Cannabis belongs to the annual plants, which means that the entire life cycle is completed within a year, after which the plant dies. With the fastest varieties, it can even be completed within 4 months. In nature, propagation therefore only takes place through seeds.
During this cycle the plant changes a number of times from appearance, as well as its needs. Obviously a baby does not eat the same as a blushing teen girl or an old crone. Learning to recognise these changes will help you better understand what your plants are doing and what they need in order to do so.
The start of a cannabis plant is the germination of a seed. The embryos are sleeping, so to speak, until the conditions are favourable. When there is sufficient heat, moisture and light, they wake up and swell until the skin breaks. A sprout root grows outwards, which will anchor the plant to the growing medium before it begins to grow. Then a shoot goes up wich usually forms two sprout leaves. Depending on the species, environmental factors and age of the seeds this can take 12 hours to 2 weeks. After your seeds have germinated you can place them very carefully in the growing medium. Especially suited for freshly germinated seeds are the RQS Easy Start sets and BioTabs Startrex.
From the moment that the sprout leaves can receive light, al processes in the plant begin to start running. After all, the energy from the fat reserves of the seed has been spent and the plant will now have to produce its own building materials in order to be able to grow further. She does this by making leaves, which allows her to absorb more light and with three fingers these already start to look more like cannabis leaves. Some species are very fragile in their earliest stages of life and may be supported with a small wooden stick until they are strong enough to stand upright.
After 1 to 3 weeks, 4 to 8 new leaves should be formed and the plants will transition in to the next phase.
Vegetative phase or growingphase
In this phase your plant will put as much energy as possible into obtaining even more energy, which translates into an enormous increase in mass. Now your plant becomes the typical, densely foliated shrub as everyone knows it. The stem becomes thicker, more branches and fullyformed leaves are produced. During this phase, the plant converts loads of light and nourishment into energy, in order to prepare for all those flowers it’s about to produce.
At the end of the vegetative phase, the sex of your plants can normally also bedetermined, males should be removed as early as possible. Depending on the species and conditions, this phase lasts 1 to 5 months.
The flowering phase progresses in several stages, with first a pre-flowering phase and then the actual flowering and ripening.
During the pre-flowering phase, the branches and nodes develop further in order to form even more flowers. Some species continue to increase significantly in mass during this phase. You can recognize it’s beginning by the formation of flowers at the base of the offshoots of the plants. Pre-flowering takes 1 day to 2 weeks.
The flowering phase is what it’s all about and what you have worked so patiently towards, the last and most important step in the life cycle of the plants. The flowers or buds are formed and now thesex is also abundantly clear, carefully remove the males before they can pollinate the females, unless you want to obtain seed instead of buds. The males form small balls with pollen, while the females produce flowers with small haired pistils. The longer fertilization doesn’t take place, the more resin the female flowers will produce.
Depending on the species and conditions, blooming lasts 1 to 4 months.
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