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When do Cannabis Seeds Sprout and When do Plants Grow Buds?

When you are new to growing cannabis, you have a lot of questions. These are two very common questions – when do seeds sprout and when do plants develop buds? While we do have growing guides available here at Leafist, we thought we’d address these two questions on their own. Links to our main articles will be provided at the bottom of the article so that you can grow your cannabis plants well and prevent major growing issues.


Cannabis seeds begin to sprout, typically, after a 3-day germination process. Germination occurs when you take a solid, large, dark seed and cover it with water in a shallow dish. The dish needs to be kept in a semi-warm, dark and dry place for germination to occur properly.

If you have had your seeds in water for more than 3 days, pick a new seed. This one isn’t going to do anything. Some seeds are not mature enough to sprout. In other cases, the seeds are either too old, too dry or too hot.

Now, if you’re attempting to just toss a seed in a soil planter, you can’t place the seed in too deep or too shallow. The seed should be no more than ½ inch to an inch deep in the soil. You also cannot pack the soil tightly around the seed or it may not sprout.

The ideal seed will be dark brown in color, shiny and very hard. Light colored and white seeds won’t get you anywhere.


When transplanting your seeds from the germination dish to soil, make sure it’s not planted too deep to start with. Knuckle deep is ideal. If you plant the seed too deep, it may become smothered and die. Planting too close to the surface can mean that the plant isn’t going to be able to anchor itself well enough to stand up, and may break within a few weeks of gaining height.

Flowering Stage

There isn’t an exact time regarding when your cannabis plant is going to start one of its four flowering stages. Every strain grows differently. You should, however, start to see flowers forming after about week 4 or 5, if you are growing with a professional setup. In-home growing, with less than ideal growing conditions may cause that stage to take a little longer to get to, by a few weeks.

Buds wills tart to tighten a couple of weeks after flowers form, in most scenarios. At this point, you should help your buds form by trimming away a few of the excess leaves. Only trim a couple at a time since too many can shock your plant and stop the development of the buds.

Closing Thoughts

Growing cannabis is a real science, it takes practice. You’ll probably fail a time or two before you have a successful cannabis plant that produces usable cannabis. It is important to research the strain you’re growing to see its growth patterns so that  you are ready to care for your plant properly during each growth phase. Cannabis needs to cure at least 2 – 4 weeks before it is consumed, after it is harvested.

See Related Articles:

The Differences between Growing Marijuana from Seeds and Clones

From Seed to Harvest – A Guide to Successfully Growing Marijuana

Common Issues When Growing Marijuana

Hydroponic or Organic – Which Method of Growing Cannabis is Best?

Why Do Cannabis Plant Leaves Turn Yellow

When is Cannabis Ready to Use?

When Does Cannabis Start Giving Off an Aroma?

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