How to Tell If Your Cannabis Is In Its Growth Stage


Cannabis is a unique plant that has many stages of growth. Growing cannabis can be unpredictable, but it is also full of surprises.

If you’re a cannabis user, it’s essential to know how to tell if your plant is in its growth stage. This will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your crop and not wasting any valuable time or resources.

This blog post will explore the different stages of cannabis growth and what you can expect during each phase. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines – some strains will grow differently than others. So, let’s get started!

Why do the stages of weed growth matter?

The different stages of cannabis growth matter because they determine how the plant is developing. During the growth stage, the plant is growing and expanding its buds. This is the stage where you want to ensure that your plant gets enough light, water, and nutrients. Your cannabis plant will reach its full potential and produce high-quality buds if you provide the necessary care.

The different stages of growing cannabis

Whether you’re a budding (pun intended) enthusiast, or a seasoned breeder, knowing the different stages of cannabis growth is imperative to your success. After all, the quality of your yield will very much depend on when you harvest the nugs. The cannabis plant can be a tricky endeavor, especially when you consider that each stage requires special care – from water levels, amount of sunlight, nutrition, and more.

Generally speaking, the cannabis plant life cycle is divided into six stages ranging from sprouting to harvesting. The length of each stage can vary depending on which strain you’re growing. Nevertheless, they’re still pretty much consistent across strains and breeds.

Stage 1: Sprouting (day three to week one)

The first stage of cannabis growth is known as sprouting. The cannabis seeds will germinate during this phase, and the taproot will start to grow. The key to success is ensuring that the soil is moist but not wet during this phase. You’ll also want to ensure that the plant receives plenty of light – either from the sun or from grow lights.

Be sure to select high-quality cannabis seeds. This will give you a headstart if you want a healthy cannabis plant that’s both vibrant and rich in THC.

Stage 2: Seedling (weeks one to three)

The second stage of growth is known as the cannabis seedling stage. The plant will grow more leaves during this phase, and the stem will become thicker. It’s crucial during this stage to make sure that the plant continues to get a lot of light. You can also start to fertilize the plant with a weak nutrient solution.

Stage three: Vegetative growth (weeks three to six)

The third stage of cannabis growth is known as the vegetative growth phase. This is where the plant will start to take off and increase after the seedling stage. You can train the cannabis plant by pruning or bending the stem.

During the vegetative stage, cannabis will require the following nutrients in abundance to support its growth and transition into pre-flowering: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S).

Stage four: Pre-flowering (weeks six to eight)

The fourth stage of cannabis growth is known as the pre-flowering stage. During this phase, the plant will produce flowers in preparation for harvest.

You can also determine whether your crop is a female plant or male during this phase. Learn more about differentiating the two by reading our blog – How to Identify Male vs Female Weed Plants.

Female cannabis plants are the ones you want to keep as they produce buds. Male plants should be removed as they will only pollinate the female plants and reduce the quality of the buds.

Stage five: Flowering (weeks eight to ten)

The fifth stage of cannabis growth is known as the flowering stage. This is when the female cannabis plant will produce its buds which are high in THC. The key during this phase is to make sure that the plant gets plenty of light and nutrients.

Ideally, a weed plant in the flowering phase will want almost equal periods of full sun and complete dark. You can also increase the amount of water you give the plant.

During the flowering stage, you’ll want to watch out for these key indicators of nug quality:

  • Trichomes are the tiny, white hairs that cover the buds. The more trichomes, the higher the THC and terpene content.
  • Pistils are the tiny, white hairs that grow out of the buds. The more pistils, the higher the CBD content.
  • Nodes are the points on the stem where leaves branch out. The more nodes, the higher the THC content.
  • According to expert breeders, amber color indicates high CBD content.

Stage six: Harvesting (weeks ten to twelve)

The final stage of cannabis growth is known as harvesting. This is when you will cut down the marijuana plant and dry the buds. The key during this phase is to make sure that the buds are dry before you store them.

To ensure the quality of the buds when harvesting, it’s essential to:

  1. Cut down the plant when the trichomes are milky white. This indicates that the THC content is at its highest.
  2. Dry the buds slowly and evenly. This will prevent them from molding or becoming too crumbly.
  3. Cure the buds in a dark, humid environment for two to four weeks. Ideally, the curing process should be done at 45 to 60 °F. This will allow THCA to convert to THCA.

The different marijuana plant stages can be tricky, but with a little bit of know-how and some TLC, you’ll be able to produce some top-notch nugs!

How to tell if your cannabis is in its growth stage: signs to look out for

It can be tricky to determine which stage of growth your cannabis plant is in. However, there are a few telltale signs that you can look out for:

  1. The first is the size of the leaves. In the early cannabis plant stages of growth, cannabis leaves tend to be small and delicate. The leaves will grow larger and become more sturdy as the plant matures.
  2. Another sign to look for is the color of the leaves. Younger plants will generally have brighter green leaves, while older plants will have darker, more olive-colored leaves.
  3. The shape of the leaves can also be a clue to the cannabis growth stage. In the early stages, the leaves are usually round and soft. Later on, they will become narrower and more pointed.
  4. Later on, you can inspect growing flowering buds. Pre-flowers are tiny, round buds that appear in the leaf axils (where the leaves meet the stem). They’re usually white or pale green, and they don’t have any pistils (the tiny hairs that turn into flowers). Once flowering begins, these pre-flowers will grow larger and develop color.
  5. Some strains will begin to emit a scent or aroma during the growth phase. This is usually a faint, earthy smell. However, some strains can be pretty intense, especially during flowering.
  6. You can also take a look at the stems of your plants. In the early stages of growth, the stems are usually thin and delicate. As the cannabis crop matures, the stem will become thicker and more sturdy.
  7. The size and shape of the buds can also give you a clue to the cannabis growth stage. In the early stages, the buds are usually small and round. Later on, they will become larger and more elongated.

