The Detailed Stages of Cannabis Growth

Julien Bissonnette | 06 septembre 2022

Gardening is an experience unlike any other since it is tactile and sensory. Understanding the cannabis growth stages will help you develop a marijuana garden at home, whether you have a green thumb or not.

First-time cannabis growers may feel somewhat overwhelmed. You can never filter through the hundreds of results from a quick Google search because there is too much data. Lighting, pH, soils, training techniques, curing, and a host of other topics are all things that can be learned. 

How does one begin?

Understanding the fundamental requirements of the cannabis plant will make you a better grower from beginning to end because each cannabis growth stage needs to be understood well if one wants to maximize yield, stability, and overall quality in the cannabis plant's final flowering stage.

This post examines the four main stages of the marijuana plant that a grower must be aware of to ensure success throughout the cannabis plant's existence.

Photoperiod and Auto-flowering Cannabis Plants

Before simply dumping seeds into the ground, consider the type of grower you want to be. Are you managing an indoor garden or doing your work outside? Have you chosen seeds that will grow well indoors or where you wish to plant them?

Any aspiring grower should know the distinction between the blossoming of photoperiod and auto-flowering cannabis plants.

Vegetative growth and bloom are the two distinct stages of the life cycle of photoperiod cannabis plants. The photoperiod cannabis plant goes through vegetative growth when it receives 18 hours (or more) of light daily. The plant will develop roots, leaves, and branches but not buds. Flowering starts when the number of daylight hours per day drops to about 12. That means a lot of buds will grow on female plants.

Growth and bloom are the two separate life phases of photoperiod plants. This gives the cultivator some control over the photoperiod plant's growth and development, which increases some growers' enjoyment of the cultivation process.

It takes 2-4 weeks to bloom for cannabis plants grown from auto-flowering seeds. Unlike growing feminized photoperiod cannabis, growers don't need to worry about adjusting the light cycle to start and maintain the blooming phase. In 8 to 10 weeks, auto-flowering strains usually go from seed to harvest. Some kinds, however, can take up to 12 weeks to reach full maturity.

Due to its rapid growth, auto-flowers are a popular choice among growers. They are also simpler to grow and, as a result, more approachable for beginners thanks to their durable genetics and lenient nature. They can handle the difficulties of outdoor cultivation because of their outstanding resilience to viruses and pests.

Any plant you choose must go through several phases before being harvested. Let's examine the cannabis growth stages that a cannabis plant experiences in more detail.

Cannabis Growth Stages


A cannabis plant can take anywhere from four to eight months to grow. It goes through five stages: germination, seedling, vegetative state, flowering stage, and harvesting. 

Cannabis growers must comprehend each life cycle phase to give their plants the necessary attention. Each step calls for various nutrients, light types, and light hours. Additionally, several duties might contribute to the success of each stage.


#1 Germination

The cannabis plant cycle begins with the germination stage. Since they have more trichomes than their male counterparts, female plants are what you should keep a lot of as a grower. The white crystals known as trichomes, which develop on marijuana plants, contain the highly sought-after cannabinoids CBD and THC.

This germination stage lasts for five to ten days. A cannabis seed can develop in as little as two days or as much as ten. When growing indoors, it's crucial to stick to a regular light cycle throughout this crucial period. In this stage, plants require a lot of light, often 16 hours of sunshine and 8 hours of darkness.

Although differing light spectrums have less of an impact on the germination stage than they do on the vegetative and flowering stages, it is still crucial to employ a suitable range of light during this stage, which is often red-enriched light. While blue light is likely to have the opposite impact, red light encourages germination.


#2 Seedling

Typically, the seedling stage lasts two to three weeks. The plants at this stage need adequate lighting for roughly 16 hours daily. The leaves initially only have one blade. But gradually, new edges begin to form. Due to the cannabis seedlings' short roots and minimal water requirements, providing a set amount of water is crucial.

Cannabis seedlings thrive at lesser intensities of blue-spectrum light when it comes to lighting. To maximize photosynthesis for healthy, all-around growth, seedlings thrive with 18 hours of sunlight and 6 hours of darkness per day.

New leaves with additional leaflets form as the cannabis seedling matures, and eventually, the plant begins to produce digitate leaves with serrated margins. These are frequently referred to as marijuana fan leaves. This phase could last for three weeks.


#3 Vegetative State 

Your cannabis plants will exceed their beginning pots after a few weeks as cannabis seedlings and begin requesting additional food and light. During the vegetative state, the roots and foliage expand quickly, enabling the plant to absorb more nutrients and CO2.

This is when, if you don't already know, you'll be able to tell if your plant is an indica or a Sativa. Sativa's are slender with little foliage, while Indica's are often short and bushy.

Additionally, you will be able to determine the gender of your plants. Pre-flowers begin to emerge about four weeks into the veg cycle. You should be able to tell if those new buds are male or female after six weeks. Most gardeners remove the males to prevent them from pollinating the females and producing seeds during the vegetative state. 


#4 Flowering Stage 

As the days become shorter, outdoor plants typically move into the flowering stage. Cannabis strains that auto-flower don't require a change in photoperiod to begin blooming. Outdoor plants usually go through 4 weeks of their vegetative state before transitioning to the next stage.

During the flowering stage, switch the light timer to a 12/12 cycle. It's crucial to respect the plants' dark hours to blossom properly. Any disruption could cause the plant to become confused and postpone flowering. Growers don't want this to happen because the plant might revert to vegetative or start producing hermaphrodite flowers.

There are three distinct phases in the flowering stages:

  • Flower growth: The plants' buds start to take shape at this stage.
  • Mid Flowering Stage: This stage lasts 4 to 5 weeks and starts after the fourth week. Due to increasing buds, plants stop expanding.
  • Late Flowering Stage: The plants get slimy, and the blossoms smell strong. For harvesting, it's critical to regulate the temperature and keep an eye on the growth.


#5 Harvesting


Cannabis Stages of Growth Flowering


You start to see the benefits of your meticulous planting and cultivation during the harvesting phase. Knowing when to harvest and how to do it carefully are difficult. Your weed might not taste or smell as you want it to, and the strength may be affected if you harvest it too soon or too late.

So, how do you determine when the harvesting stage has begun? You'll find plenty of hints to lead you from your plants.

Examine the pistils on your female plants. When your plant's blooms are tightly packed, and the pistils have turned orange or brown, it's time to harvest. These pistils resemble "hairs" that are emerging from the blooms.

Cannabis will probably taste bad and smell foul or bitter at this stage. Harvesting early is generally preferred to harvesting later. Although the potency of the weed has not reached its peak, it will likely taste and smell better than weed that has become too ripe.

Spectrum selection is essential in lighting, and at Canada Grow Supplies, we work hard to learn more about it daily. Our range of LED grow lights easily enables our customers to get nothing but the best in terms of developing their plants. 

We have all the organic nutrients and harvesting products needed to start going through the cannabis growth stages. You must navigate across our website and look through the different choices available for successfully growing your plants.