Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day
Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks
Seedling stage length: 2-3 weeks
What are a weed plant’s growth stages?
We can’t stress enough that the timeframes in the above graphic are ranges of time for the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll need to adjust them based on your specific region and local weather and climate.
There are a number of changes to consider once plants go from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage:
Two rounded cotyledon leaves will grow out from the stem as the plant unfolds from the protective casing of the seed. These initial leaves are responsible for taking in sunlight needed for the plant to become healthy and stable.
As the sun reaches up high in the sky, your cannabis will want to as well. Make sure all of your plants are outside by the Summer Solstice.
2. Seedling stage (10–15 days) – The “baby-phase” of your freshly sprouted cannabis plant.
If you ask most growers how long it takes to grow weed, chances are you won’t get a straight answer. This is because the time it takes to grow weed can depend on many factors such as strain genetics, growing methods used, and certain environmental factors. All things considered, it could take anywhere from 8 weeks to 7 months until you can actually smoke your harvest. Below, we offer some guidelines on the timescales involved when growing weed, so you can plan your grow accordingly and reap the final rewards!
THE GROWING STAGES OF CANNABIS
Time: 8 weeks–7+ months
Photoperiod cannabis strains enter the flowering stage depending on the hours of light they receive. The naturally shorter daylight hours in fall signal outdoor plants to start bloom. If growing indoors, you must initiate the flowering stage yourself by switching your lights to a 12-12 cycle.
This means you could theoretically veg your photoperiod cannabis plant as long as you want. This is also what many growers do to keep their mother plants viable for a long time. But unless you’re growing mothers, you will normally want to veg your plants until they have reached a certain height, before initiating flowering by switching your timer to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
How to Grow a Pound of Cannabis – Step-by-Step Instructions from Seed to Harvest
Additionally, curing gets rid of any ‘cut grass’ smell, harsh taste and other undesirable traits of some freshly dried buds. Over time with proper curing, those traits will be replaced by the ‘real’ smell and potency profile of your buds.
The length of time needed to stay in the flowering stage depends heavily on the strain. Once you have switched your plant into the flowering stage they will stretch (the ‘flowering stretch’), form buds and then fatten.
Time Needed to Grow Weed, From Seedling to Harvest
Check out examples of new grower shopping lists to learn exactly which supplies you’ll need.
Frisian Dew plant growing outdoors with deep purple buds
The size your plant achieves in the vegetative stage has a very large effect on your final yields since bigger plants produce more bud sites than smaller plants. However, you need enough light to cover all the bud sites or they will never develop properly. Light is like food for bud growth!
Note: When growing cannabis indoors, it takes 3-5 months on average to go through the life cycle of a plant. When growing outdoors, the total time depends on your local climate as most strains are ready to harvest in mid-to-late Autumn.