[Sticky] The Life Cycle of a Cannabis Plant.
The Life Cycle of a Cannabis Plant
Before you can really begin to under stand how to grow weed, you need to understand the life cycle of a cannabis plant. This used to be a simple, straight forward thing to explain, but over the years, with the release of "feminised seed" and " auto flowering strains", things have become a little more technical.
The life cycle of a cannabis plant can be broken down into a few sections:
This is when a cannabis seed has received moisture, and warmth. If the conditions are right, the seed will "crack" open, and reveal a "tap root". This root will push its way downwards, whilst a shoot will push it way upwards. Once the head of the shoot has broken through the top of the medium ( Soil/ Coco/ Rock wool), it will develop two leaves, these are called "cotyledons". They are round, and not the usual, pointy leaf, we all recognise to be the cannabis leaf.
After a few days, or anything up to a week, the root system has spread out, and the leaves will begin to grow, this is when germination is complete.
If you would like a step by step guide on germinating cannabis seeds, check out "
Percys Grow Guides: Germination
Once the plant has established a good root system, and a few leaves to catch enough light, they will begin the "vegetative phase" of the grow cycle. This is where the plant grows leaves, stems and branches. The plant will stay in the vegetative state whilst it is getting between 16-24 hours of light a day. Most indoor growers have lights on for 18 hours a days, with lights off for 6. This will usually be refereed to as 18/6, you can read more about light cycles, and what they mean, here:
Percys Grow Guides: Light Cycles.
When the plant is in "veg", experienced growers will apply certain techniques to improve the final yield of a cannabis plant. Techniques such as "topping", "Fimming" and " L.S.T" will all help increase the yield of a cannabis plant. Once the plant has reached a sufficient size, then you can change the light cycle, to induce flowering. Auto flowering strains work a little differently to this, as they will grow and flower under any light cycle, even when the lights are on for 24 hours a day!
Percys Grow Guides: Auto Flowering Cannabis Plants
After around four weeks of 16 hours + of light, the plant will reach " sexual maturity". At this stage you can change the light cycle to induce the flowering phase. If the cannabis plant receives around 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness everyday, it will begin to flower. This is when it starts to grow the buds if its a female, and pollen sacs if it is male, ( sometimes both if you have a hermaphrodite).
Percys Grow Guides: Male or Female?
Usually, the male plant is no good to a grower, and is only useful to some one who is considering breeding cannabis plant. The male is very low in THC, and if the pollen reaches a female cannabis plant that is also in flower, the female will develop seeds. Most growers grow their own weed for their own personal use, through either smoking or ingesting edibles, so seeds are not a desired trait in buds. Because of this, feminised seeds ( seeds that are genetically female) are the most popular seeds used by growers, as they are pretty much guaranteed to be female.
Depending on the strain, the flowering phase can last anything from 6- 14 weeks. This will depend on "Indica/ Sativa dominance. Near the end of a plants life, it will begin to loose its leaves, and ripen the buds. This is where it will need to be cut down ( Harvested), and hung to dry.
Percys Grow Guides: When to Harvest a Cannabis Plant
Percys Grow Guides: Whats the Difference between Indica & Sativa?
The life cycle of a cannabis plant can be extended for as long as a grower needs, as long as the light cycle is kept over 18 hours a day, a plant can be kept alive for years before inducing it to flower. This is how some growers keep a "mother" plant. Growing a mother plant is a great way to keep a "Phenotype" (The particular genetic traits expressed by a plant) alive, and a continuous source of cuttings. Growing from cutting will guarantee all of your plant share the same genetics, if cut from a female cannabis plant,then your cuttings will all be female too.
Percys Grow Guides: How to Keep a Mother Plant
Percys Grow Guides: Taking Cuttings From a Cannabis Plant
Much love Percy Growers, Happy Growing!
We have guides to growing cannabis, cannabis grow dairies that cover growing weed in hydroponics, soil and coco. Find the help you need, by either, using the search box, or asking for help in the forum.
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