How Long Does it Take to Grow Weed?
In this easy-to-follow guide, you’ll learn the following:
- How long weed takes to grow
- Which strains are plants that grow fast
- Average yield of marijuana plant
- How to grow plants indoors or outdoors (briefly)
Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll be prepared to start planning for growing your own marijuana. However, our how-to guide should only be used as a starting point. There are a lot of intricate parts involved in growing marijuana and a lot of things you have to watch and handle with care. We recommend researching heavily before you actually embark on this adventure so you can preserve your investment and have a good yield once the flowering phase is complete and you're ready to harvest.
Looking for an indica strain to try your green thumb out on? These Original Glue Auto seeds are an easy-to-grow option that can be grow inside or outside.
The result? A citrusy, earthy, kushy, piney, sour strain that will leave you happy, relaxed, talkative and feeling powerful!
For those seeking a hybrid 50/50 indica/sativa strain, we recommend trying out these Sublimator Feminised Seeds.
A cross between Sour Banana and GG#4, Sublimator produces large yields and high resin counts. We like the versatility of this strain, for it's (obviously) great to smoke, but it's also a great option if you're hoping to make concentrates.
Work on that green thumb with these tips! Photo: @dragon_grow_z
How long does it take for cannabis to grow?
The short and simple answer is that it takes approximately three to four months for the marijuana life cycles to complete, from bud to bloom.
That being said, there are a lot of contributing factors that can change this time estimation. Will you be among the indoor growers or the outdoor growers? What types of nutrient requirements does your particular marijuana plant need based on the soil you're using? Do you have the appropriate width for bushy indica plants, or the appropriate height for taller sativa strains? Even being in the northern hemisphere vs. the southern can make a difference when you're growing! Marijuana growers have a lot to consider when raising up their lil' baby cannabis plants, but the time, energy and tender loving care is well worth it in the end!
The big factors for how long before buds appear are the following:
- Desired yields
- Growing method
There are a few strains that grow faster than others, which we’ll cover in our guide a little further down. The method you choose to grow marijuana with also plays a key role in the speed at which your marijuana grows.
The role your desired yield plays is a little different, though. If you have your heart set on yielding a large crop and aren’t willing to compromise, your hands are a bit tied when it comes to your growing time. You’re stuck waiting until your cannabis hits the desired yield, no matter how long the growth phase takes.
Your grow room could be looking just as magnificent! Photo: @greenfusionled
How to grow plants indoors quickly:If you want to minimize your time as much as possible, you’ll need to follow these steps to ensure you’re 1) using the right strain that flowers quickly, 2) using the best and most efficient growing method, and 3) willing to compromise on your yield.
Step One: Picking the right strainThe first step in growing plants quickly at home is to pick a strain that won’t take too long to grow. With a strain like Northern Lights, you can get a decent harvest from your plant in about three to three-and-a-half months.
Step Two: Choosing the right growing method
Have you wondered how long it takes for marijuana plants to bud and how much marijuana does a plant produce? Before you start growing, you need to pick the growing method that works for you and your space; what you choose has a huge influence on the time to grow. You have to be sure to choose the right growing method to maximize your yield and minimize your growing time.
We recommend growing with bubbleponics. This method can take weeks off your end time and can actually increase the amount of marijuana you yield. However, it does take a bit more equipment to get started than other methods.
You can also use the FloraNova Feeding Chart and line of products. By providing your plants with the right nutrients, they are more likely to grow quickly and strongly into all they were meant to be! Check out our post that details the different ways to use the FloraNova Feeding Chart.
Cannabis grow chart
There are a few milestones your precious Weed Garden will pass throughout the growing process of which you should be aware. There are all sorts of grow charts out there depending on what type of growing method you're using. A google search for "grow chart _______" (insert grow method such as "hydroponics" or "outdoors") should yield you some good results to reference.
Seeding stageWithin the first week, you’ll want to germinate your seeds. Seed germination is what wakes your seeds up and gets them to enter the seedling stage; this is where it all begins.
Seedlings can sprout in just a day, so be sure to keep an eye on them daily. Even if they don't sprout the first day, after three to five days they should be ready.
Vegetative stageOnce the seeds have sprouted, you'll enter what's known as the vegetative phase (or stage). It can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks or more. It’s largely up to you when you take your plant out of the vegetative stage, but it usually needs to be in this stage for a minimum of 3 weeks.
