What are grow times for different strains. Learn more about duration of growing stages throughout all cannabis plant life cycle in our article Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, Growing weed isn't easy — and you can't do it whenever! That's why Elevate Holistics has laid out the best seasons for growing marijuana.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Weed?
If you’ve never grown your own cannabis before, it can be an incredibly fun and rewarding project to take on. However, there are many details to acquaint yourself with before you get started. If you’re asking yourself, “How long does it take to grow marijuana?” or “How fast can weed grow?” then sit back and let us walk you through it! In this article, we’ll be introducing you to different grow times for various strains and discussing the stages of maturity of cannabis plants.
How Long Do I Have To Wait?
Short answer: you’re looking at obtaining a smokable bud anywhere between 9 weeks and 7+ months. Cannabis has three key phases in its growth cycle: germination, the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. Germination typically takes only 1 to 5 days. The vegetative stage can last a few weeks to several months. Finally, the flowering stage, when the buds actually start growing, can range from 6 weeks to 4 months in length. There are several factors that influence how long it will take to get to harvest time, from the type of strain you’re growing to the specific growing method you’re using.
Going Into More Detail
Now, let’s step back a little and discuss each of the main elements. The plant’s strain will have a massive impact on growing time; Indicas take less time than Sativas, for example, and autoflowering strains grow very quickly. The desired yield also determines how long it will take. The more you want, the longer it should flower. Environmental factors such as different grow methods and setups, light and humidity can also increase or decrease the time.
Genetics: Short Or Tall, Fast Or Slow
Autoflowering strains have changed the game, with grow time for these strains significantly reduced because they start to flower at an earlier age, independent of how many hours of light they receive. With autoflowering cannabis, you can expect to be harvesting your buds in 7 to 12 weeks, as all phases of growth are shortened and the plants themselves develop very quickly.
On the other hand, photoperiod plants will have to go through the regular vegetative stage before flowering. These strains enter the flowering stage depending on their light schedule, and will stay in the vegetative phase until light is reduced from 18-24 to 12 hours per day. Indica strains typically grow more quickly than Sativas, with a flowering period lasting 6-9 weeks rather than 8-14, although fast-finishing photoperiod strains do exist.
Grow Methods: Soil and Hydro
Indoor grow methods are split between soil-based plants or hydroponic systems. Using soil takes longer than hydro but is easier for those who are new to growing cannabis. What are the benefits of hydroponics? You can shave some time off your grow (and see results within 2-3 months), see a bigger yield, and avoid soil-borne diseases and pests. However, this method may be difficult for beginners, as it requires extra materials and research.
If you decide to go with soil, another question might occur: how long does it take to grow marijuana outdoors/indoors? Outdoor growing takes longer than indoor because the grower does not have as much control over the light schedule, temperature and potential exposure to disease. The vegetative state can last from early spring until late summer/fall, when days start to grow shorter. If you plant late, the vegetative phase will be reduced, but so will the growth of your plants.
The Stages Of Maturity
First, your seeds need to germinate, which can take 1-3 days but sometimes longer. Once the cannabis plants have rooted and started to grow, the vegetative stage is in full effect, which can last as short as a month with autoflowering strains and take several months with photoperiod strains. You can decide when your plant moves from the vegetative stage to flowering by changing the light schedule, thus adjusting the length of each stage. Because you can manually control the light and dark periods, you can force the plants to flower whenever you like.
The flowering stage ends when you decide it’s time to harvest your cannabis, which will influence your yield. The sooner you harvest, the less you will yield. Usually, you’ll have to wait 6-14 weeks until harvest depending on whether you’re growing a Sativa, Indica, autoflower, etc. Keep in mind that buds grow the most during the last weeks of flowering – and of course, you’ll then need to dry and cure your harvest before consumption.
Fast Flowering Cannabis Seeds
So, If You Want It Fast…
If you’re looking for a quickest possible turnaround, there are a few ways you can achieve that. As already mentioned, fast-finishing strains exist, but autoflowering strains are perfect for a quick harvest, with the vegetative state lasting around a month and flowering about two months. Hydroponic systems reduce the amount of grow time as well but require a more advanced setup. However, fast grows tend to have smaller yields because the plants spend less time bulking up in the vegetative stage. The quality of fast-grown bud depends on the strain, but can be improved with a slightly longer cure time.
