To see the unseen through technology is one of our favorite things, so we love watching Neil Bromhall's beautifully scored plant growth time-lapse videos. During its life cycle, cannabis passes through four main stages. These stages are germination, seedling, growth and flowering. Anyone who wants to cultivate cannabis needs to recognise these stages. Each stage brings its own challenges and problems. See exactly how a marijuana plant grows in these high-quality time-lapse videos. Watch plants sprout, get topped, fill up a ScrOG screen, flower and more!
Seed germination to growth time lapses by Neil Bromhall
To see the unseen through technology is one of our favorite things, so we love watching Neil Bromhall‘s beautifully scored plant growth time-lapse videos. Above, watch a four-week time-lapse of underground bean germination and growth.
Next, peas sprout in another underground time-lapse:
And below, Runner Bean hypogeal (below ground) germination, a time-lapse filmed over 24 days:
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The Life cycle of Cannabis: From seed to harvest
Cannabis passes through a series of stages in its life. The most important of these are the germination, seedling, growth and flowering stages. Each stage brings its own challenges. Novice growers need to be aware of these, to be sure of giving their plants the attention and care that they deserve.
Plants are living beings. They are at the base of the evolutionary tree, they heal our bodies and souls, they delight our senses. I think all our readers know by now which is our favourite plant: Cannabis sativa L. – a fantastic crop and medicinal plant, and one of the oldest plant genera in the world.
No matter why cannabis is being cultivated, to see with your own eyes how a small seed grows into a bulky plant, which then starts flowering, is a moving experience every time.
Cannabis is an annual plant, so its entire lifecycle takes place within a single year, with most varieties reaching the end of their life after between four and ten months. In general terms, the following four stages of life can be distinguished:
- Germination stage
- Seedling stage
- Growth or vegetation stage
- Flowering stage
A quick glance is usually enough to determine the current stage. Over time, it is not just the appearance of the plant that changes, its needs also change. Different stages require different quantities of light, water and nutrients. Furthermore, if you want to determine the sex of the plant or prune it, it is useful to know which stage the plant has currently reached.
1 – Germination stage (1 to 2 weeks)
All forms of life start from a seed of some kind. High-quality seed is the single most important factor for successful cultivation. Cannabis seeds should be hard, dry and brownish in colour. There are a number of different ways of getting the seeds to germinate. The easiest is the paper towel method.
In the germination process, the germ in the seed breaks through its shell and forms a root, which is known as the taproot. Germination takes anything from 24 hours to 7 days. Generally cannabis varieties with a high proportion of Indica germinate faster than pure Sativas.
The germinated seed can now be placed carefully into the growing medium. The plant will start to grow and force its way upwards.
While the first two cotyledons (seed leaves) are being formed, the plant shrugs off the protective seed husk. That signifies the end of the germination stage.
Top 5 Ways Cannabis Can Affect the Menstrual Cycle
2 – Seedling stage (2 to 4 weeks)
Particular care is necessary at this stage in the lifecycle. Seedlings are susceptible to illnesses and mould. Many novices get carried away with watering and give the seedlings too much fertiliser. Even if you plan to grow outdoors, it may be useful to give the plants a healthy start indoors, assuming that a location is available with adequate light (e.g. a windowsill). The plants need as much light as possible at this stage.
How long the seedling stage lasts depends on the variety and on the environmental conditions. The main focus of the plant is on developing a root system. This forms the foundation for its later growth.
Meanwhile the plant will grow its first “real” leaves with the characteristic marijuana shape.
The leaflets are long and jagged. Initially a leaf has just one leaflet, although a mature cannabis plant will have five to seven leaflets per leaf.
Once the plant produces the full count of leaflets for each new leaf, the seedling stage is over.
3 – Growth stage or vegetation stage (2 to 8 weeks)
Now the plant starts its main growing phase. Provided it receives enough light, it can grow up to two inches (5 cm) in a single day. It is obvious that the plant needs to be repotted if it is still growing in a small pot.
Leafy plants like a healthy soil that is rich in nutrients. The production of chlorophyll and proteins depends on a supply of nitrogen. It is worth investing in the right kinds of fertiliser or even producing them yourself.
As it grows, the plant also needs more water. Young plants are best watered close to their stem, but later on water should be distributed more widely so that the tips of the roots can absorb water more efficiently.
Have you ever heard of topping, super-cropping or lollipopping? Using these techniques you can train cannabis or manipulate the shape of the plant. Growers use them to develop stronger plants with more buds. Opinions vary, however, on whether these techniques actually deliver results. They are only necessary for special cultivation methods such as the Screen of Green (SCROG).
How long the growth phase lasts is not a simple question to answer. Autoflowering cannabis varieties move automatically on to the flowering stage within 2 or 3 weeks. Regular or feminised varieties only start flowering once the days become shorter (outdoor cultivation) or the grower reduces the lighting period to 12 hours (indoor cultivation).
