When it comes to how long it takes to grow cannabis, there really isn't a simple answer. Learn more about marijuana cultivation as we explore some of the general time-frames for different stages of the cannabis growing process. Growing marijuana outdoors produces a higher yield, gives your buds a unique flavor, and it's far less energy-intensive than using indoor grow lights. Outdoor cannabis plants can grow up to tall and produce of quality weed per plant–and… Check out 10 awesome Youtube videos that are great at explaining how to grow weed, turn bud into extracts, and more. Don't miss these videos!
How Long Does it Take to Grow Cannabis Plants?
T here are a lot of reasons to give growing your own cannabis a try. Regardless of whether you’d like to grow the herb for medicinal or recreational purposes, tending to your own cannabis plants can be rewarding for weed growing newbies and green thumbs alike, and may even be more affordable in the long run than purchasing marijuana at your local dispensary.
- Growing Marijuana: The Beginner’s Guide
- How to Grow Marijuana for Personal Use and Avoid Dispensaries
- How to Properly Distance Cannabis Plants in a Grow Room
- Closing the Yield Gap for Cannabis: A Meta-Analysis of Factors Determining Cannabis Yield
However, growing cannabis is not exactly like taking care of a potted plant, and one thing a houseplant certainly does not need is a deft hand to guide it through its grow cycles. After all, daisies will bloom if you can at least remember to give them some water and sun. Cannabis? Not so much.
To grow cannabis that can be consumed for its intended purpose, you’ve not only got to lead the plant through its many stages from germination to curing, but your plants require both attention and time. Which begs the logical question, how long does it take to grow marijuana plants? Let’s dig in.
How Long Does it Take to Grow Weed?
The very short answer is – that depends on whether you’re growing indoor, outdoor, greenhouse, coco, or hydroponic weed. Grow times for cannabis plants vary widely, but on average, expect about three-to-five months for indoor grows. However, there are many factors that could add or subtract from that range, including whether you choose to grow from a clone or a seedling, the target yield (how much consumable product) and the growing method you’ve chosen.
A very loose breakdown of a growing timeline could look like this:
Basic Cannabis Cultivation Timeline:
- Seed germination: 1-7 days
- Vegetative stage, when the plant is growing just stems and leaves: three weeks to eight weeks or more
- Flowering stage, when buds start to appear: five weeks to sixteen weeks or longer
- Harvesting, drying, and curing: two to four weeks
But the number one determinant of growing time depends on whether you’re growing sativa, indica, or hybrid cannabis strains. Let’s take a look at some average grow times for each.
Cultivation Time for Different Cannabis Plants
For those looking to grow cannabis more quickly or achieve higher yielding strains, indica is the way to go. With a shorter flowering period – about eight-to-twelve weeks – plus a generally higher end yield, growers often prefer them because they can be cultivated in more frequent cycles indoors, while outdoor growers can time several growing cycles before the weather turns cold.
Another benefit of growing indica seeds is that they tend to grow shorter and bushier than sativas, making them a better fit for indoor setups or growing in a backyard garden.
This cerebral and uplifting cannabis variety poses more challenges than growing indica. In addition to their longer ten-to-twelve week flowering period, plants grown from sativa seeds tend to produce a smaller yield (although this is certainly not true of all sativa strains).
Sativas can also grow to be very tall, up to 20 feet in an outdoor setting, which makes them difficult to conceal from neighbors in an outdoor grow setting. Even when confined inside, they may still grow long and lanky, a challenge for anyone trying to manage a small grow space.
A genetic mix of both indica and sativa strains, the growing time for hybrid marijuana strains may vary depending on which way the genetics lean.
Since hybrid seeds are a true blend of both sativa and indica, cultivators often prefer to grow them because of their higher output, generally faster growing time, and consumer appeal.
On average, hybrids tend to grow faster in the vegetative stage like a sativa, but may have a shorter flowering period like indica, about six-to-ten weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cannabis Plant Growth
What is the fastest you can grow weed?
