How Long Marijuana Plants Take to Grow
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Are you not sure how long marijuana plants take to grow? Well, the first thing we recommend is to have patience, something that applies to pretty much everything in life. Plants need enough time to grow and develop correctly, and time is what can tell a nice productive plant from a pile of branches lacking in both foliage and yield.
Today we’re going to talk about normal growth times and the different stages that your plants will go through. Maybe some of these questions sound familiar to you;
- How long does cannabis take to germinate/flower?
- What can I do to make my plants flower earlier?
- Can I speed up the growth?
- Which is the fastest, highest yielding plant?
These questions are probably best answered with the age old phrase, time is gold. Obviously a lot of the answers are quite subjective and we can’t give any absolutely concrete times, but we’ll do our best in this article to provide you with a general idea of how long a marijuana plant takes to grow.
Firstly, we’ll begin by dividing the plants’ life cycle into a series of phases:
Germination is defined as the period and process through which the seed changes from a seed to a sapling.
If you’re planting cuttings, then the germination period is known as the cloning and rooting period.
Germination techniques are varying in method, although the one we tend to use the most and is the most recommended involves damp kitchen paper as a base for the seed; many people use other methods, like damp cotton, straight into the earth or a jiffy, or in water.
Some growers even use germination stimulators that work with the seeds initial metabolism and reduce the germination time to about a day in most cases.
Of course, time is relative. It will depend not just on the strain, but the actual quality of the seed itself. Some determining factors are the age of the seed, how fertile it is and how it has been kept.
Saplings tend to take around 24-72 hours to sprout, although sometimes it can take 5 days and in extreme cases it can take up to 15 days. Make sure to pay attention to the water and humidity conditions, as well as the temperature which should be at around 21-24ºC.
This is also called the vegetative phase. It’s the main period of growth that your plant will go through, and probably the most important.
After managing to get your sapling to sprout and transplanting it (into soil or a jiffy), the growth period begins. Just like the name says, your plants will grow the most it’s ever going to grow and stretch upwards during this period, allowing it to get the correct shape and size to proceed to the next stage; flowering.
Like many of you probably already know, your plants will need more light during the growth phase than any other phase. Generally, 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness are recommended per day. A proper balance between light and dark is the key element to a successful growth period. The light is obviously very important in as far as photosynthesis, but those hours of darkness are incredibly important as well, as during that time there’s an exchange of essential elements in your plants’ metabolisms.
This period will take more or less time depending on the seed, strain and growing method. Autoflowering plants will be much faster than feminized plants and indoor crops are generally much faster than outdoor crops. Also, if you use a stronger light your crops will generally grow faster than those with less powerful bulbs.
It’s difficult to put a number on how long the growth period takes due to environmental and external factors (fertilizers and the grower’s expertise) that can interfere with crops. Generally, indoors autoflowering plants take about 3 or 4 weeks (21 to 25 days) and around 6 to 8 weeks, maybe more, for feminized strains.
Outdoors regular and feminized seeds tend to take around 8 to 9 weeks, but by growing indoors you can mess around with the timings to make them begin flowering earlier.
This is your cannabis plants’ last period. When it starts will depend obviously on the growth period, but the plant must also have the necessary characteristics developed to allow it to grow buds.
This means that sometimes, a month after germination your plant might still look weak or small, which means that you’ll have to let it continue its growth period for more time.
It’s also important to note that autoflowering strains will flower at their own whim; you’ll need to change the light period once they start showing signs. However, seasonal seeds will need to be helped into the flowering phase by a change in light period. To be exact, you’ll need to switch them to a 12/12h light period which induces your plants into the flowering phase.
I know we said that the growth phase’s timing was relative, but true relative is how long a flowering period can take. There really are no rules apart from certain ones preached by seed banks about their strains, although in most cases these rules are simply guidelines.
The important thing to keep in mind when trying to figure out when the flowering period is coming to an end and you need to wash out the roots is how the buds look. Although times stated by seed banks can give you a general idea, the best way to find out is to watch your bud grow until they’re buried in pistils.
Once they’ve developed that fair, the harvest time will be indicated by the maturity and oxidization of the pistils and trichomes, which become that nice amber/honey color.
