Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds.
Outdoors, flowering occurs naturally when the plant receives less light each day as summer turns into fall. Indoor growers can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing the amount of light marijuana plants receive from 16 to 12 hours a day.
Important dates for growing marijuana outdoors
Flowering stage length: 8-11 weeks
The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:
Your plants will also begin to take on a definitive shape at this stage. For example, a sativa plant will become long and narrow, while an indica will be shorter, bushier, and denser with foliage. The sexual characteristics of your plants will also become apparent and you can differentiate between the males and the females now. By the end of the vegetative stage, female plants will exhibit two white pistils and male plants will grow pollen sacs. Be sure to remove these pollen sacs to avoid contaminating your female plants.
The hands-on, sensory pleasure of planting a garden is an experience like no other. Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can grow a marijuana garden at home by understanding the essential life cycle of the plant.
Duration: 6 to 8 weeks
Of course, if you were not satisfied with your harvest, then breeding and cloning would not be a good choice. Perhaps the strain you chose was too potent, or not potent enough, for your preferences. In this case, revisit an online seed bank and take the opportunity to learn the difference between strains. Explore your options and you’ll not only educate yourself about the growth process but you’ll also enjoy the ride.
Outdoor cultivators often begin to grow their plants in the spring to prepare for a fall harvest. Choosing the right soil is perhaps the most vital component for outdoor cultivators. Choose a soil chock full of plant nutrients and organic materials, including microbes, earthworm castings, and forest humus. Some soils are even classified as “super soils” because they minimize or eliminate the need for liquid nutrients. Overall, an investment in cannabis-compatible soil is the biggest investment for the outdoor cultivator.
The marijuana growth cycle
The flowering stage represents the final stage in the growth cycle but not in the life cycle of your cannabis plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Beginning with tiny seeds and culminating in rich harvests, the marijuana growth cycle can last between 10 and 26 weeks, or as much as half the year. Therefore, growing your own cannabis entails a sizable commitment of time and effort, but the rewards may be equally abundant. In three to six months’ time, you can raise a crop to serve you with plant-based medicine, recreational enjoyment, or both. The marijuana you grow can transform into smokable, edible, and topical treasures that may offer a combination of physiological and psychological benefits.
If you’re planning on cultivating your own weed continuously, you’re going to need some more seeds. We mentioned removing the males from your cannabis crop, and this means that your females won’t be pollinated and won’t be producing seeds. As a result, it’s unlikely that you will have your own seeds to work with.
If the plant’s stem swells, it stops producing calyxes, and the yellow leaves fall off, then it’s too late. The cannabis is basically useless at this point.
A good trick is to look closely at the pistils. When they begin to turn brown, and the leaves start to yellow, now is the time to harvest. Generally, experts say you should harvest the plants when 70-90% of the pistils have browned. If the pistils are entirely brown, the marijuana may be ‘overripe’ – it won’t taste good, and its effects will be less pleasant.
During this time, the plant will also start developing its root system. While this is happening, it is officially a seedling. Pot plants can stay in the seedling stage for 2-3 weeks, but this stage may last for up to 6 weeks in rarer cases. The length of time can vary depending on the strain you’re growing and a few environmental factors.
7. Preparing for Next Season’s Cycle
Once the germinated seeds are planted, they will begin growing. A little cannabis plant will sprout from the soil and begin to develop familiar characteristics. During the seedling stage, it will produce two leaves that open outward from the stem to start receiving sunlight. Next, its trademark cannabis leaves will begin to sprout at the top of the plant as it enters its first growth cycle.
During the vegetative stage, the general rule is to keep the temperature between 68 and 77˚f, and the humidity between 50% and 70%. Once again, nitrogen is the essential nutrient, but you can also increase levels of other key nutrients in the feed. The plants will need 16-24 hours of sunlight.
There are a few ways to germinate a cannabis seed, but most people use the paper towel method. It’s super easy and won’t take long at all. Here’s what to do:
5. When to Harvest Marijuana
Once you have completed your first growing cycle, you will be rewarded with a potent, delicious bud. So what happens now?
One option is to buy more seeds from a seed bank. This way, you can keep buying and trying different strains.