Cannabis Harvest
3 min

How To Harvest As Soon As Possible

3 min
Growing Seedshop

Whether you're growing in a sketchy location, or are simply in need of some quick weed, there are times growers require their flowers as soon as possible. Here are a few tips to assist with that cause.

Cannabis growers can be separated into two categories. First, there are those who view the growing process as a slow, meditative and calm ordeal. They bask in the sight of their plants as they slowly but surely reach the flowering stage. Perhaps their calm attitude is the result of already owning a mighty weed stash, or maybe they grow in a region that legally allows for cannabis cultivation.

Next, there are those who desire speedy growth that results in a hefty harvest of high quality cannabis flowers. Perhaps they cannot wait for a smoke of their very own bounty, or maybe they are leading an operation that needs to be completed in a rapid time frame to avoid a run-in with the law. This article is for the latter group. Here, we will focus on what can be done to ensure the rapid growth and harvest of your cannabis plants.


Choose A Fast Strain

Strain is an important consideration when it comes to the speed of your plants’ growth. Some strains are on the slow end of the spectrum and can take many months before they fully mature and start to flower. On the other hand, there are strains that have been bred purely for the purpose of kicking out cannabis buds as soon as biologically possible.

Cannabis plants go through a cycle consisting of two phases. The first is the vegetative phase, which centers on leaf development. The second is the flowering phase, when plants start to produce buds. It is possible to use certain methods to speed up the vegetative phase. However, the flowering phase is usually specific to the strain - a factor to consider if you desire speedy plants.

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Indica strains are often quick to reach harvest and some varieties feature flowering periods that are no longer than 9 weeks. Indica plants are smaller and bushier than their sativa counterparts, so it's no real surprise that they reach the end of the grow cycle in some haste.

Indicas, or indica-dominant hybrids, are often associated with body highs and stoned sensations. It is important to understand this when seeking a fast-growing plant to make sure that you are growing a strain in-keeping with your personal preferences.

Sativa strains can reach massive heights when cultivated outdoors. This type of cannabis plant takes much longer to reach harvest and the flowering stage can last up to 4 months. This is understandable, considering the sheer size of some sativa specimens.


Autoflowering strains are great options for those seeking fast growth and a crop that is easy to manage. Autos feature genetics from the cannabis ruderalis subspecies that allows them to flower without any change in the light cycle, a change that other plants require. This makes them a set-it-and-forget-it choice in that regard. Autoflowering strains can reach harvest extremely fast, often in just over 2 months. Many of these strains are quite small in size and therefore, the yields are not as massive as alternatives.



Lighting Your Cannabis Plants

Lighting is a key factor that will speed up the growth of your cannabis. The more light you give your plant, the more time it will spend photosynthesising, creating energy and growing. Some growers give their plants a full 24 hours of light each day during the vegetative phase to speed things up. However, it is believed that a cycle of 18 hours of light and 6 hours or darkness is more beneficial to a plant's health. It could be worth trailing a 24 hour light cycle for a while to speed up growth, then lowering the intensity should your plants run into any health problems.


Bring Plants To Flower Sooner

If you are looking to get your grow room dismantled and hidden as soon as possible, you can always elect to accelerate the grow cycle by forcing your plants to flower early. If you are in a real rush, you can induce your plants into flowering from seed and skip the vegetative stage altogether. This can be done using a non-autoflowering strain that requires a certain light cycle in order to initiate the flowering phase.

Adopting a strict lighting schedule of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness will manipulate your crop into thinking winter is closing in and force it into flowering from an early stage. Doing this has a downside, however; the yield will not be as great compared to letting your plants follow their natural cycle. The middle ground is to allow your plants to enter the vegetative phase for a short time in order to reach a justifiable size, and then force them to flower.


Indoor operations offer growers more control over their plants and allows them to control the speed of growth. When cultivating a crop outdoors, growers must obey the ebb and flow of the seasons, which will often lead to a longer growth cycle. When growing indoors, factors such as light, water and temperature can be controlled much easier. Growing outdoors in optimal climates offers a much cheaper method of cultivation, yet this comes with less control over the conditions.


Monitor Your PlantsBy paying close attention to your plants, you can avoid any unnecessary issues that may pose a risk to the speed of your crop’s growth, as well as the quality of its yield. Check your plants regularly to detect any problems regarding nutrients, mould and heat and light stress.


Cannabis plants require different nutrients at different stages of the grow cycle. If you allow your plants to experience the vegetative phase, they will need more nitrogen during this time. The potting soil used should serve as a source of nutrients for the initial few weeks, but nutrients will eventually need to be supplemented. Plants generally need more phosphorous and potassium once they reach the flowering phase.

Luke Sumpter

Written by: Luke S.
Luke S. is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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