How Many Plants in a Grow Tent Are Too Many?
Are you worried that you might be overcrowding your grow tent? Or maybe you’re wondering if you can add a few more plants in your grow tent. Well, it’s good that you are thinking about this because you should!
When I first purchased a 4x4 grow tent, I had no idea how many plants can thrive in it. I figured that I could squeeze in around ten plants but I still was thinking if I could add a few more. At the same time, at the back of my mind, I was thinking that maybe 10 is too much.
The thing about how many plants are too many is that it really depends on the size of your grow tent, what kinds of containers or grow pots you have, and also the kind of plant you are growing.
Why You Should Not Crowd Your Tent
Not overcrowding your grow tent is something I already established here, but I’d still like to stress why this is so important. Here I categorize the different ways your plants get affected because of putting too much of them in a single grow tent.
Nutrients for Growth
The main reason is that it will really affect your plants’ growth. If you’re just starting out with seeds, it’s possible that it may not even germinate.
It’s still possible for some plants to grow in an overcrowded grow area but you will still most likely not be satisfied with the outcome. This is especially if you are growing crops.
Your plants need sufficient light, air, water, and soil nutrients to grow healthy and if you put them in an overcrowded space, that won’t happen.
Think of it this way: instead of them focusing on how to get healthy, they’d mostly focus on fighting for enough light, air, etc., because they’re put in a crowded area.
Even if you use the best fertilizers out there to help your plants or crops grow the way you want them to, without enough space, your plants still won’t grow to its best.
Speaking of your plants not growing the best they could, as already mentioned, some plants may still grow in a crowded grow space. However, it still may not be a successful growth.
If you’re growing leafy crops, your plants’ leaves may end up saggy and leathery. For crop growth, what could happen is that they will likely be too small. The easiest way to break this down is that you’ll just be disappointed with the results.
Pests and Diseases
Aside from that, an overcrowded grow space has more chances of getting infested without you noticing it. Poor air circulation can easily lead to your plants having fungal diseases, such as molds or mildews.
Proper spacing will help with air circulation. Having a dehumidifier won’t really save your plants unless you space them correctly.
The worst thing that could happen is that all your plants are already helpless by the time you notice it. Not overcrowding your grow area will definitely save you from this.
What to Consider to Make Sure Your Grow Tent is Not Too Crowded
Now that you know why you shouldn’t be crowding your grow tent, here are what you should have in mind to make sure that you have just enough number of plants in your grow tent.
There are multiple things that you should consider so I’m here to help you figure out what those are.
The Size of Your Grow Tent
This is definitely the first thing that you should consider. This helps you determine how many pots or containers of plants you should be getting or what size it should be.
Aside from that, this will also let you know whether you can get plants or crops that could eventually grow tall.
What goes in your tent is basically determined by its size. Either you grow your plants traditionally or try a different method, like hydroponics, you always will start with the size of your grow tent.
The bottom line is if your tent start to looks crowded, then it probably already is. Crowded grow space will just produce more moist.
Not having enough space for your plants to breathe will also not make your setup any efficient. Sustainability will be very hard to achieve.
Your Crops or Plants
Before starting your indoor gardening, you probably already have what plant or crop you’d like to grow. It probably is something that you first consider rather than your grow space, but if you have limited place, sometimes you end up choosing what you think will work best with your grow area.
The size of your grow tent will still matter here, but the type of plants you’ll grow will also determine whether you’re putting too many of them in your tent.
Always consider how the plants will grow. If your plants will eventually have broad leaves, then you should definitely allot enough space for it to extend.
Some plants tend to get tall, so do not use hampers that help you maximize your space. That won’t promote growth for your tall plants.
Pots or Containers
You definitely have a lot to choose from when getting the right pot or grow containers. If you’re growing small plants that do not require big pots or containers, like the ones that are 2 liters and above, then you can fit a few of those in your tent.
What you really have to avoid here is to overcrowd your tent and suffocate your plants. In a 4x4 grow tent, you can fit up to 15 plants in grow pouches.
If you've containers, you can fit around 10 five-gallon pots. It’s a different story if you own a reservoir. You can only fit 1 of those in a tent but hey, a reservoir can accommodate a few plants so it’s not that bad.
If you have a hydroponic system, it will most likely require a bit of a bigger space than growing your plants traditionally because of the pumping system it requires. So be mindful of how many containers you’d like to fit in it.
Aside from the size, the shape of your container is something to look at. From circle to octagonal-shaped pots or containers, you have a lot of options, so have this in mind when estimating how many plants will fit in your grow tent.
I strongly suggest for you to at least put at least 2 inches in between your containers to avoid suffocating your plants. If you plan on letting your plants grow pretty big, then you can give each grow container a bigger space.
Lighting and Cooling
Aside from the plants you will grow, you’ll also have to throw in your grow lights, fans, and dehumidifiers in there. For a 4x4 grow space, as much as possible, it’s best to use portable dehumidifiers.
Grow lights wouldn’t really be hard to place in it but if you plan on using lights that come with stands, then this will consume a bit of your grow area space. The same thing goes for fans.
The bigger your grow tent is, the more and bigger equipment it can accommodate. It will really depend on the needs and quantity of your plants.
What Really Matters
The main answer to how many plants in a grow tent are too many is that it really depends on a few factors that are already listed above.
Aside from that, your assessment really plays a vital role when it comes to ensuring that your plants are getting what they need for healthy growth.
As something that I’d like to stress, quality matters more than quantity. If you want to enjoy gardening and have satisfying results, always make sure you’re only growing enough crops or plants on the space you allotted.
Your goal should be letting your plants grow and thrive. Once you’ve mastered this, it’s when you get to be successful when it comes to growing more to your liking.
Gardening should also be fun instead of just stressing yourself out because of growing way too many plants in your tent!
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.