Featured Image Credit: Big Buds Mag.
This is also the stage with the greatest variability for the length of time it will take to get through, dependent on strains and growing conditions.
The first leaves should be developing at this point, which the plant uses to photosynthesize light into nutrients.
It will grow a bit taller and begin to straighten up during this week. The very first new growths will appear as well, which will be another leaf along with the development of additional blades on the current leaves. Initially, they will be quite small.
Featured Image Credit: High Times.
This is the final stage of cannabis growth. All the previous work keeping the plant healthy and structurally sound pays dividends here as the plants begin to produce their buds. All males need to be removed at this point, otherwise, fertilization will occur and the females will lose a fair amount of yield and quality.
The length of the vegetative stage of growth is dependent on the genetics of the plant, as well as the period of time they are receiving light. Plants can technically remain in the vegetative state pretty much indefinitely, but eventually, they will hit their max growth or the amount of growth comfortable for the room and need to be switched over to flowering.
Sexing can technically wait until the flowering stage, but cautious growers should remove them now.
The final stage of flowering will have begun at this point for most plants, and the length of time can be variable. Buds will begin to grow very quickly now, seemingly overnight turning into dense flowers all over the plant.
Chapter 3: Vegetative.
This is the transition phase. It technically isn’t flowering at this point, but the plant will begin preparing for bud growth. The biggest growth occurs in this short period, the structure it develops within the vegetative stage is important now as the plant can almost double in height during this transition.
This is assuming the grower is using a germination technique that doesn’t involve direct planting, otherwise, they simply need to wait for the plant to sprout to begin the seedling phase.
This is where it all begins, the seed. During this formative stage of growth the cannabis seed, once planted or placed in a germination station, breaks apart and the spindly taproot emerges looking for nutrients.
Somewhere in this time frame is generally when the sex of a plant can be determined. The pre-flowers develop here, though they can be quite small, and once sex is determined it is time to separate the males from the females before any fertilization can take place.
Chapter 2: Seedling.
As the taproot of the germinated plant begins to take hold, the first set of iconic fan leaves begin to develop. This signals the beginning of the plant’s seedling stage of growth and should be placed in a large growing area immediately if it hasn’t been done so already.
The seed should be hard, dry and darker brown to grey before being used. Younger seeds won’t “pop” as readily. It can take up to a week to 10 days for the plant to finally emerge from its seed, but once it finally does it is ready to be transferred into a more permanent location.
Those pistils will begin developing larger and larger and become darker in color. This is also when the odor from the plant becomes very apparent, so a good filtration system is a must at this point for indoor growth.
Buds will not have grown too much at this point, so don’t worry if they are still fairly small.
The weeks involved for each plant are variable for a lot of conditions, but this is a good general gist of what each week and group of weeks involve for standard cannabis grow.
Why do marijuana plants seem to “breathe” in time-lapse photography? Why do the leaves begin to droop down and then suddenly spring back up?
This time-lapse video spans 5 days, a frame was taken every 6 minutes. 24fps .
I sprayed Dr. Doom on this young plant to try to combat spider mites. Plant is under a 42w CFL. The main apex was also burned which stopped growing but eventually a new one formed off center. New leaves sprouted just above the cotyledons as well. Don’t spray pyrethrum-based products with any grow lights still on! Pyrethrum is an ingredient in certain insecticides. In this case it came from Dr. Doom. Pyrethrum is very photoreactive so because it was sprayed with the lights on it created a bad situation on the plant as you can see. It almost appears to burn it. The growth was very gnarly for awhile afterwards!
The plants also wilt when they’re thirsty and perk up after being watered.
Watch as the two new main colas at the top get wider and taller, while their connection to the base of the trunk is strengthened and thickened to support their growth.
Young plant burned by Pyrethrum while lights are on & recovery.
Seedling & Vegetative Stage.
All plants do that. It partly has to do with their Circadian rhythms. Plants must put energy into keeping cell walls rigid to hold up the leaves. Kinda like using their “muscles”. With plants like cannabis, the leaves tend to “rest” at night and “perk up” when they “think” the sun is going to come out.
