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The Cannabis Plant Life Cycle

Raising Your Children Right: How to Grow Cannabis Like a Parent

  • Understanding the lifecycle of the cannabis plant in order to maximize your end-of-cycle harvest.

  • When you were growing up, you probably heard that you should eat your greens, get exercise, and drink plenty of water. That’s because they’re an essential part of what it takes to grow into a healthy human. We all know it’s more than that, however.

Water. Light. Air. Nutrients. Something to stick its roots in.

You probably already know what it takes to grow a cannabis plant.

However, it’s much more detailed than what people realize.

Here’s a closer look at the life cycle of Cannabis.

marijuana plant

How Does Cannabis Grow?

Some of the basics of cannabis growing include:

  • It never takes more than a year to complete its life cycle: it’s an annual plant

  • Cannabis flowers when its exposure to light decreases

  • Cannabis is dioecious; there are both male and female plants

Cannabis, since it’s a plant, starts from a seed.

After a cannabis seed absorbs moisture from its medium, it typically takes around 3-7 days to germinate and burst out into a tiny sprout.

Once they’ve reached the vegetative state, the taproot stretches downward and reaches out laterally as the plant grows up and out. To do so, the plants require at least 16 hours of daylight each day and plenty of nitrogen to maximize plant growth.

In about a month, most plants will be ready for the flowering stage in which they’ll quit putting their energy towards leaf production. Instead, they focus on growing buds and covering them with cannabinoid-filled resin.

In nature, the flowering stage begins when the light starts to fade in the fall. It’s the annual signal that their lifecycle is coming to a close and its time to reproduce.

For growers, this means the need to reduce the number of hours of light the plants are getting.

Moreover, it also means that growers should quit feeding their plants nitrogen which only leads to more leaf production.

In about two months or so (depending on the chemovar), the plants can be harvested.

To decide when to harvest, expert growers wait until no new flowers are being produced and the floral structures are maximally covered in sticky resin glands.

Here are a few more ideas that might help you with your cannabis grow.

medica marijuana fan leaf
Seeds during germination
medical cannabis in the flowering stage

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Cannabis Harvest

Here are some ideas on how to maximize your harvest by understanding the cannabis life cycle:

  • Keep your lights and hoods clean to ensure that plants are receiving as much light as possible

  • Maintain an intelligent nutrient feeding schedule and keep an eye on plants for any signs of nutrient deficiencies

  • Ensure proper ventilation, humidity controls, and temperature regulation are all in place to give plants their best chance for growth

  • Separate out male plants as soon you can identify them to prevent them from pollinating the female plants

  • Keep a ‘mother plant’ in the vegetative stage for easy access to clones; this gives you a more consistent harvest with quicker life-cycles

Understanding the life cycle of cannabis is integral to perfecting its controlled growth. Hopefully, this article has helped you better prepare for your next harvest.

outdoor medical marijuana cultivation

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