The Cycle of Life of a Cannabis plant: An epic story

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From Seed to Harvest, discover each step of her growth

As any yearly plant, Cannabis’s life cycle ranges from germination to flowering, after which the plant dies.
We can divide this life cycle in 7 stages, starting at germination and ending at the harvest of it’s sweat sweat flowers.

Choosing your seed

The choice of your seed is crucial. The different families of Cannabis available have characteristics unique to each.
These changes range from environnement you must provide them to the effects they will produce.
The 2 main categories are Sativa and Indica plants.
You can also find a range of seeds that are hybrid, containing traits from Sativa and Indica families. Let’s go over these differences :

What are the differences between Sativa and Indica plants :

Flowering period45 to 90 days70 to 120 days
Tempature and HumidityWeaker resistance to heatStronger resistance to heat
EffectsChill high
Good after a long day working or chilling
at home
Hyper/Laughing high
Good for going out or having a
bunch of friends over
The StretchAbout 2 weeks long,
plants with an Indica dominance will grow between 80% and 150%
during the stretch.
Same time period as its cousins, Sativa plan wills grow from
100% to 250% of its size during the stretch.
Do not underestimate this!
Orelse you might just have
your flowers touching your light
Growth during the
Flowering stage
Indica plants stop growing in hight once the stretch period
is over.
Sativa plants will keep on growing after the stretch,
although this growth is much slower.
What will the buds
look like
Generally Indica weeds have more compact buds.
This is due to the fact that they originate from colder
parts of the world.
Since Sativa plants originate from warmer area’s
of the world its buds will be fluffy and 
aired out.

Now I’m guessing you might want to store some seeds?
It’s actually very easy, there are just couple rules to follow

How to store your Marijuana seeds :

  1. Keep your seeds in a dark space
  2. Keep you seeds in a dry environment. Humidity will wake them up
  3. Keep your seeds at room temperature

And voilà! You can keep your seeds until you’re ready to get them started!

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Germination of cannabis seeds

Once you have chosen and received your seeds it’s time to get started with these babies.
There are different ways to get your seed to germinate, but here I will talk about the simplest way to do so.

What is the easy easiest way to germinate a Marijuana seed?

  1. Get 2 plates or saucers and 2 sheets tissue.
  2. Get the tissues moist.
    It is important to get this part right, if the tissue is too wet, the root won’t need to exit the seed.
    To dry though and the baby root won’t have enough to survive
  3. Place the seeds between the 2 sheets of tissue and on a plate.
  4. Place the 2nd plate over the first in order to keep the seeds in the dark and store them between 20°C and 25°C
  5. During the next couple days, keep an eye on the humidity of the paper.
    You will need to drop a couple drops of water regularly.
  6. Once you have a nice little root, carefully remove the seed.
  7. Place the seed between 5 and 10mm in your soil.
    It is important for the root to be facing downwards.

Image credit to sensiseeds

Sprouting or seedling stage

A couple days after placing your seeds in the soil, you should start seeing a little sprout come out.
Say hello to your Baby Mary plant, congratulations!

Now just like a infant, the path ahead is full of (fun) obstacles, get ready to rumble!!

Here are a couple images of one of my own little ones

Day 0 - The baby plants just started breading the soil and deploying their cotelydons

Day 3 – 10 : Standing up, going for the light and growing first main leaves

With this run I learned that it’s really important to keep the light nice and close (~50cm) the first days.
As you can see they got so long that once they started growing the main leaves they got top heavy…

If that ever happens to you, just get a piece of wood or pencil to support them, in time they’ll get strong enough to stand on their own

The vegetation stage

Once you plant has created her first main leaves, she will continue to do so, creating leaf and branch in sequence.
If you environnement is nicely tuned up these nots should be appearing nice and close to one another, which is perfect! Your future buds will be nice end dense.

Generally, apart from auto-flowering seeds, you have the control on how long it lasts. As long as you keep the light cycle in 18hours of light and 6hours of night, they will stay in this stage

What are the characteristics of Marijuana’s Vegetative stage?

