In the vegetative stage, your cannabis plant only grows stems and leaves and is resistant to problems. It grows like a weed!
By weeks 4-6, the stretch is almost over and you no longer need to pay attention to training your plant. Instead of trying to keep the colas down, from now on you’re doing the opposite – trying to hold any buds up if they start getting too heavy for your plant!
Once you’ve reached week 8, buds are fattening quickly. Trichomes and pistils are maturing, though new pistils may continue to develop on the buds as they grow.
From now until harvest it’s extra important to avoid too-high levels of light or heat because (in addition to foxtailing) this can discolor/bleach/burn your buds and may even “evaporate” away some of the THC / potency.
Now is Probably the Best Time to Take Bud Pics!
You may want to harvest your marijuana buds early if they’re starting to get damaged by nutrient or other problems. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses than let your buds continue to get beat up! If you harvest your plants too early you can improve many unwanted effects by curing them. For example, these buds probably should be harvested before the buds get any further damage.
“Foxtailing” like this is caused by too much heat or light – it’s not normal bud growth! If you see this it means you need to control your temperature and light levels to prevent further damage!
So to grow bud you’re proud of, you’ll want to be aware of avoiding nutrient burn from the beginning. Since your plant isn’t really growing many more leaves, you need to really care for the ones it has left.
Remove any plants growing pollen sacs instead of pistils, because they are male and won’t make buds. Plus they can pollinate your female plants and cause them to grow seeds! What if my plant is growing both pistils and pollen sacs?
You can maximize marijuana yields by focusing on the right factors each week of the flowering stage. If you know what your cannabis should look like week-by-week, you'll also be able to quickly tell if something is going wrong!
Spacing between the nodes should represent the type of cannabis you are growing. Indica plants tend to be short and dense, while sativas grow lanky and more open in foliage.
Vegetative plants appreciate healthy soil with nutrients. Feed them with a higher level of nitrogen at this stage.
When your plant becomes a seedling, you’ll notice it developing more of the traditional cannabis leaves. As a sprout, the seed will initially produce leaves with only one ridged blade. Once new growth develops, the leaves will develop more blades (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.). A mature cannabis plant will have between 5-7 blades per leaf, but some plants may have more.
Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 14-32 weeks, or about 4-8 months, to grow a weed plant.
Buds typically grow the most toward the end of the flowering cycle, around week 6-7. You probably won’t notice much budding out at the beginning of flower, and it will slow down toward the end of the cycle, when buds become fully formed.
Cannabis plants are considered seedlings until they begin to develop leaves with the full number of blades on new fan leaves. A healthy seedling should be a vibrant green color. Be very careful to not overwater the plant in its seedling stage—its roots are so small, it doesn’t need much water to thrive.
- Germination (5-10 days)
- Seedling (2-3 weeks)
- Vegetative (3-16 weeks)
- Flowering (8-11 weeks)
Once the buds have reached full maturation, it’s time to harvest.
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.
It’s important to understand the changes a growing cannabis plant undergoes during its life cycle, as each stage of growth requires different care.