You want to know how long it takes to grow your own pot? That depends on several factors. But roughly? From beginning till the end? The amount of time that covers the total life cycle of cannabis exists of 2 main phases:
- Vegetative phase
- Flowering phase
There are quite some factors that influence how much time it takes to grow your own weed. The main influencers include whether you’re growing sativa or indica, photoperiod or autoflowering strains and whether you decide to grow indoors or outdoors.
Autoflowering vs. photoperiod cannabis strains
Traditionally, a cannabis sativa or indica plant flowers depending on their light cycle. In a natural environment, cannabis plants will begin to flower around fall, when the days get shorter and they ultimately receive less light.
However, all that changed with the discovery of cannabis ruderalis, a unique species first discovered in the 1920s, and the subsequent creation of autoflowering cannabis varieties. Autoflowering strains start to flower at a certain age. They don’t care at all how much hours of light they receive, they will just start flowering. When working with autoflowering cannabis varieties, you can expect to harvest buds in between 7 to 12 weeks, depending on the specific genetics you’re working with.
If you choose to stick with photoperiod cannabis varieties, however, this will take much longer as your plants will have to pass through their regular vegetative phase (which can last only a few weeks or several months) as well as their flowering period, which can last between 6-9 weeks for indicas and 8-14 weeks for sativas.
Remember, these are just ballpark figures. The exact flowering periods of your plants will vary depending on the exact genetics you’re working with.
Indor vs. outdoor growing weed
Another major factor affecting the grow time of your cannabis plants is whether you choose to grow indoors or outdoors.
For outdoor growers, grow times can vary greatly depending on when they plant their seeds. If you start your grow in early spring, your plants will experience a long vegetative phase that usually lasts up until the end of summer or the beginning of fall (when the days begin to get shorter). If you plant late, however, the vegetative phase of your plants is significantly reduced.
From there, your plants will enter their flowering period. This stage can last anywhere from 6 to 14 weeks depending on the genetics of your plants. Some indica varieties, like Skunk, can flower in just 6-7 weeks while sativa strains usually take a bit longer. Sativas usually have a flowering time of around 9-12 weeks, but some pure Hazes are known for a flowering period up to 14 weeks.
Indoor growers, on the other hand, have much more control over the length of their grow. This is due to the fact that they can manually control the light and dark periods their plants are exposed to and force their plants to flower as they see fit.
Indoor growers tend to leave their plants in their vegetative phases for 2, 3, or 4 weeks by exposing to at least 18 hours of light per day. After these few weeks they switch to a light schedule of 12/12 to induce flowering. Some growers, however, may choose to keep their plants from flowering for longer, allowing to bulk up and develop even further and ultimately produce more buds later on.
Once your plants enter their flowering stage, you’ll then have to wait another 6-14 weeks until harvest depending on the genetics of your plants.
Don’t forget about the time it takes to dry your buds. A decent drying process takes at least 10-14 days and is crucial for the end quality of your marijuana. You can mess up a great grow if you don’t dry your weed correctly. And if you have the time, you also should give them a full month of curing. You will certainly thank yourself for that!