Growing ILGM White Widow Auto in DWC

Growing ILGM White Widow Auto in DWC

  • April
  • May

Choosing a cannabis strain for an indoor grow can be a time-consuming process. However, the White Widow cannabis from ILGM is a great strain to grow indoors. It’s an even greater strain to grow in a Deep Water Culture (DWC) system.

DWC is a form of hydroponics wherein marijuana plants are grown aerated in water. It is considered the purest form of hydroponics. A DWC system is easy to put together. All you need is a container, lid, pump, and a net pot!

This grow journal records a cannabis grower’s efforts in cultivating White Widow cannabis from ILGM in a DWC setup.

Grower: Hawkeye_diesel
Location: USA
Yield: NA
Seeds: White Widow

April 13th

Dropped a White Widow autoflower seed directly into rapid rooter soaked in pH 5.8 water and covered it up. After a couple of days, she had a tap root coming out of the bottom but it hasn’t broken through the surface yet.

rapid rooter

April 14th

She popped overnight and has a really good looking inch of root coming out the bottom.

popped overnight

She goes into her new home – a 5-gallon DWC system. Have the water just barely touching the net pot filled with hydroton. Will place the rooter in the center and fill in with the rest of the hydroton.

the hydroton

You can see in the first two photos the setup includes simple 3mm hooks. They are small enough to sun a small twine or twisty tie through them for some later training.

April 15th

She’s looking even better. Now she’s standing tall on her own!


She’s under a dome to receive more heat than the tent and lights can provide on their own.


However, ice packs and frozen water bottles are on hand to cool her down if necessary.

April 20th

It’s her 7th day and she’s still looking good.

looking good

April 23rd

Day 10. Not much to report other than this plant working hard on her second set of leaves.

looking good

April 28th

Day 15 and her new sets of real leaves have arrived. Check her out!

Day 15

May 4th

Day 21. Not much to report. She got a reservoir water change along with a low dose of nutrients. The pH is 5.87 and PPM is 240. The leaves are starting to yellow and that means she’s using up the food provided by those leaves.

those leaves

May 9th

The first few pistils have started showing this morning!

few pistils

Going to change her reservoir water today. Using Fox Farms Trio. Cut down the feedings in half and added a little Tiger Bloom since she is beginning to flower. This is a slight modification on the Fox Farm hydroponic feeding schedule. Instead of 3 teaspoons per gallon, she will receive half a dose of Grow Big and half a dose of Tiger Bloom.

After 5 minutes, the PPM was 545 and the pH was 5.86.


After a few more minutes, the pH and PPM settled down to 5.82 and 550.

May 10th

The leaves are still yellowing slightly but all signs point to her bright future and full recovery.

May 12th

On her 29th day, she’s moving along just right. Yellowing has decreased a lot and the pistils are developing well enough.

the pistils

May 16th

She got another reservoir change today along with some Liquid Karma, Tiger Bloom, and Big Bloom. Also added another air pump to the bucket. Let’s see if she does well!

May 17th

34th day from seed and she has already produced close to twice the amount of leaves since the last photo update. Her vertical growth isn’t too shabby either.

vertical growth

May 22nd

Day 39 and from soil and 14th day of flower. She got another res change today composed of: 7 teaspoons Big Bloom, 4 teaspoons Grow Big, 4 teaspoons Tiger Bloom, and 10mL Liquid Karma. pH is 5.84 with PPM of 478.

Day 39

Grower: Hawkeye_diesel
Location: USA
Yield: NA
Seeds: White Widow

Unfortunately, this grow journal did not finish recording the entire grow process along with the harvest and final yield. However, if the grower continued with the latest setup, there’s no question that the ILGM White Widow reached its full potential and produced 18 ounces of usable bud per square meter!

If you decide to use a DWC setup for cannabis, make sure you follow the usual pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. pH 6.0 to 6.3 is ideal for the vegetative phase and pH 5.7 to 5.9 is the right range for flowering. Try to maintain TDS on the low side.

The nutrient solution should be replaced every 2 to 3 weeks but I can also depend on the size of the plants and the volume of the nutrient reservoir. You can top off the reservoir with half-strength nutrient solution instead of making up an entire fresh batch if you want to economize.

What’s the right amount of nutrient solution temperature for cannabis in DWC? 62 to 68 degrees F is the ideal temperature. Anything higher than 70 degrees F will make the dissolved oxygen levels too low. Anything lower than 60 degrees F will slow plant metabolism. You can take advantage of this natural response towards the end of the flowering stage to help in marijuana ripening.

Only bare roots should be submerged up to the base of the rooted stalks. Be alert and don’t allow the stems to become immersed in the DWC system. If using rockwool cubes, make sure the cube is approximately 1 inch above the water line.

In the end, all these additional efforts will pay off because plants in DWC tend to grow faster. A well-hydrated plant grows incredibly fast and most marijuana groomers adapt by shortening the vegetative phase by 15% to 25%.

Finally, mineral-based nutrients work best in DWC or any type of hydroponics setup. Well-balanced nutrients make the pH more stable in the reservoir too.

Can you grow cannabis in a DWC setup?

Happy growing!

Avatar for Bob ILGM

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