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The Weed-Growing Timeline, from Seed to Smoke

Will glaring at my plant make it grow faster?

Code red! Code red! You’re out of weed, your dealer’s AWOL and your stupid-ass state doesn’t have dispensaries yet. But wait, you have a plan B: Growing your own. Then again, how long does it take to grow weed, and can you possibly be deprived of a sativa-induced head high for much longer? 

Ganja growers Graham Farrar of Glass House Farms and Travis Higginbotham of Harborside dispensaries helped us put together a cannabis cultivation timeline so you can make the right call.

The Germination Period: No More Than Five Days

After placing your seed in soil under a warm, humid dome — you can buy a plastic one for cheap online or at just about any gardening store — Higginbotham says you should see it sprout in two to five days, but possibly a little longer in cold weather.

The Seedling Period: About Three Weeks

Once your seed sprouts, Higginbotham says it should remain under its dome for another day or two. As a hard rule, from the moment you sow your seed, it should stay under the dome for no more than two weeks. Then, you can take off the dome and let it grow for another two weeks. This is when you’ll begin to see new leaves and stems.

But if you want to skip the germination and seedling periods, Farrar says you can simply start with a clone, an adolescent plant that’s a genetic copy of its mother plant, instead.

The Vegetative Stage: Two to Four Weeks

This is when the real growth begins to happen, and technically, you can keep your plant in a vegetative state for as long as you’d like. Higginbotham says most growers shoot for two weeks of vegetative growth, though Farrar is partial toward three or four, which gives his plants a little more height.

The Flowering Stage: Eight to Nine Weeks

You can thrust your plant into the flowering stage, where it begins to sprout smokable buds, by lessening the amount of light it receives. It should stay in this stage for eight to nine weeks, or 55 to 65 days, according to Farrar.

The Drying Stage: Seven to 10 Days

Once your plant seems ready for harvest, you can either hang the whole bush or slice it into several pieces, then hang it up to dry for seven to 10 days. You’ll know it’s dried once the buds feel slightly crispy and the smaller branches snap when you bend them. Then, simply trim your buds, and if they’re still feeling a bit gunky, store them in a jar for another 24 hours or so.

The Smoking Stage: The Speed of Light

Yeah, you know that bong rip is going down quick after waiting all that time.

So, all said and done, growing weed can take anywhere from 15 to 18 weeks, or about three and a half to four and a half months. (Although, it can always take shorter or longer, because plants are weird like that.)

Welp, on second thought, maybe waiting for your dealer to show back up isn’t such a bad option.

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