Jack Frost Landscapes & Garden Center blog for updates on sales and products as well as gardening tips and tricks, recipes, crafts, and more! Amsterdam Seed Supply – Not sure when to harvest Marijuana seeds? Look no further – Buy Marijuana seeds – Discreet shipping Does anyone have any idea how long it takes a seed to form and mature after pollinating ?
Stages of Growing Cannabis
Cannabis, weed, marijuana, kush, ganja – whatever you want to call it, it’s now legal to own and grow in the state of Virginia. So what does this mean for those interested in growing it?
Growing Cannabis for the first time can be quite overwhelming. A quick Google search will lead you to hundreds of results with more information than you can ever sift through. There’s so much to learn – lighting, pH, soils, training methods, curing, and so much more. Where does one start?
It’s really easy to fall down the rabbit hole of information online. The sheer amount of information can almost hinder you when you’re first getting started. I think it’s easiest to just get started and learn as you go.
Starting with gaining a general understanding of the stages of growing Cannabis is a great place to begin before you try growing for the first time. It will help you have a decent idea of what to expect along the way.
How long does Cannabis take to grow?
How long Cannabis takes to grow can vary based on the variety of the plant and conditions it is grown in. On average, from seed to harvest, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks (about 3-8 months). It’s a quicker process if you start with a clone (rooted cutting) or an autoflower seed. The biggest variability in how long a marijuana plant takes to grow will happen in the vegetative stage—after the seedling phase and before flowering.
Stages of Growing Cannabis
Every plant begins with a seed. Cannabis seeds should be germinated just like any other seed. They can take anywhere between 3-10 days to germinate, although it can happen in as few as 24 hours or as long as 2 weeks. To germinate, you can place the seeds in a damp paper towel, which you should then place in a dark place, such as inside a drawer. Check on them after a few days to see if the primary root, called the radicle, has emerged. This will look like a little white “tail” coming out of the seed. Once germinated, move them to damp soil.
Alternatively, you can place the seeds directly in damp soil to germinate and grow, without having the trouble of moving them. For this method, I would recommend a seed starting mix. These are usually lighter and fluffier than traditional potting soil, which gives your fragile germinating seeds a start on the right foot. We carry Coast of Maine Sprout Island Blend Organic Seed Starter Mix. It has additional perlite that aerates the soil and helps prevent damping off. It also has mycorrhizae, worm castings, lobster meal, hen manure, and kelp to get your plants off to a healthy start.
2. Seedling Stage
Once your seed has germinated, it’s now time to move the germinated seed from its paper towel to a growing medium. If you started them in a seed starting mix, you will want to move them from the seed tray to a larger pot with a high-quality potting mix, such as the Coast of Maine Stonington Blend Grower’s Mix. This is a super soil, that works especially well for growing Cannabis. It contains mycorrhizae, kelp, alfalfa meal, fish bone meal, worm castings, perlite, manure, peat, coir, and lobster compost that feed your plant throughout the growing cycle, with no need to use additional nutrients.
Plants are considered seedlings for about 2-3 weeks after germination. During this time, the plant should be moved to a spot with direct sun, if growing outdoors. If growing indoors, set your grow lights to run for 16 hours a day.
3. Vegetative Stage
After the seedling stage, Cannabis plants move to a vegetative stage. This is the time when the plant focuses on leaf production. It will not produce flowers at all during this stage, as the plant needs to grow plenty of leaves to take up enough photons (sunlight) to create the necessary energy to produce large flowers. The vegetative stage can last anywhere from 3 to 16 weeks, depending on the variety.
During this stage, indoor plants need 16-18 hours of light per day, and outdoor plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (“full sun”), plus several hours of indirect sunlight. They will also need plenty of Nitrogen during this point, as Nitrogen is the nutrient that promotes healthy leaf growth.
The flowering stage is the last stage of the Cannabis plant life cycle. This is the time when your plant will stop putting as much energy into leaf growth and will instead focus that energy on creating the flowers (buds), which are used for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Stages of Flowering – Source: Katie Plummer
Cannabis is triggered to flower when the hours of light it receives are reduced. If you’re growing outdoors, you’re at the whim of the seasons and will have to wait until the sun starts to go down in fall for it to flower and then harvest. If you’re growing indoors, you get to play mother nature and can force your plant to flower at any point. When you’re ready for plants to start the flowering stage, change your lights to a 12/12 cycle ( 12 hours with the light on and 12 hours with it off ). You will see signs of flowering in 1-3 weeks . On average plants will be ready to harvest after 8-11 weeks of flowering.
Your plant will be ready to be harvested once flowers are compact and the pistils turn orange/brown. These pistils look like “hairs” coming out of the flowers.
To dry your Cannabis, hang sections of the plant upside down in a dark, cool space, such as a closet. You want to aim for 55-65% humidity and 60-70°F in the spot that you’re drying your plants in. Prolonged periods of light, friction from handling, and humidity/dampness can degrade resin glands, so you will want to avoid all of these.
During the drying process, plants lose roughly 75% of water weight, which increases the cannabinoid to weight ratio. It also helps equalize moisture content, preserve cannabinoids, and shed chlorophyll.
Cannabis is ready to trim once the stem snaps when bent, typically after 3-7 days of drying.
