The idea of the following article is to provide you with valuable information about the growth of marijuana, its phases and some tips. First, we recommend you not to harvest your plants as soon as possible. Each variety and each strain follow a life cycle that we must respect if we want to achieve optimum development and a quality product.
The time of germination, growth and flowering of marijuana is relative; each variety follows a different tempo, even each strain, which is why it is impossible to determine or pre-establish a generic time for cannabis.
Anyway, we will try to give you some advice to guide you as best as possible and that you can control the growth of your crop. If we want to specify about the life cycles of the cannabis plant, we must highlight three main phases: germination, growth and flowering.
The germination process.
First, there is the germination process. This is usually the process that people give least importance to, but, it is of vital importance because if we do not do it correctly we can spoil the seeds. The techniques for germination are very diverse, from the typical technique that uses a napkin or wet paper, to the use of stimulators or planting the seed directly in soil, on a jiffy disc or in a glass with water.
The best thing to do is to use the napkin or wet paper and, as for the time, to re-emphasize that it is relative. It will not only depend on the conditions of water, humidity or oxygenation, we will also have to consider the quality of the seed, its fertility, the variety or strain in question. However, the seeds usually take between 24 and 72 hours to germinate. Sometimes we find seeds that can take 5,10 or 15 days to arrive.
The Growth or Vegetative Stage:
Secondly, we find the growth or vegetative phase. This phase is central to the development of the plant and therefore one of the main concerns for cannabis growers. It is in this phase, when the seed has been germinated and planted, in which the plant acquires its morphology and its optimal size to later be able to produce the flowers (our harvest).
During this phase the plant needs a lot of direct sun-light as it is developing.
Now, we are in the greatest photoperiod of the plant, between eighteen hours of light by six hours of darkness. The hours of darkness are also of vital importance as they will produce the correct exchange of gases. This exchange is essential for the optimal metabolic development of the plant cells of our strains. The length of time that plants should be growing will be determined by various factors such as environmental (temperature, light, humidity), plant (variety and strain) and external factors (fertilizers, soil quality or the grower’s experience).
Another factor will be whether the plant is regular or autoflowering. In the second case, all phases are shortened, as they are genetically engineered plants designed to develop as quickly as possible. On the other hand, it will also depend on whether we plant it outdoors or indoors. It should be noted that in indoor cultivation also shorten the phases, and depending on our luminous power, the times will be lengthened or shortened even more. Therefore, to pre-establish the time of growth is very complicated; to general features we could say that in an interior the autoflowering seeds we would let them grow between 3 or 4 weeks, depending on the culture technique, and 6 or 8 weeks for the feminized or regular seeds.
The flowering phase:
On the other hand, we have the third phase, flowering. This phase is the last stage of plant development and one of the most important. The beginning of this period will be determined by the hours of light, outdoor, or by the development of the plant during the growth phase, indoor. Since the interior can control the moment in which we want it to start blooming, we must wait for the plant to have the right physiognomic characteristics to produce good buds.
In autoflowering varieties, the beginning of the flowering phase will mark them themselves, while in feminized or regular seeds, we should be the ones who, through the change of photoperiod, point out when they should start to flower (setting 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness). Another issue is outdoor, where the calendar will determine the tempo. As for determining the end of the flowering process, point out that it is something completely subjective. There are people who prefer to wait more or less, although there are certain factors that can give us a general idea.
End of Flowering and Harvest:
Firstly, the development of buds, which should fatten to cover most pistils. Secondly, the correct maturation and oxidation of the buds, which will be determined by the color and shape of the pistils and trichomes, which may be orange or brown in color. Finally, the hardness of the bud can also be an indicator of the time of cutting, although there are varieties that produce softer buds and therefore this indicator does not always work. However, we can point out that autoflowering plants will usually complete their flowering in eight weeks, whereas feminized plants can take up to ten, twelve or even thirteen weeks.
By way of conclusion, as we have seen throughout the article, the duration of the periods is very relative and depends on a great variety of factors. However, some generic and approximate calculations can always be offered to guide the grower.
We establish, therefore, that for the correct development of an autoflowering marijuana plant, we must wait approximately three months; while for a feminized plant, the period is extended to four or five months. These have been some advices to help you with your crop, since Gea Seeds recommend you perseverance and a lot of patience to get the best result.