Harvest happens sometime between September and November. This depends on your local climate, as well as the weather that particular year—one year it could be the end of September, the next, end of October, and growers in the Pacific Northwest will have to pull down their crops earlier than those in Northern California.
When should you grow marijuana?
Marijuana light cycle: indoor—16 hours a day; outdoor—at least 6 hours of direct sunlight (“full sun”), plus several hours indirect sunlight
Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds.
Some strains like Blue Mystic and Northern Light are known for having relatively low smells, but many strains can start getting pungent quickly!
After Week 8 it’s normal to see leaves turning yellow, in fact there’s not much you can do to prevent it. As long as it’s close to harvest and the yellowing is not affecting your actual buds it’s ok!
Although you don’t want an excessively leafy plant, and strategic defoliation (for advanced growers) can be helpful to expose bud sites, it’s important to make sure that you let your plant keep enough leaf coverage to power the growth of buds. It may need a little extra help if something happens!
From now on your plant won’t be making any new leaves or stems. It has completely switched gears away from vegetative growth and all its energy will be focused on growing buds from now until harvest.
Quick Tip: Want to take better bud pics? Try taking a picture of the bud in the dark with your camera flash on. Learn more tips for taking great bud pictures!
Home stretch! You’re so close! To make sure things go smoothly until harvest, treat your plant like a movie star and attend to its every need! Very few strains of cannabis are ready to be harvested before week 8, but now we’re at to the point where some short strains are getting close to being harvest-ready!
Note: It’s common to think that a cannabis plant getting 12 or less hours of light is what initiates flowering, but it’s actually uninterrupted darkness that does the trick! If the plant gets any light during the dark period, even for just a minute, it won’t make buds! In fact, a flowering plant may even revert back or express hermaphroditism if it gets any light at night!
Cannabis will generally double its height after the lights are changed over to 12-12 (12 hours light, 12 hours darkness) which signals the beginning of the flowering stage. Some cannabis strains, especially sativa-dominant strains, can triple in height or more during the flowering stage. Some indica cannabis strains may not get much taller at all during the flowering stage, and may instead just get bushier.
In my experience with several different hybrid strains, a good rule of thumb is to generally expect that cannabis plants will double their height after entering flowering. If the plant is growing long and lanky, with thin leaves like a sativa, expect the plant to grow more. If the plant grows low and bushy for the entire vegetative stage, chances are it will continue to grow in the same pattern during flowering and may not quite double its height. If a marijuana plant has grown stretchy and tall its whole left, expect it to stretch a lot after it starts flowering!