Many novice growers ask us: how long does it take to grow marijuana? A logical question if you have such plans!
If you’re wondering how much time it takes to finish growing a cannabis plant, the first thing to understand is that the art of growing cannot be rushed, quite the opposite. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day either. The same applies to growing marijuana plants.
In this article we will discuss the typical development time of the plant, as well the different phases the plant goes through before it is ready for harvest. We offer you a thorough overview for each phase of the plant so that you will soon know exactly which paths to take to determine the development time of a cannabis plant.
What factors determine how long it takes to grow a marijuana plant?
Growing cannabis depends on the type of plant you grow. Each plant has its own characteristics that influence the life cycle. Which characteristics these are exactly you will read later in this article, but think about when the plant starts flowering. Do you want to grow with autoflowering seeds or with feminized seeds and also issues such as whether you want to grow weed indoors or outdoors play a role.
Let’s start this explanation by distinguishing the different phases of plant development:
The strictly necessary germination phase is defined as the time it takes for the seed to develop into a seedling. If you are using cuttings, this germination time is referred to as the cloning and rooting time.
Methods of germinating cannabis seeds vary. The most common is soaking in water followed by germination on wet kitchen paper. Other growers use methods such as moist cotton, planting directly into the soil or germinating in a Jiffy pot.
Some growers also use germination boosters, which promote the seed’s initial metabolism and soften the husk, greatly reducing germination time.
The time of germination depends not only on the method of germination. It also depends on the quality of the seed which in turn can be affected by the age of the seed, its fertility and the way it has been stored.
The time it takes for a seedling to germinate usually varies from one to five days, although it is not unusual for it to take 5 to 15 days for a seed to germinate. This depends on the water, humidity, oxygen supply and most importantly the ideal temperature, which should be between 21 and 24 °C at this stage.
Reading Tip! | How to germinate cannabis seeds?
As the name suggests, this is the phase in which the plant will grow and reach a significant part of its final size. The growth phase, also called the vegetative stage, is crucial for the development of the plant. It begins immediately after you have obtained your seedling and carefully transplanted it.
During this phase, as a grower, you apply a light cycle of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of complete darkness. A proper balance of light and dark without interruption is the key to a perfect growth phase.
Exactly how long this period lasts depends on the type of plant you are growing. Autoflower strains have a short growth phase of about 2 to 4 weeks. Photoperiod cannabis varieties, when grown outdoors, can have a growth phase of up to 2 to 4 months while, when grown indoors, they can go into flowering after just 6 – 10 weeks.
The growth phase of a photoperiod variety when grown indoors can be limited by making the plant think that it must flower. How to do that, you will read below.
Reading Tip! | Cannabis vegetative stage
Flowering is the final development period of the cannabis plant. The start of this phase depends not only on the growth time you give the plant, but also whether the plant has the right characteristics to support the precious buds it will develop during this phase.
Autoflower strains begin to flower automatically. The plant does so when it is ready (usually after 4 weeks of growth). However, this is not true of photoperiod strains. In fact, these strains need light stress to flower. This happens in nature (and in an indoor grow) once they receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness per day.
How long the flowering phase lasts depends entirely on the variety you are growing, but it can be said that an average flowering time of both autoflowers and photoperiod varieties lasts 9 weeks.
Reading Tip! | Flowering stage
This phase cannot be considered in a strict sense as a phase of the cannabis plant. Nevertheless, this phase is part of it. In fact, the process of drying (and maturing) is indispensable to get a quality product in terms of taste, smell, effect and strength.
Drying consists of placing your newly-cut buds in a dry, dark place. This process takes an average of 2 weeks, but can take up to 4 weeks depending on the conditions.
Your weed is dry when you try to bend the stem where the buds are. Do you hear crackling without the stem breaking? Then your buds are dry enough for the next step, which is ripening
This step is all about placing each cut bud in an airtight container. All you have to do is open the jar or container for a few minutes every day so that the little remaining moisture gradually evaporates.
Maturing or curing can be done with a variety of containers. Consider airtight plastic containers or glass jars. Glass is the most practical because it does not give off toxins or odors.
This process generally takes between 2 and 6 weeks. Ripening is complete when the bud cracks when you gently pull it.
Once your weed is dried and cured you are ready to enjoy!
Reading Tip! | How to dry and ripen your weed
Conclusion: How long does it take to grow marijuana?
To briefly answer the question. Growing a photoperiod cannabis plant takes an average of 4 to 6 months. If you grow an autoflower, then it is usually ready to be harvested within 3 months. This does not include drying and ripening which takes about 1 to 2 months.
Growing cannabis plants is a time consuming process, but one that can be a lot of fun and one that we think you will find very rewarding!
So take a look at all our cannabis seeds and start your own grow!