Finally, an outdoor crop is not ideal for someone who would like some speedy weed. Because outdoor plants depend on natural light, they won’t grow nearly as quickly as with controlled indoor lights and reflective material.
But If You Can Wait.
If you dedicate more time to growing, the benefits are enormous. You get to decide when the vegetative stage is over and when you want to harvest, and by waiting, you may well be blessed with heftier buds, a bigger harvest overall and a more matured product. Although autoflowering and quick-growing strains are appealing because of the reduced grow time, long-flowering strains often yield greater amounts of bud, since the plant has had more time to grow. It’s also worth mentioning that many growers cure their harvest for longer than the 10 to 14-day standard, which can have an incredible result in regard to the flavor, smell and appearance of the cannabis.
Each part of the process, from germination to curing, plays a vital role in growing your own cannabis. You can spoil an amazing harvest with impatience, and you wouldn’t want to put all that hard work and time to waste, right? We’ve established that 3-5 months from planting to harvest is pretty standard, and that the growing process can only be rushed so much. Do you have any tips for cutting the grow time? Let us know what your preferred grow methods are in the comments below!
How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?
Growing your own weed takes time and energy, but when you obtain your first harvest, you’ll know how rewarding it is. Growing weed isn’t hard science, especially if you have previous experience with growing plants, so if you learn the basics the rest will quickly follow.
This article focuses on the germination process of growing weed, and the most common germination methods, as well as some tips for success. Whether you’ve chosen indica or sativa, or regular or autoflowering seeds, germination is crucial to the plant’s growth process and the start of its lifecycle, so keep on reading for some helpful tips and information.
How Do Weed Seeds Work?
Weed seeds are the small oval-shaped fruits of the cannabis plant. They’re covered in a subtle membrane, albumen, which keeps the center of the seed healthy until it’s time for germination. At the center of the seed you can find the embryo from which the new plant grows from. This embryo contains the plant’s genetic code and is the place from where the taproot starts forming.
Similar to other plant seeds, cannabis seeds are the fruit of the pollinated flowers of female weed plants that don’t contain any psychoactive effects. However, they can be consumed as food since they’re the source of a lot of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial proteins.
Pros and Cons of Using Cannabis Seeds
When it comes to cannabis cultivation, germinating cannabis seeds is one of the methods you can choose. This method of cultivation has a lot of benefits, but also a few downsides.
Some of the benefits of cultivating marijuana seeds include:
- The presence of the taproot from the germinating seeds provides more support in the initial growth stages of the cannabis plant.
- You don’t inherit pests from the mother plant.
- As a result of the expansion of the cannabis market, you can choose from a huge variety of high-quality seeds from a lot of seed banks all over the world.
- Seeds can be stored for a long time without going bad and still germinate.
On the other hand, the downsides when using cannabis seeds include:
- Having to wait until the plant reaches the flowering stage in order to differentiate whether it’s a male or a female plant.
- Seeds can take a while before they pop (germinate).
- Germinating seeds is harder for newbie growers since it requires more skill.
Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones
Compared to cannabis seeds, cannabis clones are an example of asexual propagation, or replicating from a single parent. The cutting is taken from a stable mother plant and is grown into a genetically stable ang genetically identical plant under the right conditions. The benefits of using clones for weed cultivation include:
- Ensuring that the gender of the new plant is female.
- Knowing which traits your plant will have.
- The cultivation process is several weeks faster compared to a seed that needs to sprout.
- The clone is less delicate than the seed is at the beginning.
- Growing clones is easier since you only need to “plug and play”, so beginners will find this process easier.
How Are Marijuana Seeds Grown?
You can grow marijuana seeds both inside and outside, depending on the conditions, space, and resources available. Generally, growing marijuana indoors requires a dedicated space and equipment, like fans, grow lights, and heating pads. This method is more private and gives you better control, but at the same time, it’s more expensive and demanding. Growing outdoors is the easiest and cheapest way to grow, provided that there’s enough sunlight – at least 6 hours of light daily. The downside is that you’ll be limited to the growing season even though outdoor marijuana yields a lot more weed because the plants grow bigger. If growing outdoors isn’t an option for you, or you want to grow all year long, you can always invest in some quality lights.
