How Long Does Weed Take to Grow?
[toc] Growing and harvesting your own crop of cannabis is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences for any cannabis breeder. But how long does weed take to grow? This is a question that most newbie growers will often ask. There is no definite answer to this because all cannabis strains grow differently and have varying flowering state times as well.
Most cannabis growers are already aware of the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrids, but what they might not be aware of is how they differ from one another in terms of growing times. People who grow their own cannabis plants should know the average grow period of each strain as it can help make things easier.
Here are the average growth periods for the different types of cannabis:
Sativa plants are notable for growing tall and lanky. When raised outdoors, they can reach heights of up to 20 feet. This is because of the native regions where they grow, which is close to the equator. Here, the length of the day almost seldom changes no matter what time of the year it is. The equal amounts of daytime and nighttime have contributed to sativa strains’ short, but consistent photoperiods.
They have shorter vegetative cycles compared to other strains and take 10 to 12 weeks to flower completely. Pure sativas have an average growing period of six months.
Indica strains are the opposite of sativas in terms of appearance because they grow shorter and look “fat.” However, they produce more yields than their sativa counterparts. They also have short flowering stages, thus making them a popular choice for experienced cannabis breeders. Indoor growers enjoy raising them because their shorter flowering periods means they have more annual cycles, while outdoor growers can cultivate them with no worries even in climates where winter comes early. On average, indica strains have a flowering state that lasts 8 to 12 weeks.
Hybrids are the result of crossing an indica with sativa. While some prefer to cultivate either pure indica or pure sativa strains, most growers are cultivating hybrids. Hybrid strains are a mix of indica and sativa, but they usually take on the traits of either one or both of their parents when grown.
Hybrids grow fast during the vegetative stage just like sativa strains but have shorter flowering periods which is common in most pure indica strains. Hybrids have an average flowering time of 6 to 10 weeks until they are ready for harvest.
What to Consider Before You Start Growing Weed
There is always something exciting about growing weed. Whether one plans to use it for medical purposes or recreationally, being able to harvest the buds will always feel special. But before you begin growing your weed, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Below are a few things one needs to know before cultivating their weed garden:
Know the Basics of Weed
Prior to starting a cannabis grow, one has to have knowledge of the basics of the plant itself. While one doesn’t need to know all of the ins and outs of cannabis, having an understanding of its structure, nutrient requirements and life cycle will come in handy. Reading a comprehensive marijuana grow book is an essential step that one can take to further get educated on the basics of cannabis.
Know the Amount of Power Needed
This one applies mainly to indoor growers. Marijuana plants require at least 18 hours of light each day to attain optimal growth. A successful indoor grow will require a powerful grow light. Most growers prefer 400W to 600W grow lights, and these require plenty of power to operate.
Knowing the amount of power required for an indoor grow room is essential because, in addition to the lights, other equipment such as extractors, fans and more will also add to the expenses. Calculate the number of watts your equipment will need to prevent a power overload from happening.
Choosing the Right Grow Space
One of the most essential parts of growing weed is picking the right grow space. Even before one can think of planting GDP seeds, choosing a grow space should be the main priority. There are two options when it comes to growing weed: indoors or outdoors. Both have their share of pros and cons.
Growing outdoors is ideal for growers who want to save up on expenses. They’ll have all the space that they’ll need outdoors and can rely on natural sunlight to nourish their plants. However, they won’t have control over the climate and the light exposure of their marijuana plants. Another downfall of growing weed outdoors is the unwanted attention it can attract. This is a problem for growers who live in areas where cultivating weed is illegal.
Growing indoors is great for growers who want to keep their activities out of sight. They will also have complete control over the light and climate of their grow space, thereby allowing them to make any adjustments when necessary. The biggest drawback to growing indoors is the costs of purchasing and maintaining equipment, as well as the cost of electricity for the lights. Space restrictions are another negative aspect of indoor growing.
Know the Costs
Be prepared to spend a significant amount of money when planning to grow weed. Buying quality marijuana seeds from the best online seed bank will not be cheap, and you’ll also need to invest in expensive equipment as well.
The kind of equipment needed to grow weed indoors will depend on the size of the grow and one’s skills as a grower. Note that the cost of cultivating weed will vary from person to person. Some can get great results from a simple setup that costs no more than $100 while others may need to spend up to $1000 for their grow setups.
Seedling to Harvest – What Are the Different Stages?
Just like with all living things, the cannabis plant also goes through various cycles before maturing. There are three stages in the growth cycle of cannabis, and they are:
- The Seedling Stage
- Vegetative Stage
- Harvest Stage
Let us have a look at each one.
Every cannabis plant begins its life as a tiny seed. At this stage, the plant lies dormant while waiting for water to give it life. A seed’s color and texture will tell you everything you need to know about its quality. Healthy seeds are firm, dry and have a light or dark brown color while bad seeds have a green or white appearance and feel brittle. Bad seeds are less likely to germinate.
