Life Cycle of Cannabis

Germination

The germination process takes from 2 to 7 days after which plants will enter their seedling stage. This stage lasts around a month.

During the germination process hormones contained within the seed are activated through heat, moisture and air, causing cells to form and increase in size. Soon the seed embryo begins to grow, nourished by stores of food contained within, it will soon break free from it’s shell. A taproot will emerge from the seedling, growing down into the grow medium whilst a small sprout emerges, growing upwards in search of light.

Seedlings and growth

Seedlings should receive 16-18 hours of light for healthy growth during this key stage.

The single taproot which has emerged is now growing down through the grow medium, searching for water and nutrients to support it’s growth cycle and will begin to branch out, creating rootlets which stretch further into the grow medium. Above ground we see the result, more stem branches forming and branching out to catch more light.

Vegetative growth

16-24 hours of light per day is recommended for strong and healthy vegetative growth.

The plant is now starting to mature with roots taking on their own functions, older root growth focusses on transporting water and storing food whilst small single-celled root hairs continue to push into the grow medium in search of more water and nutrients to support the plants growth. As the plants only source of nutrients and water at this point, the frail root hairs are extremely important, they can be damaged by light and air so great care should be taken if you are transplanting into bigger pots to encourage growth. As the roots develop and take on their own functions, we can see their effects on the development of the plant above ground.

The central stem grows upwards in search of light whilst carrying water and nutrients from the stem roots to developing side branches, leaves and buds. Valuable starches and sugars which are manufactured by the plants leaves are also distributed through the plant via the main stem. It is important to note that these vital plant fluid transfers take place near to the outer surface of the main stem, if you plan to tie-down the stem or use similar training, be careful not to tie too tightly as this could cut off the supply of essential fluids – damaging and ultimately killing the plant.

The inner walls of the main stem produce cellulose which acts to stiffen up the plants stems. Outdoors cellulose production is stimulated by rain and wind,when growing indoors this is difficult to replicate, cellulose production is lowered and plants may need to be supported with stalks or similar as buds swell and increase in weight.

The plants leaves are responsible for photosynthesis, a process which involves chlorophyll converting CO2 (from light, air and water) into carbohydrates and oxygen which can be utilised by the plant. Water drawn up by the roots must come into contact with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis to occur so plant leaves are covered in tiny stomata which regulate the flow of moisture and CO2. In order for this process to take place, and for vigorous growth, the interior of the leaf must be kept moist, the stomata are responsible for moisture levels, opening and closing to prevent dehydration so need to be kept clean.

Pre-flowering

After the 4th week of vegetative growth, pre-flowers will start to form appearing somewhere between the plants 4th and 6th node. This is when we can identify the sex of the plant as male and female plants (if you use regular seeds). They have their own distinct flower structure . Feminised seeds will produce female plants 99.9% of the time.

All Anesia Seeds are feminised.

Mother Plants

The strongest, healthiest and most well structured female plants can be selected as mothers, keeping these ´mother plants´ under 18-24 hours of light will keep them in their vegetative stage. Clones can now be cut from the mother plants for a consistent supply of all female cuttings to root and grow through to flower.

Cloning

Give clones 18-24 hours of light and higher relative humidity to promote root growth, within 10-20 days the root system will be developed and ready to transplant to a larger container for the 4 week growth period.

Flowering

In the nature, cannabis will begin flowering in the autumn. As the days become shorter the plants functions start to change as it recognises it´s annual cycle is ending. Growth begins to concentrate in the flowers as they attempt to catch male pollen. In the absence of male plants the flowers will swell, producing buds which gain weight and produce large amounts of resin and cannabinoids before THC production peaks and the flowers are ready to harvest.

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