It’s important to note that cannabis buds won’t start to form until 2 to 3 weeks into the vegetative phase. Growers typically let their plants sit in this vegetative stage for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
To ensure you get the maximum yield, you’ll want to have a large plant by the end of the vegetative stage as that will produce more buds. Ensure the plant has plenty of light, otherwise all your efforts are for naught. The recommended amount is 18 hours of light to simulate the day, and 6 hours of dark. It may be worth investing in a grow light so you can fully regulate how many hours of light your cannabis plants are getting.
Flowering stageThis is where things start to get really exciting, as your beautiful, lush cannabis plants start to develop their bud sites and enter the flowering period. The flowering stage usually lasts from 4 weeks up to 3 months or more. This stage has more of a specific timeline than the others:
- Weeks 1-3 - Transition stage
- Weeks 3-4 - Start of buds forming
- Weeks 4-6 - Buds fatten up
- Weeks 6-8 - Buds ripens
- Weeks 8-12+ - Final flush of flowering - harvest time
The length of time necessary for the bud to be in the flowering stage depends heavily on the cannabis strains you're growing. Below, we’ve included a list of strains that qualify for each time period needed for the flowering stage to help guide you in the right direction.
Make your dreams of flower like this come to life! Photo: @strainhype
Short flowering stage (six to eight weeks)
- Northern light
- Critical mass CBD
- Quick critical +
- Frisian dew
- Seedsman fast collection
- Blue cheese
- Auto-flowering ultimate
- Other auto-flowering strains
Medium flowering stage (eight to twelve weeks)
- Pineapple chunk
- Original amnesia
- Supreme CBD durban
- Gelat OG
- Strawberry lemonade
- Liberty haze
- Wedding gelato
- Peyote critical
- Gorillz zkittlez
Long flowering stage (twelve to fourteen weeks or more)
- Haze strains and Sativa haze strains
- Arjan’s ultra haze #1
How much weed does one plant yield?
Just like the rate at which your plant grows, the yield varies based on your growing method and the strain. Factors such as how many hours of light is your marijuana plant exposed to, what's the average temperature, are you growing indoors or growing outdoors, etc., are all factors that will impact the time needed for a cannabis plant to reach its full potential.
It's also important to remember that once cannabis plants have reached their full plant development and you're ready to harvest, you still need to undergo the drying process and curing process. We covered different methods of drying and curing here!
This beauty has clearly been well cared for! Photo: @nugshot.casa
3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft cabinet
200-watt CFL lamp
About 1.5-2.0 oz (3.5 oz for advanced growers)
3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft cabinet
250-watt HPS lamp
About 3.0-5.0 oz (9.0 oz for advanced growers)
3.5 x 3.5 x 7 ft room
400-watt HPS lamp
About 4.5-9.0 (14 oz for advanced growers)
4 x 4 x 8 ft room
600-watt HPS lamp
About 5.0-10 oz (21 oz for advanced growers)
5 x 5 x 8 ft room
1000-watt HPS lamp
About 250-500 grams (1000 oz for advanced growers)
Those that grow outside have less control over their plants and what happens to them, including how long from seedling to vegetative and how much weed you yield. This is because you can’t control the elements your plant(s) is exposed to or the exact amount of nutrients it receives.
Under the absolute perfect conditions, an outdoor weed plant can yield as much as 17.5 oz per plant. To get this type of yield, everything has to go as planned with the weather, nutrients, and the size the plant has to grow into.
ConclusionWhether you’re wanting to grow inside or outside, there’s a fair bit of research you’ll need to conduct first. Beyond all the tools and supplies you’ll need to purchase, you may also want to know the answers to the following questions:
- How long does weed take to grow outdoors
- How long does it take to get weed out
- How does marijuana grow
- How long does it take for marijuana seeds to sprout
- Which strains have quick sprouting flower seeds
- How long does it take to grow hydroponic weed
- How many cannabis plants should you grow at once
- What's the difference between autoflowering strains and non-autoflowering?
- How to dry weed
Those questions only touch the surface of growing marijuana. If you’re thinking of jumping into this on your own, don’t get in over your head. Stay smart and put your patience cap on; every cannabis grower had to start somewhere! Make sure to do the proper research and care for the plants properly. Otherwise, you’re out your money and have absolutely no smoke to show for it.
With the right knowledge, tools and patience you'll be happily be trimming bud after bud!
What a beauty, with her dew drop leaves! Photo: @crackerblacks_cannabis
Can’t get enough? Here are some great research topics that will help to further your growing knowledge:
- Which strain of marijuana should I grow?
- What's the difference between growing sativa strains, hybrid strains, or indica strains?
- Where’s the best place to grow marijuana inside?
- How long does marijuana last?
- How to grow weed in your back yard
- What's the best seed bank to get seeds from? (We recommend Seedsman)
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
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