Maybe you’ve come across this piece because you’re a first-time grower or novice grower, who is wanting to find out what the best beginner strains are, how to grow weed indoors and out, and how to quickly grow your weed plants. Or maybe you live in a part of the world that has a short outdoor growing season, and your landlord/lady won’t allow you to grow pot plants inside, or you’re an indoor grower with limited space, or you don’t have lots of time on your hand, or you’re trying to maximize your harvests via applying various crop rotation techniques, etc. The fact is, there are numerous reasons why one isn’t “able” to wait the 4 or so months that it can take for some strains to be harvest ready. So you’re trying to find out how to get your plants to complete their vegetative stage and flowering phase in 60 days (8.5 weeks) or less.
No matter your reason for why you want to cultivate fast-growing female cannabis plants, we have put together this piece in order to provide you with what is hopefully an easy-to-use quick reference guide to help get you growing on your way.
Know Your Cannabis Seed Options
Suppose you are an inexperienced or first-time grower, before you even buy your marijuana seeds from a reputable seed bank, and get them started in their germination period. In that case, you need to first know which ones /what kinds to look at and to buy.
The three types of marijuana seeds are regular, feminized, and autoflowering. The main things you should know are that regular seeds will produce both male, which is nonflowering plants, and female plants, which provide flowering marijuana plants. Since there’s a 50/50 chance of ending up with “useless” male plants, these kinds of seeds are mainly used by cannabis breeders or expert growers looking to create new strains or produce their own seeds.
A reputable seed bank, like Growers Choice Seeds, only offers versions of feminized seeds–some of which are autoflowers and others that are photoperiod. Feminized cannabis seeds have about a 1 in 10 chance of producing male plants, and tend to produce high-yielding strains.
Tips for Achieving Flowering Plants in a Shorter Amount of Time
Select Autoflowering Strains
As mentioned above, many cannabis plants take 4 or so months before entering their flowering stage, with some (albeit not many) taking as long as 8 months. Autoflowering hybrids, which can usually be harvested in 7-13 weeks, are genetically engineered to start their flowering period without a lot of effort put in by the grower to make this happen. As such, autoflowering feminized cannabis seeds are especially well-suited for new growers who lack the cultivation “tricks,” which come with time and experience, to help speed the vegetative phase so that they get flowering plants in a shorter amount of time.
Basically, the reason that autoflowering hybrids blossom into flowering marijuana plants faster than feminized photoperiod strains is due to containing X percent of ruderalis, which is a species of strain that evolved over time in frigid places where the summers are incredibly short. The only way that ruderalis could last in such an environment would be to produce flowers and seeds as quickly as possible. As such, it’s an incredibly hardy plant as well.
These days, you’re likely to find that most feminized cannabis seeds that are autoflowers will only have 10% ruderalis in their genetics as a lower amount serves to increase the strain’s hardiness, potency, and yield sizes, but does mean they take just a titch longer to be ready to harvest.
Just a few of the many autoflowering feminized cannabis seeds that are known for being fast-growing, low-maintenance pot plants, that all make for good outdoor growers and/or indoor growers are as listed below:
- White Widow: the White Widow autoflowering strain is a low-maintenance indica-dominant hybrid, which provides gentle, predominantly cerebral effects, and should be ready for harvesting in 8 to 9 weeks (56-63 days).
- Pineapple: this easy-to-grow, sativa-dominant autoflower with its creative and energy-boosting properties should finish its flowering stage in approximately 60 days (8.5 weeks).
- Cream this relaxing indica-dominant hybrid is a fabulous beginner strain that should complete its germination period in 2 to 7 days and is a faster grower than even White Widow, taking as little as 50 days and as much as 60 before being ready for the plucking.
Force Photoperiod Strains to Flower
If you have about an intermediate level of experience as an indoor and/or outdoor grower and you are growing a photoperiod strain. Photoperiods, which pre-date autoflowering strains, are weed plants that can be indica, sativa, or a combo of the two. They are essentially strains that are genetically predisposed to flower with a longer exposure to darkness, where over the course of a 24-hour period they are on a 12/12 light and dark cycle, which is why they tend to require a longer flowering time–especially when grown outdoors as they can’t begin to flower until there are at least less than 15 hours of daylight.
As such, you can, with the right amount of experience, force photoperiod strains to achieve maturation almost as quickly as an autoflowering strain by placing them in 12 hours of darkness from the time your feminized cannabis seeds have completed their germination stage. If you’re growing your photoperiod cannabis indoors, then you can easily do this by creating a 12/12 light/dark cycle that you operate either manually or via an automatic timing system. If you’re cultivating your crops outside, this is near impossible to do unless you are able to create a structure through which no light can leak and be able to do a 12/12 light-dark cycle every single day for around two months.
