10 Fast-Growing Cannabis Plants for Impatient Gardeners
There are a significant number of prospective cannabis growers who are turned off by the fact that cultivating pot is classified as a lengthy and arduous process.
How often have you read online guides that emphasized the expense involved in growing marijuana?
Aside from the nutrients, fans, space, seeds, and soil or growing medium, you have to consider the lengthy flowering period.
Once you include the seedling and vegetative stage, you will find yourself waiting months for your marijuana to harvest. The internet age has spawned an era of impatience; a desire to get things done yesterday. As a result, breeders have busily looked for ways to speed up the weed growing process.
In the old days, those who purchased their seeds from the black market would attempt to create hybrid strains to find attributes suited to clandestine growth, and designed for a fast turnover. As discretion was paramount, indoor growing was essential which meant the ensuing plants would be short and stocky but provide above-average yields. Occasionally, they would use auto-flowering strains. In the end, they were able to benefit from a fast flowering period and a lightning-quick turnover.
Today, this knowledge has been gathered and updated. As a result, novice growers can utilize a huge array of cannabis strains with short flowering times. It is even possible to shorten the vegetative period in certain strains, which means professional growers can churn out multiple harvests each year.
In this guide, we have located ten marijuana strains that grow exceedingly quickly; the best short flowering strains as well as the quickest autoflowering seeds. Imagine finding a strain capable of flowering in just seven weeks! We have included auto-flowering and photoperiod options to increase the likelihood of you finding the perfect marijuana strain for your needs. Before you start, lease make sure that it is legal to grow cannabis in your state of residence and that you remain within the legal limits.
Best Short Flowering Strains: Photoperiod Strains That Grow Quickly (7-9 Weeks)
These strains have a shorter flowering period, which helps make sure they’re ready for harvest relatively quickly. These strains are ideal for impatient gardeners that really just want their flower to be available as soon as possible.
1 – Lowryder (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
Although it is classified as a hybrid, Lowryder is very close to being a balanced 50/50 strain. It was inbred for an incredible nine generations by Joint Doctor Seeds, which is why it has its famous diminutive size.
Often compared to Bonsai trees, Lowryder is a tiny but mighty marijuana strain that seldom grows higher than 16-inches; a fact that makes it perfect for indoor grows with limited space.
It is a tough plant capable of surviving in harsh climates, which is why it is grown in places such as Finland, Alaska, and Canada. It is regarded as an all-time classic hybrid and is a cross of Willy’s Wonder and Northern Lights #2. With a THC content ranging from 12% to 20%, Lowryder is a strain suitable for most novices, so long as they use it responsibly.
It is one of the easiest strains on the market to grow because it requires very little maintenance above the bare minimum. With a flowering time of just 40-45 days, Lowryder can provide you with its energetic high in double quick time, and it clocks in just below many of the popular choice 50 day flowering strains! It produces around 12 ounces per square meter planted when grown indoors.
Lowryder is a fragrant strain with an aroma reminiscent of Christmas. A combination of a sweet and piney scent is a real treat to the senses. Once you have a few smokes, you will definitely enjoy the fruity flavor, although you should be wary of the strong aftertaste.
It is popular among creative individuals such as musicians and writers because it helps inspire creativity. It offers relaxation without causing the body to ever feel heavy. The cerebral buzz eventually makes its way to your body, and don’t be surprised if you end up in a fit of giggles!
You can use Lowryder as a daytime strain because your mind remains clear. It is also known as an excellent strain for socializing, so feel free to take some before hanging out with friends. However, as it is a hybrid, it has been known to make some users feel sleepy. We recommend experimenting at home to see how it affects you. Lowryder has been used to treat insomnia and chronic stress disorders.
2 – Critical Kush (Indica Cannabis Strain)
Critical Kush is an extremely powerful and potent marijuana strain that is NOT for new users! It is an indica dominant (90%) hybrid created by Barney’s Farm Seeds. Although Critical Kush is technically a hybrid created from a cross of OG Kush and Critical Mass, its effects are predominantly indica.
