Skip to main content

How long does it take to grow weed is a very commonly asked question. Usually it takes about 3-4 months to grow the average cannabis plant – but with the right tools and strategy, you can grow the weed plant you want in as little as 8 weeks.

Let’s take a look at the question of how long does it take to grow weed and the time needed for each step.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Weed – Growing Timeline

The timeline below lays out a seven-stage process of a typical grow schedule. If you’ve been searching online for “how long does it take to grow weed?” you’ve likely run into a range of time periods. Generally, a marijuana plant can take 14 to 32 weeks to grow, which translates into about four to eight months to grow. This is for growing a marijuana plant from seed.

The length of time it takes to grow a weed plant can be broken down into multiple phases from seed to harvest:

  • Getting your equipment (1 day to 2 weeks)
  • Getting your clones or seeds (1 day to 4 weeks)
  • Germinating your seeds (12 hours to 8 days)
  • Seedling phase (1 to 4 weeks)
  • Vegetative phase (2 weeks to 6 months)
  • Flowering phase (6 weeks to 3 months)
  • Harvesting phase (1 to 3 days)

Step 1: Getting your weed growing equipment = 1 day to 2 weeks

If you know what you are looking for then this could happen quickly. We will help you with this later on as we set up the grow-rooms and do some grows with different styles and grow mediums.

Step 2: Getting your clones or seeds = 1 day to 4 weeks

Getting clones (cuttings from healthy mother plants) is easy to do in areas that allow cannabis cultivation. But in states or countries where it is illegal to grow, obtaining healthy clones can be a challenge. Seeds, on the other hand, can be ordered on the internet and generally take 2 to 4 weeks before they arrive by mail.

Step 3: Germinate The Seeds = 12 hours to 8 days

If starting with clones this can be skipped. The average time to germinate is 2 or 3 days. Make sure to check your seeds every day because seedlings can sprout in as little as one day. You'll know your seed has germinated when your seed has popped and displays a tap root formation.

Check out our guide on the best method to germinate marijuana seeds using paper towels and water.

Step 4: Seedling Phase = 1 week to 4 weeks

Once again, can be avoided if using clones and not seeds. As your cotyledons begin to take shape,  so will your cannabis leaves in a single leaflet form. Generally, growers can give their seedling a light amount of nutrients after the third set of leaves begins to appear.

Step 5: Vegetative Phase = 2 weeks to 6 Months!

Yes, that is correct. This stage in the plants life has a huge fluctuation in how long it needs to take. You, as the grower, hold all the power and get to choose how long this phase is. Once you change the light cycle that the plant receives to 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness per day, the plants will switch to the next phase, which is flowering.

If you want to, you can switch the lights to 12/12 right away and force your plants to flower! The sooner you change to 12/12, the faster your plants will flower, and the sooner you can move on to the next crop. But, keep in mind, the less amount of time you keep your plants in the vegetative phase, meaning getting at least 18 hours of light per day, the smaller your plants will be, and the less marijuana you will have to use.

If you are concerned with how big your plants will grow, maybe because you only have a small space to grow in, you can grow cannabis that only grows only a few inches tall, and you could even grow it the entire time in a little plastic cup if you wanted to!

Keep in mind that buds do not form for at least 2 to 3 weeks in the vegetative phase when beginning with seeds. Most growers allow their plants to stay in the vegetative stage from a few weeks to a few months so they get big enough and will end up with a sizable harvest. Bigger plants produce more buds!

But, many growers choose instead to grow small plants and to harvest more often with smaller yields each time. We recommend at least 3 weeks or more in the vegetative stage with at least 18+ hours of light each day for optimal yields. Even 24 hours of light per day is sometimes better, with certain strains.

The more light, the more buds!

Keep in mind that cannabis plants usually double in size from vegetative phase to when they are done flowering. 

This means it's sometimes best to change to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness once the plants are one-half the size that you feel your grow room has adequate space for.

