How Many Marijuana Seeds Can You Grow In One Container?

Growing cannabis in containers is very popular and a common question is “How many plants can you grow in one container?”.  This is a good question because cannabis takes 2-5 months to finish growing and we all want the most out of our grow.  The short answer is “Grow only a single plant per container”, but there are exceptions to this recommendation. 

It is understandable to think that it would be very desirable to grow a few cannabis plants in a single container.  For example, If you had a 5-gallon bucket and were originally planning to grow a single plant, wouldn’t it be great if instead you could grow 2-3 plants in the same container?


The biggest problem with growing multiple plants in one container is “overcrowding”.  There are generally 2 types of cannabis plants you can grow:

  • Autoflower
  • Photoperiod

Autoflowering cannabis plants will germinate then grow vegetatively for only 30-45 days before it begins to flower.  Once flowering begins, the plant will flower and continue to live for about another 60 days.

Photoperiod cannabis plants will germinate then grow vegetatively for 45-120 days before either the outdoor season or the indoor grower influences the lighting schedule to start flowering period.  Flowering will last another 60 days.

Using the average grow times above:

  • Autoflower cannabis grows 80-100 days (Approximately)
  • Photoperiod cannabis grows 105-180 days (Approximately)

Autoflowering cannabis will grow smaller than photoperiod versions because it grows for less time.  The less time a plant grows, the smaller it will be, but both types of plants will still be large enough where overcrowding will become an issue if multiple plants are grown in one small container.

Overcrowding is the primary reason why it is recommended not to grow more than a single plant in one container.  However, if the container is large enough then growing multiple plants together make more sense.

Plant Structure

Cannabis will adapt to the size of the container and like any other plant, grow as large as possible.  In general, a cannabis plant will:

  • Grow slightly wider than the container it is growing in
  • Grow 2-4 times higher than its width

The basic shape of the plant will be:

  • Roundish like a bush
  • Christmas tree shaped

These characteristics make it impractical to grow cannabis too close together.  The plant needs space to grow properly and when using a single container, given the structure of the plant, you will not experience any practical benefits from growing multiple plants in a single container.

Plant Training

You can take a single cannabis plant in one container and train the plant to increase the amount of yield by increasing the amount of bud sites.

Training your plant is the best option if you are trying to increase yield.  When asking “Can I grow more than 1 marijuana plant in a single container”, most likely you are looking for a way to grow more cannabis in a limited space.

Training your plant is easy, free and the most efficient way to increase your yield.  This process maximizes your yield.  You can easily DOUBLE the amount of cannabis from 1 plant grown in a single container by training your plant.

Training works on both photoperiod and autoflower varieties.  This technique is not very stressful to the plants and will not stunt growth.

A basic overview of plant training is bending the top of the plant over and using a mechanism to hold the plant tip in the bent position.  When a plant detects that its main growing tip is being held in position an prevented from growing. The next set of side shoots under the main growing tip will become the new growing tips and begin to grow vertically.  You will now have 2 growing tips and have effectively doubled your main bud sites.

Plant Topping

Just like with “Plant Training”, plant topping also doubles the amount of bud sites on a single plant.  This process is a bit more stressful.  “Topping” is the process of cutting the tip of the pant off.  This removes the main growing top and allows the side shoots directly under the removed tip to become the new main growing tips. 

This process is more stressful than training because after cutting the plant tip, trauma is detected, and it takes around 1 week for the plant to recover and promote the side shoots as the new main grow sites.

Since it takes around 1 week for a topped plant to recover, topping is generally not recommended for autoflower cannabis but is OK for photoperiod plants.  The 1 week of stunted growth may take too much time away from the already limited growing time of an autoflower.

While topping is not recommended for autoflower plants.  I have topped autoflower plants without any issues.

Container Size

Container size is probably the biggest contributing factor to growing multiple plants in a single container.  If you are growing in a larger container then it is easier to grow more plants together.  Using small containers sized from 1-gallon to 7-gallon may be too small to practically grow multiple plants in the same container for the reasons previously reviewed.  Growing in larger containers sized from 15-gallon to 150-gallon makes it easier to grow multiple plants.

My standard recommendations for how many plants to grow in certain sized containers were based on Indoor\outdoor\photoperiod\autoflower factors and outlined in another article:

Best Fabric Pot Size for Growing Cannabis – Indoor VS Outdoor

Here are the tables from that article:

Growing Indoor - Fabric Pot Sizing (3ft x 3ft Area)
Container Size in GallonsMaximum Containers That Fit in SpaceRecommended
Number of Containers for Space
Auto Appropriate?Photoperiod Appropriate?Potential Plant Height
153 – 5 YesNo22 - 30 inches
342 – 4 YesNo25 - 35 inches
521 – 2 NoYes35 - 60 inches
720NoYes45 - 72 inches
1510NoYes45 - 72 inches

Growing Outdoor - Fabric Pot Sizing
Container Size in GallonsAuto Appropriate?Photoperiod Appropriate?Max Plants Per ContainerPlant Height
5MaybeMaybe135 – 60 inches
7MaybeMaybe145 – 72 inches
15YesMaybe160 -- 72 inches
30YesYes1> 72 Inches
100YesYes3> 72 Inches

If you are looking to absolutely grow as many plants as possible in a single container then use the following table for outdoor growing:

Maximum Plants Per Container - Growing Outdoor - Fabric Pot Sizing
Container Size in GallonsAuto Appropriate?Photoperiod Appropriate?Max Plants Per Container
5MaybeMaybe1 (Auto)
1 (Photoperiod)
7MaybeMaybe1 (Auto)
1 (Photoperiod)
15YesMaybe1 - 2 (Autos)
1 (Photoperiod)
30YesYes1 - 3 (Autos)
1 - 2 (Photoperiod)
100YesYes3 - 5 (Autos)
2 (Photoperiod)
150YesYes3 - 6 (Autos)
2 - 3 (Photoperiod)

Try to use the following planting pattern with multiple plants per container:

For Indoor growing, do not push the limits of growing more than 1 plant per container.  Instead, use plant training and try to use the smallest container size appropriate for your growing schedule.     

:- VIVOSUN Fabric Containers -:
The following table shows the container size in gallons, Total cubic feet of soil needed to fill entire set of containers, Number of containers sold in a set, Amount of 2.0 cubic feet soil bags required to fill entire set, Amount of 3.8 cubic feet soil bags required to fill entire set
Container Size in GallonsHow Many Containers Sold Per SetTotal Cubic Feet of Soil to Fill Entire Set of ContainersNumber of 2.0 (cubic foot) Soil Bags Required to Fill Entire Set of ContainersNumber of 3.8 (cubic foot) Soil Bags Required to Fill Entire Set of Containers

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