Understanding the Five Main Growth Stages of Cannabis


Presently, growing marijuana is legal in 21 states of the US, plus the District of Columbia. The number of plants you may grow varies, and while some states allow individuals to grow cannabis for recreational use, others are limited to cultivating weed for medicinal use only.

Still, If you are privileged enough to live in one of these locations, the chance to grow marijuana from seed to stash may joyously present itself. And because of the tremendous healing and recreational benefits of the plant, you may not want to squander such an opportunity. At the very least, growing a plant or two can be therapeutic in and of itself, and may even become part of a lifelong hobby.  

If you have any interest in growing marijuana,  it is imperative to acquaint yourself with the various stages of cannabis plant life cycle. This ranges from selecting the right seeds to harvesting your crop.

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Stages of Cannabis Plant Growth

At the very least, having some modest know-how of what happens during the different life cycles of the plant can make you a better gardener.  And if you have no interest in growing whatsoever, knowledge of how your favorite herb goes through each stage of growth will make you a better consumer.

Stage 1:  Selecting the Right Cannabis Seed

There exist two types of cannabis seeds; male and female.  It is of utmost importance that a farmer differentiates between the two before allowing them to germinate. This is because male and female marijuana seeds produce different plants. You are after the Trichomes, which are essentially the heart of the cannabis plant, so you want to germinate the female seeds only.

The Biology behind this is that only the female plant produces the flowers that are harvested and dried for use. The male marijuana plant is only useful in pollinating the female plant. It is not recommended that you ever grow the female plant alongside the male plant. Essentially, male marijuana plants must be separated from the female plants, so when choosing the seed to germinate, you want to stay clear of the male seeds.

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Stage 2: Germinating Your Cannabis Seeds

Once you are confident that you have selected the best female seeds, it is now time to germinate the seeds. Here, you will recall your kindergarten teacher, who taught you that moisture is essential for seeds to germinate.

As you learned in the early classroom, you will need to place your marijuana seeds in a damp place for germination to happen. You can put them in a cup of water or fold them in a wet cloth, and then position them in a warm and dark place for about 24 hours.  Within this timeframe, the seeds will be sure to have sprouted ambitious taproots.

At this point, you will need to remove the seeds from the cup of water or the wet cloth and plant them where you have pre-prepared your soil. When planting, be aware of the fact that the marijuana plant often grows very tall, and, as such, it is important to give each plant plenty of space to grow.

Step 3: The Cannabis Seedling And Vegetation Phase

After placing your seeds in fertile soil with a well-balanced ratio of nutrients, a frail stalk of the marijuana plant will sprout up and begin to grow its first two leaves. The time the two embryonic leaves will take to grow varies with each seedling and may take 2-3 weeks.  The growth is dependent upon various factors.

These factors may include the frequency of watering and the amount of water channeled to the seeds, the type of soil, and the light cycle. This stage may also vary depending upon the particular strain of the seed,  airflow, and overall humidity. As the plant continues to grow, more leaves are produced.

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Step 4:  Flowering Stage

As the plant develops, the root system grows and the stem becomes thicker and supports more branches which in turn encourages more leaves. With regular watering, an abundant supply of organic nutrients, and plenty of soil space, it will take one plant roughly 6-8 weeks to start flowering.

However, do not be alarmed if the plant takes more or less time to start flowering, as the factors mentioned above influence it. With time, these buds begin producing milky-white pistils.

Step 5:  Harvesting Your Marijuana Plants

Timing your harvest is just as crucial as the initial stage of selecting the seeds to plant.   Once the milky-white pistils on the flowers start transforming color to include stains of red and orange, the plant is ready.

To harvest your buds at full THC concentration, do not wait for the pistils to wither and fall off.

For the actual harvesting, use a pair of well-sharpened scissors to carefully cut the plant.  Detach it from its roots before cutting it into sizeable pieces to ease the drying process.

Having come this far, you can take pride and delight in growing your own high-quality hemp. Equally as enjoyable will be the various medicinal and recreational benefits at your disposal, courtesy of the marvelous cannabis plant.

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