The cannabis plant lifecycle comprises various stages. At each stage of the cultivation process, the plant has unique demands, including different quantities of light, water, and nutrients. A cannabis plant can take between 4 and 8 months to bloom, depending on where it grows.
The plant’s quality depends on the grower’s knowledge of the cannabis growth phases and the lifecycle. Before understanding the different cannabis growth phases, let’s discover some essential details about cannabis seeds.
Cannabis seeds are inactive till they receive light and water. They are comparatively stronger and survive dark, cool places like refrigerators. You must know that if temperatures are extremely low or fall below freezing, the seeds can die or get damaged.
Typically, cannabis plants are dioecious, which means that male and female reproductive organs exist in different individuals. Nevertheless, in certain cases, cannabis plants show intersex characteristics and are known as hermies.
Only female cannabis plants can produce buds that one can harvest for dabbing, smoking, vaping, and ingesting. The grower must remove the male plants and hermies before the flowers open to maintain the cannabis’ quality and keep it free from seeds. When dual-sex or male plants grow with females, they pollinate them. As a result, females don’t need to use their energy to feed buds and can focus on producing seeds, which leads to lowered and sometimes a ruined harvest.
After understanding cannabis seeds and their care and maintenance, let’s look at the cannabis growth stages.
Germination of cannabis seeds requires air, water, warm temperature, and humidity. Pick a dark, warm, and humid place to initiate key metabolic processes that begin sprouting a seedling. As soon as the seed opens and begins to show the first white tap root, shift it to its next growing medium in a small pot.
Depending on the seed’s age, initial germination can take three to ten days. The roots begin to develop, and finally, the plant produces the first two oval leaves, known as cotyledons. Now, it is time for the next stage of the seedling.
The seedling stage is fragile. Plants require 18 to 24 hours of sunlight, mild humidity, and moist soil for rapid growth. Since the seedling has a small root system, do not drown it by overwatering. After the plant becomes a seedling, you will see more traditional-looking cannabis leaves developing. These are digitated leaves with serrated borders. When these leaves appear, the plant is in the vegetative stage. The seedling stage can take up to three weeks.
During the vegetative stage, the Cannabis plant grows in size and height as much as possible in the given conditions. You will see more leaves and stems. At this time, you can see pre-flowers to signal sex, but the growth of the buds will start only when the days get shorter during Autumn or the photoperiod changes to 12/12.
For the flowering stage, the plant requires less than 12 hours of light per day. To enter the stage, the plant needs 10 to 12 hours of complete darkness. The plant is ready for harvesting when the pistils’ colour on the cola buds becomes reddish-orange from white, and the trichome heads become milky from transparent and then amber from opaque. The amber colour signifies that the resin has a higher CBD to THC cannabinoid ratio.
The right conditions for the flowering stage are warm weather and medium humidity. You must provide blooming nutrients intermittently. You must harvest the plant when half the trichomes are opaque. At this time, the plant produces the lowest levels of CBD and the highest amount of THC.
To harvest the cannabis plant, cut it down into smaller branches for an easy drying process. Tie the pieces on a string and hang them upside down in a cool, dark room. Let the plants hang for 7 to 14 days. It is vital to dry the plant completely to avoid fungal and bacterial growth. The removal of moisture helps to preserve the life of cannabis. Do not complete the drying process in haste, as it can lead to harsh cannabis.
We hope this guide helps you learn more about the Cannabis plant stages and its lifecycle. Each stage requires a different length of time and external conditions.
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