Growing cannabis is a time-consuming process, and most growers are keen to get to the curing stage as quickly as possible. However, be warned. Speeding up the process can harm the quality and strength of the end product. You have to decide whether you want more weed or faster weed. It’s a question of weighing up the balance between your patience and the final result. If you are keen to learn how to grow weed fast, we’ve compiled our favourite tried and tested tricks to help you reap the rewards of your labours in as little time as possible. So how to make weed grow faster?
Making weed plants grow faster
One method of cannabis cultivation that won’t affect the quality of the crop is crop rotation. Plant your seeds in stages so that you always have plants growing at different stages. This article focuses on indoor methods, as cannabis plants grown outdoors are subject to the limitations of the seasons and weather, which are impossible to change.
- Quickly start the flowering phase
- Speed up the flowering phase
- Choose a fast flowering strain
- Use clones
- Prune your plant
- Make sure to take care over your plant
When growing cannabis indoors from ordinary seeds, the grower has to decide when to switch the plants from the vegetative phase to flowering. This is usually done by altering the lighting schedule. Reducing the total hours of daylight stimulates the plants to produce buds and will start the flower stage. This is usually about two to three months after sowing, depending on the variety.
However, it is technically possible to make your seedlings produce buds pretty much as soon as they sprout and bypass the vegetative stage altogether. Northern Lights is a variety with a flowering time that lasts for two months. If seedlings produce flowers as soon as they germinate, it is theoretically possible to harvest in as little as three months – two months quicker than the average grow time of five months. However, the yield will always be much less simply because the seedling will not have had enough time to grow stems needed to produce buds.
A practical solution, if you are really impatient, is to cut short the vegetative phase. The yield will be less but much more than by entirely skipping the vegetative stage. Let your plants vegetate for a shorter period than that accepted in order to switch to flowering more quickly. The yield will certainly not be extraordinary, but always more than by making the plant flower from the sowing stage. It could take three more weeks, for example, in which case you will be able to harvest after about 14-15 weeks.
You could also give your plants a full twenty-four hours of daylight during the vegetative phase to encourage leaf and stem growth. This will enable you to reach the flowering stage a little sooner without compromising so much on the eventual yield.
You can speed up the flowering phase by one to two weeks by using a product such as Bushmaster. However, it will also stop vertical growth. The best option is to grow your plants to about the height you want to maintain while in the vegetative phase then start dosing it with Bushmaster. This can also increase yields, so it’s a win-win. Be very careful, though, as this stuff is potent and can cause root burn.
Another method is to switch your plants to 10 hours of light per day, which will encourage your plants to ripen more quickly. This method works best on Indica varieties which have a shorter flowering cycle than Hazes and Sativas, as well as higher yields.
When your cannabis plants receive less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day, they will automatically start to flower. In the natural world, harvest occurs in the autumn, when the hours of daylight begin to decrease. Indoors you can mimic this and speed up the time of harvest.
Manipulating the hours of light from 13 to 10 forces your plants to produce buds much faster than they would outdoors. All strains of cannabis respond to this type of light manipulation by producing buds at a faster rate.
However, there are consequences mainly relating to growth. The buds will stop growing, which will affect the yield, although the THC content won’t necessarily be affected. Plants grow during the hours of daylight so if these are reduced to speed things up, the harvest will inevitably be smaller.
It may sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to reach harvest quickly is to choose seeds with short flowering times. Always buy seeds from reputable and established sellers who will display growing and flowering times on their websites. The aforementioned Northern Lights feature a two-month flowering phase, while others, such as Sour Diesel need to flower for more than 2,5 months. Strains with longer flowering times generally tend to perform better outdoors because they receive more sunshine. However, varieties with short flowering phases often produce cannabis of equally good quality.
Santa Maria, Gorilla Glue and White Widow x Northern Lights are among the many cannabis varieties that flower quickly. All of these strains have a flowering phase of six to eight weeks, shaving around a month off the entire process.
It is also worth mentioning auto-flowering seeds as these switch to flowering automatically, so you don’t need to worry about altering the light cycle. These strains usually take about three months to go from seed to harvest – much more quickly than non-auto-flowering varieties.
Planting clones rather than germinating seeds yourself will save a couple of weeks. Clones are plug plants that are sold with an established root system, so all you have to do is pop them into the soil. The downside is that clones are genetically weaker and less likely to survive than plants grown from seeds, as they are more likely to succumb to pests, mould and disease.
Pruning your weed plant encourages them to focus their energy on producing buds rather than leaves. Extra stems and dying, yellow leaves should be removed to allow your plants to concentrate its efforts on growing buds.
All plants, including cannabis, need sunlight, water and nutrients to survive. To ensure your plants grow as quickly and healthily as possible, you need to ensure they have all three in the correct quantities. You can add nutrients to the soil with fertiliser or directly into the water if you are using a hydroponics system. Read our blogs for more information about how much water and light your plants need at each stage of the growing process.
Follow our tips, and you can look forward to a quick harvest. One final thing; it is imperative to dry and cure your precious buds properly. After all your hard work, don’t rush this final stage, however much you are tempted. This could result in an inferior weed, which would be such a shame!