How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed Indoors? [3 to 5 months] This is one of the most common questions we receive from curious soon-to-be indoor cannabis growers: How long does it really take to It’s important to care for your plants when they move to the vegetative phase from the seedling phase. So, knowing how long to veg from seed is essential. Read more to know about it in detail. Everything you need to know about the 6 stages of cannabis growth. From selecting seeds to determining plant sex.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed Indoors? [3 to 5 months]
This is one of the most common questions we receive from curious soon-to-be indoor cannabis growers: How long does it really take to grow weed? What’s the growing timeline?
It’s actually a really good question! Every new marijuana grower should know how much work they’re signing up for! The short answer is…
The Average Indoor Cannabis Grow Takes 3-5 Months
The long answer is: from Day 1 of your weed plant’s life to actually smoking your harvest, it can take… 8 weeks – 7+ Months! That’s a huge range, right?
That’s why most cannabis growers won’t give you a straight answer. The truth is, there are many factors will affect the total time until you have ‘ready’ buds, by days, weeks or even months. This includes your strain, your setup, and how big you plan to grow your plants (bigger plants need more time!). So instead of giving you a huge range, an easier-to-swallow answer might be to say that the average grow takes 3-5 months for indoor growers.
This includes the time needed to grow your cannabis plant from seedling to harvest plus an additional 2 weeks (or more) which is used to cure your cannabis buds after harvest (making them more potent and better smelling).
Additionally, for at least the first time you grow, you also need to consider the time needed to get your equipment and seeds/clones.
This article will give you the total time breakdown, so you can plan out the details of your grow in order to achieve the harvest times you desire:
Ultimately, How Long to Harvest Marijuana Depends on the Desired Yields, Strain and Grow Style
Today I will show you how to plan your grow so it takes the amount of time you want!
Note: When growing cannabis indoors, it takes 3-5 months on average to go through the life cycle of a plant. When growing outdoors, the total time depends on your local climate as most strains are ready to harvest in mid-to-late Autumn.
Jump to the Section of the Tutorial You’re Interested in:
- Before You Start Growing Weed– Get seeds and supplies so you’re set to start growing!
- Time Needed to Grow Weed, From Seedling to Harvest
- Germinate Your Seeds (1-7 days) – Learn about fail-proof methods to germinate perfectly in soil/coco or hydro.
- Vegetative Stage (average 4-8 weeks, length based on desired plant size) – In the vegetative stage, the cannabis plants are growing just stems and leaves. On average, most indoor growers vegetate their plants for 4-8 weeks. Seedlings are able to start flowering as early as 3 weeks from germination, but the resulting plants will be tiny. Most growers choose to let plants vegetate for longer because giving them more time to grow results in bigger plants, which tend to produce bigger yields as long as you have enough light to cover all the bud sites. That being said, you can still produce quite a bit of bud with a lot of small plants growing at once as long as you fill up your grow space.
- Flowering Stage (average 8-10 weeks, depends on strain) – This is when plants start making buds. The length of the flowering stage depends heavily on the strain/genetics, with an average of about 8-10 weeks for most strains. Some strains are bred to have very short flowering stages (for example, most auto-flowering strains will naturally start flowering at around 3 weeks old and some are ready to harvest just 5 weeks later, for a total of only 8 weeks from seed!). Other strains take months in the flowering stage before they’re ready to harvest. Typically, longer-flowering strains produce higher yields and short-flowering ones tend to produce lower yields. Buds that are exposed to more light-hours have more time to fatten up, though that’s not always the case.
- Post-Harvest (This is when the smell/taste/look you love shows up) (1-2+ weeks) – After buds are harvested, they are dried for about a week then placed in glass jars to “cure” for 2+ weeks in order to achieve the best quality. This post-harvest processing dramatically improves the taste, smell and the perceived potency of the buds. It also reduces the chance of buds causing headaches or unpleasant “speedy” effects. Don’t skip this step! It will account for nearly 50% of your final bud quality! Learn how to dry & cure your buds to perfection.
If you choose the right strain, you could be smoking your own buds as soon as 3 months from germination!