During the vegetative phase, you can use a number of cultivation training techniques such as super cropping, crimping, topping, tying, bending, sea of green (SOG), screen of green (SCROG), and trellising to alter the growth, direction, height, and quality of your crop.

Autoflowering strains, however, have a different vegetative time period than regular feminized seedlings.

Autoflowering strains will have at least two to three weeks of vegetative growth before they automatically start showing any bud formations regardless of photoperiod.

Step 6: Flowering Phase = 6 weeks to 3 months

cannabis plant in flowering stage, how long does it take to grow weed

In nature, cannabis plants start to flower in the fall months, when they are receiving less light. The decrease in light signifies to the plants they are nearing the end of their life cycle and its time to begin flowering.

Indoors, this action is done by changing the amount of light the plants receive to a schedule of 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness. The plants will require less nitrogen during this time than they have had in the previous vegetative phase.

The needs for phosphorus and potassium will increase, so you will now use a nutrient with a higher P&K ratio. If at this time you still are not sure if the plants have revealed the sex or not, they will in about 7 to 10 days after being in the 12/12 light cycle. Look for two white hairs coming out of the nodes on the plants. These hairs are the pistils that are found on the females.

Most cannabis plants flower for around 8-14 weeks. Depending on the strain, some may flower a lot longer than others. Pure indica strains usually finish around 8 weeks of flowering, while pure Sativa strains usually finish around 12-14 weeks. 

Some Sativa strains have been known to flower for 16 weeks or longer.  For this reason, indica strains are most commonly the kind that is grown indoors.

Most growers like to grow, harvest, sell, and get back at it as quickly as possible to turn a faster profit. If you are not in it for the profit, sativa strains can be fun to grow.

You could let them grow real big and tall if you have the ceiling space or outdoor area for them. Make sure to research the strain your growing so you have a general idea of the flowering time.

Autoflowering strains can have a short flowering stage and begin to flower after just three weeks. Autoflowering strains can be ready to harvest 5 weeks after. That means that you can grow an autoflowering seed in just eight weeks.  

Keep a close eye on any new sex organ formations to determine the sex of your plants within the first two weeks of flowering. You will be able to tell whether your male plant needs to be carefully extracted from the grow site or whether you have a female on your hands. It's important to separate the males from the females to prevent the pollination of females.

Pruning too early into the flowering stage can affect the hormones of the plant and the number of buds produced.  

Ultimately the flowering phase will depend on the genetics of your strain.

Fast-flowering strains can grow in a period of between six to eight weeks. Fast-flowering strains include:

A medium flowering growth rate can take between eight to 12 weeks. Most strains will have a medium flowering time. Medium-flowering strains include:

Long flowering times between 12 and 14 weeks occur in most sativa, landrace, and Haze strains. Long-flowering strains include:

  • Colombian Gold
  • San Fernando Valley OG
  • Chocolate Thai

Step 7: Harvesting = 1 to 3 days

Harvesting times can vary depending on your strain’s height, yield, and overall quality, as well as your experience with drying, curing, and trimming.

Quality cannabis buds can dry in about four days but usually take a week or more for a slow and full drying process. Your bud should be dry enough to avoid mold, but not too dry.

Curing can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a little over a month. Some users may leave their cannabis curing for up to two months or even six months for some strains.

Curing is another long and slow process intended to maximize the effects of your bud, especially for medical users.

Trimming times can depend on your experience. Of course, hand trimming will be more time-consuming than using a commercial and automatic trimming machine,  but hand-trimming produces more carefully manicured flower compared to the one-size-fits-all appearance of a machine trimmed crop.

Generally, a single person can trim about a half a pound in about 8 hours. That means that you need two full shifts, so to speak, to completely trim a pound of weed.

A quarter of a pound can take about 3 hours. For slower trimmers, one ounce per hour is the average. Using a household trimming machine can cut down you are trimming time in about half. 

And that's it! All you need to do is cure and trim and you're cannabis is ready for use!

How Long Does It Takes To Grow Weed-Recap

The strain you're growing, the cultivation technique, and the environmental circumstances can all have a big impact on how long it takes to produce cannabis from seed to harvest.

