Knowing how to care for your cannabis plants at each of the four distinctive stages of their life cycle will provide a healthy, productive garden. Discover all marijuana plant stages, from the germination to the flowering. No more secrets in cannabis home cultivation. Everything you need to know about the 6 stages of cannabis growth. From selecting seeds to determining plant sex.
From Seed to Harvest: The Life Cycle of Cannabis
Knowing how to care for your cannabis plants at each of the four distinctive stages of their life cycle will provide a solid baseline of knowledge and healthy, productive gardens.
It can take four to eight months to grow a cannabis plant. During this time, it goes through four distinct stages: germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering. It is essential for cannabis growers to understand each stage in the life cycle so they can properly care for their plants. Each phase requires different nutrients, hours of light, and type of light. There are also different tasks that can help make each stage more successful.
It all begins with a seed. If stored in cool, dark conditions, a cannabis seed can remain viable for years. The best seeds are hard and dry and will be light to dark brown in color. Underdeveloped seeds tend to be soft and either white or green. It’s very unlikely these seeds will germinate.
The seed lies dormant until it is exposed to warmth and moisture. You can germinate your seeds by planting them in a moistened seedling starter mix, covered with plastic and placed on a heat mat. It is important to use a seed-starting mix instead of potting soil.
There is enough nutrition in a seed to feed a sprout for about two to three weeks. Any additional fertilizer can burn your plants at this tender age. Once planted, a seed can take five to 10 days to sprout.
Once your seeds have sprouted, the two seedling leaves will be the first to appear. Place a fluorescent grow light about two inches from the top of your plants for 18 hours per day. You don’t need a powerful light for them in the beginning. When the true leaves appear, your little plants can officially be considered a seedling.
The seedling stage of a cannabis plant can last three to six weeks.
The seedling stage of cannabis plant lasts three to six weeks, depending on environmental factors and the strain you’re growing.
During this time, your seedlings are focusing their energy on growing roots and foliage. Because the roots are so small, be careful not to overfeed or overwater. Use a fertilizer high in nitrogen and be sure to dilute it so you don’t harm your plants.
Fluorescent lights still work well at this point. Set your timer so the lights are on for 18 hours and off for six.
Seedlings are susceptible to pests and disease at this age, so this is a good time to apply a preventative neem oil treatment. It’s much easier to prevent spider mites and powdery mildew than to treat them while your plants are so young. If they do get infested or infected at this age, the stress on your plants will likely produce a smaller harvest down the line.
The vegetative stage of a cannabis plant can last one to four months.
After a few weeks as seedlings, your cannabis plants will outgrow their starter pots and start demanding more food and light. The roots and foliage grow rapidly during this stage, which allows the plant to take in more nutrients and carbon dioxide. Don’t be surprised if your plant shoots up two inches in one day!
If you don’t already know, this is when you’ll be able to identify whether you are growing an indica or sativa. Indicas tend to be short and bushy, while sativas are lanky with less foliage.
You will also be able to identify the sex of your plants. About four weeks into the veg cycle, pre-flowers start to appear. By six weeks in, you should be able to determine whether those new buds are male or female. Most growers remove the males from their garden, so they don’t pollinate the females and cause seeds to form.
When growing indoors, the vegetative stage can last one to four months, or even indefinitely in the case of mother plants. You control the length of this phase by the number of hours of light you give your plants. As long as they receive 18 hours, they will remain in this stage.
During the vegetative stage, you’ll need to trade in your fluorescent lights for a metal halide or powerful LED. This blue light mimics the light in spring and sends the message to grow roots and foliage to prepare for the flowers.
If you haven’t already, transplant your cannabis into larger pots and start feeding them more. As they grow, be mindful you will need to increase the PPM of your nutrient solution and transplant them into larger pots as needed.
At this age, your plants need high levels of nitrogen and modest amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Silicon is also beneficial at this stage because it helps to build strength in the stalk and stems, which you’ll need to support those big buds that will soon grow.
