Discover all marijuana plant stages, from the germination to the flowering. No more secrets in cannabis home cultivation. Wanting to adventure with autoflowering strains? Here's all you need to know about the whole lifecycle of autoflowering strains and the most important stag
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 Lifecycle of the Autoflowering Cannabis Plant
Growing cannabis isn’t child’s play. You’ll succeed only after mastering the basics, and it’s even more important to familiarize yourself with the lifecycle of the plant.
- 1. Germination
- 2. Seedling stage
- 3. Week 1 to week 3
- 4. Week 4 to week 6
- 5. Week 7 to week 9
- 6. Week 10 to week 11
- 7. Harvest
- 8. Drying, trimming, and curing
- 9. In conclusion
Growing cannabis is an art that requires patience. Only growers that understand the science and lifecycle of the plant will succeed. The rest either fail miserably or simply give up. It’s not uncommon for beginners to fail. And since practice makes a man perfect, keep at it until you finally harvest a big bunch of nugs that remind you of all the hard work.
I promise that it’s all worth it in the end. But first, you must understand how the plant grows. Not only will this help you save time, but you’ll also be able to bounce back even if you face setbacks. So, let’s take a look at the lifecycle of the autoflowering cannabis plant to make it a little easier for you.
The first step of the plant’s cycle starts with germination. Now that you’ve grabbed your favorite seeds, it’s time to plant them. People use different ways to germinate the seeds, but it’s important to stick to a method that works for you. Ideally, the seeds should be soaked in a glass of water for at least 24 hours. Some growers use a nail file to scratch the seeds gently before soaking them.
This ensures that the seeds soak in more water, but you shouldn’t attempt this if you’re a beginner. The seeds can then be transferred to a wet paper towel and stored in a zip-lock plastic bag. Within 1-2 days, the taproot emerges and the seeds are ready to be planted. Note that many growers simply stick their seeds in the soil, and you can follow the same route if you prefer.
For the most part though, we do recommend sticking with the paper towel method. This method allows for more control, which is what we are always looking for as cultivators. Be sure that the paper towel you use is totally unscented, unbleached, and without any sort of dye – all three of these can cause issues with germination and can even kill the seed.
When using the wet paper towel method, be sure to check the seeds daily to see if there has been any progress. The last thing you want is to leave germinated seeds for multiple days without planting, as this is a true recipe for disaster. Depending on the state of the seed, and the strain, it can take anywhere from 2 to 10 days for the tap root to emerge, but for most seeds, it should take no more than 3 or 4 days especially if you have soaked them to begin with. Remember to always check the pH of the water, and amend it to between 5.5 and 6.5 for the best chance of germination success. The EC or TDS should be low. For germination, the perfect temperature is around 80°F but anywhere within the 70°F – 90°F (21°C – 32°C) range will work just fine.
The seeds can be transferred to the soil at this point. It may take another day or two for the seeds to emerge from the soil and break their hull. Be patient and stop messing with the plants. You might be tempted to assist the seedling since it looks so fragile, but it will do fine without you. Also, remember to regulate the pH as it’s very important.
The seedling stage is the most important stage. The plant will take a long time to recover if there’s a mishap at this stage, so be very careful. If growing indoors, hang the lights at least 17-20 inches above the seedling (if using HID lighting, this is less important with LED and CFL panels as they produce much less heat). Reduce the distance as the plant grows bigger. CFLs, LEDs, MH, and HIDs will do as long as the seedlings are comfortable.
Week 1 to Week 3
The seedlings begin with only two true leaves. After a couple of days, a third leaf will appear. The plants don’t need any nutrients on the very first week if you’re growing in soil. For those growing in hydroponic setups, reduce the strength of the nutrients by half to allow the seedlings to adjust to them. You can kill the plants faster by overwatering them. Not a myth; it’s a fact. So, go easy on watering. And, make sure that you supply enough water to keep the soil moist. Moist, not dripping wet or dry. As the process of photosynthesis goes on, new sets of leaves will appear.
