All you need to know about the stages of marijuana plant growth
Cannabis plants evolve during different stages as they grow and mature and these growth stages require a specific method of care that might be different from the rest, including light, nutrients, and water.
If you are planning on growing your own cannabis plants for recreational use, it is important to be aware of these different growth stages and how long each of them lasts to know what your plant needs and when. Knowing where your cannabis plants are in their life cycle will help you give them the tender and loving care that they rightly deserve.
How long does it take for a cannabis plant to grow?
Normally, a cannabis plant takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks or about 3 to 8 months to grow from a seed to a weed plant. The process is hastened if you start with a clone or an auto-flower seed. The biggest indicator of how long your plant will take to grow is in the vegetative stage which happens after the seedling phase and right before the flowering phase.
If you are growing your plant indoors, you can force a cannabis plant to flower when it is still small or after a few weeks when it gets bigger. If you are growing outdoors, you will need to wait until the sun diminishes for the plant to flower and, in turn, harvest.
When is the right time to grow a weed plant?
Most growers choose to start their growing phase inside since the environment is more controlled. Seedlings tend to be more delicate. Once the seeds get a little bigger, you can put the seeds in the ground outside. Cannabis plants, normally, need to be in the ground by the end of June.
Harvest takes place between September and November, but this heavily depends on the local climate, as well as the weather of that particular year.
If you are growing weed indoors, you are free to grow whenever you like. Keep in mind that you might need to add heaters in the winter or fans and ACs in the summer to control your indoor environment.
What are the cannabis plant growth stages?
The growth stages of a cannabis plant can be broken down into four phases from seed to harvest:
- Germination (3 to 10 days)
- Seedling (2 to 3 weeks)
- Vegetative (3 to 16 weeks)
- Flowering (8 to 11 weeks)
The germination stage begins with the seed. A marijuana seed should feel hard and dry and be of a light to dark brown colour. An undeveloped seed is normally green or white in colour and feels squishy.
Once your seed has sprouted, it will be ready to be placed in a growing medium of your choice, such as soil. The stem of the seedling will grow upward. Two cotyledon leaves will grow out from the stem as the plant begins to come out from the protective element of the seed. These first few leaves are responsible for attracting sunlight to the plant for it to become healthy and stable.
As the roots start to develop, the stalk will rise, and you will start to see the first leaves grow. At this point, your cannabis plant is now a seedling.
A seedling is identified by the traditional cannabis fan leaves. Initially, the plant will only produce leaves with one ridged blade. The leaves will slowly start to develop more blades reaching the stage of maturity at around 5 to 7 blades per leaf, sometimes even more.
Plants are considered seedlings until they develop leaves with the full number of blades. A healthy seedling should be of vibrant green colour.
In the seedling stage, you need to be cautious not to overwater the plant since the roots are too small to absorb a lot of water here. Here the plant is still vulnerable to mould and disease. Make sure that you are giving your plant plenty of light here.
This stage is where the plant fully takes off. Here you will need to transport your plant into a bigger pot while the roots and foliage are developing heavily here.
During this stage, you will need to increase your watering as the plant starts to develop. Young plants need water close to the stalk while as the roots start to grow, you will need to water away from the stalk in the soil so the roots can stretch out and absorb water.
Make sure that you are feeding the soil with nutrients, especially with a higher level of nitrogen.
In the vegetative stage, you will also be able to determine whether your plants are male or female. It is important to separate males so that they do not pollinate the females.
The flowering stage is the final stage of growth for a weed plant. This is when all your hard work of growing and keeping the plant alive comes to fruition. Most flower in 8 to 9 weeks, although some might take longer.
If you are growing your plants outside, flowering occurs when the plant is getting less light each day. Indoors, you can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing your artificial light from 16 to 12 hours a day.
In the flowering stage itself, you have three stages:
- Flower initiation happens in weeks 1 to 3. Here the plant will continue to grow, and female plants will develop pre-flowers. These are the start of buds.
- Mid-flowering happens in weeks 4 to 5. The plant here will stop growing and the buds will start getting bigger.
- Late flowering/ripening happens from week 6 onwards. The trichome density will increase and the plants tend to get very sticky.
Buds tend to grow the most towards the end of the flowering stage. Once your buds have reached maturation, it will be time to harvest your cannabis plant.
But that is a story for another day! Keep your eyes peeled for more articles on how to harvest your cannabis plant!
You may learn about the many marijuana plant phases and all the information you need to know about how to take care of them from this page. The additional advice listed above will assist you in maintaining caution at certain points. You are now prepared to cultivate marijuana on your own.
You will initially need some patience to comprehend the entire process and required actions. You can better grasp the prerequisite by considering the steps of the marijuana plant stages listed above. You can experiment with many strains that have a high yield and superior quality once you’ve gained some experience.