You can see the extreme stress the Pyrethrum combined with grow lights has put on the young plant.
Bonus Marijuana Time Lapse Videos.
Watch as these young plants are trained to fill up a ScrOG net. ScrOG stands for “Screen Of Green” and refers to using a “screen” (usually made of string) to force plants to grow into a flat canopy.
Sweet And Sour Headband Marijuana Time Lapse Grow – seed to harvest.
The above time-lapse video spans 40 days of growth. A frame was taken every 6 minutes. 50fps .
After the plant is topped, notice that not just the top two, but all the growth tips on the plant begin growing out (the plant is becoming more bushy). This is due to a hormonal response that happens in the plant when the main cola is damaged.
The insecticide is sprayed while the lights are on, and unfortunately this combination of insecticide + light burns the young plant. You can see the plant struggles to recover for nearly the rest of the video.
New Life – The birth of a marijuana plant from seed.
While we don’t fully understand the mechanism behind this movement, some scientists speculate that it was developed as a way for the plant to “explore” and find the best direction to grow, since even though plants are rooted, the difference of even a couple of inches can make a huge difference in the survival of the plants.
MAKE YOUR OWN TIME LAPSE VIDEOS!
Although this plant recovers, you can see how badly the burns stunted its growth, and you’ll notice that the regrowth that follows is a bit odd as the plant “ditches” the burnt parts and then gets back into the swing of things.
These have been circulating around the internet for a while, but if you haven’t seen them before, you don’t want to miss these bonus marijuana time-lapse videos.
Get the Web Camera used in the above time-lapse videos:
Learn exactly what you need to buy in order to start growing cannabis indoors.
Recovery of Topped Marijuana Plant & Formation of 2 New Colas.
Choose your grow type…
Marijuana seeds first sprout two smooth “baby” leaves known as cotyledon leaves. These leaves were already formed in the shell. When the seed is put in warm wet conditions, the seeds “wake up” and the seed splits open. The white tip that first emerges becomes a root and grows downward.
The cotyledon leaves unfurl and start gaining height above the soil. You can see the first “true” (wrinkled) set of marijuana leaves nestled in between the cotyledons at first, and as time goes on these spread out to catch as much light as possible.
Watch two seeds sprout and grow their first two sets of leaves. The plant on the left is Super Lemon Haze and the one on the right is strain Tijuana.
A huge thanks to fuzzygrow for contributing these uniquely valuable time-lapse videos to the marijuana growing community!
Here’s a timelapse showing a plant putting its leaves up and down in response to the light.
In this video, a young marijuana plant is topped and you can watch as the two growth tips from the top node (quick picture cheat sheet explaining nodes & growth tips) turn into the two new main colas.
Whether you mulch or not, you will still have to deal with at least some weeds. Organic farmers use many different tools to kill or remove weeds, but in a garden your two main options are hand weeding (often with some kind of small tool to help you) and weeding with a hoe (see tools). However you weed, it is critical to remove the roots of your weeds. If you rip off or slice off only the tops, the roots will send up new stems and leaves and it will be even harder to get the roots out than it would have been before. It is often easiest to weed after a rain or after watering your garden because the roots come up more easily. However, if you pull weeds out of wet soil and let them sit in contact with the ground in your garden, you’ll be surprised by how many of them can reestablish their connection to the soil and survive. For this reason it’s important to physically remove pulled weeds from your garden (to your compost pile , for example), or at least to make sure that their roots can’t reach the soil.
If you aren’t willing to put in the time and energy to manage weeds, you just can’t be a successful organic gardener. Sorry. On the bright side, with some mulch and a modest, regular time commitment to weeding, you can keep ahead of the weeds.
In one sense, a weed is anything you don’t want in your garden. Weeds range from the harmless and easy to manage (so-called “volunteer” tomatoes, for example, that grow from the seeds of fruit you didn’t harvest the past year) to the nasty (such as Canada thistle, which can take over and ruin your garden unless you take aggressive steps to control it). One person’s weed may be another person’s treasure (the herb chamomile is one example of this – some people love it and some hate it).
