These days, cannabis use is more accepted in our society than it has been in almost a century. This means growing your own is also a potentially less-risky endeavour than before. Still, that doesn’t mean your grow isn’t threatened by factors that could result in its untimely demise.
Unfortunately, good bud is pricey, and not every friend of the ganja has the patience (or the time and knowledge) to start their own grow. Because of that, the precious weed you’re growing makes a great target for would-be thieves and criminals.

Just like you, shady folks would love to get their hands on some top-tier bud—especially if they can get it for free and without the work. Of course, you want to do your best to protect your outdoor plants to avoid squandering all the time, money, and energy you’ve invested.

THE #1 RULE FOR CANNABIS GROWERS

There is good reason why “No Tell, No Smell, No Sell” should be the #1 rule for every grower, no matter where in the world you live. Don’t talk about your plants, not even to your friends and family, and keep your grow out of sight from curious eyes. Use measures to control the odour, and do not sell or proudly give away your weed to acquaintances. If no one knows your plants exist, the risk of someone stealing your crop will be much lower.

PROTECTING YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS FROM THIEVES

Not talking about your weed is one thing, but keeping your weed out of sight and smell so it won’t attract unwanted attention may warrant a little extra work. Here are some things you can do to keep your plants safe from discovery and theft.

PROTECTING YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS FROM THIEVES

IN THE GARDEN

Even if you grow cannabis in your own garden, you still don’t know who’s gonna come around to snoop at your next “friendly” neighbourhood barbecue. Not-so-well-meaning neighbours may not seem like a real threat, but more and more accounts of this happening are mounting. The good thing about growing weed in your own garden is that it’s potentially easier to keep your crop hidden than other locations.

If you grow cannabis in a corner of your garden, you can camouflage your plants by hiding them among tomatoes, flowers, and herbs. Many of these companion plants for cannabis are not just ideal for hiding your weed; they also provide added benefits such as repelling common cannabis pests like ants or aphids, improving soil composition, and even attracting the good guys such as bees and ladybugs.

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

Make sure that you plant your weed in an area that isn’t easily visible from your house or from your neighbours’ property—even from a higher vantage point. Look for a less-obvious spot in your garden that is blocked from view.

DON’T FORGET THE SMELL

Keep in mind that in addition to making your crops invisible with companion plants and a good hiding spot, the other important thing to think about is the scent of your cannabis plants. The further away your plants are from sensitive noses, the less chance the odour will draw in unwanted individuals. Moreover, some of the companion plants mentioned above have pungent and sometimes overwhelming scents of their own, making them perfect to disguise dank smells at the end of the cannabis flowering phase.

NON SCORDATEVI DELL'ODORE

ON THE BALCONY

When you grow cannabis on your balcony, you may have fewer options when choosing a hiding spot. But, here too you can hide them with companion plants so that your grow-op isn’t immediately visible. How about some tomato plants or beans to give your cannabis some cover? With some creativity, it isn’t too difficult to arrange plants in a way that makes your weed totally invisible to passersby and that nosey guy next door.

When you grow on a balcony, you can look into additional ways of blocking the view, such as erecting a bamboo fence or another structural item. If you happen to live in an apartment building, know that the odour from your plants can be particularly problematic if a neighbour’s balcony is bordering yours just a few metres away. Choose the furthest spot on your balcony from your neighbours so you can minimise odour as much as possible.

IN A GREENHOUSE

If you’re growing in a greenhouse, this has the advantage that you can install an air filtration system to effectively neutralise the odour of your plants. You can also consider securing your greenhouse with an alarm system, cameras, and automated motion-triggered lights. Most of the time, the presence of cameras and lights alone will be enough to scare away cannabis criminals. In addition, if you’re growing legally and your crop does get stolen, camera footage can be passed on to the police as evidence.

GUERRILLA GROWS

The highest risk that your crops may be discovered and stolen is if you grow outdoors in public. This will require extra planning and added efforts so you can keep your grow-op stealthy and secret. Start by looking for a suitable spot off the beaten path. As a rule, the more difficult it is for you to get to your growing spot, the less likely it is someone else may find it. Outdoors, there is also a risk that animals may get to your plants, which may require extra protection in the form of chicken wire, etc. Then again, doing so could also increase the chances of your grow being discovered, so keep that in mind.

GUERRILLA GROWS

EXTRA TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR PLANTS FROM THIEVES

No matter where you grow weed, if you’re trying to keep it away from prying eyes, stealth is key. We talked about finding places to hide your weed, the advantages of companion plants, and how you should keep odour under control. But there is something else you can do to minimise the risk for discovery: choose suitable strains that won’t be easily discovered.

Obviously, a sativa that may grow as tall as 3 metres is less than optimal if you want to keep your grow-op a secret. To minimise chances of theft, it can be a great idea to look into shorter cannabis cultivars instead. Some varieties, such as RQS’ Royal Dwarf or Blue Cheese Automatic, will not get taller than 60cm, which makes them better-suited for stealth. Likewise, the shorter growing time of autoflowers can also reduce the chances of discovery. This same rule applies to cannabis strains that are naturally low in odour, which can make balcony grows a significantly easier time.

PROTECTING YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS FROM THIEVES—THE BOTTOM LINE

If you want to protect your grow from thieves, a calm approach is always the best one. Violent methods of protection or retaliation against thieves rarely benefit the grower in the long-run. Don’t lay any traps or do anything that could ultimately end up getting you in trouble instead of the thief. The best offence is a strong defence if you want to keep your cannabis safe.

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