Recommended Books

What are the best books to read to take your cannabis cultivation to the next level? If you want to become an expert grower, you need to build a base of knowledge in plant science and horticulture. We offer our recommendations for books that will help you to truly become a better-informed cannabis grower. Most of these books are not specific to cannabis, but rather explain the general principles of plant science and horticulture, which are applicable to all plants. We include a few recommendations for cannabis specific books as well, including, of course, “Coco for Cannabis: A grower’s guide”.

Books for Beginners

To establish your base of knowledge in plant science and horticulture, we recommend the following books:

"How Plants Work" by Linda Chalker-Scott
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This is a great book that looks at plants from a physiological point of view and how they respond to environmental stimuli. It breaks down fundamentals in a simple and easy way that anyone can understand.

"Biology of Plants" by Peter H. Raven
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If you're serious about learning plant science, then this book is a recommended read. It is one of, if not the, most popular plant biology textbooks for beginners. Everything is organized for the reader’s ease, and it does not assume a strong background in science. It covers the fundamentals of plant science, but it is not a light read. At around 800 pages, it will keep you busy!

"Introductory Plant Biology" by Kingsley R. Sterns et. al.
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Stern’s “Introductory Plant Biology” is another good choice for beginners looking to expand their knowledge of plant science. It offers additional insights and perspectives on plants which complement the knowledge that you get from other sources, such as Raven’s “Biology of Plants” discussed above.

"Plant Propagation" by Alan TooGood
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This is a great book on propagation; both seed and vegetative (cloning). It is an excellent source on the science behind the different techniques used for propagation. It focuses on the practical science, which has informed the horticulture industry for many years. There is also material on grafting, layering and much more!

Books for Advanced Readers

Once you establish a strong base of knowledge in plant science, these books will help you become a true plant expert!

"Plant Physiology and Development" by Zeiger, Taiz et. al.
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This is the reference textbook that is used all over the world by college and university courses. It is the most thorough and up to date reference on plant science. It covers a long list of topics, such as the movement of water and solutes; cell walls, structure, formation and expansion; photosynthesis, light reactions, dark reactions and photomorphogenesis; germination; seed establishment; embryogenesis; vegetative and floral development. And much more! This level of detail requires that the reader first has a good understanding of basic plant fundamentals.

"Photoperiodism in Plants" by Thomas and Vince-Prue
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Photoperiodism is an important property of many plants. It is more complex than most growers realize. Indeed, it is a topic complex enough to warrant its own book. With cannabis, photoperiodism controls the initiation of floral development. If you want to understand the science of photoperiodism, there is no better source than this book.

“Soilless Culture: Theory and Practice” by Lieth and Raviv
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This book covers substrate and root science as it relates to hydroponics and soilless methods. This is an advanced read that assumes the reader has a solid background in plant science. Most growers will benefit by reading some of the other books on plant biology before looking at this.

“Molecular Mechanisms of Photosynthesis” by R.E. Blankenship
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Do you want to expand your knowledge of the biochemical and physiological properties of photosynthesis? This book dives deep into photosynthesis, which is the center for energy capture, sugar production, and growth. Understanding the processes involved and how it functions will help you determine better practices and decisions in horticulture.

“Light Measurement Handbook” by Alex Ryer
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When growing indoors, understanding the science of light can be as important as understanding photosynthesis in plants. Growing with artificial light means that we cannot take the light for granted. We use artificial light to recreate and enhance an outdoor environment. Ryer’s “Light Measurement Handbook” covers the physics of light and how it behaves in typical environments. This book is an excellent start and finish for anyone wanting to learn about the physics and practices of light.

Books Specific to Cannabis

Unfortunately, most books that are specific to cannabis cultivation are not grounded in a solid understanding of plant science and horticulture. This is why we created! If you are looking to read cannabis specific articles and tutorials that are grounded in plant science and horticulture, allow us to recommend our own Table of Contents. At Coco for Cannabis, we provide resources that are backed by science and experience. As you can tell by our list above, we rely on the most respected sources of research and information on the subject.

That being said, there are a couple books that we can recommend:

"Coco for Cannabis: A Grower's Guide" by Dr. MJ Coco
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Get the book that launched the Website! In August 2018, Green Harvest Press published Dr. MJ Coco’s book, Coco for Cannabis: A Grower’s Guide. On September 1st, 2018, we launched this site. We believe that knowledge should be shared freely, so we made the information in the book available in articles and tutorials on the site. The book is a consolidated guide, but it is not required. You can learn all of the keys of growing cannabis in coco here on the website.

“Marijuana Botany” by Robert Connell Clarke
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Although it is dated, this is still the best and most thorough cannabis specific book. It covers topics, such as the lifecycle of cannabis, genetics, growing characteristics and trichome development and biosynthesis. It is the single most important resource for understanding the unique properties of cannabis at a biochemical and personal level. A must read for those who wish to take their understanding of cannabis science to the next level.

About Our Product Recommendations

At Coco for Cannabis, our mission is to help growers maximize the success of their cannabis crops by providing scientifically accurate information and sharing proven growing practices.

The products that we recommend are the actual products that we chose to purchase and use ourselves. In a few cases, we recommend products that we would buy if we needed them. We do not accept advertising and will not recommend any product that we would not buy for ourselves. We offer this guide as a resource to growers.

We may receive a referral when you purchase products through this page. This is the main revenue stream that keeps Coco for Cannabis up and running! When you click through our links and make purchases you are supporting our work! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Whether we receive a referral does not influence our recommendations. For example, when products are cheaper to buy locally, we’ll tell you that rather than just recommend a more expensive online option.


The information on should not be considered as financial, legal, or medical advice. You are responsible for knowing and following the local laws that pertain to cannabis cultivation, possession, and use. Decisions to grow cannabis should be made in consultation with a lawyer or qualified legal advisor. Decisions to use cannabis should be made in consultation with your doctor or medical professional.