Growing Critical Kush is fairly easy, which is unusual for such a potent plant capable of producing high yields.
Although it is tough enough to withstand adverse climate conditions, it grows best in warm and temperate conditions. It can complete its flowering cycle in just 50-60 days, and some growers have reported a staggering indoor yield of 21 ounces per square meter.
If you decide to grow Critical Kush, be VERY careful when using it! It has an exceptionally high THC content of up to 25% and is capable of hitting you like an express train. It is 100% a marijuana strain for late evening or night time use because it induces couch-lock fairly quickly.
In higher doses, Critical Kush will make you feel sleepy, so we say it’s best left for when your day is finished. Users often report a feeling of euphoria, and while it changes your mood for the better, you won’t be able to do much other than sit or lie down and enjoy the experience.
It is an aromatic strain known for its earthy scent that carries the merest hint of sourness. It offers a creamy, herb-like taste with a slight touch of citrus. Critical Kush has become one of the most popular medical marijuana strains and is used to treat and manage a host of conditions. It is championed by many as an excellent stress-reduction tool, and also has pain relieving qualities. That’s why MMJ cardholders use it to treat migraines, muscle spasms, back pains, and a variety of other inflammatory conditions.
3 – Early Girl (Indica Cannabis Strain)
Occasionally referred to as ‘the girl next door’ within the marijuana community, this indica dominant (75%) hybrid is known for its rapid flowering time of 7-8 weeks. Early Girl was created by Sensi Seeds in the 1980s when the famous breeder crossed Afghani and other northern Indian Indica strains with a potent Mexican Sativa.
If you are a new marijuana grower looking for an effective stress-buster, the Early Girl strain is your girl!
As well as being easy to grow, Early Girl is highly resistant to the majority of pests and molds. It is also a durable plant which is more forgiving than most when it comes to making amateur mistakes. Early Girl grows equally well in soil or in a hydroponics setup, and the Sea of Green technique is an excellent method of improving yield. You can expect 14-18 ounces of bud per square meter.
Although Early Girl’s THC content goes as high as 20%, you can find versions with just 12% THC. Either way, this strain is very different from Critical Kush because it provides you with a gentle, yet noticeable, high. At the start, you will feel clear-minded, and before you know it, your mood has improved and you become more amiable and chattier.
Although Early Girl is relatively potent, you never feel overwhelmed. While you won’t experience a sudden burst of energy, you will enjoy the feeling of euphoria that makes you more sociable. Eventually, the indica part really kicks in to soothe and relax the body. It is not a strain for a secret outdoor smoke due to its pungent lemon scent, but its tangy citrus and pine flavor is a real treat.
In the medical world, Early Girl is preferred by patients in search of a mood booster. As a result, individuals with depression may find this strain to their tastes. While it is not regarded as a potent strain, chronic pain sufferers suggest that its long-lasting and even effects are just what the doctor ordered.
4 – OG Kush (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
This marijuana strain is one of the most famous West Coast varieties, and its origins are as mysterious as this weed is delicious! According to one story, the ‘OG’ relates to OverGrown.com, which was the largest cannabis site in the world until the Canadian government spoiled the fun and shut it down in 2006. Another tale suggests it is an homage to Original Gangster, a famous California strain.
OG Kush is said to be a cross of Hindu Kush and Chemdawg, but since it came from bag seed in the 1990s, it is difficult to say this is a fact. Imperial Genetics has been credited with bringing the seeds to Colorado and Southern California from Florida, and there are several well-known phenotypes of the strain, including Alpha OG and Tahoe OG.
OG Kush is an indica-dominant (75%) hybrid that has a high THC content of up to 26%, and its indica properties come to the fore as soon as you use it.
OG Kush is notoriously strong and can easily prove too much to handle for inexperienced users. It hits you hard almost immediately with a potent euphoric high coupled with a powerful cerebral buzz and a shot of energy.
However, once the initial effects wear off, OG Kush gets to work on your body, and soon you will feel chilled out, relaxed, and happy. It is an ideal strain to use at the end of a hard day at work, but be careful; some users have reported feeling spaced out after using it. This strain is also associated with the munchies.
