If you’re just starting to grow your own cannabis plant, you’re probably wondering how long a fully grown cannabis plant takes to get to a point where you can harvest it. That’s an important question, especially if you’re planning on having a good amount of cannabis to enjoy for a long time to come. Fortunately, there’s no secret formula for how long a cannabis plant grows, but there are some factors that you should consider when determining how long a plant will take to be ready for harvesting.
Vegetative growth stage
The vegetative stage of cannabis growth is a period when the plant is preparing for flowering. During this phase, the plant is growing vertically and concentrating its energy towards producing flowers. It is also known as the seedling stage.
Cannabis plants begin to form root systems during this stage. Newly formed roots are looking for nutrients and water. In addition, the plant needs to grow enough leaves to take up sunlight.
For indoor growers, the vegetative stage lasts for up to eight weeks. However, larger plants require a longer vegetative stage to produce bigger yields.
Vegetative plants need to be in the right growing environment, preferably with a temperature of 68-78 degF and 50% to 70% humidity. They need about 18 to 24 hours of sunlight daily.
During this stage, the marijuana plant grows more nodes and leaves, and it produces more branches. These nodes are the sites where two branches intersect off the main stalk. Whenever the nodes have white hairs, they will start to produce buds.
After three to four weeks, the cannabis plant begins to fatten and grow into a thicker stem. Branches become longer and the nodes between them become spaced farther apart. When the trichome density increases, the plant becomes sticky.
Ideally, the cannabis plants will remain in this stage until they start to flower. Depending on the variety and strain, the vegetative stage may last up to 16 weeks.
During this stage, weed plants grow at a faster rate than during the seedling stage. Nitrogen is an essential part of the vegetative phase. If the plants are lacking nitrogen, they will display pale green leaves, stunted growth, and yellowing.
Besides the need for light, Cannabis plants also require nitrogen and potassium. These are essential for vegetative growth and for the production of chlorophyll and amino acids. Among these nutrients, boron is less known but important in the nutrition process. Boron is often found in small concentrations in molasses, fulvic acid, and humic acid.
If you are planning to cultivate cannabis indoors, you should remember to change the photoperiod to flowering in the fourth week of the vegetative stage. If you change the photoperiod before this, you may not flower your plant and risk having it become smaller than expected.
The flowering stage of cannabis is when the plant starts producing buds and flowers. There are several phases of the plant, but it reaches its apex when the buds are fully formed and it is time to harvest.
During the early stage of the flowering cycle, the plants will undergo a number of physiological changes. They will also develop new leaves at the top of their main colas. These are the first of the major changes the plant will undergo.
At this stage, the cannabis plant will be growing considerably. This can happen in a matter of weeks. In fact, a cannabis plant may double in height in just one week. However, the real magic happens when the buds start to form and begin to fatten up.
Although the early and late stages of the flowering process can vary among different strains, there are general guidelines that can help you recognize when your plant is ready for harvest. For example, the late flowering stage is when the buds start to fatten up and the odour starts to improve.
If you’re growing a photoperiod strain, make sure you have a suitable lighting system. Your plants will need at least 12 hours of light per day. Using an LED setup is a good alternative to a HID setup.
There are several nutrients and additives that can improve your plants’ performance during the flowering phase. One such nutrient is cal-mag. Another is phosphorus. Plants use phosphorus for root growth, and also to help them produce flowers.
You may also want to use a breathable cover to block out excess light. This can be especially important for bigger plants. A breathable cover can also prevent odor from building up in your grow room.
Some other important things to remember during the flowering phase are to give your plant the space it needs to thrive. It’s also a good idea to review the proper watering and training methods. Having a clear understanding of what your plant needs will help you optimize your production.
When you are harvesting cannabis, you need to pay attention to a number of things. These factors include the size of the plant, its height, its color, its shape, and its trichomes. If you are able to properly identify the various components, then you can easily determine the ripeness of your plant.
The trichomes, or resin glands, are also a great indicator of the ripeness of a cannabis plant. Trichomes can be seen with a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe.
The trichomes on a cannabis plant have a range of sizes, varying from tiny to gigantic. They are usually milky white to lollipop shaped. In the early stages of the cycle, they are called basal trichomes.
When the trichomes reach their maximum concentration, they start to turn amber. This signifies that the plant’s THC has been converted to cannabinol (CBN), which gives a sedative high.
The color of the pistils also tells you a lot about the ripeness of your cannabis. Some growers recommend harvesting when more than half of the pistils are brown. Alternatively, some say that less brown pistils are more psychoactive.
In order to harvest the most potent buds, you need to be sure to follow the proper procedures. First, you need to be sure to monitor the condition of the leaves in the late flowering stage. Ideally, you will want to leave the plants on a 24-hour light cycle for revegetation.
Once the plants have finished growing, they should be dried upside down in a dark closet. This will help to equalize the moisture content of the cannabis. As you dry the plant, it will lose about 75% of its water weight.
To preserve the delicate trichomes, you should hand trim them. You can use a digital microscope or a jeweler’s loupe for this task.
It is a good idea to do all of this before you actually start harvesting. Otherwise, you risk losing parts of the plants to mold. However, this can be a difficult problem to deal with for outdoor growers.
Curing fully grown cannabis is a process that ensures that the buds retain their taste, aroma, and potency. It also helps in the prevention of mold during storage.
During curing, terpenes are preserved, allowing unique aromas to shine through. Terpenes provide the scent and flavor of cannabis and can degrade quickly, which is why curing is a key step to preserving this delicate bouquet.
Proper curing requires a controlled humidity level. Humidity above 70 percent can encourage the growth of mold. To ensure that you do not have to worry about this, make sure that you place your jars in a dark, cool, and dry area.
You should also use airtight containers to store your buds during the curing process. Some people recommend storing cannabis in a refrigerator or freezer. Others recommend using food-grade plastic bags. These bags may be difficult to open, but they block out light and allow air to circulate.
The terpenes in cannabis can degrade, so you should store your buds in a cool, dark environment. Some brands recommend a year or more of curing. Depending on the cultivar, some flowers can cure for up to six months.
When you’re ready to smoke your cannabis, shake the jars and check for signs of mold. If you find mold, clean the buds and re-seal the jars.
If you have smaller buds, you can skip the curing process. However, for larger buds, curing is necessary. After three or four weeks, the bud should be dry enough to smoke.
If you’re unsure if your buds are ready for curing, take a sample. Place a few buds in a sealed jar. Seal the jar for 24 hours.
Check the jar every day. If you notice a mild ammonia odor, the buds are too wet. Leave the buds off for half a day and re-check.
As you get further into the process, it’s a good idea to burp the jars once or twice a day to release excess moisture. This allows the oxygen to refill and maintain proper humidity levels. Keeping the jars filled to 75% full is a good rule of thumb.