Cannabis plant’s life cycle
During germination, cannabis seeds start to sprout and leaves push upwards in search of light. Cannabis seeds should be undamaged to prevent diseases and pests to take over. Seeds that crush easily with slight pressure are weak and will not grow well. Plant seeds as deep as twice it’s size and no less to prevent it from drowning.
3-7 days after germination the cannabis plant enters the seedling growth stage. A single root from the seeds grows down and branches out into the ground. These roots take in water and nutrients and offer the plant it’s stability. When temperatures are too low during this stage, germination will delay, whereas high temperatures cause poor germination. Maintain 16-18 hours of light a day and 21-32° Celsius or 70-90° Fahrenheit.
During this stage the cannabis plant requires 16-24 hours of light. The plant develops stem, transporting water and nutrients from the delicate root hairs to the growing buds, leaves and flowers. The photosynthesis process, where carbon dioxide or CO² from air, water and light is converted into carbonhydrates (food for the plant) starts when the leaves start to expand.
The cannabis plant will enter this stage after the fourth week of vegetative growth or 6-8 weeks after germination and develops pre-flowers. To help induce pre-flowering, give the plants 18 hours of daylight. This stage takes about 1-2 weeks. Pre-flowers appear between the fourth and sixth node from the bottom of the plant and are either male of female. Skilled growers remove the males to ensure feminized strains. Pre-flowers look similar to female flowers and most contain a pair of white fuzzy pistils.
Always wait to induce flowering until pre-flowers have appeared. Outdoor cannabis plants flower during fall season, when daylight becomes less and the plant’s annual life cycle comes to an end. During this stage leaf growth slows and flowers start to form. Most strains start to flower when they receive 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day. This will cause mairjuana plants to show sex, male or female. Cannabis plants are usually either male or female, though hermaphrodite (bisexual) plants also occur. When the flowers of a female plant are not pollinated by male plants, they develop into seedless flowers called Sinsemilla. Unpollinated flowers will continue to swell for approximately 6- 10 weeks and produce more THC filled resin. Use a super bloom fertilizer during this stage to decrease nitrogen and increase potassium and phosphorus.
Warning: Do not disrupt the flowering process and maintain the right amount of air, water and light to prevent plant stress and hermaphrodite tendencies.
Harvest time is critical and must only be done when flowering has peaked. THC levels will no longer increase. The best time to harvest is during a window of 5-7 days, when THC production has peaked and before deterioration starts. Rapid Harvesting takes place 1-3 weeks after rapid growth (4-5 weeks) starts to slow. Of course harvesting depends on the strain.
The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]