One seed company says they have a strain that can go from seed to harvest in 49 days. Before you buy seeds from any company, be sure to do your own research on quality and reputability, and make sure you’re getting a strain that suits your consumption habits and preferences.
Is there a way to speed up cannabis growth?
There are a couple of hacks that could speed up cannabis growth, including growing autoflowering hybrids, growing from clones instead of seeds, growing hydroponic weed, and changing up the stressors put on the plant (although this option is probably best left to more experienced growers).
Do you have any experience growing cannabis at home? How long did it take you from seed to harvest? Share your stories in the comments below.
Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.
Erin’s work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let’s Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedIn, WordPress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.
How to Grow Cannabis Outdoors
This article was co-authored by Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH. Dr. Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH is the founder and Medical Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. Dr. Corroon is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and clinical researcher. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Corroon advises dietary supplement and cannabis companies regarding science, regulation, and product development. He is well published in the peer-review literature, with recent publications that investigate the clinical and public health implications of the broadening acceptance of cannabis in society. He earned a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. He also earned a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Bastyr University, subsequently completed two years of residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and is a former adjunct professor at Bastyr University California.
There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.
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Growing marijuana outdoors produces a higher yield, gives your buds a unique flavor, and it’s far less energy-intensive than using indoor grow lights. Outdoor cannabis plants can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 m) tall and produce 4–8 pounds (1.8–3.6 kg) of quality weed per plant–and it’s not rocket science to grow cannabis outdoors. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to tell you everything you need to know about picking a location, germinating marijuana seeds, and maintaining your crop to get the highest possible cannabis yield.
10 Great Youtube Videos On Growing Weed
Many of you have written in to tell us how much you love growing videos and that you want us to make more videos. We hear you loud and clear!
But in the meantime, we’ve researched 10 great videos about growing marijuana and they’re available for instant access on YouTube.
We specifically chose these videos because they answer some of the most common questions we receive at GrowWeedEasy.com, and we found the content to be exceptional!
If there’s cannabis growing video we need to see, make sure to send us a link!
1.) How to Grow Marijuana Indoors – Beginning to End
“Growing Weed Start to Finish Beginners Guide” by From Seed to Stoned
This video is high-quality stuff. It goes through a lot of useful information quickly, the narration is great, and the production value is fantastic. You won’t watch this video and suddenly be a master grower, but you’ll get the basics (and more) in only 14 minutes!
Bonus “Beginning to End” Video (old school)
“I Grow Chronic” by Mr. Green
We found this video series many years ago, but the series is probably old enough to drive a car by now! And the guy who does the videos is…quirky to say the least. He’s painted green from head to toe, the video resolution is at least 1/3 of what’s normal these days, and he talks in a near-whisper for the videos.
But still, when I rewatch these videos in 2019 I’m surprised at how well the series holds up. The information is useful and to the point, the tone is fun but knowledgeable, and it’s a bit goofy, so you aren’t likely to feel even a little intimidated. Plus, it’s refreshing to see someone teach in a way that isn’t specifically aimed at Youtube.
Note: This tutorial doesn’t use grow tents; it shows you how to construct a grow room from scratch.
Here are links to all 9 parts in the series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
2.) How To Make Dry Ice Hash
“How to Make Dry Ice Hash” by GrowWeedEasy.com
I’m sure you’ve realized this video isn’t on Youtube. Youtube banned this video (which hurt the videos feelings), so we moved it to Vimeo where it’s safely playing without fear of deletion.
If you want a rewarding way to use your trim that only takes minutes to do, making dry-ice hash is the way to go! Also, someone tell Youtube to stop deleting weed-related videos!
