So, how long does it actually take to grow marijuana? Short Answer: From Day 1 of your marijuana plant's life to a smokable harvest, you are looking at a window ranging between 3 and 7+ months! Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months. Long Answer: These factors have the greatest impact on total time to harvest: Plant strain – strain has the largest impact on growing time.
Desired yields – do you want to grow a few grams, a few ounces, or a few pounds? Growing method – differing grow methods/setups can add or subtract a few weeks or even months! 7 Tactics To Get To Harvest As Quickly As Possible. Faster is not always better, but there are ways that you can speed up the time from seedling to harvest without sacrificing quality, potency or yields. So today I'd like to share a short guide on how you can reduce the time to harvest, and how you can reduce the amount of time you actually spend tending your plants, and still get outstanding results. If you're serious about getting yields as quickly as possible, then these tactics will get you there the right way! 1.) Fewer Hours of Light Each Day in Flowering Stage. With photoperiod (regular) strains, you can manipulate the light schedule in the flowering stage to get buds to mature faster. Although most plants will start flowering when they get less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day (that's when plants usually start flowering outdoors), it can take them a long time to "finish" and be ready to harvest with days that long. Because of that, it's recommended to give plants 12 hours of light each day, and 12 hours of dark to get the plant to start flowering, because plants usually finish maturing in about 8-12 weeks after the switch to 12/12.
However, some Sativa and Haze strains are from the equator, and they may not flower properly under a 12/12 light schedule. In that case, a grower can give a plant 10 or 11 hours instead of 12 hours of light a day, like a 11/13 or 10/14 schedule. This will cause the plant to finish flowering faster. In fact, this can be done to any strain to get it to finish flowering faster. Give plants only 10 or 11 hours of light a day to get buds to mature faster. The one downside is that a shorter flowering stage with less hours of light each day mean that buds get less time to fatten and you will end up with smaller yields. Therefore it's not recommended to try to get a plant to finish flowering in less than 8 weeks, as you'll end up with very small yields. This technique is best used if you have a plant that's been flowering for 2-3 months and doesn't look like it plans on stopping any time soon. The less light you give your plant overall during its life, and especially in the flowering stage, the less your yields will be in general. A strain that takes longer to finish flowering usually produces bigger yields than a short-flowering strain because it gets so many extra light-hours where it's making energy and fattening buds. On a similar note, an auto-flowering plant gets pretty great yields considering it goes from seed to harvest in just 3 months. A big part of that is because they get 18 hours/light a day during their entire flowering period (compared to only 12 a day for regular plants)/ This gives the plant more light each day to produce buds, resulting in bigger yields. As you probably know, the life cycle for all marijuana plants is separated into two parts: the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. The vegetative stage can be shortened by getting the plant to grow faster when she's young. Yet the length of the flowering stage (the time between when flowers first start forming and when the plant is ready to harvest) is pretty much strain-specific. That means that once you've started flowering a specific strain, there isn't a whole lot good options to speed things up during the flowering stage. Note: There are special light schedules, that involve lowering the amount of light each day in the flowering stage, which can sometimes get harvest to come a little quicker. For example a 10-14 schedule (10 hours light, 14 hours dark each day) during the flowering stage may get plants ready to harvest a week or two sooner for some strains, but lowering the amount of light each day combined with harvesting sooner really hurts your yields. Many Indica hybrids (such as AK-48 and Northern Lights) naturally have very short flowering periods of only 7-9 weeks, which is a shorter flowering time than most other strains. For example a haze strain (like Haze 1 from Nirvana) can take 3-4 months in the flowering stage before being ready to harvest. Every different strain has pros and cons, but if time is a factor for you, pay close attention to the length of the flowering stage when deciding which strain to grow. The majority of seed banks list the length of the flowering period as part of their stats for each strain.
Some strains are 'auto-flowering' and go through their whole life cycle regardless of light cycle or anything you can control.
These strains tend to be ready to harvest in only 2-3 months from seed (though you should definitely expect smaller plants with relatively small yields when choosing an auto-flowering strain). Auto-flowering strains of marijuana contain higher levels of CBD, a cannabinoid which has been associated with many medical benefits.