Cannabis Life Cycle: Different Stages You Should Know

If you want to cultivate cannabis in the comfort of your home, then you must learn and understand the changes that a cannabis plant undergoes throughout its life cycle. Keep in mind that cannabis seeds needs different care in every growth stage.

Like other living things, a cannabis plant goes through different stages as it grows. The Montana State Legislature said cannabis is a unisexual flowering plant that germinates from seed, matures, reproduces, and dies in a year if growing wild.

Various stages call for varying amounts of nutrients, light, and water. These stages help every cannabis grower determine the right time for pruning and training their plants. Determining the plant’s sex and overall health depend on the growth stages, too.

The life cycle of a cannabis plant consists of 4 major phases from seeds to harvest:

  • Germination
  • Seeding
  • Vegetative
  • Flowering

Stage 1: Seed Germination

The light cycle for this stage is 18 hours of light. The 1st life stage of a marijuana plant starts with being a seed. At this phase, your immature cannabis seeds is dormant and waiting for the water to give life to it.

You can check the quality of your seeds by their texture and color. The seeds must feel dry and hard. Also, their color should be dark to light brown. Bad, immature seeds are typically squishy and white or green in color. These seeds may not even germinate.

To start growing a cannabis plant from seed, you must learn more regarding the germination process. This phase takes 5 to 10 days.

When the seeds popped, you can now put them in your preferred growing medium. The taproot drives down while the stalk of the seedlings grows upward.

There will be two round cotyledon leaves that will develop from the stem while the cannabis plant unfolds from the seeds’ protective shell. These cotyledon leaves will take the needed sunlight so that the cannabis plant will become stable and healthy.

While the roots are developing, you will start to see the 1st iconic fan leaves, at which a marijuana plant becomes a seedling.

Stage 2: Seedling Stage

This growth phase lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. The light cycle for this stage is 18 hours of light. By the time a cannabis plant turns into a seedling, you will see it now having the normal marijuana leaves. As a sprout, every cannabis seed initially produces leaves with a single ridged blade.

When new growth develops, the leaves of your cannabis plant will have more blades. A fully grown marijuana plant will develop 5 to 7 blades for each leaf. However, some plants tend to develop more.

A marijuana plant stays as a seedling until it starts to develop leaves with the correct number of blades on the new fan leaves. A healthy seedling is a vibrant green in color. Be extra careful not to overwater the cannabis plant in its seedling phase. Its roots are extremely small but do not need more water for survival.

At this phase, a cannabis plant is susceptible to mold and disease. Keep the environment clean then watch out for excess moisture.

Stage 3: Vegetative Stage

The vegetative phase for a marijuana plant lasts for 3 to 16 weeks. The light cycle is also 18 hours of light.

In this phase, you have transferred the cannabis plant into a bigger pot, and the foliage and roots will grow faster. It’s time to start training or topping your cannabis plant.

The space between the nodes must represent the kind of cannabis your plant is. If the plant is dense and short, it’s indica. However, if the plant grows more open in greenery and long-limbed, it’s sativa.

Remember, you need to give more water to your plant while it grows. While it’s young, a cannabis plant needs water near the stem, but while the plant grows its roots will grow outwards. In this case, it is best to begin watering the plant away from the stem so that the roots will stretch out and absorb more of the water you give.

A cannabis plant that is on its vegetative phase appreciates healthy soil enriched with nutrients. Feed it with more nitrogen during this stage.

Stage 4: Flowering Phase

The flowering phase for a cannabis plant takes 8 to 11 weeks. The light cycle will take 12 hours of light. It’s the last growth stage for any cannabis strain. The flowering process naturally takes place when a plant receives below 12 hours of light every day as the summertime shortens or if you shorten the indoor light cycle. In this phase, the resinous buds will develop, so the fruit of your hard work and perseverance will be more visible right this time.

If you have to determine the gender of your plants to eliminate the males, please watch over them as they enter the flowering phase. Your plants will begin to show you their gender a couple of weeks into this phase. Eliminate the males as soon as you spotted them so that they will not pollinate the females.

There will be several changes that you must consider when your cannabis plant moves from the vegetative to the flowering stage:

  • Avoid pruning your plant after 3 weeks before the onset of the flowering phase because it can upset the plant’s hormones.
  • The plant must be trellised to support the buds as they develop. Consider feeding the plant with nutrients that support the flowering phase. When the buds are already mature, you can start harvesting them.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind in Planting Cannabis Seeds

When planting marijuana seeds, make sure you use only high-quality seeds for successful cultivation. You can get some at Sunwest Genetics. They have various range of quality seeds to purchase. Also, be sure you feed and water your plant right. Anything less or too much you give will lead the cannabis plant to death.

Also, check the color of the fine hairs and the color of the head of trichomes to determine the correct timing for cutting and harvesting the plant. Hang the moist buds in a dark, dry, and cool place with low humidity for around a week.

Before you can have those delicious buds, you should cure them in a glass mason jar for one to three weeks. Keep the jar open once every day.