How Much Weed Can You Really Produce Per Plant?
Wondering how much weed you can produce per cannabis plant? Here’s everything you need to know about the variables affecting your yield.
Cannabis growers love to boast about huge harvests, but just how much weed can inexperienced growers expect to harvest from a single plant? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cannabis yield and what influences it, and much more.
- 1. Light and nutrients
- 2. Genetics
- 3. Medium
- 4. Indoor VS outdoor
- 5. Skill
- 6. How to estimate yield
- 7. How to improve your cannabis yield: quick tips
- 1. Light and nutrients
- 2. Genetics
- 3. Medium
- 4. Indoor VS outdoor
- 5. Skill
- 6. How to estimate yield
- 7. How to improve your cannabis yield: quick tips
YIELDS VARY… A LOT
If there’s one thing that’s certain about growing cannabis, it’s this: results vary. A lot. There are many different variables that affect your plants, their health, growth, and the amount of flower they produce. And frankly, trying to guess the size of your yield before harvest is really difficult.
Most rookie growers estimate their yield based on the height of their plants. And that makes sense—at least in theory. Unfortunately, plant size isn’t a very accurate indicator of final yield. In fact, it’s really hard to estimate the size of your yield just by looking at a single aspect of your plant (like height, for example).
Cannabis buds develop on what growers refer to as “bud sites”. These are the spots on branches where pre-flower structures form roughly 4–6 weeks into a plant’s life cycle. Once a plant enters its flowering phase, it stops dedicating its energy to developing foliage, instead focusing on producing healthy buds on these sites. How big and dense these buds become depends on a lot of different variables, including light, nutrients, genetics, substrate, and more. The size of a plant, on the other hand, says little about how many bud sites it will develop, or how big/dense its buds will be come harvest.
LIGHT AND NUTRIENTS
Light is arguably one of the most important factors affecting your yield. To maximise output, you should maximise light exposure to your plant early on by using training techniques to manipulate growth. One popular training technique is low stress training (LST), which involves bending and tying down branches to optimise light exposure and encourage a more horizontal structure. The screen of green (ScrOG) method takes this further, situating a mesh screen over plants, upon which new growth is woven in an effort to boost final yield. There are many more techniques where these came from, including high-stress tek like topping (in which the main growing tip is cut off) and defoliation, to name just a couple.
Nutrients are also really important, and you’ll want to make sure your plants always have access to the macronutrients and micronutrients they need at each stage of growth. When it comes to nutes, your plants require different ratios depending on their phase. During veg, plants require higher levels of nitrogen, whereas flowering plants require more potassium, phosphorus, and micronutrients like calcium and magnesium. In addition to the nutrients themselves, plants need to be able to uptake these nutrients to develop huge hauls of big buds. In order to do so, the pH level has to be dialled in for the type of grow you’re conducting.
Arguably the most crucial factor that determines final yield are genetics. And just like there are some strains that taste better than others, there are also those that produce better harvests than others.
Remember that cannabis strains have been bred to meet the demands of growers and consumers. And with yield being so important, there are countless strains out there that have been purposefully bred to produce numerous bud sites and develop bigger, heavier flowers. Make sure to check out some of our XL strains if you’re looking to really rake in the buds.
There are many different grow media out there, and they all have different effects on the overall yield of your plants.
While soil is easily the most common medium used to grow cannabis, hydroponic media like perlite or coco coir give growers a lot more control over the nutrient intake of their plants. And while that kind of control may be overwhelming for rookie growers, experienced growers can use it to really push their plants to the next level and produce massive yields.
INDOOR VS OUTDOOR
Whether you grow indoors or outdoors will have a big impact on your plants.
Indoor growers generally have less space to work with, which means they’ll usually grow fewer, smaller plants than someone growing outdoors. However, indoor growers also have much more control over their plants’ environment. Hence, they can play around with things like lighting, temperature, and humidity to fine-tune their growing conditions and optimise yield.
Outdoor growers, on the other hand, usually have much more space to work with than indoor growers, meaning they’ll be able to grow more plants in a single season than indoor growers. Plus, outdoor growers also have the benefit of growing under the best possible light source in the world—the sun. However, outdoor growers don’t have the same level of control over their environment, meaning their yield is subject to the season, which, depending on where you live, may be unpredictable.
This is another important factor that affects your overall yield. The more fine-tuned your skills, the more control you have over your plants. And the more control you have over your plants, the better your yield.