For some autoflowering strains, the complete growth cycle might take anywhere from 8 weeks to 20 weeks or longer. For some photoperiod strains, the entire growth cycle can take as long as 40 weeks.

Here is a summary of the growth stages and how long they usually last:

The process by which a seed first sprouts and grows into a seedling is called germination. It normally takes 1 to 7 days for germination to occur.

Vegetative Stage: The plant concentrates on growing its leaves and stems during this stage. The vegetative period can continue from 2 to 8 weeks or longer, depending on the strain and desired size.

The flowering stage is when the plant starts to produce buds or flowers. Whether you're planting an auto-flowering or photoperiod strain will affect how long the blooming phase lasts.

While photoperiod strains can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks or longer to fully blossom, auto-flowering strains often have a shorter flowering period, commonly around 6 to 8 weeks.

When the buds have reached the proper degree of maturity and cannabinoid content after the flowering period, the plant is prepared for harvest. Trimming, drying, and curing are possible harvesting steps that can take one to three weeks.

It's vital to keep in mind that these time frames are approximations and may change depending on the strain's particular genetics, the growing environment, and the methods you employ.

The growth rate and general health of your cannabis plants can also be affected by other elements like the light cycle, nutrition, temperature, humidity, and insect control.

It's a good idea to select a strain that corresponds to your degree of experience and the available growing conditions if you're a newbie.

While photoperiod strains allow more control over the growth stages but may need more attention and experience, auto-flowering strains typically have shorter growth cycles and are more forgiving.

Research the precise strain you intend to cultivate and learn about the best growth conditions and window of time for that strain before beginning your cannabis farming quest.

Hydroponic Equipment for Growing Weed

If you are looking for equipment to grow weed hydroponically, or to grow cannabis in a tent, look no further than TheBudGrower. Find all you need to grow marijuana at home or on a budget with TheBudGrower.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Cannabis? A Comprehensive Timeline.

Growing cannabis is a rewarding endeavor, but it requires patience. From germination to harvest, the journey of a cannabis plant is fascinating.

Let's delve into the time frames associated with various stages of the cannabis growth cycle. How long does it take to grow weed?

Cannabis grow cycle (stages of growing cannabis)

Starting Point: Seed or Clone

The timeline largely depends on whether you begin with seeds or clones:

Seeds: Cannabis grown from seeds will take a bit longer since it involves the germination process.
Clones: These are cuttings from mature plants and can shave off a few weeks from the growth timeline.
Germination (3-10 days)

How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed from Seeds?
The very first stage when growing from seed is germination. Typically, cannabis seeds germinate within 3 to 7 days, but some may take up to 10 days. This phase ends when the seedling sprouts and the first leaves appear.

Seedling Stage (2-3 weeks)

During this phase, the plant develops its first set of true leaves. It's a delicate period; growers need to ensure proper light, humidity, and temperature.

Vegetative Stage (3-16 weeks)

How Fast Do Cannabis Plants Grow?
The vegetative phase is where cannabis shows its vigor. With proper care, indoor cannabis can grow up to 2 inches a day. However, the duration of this phase can vary:

Indica strains: Typically take 3-6 weeks.
Sativa strains: Can vegetate for 8-10 weeks or more.
Autoflowering strains: They have a fixed lifecycle and may only vegetate for 3-4 weeks.
Outdoor cannabis plants have a vegetative phase that aligns with the longer daylight hours of spring and summer.

Flowering Stage (8-14 weeks)

How Long Does It Take to Grow Marijuana Buds?
Once a cannabis plant enters the flowering phase, it starts focusing on bud production. The duration of this phase is mostly strain-dependent:

Indica strains: Generally flower for 8-10 weeks.
Sativa strains: Might take 10-14 weeks or more.
Autoflowering strains: Usually have a set flowering period ranging from 6-10 weeks.
Harvest, Drying, and Curing (3-8 weeks)

After flowering, it's harvest time. Post-harvest:

Drying: This process usually takes 1-2 weeks. Buds are hung upside down in a controlled environment.
Curing: For the best flavor and smoothness, buds should be cured in airtight containers for at least 2-4 weeks, but some growers swear by a 6-8 week curing process.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Weed in a Greenhouse?

