A cannabis plant switches from the vegetative to the flowering stage when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. The precise timing varies depending on latitude. A strain that starts flowering in early July when cultivated in California or Colorado should not flower until August in Canada or Holland. In Hawaii, that same strain may be capable of flowering at almost any time.
Wherever cannabis cultivation occurs outdoors, consumers typically enjoy an overabundance of fresh flowers after the yearly harvest. Commercially grown outdoor cannabis is sold cheaply and speedily in late fall and winter. States with legal cannabis sales often experience drastic shifts in supply and demand as farmers flood the market with product while some consumers turn to homegrown or cheaper black market sources. Top-shelf sungrown cannabis becomes available more gradually in the winter and early spring. By midyear, stockpiles dwindle and prices rise as surplus turns to scarcity.
How Do Environmental Factors Affect Cannabis’s Growing Season?
Once plants have been harvested, they must be dried to reduce water content and remove chlorophyll. Plants should be hung in a climate-controlled room for 10 days to two weeks, although some claim that as few as five or six days can be sufficient and others insist that two weeks is the minimum. According to Franco, of Green House Seed Co., “The difference between drying 10 days and 14 days is not very evident to the novice, but creates a world of difference to the connoisseur.” Flowers that are dried too rapidly will have a harsh or bitter flavor, and flowers that are too moist will not burn.
Meanwhile, innovation and electricity have made it possible to maintain a constant supply of cannabis throughout the year: a hydroponic indoor grow with staggered light cycles, for instance, can generate at least one harvest every month, ensuring a perpetual supply of fresh indoor-grown flowers year-round. As such, you’ll never arrive at your local dispensary to find it empty due to cannabis being out of season.
Cultivation techniques, strategies, and preferences affect the growing season as well, and farmers make calculated decisions based on their experiences and objectives. Many believe it is better to plant when the moon is waxing and harvest when the moon is waning. Guerilla growers sometimes plant later in the season, a strategic decision resulting in smaller plants that are easier to conceal from law enforcement. Regulations such as plant count limits incentivize some legally permitted cultivators to plant early in order to grow larger plants.
Photoperiod cannabis strains enter the flowering stage depending on the hours of light they receive. The naturally shorter daylight hours in fall signal outdoor plants to start bloom. If growing indoors, you must initiate the flowering stage yourself by switching your lights to a 12-12 cycle.
This covers the entire cannabis life cycle from germination all the way through to harvest.
Following a short pre-flowering stage where some plants stretch significantly in length, your plant will stop vegetative growth and put all its energy into producing what you planted it for in the first place: big, juicy, aromatic buds!
PREPARATION TIME BEFORE YOU GROW
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.
Moreover, the growing techniques you use will also determine the length of your veg; if you’re growing in a SOG, with many small cannabis plants grown together in close proximity, you will usually initiate flowering much earlier. With other training techniques like topping, plants need time to recover from such “high stress” treatment, and therefore veg is lengthened by a week or more.
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!
• Preparation time before you grow (0–4 weeks) – The time you need to get your seeds and supplies together, and to get your grow room ready.