As your plants grow taller and fill out, you’ll need to start pruning and training them. This focuses their energy on growing large colas, opens up the plant so light can reach all the leaves, and prevents fungal diseases by increasing air flow.
The general rule of thumb is to flip the lights to 12/12 and trigger the bloom cycle when your plants are about one third of the size you want them to be at harvest.
The flowering stage lasts six to 10 weeks, depending on the strain you’re growing.
You imitate autumn in your garden when you reduce the light to 12 hours on and 12 hours off, and switch to a red high-pressure sodium bulb. This triggers your cannabis plants to start blooming so they can procreate before they die at the end of the season.
The flowering stage lasts six to 10 weeks, depending on the strain you’re growing. During this time, dense buds covered in a sweet-smelling, sticky resin will form on your plants. This resin is where the THC and terpenes are, and so growers do whatever they can to grow the stickiest colas possible.
Your fertilizing schedule will change during this stage. Start feeding your plants minimal amounts of nitrogen, moderate amounts of potassium, and high amounts of phosphorus. This is the time to add bloom boosters and sugars to your regimen.
Be on the lookout for nutrient deficiencies or toxicities during this phase. Brown leaf tips can signal nutrient burn, while yellowing leaves may indicate a nutrient deficiency. It is normal, however, for the lower leaves to turn yellow towards the end of the flowering cycle, when your plants feed on themselves for more efficient nutrition.
Keep feeding your plants until about 10 days before harvest, and then stop fertilizing and flush your crop. This clears your plants of excess nutrients and is crucial to making sure your end product is smooth instead of harsh.
As your buds grow large and dense, environmental conditions and poor air flow can cause bud rot. If you don’t catch it in time, you can lose all of your plants. Keep a close eye on your buds as harvest time approaches. Inspect your buds often and harvest immediately if you see signs of rot. If you catch it early, you can cut the rot out of your buds and salvage most of your crop. You’ll know your cannabis is ready to harvest when the pistils, or the hairs, turn the color of rust and the resin changes from clear to a milky white.
If you understand the life cycle of cannabis, you’ll be able to care for your plants the right way in each stage of their life and anticipate problems before they occur. You’ll be a better grower and have top shelf smoke to prove it.
Everything you need to know about marijuana plant stages
Marijuana plant growth requires certain environment and unique demands at each stage during its cultivation process. There are four important marijuana plant stages of growth that take around 3-5 months to complete. In order to harvest and preserve your marijuana plant in the best way, you need to provide proper at every stage.
It is best to plant seeds in late April. It will reach its harvesting stage during September and November. During the cultivation process, you have to clean and trim the plants regularly after they reach certain growth. If you grow marijuana indoors, you may smoke your harvest in a few weeks!
The 4 Marijuana Plant Stages
You need to take care of different factors at every marijuana plant stage. The growing stages of cannabis plants have been divided into four main sections :
- Germination (3-10 days)
- Seedling (2-3 weeks)
- Vegetative (3-8 weeks)
- Flowering (8-11 weeks)
- Harvest (8-10 weeks)
Every stage has different timings and specific days. Also, you need to take utmost care while at every stage to produce a healthy and high-quality weed. A small precision, you may learn about 7 stages of the cannabis plant growth cycle somewhere, because it takes into account the non-organic stages after flowering, like pruning, harvesting or preparing the cannabis plant for a new cycle.
1. Germination Stage of marijuana plant
Germination is the first marijuana plant stages. The germination of marijuana seeds begin around 3-10 days. At first, you need to wrap a good-quality marijuana seeds in a damp cloth until you observe sprouts on them. Then you can place them in the soil for further growth. The roots will grow downwards and the stem will grow upwards. It is necessary to provide them around 16 hours of light daily during the germination stage.
For germination, plants require a warm and humid temperature with proper ventilation and watering daily. The appropriate temperature for germination is 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 26 °C). Then, you will observe rounded leaves which are also known as cotyledons develop on the plants. These tiny leaves require continuous sunlight to make the plants healthy and strong.