Marijuana plants usually start out as a seed, but some growers use clones as well. Basically, a clone is a cut-off from a plant that’s used to grow another plant. Growing weed from seeds is a little more convenient, especially if it’s your first time growing weed, plus, seeds give a stronger plant.
Before the seeds turn into a beautiful marijuana plant, they need to be prepped for transplanting, or in other words, they need to germinate.
What Is Seed Germination?
Seed germination is the process when a plant starts sprouting from seed and continues growing from there. During the germination process, the food reserves present within the seed are converted into sugars that the plant uses to increase in size, causing its root to start breaking through the shell. This is the first sign that they have germinated.
Once emerged, the root is crucial to the plant’s survival as it provides the necessary nutrients from the environment. After this process, the germinated seeds are ready to be planted in the growing medium of your choice.
The simplest and most common one is soil, but in recent years, hydroponics are also becoming popular – Rockwool cubes and coco, especially. The downside of these growing mediums is that you need to be well-versed in pH levels and maintain the optimal pH and nutritional status of your plant at all times.
Germinating Your Cannabis Seeds
There are three most common germination methods.
Soaking Cannabis Seeds in a Glass of Water
This is the simplest method and it’s especially helpful for older seeds as it helps to wake them up, or even seeds with hard shells. The process is pretty straightforward: you need to fill the glass with lukewarm water and soak the seeds. At first, they should float in the water, and sink to the bottom after a few hours have passed. If some of the seeds don’t sink, you can try pushing them gently to the bottom.
After you’ve soaked the seeds, put the cup of water in a dark and warm place, and leave them for 36 hours at most. The seeds that have started sprouting will have a tiny white root sticking out. If, after 36 hours some seeds have no signs of sprouting, we recommend you put them in a warm and moist place to encourage the germination process.
The Paper Towel Method
This method is probably the most popular one among weed growers. You’ll need a kitchen paper towel and two plates. We recommend you use a nonporous paper towel (usually the cheaper brands), as this will retain moisture for longer. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:
- Moisten two sheets of paper towel and put them on one of the plates;
- Carefully place the cannabis seeds over the wet paper towels;
- Fold the damp paper towels over so that the seeds are well covered;
- Cover with the other plate to create a dark space, but make sure to leave some room for oxygen, i.e. don’t align the plates perfectly;
- Check on the seeds often, about every 5-8 hours, and if you notice that the paper towels have dried even a little, spray them immediately to maintain the moisture.
If all goes well, the seeds should take 24 hours to start sprouting, but if they haven’t (this might happen with old seeds), leave them for up to 72 hours and check on them constantly so they don’t run out of moisture. With this method, you’ll need to be patient, as some seeds just need a little more time.
Germinating Seeds in Potting Soil
You can also mimic nature’s way by germinating marijuana seeds directly in a growing medium. This method allows the seeds to sprout in potting soil and continue living there without the need for transplanting. The upside of this method is that the marijuana seedlings will get used to its home environment from the beginning and it’ll be easier to thrive.
To do this, you need to put the seed about ½ inch deep in moist (not wet) soil. Put some soil over the hole to cover it and press lightly. The seed will germinate under the surface and, in about 4 to 10 days, it should slowly spring to the surface.
So, How Long Until They Germinate?
As you can see, the germination of cannabis seeds depends entirely on the type of seed and the chosen method. A rule of thumb is that it takes approximately 24-48 hours for the seeds to start sprouting, however, there can be some exceptions to this rule, of course. Just remember that moisture and warmth are very important and remember to check on the seeds often.
What Do Marijuana Seeds Need for the Germination Process?
Seeds need the ideal environment to break through and start germinating. Seeing as this process is one of the most important steps in growing your marijuana plants, here’s what you need for achieving the best germination rates:
- High moisture levels – your cannabis seeds need a lot of moisture (about 80%) to help them expand, however, be careful not to add too much water, and always make sure you use clean tap water;
- Warm temperatures – the marijuana plant is a warm-season plant that thrives in springtime, so ideally, you should put the cannabis seeds in a warm place and maintain the temperature between 68°-72° Fahrenheit or 20°-22° Celsius;
- Minimal interference – you’ll need to avoid touching the germinating seeds while they’re going through the process because the taproots (cotyledons) are very fragile and prone to breaking. If you must handle them, wash your hands first, or use clean gloves.
