Can You Grow Weed Upside Down?

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    The Pros and Cons of Growing Marijuana Upside Down

    Can You Use Topy Turvy For Weed?-Upside-down gardening first came into mainstream culture through the Topsy Turvy Planter infomercial. (“Topsy”) The Topsy allows you to easily grow tomato plants upside down. The Topsy has been on the market, since around 2005, and its inventors do list some impressive benefits from using this planter.

    Some Success With Tomatoes

    Based upon the topsy turvy planter being around for over 16 years and its high ratings on Amazon, it is not a brash assumption that growing a tomato plant upside down might have some benefits. A tomato plant is also similar to a cannabis plant. I.e., requires comparable soil, lighting, and care. So, the question that needs to be asked is:

    Do these benefits though transfer over to growing weed indoors?

    Read on, and you’ll find out.

    Topsy Turvy Planter and Upside Down Gardening

    Kathi (Lael) Morris, who grew peppers and tomatoes upside down, was one of the first people known who grow plants upside down. Upside down growing did not become popular till around 2005 with the Topsy Turvy Planter. The Topsy Planter was designed for the urban growers with limited or no space to grow who wanted to grow tomatoes. A few advertised advantages of this planter are that it was a space saver, and its design works well for controlling pest infestation.

    The Topsy, which is shown below, is made from a plastic bag, with a hole on the bottom and wire hanging loops at the top. It is easy to use as all you must do is the following:

    1. Put a plant upside down with the stem sticking out of the holes.

    2. Fill the bag with regular potting soil

    3. Hang It Up

    Topsy Turvy New Improved Upside Down Tomato Herb Planter Vertical As Seen On TV

    Does Planting Tomatoes Upside Down Work?

    Whether it works just as well, or better, as the traditional planting is debatable. As I said earlier, it has been around for over 16 years and the upside-down growing technique has been used since 1998. So, Topsy Turvy and upside-down plant growing must be, at least, somewhat beneficial. One, an indication of the benefits of the Topsy and upside-down growing is a Consumer Reports Review/Study on this specialized planter.

    Consumer Reports Topsy-Turvy Planter, Review and Study

    Why Is Consumer Reports Study Applicable to Cannabis?

    cannabis. So, information on the effectiveness of and certain weed growing techniques is quite limited. Consumer Reports did a review and study of the Topsy planter, which is a decent indicator of how effective the upside-down growing technique may be.

    Limits Of the Consumer Reports Review

    The CR review does have a few weaknesses, with the biggest weakness being that their review and experiment were based upon tomatoes and not weed. Another weakness is that consumer reports used a Topsy planter and not a DIY, upside down, system. So, it is possible, that any problems encountered could be the Topsy product, and not specifically the upside-down gardening method. Additionally, another difference is that the plants were grown outdoors.

    Consumer Reports (“CR”) though is one of the more reputable reviewers around as, to not be accused of or even be perceived of bias, they do not accept any advertisers. That’s why, even though they tested it using tomatoes, this CR review is helpful.

    The Review and Study

    CR’s study consisted of 12 tomato plants using the Topsy Turvy planter and 12 tomato plants using traditional, gardening, on the ground methods. CR Study made the following conclusions.

    Pros and Cons


    • Watering-It is quite hard to overwater an upside-down plant.
    • Pest Control-Pest control is a breeze as the plant material does not touch the soil.


    The following are the major down points of the reviewed planter and the upside-down growing method that were mentioned by the CR study:

    • Shading-The plaint is not sufficiently shaded when it is upside down, which results in the soil prematurely drying out.
    • Mess-Watering the plants became quite messy as the water drips down onto the ground. (I could see how this could be an issue with a grow tent or grow space that is tightly packed with cannabis plants)

    CR’s Finding and Recommendations

    Consumer reports concluded that the quality and yield resulting from growing tomatoes upside down was comparable to the traditional gardening method. However, CR also said that because of the downsides of growing upside down plants you would do best to best to stick with the traditional methods of growing tomatoes

    The Pros and Cons of Growing Cannabis Upside Down

    Inquisitive cannabis growers saw the Topsy planter, and I would also imagine Kathi (Lael) Morris’ work and decided to try growing weed upside down. Below is a summary of the overall pros and cons of growing weed upside down.


    • More Growing Space– You can place plants both on the floor and on the ceiling. So, theoretically, growing weed upside down allows you to double the number of plants for your grow space.
    • Enhanced Seed and Soil Protection-Upside down plants have better air circulation, which helps reduce the chance of mold or mildew appearing.
    • Pest Control-A cannabis plant’s leaves and buds, when hanging upside down does not touch the soil, which means there is a lesser chance of soil-borne diseases and pests appearing.
    • Convenience-It is easier to stand up and take care of upside-down weed plants.
    • Over Watering-As they are upside down it is nearly impossible to overwater plants.
    • Less Maintenance-The tasks of weeding, tilling, and staking down plants are eliminated.


    • Marijuana Plant Physiology- Unlike the tomato plant, cannabis grows upward toward the sunlight. As result, with upside-down growing, you are forcing your cannabis plant to grow in an unnatural position.
    • Not Enough Light– As I stated before, pot plants that are grown upside down unnaturally grow away from the grow light. Therefore, your plants will be lacking light from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage.
    • Container-The position of the physical container, itself blocks a substantial amount of beneficial light rays.
    • Heat-Plants that are hung upside down will be closer to the grow lights and the closer they are to the lights the hotter they will become. Excessive heat can lead to heat stress, which can result in slow growth, deformed leaves, reduced yield, etc.
    • Stress-As stated earlier, it is not natural for a cannabis plant to grow upside down. As a result, growing weed this way stresses the plants. This stress often results in weak and broken stems.
    • Less Potency-Marijuana plants suffering from stress (i.e., an unnatural upside-down growing position) tend to compensate elsewhere, which in turn can lead to stunted growth, fewer terpenes, and the overall flower growth cycle is disrupted.

    Final Thoughts

    At first, glance, growing weed upside down using either a DIY or an official Topsy planter seems tempting. An upside-down cannabis plant does have a few advantages. For example, more growing space and reduced chances of pest infestation. The disadvantages though vastly outweigh the advantages.

    First, nearly every reputable website and resource stated that weed should never be grown upside down. For example, the website Grow Weed Easy, and Rocket Seeds from a Medium Article all advise against this technique.

    The biggest disadvantage of growing weed upside down is that Marijuana naturally grows upward. When you grow weed downward you are attempting to put a round peg in a square hole. This means that with upside-down growing you are handicapping yourself from the start.

    The only time I would consider to grow weed upside down would is when space is limited, and you are wanting to keep your growing operation a secret.

    In conclusion, to paraphrase the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no to growing cannabis upside down.”


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