Marijuana goes through different stages of growth before you even begin to see the beautiful buds flourish. Watching cannabis grow through all four stages of it developmental process can be quite the experience. If you’re looking to get some insights on how the marijuana grow cycle work and responsibilities that come along with each stage, then you’ll find this article extremely helpful. For extremely serious growers, go ahead and find some time to visit California or Colorado for a full tour of a cannabis growing facility.
4 Key Stages in the Marijuana Grow Cycle
At every stage, you need to provide the best environment for the plant to thrive and that can be challenging at times. Generally, cannabis is considered an annual plant i.e. its complete lifecycle can expand over a year. However, most varieties of marijuana can grow indoors within 3 to 5 months.
The first stage of any plant begins with a seed. The seed needs to be germinated and there are several ways to do that. Even at this early stage, quality is crucial. The indication of a quality cannabis seed is that it should be dry, hard, and brownish in color.
In germination, the germ inside the seed breaks out in the form of a root. This germinated seed can then be introduced to a growing medium (e.g. hydroponics). Most home growers use the good old paper towel method to germinate the seed.
The germination stage can take anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days depending on its variety. The Sativa seeds usually take longer to germinate in comparison with Indica weed strains. When the first two leaves form, the plant loses the seed husk and this is where the next stage begins.
This stage perhaps requires the most care. The plant at this stage is susceptible to disease. You have to be very careful about how much water or fertilizer you give to the seedling. Too much water or fertilizer may hamper growth.
The most important need of the plant at this delicate stage is light. It needs as much light as possible. You can provide the light indoors with best LED grow lights that provide full spectrum and are quite cheap to buy. Ample light and water will allow the plant to develop stronger roots. As a result, you will start to see the characteristic marijuana leaves.
The shape of the leaf and the number of leaflets may vary depending on the kind of marijuana you are growing. At this stage, the leaves usually have just one leaflet. Once the number of leaflets per leaf becomes 5-7, the seedling stage is over. This entire stage can take 2 to 4 weeks.
During the vegetation stage, the growth accelerates. Your plant can grow as much as 5 inches in just one day. You need to supply the right nutrients to the plants at this time for it to start growing buds. The supply of nitrogen is crucial at this points as it helps provide chlorophyll and protein.
The water intake of the plants also increases at this stage. Again, the light remains a vital component for growth. You need to have the best lights for all cycles of marijuana growth. Most grow lights have a vegetation mode that is optimized for this stage of the marijuana plant.
The duration of the vegetation stage varies greatly from one variety of cannabis to another. However, if everything is done right and the plant is growing in a healthy way it should gradually move to the next stage of growth within 2-3 weeks.
This stage is perhaps the longest of the marijuana growth lifecycle (4 to 12 weeks). It can be divided into two sub-phases: pre-flowering stage and flowering stage. The pre-flowering stage begins when the days become shorter and plant receives less light. Of course, you can control that indoors.
This is also the time when you will know the sex of your plant. Female plants produce flowers or buds while the male ones produce pollen. Once you can identify the sex of the plants, it is time to isolate the females to avoid production of seeds.
During the pre-flowering stage, the plants need a lot of water. Some growers even use special fertilizers to enhance the formation of buds. Potassium and phosphorus-based nutrients are great for this stage and may speed up the process. Finally, in the flowering stage, you will see grown buds with milky pistils and a pungent smell.
The time it takes for your weed plant to grow from a small seed to those beautiful buds is highly dependent on the kind of marijuana strain and how you control the environment. Growing weed on your own can be a challenge but it is also a one of the best learning experience as a cannabis enthusiast. You only learn what each stage requires after trial and error.
I find that treating each stage equally important and preparing for it in advance can have a positive effect on the plant. When your hard work is paid off and you smoke your very own strain, it will all be worth it.
If you are interested in learning more about how to grow marijuana or its growing process, feel free to check out one of our in-depth marijuana growing facility tours available in multiple legalized state.
Latest posts by Austin (see all)
- Marijuana Growth Cycle Stages: Germination, Vegetation & Flowering - September 27, 2018
- 10 Must Do Things on Your First California Weed Vacation - August 2, 2018