Before You Start Growing Weed
Total preparation time needed: Up to a few weeks
Here’s the breakdown…
Get equipment: 0 days – 2 weeks
This includes purchasing your equipment and/or waiting for it to show up in the mail. This goes much quicker if you buy everything locally, for example at a hydroponics shop. Once you have your marijuana growing supplies, you’ll need to setup your growing area and equipment. A standard setup should take an afternoon at most. Depending on how you purchase your equipment and how quickly you setup, you could be ready the same day or in two weeks (after factoring in shipping time).
Check out examples of new grower shopping lists to learn exactly which supplies you’ll need.
Get seeds or clones: 0-4 weeks:
If you’ve found seeds in your bud or have instant access to genetics (like knowing a grower or buying seeds/clones locally), you’re already good to go. If you order from a seed bank overseas (especially US residents), expect to wait 1-4+ weeks to get seeds. Shipping time depends on the shipper and how fast the mail gets delivered. Sometimes seeds get caught up in customs for weeks. Make sure to always order from a trustworthy vendor.
Time Needed to Grow Weed, From Seedling to Harvest
Total growing time needed: 3-5 months on average
Here’s the breakdown…
Germinate your seeds: 1 – 7 days
Seedlings can sprout in as little as a day, but by 3-5 days, they should be good to go. If you have access to clones, you get to skip this wait.
Learn my fail-proof method to germinate your seeds in soil/coco or hydro.
Vegetative Stage: 4-8 week average (but if you want big plants it may take longer)
The length of this stage is a matter of personal preference. Most cannabis plants won’t start flowering until they’re at least 3 or 4 weeks from germination, but after that you get to choose how long your plant spends in this stage (except auto-flowering strains, which automatically start flowering in 3-4 weeks from seed). Except for auto-flowering strains, you have total control over the vegetative stage because you’re the one to ‘flip the switch’ and get your plant to enter the next life stage: flowering.
When you start with a seed, even with an auto-flowering plant, you will always have at least 3-4 weeks of vegetative growth before any buds start forming no matter what you do. Growers generally allow their plants to stay in the vegetative stage from a few weeks to a few months.
The size your plant achieves in the vegetative stage has a very large effect on your final yields since bigger plants produce more bud sites than smaller plants. However, you need enough light to cover all the bud sites or they will never develop properly. Light is like food for bud growth!
These vegetating plants are about 4 weeks old from germination
To give you an idea as to what your FINAL marijuana plant may look like depending on how long it spends in the vegetative stage…
This plant didn’t spend any time in the Vegetative Stage. It was given 12-12 lighting almost immediately after sprouting. It’s so small that it spent its whole life in a solo cup, and its only light came from CFLs. I weighed down the bottom of the cup so it didn’t fall over. It ended up yielding about 0.75 oz.
These auto-flowering plants spent about 3 weeks in the vegetative stage before they automatically started flowering, and were ready to harvest just 5 weeks later. They were about a foot tall at harvest and yielded approximately 2 ounces each. Read the step-by-step tutorial to grow plants exactly like this.
This marijuana plant spent about 6 weeks in the vegetative stage before being changed over to flowering and yielded just over 6 ounces at harvest. View the complete grow journal with instructions on how to grow your plant so it looks just like this at harvest!
These cannabis plants were vegetated for about 8 weeks before being flipped to the flowering stage. Although they were grown in the exact same conditions from seed to harvest, their final heights are remarkably different because their strains had vastly different genetics. The smaller plant produced 6.6 ounces, while the big plant produced 9.3 ounces. Strain can make a big difference! Learn about growing different strains together.
These cannabis plants were vegetated for about 9 weeks before being flipped, in the exact same setup as above, and produced over 10 ounces each. Besides an extra week of veg, the biggest difference between this grow and the one above was simply the strains.
This human-sized plant (one of my very first plants) spent a little more than 3 months in the vegetative stage before I realized I needed to turn it over to the flowering stage. It then spent another 12 weeks in the flowering stage before it was ready to harvest because it was a long-flowering strain. It got way too tall for its space (taller than me!) and started falling over. However, despite the huge size and more than 5 months of growth, it only ended up yielding about 6 ounces. This is because it was under weak CFL grow lights. Though there were a lot of buds, the lack of strong light made them airy, without a lot of weight. Click the picture for a close-up.
