Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use. Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time. If you're new to the world of cannabis cultivation, you are probably eager to taste the fruits of your labor at harvest time. In this beginner's guide to harvesting cannabis, you'll learn the best time to harvest marijuana as well as the key indicators that tell you when cannabis plants are ready to harvest. Autoflower seeds are regarded as the fastest and easiest way to grow cannabis. Read on to find out how quickly you can grow them.
Home grow laws
Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use.
Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
Don’t forget that counties and municipalities can pass stricter laws. For example, Denver limits a home grow to 12 plants, even if there are three or more adults over age 21 in the residence. Be sure to check your local laws for specific details.
The laws are different for medical marijuana consumers.
Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly. This means the plants can’t be outside.
At homes with residents under 21, any marijuana grow area must be enclosed and locked in a separate space that minors can’t access.
At homes without residents under 21, extra precautions must be taken to make sure any visiting youth don’t have access to marijuana plants.
When to harvest cannabis
If you’re new to the world of cannabis cultivation, you are probably eager to taste the fruits of your labor at harvest time. In this beginner’s guide to harvesting cannabis, you’ll learn the best time to harvest marijuana as well as the key indicators that tell you when cannabis plants are ready to harvest.
What is the average time from planting to harvesting cannabis?
From seedling stage to harvest, marijuana plants have a broad range of growth periods. The duration of the growth cycle may depend on several factors, including growing medium, desired yield, and marijuana strain. This combination of factors means that you’ll need to wait between six weeks and 16 weeks to harvest most cannabis plants. On average, you can expect between nine weeks and 12 weeks to elapse from planting to harvesting, but again, timing is contingent on a number of factors.
From seedling stage to harvest, marijuana plants have a broad range of growth periods. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Here are three strains known to grow faster than average, in case you want to accelerate your harvest:
- Early Girl. As the name implies, Early Girl is speedy and may be ripe to harvest within seven weeks of planting.
- OG Kush. Known for its earthy, spicy taste and high THC content, OG Kush is a perennial favorite among weed lovers and can be harvested within eight weeks.
- Chocolate Skunk Auto. Like other autoflowering strains such as Northern Lights Automatic and Easy Bud, Chocolate Skunk Auto impresses with its rapid growth and is usually ripe within eight weeks.
How to know when to harvest cannabis
As a grower you’ll know that your cannabis plants are ready to harvest when you observe these visual clues:
Trichome color: The appearance of the trichomes, the small resin glands on flowers, is one of the surest ways to tell it’s time to harvest. Ideally, half of the trichomes should appear milky white and the others should be a vivid amber. Clear trichomes, on the other hand, indicate that it’s a good idea to wait a little longer before harvest. Of all the signs to look for, trichome color is the most reliable. This color change might be hard to see with the naked eye, so make sure you have a magnifying glass handy.
Ideally, when the trichomes appear milky white and vivid amber, it’s time to harvest. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Leaf color: Another reliable indicator of when a marijuana plant is ready to harvest is the changing shades of the fan leaves. During the flowering stages, nitrogen gives the leaves their green color. When it’s time to harvest, fan leaves will turn yellow and start to fall off as nitrogen decreases.
Curling leaves: As the fan leaves turn from green to yellow, they may also curl and dry. The lack of moisture is a natural occurrence as cannabis plants take in less water when harvest time draws near.
As the fan leaves turn from green to yellow, they may also curl and dry because cannabis plants take in less water when harvest time draws near. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Brown pistils: For photoperiod cannabis plants, the pistils will turn brown at maturity. The optimal time to harvest is when about half the pistils are shaded brown. Similar to checking trichome colors, you’ll want to have your magnifying glass handy for this step.
Bud shape: Though not as surefire a way to know when it’s time to harvest as the trichome test, the shape of the buds can still offer a few hints about the plant’s maturity. Look for firm, tight buds on a marijuana plant as a sign that it’s ready to harvest.
These visual indicators are all observable with the naked eye and are clear signals that it’s time to harvest. Likewise, there are other clues that demonstrate when a plant is either too young or past its prime for successful harvesting.
If the majority of trichomes are clear, then the cannabis plants are not ready to harvest.
How can you tell if it’s too early to harvest cannabis?
Trichomes will signal if your crop is not yet ready for harvest, just as they let you know when it’s the best time to start harvesting. If the majority of trichomes are clear, then the cannabis plants are not ready to harvest. Clear trichomes indicate that resin production has not reached its peak and the resulting weed is likely to be less potent, flavorful, and aromatic.
How can you tell if it’s too late to harvest cannabis?
Check the trichomes again and note the color. If you observe mostly amber trichomes, then the cannabis flowers are overripe. At this stage of development, the harvested weed will have an unpleasant taste. In addition, cannabinoids such as THC begin to degrade when amber trichomes overtake the milky white ones. In rare cases, trichomes can even begin to turn black if growers didn’t harvest their marijuana plants. Besides the amber color, trichomes can also become noticeably brittle. Trichomes on overripe buds may even crumble in your hands.
Harvesting cannabis past its prime is not recommended but may be preferable to harvesting prematurely. The terpenes, which are believed to contain healing properties, can become more potent during a late harvest, but at the expense of scent and flavor.
Next steps after harvesting cannabis
Drying, trimming, and curing are the important next steps after you harvest marijuana plants. Once these steps are complete, your weed will be ready to enjoy or store for future use. If storing cannabis, be sure to keep it in a vacuum-sealed container in a cool, dark place for maximum freshness and shelf life.
How long do autoflowers take from seed to harvest?
The fastest autoflower strains such as Auto Blueberry can be ready to harvest in as little as 8 weeks after autoflower seed germination. There is simply no faster way to grow cannabis!
