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.
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.
From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a Smokable Harvest, you’re looking at 8.5 weeks – 7+ Months. Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months.
Once your plant is harvested, there is a drying and curing process which takes about a minimum of two weeks before your buds are “ready” for use.
These factors have the greatest impact on total time:
Additionally, many growers prefer to ‘cure’ their buds for longer than the 2-week minimum for added flavor and bag appeal, which accounts for why some grows could take several months from seed to smokable harvest.
Important Milestones in the Marijuana Plant’s Life
Two rounded cotyledon leaves will grow out from the stem as the plant unfolds from the protective casing of the seed. These initial leaves are responsible for taking in sunlight needed for the plant to become healthy and stable.
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.
What are a weed plant’s growth stages?
Take meticulous notes on when and how you perform each step, as well as what the weather is like. Other notes can include how much water you give plants, at what intervals, and how much nutrients you give them. Pictures will also give you a better sense of how your plants look along the way.
The growth stages of marijuana can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest:
If you’re growing indoors, you can force a weed plant to flower after only a few weeks when it’s small, or after several weeks when it’s big. If you’re growing outdoors, you’re at the whim of the seasons and will have to wait until the sun starts to go down in fall for it to flower and then to harvest.
The length of the bloom stage varies greatly. The primary factor that determines how long a plant takes to reach harvest time is the strain.
Once the root has grown to 0.1 to 0.2 inches (3 to 5 mm), it is time to plant it in a growing medium like soil, if you did not germinate it directly in the medium. It then takes a few more days for the plant to sprout and the first leaves to grow.
You could also run your lights 24 hours per day. This speeds up growth, but also has negative effects on your plants. We do not recommend this either.
This should also help you see where you can cut out some time and shorten the process. For example, you can see in the graph below that the flowering stage takes up the most time, so there should be some opportunity to speed things up there.
If you are starting with seeds, you will need to germinate them first, before they can begin growing. Whether you germinate them in something like a rapid rooter, on a paper towel, or directly in soil, it generally takes a day or two for the tap root to emerge from the seed.
You also have to remember that your plants will approximately double in size from the beginning of the flowering stage to the end. This means you want to take them out of vegging when they are about half of the final desired size.
Once your seeds have sprouted or your clones have rooted, it is time for vegging. This stage can take as long as you like when growing indoors (unless you are growing an autoflower strain), but should last at least 3 weeks for most plants.