Cannabis Time-Lapse Photography Videos
Today I would like to feature the following incredible marijuana growing time-lapse photography and videos, many of which were produced by fuzzygrow. View all of her time-lapse videos here: http://vimeo.com/user15676933/videos
A huge thanks to fuzzygrow for contributing these uniquely valuable time-lapse videos to the marijuana growing community!
New Life – The birth of a marijuana plant from seed
This time-lapse video spans 5 days, a frame was taken every 6 minutes. 24fps .
Watch two seeds sprout and grow their first two sets of leaves. The plant on the left is Super Lemon Haze and the one on the right is strain Tijuana.
Marijuana seeds first sprout two smooth “baby” leaves known as cotyledon leaves. These leaves were already formed in the shell. When the seed is put in warm wet conditions, the seeds “wake up” and the seed splits open. The white tip that first emerges becomes a root and grows downward.
The cotyledon leaves unfurl and start gaining height above the soil. You can see the first “true” (wrinkled) set of marijuana leaves nestled in between the cotyledons at first, and as time goes on these spread out to catch as much light as possible.
You may notice the young seedlings making slow circular movements. As far as we know, all plants do this while they grow and this movement is known as nutation, circumnutation, or nutational movement .
While we don’t fully understand the mechanism behind this movement, some scientists speculate that it was developed as a way for the plant to “explore” and find the best direction to grow, since even though plants are rooted, the difference of even a couple of inches can make a huge difference in the survival of the plants.
Recovery of Topped Marijuana Plant & Formation of 2 New Colas
This time-lapse video spans 7 days
In this video, a young marijuana plant is topped and you can watch as the two growth tips from the top node (quick picture cheat sheet explaining nodes & growth tips) turn into the two new main colas.
After the plant is topped, notice that not just the top two, but all the growth tips on the plant begin growing out (the plant is becoming more bushy). This is due to a hormonal response that happens in the plant when the main cola is damaged.
Watch as the two new main colas at the top get wider and taller, while their connection to the base of the trunk is strengthened and thickened to support their growth.
Young plant burned by Pyrethrum while lights are on & recovery
This time-lapse video spans 2 weeks, a frame was taken every 6 minutes. 30 fps.
This one is a little bit hard to watch as this Purple Haze seedling is hit by a strong insecticide (Doktor Doom) around 0:31 to combat spider mites.
The insecticide is sprayed while the lights are on, and unfortunately this combination of insecticide + light burns the young plant. You can see the plant struggles to recover for nearly the rest of the video.
I sprayed Dr. Doom on this young plant to try to combat spider mites. Plant is under a 42w CFL. The main apex was also burned which stopped growing but eventually a new one formed off center. New leaves sprouted just above the cotyledons as well.
Don’t spray pyrethrum-based products with any grow lights still on!
Pyrethrum is an ingredient in certain insecticides. In this case it came from Dr. Doom. Pyrethrum is very photoreactive so because it was sprayed with the lights on it created a bad situation on the plant as you can see. It almost appears to burn it. The growth was very gnarly for awhile afterwards!
You can see the extreme stress the Pyrethrum combined with grow lights has put on the young plant.
Although this plant recovers, you can see how badly the burns stunted its growth, and you’ll notice that the regrowth that follows is a bit odd as the plant “ditches” the burnt parts and then gets back into the swing of things.
Growing with ScrOG Time-Lapse
Watch as these young plants are trained to fill up a ScrOG net. ScrOG stands for “Screen Of Green” and refers to using a “screen” (usually made of string) to force plants to grow into a flat canopy.
Seedling & Vegetative Stage
The above time-lapse video spans 40 days of growth. A frame was taken every 6 minutes. 50fps .
Once the screen has been “filled out” with vegetative growth, the grower will switch to the flowering stage. The ScrOG technique is used to get better yields out of your indoor grow lights, which are most effective when plants are kept as close to the lights as possible. The ScrOG technique makes it so that when buds start forming, the lights shine directly on the buds and fatten them.
You just saw these plants fill up the ScrOG net in the last video. Now watch as the colas from these scrogged plants fatten up throughout the flowering stage until harvest time.
Why do marijuana plants seem to “breathe” in time-lapse photography? Why do the leaves begin to droop down and then suddenly spring back up?
All plants do that. It partly has to do with their Circadian rhythms. Plants must put energy into keeping cell walls rigid to hold up the leaves. Kinda like using their “muscles”. With plants like cannabis, the leaves tend to “rest” at night and “perk up” when they “think” the sun is going to come out.
The plants also wilt when they’re thirsty and perk up after being watered.
Here’s a timelapse showing a plant putting its leaves up and down in response to the light
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Bonus Marijuana Time Lapse Videos
These have been circulating around the internet for a while, but if you haven’t seen them before, you don’t want to miss these bonus marijuana time-lapse videos.
Growing Marijuana Time Lapse – 80 days in 45 seconds
Sweet And Sour Headband Marijuana Time Lapse Grow – seed to harvest
Seedling to Harvest – Marijuana plant grown naturally without any plant training