how long does it take marijuana to grow outdoors

Marijuana light cycle: indoor—16 hours a day; outdoor—at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (“full sun”), plus several hours indirect sunlight

The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flowering.

The weather will start to turn and the sun will begin descending in the sky as your plants fatten up with sweet, sticky buds. It might be tempting, but wait until around the Fall Equinox to start harvesting.

Seedling stage

Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to grow a weed plant from seed. It’ll be quicker if you start with a clone or an autoflower seed.

Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks

The vegetative stage of cannabis is where the plant’s growth truly takes off. At this point, you’ve transplanted your plant into a larger pot and the roots and foliage are developing rapidly. This is also the time to begin topping or training your plants.

How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?

The Spring Equinox is a good reminder that it’s time to kick off the outdoor growing process and start germinating your seeds.

The first marijuana plant stage begins with the seed. A cannabis seed should feel hard and dry, and be light- to dark-brown in color. An undeveloped seed is generally squishy and green or white in color and likely won’t germinate.

How long does it take marijuana to grow outdoors

Here are some of great auto-flowering strains I’ve personally grown and recommend. These are all ready to harvest 8-10 weeks from germination:

However, if you take really good care of auto-flowering plants for the first 4 weeks and give a lot of light, they can grow much bigger. These auto-flowering plants reached half this height in the first 4 weeks and produced about 11 oz under the same grow light as above.

What if time is not an issue?

Long Anwer:

3-5+ months from seed to harvest

Auto-flowering plants tend to stay small since they go from seed to harvest in under 3 months. These auto-flowering plants produced about 7 ounces.

Important Milestones in the Marijuana Plant’s Life

Depending on how you set up your grow, it can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months or more to grow a marijuana plant from a seedling to the point where the plant is ready to harvest. Some methods, such as growing hydroponically indoors, give your flexibility to get a harvested plant in as little as 2-3 months. Growing outdoors generally takes longer than growing indoors and is more dependent on when you plant your seeds and how long your growing season is.

Quality of water can make a difference in the quality of flowers. It’s worth filling up a jug of distilled or purified water at one of the various water dispensers around town to use specifically for your plants, rather than use tap water, Sundberg said.

Adults can grow six cannabis plants at home or no more than 12 plants in a house with more than one adult.

After a few days, growers can switch to a ratio of 12 hours light, followed by 12 hours of consecutive darkness to activate the flowering stage. If growing outside, the light of a full moon is about the maximum amount of light a plant should receive during the darkness period, Sundberg said.

Indoors, cannabis thrives best in full spectrum light similar to sunlight, so a standard incandescent bulb won’t cut it, Wylie said. He recommended starting off with an inexpensive light made for growing. Sea of Green Hydrogardens in Tempe sells various grow lights.

How often should I water my plant?

“I warn people… crawl before you walk,” Wylie said. “Learn to get your plant to grow all the way to fruition, harvest it, dry it, cure it. Then you can build from there. Don’t run out and buy thousands of dollars of equipment.”

He recommended adding mulch to keep the soil cool. For a pot, the bigger the better for creating a buffering zone — five gallons is a good minimum, he said. Putting the pot in another pot or putting some sort of insulation barrier around it can also prevent the pot from directly baking in the sun.

But like growing any plant, it can be easy to overthink it, he said.

How long does it take to grow cannabis?

Wylie said that after switching to the 12 hours light, 12 hours darkness stage, it takes about 50 to 60 days until it’s time to harvest. People can additionally purchase an inexpensive jeweler’s loupe if they want to look at the trichomes, or crystals, on the flowers. The plant will be ready to harvest when the majority of the trichome caps turn from translucent to milky-looking and about 10% of the caps turn an amber color. The plant can still be harvested a little earlier or later, however.

Wylie suggested first-time growers start with a hybrid strain and stay away from strains that have OG in the name or are labeled “exotic,” which tend to be finicky. Popular 50/50 hybrid Blue Dream, for example, is a resilient plant that can take higher and lower temperatures, he said.