Indoors, autoflowering strains will generally finish up at around 8 weeks of flowering, and feminized versions can take longer depending on the growth period, and it’s normal for them to take anywhere between 10 to 12 weeks, and in a lot of cases even more.
Drying and Curing:
This stage isn’t even classifiable like the plant’s life cycle, although we can tell you that it’s a process that will take a while and it’s just an important as the plant’s periods when it comes to gett ing top quality taste, aroma, effect and potency.
First, you’ll have to differentiate between drying and curing; the first thing you’ll need to do with your freshly-cut harvest is dry it.
Basically, you’ll have to place your harvest, cut and trimmed, in a dark, cool and dry place in a drying mesh or sock (don’t forget to clean your plants roots out thoroughly towards harvesting time). All you’ll have to do is move the buds around the mesh or sock every day so they don’t become inclined to one side or another.
This process can take a while depending on placement and terrain; from two to four weeks. The sign of a properly dried bud is being able to bend it without breaking it, but while also hearing that nice crispy sound.
After the drying process comes the curing process, like a good cheese.
It simply involves placing all of your buds in a container and leaving it to sit with a periodic opening to let the air flow. Curing can be done in different containers; plastic, glass or wood, although wood is faster than glass and glass is the most recommended as it doesn’t emit or contain any sort of toxic substances.
The container in which you deposit your harvest will need to be kept in a dark, cool and dry place. The only thing you’ll need to do will be to open the container for about five minutes a day so that the humidity can leave your bud, and you end up with a perfectly chlorophyll-free product.
This process can take anywhere from two to six weeks. The main indication of a proper curing is that the bud crunches when pressed in slightly, if you bend the stem it breaks water than bends, and the intense green color should fade, as well as the leafy green smell.
According to these estimates, marijuana takes about three months to grow completely for autoflowering versions, and four to five or more months for feminized strains depending on crop method and expertise. Don’t forget that drying and curing will take a month or two more.
We’re going to insist on the fact that depending on how you grow your plants as well as the strain you choose to grow, each phase will be longer or shorter, and therefore so will the entire life cycle. Feminized strains will take longer to be harvestable, and autoflowering strains will take less time. There’s also a new version called the “fast version” that the Sweet Seeds seed bank has developed. Also, indoor crops will take less time to be harvestable than outdoor crops.
And don’t forget that patience is a virtue for every grower out there!
Author: Kiko Nieto, Growbarato Collaborator
Translation: Ciara Murphy
Everyone's wondered how long marijuana plants take to grow at some time, and the answer is quite relative but we'll do our best to give you a general idea!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW A MARIJUANA PLANT?
The idea of the following article is to provide you with valuable information about the growth of marijuana, its phases and some tips. First, we recommend you not to harvest your plants as soon as possible. Each variety and each strain follow a life cycle that we must respect if we want to achieve optimum development and a quality product.
The time of germination, growth and flowering of marijuana is relative; each variety follows a different tempo, even each strain, which is why it is impossible to determine or pre-establish a generic time for cannabis.
How long does it take to grow marijuana?
Anyway, we will try to give you some advice to guide you as best as possible and that you can control the growth of your crop. If we want to specify about the life cycles of the cannabis plant, we must highlight three main phases: germination, growth and flowering.
- 1 The germination process.
- 2 The Growth or Vegetative Stage:
- 2.1 Determining factors:
- 3 The flowering phase:
- 3.1 End of Flowering and Harvest:
- 4 Conclusions:
The germination process.
First, there is the germination process. This is usually the process that people give least importance to, but, it is of vital importance because if we do not do it correctly we can spoil the seeds. The techniques for germination are very diverse, from the typical technique that uses a napkin or wet paper, to the use of stimulators or planting the seed directly in soil, on a jiffy disc or in a glass with water.
Marijuana seed germination
The best thing to do is to use the napkin or wet paper and, as for the time, to re-emphasize that it is relative. It will not only depend on the conditions of water, humidity or oxygenation, we will also have to consider the quality of the seed, its fertility, the variety or strain in question. However, the seeds usually take between 24 and 72 hours to germinate. Sometimes we find seeds that can take 5,10 or 15 days to arrive.
