except molasses – can definitely cause your plant harm.

However, there are plenty of steps a grower can take to improve the taste/smell and yields of their home-grown cannabis buds.


Bonus Myths:

As a bonus, here are a few other ones we’ve heard that weren’t as popular, but we thought were worth pointing out:

  1. Buds are more potent when harvested in their dark cycle
    - Sounds plausible, but so far there is zero evidence that this is true…
  2. Hermaphrodite plants produce feminized seeds
    - This would be great! Unfortunately, it’s too good to be true. While hermaphrodite plants can produce self-pollinated seeds, these seeds are likely to end up being hermies just like their mother, which means you'll likely end up with seeded buds if the seeds sprout and grow any buds at all.
  3. Blowing cannabis smoke at plants helps them to grow faster
    - I would love to live in a world where this is the case, but in our world, it’s actually worse for them. Smoke is not good for your plants. Don’t do it!
  4. Crushed up birth control pills will somehow help your plant
    - I'm not sure how this myth got started, but it's just plain not true. Adding crushed up birth control pills to your plant's water isn't going to do anything to help your plants.
  5. You can grow huge plants indoors with barely any electricity 
    - When it comes to growing cannabis, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Whenever you read outrageous claims like "this LED grow light only uses 45W of electricity but produces the same yields as a 600W HID grow light," you should be cautious. Cannabis plants need a LOT of light to produce big yields, and so far there are not a lot of ways to get around that fact. Even incredibly efficient LED grow lights do not usually get bigger yields than a similar wattage HID grow lights like MH or HPS. There's a reason HIDs are considered the the "golden standard" grow lights for growing cannabis indoors - they work incredibly well at giving great yields for the amount of electricity. There are lots of benefits to LED grow lights, but beating HID grow lights for cannabis yields is not one of them (yet!). Learn more about grow lights so you don't get taken in by scammy marketing!
  6. Cannabis plants grow like a weed, so just stick seeds in dirt
    - Sure you can stick some seeds in the ground and wait to see what happens. But if you care about getting sticky, potent bud, you need to care for your plants and ensure they produce to their best. Think of a gardener - they can throw a bunch of tomato or corn seeds in their garden and see how things turn out, but serious gardeners don't do that. By giving plants exactly what's needed at the right time, yields and quality get increased 100x. Unless you just happen to live in an area with a perfect environment, perfect weather, and perfect soil, you will greatly improve your results by learning the basics of growing cannabis, and taking time to ensure plants get what they need to produce the best yields possible.


Got any awesome myths that are more popular than these? Let us know by replying to the newsletter!



Myth: "Bagseed" is a great choice for beginners

"Bagseed" is a term for random cannabis seeds that you find, for example, in the buds you bought. Some growers get lucky growing bagseed and produce great plants, but a lot of growers will be disappointed with their results from growing bagseed. Especially for beginners, bagseed comes with some downsides what will make things tougher for your first grow. 

Here's what you need to keep in mind when growing with bagseed....

  • You'll have no idea how the plant will grow (will it grow short or tall? fast or slow? how long before harvest?)
  • More likely to produce hermies (cannabis plants grown properly will not produce buds that contain seeds - that means bagseed is always a mistake on the part of the grower. Often this means that the mother plant was a hermaphrodite, and as you learned earlier, that means your seeds are much more likely to produce hermaphrodite plants - plants that grow both male and female parts - so you're much more likely to end up with seedy buds and lower yields)
  • Even if there are no hermies, about 50% of all seeds will end up being male (when getting trusted seeds from a breeder, you can choose to get "feminized seeds" which means 100% of your plants will grow into bud-producing females).
  • You don't know which strain you're growing (unless you get genetics directly from the breeder, you can never be sure exactly which strain you're growing, so you won't know what to expect)
  • You don't know which strain you're growing part 2 (oftentimes the buds produced from bagseed end up nothing like the buds they were found in - this is because the strain has not been stablized by a breeder to make sure that all seeds produce the same results).
  • Runts and stunted growth (this is the problem I've had nearly every time I've tried to grow bagseed - I get seeds that just don't sprout, stunted plants, and sad spindly buds if I can get plants to grow. Real cannabis breeders will nuture mother plants and store seeds properly so you get great germination rates. Since bagseed is always produced by mistake, it is highly unlikely the grower took steps to make sure the seeds end up being good to grow).

Where can I get quality seeds?

Here's one of my favorite plants growing in my tent right now...

818 Headband (aka "Sour OG")

"818 Headband" cannabis plant (strain is also called "Sour OG")
This plant is about 1.5 months into flowering, with about a month left to go. This strain is stabilized and all seeds consistently grow bushy plants that are easy to train. The potent buds have won several awards and cannabis cups around the world.

Compare that to a Bagseed plant...

Dying "bagseed" cannabis plant - not sure what's wrong with it...

Learn about trusted online sources for buying cannabis seeds here:



Myth-proof your grow knowledge!

You're looking for the all inclusive collection of no-myth, time tested growing knowledge.

You've told me you're looking for a complete guide to growing marijuana that covers everything, from beginner to ultra-advanced.

You want to learn ALL the secrets...Learn from the best!

Invest in the most advanced Grow Bible Available: Growing Elite Marijuana + 6 bonuses (including one-of-a-kind comprehensive strain guide)

Total care explained step-by-step... indoors... cropping... advanced growth control... bud production secrets... and much, much more...

Over 700 pages of pictures, tutorials and advanced insider tips!

Get Instant Access to It All Right Here:

I thought I already knew it all, but after I went through this grow bible, I discovered that there were still lots of easy ways I could increase my yields and grow even more potent buds! I find myself going back to it again and again for new ideas.


Turn on images to see this



Jump to...

Should I grow with soil or hydro?

What do I do if I run into growing problems?

What do I need to get to start growing indoors?

10-Step Quick Start Grow Guide