Gardeners with small plots (and those who are very conscientious users of mulch) may never do anything other than weed by hand. At one level, hand weeding is simple – find a weed, pull it up. In practice, pulling weeds so that you get the roots out takes some practice, and may involve a trowel, some kind of probing tool, or even a spade for large weeds (see tools for pictures of these implements). Weeds can also sometimes be difficult to tell apart from your desired crops. This can happen, for example, when you are growing plants from seed and the young plants have just emerged from the soil. There may be weeds growing in with them, but you can’t tell the weeds apart from your seedlings. Usually all you need to do is wait a few days to a week and let all of the plants grow a bit bigger, at which point you should be able to tell them apart and pull the weeds. If your plants are small (or the weeds are big), you may need to use one hand to hold down the soil around your desired plants while you pull nearby weeds with your other hand.
Unfortunately for gardeners, some of the seeds in the weed seed bank can (and do) wait for years, or even decades, before germinating. As a result, even if you do a perfect job of weeding your garden (thereby preventing weeds from growing, flowering and adding new seeds to the bank), you will still have weeds every year. If you weed regularly, however, you should have less and less trouble with weeds as the years go by.
The single best way to manage weeds is not to allow them to grow in the first place. Having soil exposed encourages weeds to grow, so keeping as much of your soil covered as much of the time as possible is goal number one. While you might want to expose your whole garden at the beginning of the season to add fertilizers or soil amendments, and you will need to uncover parts of it to plant certain seeds, most of your garden can be covered most of the time with mulch of some kind or other. See the entries under mulch for a discussion of different materials for mulching and how to use them. Weeds will still germinate under your mulch, but many of them will be unable to push through the mulch, and those that do make it through the mulch will be weak and easier to pull out than if they had grown from unmulched soil.
What makes a plant a weed?
What to do with weeds once you pull them out.
How to manage weeds?
If your garden is large and/or there are large exposed spaces (between young tomato plants, for example), you may want to use a hoe to dig out weeds (see tools). Using a hoe involves a chopping motion that you will need to figure out on your own. Remember, though, that your goal is to uproot weeds, not to just cut their stems off. If you have a hoe with a narrow head and want to try it out, you may be able to hoe out even very small weeds from close to small plants. A hoe should be kept sharp, and if you use a hoe a lot (especially in hard or rocky soil), you will need to sharpen it periodically with a file or bench grinder.
To make matters worse weed-wise, most gardening involves what are called annual plants, which must be grown from seed every year. While annual plants often grow quickly, they start out small and often do not compete well early in their lives with other plants that are trying to claim the same sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. Some plants are particularly poor at competing with weeds. Onions and their relatives, for example, have only a few narrow leaves that allow a lot of light to reach the ground around them. Light striking the ground encourages weeds to grow. Some other annual plants like tomatoes get large and have a plant structure more suited to shading out competitors, but they take long enough to reach their “adult” size that for much of the season there is a lot of exposed ground around for weeds to grow in. The saying “Nature abhors a vacuum” certainly applies to weeds – if you don’t prevent it somehow, any open, exposed soil will grow weeds.
You won’t be able to see most of them, but if you dig a shovelful of soil out of the ground, there are almost certainly thousands of weed seeds in it. Scientists and farmers call this large mass of seeds the “weed seed bank.” Each of the seeds in this bank is alive and waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow. Unfortunately, when conditions are right for your tomatoes, okra, or peas, they are also right for at least some of those weed seeds, and you need to take action to keep the weeds from out-competing your desired plants.
Weeding with a hoe.
Why are weeds such a problem?
What you do with weeds once you’ve pulled or hoed them out of the ground depends on several things. If it’s wet out (or likely to rain soon), weeds that you leave sitting on top of the soil may re-root themselves and start growing again, so it is important to take the weeds out of the garden, perhaps to a compost pile . If it’s dry out, you can arrange the weeds around your desired plants and use them as a form of mulch to keep other weeds from growing. If the weeds have begun to produce seeds, it’s important to take them out of the garden and put them somewhere other than your compost pile (some composting methods kill weed seeds, but others do not).