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How Long Does it Take to Grow Cannabis?

How long does it take to grow cannabis

Cannabis plants undergo various growth phases before maturing and producing the potent buds everyone seeks. Knowing how to traverse these stages will allow you to cultivate your cannabis at home, saving you money while providing you with year-round access to your preferred strains. This blog will walk you through the phases of growing cannabis so that you’re properly prepared when your seeds arrive.

Breaking Down the Growth Stages of Cannabis Plants

The average time for a cannabis plant to reach maturity is around 3-5 months. However, various circumstances will impact the growth of your cannabis plants. Many factors influence cannabis growing time, including strain biology, method of production, and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the entire process from seed to harvest can take 3-7 months.

The Germination Phase: From Seed to Sprout

  1. Germination – Between 2 – 10 days

The first phase in the cannabis growing cycle is germination. Exposing your seeds to appropriate environmental conditions causes them to emerge from dormancy, pop their husks, and focus on building a taproot. Start the germination procedure with the number of seeds that will fit in your grow area as fully developed plants. Ascertain that you are prepared to complete the whole weed-growing cycle. Don’t waste your time on bad cannabis seeds. If green or white and mushy, they’ve certainly gone bad and should be discarded. Conversely, healthy, viable weed seeds are usually brown, dry, and firm.

There are numerous common methods for germinating seeds, but the paper towel technique is the most tried, proven, and effective one most growers use. Follow the Premium Cultivars germination guide to get this stage of the weed development cycle started effectively. You must not allow your seeds to dry out at this stage of the weed-growing process. Moisture triggers the enzymes that distribute energy from the seed’s food storage for development.

  1. Seedling – 2 – 3 weeks

 The seedling growth period is delicate; plants require 18-24 hours of sunshine, wet soil, and mild humidity to grow quickly. Since the seedling has such a small root system, it is critical to avoid drowning it by overwatering. When a plant matures into a seedling, it will sprout more traditional-looking cannabis leaves. Cannabis plants are considered seedlings until they grow leaves with all their fingers. Healthy seedlings should be short with lush foliage and have brilliant green leaves. During this stage, growth surroundings must be kept clean and clear of excess moisture to prevent the plant from becoming infected or moldy.

Understanding the Vegetative Stage: Nurturing Healthy Leaves and Stems

The vegetative stage of the cannabis life cycle is the longest. It may last from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the strain. Healthy cannabis may grow at a rate of around two inches every night. Look for escaping roots to determine when your seedlings are vegging. It’s time to transplant your cannabis if they’re running out of the bottom of their present pot. At this point, you may begin applying training methods, and topping your weed keeps it controlled. Your plant also needs nitrogen to create lush leaves.

Indoor growers must replace CFL or LED lights with metal halide (MH) lights while maintaining the same light-to-dark cycle schedule. Maintain temperatures between 70-80°F during the vegetative phase of weed plant stages. You should strive to set the temperature inside to mirror the day’s high point before dropping down for the night. Reduce humidity by 5% per week until the conditions reach 45-55% to prepare your weed plants for the next stage of the development cycle.

How long the cannabis veg stage lasts
Let your cannabis veg for a couple of weeks before flipping to flower.

The Flowering Stage: The Magic of Bud Development

The flowering stage of cannabis growth, which usually lasts 6-10 weeks, is critical for you as a grower. Growth will stall at this time in the cannabis plant’s development to focus energy on increasing bud development. Plants may be transitioned into the blooming stage by limiting their light exposure. A 12-12 lighting cycle (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness) is ideal. When the plants blossom, they create a sticky resin on the leaves.

Trichomes will also grow. This indicates that the cannabinoids in the plant are maturing beautifully. The eventual potency of the cannabis will be determined by how long it spends in the blooming stage. At this phase, keep the temperature between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity about 50%. You may cease feeding the plant nitrogen now but increase its potassium and phosphorus intake.

