Vegetative plants appreciate healthy soil with nutrients. Feed them with a higher level of nitrogen at this stage.
Cannabis plants go through a series of stages as they grow and mature, and those different growth stages call for different amounts of light, nutrients, and water.
Within the flowering stage, there are three subphases:
Two rounded cotyledon leaves will grow out from the stem as the plant unfolds from the protective casing of the seed. These initial leaves are responsible for taking in sunlight needed for the plant to become healthy and stable.
Harvest happens sometime between September and November. This depends on your local climate, as well as the weather that particular year—one year it could be the end of September, the next, end of October, and growers in the Pacific Northwest will have to pull down their crops earlier than those in Northern California.
As the sun reaches up high in the sky, your cannabis will want to as well. Make sure all of your plants are outside by the Summer Solstice.
The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:
Be very careful to not overwater the plant in its seedling stage—its roots are so small, it doesn’t need much water to thrive.
Marijuana light cycle: indoor—16 hours a day; outdoor—at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (“full sun”), plus several hours indirect sunlight.
As roots develop, the stalk will rise and you’ll begin to see the first iconic fan leaves grow, at which point your cannabis plant can be considered a seedling.
Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to grow a weed plant from seed. It’ll be quicker if you start with a clone or an autoflower seed.
Be mindful to increase your watering as the plant develops. When it’s young, your plant will need water close to the stalk, but as it grows the roots will also grow outward, so start watering further away from the stalk in the soil so roots can stretch out and absorb water more efficiently.
It’s important to know these stages and how long each lasts to know what the plant needs and when. Knowing where your cannabis plants are in their life cycle will dictate when to prune, train, and trellis your plants, and when to harvest.
Everything should be cleaned up, dried, and curing well before the Winter Solstice. Now’s a good time to make your own cannabutter, topicals, or tinctures with all that trim from the harvest. Kick your feet up, relax, and hunker down for the cold, it’s been a long growing season!
Cannabis plants are considered seedlings until they begin to develop leaves with the full number of blades on new fan leaves. A healthy seedling should be a vibrant green color.
How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?
Seed germination length: 3-10 days.
At this stage, the plant is vulnerable to disease and mold. Keep its environment clean and monitor excess moisture. Be sure to give it plenty of light.
If you’re growing outdoors in the Northern Hemisphere, growers usually get their seeds between February and April, and you should start your seeds by the end of April. Some growers will start their seedlings inside in a more controlled environment because seedlings are more delicate, and then put their seeds in the ground outside once they’re a little bigger. If you’re growing clones or autoflowers, you have a grace period of another month or so. Plants usually need to be outside, in the ground, by the end of June.
Even if growing outdoors, a lot of growers will start their seeds inside under an artificial light to help them through this delicate stage of marijuana growth.
Flowering stage length: 8-11 weeks.
The weather will start to turn and the sun will begin descending in the sky as your plants fatten up with sweet, sticky buds. It might be tempting, but wait until around the Fall Equinox to start harvesting.
Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day.
When your marijuana plant becomes a seedling, you’ll notice it developing more of the traditional cannabis fan leaves. As a sprout, the seed will initially produce leaves with only one ridged blade. Once new growth develops, the leaves will develop more blades (3, 5, 7, etc.). A mature cannabis plant will have between 5 or 7 blades per leaf, but some plants may have more.
Outdoors, flowering occurs naturally when the plant receives less light each day as summer turns into fall. Indoor growers can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing the amount of light marijuana plants receive from 16 to 12 hours a day.
We can’t stress enough that the timeframes in the above graphic are ranges of time for the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll need to adjust them based on your specific region and local weather and climate.
Take meticulous notes on when and how you perform each step, as well as what the weather is like. Other notes can include how much water you give plants, at what intervals, and how much nutrients you give them. Pictures will also give you a better sense of how your plants look along the way.
