How Long Does It Take To Grow Feminized Weed Seeds

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. Learn how to grow feminized cannabis seeds outdoors, all of the tips and tricks needed for a successful grow.

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.

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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

Indica

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.

Sativa

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.

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Hybrid

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.

Author

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 Feminized Cannabis Seeds Outdoors

When it comes to growing cannabis, one of the best ways to harvest quality and quantity is via feminized seeds and by following our advice. If you want to know more, keep reading!

Table of Contents

Most seed Banks have a selection of feminized cannabis seeds and many of them can be grown outdoors unless the manufacturer indicates otherwise.

Feminized cannabis seeds allow you to guarantee female plants, which are the ones that produce buds and the most planted type of cannabis seed. On the other hand, regular seeds produce both male and female cannabis plants and growing them takes more work.

How to Choose Feminized Cannabis Seeds for Outdoors

Nowadays it’s possible to buy high quality feminized cannabis seeds that are easy to grow. These seeds can guarantee a decent harvest at affordable prices, considering the extra expenses involved in obtaining high quality cannabis in a dispensary or by other means.

There are certain factors you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right feminized seeds for outdoor growing.

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Size of the Strain

Feminized cannabis strains grown outdoors can grow quite large and produce large yields when given enough time to grow and the proper care. Sativa-dominant strains tend to grow a lot bigger and taller than indica-dominant strains.

If you need a discreet strain for a small area such as a balcony, you’ll need to make sure the strain isn’t going to grow too big. If height and discretion aren’t an issue, you can always train, prune, plant later or plant autoflowering seeds. These last ones produce high yields and slightly less quality than feminized light-dependent strains. Feminized cannabis plants outdoors.

When to Harvest Outdoors

Cannabis plants outdoors must deal with insects, possible fungi and sometimes, bad weather. Therefore an early harvest is a great way to avoid these issues, as well as keeping insects and fungi from having enough time to do damage to your plants. Nowadays there are many different fast-flowering strains such as Critical King (hybrid) and Jamaican Dream (sativa), which have been extremely popular in outdoor grows all around the world.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Feminized Seeds

As well as these factors, you can also choose your seeds depending on the type of effect that they produce (stimulating, relaxing, balanced), as well as different aromas and flavours and other factors such as genetics or cannabinoid proportion.

These last few factors are more personal; we recommend starting off with the size of your grow as a basis for your strain choice, making sure that you keep in mind harvesting times too. Later on, you can narrow it down to other characteristics.

How to Grow Feminized Cannabis Seeds Outoors

In the following section we’ll go over, stage by stage, how to grow feminized cannabis seeds outdoors.

General advice for growing feminized cannabis seeds

  • Whenever you can use white flowerpots or smart pots; this allows for your plants’ roots to grow out more and cooler, while also feeding more.
  • Excess heat can cause your plants to begin consuming nutrients stored in their leaves, causing nasty symptoms and colours.
  • Protect your plants right from the start using natural preventive products such as neem oil, or using bio or chemical insecticides and fungicides if you already have an infestation.
  • Make sure to keep in mind the seed bank’s recommendations in regard to when to harvest and the plants’ nutritional needs – make the most of your strain.
  • Choose your flowerpot sizes based on the amount of space that you have; make sure not to place too many plants, they need enough space to grow out properly.
  • Whenever you water, check and adjust the pH in your water as needed. Also, if possible, you should also check EC levels. If you need more information about watering your plants, you can check out our post how to water cannabis plants.
  • If you use tap water or give your plants a lot of nutrients you should get used to using enzymes in order to get rid of unwanted salts and dead roots.
  • When it comes to growing in flowerpots, use nutrients in liquid format – they are absorbed rapidly and allow for more control over dosages.
  • On the other hand, if you’re growing out in the ground, you should used powdered fertilizers which cover more space and are slow-releasing.
    Make sure to keep the flowerpots up off the ground to allow for more airflow and so that the heat from the ground doesn’t reach the roots.
  • During the summer, keep in mind that temperatures rise, and evaporation is faster when watering plants. The hotter it is, the more moisture evaporates; you’ll need to water more often, although if you keep fertilizing as usual you can easily cause overfertilization. We recommend using the same amount of nutrients as always, divided into more feedings, or using more enzymes.
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Germinating Seeds

Germination involves the seed changing from inactive, to a seedling. It can take just over 24h or even up to 7 days for seeds to germinate, depending on the strain, the germination conditions, how they’re stored and the state of the seeds.

In order to guarantee healthy germination and proper rooting before the growth stage, we recommend germinating your seeds separately and once they’ve become saplings, place them in their first flowerpot. If you need more information about germinating cannabis seeds, you can check out our post on how to germinate cannabis seeds.

Planting cannabis seeds after germination

Once your cannabis seeds have been germinated, you’ll need to plant them in their first flowerpot. Once your plant has around 1cm of roots, it can be planted – we recommend starting with a small pot, around 0.2 – 0.4L, with an airy, high-quality substrate. Before planting, moisten the substrate and make a small hole for placing the root.

During the first days, we recommend keeping plants in a propagator, inside with direct light, or in a growth grow tent indoors. We recommend keeping them protected until the first 4 leaves have developed and they can begin growing properly.

We also highly recommend using some sort of root stimulant such as Rootfast in order to increase root growth, as well as Trichoderma and mycorrhizae like Top Crop Micro Vita in order to protect and stimulate plant growth. Cannabis plant with three cotyledon leaves during the first growing days.

Transplanting

As your plants grow, their roots will begin taking over the substrate. There will come a point when your plants’ roots will end up filling up the substrate and growth will stop. Your plants might even end up with certain deficiencies when this happens as they won’t be able to find enough nutrients in the soil, and they’ll begin absorbing nutrients from their leaves.

In order to prevent this you’ll need to transplant periodically, moving your cannabis plants to larger flowerpots until right before the flowering stage. Every time you transplant, we recommend using a rooting stimulant, as well as mycorrhizae and Trichoderma as we mentioned earlier.

Keep in mind that the bigger the flowerpot, the larger the size of your plants and the larger the yield – so you’ll need to plan out your growing area accordingly. If you’re growing in the ground, we recommend transplanting from your flowerpot to the ground once they’re around 15 – 20cm tall; this allows it to grow more robust.

If you need more information on transplants, you can check out our post; when and how to transplant cannabis plants. Cannabis plants growing outdoors after a transplant.

Growth/vegetative stage

Feminized light-dependent cannabis plants grow until adulthood (around 30 days). They’ll keep growing as long as they don’t get less hours of light. If you grow outside of the right season, your plants will grow for around a month and then they’ll start their flowering stage.

This is why we recommend growing feminized cannabis seeds towards the start of the season; if you want, you can also harvest again towards mid-summer. We recommend planting feminized seeds over autoflowering seeds, as they offer larger yields and quality.