Whether you are an experienced grower or a cannabis fan, growing marijuana is different than growing any other plant. The cannabis plant is super thirsty and requires more water than many other plants.
It is also sensitive to heat and requires a maintained temperature throughout the growth period.
Similarly, marijuana plants need roughly 4- 5 weeks to reach the flowering stage.
So the big question is How Long Does It Take To Grow Weed? Overall, it can take roughly 4 to 8 months for cannabis plants to complete their lifecycle and another two weeks to get them ready to smoke or made into an edible.
Table of Contents
- 1 Factors Affecting Total Time To Grow Marijuana
- 2 4 Stages of Marijuana Plant Growth
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusions
Factors Affecting Total Time To Grow Marijuana
The entire lifecycle of cannabis may continue anywhere from about 10- 32 weeks.
We know that sounds like a very big range. Here are the factors that have the most prominent impact on the total time.
The life cycle of a marijuana plant depends greatly on the cannabis strain being cultivated. Indica strains grow faster than Sativa and usually flower between seven to nine weeks.
Using special fast flowering strains can also reduce your average time.
If you want to grow a small amount, you can speed up the shortening of the vegetative stage of your plants by a few weeks. By growing smaller plants, you can easily grow marijuana quickly.
Since marijuana plants tend to be highly sensitive to light and temperature, even a slight shift can increase your total time.
Oxygen supply, nutrients, water, and humidity are also vital factors that affect the growing timeline.
Similarly, if you use indoor hydroponics, the total time is considerably lower.
Growing Indoors or Outdoors
Growth time will also greatly vary depending on whether you are growing cannabis indoors or outdoors.
Growing weed indoors gives you more power and control over your yield.
On the other hand, if you plant outdoors you are restricted by local climate and seasonal factors.
Our recommendation is to grow indoors but in a grow tent. With a grow tent you can control all the factors mentioned above from the temperature, lighting, and humidity conditions needed to successfully grow weed.
4 Stages of Marijuana Plant Growth
Here are the four main stages of the cannabis plant from the seedling phase to the harvesting stage.
Understanding a few things about each stage will help you understand what requirements your plants need and to manage your expectations of how long each stage may take.
Germination is a process in which a seed sprouts and develops into a seedling.
Seed germination can last about a week. The easiest way to germinate your seed is to soak it in water and then keep it on a kitchen towel.
You can buy weed seeds from a local nursery or online seed banks.
Once it sprouts, it’s alive and ready to be planted in the soil or growing medium.
Take your pot and place the tap root inside while the tiny stem will face upwards.
The ideal temperature for your plant is between 70F degrees to 75F degrees (21C degrees to 24C degrees) at this point.
Keep the soil moist and provide 16 plus hours of sunlight. Don’t drown the soil with water while the plant is in the seedling stage.
If you don’t have enough sunlight, we highly suggest grow lights to germinate your seeds.
The vegetative phase is a period of the life cycle of a plant after germination and before flowering.
Once your cannabis seeds sprout, they’ll appear from the soil as seedlings. Gradually leaves will start to appear.
How long the vegetative stage will last depends on many factors, including the genetics of the cannabis plant (Indica or Sativa strains) and the goals of the farmer.
It can vary from 3 to 16 weeks, even more, if planted outdoors. Extremely fast growth takes place during the vegetative phase. It actually grows like a weed!
You will have to change the container to a bigger one to allow the roots more space.
The longer the plant stays in the vegetative state the bigger it will get and eventually bigger yields. Continue giving 18-24 hours of strong light during this phase.
Obviously, the sun is not out 24 hours a day, so this is where grow lights are needed.
You will have to change the light at an optimal time as this will be important because it will affects the quality of the overall product.
Once you feel your plant has reached about half the desired size, it’s time to move on to the vegetative and flowering stages.
By reducing the amount of light to your weed plant, you can help it come out of the vegetative state.
If you are growing cannabis outdoors, the vegetative stage will end as winter draws close since the plant receives less light.
Auto-flowering strains will have a different vegetative time period than regular ones.
For the auto-flowering strains, the vegetative growth will stop at about three weeks and buds will start to appear.
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This is where you will finally see the result of your hard work.
As soon as the weed plant receives less light, it will begin flowering.
The flowering phase lasts for about 8 to 10 weeks for most cannabis strains.
At this point, the plant should be supplied with a 12/12 light schedule- 12 hours light and 12 hours complete continuous darkness.
They will also require fewer nutrients and nitrogen compared to the previous phase and are prone to getting a nutrient burn if levels are not managed.
Plants will generally double their size as they start to grow super fast.
Once they begin to bloom, they now require cooler temperatures around 18-26°C. The lowered temperature will result in better trichomes, color, and smell.
When your plants are that the tail end of the flowering stage, you will see that the trichome density increase.
Once the plant achieves full maturation, it’s time for harvesting.
Harvesting and Curing
Most cannabis plants are ready to be harvested when the leaves start to yellow, curl and fall off.
When the buds are not growing anymore, it’s time to remove them.
After harvesting, you can’t smoke your flowers right away. Dry them in a cool dry place for at least one week. This is called the curing process.
Curing weed is an essential step to ensuring that the final product does not have a harsh taste with smoking the weed.
Make sure you have the right pruning shears or trimming scissors as you don’t want to damage your plants.
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How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed Indoors?
The average time to grow weed indoors is 3 to 5 months.
How Long Does Weed Take To Grow Outdoors?
It can take up to 7 months for most strains of weed to start flowering once you plant the seeds.
We hope that this post gives you a window into how long it takes to grow cannabis.
If you want moe more detailed and in-depth reading, Frontier in Plant Science has a great article on how long does it take to grow weed.
Lastly, As of 2021, 36 states in the USA have legalized medical marijuana.
Out of them, 17 states and the District of Columbia also allow their residents to grow their own weed plants.
Before you learn more about growing weed at home, it’s best to check local legislation and policies.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.