Growing weed is easy but it’s definitely not the easiest thing to do especially if you’ve never grown any marijuana plant before. We understand that it’s hard to sift through all the information online about how to grow marijuana plants, so we’d like to give you the best head start. We’ll start by discussing the different stages of growing weed to understand the factors you have to consider for the health and survival of your cannabis plants.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds
The first stage of a successful grow starts with successful germination of cannabis seeds. Whilst there is always a high chance that you can germinate cannabis seeds that are in a weed bag, it is way better to start and select the best marijuana seeds you can possibly afford. This way, you can be assured that the seeds are viable and have a very high germination success rate.
There are many ways you can germinate cannabis seeds and most of them are very simple. Germination simply is the process of getting a dormant seed to sprout and grow into beautiful cannabis plants. After buying some great quality and fresh seeds, these are the 3 main requirements to ‘awaken’ the seeds.
- Complete Darkness
In this stage, light is not yet required as it may just hamper or slow down germination. Germination process can be concluded successful once there has been a formation of the taproot—the white first root that sprouts on your cannabis seeds. By then, you can transplant your seedling into a temporary grow medium like a plastic cup, to be nurtured in a nursery area to grow into a lovely cannabis seedling. We can now use some air, warmth, moisture and light at 18/6 schedule to encourage growth of your seedlings.
As soon as you see your new sprouts stretching upwards, they now need more time to spend under the lights to be able to form its first set of leaves called cotyledons.
Let the seedlings stay in the cup for a couple of weeks to grow strong and stress free, while maintaining consistent light, moisture, aeration and warmth. You can also use mild nutrients if you think your soil mix lack this important area.
Vegetative Stage of Cannabis Plants
Assuming that you have successfully germinated your seeds and have grown beautiful seedlings, we now enter the main growing stage of our cannabis plants. This is where they reach their full growth potential and turn into full-bodied marijuana plants. This phase starts when your youngsters are 3 to 4 nodes high with quite thick stems.
Outdoors, vegetation takes place during the summer, when your plants have long, warm, and sunny days to grow under the sun. This allows your plants to produce abundant leaves and branches in preparation to the next stage, which is the flowering phase.
Indoors, you have the advantage of controlling the environment, which means you can shift from vegetative to the flowering stage anytime you want. However, whether you grow outdoors or indoors, here are the things you have to consider to get this stage through until flowering period.
Temperature and Humidity
Cannabis plants love warm temperatures so you should make sure the place stay at 72 to 85 oF. Humidity within 46 to 65 % should also be maintained to encourage healthy growth of your plants and prevent formation of molds.
Your lights should be consistent in this stage and it should be on for 16-20 hours a day. This means that your plants should also have 4-6 hours of complete darkness, which is their rest period every day.
Only water your plants when you think they are dry. Let the top soil surface go crusty dry before another watering to ensure you’re not overdoing it.
Keep your grow room ventilated to keep the humidity and temperature level stable, so as to grow healthy plants. Keep the wind moving in and out of your grow room so the old air gets replaced by fresh air.
The 3 main nutrient components of fertilizers are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium which is labeled as N-P-K. The nutrients needed by your plants are determined depending on the particular growth stage they are in. For example, during the vegetative stage, your plants are going to need more Nitrogen than Phosphorus and Potassium.
It is recommended that you allow your plants to go into vegetative stage until they are at least 18” tall or have 4 to 6 branches before deciding into another stage. Remember that some plants need more time in order to reach a specific height and leaf levels, but our ultimate goal hear is to make them strong in preparation for the flowering stage.
Flowering Stage of Cannabis Plants
Of all the stages of growing weed, flowering phase must be the most satisfying and exciting period as all your hard work and time starts to pay-off. But this is not the end yet.
Once your plants reached at least 18-20” tall or even taller, and have grown healthy, well-nourished and strong, now is the time to change your photoperiod schedule into 12/12. This change in light schedule will trigger flowering period as your plants will assume that Fall already came.
The blooming phase of marijuana is usually the best time to sex your plants. Unless you’re planting feminized seeds, it is important to separate male plants from females before they start reproducing themselves. We only want female plants here with high THC and without, or have low number of seeds.
Female plants usually show off one or two hairs at the stem junctions first, while males develop ball like structures which contains the pollens inside.
Nutrients at Flowering Stage
At this time, your plants need more Phosphorus and other nutrients than Nitrogen. Specifically, you’d want more Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium and Sulfur for your nutrients.
The length of flowering time usually varies depending on the strain that you have. Generally, check the label when buying seeds as they usually come with the information on the length of the strain’s flowering stage.
However, the most reliable way of knowing when to harvest your plants is by looking at the trichomes. The trichomes are the snow like effect that’s covering your cannabis buds. As the buds reach maturity, these resin glands (trichomes) change colors which represent the ratio of its cannabinoid contents.
Marijuana Harvesting Period
Usually, the best time to harvest your plants is when the resin glands on your buds are 50% turning into milky white or slightly amber in color, and the pistils or the hairs on the buds have turned brown, orange or reddish in color. You have a window period of 5 to 7 days to take advantage of the potency and peak harvest.
The rule of thumb on this is those clear trichomes say it’s too early for harvest while the more amber the color of trichomes, the “stonier” your weed is going to be. In the end, it is still up to you when you are going to harvest