OG Kush is famous for its strong, earthy scent with sticky, resinous buds as a feature of the strain. It tastes a lot like it smells; fresh and earthy, with a subtle woody texture along with a semblance of spice. As a medical marijuana option, OG Kush is often used to provide muscular relaxation, and long-lasting relief from nausea, migraines and chronic pain. It is also a popular option among those with anxiety or depression. OG Kush has a flowering time of around eight weeks and typically yields up to 17 ounces per square meter.
5 – Superglue (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
If you’ve ever worked in an office, there will be days where you will do just about anything to break the monotony. While Superglue is not the right option when at work due to its sedative effects, it is perfect for when you get home and want to relax after a day you would rather forget.
This hybrid strain is slightly indica biased (60%) and was created by Seedism Seeds. It is a cross of Northern Lights and Afghani. With a THC content ranging from 18 to 23%, it is a marijuana strain that warrants respect. After a few tokes, you’ll feel uplifted by a potent cerebral high.
Although it enables you to stay functioning at work, we believe Superglue is a better strain to use at home because the indica side takes over and begins relaxing the body. Superglue’s sedative effects really creep up on you, and soon you’ll succumb to couch-lock – not a good look when you have to file an office report!
The strain gets the name ‘Superglue’ because users are typically glued to their sofa or bed soon after using it!
It is a relatively difficult strain to grow because of its susceptibility to mold. Superglue also develops large colas, so make sure there is good airflow in the grow room. It will thrive if you grow it indoors or outdoors, but if you stay inside it will flower in as little as eight weeks. You should benefit from a yield of 14 to 18 ounces per square meter planted.
Superglue’s strong diesel scent may be off-putting to some, and its woody, chemical, and citrus flavor pattern is an acquired taste. While you may think it doesn’t sound appetizing, we can assure you that it tastes fantastic. Superglue is used by people with depression and has also been a helpful aid for insomniacs. Once the effects begin to wear off, you’re likely to feel extremely hungry.
Quickest Autoflowering Seeds: Fast-Growing Cannabis Flowers (7-12 Weeks)
In addition to cannabis strains with short flowering periods, there is a second classification of speedy weedy options, which are referred to as auto-flowering strains.
6 – Red Dwarf (Indica Cannabis Strain)
Red Dwarf is a special Skunk variety strain that is an extremely rare auto-flowering plant. It possesses cannabis ruderalis genetics, which is the third type of marijuana plant (aside from indica and sativa). Ruderalis is said to have grown in the Soviet Union and Russia in general and is known for its ability to thrive in harsh climates.
Red Dwarf was created by Buddha Seeds, and it is renowned for its remarkably fast flowering time of just six weeks!
Although it has ruderalis genetics, Red Dwarf is a pure indica and a cross of ruderalis and a White Dwarf phenotype. Aside from the rapid flowering time, this strain is adored by indoor growers because it grows small and squat, which makes it easy to grow in a smaller space. Seriously, you can place a few pots in a broom closet and it will provide more than enough room! Moreover, it is possible to grow up to 16 ounces of bud per square meter planted.
Once you grow Red Dwarf, please note that it has an extremely pungent odor which makes it tough to conceal. You will feel almost instant sedation when you use this strain with moderate couch-lock that keeps you awake but utterly relaxed. It is definitely a bad choice of smoke at work because you will be easily distracted and spaced out. It won’t take a detective to figure out that you are completely stoned!
In medical terms, Red Dwarf is favored by patients with conditions such as tension headaches, migraines, chronic pain, appetite loss, inflammation, stress, and nausea. The bud has a scent and taste that reminds you of coffee, and the nugs are rather hairy and coated with beautiful white trichomes. It has a THC content of between 7% and 15%, making it mild enough for new users.