Germination is the next step in the seed’s growth cycle, and it usually takes place between 24 hours to a week. As soon as the seed pops and the taproot appears, the plant can finally be put in the growing medium. The seed’s stems will grow upwards while the taproot drives down. Once the roots start to develop, the first leaves will begin to grow, and it’s at this point that the plant becomes a seedling.
This stage lasts 2 to 3 weeks. Seedlings require 18 to 24 hours of light each day to develop. While still sprouts, the seedlings will produce leaves that have only one ridged finger. As new growth develops, the leaves will start to have more fingers.
Marijuana plants are considered seedlings right until they develop leaves that have the full number of fingers on them. Healthy seedlings must have dense vegetation and a short appearance. Leaves should be a healthy and vibrant green, and the plant itself must not look like it’s reaching for the sun.
Avoid overwatering the plant during the seedling stage because the roots don’t need that much water to thrive due to their small size.
The vegetative stage is where the growth of the plant truly shines. This stage lasts 2 to 8 weeks and it’s at this point where one has already moved the cannabis to a larger pot, and the foliage and roots have developed quickly. Growers should also start training or topping their plants while they’re in the vegetative state.
The space between the nodes will indicate the cannabis strain being grown. Sativas have less dense foliage while growing lankier while indicas grow shorter while sporting dense foliage. Make sure to increase the watering as the plants develop during the vegetative state.
A young cannabis plant will require water close to the stalk, but as it grows bigger and its roots start growing outward, growers should start watering a bit further away from the stalk to allow the root tips to absorb the water more efficiently.
Cannabis plants in the vegetative stage love being grown in high-quality soil that is rich in nutrients. Growers should also start feeding the plants with higher amounts of nitrogen during the vegetative stage. As the plant approaches the pre-flowering state, growers can determine the sex of the plant by looking at the pre-flower found at the top of the nodes.
Last, but not least we have the flowering stage. This is the cannabis plant’s final stage of growth and it’s at this point when the plant’s gender has already been determined. Flowering will occur naturally once the plant gets less than 12 hours of light per day. This happens when the days become shorter or when the indoor light cycle is reduced.
This is when growers will finally realize all of their hard work once they see the resinous buds developing. There are some changes one should consider when the plant goes from its vegetative state to flowering:
- Prune the plant no more than two weeks after it enters the flowering state because as this can upset its hormones.
- Trellise and stake the cannabis plant to support the buds once they start developing.
- Avoid increasing the amount of water given to the plants and consider feeding them with nutrients.
The buds will be ready for harvest once they’ve reached full maturation. The yields will vary depending on the type of cannabis strain cultivated as well as its grow environment. For instance, an indica-dominant hybrids like Purple Pineberry and Skittlez strain will have more yields than sativa-dominant ones, especially when grown outdoors.
Things to Consider Before Smoking Weed
The ultimate reward for any grower after harvesting their marijuana crop is smoking its buds. Just think of all the hard work that one put into planting and raising Chemdog seeds, Sour Diesel seeds, and other hybrids. As a grower you’re excited at the thought of smoking your harvest, but before doing that here are a few things to take into consideration:
Know the Strain You’re Smoking
Each cannabis strain is different in terms of potency, smell, and taste. Novices should go with strains that have low to average potency (5% to 12%) before moving to the heavier stuff. This will allow them to enjoy the smoking experience without getting high too quickly. Indicas are usually the preferred strain for most first-timers because sativas are known to cause adverse effects such as anxiety and paranoia in some users.
Smoke Slow and Steady
Many people report not getting high when smoking weed for the first time. This is normal because according to experts, it’s all due to the endocannabinoid system in our brain that naturally responds to cannabinoids. The body will block out abundant cannabinoids at first but will begin to absorb it once partial tolerance is developed.
Keep it slow and steady. Don’t be in a rush to get high if it doesn’t happen the first time because it’s sure to happen in the next smoking session.
How to Act When You Get High
Once you begin to cough and start feeling like you’re flying to a new dimension, you can safely assume that you’re now high. Paranoia and anxiety will set in right at this point, and this can be a little overwhelming for newbies. There’s not much anyone can do once the high sets in, but don’t worry because this is a normal reaction.
The best thing to do in this situation is to eat some food and drink plenty of water. If the strain is making you feel drowsy, find a bed or couch and lie down until you fall asleep. The high usually lasts for only a few hours and everything will be back to normal again once you wake up.
Growers will know they have come a long way once they get past the point of asking “How long does weed take to grow?” and begin to wonder when their next harvest is so they can smoke. When smoking a joint always do so responsibly and never go beyond the recommended amount. Have fun while lighting up a bud, but never go overboard to avoid bringing harm to yourself and others.