CharacteristicWhat you will see
GrowthSteady growth during the period.
Make sur to cut the branches that won’t get enough light as the plant grows.
Better to have a few strong branches than a bunch of week ones
Branch and leaf densityIn sequence she will produce 2 new leaves, 2 new branches
HumidityGoing down over time, it should start at around 65/70% humidity, ending around 50%
TemperatureReally during her whole life you should aim around 25°
I know, I know, not easy….
NutrientsDuring this stage you will need to give her mainly Nitrogen.
She use and store it in her leafs in for photosynthesis as well as back up energy when she creates  her bud creation later on.I would also keep giving her root nutrients all the way up until the stretch.
Light cycleKeep about 18hours of light and 6 hours of night
Length in timeAs long as you want. As long as you don’t switch the length of light exposure they will stay in this mode

During this stage you must make sure to give the plant enough Nitrogen nutrients.
In order to get the right measure you really have to test and learn with the strain you have, although I have found that going a little under the dosage given in the bottle works out pretty well.


Quick Warning : After the stretch the plant reduces its intake of nitrogen, making it real difficult to fight nitrogen deficiencies during the flowering stage.
I’m not saying go all out on Nitrogen! Get hit with nutrient burn or Nitrogen toxicity and you’ve got a whole other set of issues on your hand!

The Stretch and Pre-flowering

You’re now ready to get you plants to the flowering phase of her life? Are you sure? Just like a teenager she’s going to throw some fits, and you won’t recognise what come out of it!
Alright if you say so, let’s go through the different aspects of the Stretch and Pre-flowering stages of your Marijuana, but first, couple pics of our own!

What are the characteristics of Marijuana’s Stretch stage?

 What you will see
 How to start itChange you light pattern from 18/6 cycle to 12/12 cycles.
GrowthVery rapid! Depending on Sativa or Indica strains it can vary from 70% to… over 200%!
Sativa’s grow the most during this time, so get a meter out and start measuring to max hight in your space
Length in time2 weeks long
Humidity40% to 50%
TemperatureAround ~ 25°C. Be sure to measure at the level of your Apex’s!
NutrientsReduce the levels of Nitrogen given over time
Increase the levels of Potassium and Phosphorus.
Light cycle12hours of light and 12 hours of night
Branch and leaf density The Apex and branches will take in high very rapidly, keep an eye out in 2 weeks time you won’t recognise her anymore!
The leaf mass at this point won’t vary, and that’s a good thing, you want her focusing on the buds by the end of this

By the end of this phase she will start having some small flowers on her, congratulation’s you’ve entered the flowering phase! You’re once baby sprout has become a young adult.

Here’s a picture of what my Bleu Thaï looked like by that time:

You can start noticing the with hair like strands growing at the intersection of your branches and the top of the Apex, I present to you the early Flowering stage!

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The flowering stage of Cannabis

Welcome to the finale stage of life of you Cannabis strain, you’d think you’re almost done huh? but not really… What you’ve done up to here are the foundations for what’s to come 🙂 now let’s get building up.

If you’re looking for marijuana flowering stage tips you’ve come to the right place.

As always, before we get started here’s a couple pics of one of own at this stage :

Harvesting your Marijuana plant

I find that choosing when to harvest your Cannabis is one of the toughest decisions, you can alway wait a little… but once the CBD starts rising it’s going to be one of those couch potato weeds… So kinda tricky.

Drying and Curing the flowers

Drying and curing you cannabis buds is just as crucial as the whole growth cycle. Mess up here and, at best, you’ll have tasteless weed.

In order to dry your buds you’ll want to hang them in a dark space for about 10 days before starting the cure period, and that’s where all the magic happens.
You can imagine curing like when a whiskey or wine is in the barrel for a couple years in order to develop its taste. With Cannabis it’s the same and can last from 2 weeks to over 2 years, in the right conditions.

The rules are pretty simple, at first you want to let the humidity exit the container, by opening it a couple hours a day, in order to avoid mildew. Once the buds are dryer you’ll want to keep steady humidity levels in order to avoid them drying up too much, giving you some dusty buds. We’ve covered all the tips over here, but keep in mind that you want to stay around 50% humidity.

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Alright folks that’s all for this one, for more details on each stage of life of cannabis you can check out the in-depth articles

Until next time,
be safe and grow easy!

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