Some people put their seedlings or clones right into the flowering stage if they want to harvest quickly though this makes for extremely small plants. For example, super-stealth growers who are growing in small hidden spaces – like out of a computer case – would want to put their seedlings into flowering nearly right away to keep their plants as small as possible. It’s also important to remember that container size and grow lights make a big difference. Small containers constrain the roots and keep plants from getting as big as they could, and small lights prevent buds from fattening up as much as they could.
I personally recommend at least 4 weeks in the vegetative stage with 18+ hours of light each day for the best results. Plants that are forced to start flowering sooner than 4 weeks don’t yield much compared to how much work you put in. That being said, keeping plants relatively small does have some benefits!
A good rule of thumb…
Your plant will likely double in size (maybe a bit less, maybe more) from when you first put it into the flowering stage; this is known as the Flowering Stretch. So make sure you end the vegetative stage before your plant reaches half the final height you want, or your cannabis plants may outgrow your grow space during the flowering stage!
Flowering Stage: (average 8-10 weeks, length depends on the strain/genetics)
Here’s the breakdown…
- Week 1-3 – Transition to Flowering
- Week 3-4 – “Budlets” Form
- Week 4-6 – Buds Start Fattening Up
- Week 6-8 – Buds Ripen, Pistils Darken – some strains spend longer in this stage
- Week 8-12+ – Flowering Ends, Harvest time!
The length of time needed to stay in the flowering stage depends heavily on the strain. Once you have switched your plant into the flowering stage they will stretch (the ‘flowering stretch’), form buds and then fatten.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite and best cannabis strains by the length of the flowering period:
Short (6-8 weeks)
– Known for being especially easy to grow – High-yielding, medical, high-CBD, medium-THC strain – Based on the famous White Widow strain but with a much faster finish – This version of Blue Cheese is fast flowering and easy to grow, yet buds are extra potent and produce great effects – One of the best strains for outdoor growing (and buds may turn pink or bright purple!) – A gem by Barney’s Farm, this strain “lifts you up” and causes a strong “head high” that can be a great way to relax after a tough day, or for when you want to get in a creative mood. – One of the most potent auto-flowering strains I’ve grown so far, ready in about 10 weeks from germination (7-week flowering stage) and just overall a healthy, easy, and high-yielding plant.
- In fact, if you’re interested in a very short flowering time, most auto-flowering strains are ready to harvest less than 3 months from seed.
Frisian Dew plant growing outdoors with deep purple buds
Medium (8-12 weeks)
– I just finished a grow with this strain and it impressed me. The buds did not turn purple but the smell, yields, and potency of buds were outstanding. – Medical strain, has a THC:CBD ratio of 1:1 – An award-winning strain that’s fruity, vigorous, and potent. The yields are not necessarily the highest, but it’s worth it for the quality of buds. I’ve grown this strain in many different setups and buds always come out great. – An award-winning strain that’s curiously strong. It’s one of the few “haze” cannabis strains that doesn’t take forever to finish flowering. – A cross between Gelato and OG Kush; two extremely popular strains in the US on the west coast. Finishes on the faster side, yet still produces great yields, potency, and smell. – Another beautiful Gelato cross, this time with the famous Gelato 33 clone (a very specific cut of Gelato), with Wedding Cake. – Another west coast favorite, this produces beautiful buds that are covered in crystals/trichomes, also high yielding. – Yields were so-so yet buds produce powerful effects. It turned a bit purple when I grew this strain (pictured below in the middle), which was a delightful surprise, but the potency is what I remember. – Easy to grow. Wants higher levels of nutrients in the flowering stage but rewards you with big yields, a strong spicy smell, and great potency.
Long: (12-14+ weeks)
- Many Haze strains, as well as some Sativa strains, and generally any strains that originated near the equator. – A cross between some of the best Haze strains in Southeast Asia. If you want to try something different that is almost impossible to find in the US or Europe, this is it. It produces psychedelic effects that defy its cannabinoid content. May be too intense for some people.
In general, most strains (besides auto-flowering strains) are in the medium range as far as how long they take to flower.
It’s not exact – There’s a 2-3 week harvest window for most plants, and keeping your plants in the flowering stage for a bit longer tends to increase your yields. This is because the plants tend to really bulk up their flowers once they’ve become ‘ripe’.