Harvest Time: When to Reap the Rewards

The cannabis life cycle concludes when the blooms stop growing and instead mature to be thick, intense, and dripping with resin. Pistils twist and darken, and the icy trichomes covering the surface grow and change color. These appendages carry terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. You must spend time watching these changes so that you may harvest your cannabis at its peak, often known as the peaking point. Wait too long, and degeneration sets in while cannabinoid content decreases.

Note: Harvesting is by far the most thrilling and gratifying part of the cannabis plant. Knowing the signals of maturity is a talent in and of itself, and you’ll need to be patient so that you don’t waste the potential of your weed plant by starting too early.

Factors That Influence the Cannabis Growth Timeline

The factors that can affect the growing cycle of your cannabis include:

  1. Environment: Temperature, humidity, light, ventilation, and CO2 levels in the grow environment can all have an impact on the development of weed plants. Suboptimal or stressful environmental conditions can hinder or stunt growth, whereas optimal environmental factors can encourage quicker and healthier growth.
  2. Genetics: Each cannabis strain has a unique growth rate, blooming duration, and yield. For instance, Indica strains develop and flower quicker than Sativa strains, while autoflowering strains may complete their cycle in as little as eight weeks.
  3. Cultivation methods: The techniques and practices used to grow cannabis, such as germination, pruning, training, feeding, and harvesting, can influence the growth timeline. Some methods can speed up the process, such as using clones instead of seeds, applying low-stress training (LST) or sea of green (SOG) techniques, or harvesting early. Other methods can extend the process, such as using seeds instead of clones, applying high-stress training (HST) or screen of green (ScrOG) techniques, or harvesting late.

Choosing the Right Strain: How Genetics Affect Growth Time

Genetics is the most crucial component when growing cannabis plants. Indica-dominant strains and hybrids develop significantly quicker than Sativa; for instance, Hazes might take much longer to complete. If you do not have much patience, you should select autoflowering seeds. Autos blossom on their own in 2-4 weeks and may be harvested in 8-9 weeks following germination. If you want to know what you’re getting into when it comes to cannabis seeds, always buy from a reliable seed source like Premium Cultivars, where you can get thorough information on each cannabis strain, including blooming periods. This lets you select the best strains for your specific setup.

How long does cannabis flower

Indoor vs. Outdoor: How Cultivation Environment Impacts Growth

Indoor cultivation generally takes longer than outdoor cultivation. Here is a breakdown for both growing environments:

  1. Indoor – Indoor cannabis plants often have a shorter cannabis life cycle than those produced outdoors. Growing weed indoors allows you to have greater control over the phases of cannabis. You may keep your plants in veg mode by leaving the lights on for extended periods. When it’s convenient, flip the cannabis plants by decreasing the light to induce blooming. Inside, you can maintain the ideal environmental conditions for your cannabis to proceed at a healthy rate through the growing phases. Those growing outside may be stunted due to poor weather or insufficient sunshine.
  2. Outdoors – Outdoor plants have a natural cannabis life cycle that is totally dependent on the cannabis seasons and the sun. Outside, timing is everything. To reap a bountiful crop, you must work with what “Mother Nature” provides each season, such as temperature and light. Most outdoor strains are planted in the spring and harvested in September or October before the weather turns cold again. Furthermore, planting cannabis outdoors too late might be disastrous for its ultimate output.

Optimal Growing Conditions: Light, Temperature, and Humidity

One of the most critical aspects influencing cannabis growing pace is your growing environment, which includes parameters like light, temperature, and humidity. For example, placing your plants beneath a bright light may convert more light into energy and develop quicker. They will develop more slowly if they receive less light. The recommended temperature range for cannabis in the vegetative stage is 20-30°C, and for flowering it is 18-25°C. During the vegetative stage, humidity should be approximately 40-60% and below 50% during the blooming stage.

