• Seedling stage
Time: 10–15 days
If you’re growing photoperiod cannabis under 18 hours of light and otherwise suitable conditions, there is nothing that will tell your plant when to enter flowering.
If you ask most growers how long it takes to grow weed, chances are you won’t get a straight answer. This is because the time it takes to grow weed can depend on many factors such as strain genetics, growing methods used, and certain environmental factors. All things considered, it could take anywhere from 8 weeks to 7 months until you can actually smoke your harvest. Below, we offer some guidelines on the timescales involved when growing weed, so you can plan your grow accordingly and reap the final rewards!
A DETAILED TIMELINE ON CANNABIS GROWTH
• Time to grow cannabis (8 weeks–7+ months) – The time needed to grow weed from the moment you germinate your seeds until harvest; includes the four growing phases of cannabis:
Once you’ve planted your freshly sprouted seeds with the first set of embryonic leaves (cotyledons) popping out of the shell, this is when the seedling stage of cannabis begins. These baby plants are only a few centimetres tall and have just one or two sets of tiny leaves. It will still take some days until your seedling will start to look like an actual cannabis plant with the typical serrated leaves. The seedling stage will normally last 10–15 days or until your young cannabis plant has grown 3–4 leaf nodes. Around this time, your plant will officially enter the vegetative growing stage.
2. Seedling stage (10–15 days) – The “baby-phase” of your freshly sprouted cannabis plant.
How long you can keep your cannabis plant in the veg stage will primarily depend on how much space and energy (electricity) you have. Obviously, you want your plant to grow as big as possible so you can enjoy a big harvest, but you also don’t want it to get so tall that it outgrows your tent or grow space. Having an approximation of your plant’s final height is essential in this case, as some spindly sativas can easily double their height during the flowering stretch. The same goes for some modern hybrids and even indicas.
Males will have round balls—these will develop into pollen sacs, which will release pollen into the air when mature.
Seeds found in finished cannabis buds can develop for a number of reasons. For example, a male plant may have accidentally pollinated a flowering female during the growing process. But more commonly, they’re a sign of stress and can be attributed to high temperatures during the final stages of flowering or an exaggerated spike in climate or environment.
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
How to sex a pot plant
As we’ve mentioned, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning male and female reproductive organs appear on different plants.
Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The towels should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.
One drawback of clones is they need to be taken during the vegetative stage of a plant—flower is too late—so if you have a small setup with only one light, it can be hard to keep clones alive while flowering other plants, because the two need different amounts of light.
Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.
For more info on drying and curing your herb, check our blogs Top Tips To Successfully Dry And Cure Your Fresh Cannabis Buds and How to Cure Your Cannabis Buds.
Dry trimming takes place after your entire stash has been dried, and little water content remains within the buds and leaves. Trimming dry buds is definitely easier on your scissors since they won’t become as inundated by clumps of resin. However, accurately manicuring dry buds can be somewhat of a hassle too, making for a potentially less visually appealing final product. Moreover, dry trimming does require a fair bit of space. Growers usually hang entire branches of buds from a line of string within temperature-controlled rooms to let them air-out until sufficiently dry.
While the photoperiod strains can be kept in veg weeks or even months to allow for all kinds of pruning and training to boost yield like topping, FIM, LST or even a ScrOG the Auto grower is somewhat limited by time.
Photoperiod strains can be kept in vegetative growth indefinitely so long as 18+ hours of light and suitable conditions prevail. This is what allows indoor growers to keep mother plants for years and why outdoor grower’s plant in springtime. Indoors or outdoors 18+ hours of light facilitates taking cuttings too.
Flowering generally lasts 7-10 weeks for indica and hybrid photoperiod cannabis strains, while the more Sativa dominant strains can take 10-14 weeks to fully ripen into primo head stash.
This is the stage to pot up photoperiod plants into final containers, at least a couple weeks before switching to bloom or prior to Summer outdoors.
Outdoors Mother Nature dictates the grower’s schedule and flowering will only commence in Summer/Autumn as the hours of daylight naturally diminish, making for a longer more gradual flowering period. Weed growers in the Northern hemisphere don’t refer to October as “Croptober” for nothing.