4. Flowering stage (5–16+ weeks) – This is the reproductive stage of cannabis when it begins producing buds. How long your cannabis needs to ripen its flowers greatly depends on the strain you are growing. Fast-flowering indicas can be ready after about 55–60 days of flowering, whereas some sativas could take a few months for their buds to ripen.
• Germinating your seeds
Time: 1–7 days
THE GROWING STAGES OF CANNABIS
Time: 8 weeks–7+ months
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!
To germinate your seeds, you can use the Royal Queen Seeds Starters Kit Feminized for optimal results. Growers also germinate using the “paper towel method”, or they put seeds in a glass of water and wait for them to sprout. Alternatively, you can just place your seeds directly in soil in a seedling pot, or even germinate them right in their final container. With good seeds, it won’t take more than 2 days until the taproot of your seeds will show, although some sativa seeds can take longer to sprout, up to 4–7 days. The time required for germinating seeds can also depend on other factors, such as temperature. It is unlikely, however, for seeds to take longer than 7 days to pop.
Photoperiod strains are induced to bloom by the hours of light they receive; indoors the grower changes to a 12-12 light-dark cycle to artificially promote flower growth.
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.
STAGE 1: GERMINATION — 1–7 DAYS
The main marker of a photoperiod plant is the potential for indefinite vegetation—as long as you keep the plants on an 18/6–24/0 light/dark cycle. We’ll talk more about that later, but it means these plants can withstand more mistakes in the growing process. It also means you can ensure your plant produces the best crop possible once you initiate flowering. All you need to do to make the switch is adjust the light cycle to 12/12. This becomes even more useful when you’re able to make unlimited clones of your optimised plant. The main drawback is that it’ll take around four months to get a substantial yield. However, you’ll have a larger and usually more potent plant once you’re there.
Harvesting is the most rewarding part of the cultivation process for many growers. Watching your plants grow over several months is mesmerising, but finally harvesting the fruits of your labour truly is the peak of the experience. The flowering phase of the grow cycle typically lasts between 7–11 weeks, after which it’s time to strip your plants down of their buds. However, you don’t want to do this too early and prevent your flowers from fully maturing. Likewise, you don’t want to wait too long. Timing harvest is a crucial step, and there are multiple signs you should look out for to know when the time is right.
If you see “nanners” or anything resembling a cluster of grapes protruding from flowers or anywhere on the stem then you have a male cannabis plant. Should you see both hairs and nanners then you have a hermie to remove right away.
One of the fastest grow methods is growing marijuana with bubbleponics, which shaves a few weeks off the total time and will actually increase your yields, but it requires a bit more equipment to get started.
What if time is not an issue?
From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a Smokable Harvest, you’re looking at 8.5 weeks – 7+ Months. Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months.
Additionally, many growers prefer to ‘cure’ their buds for longer than the 2-week minimum for added flavor and bag appeal, which accounts for why some grows could take several months from seed to smokable harvest.
The time from seed to smokable harvest averages 3-3.5 months for me with a strain like Northern Lights, where I grow the plants for 3-4 weeks in the vegetative stage, growing with cheap, regular CFL lights in coco coir, and with that setup I can get a few easy ounces per plant.