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How Long Does it Take to Grow Cannabis?

Written by Marcus Smith Jul 28 2022

It’s a typical question: How long does cannabis take to grow? Cannabis plants typically take three to four months to mature, but you can cultivate a high-quality specimen in as little as eight weeks with the appropriate equipment and technique. So, how long does a cannabis plant take to grow?

Growing Cannabis: How Long Does Each Stage Take?

The following guide demonstrates how long each step takes in proportion to the overall time necessary to grow cannabis from seed to the point where you have a finished product or harvest. This is also considering the average amount of time it takes to complete each step. As you will see below, the realistic time frames might be somewhat different. When learning how long for cannabis to grow, you must understand the following phases:

Preparation (ranging from zero to four weeks)

So, how long does it take to grow a cannabis plant? To begin, you’ll need to gather all of the essential materials. Depending on where you get your goods, this might take a few weeks. Even the most reliable online seed banks in the USA allow faster delivery, but it may take a few days to get everything set up, even if you have all the necessary equipment.

Germination (ranging from one to seven days)

It is necessary to germinate seeds before they grow if you are starting with them. The taproot typically emerges from the grain in one to two days, regardless of how you germinate them: in a quick rooter, on a paper towel, or in soil.

If you didn’t germinate the seed immediately in the medium, wait until the root has developed to a thickness of 0.1 to 0.2 inches (3 to 5 mm) before planting it in a growth medium like soil. A few days later, the plant sprouts and its first leaves emerge. Using amendments to the soil like biochar for cannabis may speed up the process.

Rooting (5 to 10 days)

You may ask yourself, “How long does it take for cannabis seeds to sprout?” Instead of worrying about germination, you need to worry about getting your plants to root so that they may begin growing. This procedure usually takes between five and ten days.

Vegetative phase (2 weeks to 6 Months)

The length of time needed to complete this phase of the plant’s life is very variable. You, the grower, are in complete control and may decide how long this period will go. Changing the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness every day will cause the plants to transition to blooming. It is up to you whether you want to push your plants into flowering by switching the lights to 12/12. After a few weeks of growing in 12/12, your plants will be ready to harvest in less than a week. The smaller your plants will be, and the less cannabis you will need, if you leave them in the vegetative phase for fewer than 18 hours a day, so keep that in mind.

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

Cannabis that only grows a few inches tall may be produced in a little plastic cup if you are worried about the size of your plants or because you don’t have a lot of room to work with. When starting with seeds, keep in mind that buds don’t develop for at least two to three weeks in the vegetative phase. Most farmers let their plants remain in the vegetative stage for a few weeks or months to produce a large crop. There are more buds on larger plants!

On the other hand, many farmers produce tiny plants and harvest them more often, even though each harvest yields less. For best harvests, plants should be vegetative for at least three weeks and get at least 18+ hours of light per day. With certain strains, even having 24 hours of daylight is preferable.

Keep in mind that the size of a cannabis plant doubles during the blooming period. You may want to switch to a 12-hour light/12-hour dark schedule when your plants are half the size you think your grow room can handle. Also, the size could vary if you’re using something like a DIY grow tent for cannabis growing.

During the vegetative period, you can use various cultivation training methods, including super cropping, crimping, topping cannabis, tying, bending, the sea of green (SOG), the screen of green (SCROG), and trellising.

However, the vegetative phase of autoflowering strains differs from that of ordinary feminized seedlings. At least two or three weeks of vegetative development are required for autoflowering varieties before displaying any bud forms.

Flowering: five to sixteen weeks (or more for select strains)

When you adjust your lights to a 12-hour on, 12-hour off cycle, the flowering (or bloom) stage starts and lasts till harvest. In this stage of development, your plants will double in size. Numerous sub-stages exist within the bloom stage.

How long does cannabis flower

The duration of the blooming period varies widely, depending on the variety. The strain is the most critical determinant in determining how long a plant takes to mature. Sativas, on the other hand, might take anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks to blossom on average. 7 to 9 weeks is typical for Indica strains at this phase.

Harvesting (1 to 3 days)

Before thinking about when to harvest, ask yourself, “how long does it take cannabis to grow?’ Once you have understood the duration, you can proceed to the next step. Depending on the height, yield, and quality of your strain, as well as your familiarity with drying, curing and pruning, harvesting time frames might vary. High-quality cannabis buds may dry in four days, but the drying process usually is sluggish and takes at least seven days. Your bud should be somewhat moist but not wholly dehydrated to prevent mold.

There is a wide range in the time it takes to cure cannabis. Some people may let their cannabis cure for as long as six months, depending on the strain. To enhance your bud’s medicinal properties, the procedure of curing is another lengthy and time-consuming one.

When it comes to trimming, experience is a factor. Hand trimming may take longer than using commercially available automated trimming equipment. Still, the result is a more precisely groomed bloom than the uniform look of a machine-trimmed crop would suggest.

Final thoughts on how long it takes to grow cannabis

While the time it takes to produce cannabis might vary widely, there are steps you can take to hasten the process. A reduction in vegging time may negatively impact the crop’s output; you should carefully consider the decision.

Choosing a fast-growing strain is the greatest thing you can do to reduce the time it takes to harvest your cannabis. Autoflowering breeds, as previously said, are known for their rapid growth.

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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