3.) Learn about how humidity affects cannabis growth
“Humidity” by MrGrowingMarijuana
When it comes to humidity, you might be surprised at how much of an effect it can have on growing cannabis plants! If the humidity is too high, your plants tend to grow slower and are more susceptible to mold. But if the humidity is too low, your plants can’t make energy as well as they normally could. They also tend to run into weird problems like unexplainable nutrient deficiencies. Despite the topic, this video is really interesting and shows you simple things you can do that will make a difference!
For even more info about how humidity affects growing marijuana, check out our tutorial on humidity, too!
4.) How to Germinate Seeds
“How To Germinate Seeds Fast | 3 Simple Steps” by Greengenes Garden
This video is a little on the longer side considering the topic of its content. But it explains everything well, and if you watch till the end, you’ll definitely walk away being able to germinate cannabis seeds. Plus, these folks peppered this video with some jaw-dropping pics of sprouting seeds. The quality and seedling pics alone make this video worth the watch.
Bonus Germination Video (less than 3 minutes!)
“Germinating seeds in paper towels” by Rodrigo0DC
This method works great for marijuana. Remember, marijuana seeds should NOT get light during the germination process. If you don’t want to use plastic sandwich bags, you can use the exact same method, but place the paper towels between 2 plates.
5.) How to Control the pH of Your Water When Growing Marijuana
“How to check and adjust the pH of your water” by Nebula Haze
Do you seem to keep getting nutrient problems and have no idea why?
It might be your pH! This video explains how to check and adjust the pH of your water before watering your marijuana garden.
Want to learn more about why this is important? Learn everything you need to know about marijuana nutrients and root pH here: https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-do-i-check-the-pH-of-my-water
6.) Grow Short and Bushy Plants: How to FIM and Top Marijuana Plants
“How to F.I.M and Top Your Marijuana Plant” by Grow420Guide
This video describes and shows two methods growers use to get additional colas (so you have a wide bushy plant instead of a tall plant with a single cola).
The two techniques are known as topping and FIMing. At GWE, we’ve covered both methods extensively and they both work exceptionally well to get your plants to grow multiple colas.
This grower likes to top then FIM his plants. We believe both methods work great, though we generally recommend topping since it tends to be more reliable when it comes to changing a plants shape. However, FIMing has a built-in safety feature in that it’s hard to make a catastrophic error while attempting to FIM. Topping in the wrong spot can mean a dead plant (though that’s very rare), but a bad FIM doesn’t really do anything.
You can FIM multiples times, and it doesn’t slow down the plant’s growth as much as topping does.
7.) Jorge Cervantes Takes You On 10 Minute Video Tour of Some of The Coolest Outdoor Marijuana Growing Spots
“Medical Marijuana Outdoor Gardens Tour – 10lb.+ MEGA Plants!!” by the legendary Jorge Cervantes
This beautiful 10-minute tour of incredible fields of outdoor marijuana plants around the world with commentary by world-renowned grower Jorge Cervantes will take your breath away.
I especially loved this comment:
“Find it funny how a beautifully filmed and put together a video showcasing FLOWERS is age-restricted based on community guidelines.”
8.) How to Make Canna-Butter – Medical Marijuana Butter Recipe
HOW TO MAKE CANNABUTTER~Medical Marijuana Butter Recipe by MonaLisaLuvsMaryJane
Link to both Parts: Part 1, Part 2
We already have a popular page on how to make cannabutter, but if you want to see how to do it in video format, this is a great tutorial.
9.) How to Tell If Your Cannabis is Ready For Harvest
How to tell if your cannabis is mature by GrowerMD
Being able to harvest your cannabis plants at the right time will result in high potency and yields. This video will give you tips on how to beat impatience and wait for the right time to “pull down” your plants.
10.) Building a Hydroponics/Aeroponic Setup
Building an Inexpensive Hydroponics/Aeroponics System by Family Plot
Learn how you can turn a bunch of cheap parts into a working hydroponic system in a spare afternoon. If you’re a DIY (Do It Yourself) person for fun or frugality and you’re interested in DWC, this video was made for you!