Light cycle: 18 hours of light
The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative cycle—if you’re growing indoors, you can force it to flower after only a few weeks when it is small, or after several weeks when it is big. If you’re growing outdoors, you’re at the whim of the seasons and will have to wait until fall to harvest. The plant will develop buds in the last 8-11 weeks.
At this stage, the plant is vulnerable to disease and mold. Keep its environment clean and monitor excess moisture.
Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 14-32 weeks, or about 4-8 months, to grow a weed plant.
Light cycle: 18 hours of light
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.
You can observe the quality of the seed by its color and texture. The 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.
The first stage of life for a cannabis plant begins with the seed. At this point, your cannabis plant is dormant, patiently waiting for water to bring it to life.
As the roots develop, you will begin to see the first iconic fan leaves grow, at which point your cannabis plant can be considered a seedling.
It’s important to understand the changes a growing cannabis plant undergoes during its life cycle, as each stage of growth requires different care.
Another thing to be aware of is nutrient burn. This is what happens when you give your plants too-high levels of nutrients – the tips of all the leaves actually get “burned.” While a little bit of nutrient burn won’t hurt your plant, it’s important to try to avoid it if you can. Your plant can never recover the parts of the leaves lost to nutrient burn, so if you accidentally give too much nutrients in the future, the burning will start “climbing” up the “fingers” of the leaves. Cannabis leaves tend to look much less appealing/pretty as more of each leaf gets burned. However, even cannabis plants with severe nutrient burn can produce good bud, so don’t give up if you run into thi problem!
Many growers do a final flush, which involves giving only plain water to your plants (for a few days up to a few weeks) before harvest.
Even if you run into major problems in the vegetative stage, you can bring your plant back from the brink of death simply by addressing the problem and giving your plant some TLC.
Home stretch! You’re so close! To make sure things go smoothly until harvest, treat your plant like a movie star and attend to its every need! Very few strains of cannabis are ready to be harvested before week 8, but now we’re at to the point where some short strains are getting close to being harvest-ready!
For the purposes of this tutorial, the flowering stage starts the day you switch to 12/12
Week 1-3 – Transition to Flowering
Did you know you can figure out if a plant is male or female while it’s still in the vegetative stage?
Week 1-3: Transition to Flowering
Nutrient deficiencies can also cause the same problem if left unchecked. This doesn’t necessarily affect the potency but buds don’t look as good as they could have.
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!