If you’re thinking of growing your own fruits, vegetables, and plants indoors, setting up a grow room is one way to go. Alternatively, you could also install a grow tent — this eliminates having to repurpose an entire room in your house, and it’s easy to set up. That said, you’re probably wondering what size grow tent you’ll need for your specific growing goals.
Whether you’re a first-time grower or an experienced gardener looking to start growing indoors, deciding on the right tent size can be tricky. We’re here to help you make the best decision possible to suit your growing needs.
Before we start talking about specific tent sizes, though, it’s important to take into account everything you’re going to have to consider when choosing a grow tent.
What to Consider When Factoring Grow Tent Sizes
If you search “grow tents” online, you might be surprised by all the shapes and sizes you’ll find. Do you get a big tent or a medium tent? Should your grow tent have windows? Why do some tents have compartments on the side? These are all questions you might be asking yourself. Well, before you make a decision, here are a few things to consider:
- Number of Plants — How many plants are you thinking of growing? If you want to grow 4 plants, you won’t need a 6ft x 6ft grow tent. Alternatively, if you want a bigger garden with 10 plants, you won’t be able to fit them in a compact 2ft x 4ft tent. Plan accordingly.
- Special Features — Grow tents are often unique in that they include different features. Some have compartments for you to put seedlings. Others have viewing windows. Larger tents have doors on both sides to give you more versatility when you’re inspecting your plants from different angles.
- Physical Space in Your House — You’re going to have to find a place to put your grow tent. This space could be a close, a bedroom, or a basement. Regardless of where you’re going to put your grow tent, you want to make sure you can actually fit it inside that space.
- Everything You’re Going to Need — Tent size is only part of what you’ll need for your future grow. Lighting, nutrients, and climate control are all things you’re going to have to account for, and these will play a direct role in how successful your yields are.
Things to Look for in a Quality Tent
Earlier we mentioned special features in grow tents. Aside from the size, you’re going to want to be on the lookout for add-ons and features that a grow tent has to offer.
- Windows — If you want to check on your plants without disturbing their environment, you’ll want a grow tent with a few windows.
- Doors — All grow tents have at least one front door, but some grow tents have multiple doors. Extra large grow tents 8'x16' Gorilla Grow Tent, for example, often have doors all around that allow you to enter from different sides.
- Separate Compartments — If you want to grow seedlings and clones at the same time as your mature plants, you’re going to need an extra compartment in your grow tent. The Yield Lab 60” x 48” x 80” 2-in-1 Full Cycle Reflective Grow Tent has a large space for maturing plants, as well as sections off to the side specifically for seeds and clones.
- Height Extension — Some tents can be customized with extension kits that allow you to raise their height. Tents like the Gorilla Grow Tent SHORTY 4' x 4' are great if your plants begin to get really tall during their growth cycle.
- Reflective Material — When looking for the right tent, aside from the size, you’ll want to make sure it’s made with sturdy materials. You’ll also want to ensure that the inside of the grow tent is made of highly reflective mylar. This will allow the intensity from your grow lights to reflect onto your plants from every angle.
Micro growers and hobby growers are used to working in tight spaces. Whether it’s a super compact grow tent like the Yield Lab 32" x 32" x 24" Reflective Grow Tent or a repurposed closet, these tighter spaces are perfect if you’re looking to grow a small number of plants.
When using a small grow tent, here’s what you should know:
- Stick to 1 to 3 plants. You don’t want to crowd your plants, so with smaller grow tents, you’ll only be able to grow a couple at a time.
- 250w to 400w HID grow lights will provide enough coverage for your plants. 600w, 1000w, and double-ended grow lights are too intense. That said, CMH grow lights will work just fine in a small grow tent.
- If you’re using LEDs, a 270w LED grow light is perfect. A maximum wattage of 270 will provide a full spectrum of light for your plants and keep the smaller grow tent from overheating.
Small grow tents are great for growing 1 to 3 fruit and flowering plants comfortably. Though you could cram more plants in there, it’s best to avoid doing so as you don’t want them to be crowded once they start growing.
Remember that the more plants you have, the more living organisms you have breathing in your grow tent. This means they’ll need room, light, and fresh air to breathe properly. So keep that in mind when factoring in the actual spatial restrictions that come with a small grow tent.
Recommended Grow Tents
- Gorilla Grow Tent SHORTY 3' x 3' (Our Price: $292.49)
- Yield Lab 48” x 24” x 60” Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $149.99)
It can be difficult to find a place to grow a good harvest. Too often, you can’t just set up shop in your living room, so you’d need to fit your plants into a shed or closet. For growers who want to grow more than just a couple plants, a medium grow tent is going to be the best option.
Here’s some general info if you’re going to grow in a medium tent:
- You can fit 4 to 6 plants comfortably. That’s double the amount of plants you’d be able to fit in a small grow tent.
