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Growing cannabis is not a matter of joke. Not only do you need to be mindful of the environment you are growing it in, but you also need to know the steps involved in taking care of the plant. The last thing you want is to spend your hours of the day caring for these highly sensitive plants only to have no good yield.
Growing cannabis or marijuana buds take time and a lot of effort. Not only do you need to invest in the best seed banks for USA to get the best quality seeds, but you also need to be mindful of the steps that go into successful harvesting.
The timely harvesting of the cannabis plant is what contributes to its rightful growth and flavor in the plant. However, several impatient growers think that expediting the process would make their life a lot easier. While that might hold to some extent, you need to realize that patience is what strives the plant to be better in the long run.
Learn the basics
Before we tell you about the harvesting process and the correct timeline, you need to know the basics. The majority of the time, the beginner-level growers aren’t even aware when the right time is to plant the seeds and harvest the marijuana plants.
Much like grapes in a vineyard, even marijuana is the same. The more you let it grow and mature, the better the flavor is. The longer you wait for harvesting, the more cannabinoids develop in the plant. However, you need to look out for the flowering phase of the plant because following that is when the plant starts dying.
You will know it is time to harvest the cannabis buds when:
- The pistils are turning red
- The stem is broadening
- The leaves are changing colour to yellow and red
- The resin on the buds are browning
If your plants have flowered and you witness any of the above signs in the plants (or all of them), it is time to consider starting the harvesting process.
When is the ideal time to harvest marijuana?
If this is your first batch of cannabis that you are growing, you need to be on high alert with the signs of growth and flowering. If you miss out on any notable signs, you are eventually going to miss the ideal harvesting time, leading to damage to the plants.
The flowering time of the cannabis plant varies between 8-10 weeks, depending on the kind of strain that you have planted.
Another ideal way to check whether the plant is ready to be harvested is by grabbing a magnifying glass close to the marijuana plant. You are ideally looking for resin-filled trichomes on the buds. If they are evident, you’d know that it is time to consider the harvesting.
Is it better to let the Marijuana plant grow longer?
Although indeed, you should never harvest the plant before it is in its prime time, it is also true that you need to avoid letting it grow for longer than necessary. This is a common mistake that many people do. If your cannabis plant has entered the stage of flowering, you need to keep a close eye on the same. If it has flowered, you can’t expect to let it grow any longer than it already has.
Many people have a misconception that leaving the marijuana plant long enough to grow results in stronger and more prominent flavors. And, while that is true, you also need to keep in mind that letting the plant grow for an unnecessary amount of time will result in an extremely overpowering smell and flavor which you don’t want in your final buds. Over-ripe cannabis buds are not good!
The best way to decide the ideal harvesting time of your buds is by keeping an eye out for the pistil colour. Once the pistil starts turning red, you know that it’s time for you to harvest them. Some planters wait till the colour changes to dark red before they start harvesting.
What is the average time between planting and harvesting Marijuana?
The growth periods of a marijuana plant depend on the strain that has been planted. Also, the duration of the growth cycle from the plantation to the harvesting is dependent on several external factors.
It can involve the marijuana strain that you have planted, the kind of soil it is planted in, and the growing medium that is being used. In general, a marijuana plant can take between 6-16 weeks to be harvested. However, if we had to give you an average estimate, it is somewhere between 9-12 weeks.
How will I know if it’s too early to harvest Marijuana?
Aside from the fact that we have given you a quick rundown of the common time it takes between the plantation and harvesting, you need to be patient throughout the process. The majority of the time, people are extremely impatient to harvest and try out the buds that they don’t even let the overall flavor develop well.
Much like how you refer to the trichome to check when your plant is ready to be harvested, the same goes out for checking whether it’s too early or not. If most of the trichomes in the plant are clear, it is a clear indicator that the plants aren’t ready to be harvested.
The clear trichomes suggest that the resin inside the plant hasn’t fully matured yet, which means that your plant still hasn’t developed that distinctive flavor and smell that drives people to buy them. So, instead of being impatient and damaging the plant and your effort, you need to take it easy and wait till the right time arrives.
How will I know if it’s too late to harvest Marijuana?
Much like how you’d know if you are being too impatient, the same goes for when you are too late as well. One of the first indicative signs of an overripe marijuana plant is the amber-colored trichomes. If you harvest your plant at this stage, it will have a distinctive and unpleasant taste that many people detest. So, in short, you have likely wasted all your efforts and money.
Also, pivotal cannabinoids like THC start degrading when the trichomes change their colour to amber. So, your primary objective with harvesting marijuana is timing. If you are late, it is going to waste. If you are early, it is going to waste.
What do you need to do after harvesting Marijuana?
Just planting and harvesting marijuana isn’t enough. Instead, that is where the process begins.
Once you have successfully harvested the buds, your next step is to dry, trim and cure the cannabis buds and use them, both for personal or commercial purposes. Remember that these latter three steps are crucial and not something that you can brush aside and leave for later.
The drying process is where the cannabis buds and leaves are dried in a dark and closed room with optimal temperature and humidity for 2-3 days until the stem snaps in half and the buds are dry enough with no excess moisture.
Once the drying process is done, the next step is to indulge in the trimming. Most planters do this step by hand because it is more efficient. However, there are tools and accessories available in the market that can help you with the trimming process without any complications.
Following the trimming, the last stage is the curing process. This is a quintessential part and enhances the flavor, taste, and smell of cannabis. In this, the dried and trimmed cannabis buds are taken and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks to let the flavor enhance and infuse. Ensure that the curing process is done in a sealed and darkroom-like the drying process.
Curing helps enhance the shelf life of the cannabis buds too.
What do the trichomes look like when the cannabis is ready to be harvested?
When the plants are mature enough and ready to be harvested, the colour of the trichomes varies from milky white to pale yellow. Make sure that you remain vigilant once the flowering starts because that is what makes all the difference.
When should I stop watering before harvesting?
If you are planning on harvesting the cannabis plants, make sure that you stop the watering process at least 3 days before that. The last thing you want is to end up damaging the growth and viability of the plant.
What will happen if I leave the marijuana too long to harvest?
If you are late to the harvesting process, your plants will have an extremely strong and narcotic effect when you consume them.
How long does it take to harvest cannabis indoors?
If you are growing cannabis indoors, it can take up to 3 to 8 months for it grow from seed to harvest. In the case of smaller plants, you can fit in as many as four harvests. But if you are growing bigger plants, then one or two harvests is fine in a year.
What are cannabis trichomes?
Cannabis trichomes are the appendages on the surface of cannabis flowers. It produced and holds the terpenes and cannabinoids of the plant. Trichomes can appear across the entire plant, but they are mainly found on the bract, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant.
When do you know it is too late to harvest your cannabis plants?
An overripe cannabis plant will show amber coloured trichomes. Harvesting your plant at this stage will give you an unpleasant taste. This means your effort and money is wasted.
What are the next steps after harvesting cannabis?
After harvesting your cannabis plants, the next step is to dry, trim and cure the buds, so you can use them for both commercial and personal purposes. During the drying process, you must keep the cannabis leaves and buds in a closed and dark room with optimal humidity and temperature.
If this is your first time dealing with marijuana, make sure that you keep an eye out on these processes involved in harvesting. The last thing you want is to be too early or too late to the harvesting process. So, be vigilant from the start till the end.
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.