Remember that when the seeds are healthy, they will respond well to this basic setup and you won’t need to do or add anything extra to help your cannabis plants grow.
A Few Don’ts for Successful Marijuana Seed Germination
Even though seed germination is a relatively straightforward process, knowing a thing or two beforehand can help you avoid making mistakes and make the most of your seeds.
- Don’t let the germination container dry out. Moisture is very important to kickstart the process, but maintaining the moisture is even more important. Whichever method you choose to germinate the seeds, we recommend you check up on them daily to ensure that there is enough moisture. This especially applies when you use a heat source to achieve warmth as it may cause the water to evaporate faster than normal.
- Don’t leave the seeds to germinate for too long. This means that you shouldn’t wait for the taproots to grow very large, as they will be very delicate and make the subsequent transplant more difficult for you. Plus, leaving them for too long means that they’ll be exposed to air which puts them in danger of oxidation and further damage. Therefore, make sure they’re about ½ -1 inch long at most.
- Don’t plant the seeds too shallow or deep. This is a common mistake that weed growers make, but it’s easy to be avoided. When you plant the seeds too deep, the seedling won’t get enough air and it may suffocate deep beneath the surface. On the other hand, if you sow the seeds too close to the surface, it will result in weak and underdeveloped stems. Your best bet is to plant the seeds at about ½ inch depth.
- Don’t germinate seeds in the same container. Cannabis seeds need plenty of room to grow, so if you plant several in the same pot, they will compete for light, nutrients, and space, resulting in little branching and weaker roots. This will, in turn, affect the quality of your plant. So, unless the container is big enough, you should give the seeds enough room to thrive.
So, How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Seeds to Sprout?
Seed germination is an essential step in the process of growing your own weed. The average time for marijuana seeds to germinate mostly depends on the type of seeds and the germination method. However, the usual time frame is between 24-48 hours. The most important elements that support seed germination together are warmth, moisture, and peace. Finally, having patience and being diligent will help you achieve the best results. And if you’re looking for more info on marijuana grow times, check out our post talking about how long does weed take to grow.
The Best Seasons for Growing Marijuana
You can grow your weed – stick it in a pot, sprinkle water, and just like that, you’re a proud weed grower. Okay, it might not be as straightforward as it sounds; there are steps and processes to ensuring your homegrown weed comes out healthy and potent. One key ingredient is the season; yes, there are seasons for growing marijuana. Here at Elevate Holistics, we understand the effort and skill of growing marijuana plants, and we’ll tell you all about it. Below, you’ll find more details about these seasons and how you can get the best results for growing pot.
What is Weed Season?
You’ve probably heard the term “weed season,” but you’re not sure what it means. It describes the period when you can grow your marijuana outdoors, including the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
As mentioned earlier, there are seasons for growing weed, and you have to pay attention to them if you want quality yields. In the northern hemisphere, growing pot can begin as early as March or as late as May, while flower harvest starts in September and can continue till November. Planting can even kick-off as early as April, with farmers and gardeners planting seedlings indoors.
In the southern hemisphere, it’s the other way round – seed planting takes place from September to November, and harvest time is March to May. But in the tropics, it is possible to harvest outdoor marijuana all year round. Other factors influencing the ideal growing season are temperature, altitude, rainfall, and other environmental conditions, apart from season and location.
Why Does the Planting and Harvest of Cannabis Happen at Specific Times of the Year?
Seasons for growing marijuana differ by region, but regardless, you should aim for maximum light during the summer and maximum growth before fall begins. Like other crops, farmers and gardeners usually plant as soon as the weather is warm enough and the days are long enough.
Typically, climatic conditions vary by region, so the best seasons for growing marijuana are not uniform. In California, the growing season is warmer, and farmers there can plant outside early and harvest later compared to New York, where the growing season is shorter.
Some marijuana plants are photoperiod; they respond to the amount of light they get, affecting their yield and quality. As a result, timing the outdoor planting of your marijuana is critical. When the days get shorter and the nights longer, a marijuana plant will switch from the vegetative phase to the flowering stage. With the coming of the fall season, marijuana will begin to flower as hours of darkness reach 12 hours per night.
Some varieties of marijuana known as auto-flowering plants, or day-neutral marijuana, are not light sensitive. Unlike the ratio of light to dark hours required by photoperiod plants, they automatically switch from vegetative to flowering depending on the maturity period. Many auto-flowering varieties are ready to be harvested in less than ten weeks after planting.
