Outdoors, flowering occurs naturally when the plant receives less light each day as summer turns into fall. Indoor growers can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing the amount of light marijuana plants receive from 16 to 12 hours a day.
Harvest happens sometime between September and November. This depends on your local climate, as well as the weather that particular year—one year it could be the end of September, the next, end of October, and growers in the Pacific Northwest will have to pull down their crops earlier than those in Northern California.
Everything should be cleaned up, dried, and curing well before the Winter Solstice. Now’s a good time to make your own cannabutter, topicals, or tinctures with all that trim from the harvest. Kick your feet up, relax, and hunker down for the cold, it’s been a long growing season!
Seedling stage length: 2-3 weeks
Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day
Cannabis plants are considered seedlings until they begin to develop leaves with the full number of blades on new fan leaves. A healthy seedling should be a vibrant green color.
If you’re growing outdoors in the Northern Hemisphere, growers usually get their seeds between February and April, and you should start your seeds by the end of April. Some growers will start their seedlings inside in a more controlled environment because seedlings are more delicate, and then put their seeds in the ground outside once they’re a little bigger. If you’re growing clones or autoflowers, you have a grace period of another month or so. Plants usually need to be outside, in the ground, by the end of June.
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As mentioned above, you can skip the processing of sexing weed plants by growing with feminized seeds or clones.
Most seeds that you will buy are regular seeds as described above, but here are a couple more types.
Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take a while, but generally, seeds should germinate in 3-10 days. If it’s been two weeks and a seed hasn’t sprouted, it’s probably a dud and won’t sprout.
Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds
There are a few indicators that will give you a sense of whether the seed is worth germinating.
Autoflowering strains require some preparation, as they will grow quickly and start to flower whether or not you’re ready for them.
Cannabis used for hemp production has been selected for other traits, including a low THC content, so as to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. Consequently, many varieties of hemp produce significant quantities of CBD.
Another drawback to clones is they can take on negative traits from the mother plant as well. If the mother has a disease, attracts pests, or grows weak branches, its clones will probably have the same issues.