Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day
Everything should be cleaned up, dried, and curing well before the Winter Solstice. Now’s a good time to make your own cannabutter, topicals, or tinctures with all that trim from the harvest. Kick your feet up, relax, and hunker down for the cold, it’s been a long growing season!
Notes on marijuana growth phases
The vegetative stage of cannabis is where the plant’s growth truly takes off. At this point, you’ve transplanted your plant into a larger pot and the roots and foliage are developing rapidly. This is also the time to begin topping or training your plants.
Seedling stage length: 2-3 weeks
Marijuana light cycle: 12 hours a day
The germinated seed can now be placed carefully into the growing medium. The plant will start to grow and force its way upwards.
A quick glance is usually enough to determine the current stage. Over time, it is not just the appearance of the plant that changes, its needs also change. Different stages require different quantities of light, water and nutrients. Furthermore, if you want to determine the sex of the plant or prune it, it is useful to know which stage the plant has currently reached.
Once the plant produces the full count of leaflets for each new leaf, the seedling stage is over.
Particular care is necessary at this stage in the lifecycle. Seedlings are susceptible to illnesses and mould. Many novices get carried away with watering and give the seedlings too much fertiliser. Even if you plan to grow outdoors, it may be useful to give the plants a healthy start indoors, assuming that a location is available with adequate light (e.g. a windowsill). The plants need as much light as possible at this stage.
As it grows, the plant also needs more water. Young plants are best watered close to their stem, but later on water should be distributed more widely so that the tips of the roots can absorb water more efficiently.
A few days after this, the first ‘real‘ leaves start to grow from the centre. The cotyledons will turn yellow and fall off eventually when the plant has matured into its vegetative state.
Indoors, growers have full control over the light cycle. By maintaining a light schedule of 18 hours, cannabis plants can be kept in their vegetative state, meaning they can be grown for as long as needed until you put them outside or switch to a photoperiod of 12/12.
After 2 weeks cannabis plants will be in their vegetation phase. During this part of the cycle there is a lot of development happening in both the root zone and the main structure of the plant. There will be a surge in the branching activity and small shoots can be noticed emerging from the leaf nodes.
Germination (1 week)
Tip: Seedlings enjoy high humidity and warm temperatures. Keeping a consistent environment for them helps them to progress much faster, so a propagator is recommended. The vent holes can be opened slowly each day so they steadily become accustomed to the change of environment.
With all the variables that come with growing different strains, it can be confusing knowing exactly what will happen during each phase. Beginner growers will benefit most from seeing the magic happen with their own eyes. The best way to learn about the life cycle of a cannabis plant is through experience. This guide will give you a simple starting point so you know what to expect once you have germinated your first seed.
As soon as a seed recognizes it has moisture surrounding it, the cells in the seed germinate and begin forming a tap root. Once this white root shows, a seed has germinated and is now considered a sprout.
Gravity is an important factor in this process as it signals which way the root needs to grow. After rooting, a sprout will push its head up and out into the world to find light. This happens after about 3-7 days and is the beginning of the next phase of growing as the plant turns into a young seedling.