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marijuana seed growth stages

Cannabis plants will first give you an indication of their sex in the early phase of bloom. Typically within the first two weeks of flowering females will develop pistils or “hairs” to confirm their femininity.

Now that you’re familiar with the distinctions between photoperiod and autoflowering strains, we can begin to break down each stage involved in cannabis cultivation.

STAGE 1: GERMINATION — 1–7 DAYS

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.

Autoflower cultivators have even less time to play with than photoperiod growers as most autos will race into flowering after just 2-3 weeks of vegetative growth. It’s for this reason that many auto growers plant their autoflowering seeds directly into the final container. The clock is ticking with autos from the moment of germination.

If you opted to use the dry trimming method, then your flowers will be ready to cure straight away. If you chose wet trimming, then your flowers will need to be properly dried before you go on to cure them.

Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to grow a weed plant from seed. It’ll be quicker if you start with a clone or an autoflower seed.

The first marijuana plant stage begins with the seed. A cannabis seed should feel hard and dry, and be light- to dark-brown in color. An undeveloped seed is generally squishy and green or white in color and likely won’t germinate.

How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?

The weather will start to turn and the sun will begin descending in the sky as your plants fatten up with sweet, sticky buds. It might be tempting, but wait until around the Fall Equinox to start harvesting.

Marijuana light cycle: 12 hours a day

Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks

Congratulations! The harvesting stage is when you reap the rewards of your careful planting and cultivation. The challenging part is knowing exactly when to harvest and proceeding with care. If you harvest too soon or too late, your weed may not taste or smell the way you expect, and you could also affect the potency.

The harvesting stage is when you reap the rewards of your careful planting and cultivation. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Here we outline each of these important stages in the growth of a marijuana plant and share how you can oversee each one to optimize your crop. Measuring the nutrient feed is the best way to ensure that you are not overloading your plant with any one element or skimping in one area either.

Harvesting Stage

Duration: 3 to 8 weeks

Growth occurs rapidly during the vegetative stage, with vertical growth especially pronounced. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The end of the flowering stage marks an eagerly anticipated milestone in the growth process as you prepare to harvest your crop.

There are three main locations where cultivators plant cannabis: outdoor, in a greenhouse, or indoors.