The Growth or Vegetative Stage:
Secondly, we find the growth or vegetative phase. This phase is central to the development of the plant and therefore one of the main concerns for cannabis growers. It is in this phase, when the seed has been germinated and planted, in which the plant acquires its morphology and its optimal size to later be able to produce the flowers (our harvest).
During this phase the plant needs a lot of direct sun-light as it is developing.
Now, we are in the greatest photoperiod of the plant, between eighteen hours of light by six hours of darkness. The hours of darkness are also of vital importance as they will produce the correct exchange of gases. This exchange is essential for the optimal metabolic development of the plant cells of our strains. The length of time that plants should be growing will be determined by various factors such as environmental (temperature, light, humidity), plant (variety and strain) and external factors (fertilizers, soil quality or the grower’s experience).
Another factor will be whether the plant is regular or autoflowering. In the second case, all phases are shortened, as they are genetically engineered plants designed to develop as quickly as possible. On the other hand, it will also depend on whether we plant it outdoors or indoors. It should be noted that in indoor cultivation also shorten the phases, and depending on our luminous power, the times will be lengthened or shortened even more. Therefore, to pre-establish the time of growth is very complicated; to general features we could say that in an interior the autoflowering seeds we would let them grow between 3 or 4 weeks, depending on the culture technique, and 6 or 8 weeks for the feminized or regular seeds.
The flowering phase:
On the other hand, we have the third phase, flowering. This phase is the last stage of plant development and one of the most important. The beginning of this period will be determined by the hours of light, outdoor, or by the development of the plant during the growth phase, indoor. Since the interior can control the moment in which we want it to start blooming, we must wait for the plant to have the right physiognomic characteristics to produce good buds.
In autoflowering varieties, the beginning of the flowering phase will mark them themselves, while in feminized or regular seeds, we should be the ones who, through the change of photoperiod, point out when they should start to flower (setting 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness). Another issue is outdoor, where the calendar will determine the tempo. As for determining the end of the flowering process, point out that it is something completely subjective. There are people who prefer to wait more or less, although there are certain factors that can give us a general idea.
End of Flowering and Harvest
End of Flowering and Harvest:
Firstly, the development of buds, which should fatten to cover most pistils. Secondly, the correct maturation and oxidation of the buds, which will be determined by the color and shape of the pistils and trichomes, which may be orange or brown in color. Finally, the hardness of the bud can also be an indicator of the time of cutting, although there are varieties that produce softer buds and therefore this indicator does not always work. However, we can point out that autoflowering plants will usually complete their flowering in eight weeks, whereas feminized plants can take up to ten, twelve or even thirteen weeks.
By way of conclusion, as we have seen throughout the article, the duration of the periods is very relative and depends on a great variety of factors. However, some generic and approximate calculations can always be offered to guide the grower.
We establish, therefore, that for the correct development of an autoflowering marijuana plant, we must wait approximately three months; while for a feminized plant, the period is extended to four or five months. These have been some advices to help you with your crop, since Gea Seeds recommend you perseverance and a lot of patience to get the best result.
RD 24 October, 2019, 6:29 pm
I was told that once a plant has flowered that they die, it can never flower again, is this true
GeaSeeds 25 October, 2019, 7:48 am
Hello RD! Cannabis plants can live more than 5 years!
Kenpachi 23 June, 2020, 2:34 am
I have been doing this from 3 months but yet no flowers on my plants….. I’m growing them outdoors…. And seeds are regular…. Can u give some advice when will it start flowering…. Today 3 months are over since I have put seeds in wer napkin……
GeaSeeds 23 June, 2020, 9:54 am
The flowering does not depend on the number of months since the germination.
The flowering depends on the hours of daylight.
In August and September (Northern Hemisphere), when it starts to decrease the hours of the sun, the plant will start to bloom.
Arefff 2 October, 2020, 1:15 pm
My bush has just started flowering, will it take me a few weeks to cut out a garden?
GeaSeeds 2 October, 2020, 1:43 pm
Yes, between 5-9 weeks more.
Depends on strain type
The idea of the following article is to provide you with valuable information about the growth of marijuana, its phases and some tips. First, we recommend