7 – Hobbit (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
This is an extremely alluring strain developed by Kannabia Seeds. Noted for producing a high yield despite a short flowering time of 65 days, this auto-flowering marvel is becoming very popular. It is a balanced hybrid and a cross of Ginger Ale and an unknown Ruderalis strain. As a consequence, Hobbit is a fairly balanced mix of sativa, indica, and ruderalis, a rarity in the world of weed.
As you can probably guess, Hobbit was named after the famed characters from the Lord of the Rings novels. While its THC content can be described as ‘above average’ at 15%, it is not a strain that will knock you flat out. Indeed, the high is every bit as balanced as one might hope, which means it can be used in the morning, evening, or at night. For most users, it is the strain of choice when they wish to relax with friends and have a day of pure laziness.
Soon after using Hobbit, you should experience a feeling of relaxation and happiness. Don’t be surprised if you develop a sudden appetite. Eventually, you feel a slight tingle in the forehead and behind the eyes. Next, the high makes its way to the rest of your body and ensures you feel a little bit sleepy. However, we have to emphasize this fact; you should be in a state of complete bliss throughout.
Hobbit is used to treat a wide range of conditions including insomnia, depression, hypertension, and mood swings. It is especially useful if you have chronic pain and find it difficult to sleep. The sweet aroma is pleasant, and the sugary strawberry taste makes you want to come back for more. When you grow Hobbit indoors, you can get up to an ounce per seed. However, when you grow outdoors, the yield swells to over two ounces per seed. As it is highly resistant to fungus and pests, Hobbit is ideal for newcomers prone to making mistakes.
8 – White Ryder (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
Riot Seeds developed White Ryder, which is a cross of Lowryder and White Dwarf. It is a fascinating attempt at creating a Ruderalis version of the famed White Widow strain.
Thanks to the efforts of this particular breeder, you now have access to a strong indica dominant hybrid that auto-flowers in less than 80 days.
The Ruderalis genetics means it grows relatively short and squat, perfect for indoor growers! Also, when we say it is strong, we mean it. With a THC content of up to 24%, White Ryder is probably a strain best avoided by inexperienced users. If you decide to use it in any case, make sure you begin with a small dose. It doesn’t take long to get to work as you should feel an almost immediate uplifting cerebral high that initially clears the mind and helps you focus on certain tasks.
However, we don’t recommend White Ryder for morning or afternoon use. The initial mental stimulation you feel is soon replaced by a feeling of full body relaxation. Before you know it, all you want to do is find the nearest place to sit down as couch-lock takes full effect. Eventually, you will struggle to move so if you take this before or during work, you will regret it. It is best used in the evening to help you wind down and chill out.
White Dwarf is said to be effective as medical marijuana. Its sedative effects make it a great option if you suffer from insomnia. Have a few tokes about an hour before bed, listen to some good music, and drift peacefully off to sleep. White Dwarf is also great if you need to alleviate the yolk of body pain. Finally, it is a strain that may have some merit if you suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder.
9 – Purple Cheese (Hybrid Cannabis Strain)
This strain sounds like cheese that has been left out too long but trust us; it is one of the finest fast-growing auto-flowering marijuana strains you’ll find. It was bred by Auto Seeds and is a cross of Blue Cheese, Lowryder, and Purple No. 1. The breeder wanted a hybrid that didn’t come with the often-intense flavor of Blue Cheese, and they also wanted a relatively high CBD strain, and they have achieved their goal with Purple Cheese.
Purple Cheese is a balanced hybrid with 12-16% THC, but its 4% CBD content ensures you benefit from a balanced high.
When Purple Cheese was initially released, it was considered one of the most potent strains around. If nothing else, this is an indication of how quickly breeders have developed new techniques for growing ultra-powerful strains.
If you’re used to rapid effects, you’ll need patience when using Purple Cheese as the high takes a while to appear. Eventually, you will feel positively euphoric with a clear mind and a lot of energy. When the effects make their way to the body, you’ll have a decided feeling of couch-lock. Overall, the high can last for up to three hours.
Purple Cheese is yet another strain on this list known for how easy it is to grow. It doesn’t take up much vertical space which makes it perfect for an indoor grow.