- 400w HIDs, 600w HIDs, single-ended grow lights, and double-ended grow lights can be used in these tents. The larger space allows for higher wattages from your grow lights. You’ll need that extra bit of light intensity if you’re growing upward of half-a-dozen plants.
- A 540w LED grow light is ideal. These LEDs include infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) spectrums for more aromatic and tastier yields.
Closets and sheds can have ventilation issues, and if your plants can’t get a good stream of air, they can’t breathe. In a medium-sized grow tent, not only will your plants be able to breathe a lot better, but they’ll also have access to better elements like CO2 in the air. Putting your plants in a grow tent with plenty of access to fresh air is vital in making sure they grow properly.
Another great thing about moving your plants into a medium grow tent from a closet or shed is the control you have over pests. Controlling pests outdoors can be an uphill battle. In a grow tent, however, you can seal off the majority of your growing area and get rid of the few pests you find relatively easy with some pesticides.
Recommended Grow Tents
- Yield Lab 48" x 48" x 78" Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $219.95)
- Yield Lab 60" x 60" x 78" Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $239.99)
When things are too big for a closet and you need an entire room, you’ll want to start looking into large grow tents. Given your plant species and whether you want to train them, these tents are enough to house multiple maturing plants with little to no restrictions.
When considering grow tent size, factor in the following info if you’re going with a large grow tent:
- They can hold 7 to 10 plants comfortably. You won’t have to worry about stuffing your plants in large grow tents. Up to 10 plants can go through their full growth cycle with no issues.
- 600w HIDs, 1000w HIDs, single-ended lights, and double-ended lights work well in large grow tents. It’s worth noting, though, that if you want to get the best light intensity, double-ended grow lights work best in these larger tents.
- If you’re growing with LEDs, you’ll want to use an 810w LED grow light. These lights offer similar intensity to a 1000w HID grow light with the added benefits of IR and UV light.
Large grow tents that measure between 6ft x 6ft and 8ft x 4ft offer a lot of versatility for growers. You can either fit up 10 plants in your grow tent, or you can split the tent into flowering and vegging rooms.
Growing upward of 10 plants will require some serious light intensity, so make sure you’re working with a total wattage of at least 600w to 1200w of HID lighting, or up to 810w of LED lighting. We recommend using higher-powered lights instead of lower-wattage lights.
For example, if you need 1200w of HID power, we suggest using two 600w HIDs, not three 400w lights. While both setups offer the same amount of watts, the canopy penetration and lumen output of 600w HIDs are stronger than those of 400w. A 400w HPS bulb offers around 55,000 lumens, while a 600w HPS bulbs kick out around 90,000 lumens. That means three 400w lights give you a total of 165,000 lumens, whereas two 600w lights give you 180,000 lumens. That’s a difference of 15,000 lumens.
Recommended Grow Tents
- Yield Lab 78” x 78” x 78” Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $259.99)
- Yield Lab 96” x 48” x 78” Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $269.95)
Extra Large Grow Tents (Larger Than 8ft x 4ft)
A lot of growers might say that if you’re going to use a huge space to grow in, it’s a good idea to convert an entire room or build a greenhouse. Those are great options, but using an extra large grow tent is just as great and much more convenient.
If you want to grow a large number of plants, you’re going to need an extra large grow tent. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Extra large grow tents allow you to grow 10 to 12 plants comfortably. In some instances, you could potentially grow more than 12 plants.
- HID and LED grow light calculations will vary depending on how many plants you're growing and how large your XL grow tent is. You’ll want to make sure you adjust accordingly and add or remove lights depending on the number of plants in your grow tent.
If large grow tents are for smaller grow ops, then extra large tents are made for full-on collectives, both in size and functionality. You can fit large amounts of plants in there to grow from start to finish, or section off rooms to offer different light cycles, feeding schedules, and even environments.
The great thing about XL grow tents is that so long as your ventilation and airflow are good, the lights you choose are up to you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to set up multiple lights to achieve a specific wattage. Avoid using multiple low-powered lights and stick with using the strongest lights you can.
Recommended Grow Tents
- Yield Lab 120” x 60” x 80” Reflective Grow Tent (Our Price: $329.95)
- 8'x8' Gorilla Grow Tent (Our Price: $943.95)
The Right Grow Tent Size for Your Growing Needs
When you’re looking for a grow tent, you want to make sure you factor in all of your needs as a grower. Think about the number of plants you want to grow, as well as the physical space you’re going to put your tent in.
There are a lot of benefits to growing plants in a tent versus a full grow room, greenhouse, or outdoor garden. Grow tents allow you to control a more compact environment, and they do a great job of creating a steady, consistent ecosystem for your fruits, veggies, herbs, and plants.
Now that you know the number of plants you want to grow and the space you’ll need to grow them in, all that’s left is selecting a grow tent or complete grow tent kit. Your indoor grow will be thriving in no time!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2018. It has been updated accordingly for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of December 2020.