HOW TO ESTIMATE YIELD
While yields vary a lot, there are some ways you can get at least a rough estimate of how much weed you’ll produce.
ESTIMATING YIELD BASED ON POT SIZE
Remember that cannabis plants will only grow as large as their pots allow them to. And while size is, as we saw earlier, far from the perfect indicator of how much you’ll harvest, it can help you get a ballpark estimate of what your harvests will look like.
Ideally, you’ll want to grow in at least 18-litre pots. With this amount of soil, some decent nutrients, and some light pruning/training, you should be able to grow large, healthy plants that reach at least 90cm in height. Given they get a full 4–5 weeks of vegetative growth and solid lighting that penetrates right through to the lowest bud sites, plants of this size should be able to produce at least 100g of dry bud per plant.
ESTIMATING YIELD BASED ON LIGHTING
Some growers choose to estimate their yield based on the strength of their lamps. And while this is far from an exact science, it can be a bit more accurate than calculating your yield per plant, especially if you choose to grow multiple smaller plants, rather than just a few larger ones.
If you’re growing indoors and have at least a few harvests under your belt, you can expect to harvest roughly one gram for every watt of light. If you’re a newbie grower with little-to-no experience, expect yields of around 0.5g per watt.
GO HYDRO FOR BIGGER YIELDS
Growing hydroponically gives you a lot more control over how your plants feed. With the right equipment and experience, this can greatly improve the size and quality of your yield. Experienced hydro growers, for example, can encourage yields of up to 1.2g per watt of lighting. By this logic—and using a 600W lamp—a good hydro grower can harvest over 700 grams of bud (genetics depending)!
A NOTE ON DRY VS WET YIELD
Remember, the weight of your buds will drop dramatically after drying and curing. So don’t get too excited when you weigh your buds right after trimming. Instead, multiply your wet yield by 0.25 to get a rough estimate of how much dry bud you’ll end up with.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CANNABIS YIELD: QUICK TIPS FOR GROWERS
Growing cannabis can be challenging, but there are plenty of things you can do to improve your yield as a novice grower. These include:
• Start with the right genetics. Professionally bred strains will always produce better yields than bagseed.
• Read up on training techniques. Training your plants to grow a certain way maximises their exposure to light, which will ultimately improve your yield.
• Know your nutrients. Use the info on our blog to learn more about how to use nutrients to really maximise your plants’ potential.
• Experiment. Don’t be scared to try new grow techniques and push yourself as a grower.
• Go hydro! Once you’ve got a few harvests under your belt, consider immersing yourself in the world of hydroponics, where you’ll have even more control over your plants and their growth.
• Keep growing! The more experience you have, the better you’ll get. Hence, make sure you grow consistently to hone your skills and become evermore in tune with cannabis.
Cannabis yields vary. A lot. Click here to learn more about the factors affecting your yield, and some simple tips for heavier harvests.
How much weed does one plant yield
The question most asked by beginner growers is how many grams of cannabis per plant can be harvested? A great question, yet hard to answer in a simple way, but certainly not impossible.
All plants depend on light, nutrients and water to achieve their optimal growth and potential in terms of harvest. Cannabis plants can be grown indoors or outdoors using many different horticultural methods, which all have an impact on growth, not even taking into consideration the natural variations in yield between strains.
To answer the question “how much weed does one plant yield“, we will look at weed plants grown indoors under different light conditions to give you an understanding of how much weed an average weed plant can produce.
Factors that determine the harvest of a strain
Many factors influence the weed production of a cannabis plant. The most important ones are listed below:
- The type of culture: indoors or outdoors
- Lighting power
- Available space to the plant
- Growth time
- Temperature and humidity
- Type of seeds
- Fertilisers used to feed the plant
- The culture technique used: one-bud, scrog, trellising, etc.
The number of plants doesn’t really count. It doesn’t matter how many plants per square metre you grow. The goal is for the entire available surface to be covered by plants, which will allow the flowers to occupy all of the available space and thus maximise the production of weed.
The number of plants per square metre will, however, have a significant influence on the growth time required.
You could decide to make 1 m2 of one-bud. In which case, you would need between 15 and 50 plants to cover one square metre, and in this scenario, the growth phase will last less than a week. Indeed, you can put your plants in the flowering period as soon as the first leaves appear. Or you could decide only to grow one plant in one square metre. For this, and if you want your plant to occupy all the available space, it will take a growth period of two to three months. However, it is advisable to choose a compromise between these two extremes.