Are There Different Growing Seasons for Different Strains?
Generally, marijuana varieties adapt to their local environment, and farmers and gardeners create strains suited to the local climate. Indicas tend to stay shorter and flower faster than sativas. Equatorial sativas are known to have the longest flowering time, but if they are grown too far north or south, they may not survive long enough to ripen.
Growth Phase and Development of Marijuana Plant
Like every plant, marijuana growth and development happen in phases, and outdoor marijuana growers try to time the growth and development of their plants for optimal plant development. When growing marijuana plants, you have to be aware of the different growth phases and what each period requires.
Early Spring: Germination Stage
Germination is the first stage in the life of your marijuana plant if you’re growing from seed. It takes 3-10 days to develop and needs 16 hours of light daily. When your seed pushes through the soil and sprouts, you will notice two tiny, round leaves, the first of many. These leaves will deliver energy from sunlight to the seedling and fuel further growth.
If you’re wondering the best time for germination, it is generally advisable to time it so it coincides with the spring equinox.
Also, if you’re growing from seedling instead, you don’t have to worry – your plant would have already germinated.
Spring to Early Summer: Seedling Stage
Growing marijuana plants requires close attention. Think of seedlings as baby plants. This stage lasts for 2-3 weeks, and the plant needs 16 hours of light daily. Like all babies, your seedling is delicate and needs lots of tender care. At this stage, the plant will begin to develop traditional cannabis fan-shaped leaves. Note that a healthy seedling should be a vibrant green color.
You may become eager and decide to give your plant plenty of water. That’s fine, but be careful not to overdo it; its roots are still small and don’t need much water. Instead, give it plenty of light, keep its environment clean and pay very close attention because, at this stage, your plant is vulnerable to disease and mold.
In cooler climates, growers prefer to keep their plants indoors where it is safe and warm; they wait till the plant is between 6 inches and a foot tall and strong enough to handle the environment outside. Even in warmer weather, growers opt to start their seedlings indoors to keep them safe from pests, disease, and mold.
Summer to Early Fall: Vegetative State
The vegetative phase lasts 3-16 weeks, and your plant needs 16 hours of light a day, including 6 hours of direct sunlight outdoors. At this stage, growth goes into overdrive; the roots grow deep, and more leaves develop. For weeks, the foliage will grow outward into a sizeable bush and upwards towards abundant sunlight. When these happen, you have to start topping and training your plants to maximize yield and provide more even light distribution to the leaves.
As your plant develops large root systems, you will need more water and nutrients to fuel growth and development. Healthy soil is necessary; it will provide a good base for your plant to sit in and soak in the water and nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.
Growers prefer to grow female marijuana plants because they are richer in cannabinoids; as a result, they separate the males from the females. The vegetative phase is the best time for separation because this is when they begin to show sex organs.
Fall: Flowering Stage
The flowering stage is the final growth phase for marijuana plants, it happens for 8-11 weeks, and your plant needs 12 hours of light daily. This is where you see the fruits of all your hard work – The buds. There are three phases in the flowering phase:
- Flower initiation: This happens in weeks 1-3 when you notice the development of white, hairy pistles, which signify the coming buds. The plant will continue to grow but at a slower pace than the rapid growth of the vegetative state.
- Mid-Flowering: The plant will stop growing in weeks 4-5, and the buds will appear.
- Late flowering/ripening: from week six onwards, watch the pistils; when they go from white to brown, the buds are ready for harvest.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Marijuana?
You can go from germination to flowering and harvest in 4-8 weeks, depending on the variety you’re growing and where you’re growing. Due to differences in seasons for growing marijuana, growth time may differ. The quality of your buds and the health of your plant throughout the growth process depends on your knowledge of the marijuana growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
Go from Germination to Bud with Elevate
Like a marijuana plant needs care and attention to reach maximum yield, we believe consumers need the best guidance to get the best results from marijuana planting and consumption. That’s why we’re here. At Elevate Holistics, we have answers to the cannabis-related questions you have, and we would love to share them with you. Growing marijuana is an art, and we’ve mastered the art of tending to both the plant and the consumer. Everything you need to reach full yield is just a click away.
Reach out to us today and schedule your very own grow consultation to help perfect your cannabis growth.