Although it isn’t quite as short as Lowryder, this plant seldom grows higher than 80cm indoors. It should flower within 8-9 weeks and produce up to 14 ounces of bud per square meter planted. Purple Cheese is a unique strain insofar as it allows for two outdoor harvests per year, in July and October.
Users love Purple Cheese because of its delightful fruity aroma. It is less cheesy tasting than Blue Cheese, but you should still enjoy the flavor. Due to its full-body effects and high CBD content, this strain is one of the most popular choices for patients with body pain. It is especially useful if you are suffering from a degenerative condition. Purple Cheese is also used by individuals with depression and it may provide you with some benefit if you suffer from an anxiety disorder.
10 – Royal Haze (Sativa Cannabis Strain)
Also known as Royale Haze, this heavily sativa-dominant (85%) hybrid is filled with exotic flavors that dance on your tongue. It was originally created by Dinafem Seeds and is a cross of Northern Lights, Skunk #1, and Haze genetics. Royal Queen Seeds has developed an auto-flowering version by crossing Skunk, a Ruderalis strain, and Amnesia Haze.
Not only does Royal Haze have a powerful THC content of up to 20%, but it is also known for providing one of the longest lasting highs. You should feel intense euphoria within moments, but this cerebral buzz is not fleeting. Instead, it can last for hours so its effects may come as a surprise to new users.
Royal Haze is the ideal strain for anyone seeking a mood boost. As well as clearing the mind, it helps drive creativity. The soothing sensation you’re likely to feel towards the back of your head will relax you in ways you can’t even imagine. The body high provided by this marijuana strain is not particularly strong which means you should be able to complete your tasks without a problem.
Royal Haze isn’t a difficult plant to grow, and it is different from most sativas insofar as it has strong stalks.
Its Skunk #1 genetics ensure that it is sturdy and full of branches. It can grow up to 14-feet tall outdoors which makes it a bad choice for a secret marijuana field! It adapts well to Screen of Green and Sea of Green training techniques, but you should perform early topping to manage its height. It flowers in approximately 10 weeks indoors and produces up to 18 ounces of bud per square meter.
The spicy citrus and pine fragrances are pleasant, as are the delicious tropical flavors with citrus lingering on the palate. As you might expect, Royal Haze is valued as a stress reliever and an anti-depressant. It is also used by individuals with PTSD and anxiety. The high THC content means it could also act as an effective painkiller.
Final Quick Tips on Getting to Harvest Faster for Impatient Gardeners
First and foremost, choose one of the ten fast-flowering strains we mentioned above. No matter what tricks you use, certain strains will NOT flower quickly. For example, Hazes are notorious for their lengthy flowering periods. In fact, Haze #1 can take 12-16 weeks! Once you have selected your ideal strain, consider the following for a faster harvest.
1 – Greater light exposure during the vegetative stage
Your marijuana plants will remain in the vegetative stage as long as they receive 14+ hours of light a day. Traditionally, plants grown using an 18/6 cycle (18 hours of light, 6 hours of dark) are more resistant to pests and diseases. However, if you expose your plants to 24 hours of light a day, they will grow faster. As a result, you can force them into the flowering stage sooner.
2 – Begin the flowering stage ASAP
Did you know that non-auto flowering marijuana plants can be flowered directly from their seeds? All you need to do is change the light schedule to ensure your crop is exposed to 12 hours of continuous darkness each day. This process makes your plants believe that winter is coming which means they begin making buds as soon as they are capable.
In most cases, the countdown begins around a month from the planting of the seed, but with certain strains, you can trim a week or two off the timeframe. However, please note that flowering from seed is inefficient because your plants won’t have enough time to grow stems where the buds form.
3 – React to problems quickly
A lot of new growers don’t seem to realize that growth slows down every time your plants gets sick. Every new issue adds days, or even weeks to total growth time if you don’t solve it at warp speed. Key problems to look for include pest infestation, nutrient burn or deficiency, light burn, and heat stress.