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines. Each plant will grow differently depending on its strain and growing conditions. If you’re not sure what stage your plant is in, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait until it matures a bit more.

Trying to harvest your cannabis while it’s still in its growth stage can result in subpar yields and lower potency. So, be patient and let your cannabis plant grow! It will be worth the wait.

Cannabis growth stages: indoor versus outdoor growing

There are two main options for the cannabis growth stage: indoor or outdoor growing. Where you choose to grow your weed significantly affects growth outcomes and yield quantity and quality — so choose wisely!

Indoor Growing

Indoor growing is the most popular way to grow cannabis, as it allows for more control over the environment. You can regulate the temperature, humidity, and light exposure, which is crucial for optimal growth. Indoor growers also have the advantage of being able to grow year-round.

When weed is grown indoors, the plant stages are typically longer, as less exposure to the elements. This gives you more time to monitor and tweak your plant’s growth as needed. Indoor-grown cannabis also tends to be higher in THC levels than outdoor-grown plants.

Outdoor Growing

Outdoor growing is less expensive and requires less maintenance, but it’s more challenging to control the environment. Outdoor plants are also at the mercy of the weather, which can be a significant disadvantage during certain times of the year.

When weed is grown outdoors, the growth phase is typically shorter. This is because the plants are exposed to more sunlight and natural elements, which help them mature more quickly. Outdoor-grown cannabis also tends to be lower in THC levels than indoor-grown plants.

Growing weed indoors or outdoors – which is better?

There is no easy answer when deciding whether indoor or outdoor growing is better for cannabis. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your situation and preferences.

Whichever option you choose, make sure that you’re providing your plants with the best possible conditions for marijuana plant growth. Don’t forget to consider your budget, too – indoor growing can be more expensive than outdoor growing.

Other factors to consider when growing cannabis

Aside from a plant’s growing needs, the cannabis plant does its quirks. It’s not the easiest crop to grow, after all. Consider these factors before partaking in the equally fun and head-scratching venture growing marijuana.

Sativa or Indica

One of the most important factors to consider when growing cannabis is the type of strain you’re growing. Sativa strains tend to grow taller and have more extended flowering periods. In comparison, Indica strains are shorter and have shorter flowering periods.

Ask any breeder, and they’ll tell you that it’s much easier to grow an Indica strain. They are more forgiving of mistakes and don’t require as much attention as sativas.

However, the choice of strain is entirely up to you. If you’re looking for a challenge, go ahead and try growing a Sativa. Just be prepared to put in some extra work.

Sun or shade

Marijuana plants need a lot of sunlight to grow properly. They need more sunlight than most other crops. Suppose you live in an area with long winters and short summers. In that case, you might want to consider growing your cannabis plants indoors under artificial light.

On the other hand, if you live in a sunny climate, you can probably grow your plants outdoors. Just make sure they get plenty of direct sunlight.

Water or soil

Cannabis plants can be grown in either soil or water. Soil is the traditional way to grow cannabis, and it’s what most growers are used to. However, there are some advantages to growing cannabis in water. For one, you don’t have to worry about watering your plants as often.

Cannabis grown in water also tends to be more resistant to pests and diseases. This is because the root system is constantly aerated, which prevents them from getting waterlogged and becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Grow lights

If you’re growing cannabis indoors, you’ll need to provide your plants with artificial light. There are a few different types of grow lights available so that you can choose the best suits your needs.

  1. HID (high-intensity discharge) lights are the most popular type of grow light. They’re efficient and produce a lot of heat, perfect for cannabis plants.
  2. LED (light-emitting diode) lights are becoming more popular as they become more affordable. They’re not as efficient as HID lights, but they produce much less heat. This makes them ideal for small grows where heat is a concern.
  3. CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs are another option for small growth. They’re inexpensive and emit very little heat, but they’re not as bright as HID or LED lights.


Proper ventilation is essential for any grow room, but it’s necessary when growing cannabis. Cannabis plants produce a lot of moisture, leading to mold and mildew if not properly ventilated.

Make sure your grow room has adequate ventilation to prevent problems. You can use fans, air conditioners, or dehumidifiers to control the humidity in your grow room.

Cannabis plants are delicate creatures, so it’s essential to give them the care they need. You can ensure that your plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest by following these tips.

Storing cannabis after harvest

After the curing process, your buds are now ready to be stored and enjoyed. As for storing cannabis, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Store your cannabis plant nugs in an airtight container. This will prevent it from drying out and losing its potency.
  2. Keep your cannabis in a cool, dark place. Heat and light can cause your buds to degrade over time. The ideal temperature would be around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Check on your cannabis every few weeks to ensure it’s still fresh. If it starts to dry out or lose its aroma, it’s time to consume it.

Cannabis plants are a lot of work, but the result is worth it. You can ensure that your plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest by following these tips. So get out there and start growing!

Cannabis growth stages: Final Thoughts

The cannabis plant has a growth stage, just like any other plant. Understanding when your cannabis is in its growth stage can help you better care for the plant and produce a higher yield. 

Here at Chronic Paradise, we want to help you produce the best product possible, so be sure to check back often for more information on cannabis cultivation. Check out our flower products, and don’t miss out on our amazing selections as well!

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