For beginners, six plants per square metre allow a relatively short growth phase of 4 or 5 weeks. This also avoids having to manage 10 or 15 plants in a first session.
Here are some different scenarios to give you an idea of what you can hope to harvest.
Scenario 1 – Beginner using 600-watts
A beginner cultivator using a 600-watt HPS lamp in a 1 m2 box. Average quality equipment and basic fertilisers.
Let’s also imagine that this cultivator takes care of his plants carefully throughout the growing period.
Finally, let’s also suppose that this grower encountered some problems of too high temperatures or too low humidity.
This cultivator can expect a harvest of 200 to 350 grams per square metre.
Scenario 2 – Experienced cultivator using 600-watts
Imagine an experienced cultivator who knows some cultivation techniques such as trellising or scrog.
Under the same conditions as the first scenario. 600-watts in 1 m2, medium equipment, basic fertilisers. Everything goes well during cultivation, and the plants receive the care they need.
This cultivator can harvest between 300 and 500 grams per square metre.
Scenario 3 – Beginner cultivator in 40-watts
A beginner cultivator using a 400-watt lamp. High-end equipment with a lot of cutting-edge optimisations and advanced but poorly mastered cultivation techniques.
In such a scenario, it is quite likely that the grower will make beginner mistakes. And these errors will cost much more than the potential gains that these optimisations could have delivered.
The harvest could also be limited to 50 or 100 grams of dry grass per square metre if something goes wrong during the cultivation.
On the contrary, if all goes well, the grower can expect between 200 and 300 grams per square metre. But it will be necessary to avoid embarking on optimisations or advanced techniques.
Scenario 4 – An experienced cultivator using 1000-watts
Finally, imagine a very experienced cultivator with a 1000-watt lamp and a growing area of 1.5 to 2 square metres. Top-quality material, ideal climatic conditions and culture which goes as well as possible without any problem. The grower will use advanced cultivation techniques such as CO2 enrichment, hydroponics and automated climate management.
This last cultivator could reach a record harvest of more than 650 grams per square metre.
How many grams of cannabis per plant can you harvest?
As promised at the beginning of the article, here are some crop estimates per plant, based on different growing conditions.
These estimates are presented in the form of scenarios, as in the previous section
Scenario 1: 400-watts and 15 days of growth
Imagine a plant grown indoors with a 400-watt lamp and a growth phase of only 15 days. The cultivation space is 1 square metre, and the plants occupy all the available space during the flowering stage.
A short growing period shortens the total growing time. For a variety that flowers in 50 days, a growth of 15 days will allow harvesting in just 65 days or just over two months. The downside is that you will need many plants to fill a space of one square metre!
In this configuration, if the grower takes care of the plants properly and there are no major incidents during cultivation, a cannabis plant can produce between 15 and 30 grams of cannabis per plant.
Scenario 2: 400-watts and 40 days of growth
Let’s take an indoor plant again with a 400-watt lamp but now with a 40-day growth phase.
During these 40 days of growth, the plant will have had time to develop a very dense root and leaf network, especially if the weather conditions are good. Some varieties will quickly reach a metre in height in 40 days of growth.
The production of buds from a single plant will, therefore, be much higher than the previous scenario. You can expect between 40 and 80 grams of cannabis per plant if flowering takes place under optimal conditions.
Scenario 3: 600-watts and 30 days of growth indoors
Growing a plant with a 600-watt HPS lamp with a 30 day growing period
The 600 watts will simply give you explosive growth. Indeed, you can virtually see your plant growth with the naked eye between morning and evening.
You will have the opportunity to train your plant to give it the shape you want and to maximise the occupancy of the space. With this method, yields can reach up to 100 – 120 grams per plant.
Choose the right seeds and your growing method
There are enormous variations in terms of potential harvest per plant ranging from 500 grams and 3 pounds.
This is a complex topic and there are many other factors that can affect yields, such as hydroponics, which minimises the likelihood of errors and the type of seed used, which also has an impact on the amount of harvest. Some strains are much more high-yielding than others. Big Bud and Girl Scout Cookies, for example, are famous for their huge buds and generous yields.
Reading tip: check all our high yielding strain seeds
The average yield over a cannabis strain depends on various factors. But how much weed does one plant yield? Check it out!