The Role of Nutrients: Feeding Your Cannabis for Maximum Growth

Cannabis plants need nutrients, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, to grow and thrive. However, overfeeding or underfeeding your cannabis plants can cause problems such as nutrient burn, nutrient lockout, or nutrient deficiencies. To avoid these issues, you should use high-quality nutrients that are designed for cannabis plants and follow the recommended dosage and schedule. You should also monitor your water and soil’s pH and EC levels and adjust them correctly.

Common Challenges and Solutions in Cannabis Cultivation

Here are the primary problems that most cannabis farmers experience and how to solve them:

  1. Nutrient deficiencies: Correct nutrition is essential for healthy cannabis development, but obtaining the right combination of nutrients may be tricky. To minimize deficiencies, maintain a fertilization schedule and utilize high-quality nutrition solutions. Regularly testing the soil or leaf tissue at a local lab can also assist you in discovering and solving any nutritional deficiencies. These tests provide producers with information on which elements their plants have an excess or a deficiency.
  2. Pest and diseases: Cannabis plants are vulnerable to various pests and diseases, including spider mites, aphids, or powdery mildew. To keep these difficulties under control, patrol your rooms frequently and take action as soon as you see any symptoms of trouble. This may involve using permitted pesticides or even better biological (predator insect) controls and implementing basic hygiene measures to minimize disease transmission.
  3. Watering: Both overwatering and underwatering cannabis plants can cause issues. To get the watering schedule just right, check the moisture levels in the soil frequently and modify the irrigation frequency accordingly. For instance, substrate sensors may provide real-time data from the soil and assist you in watering and feeding at the appropriate times throughout the day, preventing root concerns like pythium.
  4. Temperature and humidity: Cannabis plants require precise temperature and humidity levels to thrive. To keep these conditions, investing in temperature and humidity control equipment like fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers is critical.
  5. Lighting: Weed plants demand a high intensity and spectrum of light to flourish properly. Consider investing in high-quality grow lights and utilizing a light meter to check the light intensity and spectrum in your grow room to guarantee your plants get the proper quantity and type of light.

Pests and Diseases: Protecting Your Plants from Harm

Aphids, powdery mildew, botrytis, and thrips can harm or destroy your weed plants, as well as diminish production and quality, and pose health and safety hazards. You must establish an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy to prevent and control pests, which includes scouting, monitoring, detecting, and treating cannabis pests using physical, biological, and chemical approaches.

Pruning and Training Techniques: Enhancing Yield and Speeding up Growth

Growers are recommended to prune their cannabis plants during the vegetative phase. This will guarantee that the weed plants remain healthy and your yields are as big as possible. Cultivators are also urged to start pruning when their plants are at least a foot tall and have numerous leaves. The less producers prune their plants, the bushier and stockier they will get. However, experts recommend trimming cannabis plants outside of the vegetative period, especially if they are blossoming. This is because aggressively pruning on the weed plants as they age might cause flowering to be delayed or even prevented.

The Art of Patience: Managing Impatience during the Growth Process

Growing cannabis is a rewarding but challenging endeavor that requires patience and perseverance. Patience is maintaining composure and perseverance in facing challenges, setbacks, and delays. It involves embracing the process, managing expectations, and understanding that real change takes time. Patience can help growers overcome the difficulties and uncertainties of cannabis cultivation and enjoy the benefits and rewards of their hard work.

Pro Tips for Accelerating Cannabis Growth

Growers can use these advanced tips to speed the growth of their cannabis:

