If you opt for natural sunlight, and you aren’t using autoflowers, you’ll need to ensure that your plants receive at least 18 hours of sunlight during the vegetative stage of their growth. Unfortunately, unless you are growing during the correct season and in the right area, this may not be obtainable without supplemental lighting. In other words, even if you are growing outdoors, investing in an LED lamp for those cloudy and or ‘short’ days is a good idea.
You will know that the buds have matured from the color of the pistils. You should see wispy white hairs growing out of the buds. These wisps will change color gradually until they become amber at the peak of maturity.
Step #2: Pick A Grow Light
If you grow indoors, you’ll need to think about your plant’s light source. Keep in mind, one of the biggest benefits of growing a single plant is that your plant won’t need much light. In many cases, you can place your plant on a windowsill and have enough natural sunlight for it to thrive.
During the vegetative stage, marijuana plants need plenty of light. You’ll need to give them around 18 hours of light during this phase. Also, ensure that the temperature in your grow room (or wherever you are growing your plants) is a bit warmer than room temperature. That means between 68°F and 86°F.
Harvest the buds once approximately 40 percent of the pistils become darker in color. Wait until 50-70 percent of those hairs have darkened if you want buds with a high THC content. If you want buds that will make you relax, wait until more than 80 percent of the hairs are dark before you harvest. At this time, a significant portion of the THC in the buds will have converted to CBN (a cannabinoid that relaxes and calms the mind).
Strains from warm climates like Haze 1 tend to have long flowering periods before their buds are ready to harvest, adding weeks or months to the time needed. Long-flowering strains often produce higher yields than short-flowering strains because buds have more time to grow.
One of the fastest grow methods is growing marijuana with bubbleponics, which shaves a few weeks off the total time and will actually increase your yields, but it requires a bit more equipment to get started.
In order to achieve the shorter 8.5 weeks, you need to choose a fast-finishing strain like Northern Lights and even still, at the low range, you’ll be growing tiny plants that produce just a few grams of smokable harvest.
From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a Smokable Harvest, you’re looking at 8.5 weeks – 7+ Months. Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months.
These factors have the greatest impact on total time:
Depending on how you set up your grow, it can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months or more to grow a marijuana plant from a seedling to the point where the plant is ready to harvest. Some methods, such as growing hydroponically indoors, give your flexibility to get a harvested plant in as little as 2-3 months. Growing outdoors generally takes longer than growing indoors and is more dependent on when you plant your seeds and how long your growing season is.
Additionally, many growers prefer to ‘cure’ their buds for longer than the 2-week minimum for added flavor and bag appeal, which accounts for why some grows could take several months from seed to smokable harvest.