2. Seedling Stage of marijuana plant
When the cotyledons begin to develop in the plants, it means that they have reached the seedling stage. The seedling stage generally lasts up to 2-3 weeks. At this stage, the plants require proper lighting for around 16 hours a day. In the beginning, the leaves have only one blade. But new blades start to develop gradually. It is very important to provide a certain amount of water during the seedlings because the roots are small and they don’t need much it.
The seedling marijuana plant stages are also very delicate, if not taken proper care of, molds can appear on the leaves. Hence, it is important to provide a suitable environment for the plants to grow. The perfect humidity level should be around 65-80% with a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (22 °C). It is very important to know about the strain of the seeds so that you can take steps accordingly. Good quality seeds grow as thick and are short in height.
3. Vegetative Stage of marijuana plant
The vegetative marijuana plant stages begin from 3rd week and lasts up to 8 weeks. When the plants reach this stage, you need to transfer them into a big pot for more growth. According to the growth of the plants, you need to water the plants according to their needs. You should water the cannabis away from the main stalk so the roots expand for better water intake. You should have enough space for soil for the plants as they will grow up to 2-3 feet (60 to 90 cm).
During the vegetative stage, you can determine the male plants that can contaminate other plants. The cannabis plants grow very rapidly at this stage. The temperature should be around 68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (21-22 °C). If you are growing Indica, the plants will be bushy and small while Sativa plants have a narrow shape and grow tall. Providing nitrogen in these plants is essential along with a minimum of 16 hours of sunlight daily. If you dry out the soil at this point, it will be better for the plants.
4. Flowering Stage of marijuana plant
The flowering stage begins from 8 weeks and lasts up to 11 weeks. It is the final plant stage of marijuana. They require around 12 hours of sunlight daily. The flowering stages have three different phases:
- Flower growth: At this stage, the buds begin to develop in the plants.
- Mid Flowering Stage: This stage begins from the 4th week up to 5 weeks. The plants stop growing because buds become bigger.
- Late Flowering Stage: The plants become sticky and flowers release a pungent smell. It is important to maintain the temperature and monitor the growth for harvesting.
The appropriate temperature is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C) with a relative humidity of 50%. You should provide them with essential nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium for healthy growth.
What should you do after the flowering stage?
After all the aforementioned marijuana plant stages, it is time for harvesting and other processes. The after care of the products is also very necessary:
Harvesting of marijuana plant
The harvesting stage begins after the plants have completed the flowering stage which lasts up to 8 weeks. The buds will begin to flatten and white layers will appear on them. This white layer is known as Trichomes. Remember that the quality, smell, and taste depend on the time of harvesting. It is better to harvest when the buds become brownish or red. It means that the plants ripen and are best to use.
The Pruning step
Pruning is an important process to remove the dead or unhealthy parts of the plants. This is done by using a pair of scissors. There are two types of Pruning- Dry and Wet. Most cultivators use the wet pruning method. The dry pruning method requires cutting off the leaves that contain high THC levels and sugar leaves. If you prune the plants early, it can disrupt the plant hormones and affect the taste as well.
Pruning of your plant
After pruning, the next step is how to store them. You can store cannabis for up to two years with vacuum sealing if we maintain the THC level for a longer time.
- Remove all the impurities and seeds. .
- Dry them completely under sunlight.
- Keep them in an airtight glass container.
Also, it is very important to store cannabis with different types of strains in separate jars.
Important things to know before growing cannabis at home
The different types of marijuana plants
You should have knowledge about the different types of cannabis plants. Different types of marijuana provide different types of effects. By knowing these plants you can tweak and enhance their quality while growing. Different types of Marijuana plants are :
- Indica: Indica is a type of marijuana plant that contains high THC and low CBD levels. They are short and dense. It relaxes the mind when consumed. The leaves are broad and have a fan-like structure.
- Sativa: It can grow up to 20 feet and its leaves are pointy and long. Sativa plants require darkness for up to 11 hours daily. It energizes the body and is also used for medicinal purposes.
- Hybrid: A hybrid strain of cannabis is made by mixing two cannabis strains. It has effects depending upon the dominant strain.
