If you’re unfamiliar with the world of marijuana production, you may be excited to taste the results of your labor once harvest time comes around. You’ll discover when cannabis plants are ripe to harvest in this beginner’s guide to harvesting cannabis, as well as what signs indicate when cannabis plants are ready. You can buy this product in our store.
What is The Average Time from Planting to Harvesting Cannabis?
Marijuana plants have a wide range of growth stages from seedling to harvest. The length of the development cycle is determined by a variety of criteria, including the type of growing medium used, the desired yield, and the marijuana strain. Most cannabis plants will require between six weeks and 16 weeks to mature; on average, you can expect between nine weeks and 12 weeks for elapsed time.
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 tiny resin glands on flowers, is one of the most reliable methods to determine when it’s time to harvest. The majority of the trichomes should be milky white with a vibrant amber few; clear trichomes, on the other hand, suggest that you should wait a bit longer before harvesting. Trichome color change is one of the most visible indicators and may be difficult to notice without equipment.
Leaf color: The changing hues of the fan leaves are another useful indicator of when a cannabis plant is ready to be harvested. The green color of the leaves comes from nitrogen during flowering stages. Fan leaves will become yellow and fall off as nitrogen levels drop at the end of harvest.
Curling leaves: The leaves of a fan leave as the color changes from green to yellow, and they may curl and dry. As cannabis plants use less water as harvest approaches, moisture levels decrease naturally.
Brown pistils: At maturity, photoperiod cannabis plants’ pistils will brown. When approximately half of the pistils are shaded brown is when you should harvest them. You’ll need your magnifying glass for this step, just like with checking trichome colors.
Bud shape: The shape of the buds can still offer a few hints about the plant’s maturity, although this is not as certain as the trichome test. Firm, tight buds on a cannabis plant indicate that it’s time to harvest.
How to Determine When Marijuana Is Ready to Harvest
It’s also essential to remember that each gardener has their own opinion on when to harvest their cannabis plants—some like to do it early, while others want to wait. It’s also dependent on a variety of issues outside of gardening, such as your schedule, employment, or the weather.
Harvesting weed a week early or late probably won’t be the end of the world, but don’t let your plants sit around much longer than that.
Marijuana is a warm-season annual that develops outdoors from September to November in the Northern Hemisphere.
Growers in Northern California might be able to pick until late October or early November, whereas those in the Pacific Northwest must remove their crops by mid-October and start winter pruning.
To determine when the best time to harvest marijuana is, learn about your region’s climate and speak with other cannabis farmers in your area.
When starting indoors, plants are generally harvested approximately 7-9 weeks after flipping them into flower. Some strains take longer, while others take less time; it depends on the strain. Indicas generally finish quicker than sativas.
Stigma and Trichomes
The best way to tell if your marijuana plants are ready to harvest, both indoors and outdoors, is to look at:
- Stigma: These hair-like strands that cover buds will turn from white to orange and will start to curl.
- Trichomes: The resinous glands all over the plant will turn from clear to opaque and then amber.
Keep in mind that top colas mature more quickly than bottom buds since they are exposed to greater light. You may need to pick a plant at various stages of ripeness, depending on the quality of the buds.
Additionally, information from the breeder or grower can be useful in determining when a particular strain should beharvested.
You’ll need a microscope to look at trichomes. A handheld microscope with a magnification range of 30x-100x may be used, and it is available at any growing equipment shop.
The THC content of trichomes reaches its peak when they become translucent to amber before beginning to degrade. They then break down as a result of exposure to oxygen and UV radiation.
When to Harvest Indica
If you’re cultivating an indica plant, the flowering period is expected to last around eight weeks before it’s ready to harvest. Harvest time for outdoor growers will be in late September.
When to Harvest Sativa
The flowering period for sativas is about a month longer than indicas, taking around 12 weeks.
However, several haze strains will flower faster – sometimes as quickly as 9 to 10 weeks.
Read the strain description before ordering to be sure. Sativas are generally ready for harvest by the end of October.
When to Harvest Autoflowers
Because auto-flowering marijuana strains don’t rely on lighting changes, they’re much easier to anticipate based simply on time. You may expect the auto-flowers harvest to be ready in 10 weeks once you see the initial seedlings.
It’s not an exact science, but it’s a decent jumping-off point for determining when to harvest your marijuana plants. It can also be useful for planning ahead because you know how long the growing season will last.