The seedlings become a little stronger during week 2. You can now introduce nutrients unless you’re using premade organic potting soil. Again, the nutes should be mild as the plants are still fragile. The distance between the lights and the seedlings should be reduced if the seedlings grow lanky.
By week 3, the seedlings show more leaves popping up. Some autoflowers may display their sex at this stage, but if you’ve planted only feminized seeds, you don’t need to worry at all. If using regular seeds, however, it’s important to distinguish between male and female plants. While female plants show their pistils, the males will produce little pollen sacs. It’s a good idea to remove the males since sensimilla buds are preferred. Nutrients can be used at regular strength now, but be cautious to check the plants for any nutrient burn. The seedlings will suffer a bit with low doses of fertilizer or nutrients, but they don’t recover quickly from an overdose or nutrient burn.
Week 4 to Week 6
This is the phase that determines how big the plants grow. You can use several training techniques including LST, Topping and FIMing to increase yields. Many growers make the mistake of introducing bloom nutrients as soon as the plant produces a few pistils, but that’s not how you do it.
Note that some plants may still be in the vegetative stage and nutrients must be provided at full strength based on autoflower feeding schedule recommendations. Also, this depends on the type of fertilizer you’re using. For instance, if you’re growing organically, use organic nutrients according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but make sure that it contains more nitrogen. If you’re using a brand that has two parts of Growth and Bloom fertilizers, use only the “Grow” part during week 4. Most brands of fertilizers provide the numbering of N-P-K to make it easy for you.
For example, if you’re using General Hydroponics, only FloraGro and FloraMicro (micronutrients) should be used during this stage. Remember to regulate the pH constantly when using nutrients, but if you’re using something like the pH Perfect from Advanced nutrients, for instance, pH can take a back seat.
All cannabis plants can have different sizes even if they’re the same age. Gorilla Cookies by Grey_Wolf.
Week 5 begins with the plants producing lush leaves with a few buds appearing slowly. Continue with the “Grow” nutrients even at this stage lest you want the plants to stop growing vertically. This is the stage where an explosion of growth occurs and you need to support it with nitrogen. Using more phosphorous or potassium at this point will force the plant to focus more on the buds rather than growing.
Many growers use bloom nutrients as soon as they enter the 5th week because they are satisfied with the growth of the plants. Some plants like Green Crack and Gorilla Glue have the tendency to grow very large, so you might be tempted to use flowering or bloom nutes. However, the yields can reduce significantly if the plant isn’t allowed to grow to its full potential.
As you enter week 6, the appearance of buds is even more apparent. A little defoliation doesn’t hurt now. Defoliation is the process of removing extra leaves to provide more light to the lower parts of the plant. Don’t overdo it, though, because the plant relies on the leaves to receive nutrients. Continue with nutrients meant for the vegetative stage as the plant will shoot up vertically.
Week 7 to Week 9
The plant is all geared up for its flowering stage and bloom nutrients can be used at full strength. The buds will begin to swell and the unmistakable aroma of sweet cannabis will fill up your tent. The pistils will slowly change colors from white to a light brown or red, depending on the strain.
It’s also a good idea to use nutrients to boost buds to improve the quality. Organic soil growers can use dried and powdered banana peels to introduce more potassium to the soil. The vertical growth stops sometime during week 7 but the plant does everything in its power to increase the size of the buds.
As you enter week 8, the leaves start yellowing a bit, but there’s nothing to be alarmed. This is just a natural way of the plant indicating that it’s nearing the end of its cycle. Continue to use flowering nutrients even as you step into week 9. Don’t forget micronutrients that are added right from week 2. Defoliate the plants again if the bottom parts of the plants display small buds.
Week 10 to Week 11
The plant is almost at the end of its lifecycle. Stop using nutrients and use plain water to remove any chemical buildup. This practice is known as flushing, and it’s very important if inorganic nutrients are used. Flushing also ensures that your buds don’t taste or smell like chemicals and improves the quality of smoke dramatically.
