Now that marijuana has been legalized in states across the country - including Michigan - more people than ever before are interested in trying their hand at growing their own pot. Home growing is a great way to know exactly what you are getting, as you can control every aspect of the process, from the seeds that you use to the nutrients that you give your plants to thrive.
Even if you are an experienced home gardener, you may have questions about growing marijuana...like how long it will take to grow weed indoors. The short answer is that it should take between 3 to 5 months from germination to harvest and cure. There are a number of different factors that can affect the amount of time that it takes to grow marijuana indoors, which is why it is important to do your research before embarking on your project.
At Grow Green Wellness, we are committed to helping home growers get the information, tools, and supplies that they need to be successful. If you are interested in this new world of home growing marijuana, we are here to help.
The Life Cycle of the Marijuana Plant
To get a better understanding of how long it will take to grow pot indoors, you will first need to know a little more about marijuana. A member of the Cannabineae family, it is part of a genus of flowering plants known as cannabis. There are three categories of cannabis plants: Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Indica.
The typical lifecycle of a marijuana plant includes four stages:
- Seed germination, which is the process where a plant grows from a seed or a spore. Seed germination requires the proper levels of water, oxygen, temperature, and light or darkness.
- Seedling, which is the plant that emerges from a seed that has been germinated. Once a seed opens up and starts to show its first white tap root, it can be placed in a small pot with a growing medium. After the plant produces the first two oval leaves (cotyledons), it is considered a seedling.
- Vegetative state, which is the period of growth between germination and flowering. During this phase, plants are carrying out photosynthesis to accumulate resources that will be needed for flowering and reproduction.
- Flowering state, which is where a tiny flower begins to form inside of a small bud. The bud eventually opens to reveal a mature flower, which is the reproductive part of the plant. Once these buds have sufficiently fattened, they will be ready to harvest. For cannabis plants, there are 5 stages of flowering:
- Transition to flowering;
- Budlet formation;
- Buds begin to fatten up;
- Buds ripen and pistils darken; and
- Flowering ends and the buds are read to harvest.
Each of these stages takes a certain amount of time, depending on a number of factors. The type of strain that you grow, the way that your grow is set up, and the desired size of your plants can all influence the amount of time that it will take to grow marijuana indoors. On average, you can expect that it will take 3 to 5 months to grow marijuana from seed.
How Long Will It Take Me to Grow Marijuana Indoors?
When you grow marijuana indoors, you are able to control factors like light and humidity in a way that you cannot do if you plant cannabis outside. For example, you can use a grow tent to create an ideal temperature and humidity for your plants.
Remember that each person may have different results, depending on your setup and other factors. On average, you can expect the following:
- Seed germination: 3 to 10 days
- Seedling state: 2 to 3 weeks
- Vegetative state: 4 to 8 weeks
- Flowering state: 8 to 11 weeks
All together, it may take as little as 14 weeks (3.5 months) to go from seed to flower, or as long as 23 weeks (5+ months). You should also factor in the time that it takes for you to gather the necessary equipment, including clones or seeds, soil, and nutrients, and set everything up. Depending on where you buy the supplies and your skill level, this could take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks.
After the buds are harvested, you will need to hang them to dry, and then place them in glass jars for curing. This stage takes at least 2 weeks, and is necessary to produce a high quality end product.
Keep in mind that the choices that you make along the way will affect the length of time that it takes to grow marijuana indoors. If you choose to grow an Indica strain of cannabis, for example, the plants may require as little as 8 to 10 weeks in the flowering state to be ready for harvest. By contract, a Sativa strain may take 10 to 12 weeks in the flowering state. To shorten the growing time, you may choose to grow a hybrid - which may complete the flowering state in 6 to 10 weeks.
If you want to minimize the amount of time that it takes to grow a marijuana plant indoors, consider doing the following:
- Germination state: optimize the temperature, humidity, air and water conditions. If you have access to clones, you can skip the germination step and reduce overall growing time.
- Seedling state: make sure that you keep your cannabis seedlings in a relatively warm (71.6 to 80.6 degrees F), moist (65 to 80% humidity) environment, with plenty of light (ideally, a blue spectrum light). Keeping the seedling in a relatively small pot allows the root system to develop with a lower risk of overwatering.
- Vegetative state: set a feeding schedule for your plants, and follow it. Make sure that you keep the humidity at 40 to 60%, and maintain a warm environment. Transplant your plants as needed to avoid them becoming rootbound. The soil pH level should be between 6 and 7, and the plants should be watered regularly - but not overwatered. If you want a higher yield, keep your cannabis plants in the vegetative state for as long as possible.
- Flowering state: this can be triggered by changing the light schedule to 12 hours on/12 hours of darkness. At this stage, your plants will need a higher light intensity, slightly cooler temperatures, and 40 to 50% humidity. They will also need a higher dosage of flowering nutrients. The specific strain that you choose will have the biggest impact on the length of time that it takes for your plants to flower.
It is normal to want to harvest your crop as soon as possible - but the saying “patience is a virtue” exists for a reason! If you try to rush your plants through any of these stages, you will likely end up with a much lower yield - and the bud may be of poorer quality. By allowing sufficient time for your plants to progress through each stage of the life cycle, you will harvest more marijuana - and have better overall results.
Ready to Get Growing? We Can Help.
Growing marijuana at home can be both exciting AND daunting. If you are ready to give it a try, Grow Green Wellness is here to help.
Based in Michigan, our company is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of indoor marijuana growers. We offer a full range of products - including grow tent kits, nutrients and accessories - that will allow you to grow like a pro. To learn more or for assistance choosing a product, give us a call at 616-536-2041 or fill out our online contact form.