  1. Choose the right genetics: The most important factor determining how fast your cannabis plants grow is their genetics. Different weed strains have varying growth rates, flowering times, and yields. If you want to grow cannabis fast, you should choose strains that are known for their short life cycle, such as autoflowering or fast flowering strains.
  2. Optimize the environment: To grow cannabis fast, you need to provide the optimal conditions for your plants. This means controlling your grow space’s temperature, humidity, light, airflow, and CO2 levels. Ensure that your plants get enough light, preferably from LED lights that emit less heat and more spectrum. Additionally, you should provide good ventilation and air circulation to prevent mold and pests and consider supplementing CO2 to boost photosynthesis and growth.
  3. Prune and train your plants: These processes can help you shape them and improve their yield and quality. Pruning involves removing unwanted plants’ parts, such as dead leaves, branches, or buds, allowing them to focus their energy and resources on the remaining parts and improves airflow and light penetration. Training involves manipulating the structure and growth of your plants, such as bending, tying, topping, or supercropping. This can help you create a more even canopy, expose more bud sites, and increase the buds’ potency and density.
  4. Harvest at the ideal time: The final step to growing cannabis fast is to harvest your plants at the right time. Harvesting too early or late can affect the buds’ quality and quantity. You should look at your buds’ trichomes and pistils to determine the optimal harvest time. Generally, the best time to harvest is when most trichomes are milky white, some are amber, and most pistils are brown and curled.

Troubleshooting: Identifying and Resolving Growth Issues

Troubleshooting cannabis growth concerns entails detecting and fixing a wide range of possible challenges. Here are some main cannabis issues and their solutions:

  1. Genetic issues: These problems can manifest in cannabis plants as hermaphroditism and genetic mutations. It is critical to understand how to manage and resolve them.
  2. Care-related problems: These can include issues related to watering, lighting, temperature, and humidity. Appropriate care is vital for the health and yield of your cannabis plants.
  3. Nutrient deficiencies: Cannabis plants require specific nutrients to grow. If they’re lacking in any, it can lead to growth problems. Identifying and correcting nutrient deficiencies can significantly improve plant health.
  4. Parasites and pests: They can cause significant damage to cannabis plants. Identifying and treating any infestations as soon as possible is important to minimize harm.
  5. Weed diseases: Various diseases can affect cannabis plants. Understanding these diseases and how to address them can help ensure the health of your weed plants.

The Importance of Proper Drying and Curing after Harvest

Drying and curing, which can take 1-3 weeks, are post-harvest practices that transform freshly harvested crops into high-quality, enjoyable products. These processes involve removing moisture from the flowers, preserving nutrients and flavors, and preventing spoilage and mold. When done correctly, drying and curing improve the whole experience and value of the final product. Some of the key benefits of proper drying and curing are:

  1. Preserving cannabinoids: Proper drying and curing help preserve the delicate cannabinoids in the buds. This ensures that the desired potency and therapeutic effects are maintained.
  2. Developing flavor and aroma: Drying and curing allow for the developing of complex flavors and aromatic profiles in cannabis. The slow release of terpenes and other compounds during the curing process enhances the overall sensory experience and contributes to the unique characteristics of each crop.
  3. Minimizing mold and mildew: Adequate drying and curing reduce the danger of mold and mildew development. Proper airflow and moisture control prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms, ensuring a healthy and safe final product.
  4. Extending shelf life: Drying and curing extend the shelf life of the harvested crops by reducing water activity and preventing enzymatic reactions. This allows for longer storage and transportation without compromising quality or freshness.

Understanding the Legal Regulations for Home Cannabis Cultivation

This is the practice of growing cannabis plants for personal use in one’s own home. Conversely, the legal regulations for local cannabis growing varies by state and, in some situations, by local municipality. Thus, before starting a home grow, it is vital to research the local regulations and limits. First, an adult 21 years of age or older may produce up to 6 plants in their home in several states. A home can also have a maximum of 12 plants, with no more than 6 mature, blooming cannabis plants. Growers are only permitted to cultivate for personal use and are not permitted to sell their home-grown cannabis. In addition, certain cities and counties have special laws regarding home grows, such as requiring permits or requiring indoor grows.

Picture of Marcus Smith

Marcus Smith

Marcus is a relative newcomer to the cannabis world. Though it may seem that his youth wouldn’t allow for a wealth of knowledge, this is untrue. Marcus Smith has close relationships with many cannabis breeders and grow owners which have allowed him to sample the best cannabis across the US and beyond while also gaining valuable insight into how different strains grow and develop. About this Author

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