The Stages of Cannabis Growth

Posted December 23, 2021 by in Lifestyle
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Growing cannabis can be a super interesting venture. For a beginner trying to grow cannabis, it is however important that you have all the knowledge you will need to grow the plant. Some of the knowledge you will need are the stages of the cannabis plant’s growth as well as the characteristics of each of the stages.

The stages of cannabis growth are listed below:

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Germination Stage

This is the first stage after you have your seeds planted. It can take the seeds anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of weeks to germinate. Before your seeds germinate, you have to acquire your seeds. This can be done through an online seed bank like Herbies or through your local seed bank. Cannabis plants can either be male or female. You’ll want to grow female plants though because they produce the most trichomes. The trichomes are the parts of the marijuana plant that contain the cannabinoids like THC. Male marijuana plants do not produce trichomes and are often used for breeding purposes.

Regular cannabis seeds have a 50% chance of producing either male or female plants. However, cannabis seed banks also sell feminized seeds that produce only female plants. 

Once you acquire your seeds, it is time to plant them and watch them germinate. Make sure the seeds you get are matured. Mature seeds should be hard, dry, and colored brown, while immature seeds may be green and squishy. You will not have to deal with immature seeds if you purchase them from a reputable seed bank like Herbies.

The process of sprouting can be done using different methods like germinating cannabis seeds in water, peat pellets or between wet towels. The basic requirement is that the seeds be kept in a wet and dark place. One of the most common methods involves keeping the seeds sandwiched between wet paper towels. The paper towels will have to be constantly monitored to make sure they are wet. The germination process may take anywhere from a day to two weeks, so you have to be patient. Once the seeds germinate, you will notice the growth of a tap root from the seed. Once the root emerges, you can then transfer the seeds to the soil. After transferring them to the soil, the plants will sprout leaves. Once the leaves are sprouted, the seeds have left the germination stage and have entered the seedling stage. 

Seedling Stage

Once you plant the germinated seeds and they sprout leaves, the plant has entered the seedling stage. This stage usually lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks. The cannabis plant is at its most fragile phase in the seedling stage. The seedling stage begins with the sprouting of two cannabis leaves that open outward from the plant stem. The cannabis plant needs about 16 to 22 hours of sunlight in this stage. It will also begin to grow its roots into the soil during this stage. The amount of time the plant remains in the seedling stage is dependent on factors such as the strain of marijuana you are growing as well as external factors such as sunlight and rain. 

The marijuana plants in the seedling stage do not require massive amounts of water. You should water the seedlings in moderation so that you do not drown them. A lot of marijuana growers keep their seedlings indoors even when they plan to plant them outside to provide maximum care for the plants in this fragile stage. The new leaves on the cannabis plant will often have just one ridged blade. As more leaves sprout, the number of blades per leaf begins to increase. During the seedling stage, supplements you use on the plants should be high in Nitrogen.

A healthy cannabis seedling will have a bright green color. When all new sprouts have the maximum number of leaves, it is an indication that the plant has left the seedling stage. 

Vegetative Stage

The next stage for the cannabis plant after the seedling stage is the vegetative stage. This stage is when the cannabis plant gains most of its growth, and it can take anywhere between 3 and 14 weeks for it to complete this stage. Rapid growth occurs during this period and the plant taps a lot of nutrients from the soil. At this stage, the cannabis plants start to become recognizable. You will only be able to tell a Sativa apart from an Indica at this stage. 

You will have to water your cannabis plant a lot more than you did in the seedling stage due to the great amount of water and nutrients the plant will need to grow at this stage. The vegetative stage is the best time to add supplements to the soil. You begin to be able to differentiate the male plants from the female plants at the end of the vegetative state as this is when the cannabis plant begins to sprout flowers. Male cannabis plants can be identified by their pollen sacs which grow in place of pistils on female plants. The male plants have to be removed immediately to prevent the male plants from pollinating the female plants which will ruin your harvest. 

Flowering Stage

This is the most important stage of the cannabis plant. It takes about 6 to 10 weeks for the cannabis plant to finish flowering. This phase can be triggered in indoor plants by cutting down the amount of light they receive each day. Outdoor plants depend on the sun for light, and so the seasons determine when the flowering stage commences. Once the flowers start to develop, the growth of trichomes is also noticed. The potency of the marijuana you harvest relies heavily on the amount of time the plant spends in the flowering stage. 

Although you can prune or top your plants while they are in the vegetative stage, you mustn’t carry out any pruning during the flowering stage. Buds begin to grow towards the end of the flowering stage. You have to keep an eye on your plants after they enter the flowering stage to know when it is time for harvest. Observing the pistils in one way to check for the maturity of your plants. When they begin to turn brown, your marijuana is ready for harvest. 

Most experts say the best time to harvest your marijuana is when 80 – 90% of the pistils have gone brown, otherwise, your cannabis will be either not ripe enough or too ripe which will affect the taste


Growing cannabis can be a lot of fun. Before you start, though, you have to educate yourself with the laws of your area to make sure that the growth of cannabis is not illegal in your region. 

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