Stages of Cannabis Plant Growth

May 13, 2021

Indoor Cannabis Farming Benefits

Before the widespread legalization of marijuana usage and farming, growing indoors was necessary for concealment but the choice to grow indoors today is primarily due to the favorable environments. Controlling environmental conditions, such as; humidity, temperature, C02, and lighting levels, help create ideal conditions for plant growth through the different stages.

Cannabis Seed Stage

The marijuana plant begins with a seed (most commonly produced by male and female marijuana plants). These seeds can be kept for a long time if kept in a cool dark place and are not exposed to the right growing temperatures. Once the seeds have been exposed to heat and water, the cannabis seeds immediately sprout and begin the germination or "popping" process. Cannabis seeds do not need light when they are germinating. The best results for "popping" are in the dark with the seeds placed between damp towels, in damp pellets, or wet soil. Which way you germinate is up to you; however, if you use the damp paper towel method, keep in mind you will need to transplant these delicate "popped" seeds.

Cannabis Germination Stage

Some seeds germinate very rapidly, while others can take several days. You will know a seed has germinated once the seed's shell has split and a single sprout appears. This sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant. If you germinated your seeds in any way that doesn't have them in soil or a growing medium, you would have to transplant them into some soil or growing medium. This transplanting has its hazards: handling them causes shock, and you can damage the taproot. Germinating in direct soil and growth matter doesn't allow you to see if the seed has "popped visibly" and in some cases, the germination is lower due to overwatering (the soil or growth material should be damp, not wet). Whether you have planted them directly into the soil or growing medium or transplanted them, two cotyledon leaves should appear just above the soil in a few days. Once the plant appears, it will need light and a lot of it. LED grow lights provide the right combination of the light spectrum to ensure the best outcome.

Cannabis Plant Seedling Stage

Your cannabis seedlings require at least 18 hours of light but can be given up to 24 hours of light. 

During this stage, which lasts approximately 3- 6 weeks, you will notice the original leaves developing more, and the root system makes the plant steadier and more robust. The production of chlorophyll becomes paramount from this point on.

Vegetative Stage

The vegetative stage of your plant is where it takes off growing. It can grow 2 inches a day. During this stage, your plant can absorb more nutrients, and it becomes more responsive to light and the light spectrum. If you haven't already, you will need to transplant your plants into larger pots. You will need to increase your watering and begin topping or training your plants. During the end of the vegetative stage, you will distinguish a female cannabis plant by the flowers forming or a male cannabis plant by the pollen sacs forming.

Flowering Stage

The flowering stage of cannabis is the final stage. It is at this stage that the plant is mature enough to reproduce. At the flowering stage, the resin is also visible on the surface of the leaves and buds. The resin contains an active ingredient called THC. Male cannabis plants do not give you any usable amounts of THC, so most growers through them out as soon as they know they are male plants. Growers do this so that the male plants do not pollinate the female plants causing them to produce seeds instead of buds. Once the THC is at its highest level, it is time to harvest.