The vegetative stage of cannabis is where the plant’s growth truly takes off. At this point, you’ve transplanted your plant into a larger pot and the roots and foliage are developing rapidly. This is also the time to begin topping or training your plants.
The flowering stage is the final stage of growth for a cannabis plant. This is when plants start to develop resinous buds and your hard work will be realized. Most strains flower in 8-9 weeks, but some can take even longer, especially some sativas.
Within the flowering stage, there are three subphases:
If you’re growing weed indoors, you can grow whenever you like. Keep in mind that the outside environment will affect your grow space—you may need to add heaters in the winter or fans and ACs in the summer. Other than that, you can start seeds whenever you like and flip them into flower whenever you like, depending on how big you want the plants.
If you buy a clone from a grower or breeder it will be a seedling, so you can skip the seed germination phase.
Vegetative plants appreciate healthy soil with nutrients. Feed them with a higher level of nitrogen at this stage.
Marijuana light cycle: indoor—16 hours a day; outdoor—at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (“full sun”), plus several hours indirect sunlight
Buds typically grow the most toward the end of the flowering life cycle. You probably won’t notice much budding out at the beginning of the flowering stage, and it will slow down toward the end of the cycle, when buds become fully formed.
If you’re growing indoors, you can force a weed plant to flower after only a few weeks when it’s small, or after several weeks when it’s big. If you’re growing outdoors, you’re at the whim of the seasons and will have to wait until the sun starts to go down in fall for it to flower and then to harvest.
Taken altogether that means your ability to become a legal pot-plant parent in L.A. — despite what your biological (or botanical) clock is telling you — hinges on who owns your house, how big your yard is and how much money you’re willing to spend on grow kits (like the 5-gallon, $99.95 one I was using), LED lights ($169.95) and feminized cannabis seeds ($89 for five Lowryder Autoflower seeds).
I knew these folks would be out there, somewhere, just as I was, hopping on the quarantine gardening train for some of the same reasons — and no doubt some different ones. Some would be planting their own pot to do an end run around corporate cannabis (which, with each passing day, looks more and more like Big Pharma and Big Tobacco). Others would pursue pot parenthood to save money (buying weed in L.A. — legally — includes taxes that increase the cost of THC-containing products by more than a third) or to stick a green thumb squarely in the eye of Johnny Law as a kind of cosmically satisfying payback for decades of cannabis prohibition. (Growing your own is legal in the Golden State, but it remains illegal under federal law.)
If you’re wondering why on God’s green earth anyone blessed with the SoCal sunlight would choose to grow a cannabis plant indoors — and shell out money for a light to do it to boot — it’s worth a slight detour here to give you the straight dope on growing your own dope in the state of California (and, by extension, Los Angeles, because the city doesn’t have its own regulations addressing personal cultivation).
Fast-forward two months and, instead of the towering THC-laced tannenbaum I was hoping for, I was headed into Christmas week with a seedling — all of 5 inches tall — curving out of its pot at a 45-degree angle. Since A Pot for Pot purchases include growing consults via email, I sent off a few photos and a plea for help. A few days later, I heard back from an upbeat consultant named Taylor who wrote: “Thanks for reaching out! What a cute little plant!” Then came the bad news: Based on the photos I’d sent and the timetable I’d described, Mariah wasn’t going to get much bigger. Taylor’s theory was that I had probably waited too long to transplant Mariah from her seedling cup to her 5-gallon fabric pot, unintentionally creating bonsai bud in the process. But the silver lining, as Taylor pointed out, was that because of her stunted size, there would be more than enough nutrients in the soil mix to support a second attempt in that same pot.
And there’s one last tiny hitch in the homegrown giddyap — and one that’s of particular importance in a city like L.A. where most of us live cheek by jowl: any plants you’re growing must be in a locked space that is not visible to the public.
Get The Wild newsletter.
Mother-son pot entrepreneurs? Vape pens that match your track pants? We have questions.
Given how much nutrition and minerals go into growing a marijuana plant, you might just want to return it back to the soil. You can make use of the male cannabis plants as mulch, by either simply chopping it and spreading it over the ground waiting for it to get assimilated on its own, or by putting it in a composting pit and then preparing finer compost using it. In any case, it adds to the quality of your soil.
While male plants carry very little THC compared to female plants, they still carry some THC – which means they are not completely rid of psychoactive elements. Cannabinoids in male plants are located in their leaves and stems. In fact, some sources claim that leaves of the male plant tend to have a higher THC concentration than female plants. Basically, you can use these leaves and trace THC content by extracting the resin out of them and putting it to use for different consumable products such as hashish, butane oil, or dabs, etc.
Another important thing that you need to know beforehand is – which strain of cannabis is your seed going to result in? Is it a sativa-dominant seed or is it an indica-dominant seed? There are some cases in which seeds can actually have an even 50/50 split between sativa and indica and will end up giving you the best of both worlds. Others which are dominant on either strains will carry more characteristics of the dominant strain – this is why you need to check that before you buy your seeds.
Seed Banks are absolutely the best places to buy marijuana seeds. In many parts of the world where it is legal to grow weed and to grow marijuana plants in your home, you can actually find physical seed banks where you can walk in and choose the seeds of your choice based on the strain that you want to grow. These seed banks also deliver seeds online to most other countries, often discreetly in case the laws of the land are a little too tight. We strongly insist that if your country doesn’t allow growing or possessing weed, you do not buy it.
What to Do with Male Cannabis Plants?
However, the biggest benefit that regular seeds have, which is a big advantage over autoflowering plants – is that they generally tend to contain a higher THC%. Hence, if you want a stronger high, you need to go for regular seeds, but if you want an easy and fast growth, go with autoflowering seeds.
Seed Banks have one more unique advantage – some seed banks (especially the top 10 ones) tend to hire their own specialized ‘breeders’ who cross-pollinate different types of marijuana plants and keep crossing the offspring plants until they get to a very distinct kind of a strain that becomes their proprietary strain and is available only with them. This gives you a very unique taste and a high that you can only experience when you buy from these seed banks.
Before you buy a seed, try and check its genetics. Which are the parent plants that it comes from, and what is the composition of the parent plants. Most good seed banks will have the entire lineage of the seed presented to you either on their website, or via their customer support team. It is best advised to go through the lineage to know if this is the kind of seed that you want, because in case you don’t prefer the parent plants, or the parent plants of the seed’s parent plants, you might want to avoid it as it will carry some properties from those plants along.
Where to Buy the Best Marijuana Seeds From?
These autoflowering seeds can be easily found at your local seed stores or even at seed banks that deliver online. There’s absolutely no risk in using these seeds and they are often recommended if you are a first-time grower or someone who isn’t really sure about how to set up the lights and how to change them based on the phase of growth your plant is in.
One of the best things that you can do using the male cannabis plant is to make use of it to create hemp. Given that the stem has matured by the time you can differentiate between the male and female plants, you can use them to create high-quality hemp. Many fabric makers actually prefer the male plant hemp and they use it to make tablecloths and other different fabric products.