- Ruderalis: This type of cannabis plant does not contain CBD or THC. Ruderalis plants have the shortest height with approximately 1 foot. They are bushy and have broad leaves with thick stems.
Whether you are growing marijuana at home or outdoors, they should be given proper care. Also, you should make adjustments according to the climate of your region as well. Make sure that you are following the rules and regulations while growing marijuana at your place. To become a skilled marijuana grower you should know these different marijuana plant stages.
Tips for growing high-quality marijuana
These tips will help you to yield higher quality weed and complete the necessary requirements of the plants. Read the following to know about the tips which you can follow.
Marijuana plant stages
When you are growing marijuana you need to make sure that the seeds are reliable. A poor quality seed will not germinate. The seeds are produced by two parents of male and female genes. A good quality seed has a strong and dry texture with brown color. Whereas an undeveloped cannabis seed is greenish or white, they are not ideal for growing. Meanwhile, don’t store the seeds for a long time. They can grow sprouts if they get moisture and heat. So make sure to plant them soon after buying. Keep them away from freezing temperatures which will kill their quality.
Cloning is another process of growing marijuana. It means cutting off the branches of marijuana. When you plant these branches, they will grow into a plant. It will have the same characteristics and quality as the parent plant. Cloning cannabis can help you skip the initial planting stage of marijuana. You can buy clones easily from any dispensary. If you are using the cloning method, the parent or mother plant should be healthy and avoid cutting a flowering plant.
Production of Trichomes
There are different types of Trichomes in cannabis with different sizes and shapes. When the cannabis plants reach the flowering stage, the trichomes begin to activate. They have a hair-like structure and are responsible for producing terpenes and cannabinoids to obtain variety of strains. They are also helpful to protect the plants from any pathogens and harmful environment as well.
Final Thoughts on Plant Stage of Marijuana
This article will help you know the different marijuana plant stages and all necessary information about how to take care of them. The above extra tips will also help you to remain cautious at different stages. Now you are ready to grow marijuana all by yourself.
Initially, you will need some patience to understand the whole process and necessary steps. The above-mentioned steps of plant stages of marijuana will help you understand the requirement. After you gain certain experience, you can experiment with several strains with high yield and better quality.
The Stages of Cannabis Growth
Cannabis growth is made up of a series of stages that plants undergo during their lifecycle. Each stage during the cannabis cultivation process requires its own unique demands, including different levels of light, water, and nutrients.
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks!
The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
Cannabis Growth Timeline
1. Germinating: 1-7 days
2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks
3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks
4. Pre-Flowering: 1-2 weeks
5. Flowering: 6-8 weeks
1. Germinating Seeds
2. Seedling Stage
3. Vegetative Growth
How to tell if your plant is a male or female
Female: Two pistils (the pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower) will be growing on the buds (flowers grow above these leaves, one cluster on each side).
Male: Small green sacs full of pollen will be seen on the node areas.
- If there is a high color ratio of white to red pistils your cannabis will provide a euphoric THC high.
- If the color ratio is more red to white, your cannabis will provide a calmer, CBD-stoned feeling.
- If you harvest once half the trichomes are opaque and the pistils haven’t turned brown, your cannabis will provide a balanced THC/CBD high.
We Are Open, Essential, and Shipping On Time!
As a manufacturer and distributor of Air Cleaning, Ducting, and Filtration products we are proud to have been identified as an essential business. We will remain open for business performing essential operations during this crisis, supplying industrial, military, and healthcare operations with our products. We are shipping orders on time, with no delay in manufacturing.
Our phone lines are open from 9am-5pm central time, Monday through Friday. Our staff is working remotely wherever possible and we will maintain a bare minimum staff on-site to perform basic operations of order processing and accounting. Our on-site staff will follow the appropriate best practices and guidelines set forth by OSHA’s latest release of “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.”
These are unprecedented times and we are committed to protecting both our employees and our communities. Clean air has never been more important, and we’re making sure our customers have everything they need. From those working from home who need high quality air filters, to the other essential businesses we supply products to, we’re here for you.
We thank you for your support and your business and we hope that this will all be over soon.