Stages of Marijuana Growth

Cannabis plant growth cycle stages: seed planting, germination, sprout, seedling, vegetation, flowering, harvest.

Like any other plant, cannabis goes through different stages of growth and each of these growth stages require varying amounts of nutrients, water, and light. If you plan to grow marijuana plant, some of the basic questions that will cross your mind would be related to the stages of growing marijuana, how long each stage lasts to provide what the plants need at the right time.

Marijuana Seed germination

The first stage of growing marijuana is seed germination. For cannabis seedlings to germinate, they will need humidity, air, water, and a warm temperature. Place the seeds in a dark, humid, and warm place. As soon as the seeds open and start showing the first tap roots, put them in a small pot with the next medium for growing. The tap root will start to develop and produce their first oval leaves known as cotyledons.

Marijuana Seedlings

There are several stages of growing marijuana outdoors and the second one is the seedling stage. The seed opens and a pair of small leaves appear. Next,  the little plant starts producing single serrated leaflets. While the seedling grows and develops, new leaves with more leaflets appear until the plant starts producing digitate leaves that have serrated borders. These are commonly known as the cannabis fan leaves. This stage may last up to 3 weeks.

Marijuana Vegetative stage

The vegetative stage comes next in the stages of marijuana growing. Here healthy cannabis plants will grow in size and height given the proper conditions. At some point, the plant will grow only stems and leaves. It might also start developing pre-flowers which indicate the plant’s sex. However, the buds will only start developing as the days grow shorter, usually in fall.

Depending on the desired size of the plant, most cannabis growers keep their indoor plants in this stage between 4 to 8 weeks. Depending on the strain, the plant may start flowering starting the 4th week of this stage. But these plants will have a smaller size. Growers who give their plants more time to vegetate will grow larger plants that may produce higher yields. When growing plants indoors growers must change the timer of the lights to a 12/12 hours schedule to stimulate the flowering stage.

Marijuana Flowering stage

The flowering stage for indoor plants can get triggered by changing the light timer to a 12/12 schedule. It’s very important not to interrupt the hours of darkness of the plants so they will flower correctly. Any interruption might confuse the plant and cause a delay in flowering. The plant might even go back to the vegetative stage or start developing hermaphrodite flowers, which is something growers don’t want to happen.

For outdoor plants, they usually enter the flowering stage as the days grow shorter. Autoflowering cannabis strains don’t require a photoperiod change for them to start flowering. The vegetative stages of outdoor plants generally last around 4 weeks, after which they will automatically change stages.

Marijuana Ripening

The cannabis buds will gain the most weight in the last few weeks. At this time, they become sticky to the touch and become very smelly. When this happens, growers can almost start harvesting. The pistils of the cannabis plant at this stage, will start showing cream, brown, and white colors. They will also curl inwards and get covered with trichomes. Similarly, the trichomes will change colors too. It’s important for growers to pay close attention to all of these changes as they are the best indications for knowing when it’s time to harvest.

Where to plant Marijuana

Before growers can pack their flowers and buds using GreenRush Packaging, they must first grow their plants successfully. Knowing where to plant plays an important part in this.


Some growers grow their cannabis plants in the spring so they can harvest in the fall. The most crucial step for outdoor growers is to choose the right soil. The right soil should contain organic materials and plant nutrients including earthworm castings, forest humus and microbes. There are also soils classified as “super soils” because they either eliminate or minimize the need for additional plant food or nutrients. Investing in cannabis-compatible soil is the best investment for outdoor growers.


This is the best option for those who want to grow their plants in a space with controlled conditions. A greenhouse will provide bright sunlight needed to raise a healthy plant while offering better controls in terms of the plant’s environment. For instance, darkness is crucial for the plant during some of the growth stages. A greenhouse will provide the grower with the control to use roof covering systems or blackout shades. Also, the plants can receive protection from the elements in a greenhouse along with protection from pets and wild animals. However, a greenhouse costs a lot and it isn’t ideal for budget-conscious growers.


Indoor growers will have the flexibility to plant their seeds any time of the year as long as they manage the indoor conditions like the humidity, temperature, air quality, and light. In particular, light management is very important because plants cannot thrive without enough light. Unlike outdoor gardens where there is an abundance of sunlight, with indoor plants, growers must invest in a lighting system.

Best time to plant Marijuana

The best reminder that it is time for growers to start outdoor growing and seed germination is the Spring Equinox. During this time, the sun will be high in the sky. Growers must make sure that all of their plants are outdoors by the Summer Solstice. When the autumn season comes, the weather will start changing as the sun will descend in the sky. By this time, cannabis plants should have already developed their sticky and sweet buds. The urge to harvest can be very tempting but it’s recommended to wait until around the Fall Equinox to harvest.

After harvesting, growers must have their harvests cleaned, dried, and cured, well before the Winter Solstice. After all of these important steps, they can start making other products like topicals, tinctures, cannabutter, and more. After growing, producing and packaging different cannabis products, growers can now kick their feet up and relax during the winter after a long and productive growing season.

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