Some say that to grow cannabis at home to be proud of, it takes time, effort and patience. But what kind of time and patience are we talking about? Weeks? Months?
Truth is, it’s actually possible to grow cannabis at home in a relatively short period of time. Every project is unique, but you’ll typically be looking at a total cultivation time of between 8 weeks and 16 weeks.
Not that this takes into account the drying and curing process, but we’ll get to that a little later.
For the most part, how long it takes to grow cannabis at home it comes down to the length of two primary cultivation phases:
- Vegetative phase
- Flowering phase
Neither of these can or should be rushed, but don’t necessarily need to take forever to get the job done. In any case, there’s one guaranteed method that can help anyone looking to grow cannabis at home as quickly as possible.
Autoflowering and Photoperiod Cannabis
Most cannabis plants are photosensitive. In their natural habitat, they’re genetically programmed to begin flowering at a certain time of year.Specifically, when hours of daylight are reduced and the nights draw it. At which point, they begin flowering and producing the bud you’ll eventually harvest.
Meanwhile, autoflowering cannabis has been precision-engineered to start flowering at a predetermined time. Irrespective of the time of year and dark/light cycles, the formation of flowers begins when the time comes. As a result, autoflowering strains produce usable weed much faster. So again, if the priority is to grow cannabis at home as quickly as possible, this is the way to go.
With an autoflowering strain, it’s possible to begin harvesting buds after around 8 to 12 weeks.
Photoperiod Cannabis Plants
With regular cannabis plants, the overall cultivation period can be significantly longer. This depends primarily on the time of year you plant your seeds, or how you manually alter dark/light cycles indoors. Whereas autoflowering cannabis spends just a few weeks in the vegetative stage, regular cannabis can grow for several months.
The result of which is a marked difference in the size and the resulting output of the plants in question. With traditional cannabis plants, a growth phase of several months followed by up to 14 weeks of flowering can produce absolutely enormous yields. Sometimes as high as 2 kg per plant. By contrast, an autoflowering strain that spends just a few weeks growing and flowering isn’t going to produce nearly as much. On average, perhaps 500g per plant, depending on the strain.
Of course, all of the above will be influenced by a variety of factors. Cultivation conditions, provision of nutrients and so on can all affect the speed and success of cannabis grow.
If you choose to stick with photoperiod cannabis varieties, however, this will take much longer as your plants will have to pass through their regular vegetative phase (which can last only a few weeks or several months) as well as their flowering period, which can last between 6-9 weeks for indicas and 8-14 weeks for sativas.
Remember, these are just ballpark figures. The exact flowering periods of your plants will vary depending on the exact genetics you’re working with.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Grows
Last up, if you grow cannabis at home in a controlled indoor environment, you have total control over when your plants start flowering. In the case of autoflowering strains, they’ll switch when the time is right on their own.
With regular cannabis, you can simply adjust the lighting cycles in your growroom to trigger flowering when you want.