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The Growth Stages of Marijuana

08/30/2017 All About Cannabis

There are three stages to the life cycle of the marijuana plant.

  • Stage 1: The Immature Stage

The immature stage generally lasts about two weeks. During this time, the immature plant can be obtained by sprouting from seed or by cloning. In cloning, cuts are taken from the mother, which is a plant that has been maintained in the vegetative stage and not allowed to flower. After the clipping it taken, it is dipped in a rooting gel and placed in a germination cube.

The clone is then placed on a plastic tray with other clippings and covered with a plastic dome. The clones receive light from fluorescent lamps 24 hours a day for two weeks, or until the roots are developed. This process is referred to as rooting.

Once the clones have rooted the plants are then placed in soil, or if grown hydroponically, in the grower’s chosen hydroponic media. Clones are generally 6-12″tall at the end of this growth stage. The plant is now moved into Stage 2.

  • Stage 2: The Vegetative Cycle

Lasting about 60 days, this stage is referred to as the vegetative cycle, or simply “veg’.

During the vegetative stage, the clones are transplanted from germination cubes into flower pots or a chosen hydroponic method. The plants continue to receive light 24 hours a day. This encourages the plant to grow tall and bushy in preparation for the flowering cycle. If the plant does not receive light 24 hours a day, it will begin the flowering cycle, stage 3.

Plants are typically 2-4 feet tall at the end of stage 2.  Fluorescent lighting is used during this growth stage. It is in this stage of life that mothers are kept. This allows the grower to keep specific strains alive to cut clones from, so the entire process can be repeated. Typically, mothers have a lifespan of 90-120 days and grow upwards of 3-6 feet tall.

  • Stage 3: The Flowering Cycle

Commonly known as the flowering cycle, this stage can last anywhere from 60-90 days. During the flowering cycle, the plants begin a 12 hours on, 12 hours off lighting cycle. The plant no longer concentrates on growing in size instead focusing its energy on producing the flowers, commonly referred to as colas or buds.

High-pressure sodium light bulbs are used during Stage 3. These are typically contained in an 18″ or 24″ hood-like structure, with reflective sides surrounding the outer edges. This encourages the light to shine down towards the plant, rather than out.

Ventilation is often required to remove heat from the lights. It is generally found entering one end of the light and coming out the other end. The ducts are typically run to the outside of the room and are often capped with charcoal filters to eliminate any smell the marijuana plant may produce.

During the final 2 weeks of Stage 3, the plants are “flushed:’  This is when nutrients are no longer given to the plant in order to eliminate any residue once harvested. Plants in the flush stage will appear to take on a more yellowish color.

Once the end of Stage 3 has been reached, the plant is ready to be harvested. From this point on through post-production is when the plant is most valuable.

Ask your expert Buddy Boy budtender

Most of our medical marijuana is grown in-house so we can ensure quality, potency, and safety. Check out some of the strains we grow and some we don’t.  Stop by one of our locations to learn more about strains and which will be best for you!



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