Examining the Growth Stages of Cannabis

Examining the Growth Stages of Cannabis

Cannabis cultivation is an intricate endeavor, requiring the understanding of several distinct growth stages. From seed germination to sexual maturity, it’s essential for cannabis growers to understand and be prepared for each stage in the life cycle of marijuana plants, as any abnormalities can affect yield and quality.

In the wild, the complete marijuana growth cycle takes about a year, beginning with seed germination and culminating in sexual maturity and flowering. Domesticated cannabis strains flower from 6-12 weeks of age, with fast-flowering types available as autoflower seeds (automatically blooming varieties) or “fast” seeds (quick-maturing photoperiod blooming varieties.) In the majority of cases, autoflowers are faster-growing with a shorter growing cycle than photoperiod strains.

When selecting a strain of cannabis, growers should keep in mind that regular cannabis seeds are not gender predictable, so they must be able to identify male plants in the early stages of development and isolate them from female plants. Feminized cannabis seeds only produce female plants, making them an easier option for new growers who do not want to guess which gender their plants will be before flowering.

Germination Growth Stage

Once you have selected your seeds, you must begin the process of germinating them properly. Special care must be taken to ensure that light, moisture, soil pH (acidity), humidity, and temperature are controlled accurately. This is why many indoor growers use specialized domes to isolate their plants and create a perfect environment for seed germination.

Seedling Growth Stage

Once the seed has germinated and sprouted, you can move it into a container with soil or other potting material such as coco or peat plugs. During this seedling stage (2-3 weeks), watering should only occur once every 5-7 days as cannabis plants are especially delicate during this time. Do not add supplemental nutrients to the water yet as this could damage the plant’s root system.

Vegetative Growth Stage

The next phase (3-16 weeks) is the vegetative stage of growth when the plant really begins to grow as most of its energy is directed toward building robust foliage. During this stage, water can be added when the soil feels dry – on average about every 2-4 days – but no supplemental nutrients should be added just yet.

Flowering Growth Stage

The flowering stage (8-11 weeks) is what all growers look forward to because this is when buds start forming on female plants! During this phase, water should be given more often than in earlier stages – about every 2-3 days – but make sure to thoroughly water so that 10%-20% of it runs out of your pot as runoff as this ensures that roots get enough moisture without becoming flooded or deprived. As buds form on female plants during flowering, male plants should be identified and removed to prevent pollination and seeded flowers (hermaphrodite plants can also occur so always be on alert!).

Ripening Growth Stage

Finally, late flowering or ripening typically occurs between week 6-12, depending of the cultivated variety. At this point you will want to monitor your buds regularly for peak ripeness before harvesting them for use or sale. Most growers recommend harvesting at the moment when the clear trichomes turn to milky white or cloudy; however, others prefer to let them become amber.

Cannabis cultivation requires patience and dedication as well as knowledge about each stage in the life cycle of marijuana plants; following these steps will help ensure maximum yield and potency from your crop.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

Leave a Comment