Growing cannabis in a greenhouse can combine the benefits of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Plants can still adhere to the natural light cycle, but the environment is more controlled. The overall timeline remains similar, but plants might experience accelerated growth due to optimized conditions.

Adding everything up, the entire process of growing cannabis from seed to smoke can range from 3 to 8 months. This duration is influenced by factors such as strain type, growing environment, and specific cultivation techniques.

With care, attention, and a bit of patience, the end product is well worth the wait. Whether you're growing for personal use or commercial cultivation, understanding the cannabis lifecycle ensures you're always on top of your grow game.

How long does it take to grow weed? As you can see there are many factors to how long it takes weed to grow.

Now that you know the answer to how long does it take to grow weed it's your time to start your own personal cannabis garden if you live somewhere that allows it.

How Long Does it Take To Grow Weed Outdoors?

How long does weed take to grow outdoors? When grown outdoors, the time it takes for a cannabis plant to fully grow depends on a variety of factors including genetics, latitude, climate, and growing practices.

Generally, it can take about 5 or 6 months (or longer) for cannabis plants to fully mature outdoors. While this may be a slightly longer timeframe than indoor-grown plants, you can save on energy costs outdoors while producing a bigger yield.

How Cannabis Plants Grow

Cannabis is an annual plant that develops flower buds between late summer and fall. Every spring, cannabis farmers plant their seeds hoping to produce vigorous and hardy plants during their vegetative stage.

As the cannabis plants grow taller and wider, the summer solstice brings a longer period of darkness which stimulates the flowering stage. In autumn, the plant’s flowers are mature and can be harvested.

Cannabis grow times can vary depending on many different factors. Are you growing from a clone or seed? What is your climate like? What type of strain are you growing? What type of growing techniques do you use?


The length of time it takes for a cannabis plant to grow outdoors depends on your latitude. Latitude refers to the distance your location is from the Equator.

For instance, in the northern hemisphere, cannabis seeds are usually planted between early March or late May. After a few months, they are harvested anywhere between September to November.

In the southern hemisphere, the growing season is the exact opposite of the northern hemisphere. Farmers begin to plant in September through November. Harvesting occurs between March and May.

Cannabis farmers near the equator have the luxury of being able to grow all year long.


Beyond the latitude, other factors can determine the length of time it takes outdoor cannabis to grow.

 Environmental factors include:

  • Temperature
  • Altitude
  • Rainfall

In the tropics, where mild weather is the norm, cannabis plants may complete their growth cycle much sooner than in locations with extreme heat or cold.


When growing weed outdoors, the strain genetics you use also influence how fast or slow your weed can grow. Generally, indicas tend to finish much faster than sativas. Autoflowering strains usually finish flowering the fastest.

If grown in latitudes that are too north or south, sativas may not have enough time to fully grow in these environments due to the colder weather. In addition, a strain that was created in a cool climate may grow faster in a warmer environment.

Growing Weed Outdoors Timeline

Grow times for outdoor cannabis gardens vary depending on a variety of environmental and genetic factors.

Here is a general timeline of the stages of growth for outdoor-grown cannabis:

  • Germination: 12 hours to 8 days
  • Seedling: 1-4 weeks
  • Vegetative: 2 weeks-6 months
  • Flowering: 6 weeks-3 months
  • Harvesting: 1-3 days

The Stages of Growing Weed

No matter where you grow, cannabis has the same stages of growth: germination, seedling, vegetative, flowering, and harvesting.

Because you will be growing outdoors, you will depend heavily on your natural environment for your plant’s growth. Usually, outdoor cannabis seeds are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.


During the germination stage, you will be germinating your healthy cannabis seeds. Germination takes the seed out of its hibernation period to start its growth. During this stage, your seed will sprout and begin to grow roots and leaves.

