Stages of Growth
From germination to flowering and beyond
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Stages of Growth
Cannabis plants go through a sequence of growth stages as they grow, and each stage necessitates a different amount of light, nutrients and water. To get the best results when growing cannabis, it’s crucial to understand the stages of cannabis growth and how they affect yield and potency.
Germination is the first stage in the cannabis plant’s life cycle. Cannabis seeds, like all seeds, must germinate cannabis seeds before they can mature into a cannabis-yielding beauty. When the seed reaches the surface, it opens and produces a root to anchor itself in the soil while also opening two embryonic leaves to receive sunlight or simulated sunlight in the form of indoor grow lights. Seeds can germinate in as little as 12–72 hours (under ideal conditions). To maximize yields, you must cultivate viable seeds that germinate into healthy cannabis seedlings.
The seedling stage is when the plant develops cannabis qualities by making a new set of tiny leaves. These seedling stage leaves will have the familiar three-rounded finger-shaped points associated with cannabis plants. More of these leaves will be produced by the seedling, which will push upward with a stem. The cannabis seedling stage can last anywhere from one to three weeks. At the end of the seedling phase, the plant should have 4-8 leaves (some of the old leaves underneath will begin to drop off). Remember that the seedling stems can be fragile and may need to be supported.
Vegetative growth stage
Cannabis’ vegetative stage is when the plant’s growth takes off. This is the stage in which the plant requires more light and food to grow as quickly as possible. You’ve moved your plant into a larger pot at this point, and the roots and foliage are growing quickly. The cannabis plant will continue to grow upward, producing new leaves and thicker stems and branches. The plant will spend approximately 1-5 months in the vegetative stage of cannabis before beginning to show early signs of sex as it enters the pre-flowering stage.
When the cannabis plant progresses from the vegetative growth stage to the pre-flowering stage, it will slow down in its upward growth by producing more branches and nodes as the summer progresses. It’s good to learn when flowering starts outdoors; calyxes and other growths characterize the pre-flowering stage. Pre-flowering can last somewhere around 1-2 weeks. Male cannabis plants are usually separated from female cannabis plants during the pre-flowering phase.
During the flowering stage, the plant will continue to fill out and clearly show its sex. The male cannabis plant is distinguished by “grape-like” clusters, whereas the female cannabis plant is characterized by pale hair-like pistils emerging from a “pod.” The cannabis plant will continue to grow during the flowering stage, which lasts 4-16 weeks until the flowers fully develop. The male plant’s “grape-like” pollen sacks will burst and spread pollen during the flowering stage. Buds usually grow at the end of the flowering phase. There will be little budding at the beginning of the flowering stage, and it will slow down towards the end of the cycle when blossoms form fully. You will know it is time to start harvesting cannabis when the buds have reached full maturity. You may believe the journey is over after harvesting cannabis. Yet, there are two crucial steps remaining; drying and curing cannabis. You might also want to know how to tell if my autoflower is ready to harvest and luckily we have an article on that too.
From germination to seedling to vegetative to flowering and beyond into harvesting – learn everything about the different growth stages of a cannabis plant here.