What is the Natural Lifecycle Of a Hemp Plant?

Believe it or not, CBD-heavy dry herb does not just fall from the sky into perfectly packed jars. Dry herb that comes from hemp plants is only produced after the plant has completed its natural lifecycle. Each stage of growth for a hemp plant requires different nutrients, light exposure, and most of all, care. If a hemp plant flourishes through all of the growing stages though, you can be reward with cannabinoid-rich dry herb.

So, what does it take for you to nurture a hemp plant to full maturity? And what stages will it have to grow through before the fruit of your hard work can be harvested? Read on to learn more about the five stages of growth a hemp plant goes through before harvest.

Hemp Seeds

Every hemp plant first starts as a tiny seed. These seeds also come at a high price, depending on the strain of dry herb they contain. Some strains are known to develop high percentages of cannabinoids and trichomes, while others are less potent. A good grower will know what they are looking for though and do their research into the ancestry of any seed they plan to plant.

Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry location until you are ready for planting. Once you are ready to plant though, you can test the viability of each seed by placing it in a glass of water. Wait up to twelve hours, and then check to see if the seed has sunken or floated to the top. If it floats, it probably won’t germinate, but if it sinks it should be good. Be sure to not drown the seed by letting it sit in water for too long though!

Seed Germination

Once you know if the hemp seed is viable, it can be placed in a dark, warm, humid place to germinate. Most people use a damp paper towel to cover the seed since it provides humidity, and you can see when the seed opens and extends its first roots. The germination process for a seed can take anywhere between three to ten days though, so you must be patient. Once the first root extends, the seed can then be placed in soil to begin growing into a seedling.

Hemp Seedling

Once the planted hemp seed has developed two oval leaves, it can officially be classified as a seedling. After about three weeks of nurtured growth, the seedling will begin to develop the characteristic fan leaves of a hemp plant. To get to this stage of growth though, the hemp plant must be grown in a relatively humid environment, with plenty of light. After the seedling stage, the hemp plant then grows into the vegetative stage.

The Vegetative Stage

After about sixteen weeks of growing, your hemp plant will begin its vegetative stage of growth. At this point, the plant may be transferred to a larger pot size if it is being grown indoors. With more room to grow, the hemp plant will gain a lot of height and plenty of leaves. However, these leaves will not look like dry herb flowers quite yet. The plant still needs more time to mature before it approaches the flowering stage.

During the vegetative stage of growth, you will be able to tell the gender of the hemp plant. This matters because only the female plants will produce flowers, while the male plants are better for being turned into strong fiber. If the plant is female, then tiny hairs will start to appear near the base of the stems and fan leaves. After about eight to eleven weeks of growing though, the hemp female plant will finally begin to flower.

The Flowering Stage

The final stage of a hemp plant’s growth is the flowering stage. This is also the stage of growth when the plant will produce the more recognizable dry herb bud. There are few different stages within the flowering stage of growth too. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your plants to know when it is the ideal time to harvest the dry herb and allow it to dry out for trimming.

During the first phase of flowering, usually lasting one to three weeks, the hemp plant will grow in height and size. It will also start developing distinct white hair-like pistils that are full of resin. After about four to five weeks of growing, the plant will enter the mid-flowering phase. During this phase, the plant will stop expanding in size and start focusing its growing energy on developing “flowers” or hemp buds. After about six weeks, the plant will be deep in the late flowering phase and approaching the time for harvest. Around eight weeks, you’ll want to look at harvest your hemp bud.

These phases and stages make look slightly different or operate on a different timeline, depending on if the hemp is being grown indoors or outdoors. The hemp plant will also look different during the flowering stage of growth, depending on the strain it is. But once the natural life cycle of a hemp plant is complete, you can harvest CBD-rich dry herb to dry, trim, cure, and enjoy.

Related Blog Posts

Getting Started With Growing Your Own CBD Plant

What is a Hemp Clone and What are the Advantages Of Having One?

What Are The Different Parts Of A Hemp Plant?


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