This is perhaps the first and the most important question asked by amateur cannabis cultivators every day. You’ve decided to try your hand at growing cannabis at home, but how long will it take before you reap the rewards of your efforts?
From start to finish, how long does it take from picking up a pack of cannabis seeds to harvesting your very first haul of home-grown weed?
As you’d expect, there are countless factors that can affect the time it takes to grow cannabis. Nevertheless, you can expect the following basic timeframes when cultivating cannabis in a conventional method – i.e. traditional soil growing, rather than hydroponics or aquaponics:
- Seed germination: 1-7 days
- Vegetative stage, anything from three weeks to three months or more, during which your plants dedicate their energy to growing larger and stronger.
- Flowering stage, from as little as five weeks to more than four months, during which your plants’ energy is redirected to producing buds and flowers.
- Drying and curing fresh cannabis – anything from two weeks to six weeks or more.
There are countless factors that can affect the speed (or otherwise) of a cannabis cultivation project. Along with the genetics of the cannabis strains you choose, additional factors like weather conditions, provision of nutrients and your chosen cultivation method will all play a role.
As a general rule of thumb, indoor cultivation paves the way for the fastest possible results. The same can also be said for growing autoflowering strains, which automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage after a predetermined amount of time.
Indica Cannabis Plants: Cultivation Time
Likewise, it’s typically acknowledged that sticking with Indica cannabis strains is a good way of reducing cultivation times. Though not always the case, most Indica strains are characterised by their short size and bushy foliage, often producing generous yields after as little as eight weeks of flowering.
In addition, Indica strains can be comparatively robust and resistant to most common plant diseases and pest infestation. A good autoflowering Indica strain could potentially take you from seed to final harvest in less than three months.
Sativa Cannabis Plants: Cultivation Time
Sativa cannabis strains have a tendency to be slightly more challenging to grow than their Indica cousins. For one thing, it can be tricky to keep certain sativa strains under control indoors, due to the tendency to reach heights of up to 20 feet.In addition, the fact that many sativa specimens grow to such a large size means the overall cultivation time is extended. Flowering times alone can extend beyond three months, following a relatively long vegetative period.
On the plus side, the additional time and effort that goes into cultivating sativa cannabis can be rewarded with exceptional harvests. Which, when you think about it, isn’t surprising – a healthy 20-foot cannabis plant is always going to produce more weed than a comparable two-foot specimen.
Patience is a Virtue…
Whether necessary or simply preferred, it is perfectly possible to produce a healthy yield of cannabis in no time – within as little as three months. Stick with a quality autoflowering Indica strain and you’ll be headed for something special in no time.
Nevertheless, if you’re not in any particular rush, injecting a little patience into your cultivation project could open the door to rich rewards. It’s the classic case of getting out as much as you put in – take your time, give your plants the TLC they need and they’ll give you so much more in return.