What Is Vertical Growing And How Does It Increase Yield?

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Categories : Cannabis cultivation

What Is Vertical Growing And How Does It Increase Yield?

Growing cannabis vertically may seem like a strange idea at first, but it's really a way to get far more flower out of the same amount of space.

When attempting to conjure an image of cannabis within the mind’s eye, most people will see a structure that grows both upwards and outwards. There’s a reason for this. This is the archetypal image of a cannabis plant when grown in soil and hydroponic systems. But we live in the age of cannabis innovation, where even the fundamental structure of the cannabis plant is being altered: enter vertical growing.


Vertical growing is precisely as it sounds. It involves stacking plants vertically upon specialised racks, allowing growers to maximise the amount of plants that can fit into a given grow space. This isn’t just a matter of aesthetics, although it does look pretty cool.

By growing vertically, growers can save large amounts of space and also make their resources stretch further. Vertical growing doesn’t merely mean stacking horizontal racks over each other; this setup replicates horizontal growing, in which the light source sits directly overhead and plants grow up towards it.

True vertical growing utilises a lightsource that sits in the middle of vertically arranged crops covering walls or standing racks, exposing larger portions of each plant to the light source and more than doubling the amount of space available to grow.

Vertical Cannabis cultivation


This can be a harst imagine picking up an entire indoor grow, flipping it 90 degrees and layering it onto the wall. Now, imagine d concept to visualise; jupositioning the pots 45 degrees horizontally so the plants can grow slightly outwards and upwards. This is the basic idea behind vertical growing. In this setup, the light source is targeting multiple planes of growth simultaneously instead of just one. In this setup, cannabis takes on a vine-like form.

Horizontal growing is definitely an effective method, hence why it has been used for decades to produce some of the finest indoor weed the world has ever witnessed. However, this way of growing may soon become a thing of the past, especially for large-scale commercial operations that could greatly benefit from harvesting larger yields in the same amount of space.


Imagine for a moment an entire warehouse floor covered in a horizontally grown cannabis crop with large lights hanging overhead. Now, imagine instead an entire warehouse filled with towering racks stacked side by side, wall to wall. Both sides of each rack are covered in cannabis plants, and between each rack sits a large light.

This simple visualisation is an example of how much more cannabis can be grown within the same space using vertical growing techniques. The same logic can also be applied to small grow-ops. Imagine a closet with a single cannabis plant sitting under a light. Now, imagine installing a rack onto the biggest wall in the closet, growing multiple plants upon it, and placing the light in the middle of the space instead.

Light for Vertical Cannabis cultivation


Growers can choose to get extremely creative with vertical growing systems; they are a relatively new idea after all. Several systems out there involve fixing pots to walls or racks that can be filled with soil and grown as conventional plants.

Other systems utilise hydroponic methods and fix water reservoirs in a similar fashion. Some hydroponic systems even use gravity-assisted watering.

Lighting is another area to get creative in. Some growers choose to use small bulbs central to several vertical surfaces, whereas others position entire LED strips in front of each vertical rack.

Some growers are even electing to merge horizontal and vertical growing techniques together to take advantage of space on all available planes. Growers could choose to position a light in the middle of a grow tent, which hangs from the ceiling. By growing cannabis horizontally on the floor (possibly using LST) and vertically on each wall, the yield obtained from the space is far greater than using either method in isolation.


Vertical growing is still a new phenomenon, and may take a bit of trial and error for some. Even the top growers in the space recommend taking things slow and paying attention to every last detail. Be sure to look at all the possible options available within your grow space and keep an eye on the evolving technology available for vertical growing. Selecting a room or space with a high ceiling will also be very beneficial to the end product.