Seed germination length: 3-10 days
We can’t stress enough that the timeframes in the above graphic are ranges of time for the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll need to adjust them based on your specific region and local weather and climate.
Notes on marijuana growth phases
Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks
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.
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.
This means you could theoretically veg your photoperiod cannabis plant as long as you want. This is also what many growers do to keep their mother plants viable for a long time. But unless you’re growing mothers, you will normally want to veg your plants until they have reached a certain height, before initiating flowering by switching your timer to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
How long it takes for cannabis to mature its buds can vary greatly depending on genetics. Some indicas bred for speed can be ready after 5–7 weeks of bloom. However, the average flowering time for most indicas and hybrids is usually 7–10 weeks depending on the strain.
On average, when growing indicas and hybrids in a typical indoor setting, the vegetative stage will last 4–6 weeks.
PREPARATION TIME BEFORE YOU GROW
• Time after harvest (2–4+ weeks) – After you’ve harvested your plants, you still need to dry and cure your buds before you can enjoy them.
Once you’ve planted your freshly sprouted seeds with the first set of embryonic leaves (cotyledons) popping out of the shell, this is when the seedling stage of cannabis begins. These baby plants are only a few centimetres tall and have just one or two sets of tiny leaves. It will still take some days until your seedling will start to look like an actual cannabis plant with the typical serrated leaves. The seedling stage will normally last 10–15 days or until your young cannabis plant has grown 3–4 leaf nodes. Around this time, your plant will officially enter the vegetative growing stage.
3. Vegetative stage (2–8+ weeks) – The vegetative stage could last indefinitely if we’re talking photoperiod (non-autoflowering) strains. Most growers let their plants vegetate for a month or two, or until their plant has a reached a certain size. Bigger plants can mean bigger yields, but how long you veg depends on available growing space.
Germinating your seeds is the first “serious” step when growing weed. If something goes wrong with germinating, such as low-quality or old seeds that won’t “pop”, there won’t be much to grow after all. But you needn’t worry if you get your seeds from RQS, as our cannabis seeds are among the best-quality specimens on the market with the best germination rates.
What if time is not an issue?
The time from seed to smokable harvest averages 3-3.5 months for me with a strain like Northern Lights, where I grow the plants for 3-4 weeks in the vegetative stage, growing with cheap, regular CFL lights in coco coir, and with that setup I can get a few easy ounces per plant.
In order to achieve the shorter 8.5 weeks, you need to choose a fast-finishing strain like Northern Lights and even still, at the low range, you’ll be growing tiny plants that produce just a few grams of smokable harvest.
Strains from warm climates like Haze 1 tend to have long flowering periods before their buds are ready to harvest, adding weeks or months to the time needed. Long-flowering strains often produce higher yields than short-flowering strains because buds have more time to grow.
One of the fastest grow methods is growing marijuana with bubbleponics, which shaves a few weeks off the total time and will actually increase your yields, but it requires a bit more equipment to get started.
How to grow marijuana as quick as possible:
These factors have the greatest impact on total time: