marijuana grow cycle length

These vegetating plants are about 4 weeks old from germination.

The length of time needed to stay in the flowering stage depends heavily on the strain. Once you have switched your plant into the flowering stage they will stretch (the ‘flowering stretch’), form buds and then fatten.

If you haven’t started growing your own weed yet, today is the day!

Before You Start Growing Weed.

Long: (12-14+ weeks)

In general, most strains (besides auto-flowering strains) are in the medium range as far as how long they take to flower.

Additionally, for at least the first time you grow, you also need to consider the time needed to get your equipment and seeds/clones.

Total Time to Grow (and Be Ready to Use) Your Own Weed: 8 weeks – 5+ Months.

That’s why most cannabis growers won’t give you a straight answer. The truth is, there are many factors will affect the total time until you have ‘ready’ buds, by days, weeks or even months. This includes your strain, your setup, and how big you plan to grow your plants (bigger plants need more time!). So instead of giving you a huge range, an easier-to-swallow answer might be to say that the average grow takes 3-5 months for indoor growers.

Total growing time needed: 3-5 months on average.

Frisian Dew plant growing outdoors with deep purple buds.

Time Needed to Grow Weed, From Seedling to Harvest.

Here’s the breakdown…

Utopia Haze is a mix of Brazilian landrace strains.

Two weeks is considered the minimum time to cure your buds, but I personally cure all my buds for a month or even a bit longer because the buds continue to improve for several more weeks.

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Here’s the breakdown…

Post-Harvest (before you smoke you should do this stuff too)

It’s actually a really good question! Every new marijuana grower should know how much work they’re signing up for! The short answer is…

This article will give you the total time breakdown, so you can plan out the details of your grow in order to achieve the harvest times you desire:

Some people put their seedlings or clones right into the flowering stage if they want to harvest quickly though this makes for extremely small plants. For example, super-stealth growers who are growing in small hidden spaces – like out of a computer case – would want to put their seedlings into flowering nearly right away to keep their plants as small as possible. It’s also important to remember that container size and grow lights make a big difference. Small containers constrain the roots and keep plants from getting as big as they could, and small lights prevent buds from fattening up as much as they could.

Your plant will likely double in size (maybe a bit less, maybe more) from when you first put it into the flowering stage; this is known as the Flowering Stretch. So make sure you end the vegetative stage before your plant reaches half the final height you want, or your cannabis plants may outgrow your grow space during the flowering stage!

These cannabis plants were vegetated for about 8 weeks before being flipped to the flowering stage. Although they were grown in the exact same conditions from seed to harvest, their final heights are remarkably different because their strains had vastly different genetics. The smaller plant produced 6.6 ounces, while the big plant produced 9.3 ounces. Strain can make a big difference! Learn about growing different strains together.

Flowering Stage Flowering Stage: (average 8-10 weeks, length depends on the strain/genetics)

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!

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.

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.

Important dates for growing marijuana outdoors.

There are a number of changes to consider once plants go from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage:

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.

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.

Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks.

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 weed indoors, you can grow whenever you like. Keep in mind that the outside environment will affect your grow space—you may need to add heaters in the winter or fans and ACs in the summer. Other than that, you can start seeds whenever you like and flip them into flower whenever you like, depending on how big you want the plants.

How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?

Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds.

The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:

Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day.

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.

Seed germination.

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.

Flowering stage length: 8-11 weeks.

Once your seed has germinated , or sprouted, it’s ready to be placed in a growing medium, like soil. The tap root will drive down while the stem of the seedling will grow upward.

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.

The flowering stage is the final stage of growth for a cannabis plant. This is when plants start to develop resinous buds and your hard work will be realized. Most strains flower in 8-9 weeks, but some can take even longer, especially some sativas.

Sativa strains of cannabis are known to grow long, tall, and lanky. This can be credited to the native habitat in which they grow. Sativas stem from regions near the equator, where the length of the day rarely changes regardless of what time of year it happens to be. Equal days and equal nights have led sativa strains to grow in short, consistent photoperiods. This simply means that the height of a sativa plant increases during both vegetative and flower periods.

