One of the most frequently asked questions about cannabis is “How long does it take to flower?” Keep reading to find out the answer!
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The Cannabis Plant
Cannabis is a flowering plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family. The three primary subspecies of the cannabis plant are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The cannabis plant has been used medicinally for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that people began to breed it for its THC content.
The Different Types of Cannabis
Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis are the three most common types of cannabis. All three types can be found growing wildly in their respective regions.
Cannabis sativa is the most widely known type of cannabis. This hardy plant originates from Central Asia and is adaptable to a wide range of climates. It typically grows to between 6 and 12 feet tall, with long, thin leaves. The buds of a cannabis sativa plant are large and loosely packed. This type of cannabis takes longer to mature than other types, typically taking between 10 and 16 weeks to flower.
Cannabis indica originates from the Hindu Kush mountain range, which runs through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. This type of cannabis is shorter and bushier than sativa, with wider leaves. Indica plants typically mature more quickly than sativas, usually taking between 8 and 12 weeks to flower. The buds of an indica plant are denser and heavier than sativa buds.
Cannabis ruderalis is a wild type of cannabis that originates from Russia and Central Asia. It is the least popular type of cannabis because it contains lower levels of THC than sativa or indica plants. Ruderalis plants are shorter than both sativas and indicas, typically only growing to about 2 or 3 feet tall. They have thinner leaves than either sativa or indica plants. Cannabis ruderalis flowers based on age rather than light cycles like other types of cannabis; it typically takes about 10 weeks for this plant to flower fully.
The Cannabis Life Cycle
Cannabis is an annual, dioecious, flowering herb. The leaves are palmately compound or digitate, with serrate leaflets. The first pair of leaves usually have a single leaflet, the number gradually increasing up to a maximum of about thirteen leaflets per leaf (usually seven or nine), depending on variety and growing conditions. At the top of a flowering plant, this number again diminishes to a single leaflet per leaf. The lower leaf pairs usually occur in an opposite leaf arrangement and the upper leaf pairs in an alternate arrangement on the main stem of a mature plant.
As is common in serrated leaves, each serration has a central vein extending to its tip. However, the serration vein originates from lower down the central vein of the leaflet, typically opposite to the position of, not the first notch down, but the next notch. This means that on its way from the midrib of the leaflet to the point of the serration, the vein serving the tip of the serration passes close by the intervening notch. Sometimes this vein will actually pass tangent to itself where it passes close by that notch. In many leaves with prominent veins, a bundletrace (one bundle per major vein) extends PAST that point and circles back around toward Alexander’s dark green “x” at base before terminating at one or more minor veins in blade margin near apex; paler green and more glabrous above; finely pubescent beneath.”);
The Flowering Stage
The flowering stage is the final stage of cannabis growth. It’s when the plant produces buds and flowers. The flowering stage begins when the plant receives less than 12 hours of light per day. The amount of time it takes for the cannabis plant to flower depends on the strain, the offshoot of the main cannabis plant.
The Length of the Flowering Stage
The flowering stage is the final stage of cannabis growth before harvest. It typically lasts 7-10 weeks for most strains, with some indica strains taking as little as 6 weeks and sativa strains taking up to 14 weeks. Week 1 of flowering is typically when growers see the biggest increase in size, as the plant begins to put all its energy into developing buds instead of foliage.
Over the next few weeks, buds will continue to swell and THC production will increase. During this time, it’s important to keep an eye on your plants and make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Too much or too little of certain elements can cause problems that will impact yield and quality.
The last few days of flowering are when buds will swell the most and THC levels will peak. This is when growers need to be extra careful not to over-fertilize, as too much nitrogen at this stage can lead to problems with bud development. Once flowers are fully developed, it’s time to harvest!
The Factors That Affect the Length of the Flowering Stage
There are several different factors that can affect the length of the flowering stage for cannabis plants. These include the type of strain, the growing conditions, and even the time of year. Here’s a look at some of the things that can influence how long it takes for your plants to flower.
Type of Strain
The type of strain you’re growing can have a big impact on how long it takes for your plants to flower. Some strains are known for being faster flowering than others. For example, indica strains tend to have shorter flowering times than sativa strains. This is one reason why indica strains are often chosen by growers who are looking for a quick turnaround.
However, it’s important to note that there is a lot of variation within each type of strain. So, just because you’re growing an indica doesn’t mean that it will definitely flower quickly. There are many other factors that can come into play.
The conditions in which your plants are grown can also influence the length of the flowering stage. For example, if you’re growing outdoors, your plants will be influenced by the changing seasons. In general, cannabis plants need less light as they enter the flowering stage, so they will flower more quickly in late summer and early fall when the days start to get shorter. On the other hand, if you’re growing indoors under artificial lights, you have more control over the light cycle and can choose when to start the flowering stage. This means that you can generally get your plants to flower more quickly than if you were growing them outdoors.
Time of Year
The time of year can also play a role in how long it takes for cannabis plants to flower. If you’re growing outdoors, then the time of year will naturally dictate when your plants start to flower. As mentioned above, shorter days in late summer and early fall trigger the flowering stage in most cannabis strains. However, if you’re growing indoors, you can begin the flowering stage whenever you want regardless of what time of year it is.
It is important to remember that the cannabis flowering process is greatly affected by the type of strain you are growing. Indica strains tend to have shorter flowering periods than sativas. Hybrids can fall somewhere in the middle, with some being closer to indicas and others being closer to sativas. In general, it takes anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks for cannabis plants to flower. However, there are always exceptions to this rule and some strains can take longer or shorter to flower depending on the conditions they are grown in.