Final Thoughts on Fast-Growing Cannabis Flowers
The next time you’re trying to decide which cannabis strain to grow, take into consideration these 10 fast-growing cannabis flowers for even the most impatient of gardeners. Choose from either the best short flowering strains or the quickest autoflowering seeds; either selection will give you the results you’re in need of. As always, be sure to give your plants plenty of tender love and care, so that they can grow up to be strong, healthy, bountiful, and super high-inducing.
How to Speed Up Harvest Time
Many of our readers write in to ask about speeding up the time to harvest.
So, how long does it actually take to grow marijuana?
Short Answer: From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a smokable harvest, you are looking at a window ranging between 3 and 7+ months!
Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months. Learn more about the marijuana growth timeline.
Long Answer: These factors have the greatest impact on total time to harvest:
Plant strain – strain has the largest impact on growing time.
Desired yields – do you want to grow a few grams, a few ounces, or a few pounds?
Growing method – differing grow methods/setups can add or subtract a few weeks or even months!
7 Tactics To Get To Harvest As Quickly As Possible
Faster is not always better, but there are ways that you can speed up the time from seedling to harvest without sacrificing quality, potency or yields.
So today I’d like to share a short guide on how you can reduce the time to harvest, and how you can reduce the amount of time you actually spend tending your plants, and still get outstanding results.
If you’re serious about getting yields as quickly as possible, then these tactics will get you there the right way! Let’s get to it!
1.) Fewer Hours of Light Each Day in Flowering Stage
With photoperiod (regular) strains, you can manipulate the light schedule in the flowering stage to get buds to mature faster. Although most plants will start flowering when they get less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day (that’s when plants usually start flowering outdoors), it can take them a long time to “finish” and be ready to harvest with days that long.
Because of that, it’s recommended to give plants 12 hours of light each day, and 12 hours of dark to get the plant to start flowering, because plants usually finish maturing in about 8-12 weeks after the switch to 12/12.
However, some Sativa and Haze strains are from the equator, and they may not flower properly under a 12/12 light schedule. In that case, a grower can give a plant 10 or 11 hours instead of 12 hours of light a day, like a 11/13 or 10/14 schedule. This will cause the plant to finish flowering faster. In fact, this can be done to any strain to get it to finish flowering faster.
Give plants only 10 or 11 hours of light a day to get buds to mature faster
The one downside is that a shorter flowering stage with less hours of light each day mean that buds get less time to fatten and you will end up with smaller yields. Therefore it’s not recommended to try to get a plant to finish flowering in less than 8 weeks, as you’ll end up with very small yields. This technique is best used if you have a plant that’s been flowering for 2-3 months and doesn’t look like it plans on stopping any time soon.
How can this technique reduce yields? The less light you give your plant overall during its life, and especially in the flowering stage, the less your yields will be in general. A strain that takes longer to finish flowering usually produces bigger yields than a short-flowering strain because it gets so many extra light-hours where it’s making energy and fattening buds.
On a similar note, an auto-flowering plant gets pretty great yields considering it goes from seed to harvest in just 3 months. A big part of that is because they get 18 hours/light a day during their entire flowering period (compared to only 12 a day for regular plants)/ This gives the plant more light each day to produce buds, resulting in bigger yields.
2.) Choose A Quick-Finishing Strain of Marijuana
As you probably know, the life cycle for all marijuana plants is separated into two parts: the vegetative stage and the flowering stage.
The vegetative stage can be shortened by getting the plant to grow faster when she’s young. Yet the length of the flowering stage (the time between when flowers first start forming and when the plant is ready to harvest) is pretty much strain-specific.
That means that once you’ve started flowering a specific strain, there isn’t a whole lot good options to speed things up during the flowering stage.
Note: There are special light schedules, that involve lowering the amount of light each day in the flowering stage, which can sometimes get harvest to come a little quicker. For example a 10-14 schedule (10 hours light, 14 hours dark each day) during the flowering stage may get plants ready to harvest a week or two sooner for some strains, but lowering the amount of light each day combined with harvesting sooner really hurts your yields.
