In as much as oxygen is a central component to how we humans live, co2 is the basis on which plants synthesize nutrients from light sources. While there are various grow methods and an expanse of environments that cannabis can thrive in, this need remains the constant.
In many indoor grow spaces, since they are also within the living space of us oxygen breathers, there is not an abundance of co2 naturally. If there were, the people living there would have a hard time breathing. I mean, carbon dioxide detectors are common among house hold safety equipment, so any excess co2 would sure lead to an alarm or two being triggered.
Homemade co2 generators can come in all shapes and sizes, and that variability extends into the cost of making a DIY co2 generator. Before you decide to create a homemade co2 generator, it’s important to look over the options available for co2 generators for plants and consider a few points.
- What sort of climate are you growing in? If your region is prone to higher temperatures, co2 can help your plant maintain growth instead of heat stress.
- Are you indoors or sharing a room with your plants? The addition of a DIY co2 generator may require you to add a better seal to you grow.
- What kind of lighting are you dealing with? If you using fluorescent grow bulbs or CFLs, you are likely getting an adequate amount of co2. However, the use of LED lights, while effective in providing nutrients, can’t generate enough co2 in many cases for the plants to thrive.
Five Types of Co2 Generators for Plants
A DIY co2 generator for plants isn’t rocket science. While they vary in cost, size, effectiveness, and just about every metric you can measure, homemade co2 generators can expand your grow yield by 40%(!) when applied correctly.
The Premade Co2 Generator for Plants
While they are proven effective, the cost is generally high for co2 generators for plants (~$300+) when you don’t have to build it. They run off propane, ethyl alcohol, or natural gas, which can add costs along the way.
Buy compressed Co2
Why not use a compressed co2 canister to feed into your home grow? As opposed to some of the other varieties of DIY co2 generators for plants, you need to buy the proper equipment to use compressed gases, which is generally a costly but effective choice.
Use Dry Ice
Dry ice can be a great short-term, low cost DIY co2 generator for plants. Homemade co2 generators of this type require daily monitoring of co2 levels as they are known to vary greatly. And you have to replace the ice often, increasing the risk of accidentally touching the dry ice. Ouch!
If you are using soil for your grow, the addition of compost can help to generate a small amount of co2. While using co2 from fermentation is not as effective as purchasing a co2 generator for plants, this method can help if you have an outdoor grow or a greenhouse or if you have dry or hot climates. Downside: it can smell.
Use a Co2 bag
Adding co2 to your grow can be as simple as putting fungus in a bag an posting in your grow room. Mycelium, the foundation for mushrooms and other fungus, breathes oxygen just like we humans do. In so doing, a byproduct of co2 is created. Products like ExHale are prefilled mycelium bags that produce co2 just by existing.
While this list is certainly not comprehensive, these methods are among the most common.
By Joey Wells