So often times, even though you could harvest at the shortest recommended time, waiting an extra week or two will give you 10-30% more yield compared to harvesting as early as possible.
Utopia Haze is a mix of Brazilian landrace strains
Post-Harvest (before you smoke you should do this stuff too)
Total post-harvest time needed: 2.5 weeks – 1.5+ months
Drying: 4 – 10 days
Good marijuana buds can be dried in as little as 4 days, but ideally, drying should be a slow process taking up to a week or more. Making sure your plants have been thoroughly dried (but not over-dried) will lower chances of mold during the curing process.
Curing: 2 weeks – 1+ months
Curing really seems to make the effects of buds feel less ‘speedy’ and be better suited to medical applications like treating anxiety, reducing pain, and improving feelings of depression.
Additionally, curing gets rid of any ‘cut grass’ smell, harsh taste and other undesirable traits of some freshly dried buds. Over time with proper curing, those traits will be replaced by the ‘real’ smell and potency profile of your buds.
Two weeks is considered the minimum time to cure your buds, but I personally cure all my buds for a month or even a bit longer because the buds continue to improve for several more weeks.
So, after you’ve bought seeds and equipment, grown a plant from seed to harvest, trimmed, dried and cured your buds, that brings us back to the original answer…
Total Time to Grow (and Be Ready to Use) Your Own Weed:
8 weeks – 5+ Months
Average Time to Grow (and Be Ready to Use) Your Own Weed:
3 – 5 months
If you haven’t started growing your own weed yet, today is the day!
New Grower Shopping Lists – What You Need to Get Started
How to Grow a Pound of Cannabis – Step-by-Step Instructions from Seed to Harvest
7 Tips for Growing Top-Shelf Buds – How to Grow Better Cannabis than the Dispensary!
How Long To Veg From Seed
The vegetative phase is one of the most important stages of growing cannabis. It takes place before flowering and after seedling. There is a lot you should know about when you’re growing cannabis no matter it’s indoor or outdoor growing.
And, it’s important to know how long to veg from seed as well. Because the number of yields and how you can maximize the yields are dependent on knowing the ideal duration of every stage.
Chances are you are here to know the ins and outs of the vegetative stage and how you should treat your plants in this stage. Well, then you are in luck because today, we are going to share some information that every grower must know.
We will talk in detail about the seedling and vegetative stages of cannabis plants and share some additional tips that you will find helpful while growing cannabis. Also, there is an FAQ section to vanish your confusion regarding this topic.
Well, enough beating around the bush, let’s just get to the point.
How Long to Veg From Seed
The one-worded answer is 3-6 weeks. Yes, the plant will be in the seedling anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks. Although it depends on which particular strain you cultivate and the environmental factors as well.
The seedling process will grow by destroying the seed coat. Meanwhile, the root systems at the plant’s base will start developing. Moreover, the leaves will start spreading out.
Your plants will step into their very first true growth cycle when new leaves grow. At this time, your plants will be growing until the flowering stage starts.
A healthy seed takes around 3-7 days to grow into a seedling. And, this stage will start only when the plants develop a stable root system as well as the beginning of growing ‘true leaves’ (true leaves are leaves that come with the same characteristics and forms of a mature cannabis leave).
Remember, you must pay attention to your plants all the time. Most importantly, the plants need much attention in the early stages of their growth and on the speed of developing foliage.
Your plants will transit into the vegetative stage once they start developing a stale root system and foliage. And, this is more important if you plan for transplantation. Because this is the right time to transfer your seedling to a new environment or container if you had been planning for it.
Some useful tips you should follow during the seedling stage:
- Maintain proper humidity
- Try to keep the temperature at 77°
- Control the number of nutrients
Now, you may ask, what’s wrong with the nutrients? Well, for your kind information, nutrients may burn the seedlings of your cannabis. However, if you have to use fertilizers, use them in moderation. And, it’s a good idea to use fertilizers that contain Nitrogen.
Right after you notice the cotyledons, you need to set up white light for 18 hours a day. Try to keep the temperature somewhere between 68 and 77°. And, when it comes to humidity, it should be around 60%.