Indica strains grow short and fat and typically yield more than their tall, lanky sativa counterparts. They are also known to have shorter flowering periods than sativas, making them a popular choice for many experienced growers. Because indicas have a shorter flower period, indoor growers can have more annual cycles when growing and outdoor growers can confidently cultivate in climates where fall quickly turns to winter. The flowering period for indica strains is typically around 8 weeks. If you’re growing indica, you can expect your plants to be in flower for 8-12 weeks.

The length of time plants are in flower depends on the type of cannabis you’re growing as well as the conditions you’re growing in. On average, cannabis plants will flower for 6-10 weeks. It could be longer, however, depending on the strain and the conditions you grow your plants in.

Whether sativa, indica, or hybrid, this is the time when the roots of your cannabis plant continue to expand, and your plant continues to grow larger. Did you know a healthy pot plant can grow up to 2 inches in one day?

Hybrids are a blend of sativa and indica cannabis strains. While some growers stick to pure indica or sativa, most people growing weed are cultivating hybrid strains. And while hybrid cannabis strains are a blend of both indica and sativa, when cultivated they typically take on traits of one or the other.

The Average Grow Period for Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids.

Once your seeds have been sown and your cannabis plant becomes a seedling, it will experience two major stages of life before becoming that beautiful smokable bud. These are known as the vegetative stage (when plants are growing) and the flowering stage (where plants are producing buds).

Much like sativa strains, hybrid strains can grow quickly during the vegetative stage. When it comes time to flower however, they may take on the shorter flower periods common to pure indica strains. Typically, hybrid strains will stay in flower for 6-10 weeks until ready for harvest.

The flowering stage of cannabis is when your plants start to produce the flowers that will eventually become the buds you harvest. The flowering stage of a cannabis plant occurs after light exposure is reduced. Where cannabis plants will stay in veg forever if they’re kept under light for 18 hours a day, switching the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness will initiate the flowering stage.

Sativa, indica, and hybrid strains all grow differently and have varying degrees of time it takes to flower. You’re already likely aware of the differences between sativa, indica, and hybrid strains, but are you aware of the different growing periods for each? If you’re growing your own weed, knowing the average grow period and differences of growing each type are important to keep in mind.

After your plant has been a seedling for anywhere from 3-6 weeks, it will enter into what is referred to as the vegetative stage. This is where your plant begins to grow, grow, grow, producing those big jagged leaves cannabis is famous for.

Growing your own weed can be one of the most rewarding aspects of being a cannabis consumer. If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb and you’re looking forward to planting a ganja garden of your own, it’s vital you know that when it comes to growing not all strains are created equal.

The length of time a plant is in the vegetative stage is completely dependent on its exposure to light. If you’re growing weed outdoors, plants will stay in veg longer the closer to the equator you happen to be. More sun exposure means more time in veg.

Growing cannabis indoors, however, means you can manipulate your light cycle, essentially keeping plants in the vegetative state as long as you want. To keep a plant in veg without flowering, it should be kept under 18 hours of light per 6 hours of darkness. The longer your plants stay in a vegetative state, the bigger your plants will get, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you have a smaller amount of space to work with.

When grown outdoors, pure sativa strains can grow to heights of 20 feet. Because they’re known to grow so tall, indoor growers generally stick to indica strains instead. Sativa typically has a shorter vegetative cycle, but once the plant begins to flower it can take up to 10-12 weeks until it is ready for harvest. It isn’t unheard of however, to have a pure sativa strain take 16 weeks to finish in flower. On average, the growing period for pure sativa strains is around six months.


The average grow period of your pot plants is totally dependent on what type of weed you’re growing and the conditions you’re growing it in. If you’re growing outdoor, you’re dependent on the climate you’re growing in as well as the natural cycle of the seasons. Growing indoors, however, let’s you manipulate your environment a bit more.

Overall, the average growing period for all types of cannabis, sativa, indica, and hybrids included is around 3-6 months depending on the environment you’re growing in.

Flowering Stage.