After your plant has dried, it’s time to trim! Trimming makes your fingers very sticky, so wear gloves if this is something you want to avoid. Simply trim off the larger leaves and stems. You can leave smaller sugar leaves if you’d like, as these still contain a good amount of cannabinoids and terpenes that provide the medicinal properties of Cannabis. It’s all personal preference of exactly how much you trim off. And you can save all the trimmings to make edibles, tinctures, salves, and more.
Curing is an essential part and the last stage in growing Cannabis. It helps the buds achieve full aroma. Curing is as simple as placing your freshly trimmed buds in a glass jar with a lid, like a mason jar. You’ll then want to place the jar in a cool, dark place, such as inside a drawer or in a cabinet.
During the first week of curing, you will want to “burp” your jars. This means you should open the containers once or twice a day for a couple minutes to allows moisture to escape and replenish the oxygen inside the container. After the first week, you only need to burp containers once every few days.
You should allow buds to cure for at least 2 weeks, but some people choose to cure for as long as 6 months. This helps stop the loss of moisture and to preserve flavors and aromas.
When To Harvest Marijuana Seeds?
After the whole process of germination, growth and flowering, a lot of growers ask themselves when to harvest Marijuana seeds. Usually, the breeders will include a suggested flowering time for each strain, but as a rule of thumb, Indica marijuana plants harvest in 6-8 weeks while Sativa Marijuana plants take 10-12 weeks.
Look for these signs for when to harvest Marijuana seeds
You can also judge the ripeness of the Marijuana by taking a look at the trichomes; or little hairs/crystals on the flowers and surrounding areas of the Marijuana plant. If they are transparent its still too soon, if they are milky white they are ready and if they turn brown they have become over-ripe. It is also advisable to follow the instructions to harvest Marijuana seeds on the packet since most reputable breeders also have a tried and tested flowering time for optimum ripeness, potency and flavour of a Marijuana strain.
If you meant when to harvest seeds from cross-pollinated Marijuana plants, then the seed will fall from the flower by itself once it is mature and ready to germinate into another Marijuana plant. Usually, as a best practice to harvest Marijuana seeds, some growers wait for the whole flowering cycle to end just as if they were harvesting the flower.
You might find our FAQ Submission How Do I Harvest My Plant? useful
how long for seeds to mature
Thanks Tips, I figured it had to take a least a couple weeks to a month, I pollinated 2 “Bubbalious” with my own Hindu Kush and Bubba- pollen from my first harvest of 2008. Mybe I’ll bust one site open and see !!
I was wondering the samething. I read it was 4-6 weeks for seeds to mature after you pollinate. I have a pollinated plant now that I pollinated 9/9/08 and most of the calyxs look like they are about to burst open any time now. I was thinking it was pretty quick for it to look like that. I was just gonna wait till they open up on there own and I can see them before I do anything.
I just pulled one of the seeds about to pop off mine i pollinated less than 2 weeks ago. I am germing it for fun to see and i think it is starting to crack! A few of the pods will open on theri own early and i her even pop a few seeds out. Some look like they in for the long haul.
I also heard this too, but I did read somewhere on this site where a guy was saying he used fresh seeds just pulled from a female and they germinate fine . No dry time at all. From calyx to germinating. So I don’t know how true this is any more if it can be done with no dry time. But I really have no idea. Just going by what others have posted about.
My experience has always been about 4 weeks to finish. If possible leave your seeds in the bud until ready to use, no contaminates that way..
old post, i know but i have had seeds germinate within 3 weeks of pollination of the flower. i had a nice skunk #1 growing outdoors one time, and decided to pollenate a couple of branches ( i use the old tried and true Q tip pollination method. collect your pollen on a Q tip from the male flowers elsewere, take it into the flowering room,pollenate the branches, and dispose of the Q tip). i noticed nice fat seeds about 2 weeks later. right after that we had a freak storm, some of the seeds became dislodged, and 3 days later i noticed sprouts under the brackes where the seeds were. pretty amazing.
For average strains seeds mature between 2-4 weeks. But like others said, it is dependent on what strain it is. I also made my own cross between auto ruderalis strain with a photoperiod strain. These you should just like with any strain wait til the pods open. Cali connect jam crazy x dina fem critical auto. Male had resin glands and the auto fem was resinous. Place a paper down on the base to catch the seeds when they drop. As with the flowering time its the same with breeding patience. Its fun to you get to play god mwahhh hahaha
Also just crossed DNA with Annunaki hash plant male with delicious seeds super critical sensi star,also used tthe male to cross with my prized satori.
Don’t go by time, go by what you see. Once the green around the seed goes tan and cracks – seed is ready. just like flower, some buds/seed mature before others, so you should harvest bud by bud. I have always pollinated the whole plant – due to seed development steal away good bud. I have never had good luck trying to get a plant to seed and give me good bud.
I let mine go until some are ready to fall out. On some plants I’ve pollinated a branch or two. The unpollinated bud is ready before the seeds are fully ripe. In that case you have to harvest at different times.
ime while you may see some seeds form after a couple of weeks, they won’t be viable/ready for 3-4 weeks after pollination with most cuts. I also wait 3-4 weeks after harvesting them as any tests I’ve done have shown poor germ rates until they hit 3-4 weeks from harvest, at that point they’re pretty well 100%.