Many Indica hybrids (such as AK-48 and Northern Lights) naturally have very short flowering periods of only 7-9 weeks, which is a shorter flowering time than most other strains.
Hazes and Sativas often take much longer. For example a haze strain (like Haze from Nirvana) can take 3-4 months in the flowering stage before being ready to harvest.
Every different strain has pros and cons, but if time is a factor for you, pay close attention to the length of the flowering stage when deciding which strain to grow. The majority of seed banks list the length of the flowering period as part of their stats for each strain.
Some strains are ‘auto-flowering’ and go through their whole life cycle regardless of light cycle or anything you can control. These strains tend to be ready to harvest in only 2-3 months from seed (though you should definitely expect smaller plants with relatively small yields when choosing an auto-flowering strain).
Auto-flowering strains of marijuana contain higher levels of CBD, a cannabinoid which has been associated with many medical benefits. So they may be the perfect choice for a medical marijuana user who needs to harvest quickly.
Also, check out my recent autoflower grow if you want to see autos in action…
In this auto-flowering grow, I harvested more than 6 ounces in less than 3 months!
3.) Give Plants 24 Hours of Light per Day During the Vegetative Stage
As long as you give your plants more than 14 hours of light a day, they will stay in the vegetative stage. But if you give the plant more light than that, they have more time in the day to grow!
Some growers believe it’s better to give marijuana plants 18 hours of light a day max, with a 6 hour dark period during the vegetative stage.
This is because plants grown under 18/6 tend to be more resilient to problems. If you have a sick plant, just reducing the light period and/or light intensity a little bit can help it recover faster.
Regardless of which is best for plant health, it’s a proven fact that marijuana plants given a full 24 hours of light a day will grow at least a little faster during the vegetative stage (however, you may consider back down to 18/6 if your plant is sick to help it recover from problems faster).
Therefore, if a short time to harvest is of the utmost importantance to you, you may want to consider going with the 24 hour light period during the vegetative stage for fastest growth. Again, this won’t make the plant’s flowering stage go any faster, but it enables you to start the flowering stage a little bit sooner. Speaking of which…
4.) Initiate The Flowering Stage Sooner
You may not realize that regular (non auto-flowering) marijuana plants can be flowered directly from seed.
When I say “flowered,” what I mean is that you can change the light schedule so that it forces your young seedlings to start making buds right away.
You can get a marijuana plant to start flowering by ensuring that it gets 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night, often referred to as the 12-12 light schedule.
This makes the plant “think” winter is coming, and it’ll start making buds as soon as it’s able. This means that your “flowering stage countdown” begins within about a month from the seed being planted.
So for example, Northern Lights has a flowering stage length of about 8 weeks. If you flowered a Northern Lights strain plant from seed, your buds would be ready to harvest in about 11-12 weeks.
Some growers will also flower marijuana clones as soon as they have formed roots, for basically the same effect, though clones tend to start flowering a little faster than a plant put on 12-12 directly from seed.
That being said, flowering from seed is a very inefficient manner of growing. Plants flowered from seed don’t get enough time to grow stems where buds form.
If you want to initiate flowering early, it’s better to do so after after waiting just a bit, so you grow plants that are relatively small but can produce more than a couple of grams worth of bud. This is known as the “Sea of Green” (SoG) technique. A bunch of smaller plants is easy for new growers to manage, plus it gives you the option of trying different strains instead of getting of lot of one strain.
5.) Grow Indoors
Growing outdoors can be more convenient and vastly cheaper for those who happen to live in a place with great growing conditions since the sun and nature are doing a lot of work for you. But outdoor growing isn’t the fastest way to grow and harvest your crop. Though there is an exception….
Outdoors, you must plant in the spring, and wait until late fall to harvest. That means that oudoor grows can take 6+ months. Given the right conditions (high-yielding strain, direct sunlight all day, good soil, avoid pests, etc) you can grow huge plants in that time, that produce pounds of buds.
Yet growing indoors gives you the ultimate control over how big your plants get, how long to keep them in the vegetative stage, and exactly when they start flowering amongst other things. You also have a lot more control over how much bud you’ll end up yielding.