You can use CFL lights for your seedlings as they will not produce too much heat. You can keep 2 inches distance between the seedlings and the lights that will make sure of providing them plenty of light.
And, now, your plants entered into the awaited vegetative stage when your plants come into their own and produce big leaves. In this stage, plants produce way more leaves since they absorb much more nutrients including Carbon Dioxide.
Not only the leaves but also the roots will keep expanding which will grow your plants taller. If you’re dealing with healthy plants, a single plant will grow up to 2” in a day.
In the primitive stage, you can control the vegetative stage by light exposure. And, if you are an outdoor grower, then, what part of the world you do live in will matter. If you are an indoor grower, you can keep the plants in the vegetative stage for as long as you want though generally, it lasts 1-2 months.
In this stage, there are a lot of happenings of the plants. For example, your plants will grow leaves and stalks. It creates a solid structure for supporting heavy buds. There will be adding new layers of leaves as well as the plants will grow larger and taller.
And, this is the time when you can recognize the cannabis varieties and notice the difference between them.
Hence, you should maintain the temperature properly by keeping them somewhere between 68 and 77° with the supply of white light (for 18 hours a day). And, make sure the humidity is around 50-70%. About the fertilizers, you should stick to the nitrogen-based ones.
The vegetative stage will last around 1-2 months.
How Vegetative Growth Time Affects the Yield
Does vegetative growth time affect your yield? If it does, then how?
Yes, two factors that increase yields are- veg time and light. So, yes, how long to veg from seed is an important question to ask. And, what about the brand of nutrients? Well, this is important as well, but we can keep it 5th on our list.
You may find it surprising that no matter, if it’s from seed or clone, doubling the veg time, can triple your yields. If you add 2 weeks to the veg time, you can get your double yield.
Since there’s nothing come without drawbacks, so the increased veg time is. A longer vegetative time will take more time and lengthen the growing schedule, as well as there will be more time to make a mistake along the way.
Ultimately, the thing is, the longer the vegetative stage is, the bigger the yield will be.
And, the vegetative stage should last 1-2 months. So, if you ask now, is 4 weeks veg enough? We would say, you know the answer, my friend!
Light Cycle of The Vegetative Stage
As we said before, there are a lot of happenings in the vegetative stage, you need to know about the proper care for this stage.
Although it’s standard to keep the plants under grow lights for around 18 hours, if you want them to grow as big as possible, you can keep the plants 24 hours under the growing lights.
However, your plants will not start the flowering stage until they start getting 12 hours of constant darkness. Or, the plants will be remaining in the vegetative stage.
Indoor Vegetative Stage
When it is the vegetative stage, it’s not only light that grows large cannabis plants. And, when we’re talking about indoor vegetative stages, it’s also important to have a well-maintained grow room that comes with a high ceiling.
Something worth mentioning here, there are some strains such as Jack Harer and Northern Lights that can grow high-yielding crops without those manipulations.
Outdoor Vegetative Stage
Before you move the cannabis plants outside so that they grow under the sun, you would keep them indoors under lights. You can either start seeds or cut clones in March or April. Moreover, you would keep them under lights for 18-24 hours before you move the plants in May or June.
Therefore, if you want to grow the plants outside, it’s a good idea to keep them inside so that any kind of danger such as frost has passed. A big change in the environment like snowfall or a sudden fall in temperature may kill your plant outright.
However, once the risks are gone, your plants still will be in the vegetative stage outdoor. And, the duration is from spring to late summer.
Clone Vs Seed How Long to veg for better yield?
Although there are a lot of advantages of growing your cannabis from seeds, they require a longer period to reach harvest time compared to clones. It takes up to a week to show the very first signs of life from the soil.
And, do you know how long does it take for seedlings to mature? They take around 1-2 weeks. So yes, add another week more. You may not find it too long, however, speedy auto-flowering strains are way too popular.
On the other hand, clones save time because you don’t have to wait to think when a seed will germinate or grow into a fairly sized seedling. All you need to with a clone is to root your cutting, and your plant is totally ready to grow!
However, if you want to know whether seed or clone will provide you with better yields, then there are a few factors to talk about. Such as:
- Seeds are really easy to access, but clones are a bit tough to access for home growers.