Other strains such as Auto Blackberry Kush can be ready in as little as 9 weeks, and as a proud member of Dutch Passion’s Very High THC cannabis seed collection you can expect seriously impressive potency as well as fast harvests. Fast growing autoflower seeds can also be extremely potent!
Some of the heaviest yielding autoflower strains can take up to 15 weeks from seed to harvest. This shows there are a range of autoflower seed options, some much faster than others. Read on to understand more about autoflower grow cycles.
|●||Autoflower cannabis average time from seed to harvest|
|●||What is the fastest autoflowering cannabis strain?|
|●||What is the slowest autoflowering cannabis strain?|
|●||All Dutch Passion’s autoflowers seed to harvest time|
|●||Seed to harvest time vs flowering time for cannabis|
|●||Autoflowering cannabis seeds, high quality results with speed and convenience|
Autoflower cannabis average time from seed to harvest
The average time it takes for an autoflower seed to grow and reach harvest is around 75 days. This can partly depend on the specific phenotype as well as environmental conditions.
When compared to a typical photo-dependent feminised (or regular) strain this is a huge time saving. With 5-6 weeks of vegetative growth and around 9 weeks of bloom it can take 15 weeks or more for a feminised strain to reach harvest.
That’s almost twice as long as a crop of fast autoflowers. Anyone interested in reading more about the fastest photoperiod and autoflower strains may find the following interesting.
|Top 5 fast growing cannabis seeds|
What is the fastest autoflowering cannabis strain?
Auto Blueberry is the fastest autoflowering strain in the Dutch Passion collection. The fastest phenotypes can be ready just 8 weeks after seed germination. Auto Blackberry Kush is another very fast auto, which can be ready as little as 9 weeks after seed germination.
What is the slowest autoflowering cannabis strain?
Auto Desfrán can take 12-15 weeks from seed to harvest. The heavy yielding, pure sativa genetics simply cannot be rushed! The ultra-heavy yielding Auto Ultimate can also take 12-15 weeks, as can Auto Glueberry OG.
It pays to research your autoflower seed choice carefully. The beauty of autoflower strains is that they offer the grower a choice of harvest times from fast autos to slower XXL yielding super-autos.
All Dutch Passion’s autoflowers seed to harvest time
Most of the Dutch Passion autoflower strains reach harvest around 11 weeks after seed germination. As well as selecting autoflower seeds based on their speed, you can also grow autoflower strains rich in CBD or CBG as well as the usual THC rich autos.
The full collection of Dutch Passion autoflower seeds (indica, sativa & hybrid seeds) is shown below with key characteristics.
|Seed variety||Collection||Yield||Seed to harvest|
|Auto Ultimate®||XXL||12-15 weeks|
|Auto Desfrán®||XL||12-15 weeks|
|CBD Auto Charlotte’s Angel®||L||13 weeks|
|CBD Auto Blackberry Kush®||XL||13 weeks|
|Think Big®||XXL||13 weeks|
|Auto Kerosene Krash®||XL||12 weeks|
|Auto Lemon Kix®||XXL||12 weeks|
|Auto Mokum’s Tulip®||XL||12 weeks|
|Auto Power Plant®||XL||12 weeks|
|Auto Skywalker Haze®||XXL||12 weeks|
|Auto CBG-Force®||L||12 weeks|
|Auto Banana Blaze®||XL||12 weeks|
|Auto Glueberry O.G.®||XXL||12 weeks|
|Auto Xtreme®||XL||11-12 weeks|
|Auto Duck®||L||11-12 weeks|
|Auto Meringue®||XL||11 weeks|
|Auto Colorado Cookies®||XL||11 weeks|
|Auto Brooklyn Sunrise®||XL||11 weeks|
|Think Different®||XXL||10-11 weeks|
|Auto Cinderella Jack®||XL||10-11 weeks|
|Auto Orange Bud®||XL||10-11 weeks|
|Auto Daiquiri Lime®||XXL||10-11 weeks|
|CBD Auto Compassion Lime®||XXL||10-11 weeks|
|Auto Mazar®||XL||10 weeks|
|Auto Blackberry Kush®||XL||9-10 weeks|
|Auto Critical Orange Punch®||XXL||10 weeks|
|Auto CBD-Victory®||–||10 weeks|
|Auto White Widow®||XL||10 weeks|
|Blue Auto Mazar®||XL||10 weeks|
|Auto Night Queen®||XL||10 weeks|
|Auto Euforia®||XL||10 weeks|
|CBD Auto White Widow®||XL||9-10 weeks|
|Auto Blueberry®||M||8-10 weeks|
Seed to harvest time vs flowering time for cannabis
The seed to harvest time is a guide for growers, showing the likely time it will take to complete a full autoflower grow cycle. Just like feminised cannabis seeds, autoflower seeds will produce a range of phenotypes. Some will be faster than others to reach harvest.
Cool grow room temperatures will slow down the growth and bloom, so ensure your grow room conditions are optimised. Note that outdoors, most auto strains will take an extra few weeks to finish compared to indoors.
|Top 5 Autoflower Seeds With Best Yields|
Autoflowering cannabis seeds, high quality results with speed and convenience
Many growers routinely cultivate autoflower seeds and nothing else. Their speed, ease-of-growth and convenience are unmatched. The best cannabis seed suppliers offer a range of autoflower genetics – you should find some perfect genetics to meet your needs.
If you need help selecting your next cannabis seeds then our unique Seed Finder tool will ask you a few simple questions about your preferences and recommend the best cannabis seeds for you. Enjoy the grow and choose a seed company that you can trust!