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How To Harvest Your Marijuana Plants

How To Harvest Your Marijuana Plants

If you’re an indoor grower, the harvesting process is fairly simple: Uproot the plants to be harvested, then hang them upside down (more for convenience than any other reason) in the same grow room. If you’re planning on creating a new crop, you can replant your pots now and keep your lights on for twenty hours a day, drying your harvest even as you sprout the next crop.

Outdoor growers typically just pull up their plants by the roots, knock the root balls free of dirt, and lash the females (males will already have been harvested several reeks prior) together just above the root balls, sometimes two or three plants per bundle. In large commercial operations plants are typically just hung in a warm, dry place to cure over the next two or three weeks.

Stripping Plants before Curing

This is a wonderfully tedious segment of the personal-use farmer’s growing experience. If you’ve been successful, anticipate spending many busy hours removing individual buds intact from their main stems with sharp, long-bladed scissors-bear in mind that your buds are reservoirs of next year’s crop seeds, and treat them gently. Leaves can be removed and stashed for a rainy day, or left to dry until not quite crunchy, and then ground into a flour for cannabis oil or butter. Unlike commercial growers, you will probably want to trim off everything not worth smoking; a point to remember if you decide to weigh your yield, because your harvested and cleaned pot will lack the four or five grams of nonsmokable stems found in an average ounce Of street weed.

Growers are likely to find a lot more seeds in the buds they harvest than are found in any of the bags they’ve purchased from dealers—in fact, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that half of the weight of your buds is comprised of seeds. A pot dealer who sold buds with the volume of seeds produced by fully pollinated females would soon be ostracized (at the very least) by people who paid him premium prices for mostly seed.

For me personally, more seeds than I need is not a problem, because the more seeds my plants produce, the more I will plant, even if it’s just tossing handfuls of them into roadside ditches. I keep several hundred fat, perfect, hand-picked seeds in reserve for planting next year’s personal crop, of course, but it seems fitting that the abundance of seeds that is provided by nature when plants are left to pollinate freely should be sown at least as freely.

Removing seeds from your own smoke can be a sticky, tedious, but still kind of fun after-harvest chore. Begin by snipping off each individual bud from their parent stem with sharp scissors and placing them into a bowl. Next, roll the removed buds lightly between your thumb and forefinger, feeling for seeds, then gently dislodging them to fall into a collection vessel. Many will be covered by a thin green membrane of plant tissue-which is itself covered with THC crystals.

Lashing and hanging plants is the accepted method of harvesting for growers who handle hundreds, even thousands of plants per season. Personal- use growers who harvest perhaps thirty plants a season often use other methods that aren’t cost-effective on a larger scale. One of my personal favorites is to wait until end-buds have matured enough to have fully developed seeds, then snip off only the fat ends, leaving smaller, lower buds to continue to grow for as long as possible while you prepare the proverbial cream of the crop for smoking.

I hope you learned something from this article and if you have any questions please go to the forum or leave your comments and questions below. For high-quality marijuana seeds please visit my webshop. Please like or share this article 🙂


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Comment Section

14 thoughts on “How To Harvest Your Marijuana Plants

By Brian on 3 March 2016

Hi. Can i leave my buds to dry in the same room i have my next plants growing? Or will the light ruin it?

By Scott on 26 October 2016

The light rapidly degrades the THC, leave to hang upside down with a fan blowing about knee height an let the air move through them DO NOT blow air directly at them you will dry the outside quicker than the inside,it’s something you can NOT RUSH you will totally spoil your quality of end result.

By latewood.ILGM on 4 March 2016


The reason we dry our buds in the dark is; Light deteriorates THC

By moe on 13 April 2016

I`ve got Cancer and I am interested in alternative methods to help with symptom’s that Cancer causes..I have a plant which is heading and I am getting nervous, I don`t want to get busted. However you can`t ask anyone for info`. My plant is got a white look about it and the heads are about 3-4 inch’s long, the plant grows inside and out. Its been an interesting experience and I hope it does help .Thanks.

By latewood.ILGM on 14 April 2016


Not sure what type of support you need. No one will no if you don’t tell anyone.

Join our support forum and we all will be happy to help you fell more comfortable about growing your own cannabis.

Happy growing! 😀 latewood

By Bulldog1 on 3 May 2016

I got several buds on lower portion of plant that aren’t ready yet but top bud’s are just about good to go. Is it possible for me to snip the buds that are ready and continue on with lower portion of plant? Thanks……

By latewood.ILGM on 4 May 2016


Yes you can do this. You will gain a little bit of yield from the undergrowth, and it will be more mature in the end. In the future; Provide some side light to the undergrowth, and these buds will triple in size 😀

By NL on 22 September 2016

Can you just trim the buds and leave the plant in the ground to keep going?

By latewood.ILGM on 23 September 2016

Why? All your doing is stressing the plant and it’s energy will be used up trying to heal, instead of growing.

By Ash on 13 October 2016

Just to make sure, will seeds still be produced regardless if there was a male plant there or you still need 1 to get the seeds?

By latewood.ILGM on 14 October 2016


The female plant must be pollinated by a male plant.

Happy growing! 🙂 lw

By Lily on 9 April 2017

All of your guides say to pull up the plant for harvest. Is it possible to prune your plants back to encourage new growth for the next season? Would the quality somehow be effected by doing this? Or do marijuana plants only live for a year or so before dying?

My other herbs like mugwort for example, I pretty much snip off what I need as they’re growing, and then do a ‘big’ prune to prepare them to grow next season. Why isn’t this done with marijuana?

By latewood.ILGM on 12 April 2017


What you loosely describing is a method called re-vegitation. “revegging”.

When you harvest the lower 1/2 of the plant, leave the leaves and as much foliage as possible. Remove all the kolas by cutting the buds off above a node, and leave the leaves. Only about the bottom 1/2 is needed.

PLace plant in bigger pot with added fresh soil, and set the photo period back to 18/6. In a month or so after dying off…the plant will regenerate, and you can continue to veg the plant until it is big enough to flower.

Good Luck, and Happy growing. 🙂

By Robertreed on 18 May 2017


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