Germination can take anywhere from one day to a full week. You will know your seed has been germinated when its roots begin to develop along with a couple of leaves sprouting above the ground.


The seedling stage can last between 2 to 3 weeks while the plants begin to develop a solid structure of roots and stems. During this stage, your plants need between 18 to 24 hours of light per day.


During its vegetative stage, your plants will be mainly focused on growing their stems and leaves. This stage can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks (or longer). When your seedling gets too big, you can transfer it to a bigger pot to continue its vegetative stage.

During this stage, it is important to feed your plant higher levels of nitrogen to stimulate foliage growth.


When the days get shorter than the night, flowering can begin in photoperiod plants. Auto-flowering plants begin to flower after a certain period of time, not when the light cycle changes.

During the flowering stage, your plants will focus on growing their resinous flower buds. Flowering times can vary depending on when you plan to harvest.


The best time to harvest outdoors can vary by the garden. Generally, the best time to harvest is when most of the trichomes have changed from a clear color to an amber color. More mature trichomes can produce sedating effects while less mature ones can produce an energetic high.

How long does it take to grow a bud of weed?

cannabis plants being grown

The length of time it takes to develop a marijuana bud, often referred to as a cannabis flower, depends on a number of variables, principally the strain you're growing and the particular development circumstances you offer. It typically takes 6 to 12 weeks from the beginning of the blossoming stage until the buds are fully developed and prepared for harvest.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

How much weed can you get off 1 plant?

An ideal cannabis plant may produce between 0.5 and 1.5 grams of dried flower for every watt of light utilized in an indoor grow, on average. This suggests that, although results can vary, a 600-watt grow lamp might theoretically produce between 300 and 900 grams (10 to 30 ounces) of dried flower per plant.
With the right conditions, outdoor grows can produce even more, with some seasoned growers reporting yields of more than a pound (16 ounces) per plant.

Is cannabis hard to grow at home?

Overall, even though growing cannabis at home might be difficult, many people find it to be a delightful and fulfilling hobby. To improve your chances of success if you're new to growing, think about beginning with a smaller setup and conducting careful research.

How long does it take to grow weed outdoors?

The process of growing cannabis outdoors involves a number of variables, and the time it takes from planting to harvest might change depending on the strain used, the location, and the grower's particular objectives. Here is a general summary:

Autoflowering strains should be chosen since they often mature more quickly, between 60 and 90 days from seed to harvest. They don't rely on photoperiod cues, therefore regardless of the light cycle, they will naturally begin to flower after a set amount of time.

Photoperiod Strains (Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids): Light exposure determines how long they will live. When cultivated outdoors, these strains can take anywhere from 4 months to over 7 months from seed to harvest, depending on when they are planted and when they begin to blossom.

Timeline for Photoperiod Strains in General:

3–7 days for germination.

Seedling Phase: two to three weeks.

Vegetative Phase: This is extremely variable. Outside, the vegetative phase can last up to three months and usually coincides with the longer sunshine hours of spring and early summer.

Flowering Phase: This starts when the days get shorter, indicating that the plant is ready to begin flowering. Flowering can extend anywhere from 7 to 12 weeks, or even longer, depending on the strain:

The flowering period for indica-dominant strains is often shorter (7-9 weeks).
The flowering period for sativa-dominant strains is frequently prolonged (10–12 weeks).

Harvest Period: Growers typically plant in the late spring and harvest in the early to midfall in various northern hemisphere locales. Indica-dominant strains could be ready by September, though exact dates can vary.

Until October or possibly November, sativa-dominant strains could not be ready.

Don't overlook the post-harvest procedures after harvesting:

Drying: Depending on the environment, it usually takes 7–14 days.

Curing: Although many growers prefer several months, cured buds should be kept in jars for at least 2-4 weeks for the best quality.

Planning an outdoor grow requires taking into account the local climate and choosing strains that are compatible with the surroundings.

Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

Enroll Now