With a well-chosen strain and a good setup, one can harvest several ounces of buds in less than 4 months indoors, which is nearly impossible to do outdoors in the same timeframe.
On a similar note, you might want to consider hydroponics over soil.
You can get faster vegetative growth with almost all hydroponic methods compared to what can be achieved with soil. That means that you could speed up time til harvest by using Deep Water Culture (DWC), Coco coir/perlite, or pretty much any non-soil growing medium. During the flowering stage, this isn’t as important, but this can shave weeks off your vegetative stage time (get straight to growing buds sooner!)
In my experience, top-fed Deep Water Culture hydroponics (also called ‘bubbleponics’) has given me the quickest growth of any hydroponics system I’ve tried.
6.) Pay Attention To Your Plants and Quickly React to Problems
I know this sounds like it doesn’t need to be listed, but it’s a more important job than people think. Every time your plants get sick, it slows down their growth while they try to recover. Every problem your plant runs into can add days or even weeks on to your total grow time.
Simply put: fixing a problem quickly equates to shorter time to harvest.
Plus, by reacting quickly to problems, you will save yourself the stress of trying to deal with a huge problem that’s gotten out of control since you’ve been watching out and adjusting along the way. We all know that problems tend to get much worse when left unchecked!
The more you tend to and baby your plants, the better they will grow, and the faster you will be able to harvest.
For example, the following plant problems will add time onto your grow
or a pest infestation can dramatically slow down growth, especially for young plants or light burn can not only slow down growth in the vegetative stage, they can prevent buds from maturing properly in the flowering stage
- accidentally re-vegging your budding plants will stop buds from maturing
7.) Make Sure You’re Feeding Plants The Right Type of Nutrients During Each Stage of Growth.
In the vegetative stage, it is important that you give your plants the right nutrients needed to get optimal growth.
Now if you’re starting with a good soil (Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil is a proven choice), you may not need to supplement any nutrients for the first 3-4 weeks, as the nutrients you need are already in the soil.
If you’re growing hydroponically (directly in water, or in a soil-less medium like coco coir), it is essential that you provide all the nutrients your plant needs right from the beginning.
You’ve probably seen ‘N-P-K’ numbers on the bottles of pretty much every nutrient line there is. These number are important to know since cannabis plants use more N (nitrogen) in the vegetative phase, and relatively more P & K (phosphorus & potassium) in the flowering phase. Conversely, giving your plant too much N in the flowering phase will actually slow down bud production. This means that you will harvest smaller yields of less-dense buds in addition to waiting longer for said buds!
This is why you need to either mix your nutrients by hand, or choose a nutrient system that is specifically formulated for the flowering stage of a plant like marijuana. By providing the right nutrients at the right time, you’ll reduce your overall time to harvest.
How Much Time Per Week Does It Take To Grow Cannabis?
Now that you’re equipped with the information to get you to harvest as soon as possible, let’s quickly address another common question we receive about time.
Growers often write in to ask us how much time it will take per week to grow a marijuana plant. We understand that many of you have busy schedules, and want to know if growing your own weed is a realistic goal for you.
The amount of time spent growing varies greatly depending on the method you use to grow, the size you let your plants get and the skill of the grower. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a growing method that’s conducive to spending less time plant-tending.
The truth is, you can grow weed in only 20-30 minutes a week when you use the right techniques and get used to the process of growing. The following article reveals the best way we know to grow lots of potent bud while using a minimum amount of time to do so. We make this happen using a hydroponic style of growing known as Top-fed DWC (aka “bubbleponics”).
Keep in mind that this is a fairly advanced technique, and should only be attempted by intermediate-advanced growers or particularly brave newcomers.
About Nebula Haze:
Medical m arijuana has had a huge impact on my life, and I’m dedicated to showing you how easy it can be to grow your own medical-grade buds.
I have made it my mission in life to make growing information available to anyone, both new and advanced growers, while also working to get marijuana legalized for all adults.