- You can simply throw the seeds into the soil and they are okay with it. But you need to be very much careful while handing with the seeds.
- There’s a risk whether seeds will germinate or not, with clones, it’s risk-free.
- Clones save time whereas seeds take much time.
So, if you ask whether seeds or clones to choose, the answer is, it depends. We have pointed some factors here, now, you decide which one is the right fit for you.
Tips for Maximum Yields
Scheduling the light cycle properly can maximize your yield. If it’s indoor planning, during the vegetative stage, you should remain the plants under grow lights for 24/0 or 18/6. You should continue it for around 60 days which is the ideal time for growing more flowers.
And, if it’s outdoor planning, schedule your light cycle for cannabis for either 18/6 or 24/0. But the most important thing here is, you should keep the plants inside for a while and wait until the unfavorable conditions (e.g sudden drop in the temperature) have passed. Once passed, you can bring the plants out as well as let them grow under the fresh, open atmosphere.
When Do You Need to Re-Veg a Cannabis Plant?
There are some particular reasons why re-vegging a harvested plant. For example, in case, you think that you need to preserve an exact replica of a certain phenotype that may transition into its flowering stage, re-veg is the only option left.
If you need to reduce the vegetative period for any reason, you can re-veg the cannabis plant. Also, re-vegging offers bushier and more vigorous plants. So, you can also increase lant yields by re-vegging them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do I Veg For?
Most growers veg their plants somewhere between 2 weeks and 2 months. However, some growers don’t veg at all while some go longer.
How long does everyone veg?
It varies from growers to growers. However, the duration is around 4 weeks.
What’s the Average Grow Period for Cannabis?
Different strains have different growth periods. Such as Sativa strains’ growth period is 16 weeks, Indica’s 8-12 weeks, and hybrid’s 6-10 weeks.
How Long Do Seeds Last?
If you store seeds properly and they are in a good condition, your seeds will last a minimum of 1 year. However, depending on which plant you grow may last 2-5 years.
Growing your own cannabis is not a big deal if you know how to do it properly. In every stage of it from seedling to flowering the plants, you need to know what to do and what not to do.
Knowing how long to veg from seed is one of the most important concerns. And, after reading the article, hopefully, you have no longer confusion in your mind regarding this topic. Also, we have shared some tips and tricks with you to maximize your yields.
The Stages of Cannabis Growth
Cannabis growth is made up of a series of stages that plants undergo during their lifecycle. Each stage during the cannabis cultivation process requires its own unique demands, including different levels of light, water, and nutrients.
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks!
The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
Cannabis Growth Timeline
1. Germinating: 1-7 days
2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks
3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks
4. Pre-Flowering: 1-2 weeks
5. Flowering: 6-8 weeks
1. Germinating Seeds
2. Seedling Stage
3. Vegetative Growth
How to tell if your plant is a male or female
Female: Two pistils (the pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower) will be growing on the buds (flowers grow above these leaves, one cluster on each side).
Male: Small green sacs full of pollen will be seen on the node areas.
- If there is a high color ratio of white to red pistils your cannabis will provide a euphoric THC high.
- If the color ratio is more red to white, your cannabis will provide a calmer, CBD-stoned feeling.
- If you harvest once half the trichomes are opaque and the pistils haven’t turned brown, your cannabis will provide a balanced THC/CBD high.
We Are Open, Essential, and Shipping On Time!
As a manufacturer and distributor of Air Cleaning, Ducting, and Filtration products we are proud to have been identified as an essential business. We will remain open for business performing essential operations during this crisis, supplying industrial, military, and healthcare operations with our products. We are shipping orders on time, with no delay in manufacturing.
Our phone lines are open from 9am-5pm central time, Monday through Friday. Our staff is working remotely wherever possible and we will maintain a bare minimum staff on-site to perform basic operations of order processing and accounting. Our on-site staff will follow the appropriate best practices and guidelines set forth by OSHA’s latest release of “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.”
These are unprecedented times and we are committed to protecting both our employees and our communities. Clean air has never been more important, and we’re making sure our customers have everything they need. From those working from home who need high quality air filters, to the other essential businesses we supply products to, we’re here for you.
We thank you for your support and your business and we hope that this will all be over soon.