The vegetative stage of cannabis is where the plant’s growth truly takes off. At this point, you’ve transplanted your plant into a larger pot and the roots and foliage are developing rapidly. This is also the time to begin topping or training your plants.
Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks.
Buds typically grow the most toward the end of the flowering life cycle. You probably won’t notice much budding out at the beginning of the flowering stage, and it will slow down toward the end of the cycle, when buds become fully formed.
If you need to determine the sex of your plants (to discard the males), they will start showing sex organs a few weeks into the veg stage. It’s imperative to separate males so they don’t pollinate the females.
Cannabis has all three types of roots, the taproot appears when germinating, fibrous roots when it is already developing and adventitious roots when cloning.
The most important thing is that the leaves turn yellow at the end of the flowering stage, this means the soil is nutrient-free and you performed the flush correctly, resulting in plants with a better smell and a tasty smooth flavor.
Most plants have three types of roots: the taproot, fibrous roots, and adventitious roots. Fibrous roots are the roots that grow into the medium, adventitious roots are those which can grow from the stem towards the medium.
2. The Growth Of Roots.
Even if you manage to recover the plant, the roots that died were essential to the plant and the growth and yields will be seriously affected.
Roots grow in a way that reminds of a pyramids structure. The main root grows down into the soil while secondary roots grow horizontally to it. These secondary roots grow smaller roots (called capillaries), the roots are responsible for absorbing and transporting water and nutrients for the entire plant.
When the roots are growing it is important to take extra care when watering. The roots are always looking for water in the substrate if the substrate is too wet the roots won’t grow as they don’t need to search for water.
Another very important function is the absorption of nutrients and water. If the plant didn’t develop the roots well, the plant’s growth and bud production can be severely affected.
At this stage it is crucial that you maintain the roots happy, the excess or lack of water will result in lower yields.
The excess of water (known as overwatering) happens when there is a high amount of water (in the medium) during a long period of time.
6. Flushing The Roots.
The way roots grow can be affected by the type of medium you’re growing in. If you use a compact medium, the roots will have difficulties growing. This will slow down the roots and will result in slow plant growth.
If left like this for a few days, the plant will start to become droopy and the leaves will start yellowing. At this stage the plant will most surely die and there’s nothing that can be done to save it because the roots are already too bad to be saved.
This is the reason why we have to provide the proper amount of water to our plant, this will guarantee vigorous growth.
The root is the first thing you see when germinating your cannabis seeds. They are what the plant uses to absorb water and nutrients to be able to grow and is definitely the most important part of your plant.
1. What Are Roots?
Once the flowering stage has begun, the roots won’t grow like in the vegetative stage. After 2 weeks into the flowering stage, the roots will reduce the rate of growth drastically and focus on absorbing as much nutrient as they can to ensure a good bud production.
Just like in the excess of water, the lack of water (underwatering) will ultimately dry all the roots and the plant will not be able to absorb any more water. Even though the plant can be rehydrated, the roots will already be compromised and most likely won’t be able to recover.
Tip : Overwatering is one of the most common errors made when growing autoflowering plants, if you water too much the roots won’t have the need to search for water and won’t grow. This can have affect the final yield.
This is common among new growers, we recommend growing in a mix of coco fiber, perlite and/or soil for best results.
The roots are the most important part of the plant and are the first part of the plant to come in contact with the medium after germination.
How to tell if your plant is a male or female.
1. Germinating: 1-7 days 2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks 3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks 4. Pre-Flowering: 1-2 weeks 5. Flowering: 6-8 weeks 6. Harvesting.
The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
Cannabis Growth Timeline.
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Cannabis growth is made up of a series of stages that plants undergo during their lifecycle. Each stage during the cannabis cultivation process requires its own unique demands, including different levels of light, water, and nutrients.
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Male: Small green sacs full of pollen will be seen on the node areas.
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It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks!
Female: Two pistils (the pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower) will be growing on the buds (flowers grow above these leaves, one cluster on each side).
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