One of the most precious things about growing marijuana yourself is watching it grow. The cannabis growth cycle might be a long one so you will have to be patient with it. Growing from a single seed into an enormous plant is a huge deal! Unique changes to the plant represent the weed plant stages and that is what we’re here to determine.
In this article, you will learn more about the different stages in the life cycle of marijuana plants and the key elements of each stage.
A Generic Overview of Growing Marijuana Plants
The cannabis growth cycle depends on whether you are growing marijuana indoors or outdoors. Growing the plant indoors will allow you to change and manipulate the growing conditions. Growing weed outdoors works on the sun’s time clock and it relies on weather conditions, especially hot ad long days to prosper and reach its full potential.
All in all, the whole process will take around 4-8 months to grow cannabis from seed. If you’re in a hurry, you can shorten this cycle with autoflower strains or by starting with clones.
Let’s get into the marijuana plants growth stages
All marijuana plants start off as seeds, the product of the male plant fertilising the female plant. While cannabis seeds can survive practically anything, they will become unstable if you throw cold temperatures at them.
During the germination stage, the seed is exposed to moisture and light which will get it out of its shell. While it doesn’t need soil to come out, it will need nutrients to start to grow. This stage is generally indicated by two cotyledon leaves which appear above the soil.
The germination stage normally takes around 3-10 days, although some seeds might take less or longer. During this stage, seeds will require around 16 hours of light daily.
This phase happens after the germination stage is over. The seedling stage is indicated by a real leaf showcasing the classic ridges. During this stage, the plant will develop a sturdier root system that takes place deep into the soil, solidifying its roots.
This stage also prepares for the production of chlorophyll which is necessary for growth during later stages.
Seedlings require warmth and nitrogen-rich nutrients, with a lighting schedule of around 16 hours daily. This phase should last between 2-3 weeks, though some strains take up to 6 weeks.
This is where your marijuana plants should be starting to take shape. They will take a big growth spurt in the vegetative stage and, if you’re lucky, you might see your plants strength up to 2 inches per day. During this phase, your plants will be responsive to light. If you are growing indoors, you will need to manipulate lighting conditions during this phase.
Sativas will start developing their lanky look while indicas will start looking bushier and more rounded. Male marijuana plants will grow pollen sacs in this phase while female plants will produce two white pistils. Make sure that you remove these pollen sacs to remove any pollination consequences.
The vegetative stage requires warmth and moist conditions while it is imperative to keep your marijuana plants well-fed. Your lighting schedule should be around 16-24 hours and this stage lasts around 3-8 weeks.
The flowering stage requires less light as the plant is nearing the end of its life cycle. This stage lasts around 6-9 weeks, and it can be categorised into three parts:
– Weeks 1-3: This is the pre-flower stage and pistils are a sign of pre-flowers. These white hairs will show you that buds are intending to grow soon.
– Weeks 4-5: Here the plants will have stopped growing and will be directing all of their energy towards forming flowers. Pistils will turn into amber as the buds grow quicker.
– Week 6 to harvest: Trichomes ripen so buds are getting sticky, and they will not start to smell cannabis.
The flowering phase requires less than 12 hours of light daily. You will know that it is time to harvest the trichomes since they will start to turn light brown. Do not sleep on harvesting since waiting too long might cause the THC content to degrade.
It’s time to cut down the marijuana plants when they have matured enough. This is done by cutting the plant apart, branch by branch and hanging them to dry. A dry room should have humidity levels between 40-50% and the plants will need to be hung for around 10-14 days. Too much humidity will lead to mould while not enough will lead to the buds drying too quickly, so be careful of your conditions.
After your cannabis has dried, it is time for the pruning stage. You must first remove all of the buds from the stalk and cut off the fan leaves. Trim off the sugar and leave it on all sides of the bud using a sharp pair of scissors.
Once you have pruned your buds, it is now time to cure them. Be patient as this stage can take months as it involves the buds being in an airtight container. During the first few weeks, ‘burp’ the jar by opening the lid and closing it to let in oxygen. Store the jar in a dark place. When done right, this will create better-tasting weed and a smoother smoking journey.
Understanding the cannabis plant’s life cycle can help you take good care of your plants at every stage and foresee issues before they arise. You’ll develop better and have premium smoke as evidence.
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