By week 11, all the leaves start turning yellow. Most of the pistils turn amber, indicating that it’s almost time to harvest. Admittedly, many seed companies including Fast Buds tell you that the plant will finish its cycle in 8-9 weeks. And yes, they do finish in 9 weeks if you grow in a good growing environment. However, your plants may take a little bit longer depending on the growing conditions you provide.
I received one seed of this variety as a gift and I can say that this is an excellent quality as always. I think it will be a great product)
You can harvest the plants now by chopping them all one by one. Use sharp sterilized scissors to prevent infecting the buds. Don’t forget to use gloves, especially if you’re harvesting buds of the Gorilla Glue as they are notorious for oozing resin all over.
You have a couple of options when it comes to harvesting, and it all really depends on the size of your plants and the environmental conditions at play. If you have grown plants that are smaller than about 1 meter tall and live in temperate conditions then you can probably get away with cutting the plant at the base of the main stem and just hanging the entire thing. On the other hand, if you have grown massive beasts and live in hot, humid conditions then you probably want to break the plant down branch by branch and hang them all separately to dry.
DRYING, TRIMMING, AND CURING
This is the last stage where the buds are dried, trimmed, and then stored in mason jars. The first decision you have to make is whether you want to wet or dry trim the weed. In almost all circumstances we suggest dry trimming, with wet trimming only being suggested when the ambient temps and humidity is high and you are unable to control the drying environment. There’s a bunch of ways to control the temps and humidity, from AC units and dehumidifiers (or humidifiers depending on the conditions) to heaters, and even your regular oscillating fans.
You want the drying period to be in the goldilocks zone – not too fast and not too slow. The ideal timing is strain-specific to a certain extent and is also dependent on the denseness of the bud, but anywhere between 7 to 14 days is great. To achieve this you want the temps to be anywhere in the range of 60-70°F (that’s 15-22°C) with a relative humidity of 55-65%. If after 2 to 3 days of drying you are not seeing much of a change in the moisture levels in the buds then you need to reassess your setup, as the buds are going to be in dire risk of developing mold issues.
Once they are all nice and dry it’s time to trim. But hold up there cowboy, the last thing you want to do is dive in headfirst with that old sh**ty pair of scissors that have been hanging around your kitchen drawers for the last decade. Trimming is a tedious and annoying job, so do yourself a favor and grab a pair of dedicated trimming scissors to catch all the falling keif. The first time we used a proper trim tray we almost fell off our trimming seat when we realized just how much keif we had been wasting trimming without one.
Curing comes at the last stage, but it’s the most important one if you want top-quality buds. Do not skip this process because all your hard work will be for naught if you skip this one. Again, environmental control is paramount to the success of the curing period. We cure weed to allow the terpene profile to fully maturate and for the capture chlorophyll to dissipate.
For this process to properly take place we need to keep temps around 70°F (22°C) with a humidity level of 60-65%. Place the weed into your resealable glass mason jars, and remember to not overfill them. You want the jars to be no more than around ¾ full so the buds have space and air to breathe. Last but not least, wait for at least 2 weeks to cure the buds even if you’re tempted to smoke them immediately. Doing so will reduce the harshness of the flower and your lungs will certainly thank you for it!
Not all strains will have fully cured in two weeks though, with some flowers taking up to 6 months to finish the maturation period. For the first 10 to 14 days you want to burp each jar once or twice a day to allow the remaining moisture to escape, and then twice a week for the rest of the cure. Can you smoke those buds as soon as they have dried? Of course, you can, but if you really want to get the best out of all of your hard work then be as patient as possible and let the curing process work its magic. It’s quite surprising how much difference just leaving the buds to cure can make to the end of smoke.
The lifecycle of autoflowering cannabis plants is basically the same as photoperiods. There are a couple of differences in how fast they develop and how they grow but most cannabis growers with a couple of grow cycles under the belt can definitely grow autos without any problem at all.
If you’ve grown autoflowers before feel free to share your experience with fellow growers by leaving a comment in the comment section below!