The only real drawbacks to forcing your photoperiod marijuana plants to flower more quickly are that you’ll probably end up with smaller harvests, and so you’ll not only need to grow a lot more plants via the Sea of Green (SOG) method, but you’ll need to know how to use the SOG method as well.
Here are a few photoperiod strains we recommend–all of which you can opt to force to flower sooner, and all of which are indoor-friendly strains:
- Mazar I Sharif: this legendary and dynamic indica-heavy hybrid is easy to grow, and starts to flower indoors in 9 to 11 weeks.
- Love Potion #1: a sativa-dominant hybrid with a buzzing, libido-boosting body high that first-time growers should find success with. It usually takes 10 to 11 weeks to flower.
- NYC Diesel: this sativa-leaning hybrid with its perfectly balanced high can also take 10-12 weeks to produce flowering marijuana plants.
Force Photoperiod Strains to Flower
Grow Your Weed Indoors
While this may sound like over-stating the obvious, having an indoor garden or set-up allows you to control all of the factors that only Mother Nature is in control of outside.
For example, as already explained above, photoperiods will only start to produce flowering plants outdoors when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. If you grow your female plants indoors you can have total control over factors like light and dark cycles, temperature, humidity, and so on.
As such, here are a few indoor-friendly strains that we recommend:
- Night Terror OG: this indica-dominant photoperiod hybrid is a beloved nighttime strain that’s best grown indoors, but you’ll need to have enough space as its plants can reach heights of 12 feet.
- Venom OG: a 50/50 photoperiod hybrid that opens the doorways to mental and physical relaxation and has a short indoor flowering period that should finish in 7-8 weeks.
- Tangerine Dream: these sativa-dominant autoflowering feminized cannabis seeds deliver a mood-boosting high that may leave you happily lazy, or creative and productive. It tends to flower in 8 to 9 weeks.
Other Tips for Stimulating Faster Growth Periods for Your Indoor Cannabis Plants
These tips are definitely geared toward new indoor growers, as intermediate and skilled cultivators should already be well-versed in these areas.
Use Hydroponics as a Growing Medium
The first is to do hydroponic gardening, as this style of growing can serve to reduce your plant’s vegetative stage by approximately two or even three weeks compared to using soil as your growing medium. This is because hydroponics is able to deliver the nutrients your weed plants more directly to its roots. If you decide to grow your indoor cannabis strains in a hydroponic garden set-up, know that while it does reduce their vegetative phase, it won’t speed up their flowering time. Some other bonuses that come with using hydroponics are that it tends to result in denser nuggets and larger yields.
Some strains that we recommend for growing using hydroponics as the cultivation medium are as follows:
- Buddha’s Sister: this easy-to-grow, uplifting, and super chill indica-heavy photoperiod strain can be grown in soil, but responds exceptionally well to hydroponics.
- Rockstar: this award-winning, top-tier 50/50 hybrid loves hydroponics and can also be cultivated using the previously-mentioned SOG method.
- Gogi OG: a low-maintenance sativa-heavy photoperiod hybrid with incredibly uplifting effects that respond very well to hydroponics. The biggest reason why some opt to grow it outside is that it grows to be over 6 feet tall, and not everyone has the indoor space for tall-growing pot plants.
Maintain Proper Nutrition for Your Weed Plants
The second thing that can help your cannabis plants is maintaining their nutrition. While this won’t cause your crops to flower any faster, what it will do is help ensure healthy plant growth. Plants that are overfed, underfed, or given the wrong nutrients get sick, and while they can be nursed back to health, doing so takes time, which thereby means you have to wait even longer before they are ready to be harvested.
In brief, the best way to ensure that your marijuana plants are getting what they need is to use nutrients that are specifically designed for weed crops. While you should of course follow the instructions provided, experts recommend that you first start off using a bit less than recommended so that you can find out if they’re nutrient-sensitive.
For example, feminized cannabis seeds require more nitrogen when they are in their vegetative stage and more phosphorous and potassium during their flowering period. If they end up “eating” too much nitrogen when flowering, you’re likely to end up with plants whose bud growth is slowed, which will then lead to smaller yields.
As the saying goes: You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s added.
Tips for Growing Weed More Quickly Outside
There’s not a lot that you can do when you’re growing your pot plants outside, there are a few things that will help.
One is to choose an autoflowering strain. Another is to try covering your plants in the early evening with a light-proof tarp or cover and then remove it in the morning so that they get 12 hours of darkness. While this can result in faster growth and bigger buds with more resin, it’s not often a practical option for a non-commercial cannabis cultivator, because as mentioned earlier in this article, it means you have to do this every day for weeks on end.
The final option that definitely requires some previous cultivation experience is to pollinate your cannabis flowers about seven days before you plan to harvest your buds. Doing this serves to hasten their blossoming process.
No matter your reason for why you want to be able to harvest your weed plants in 60 days or less, now you know some of the fundamentals for doing so.