How Many Seeds Can A Weed Plant Produce

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How much marijuana does one plant produce? This article discusses some of the variables that will impact the final harvest of your cannabis plants. Normal number may not be as high as you think, but plant is still a monster! » WSSA » Weeds » Articles on Garden Weeds » NEVER LET ‘EM SET SEED Have you ever wished you could grow vegetables without hours of weeding? If you are like most gardeners, I bet you have. The

How Much Weed Does One Plant Produce?

“How can I grow as much weed as possible?” You know that’s what’s on your mind when you ask or wonder about plant yield. Old and new marijuana growers (and scientists and politicians ) alike want to know how to get the highest yield per plant and per grow. Planning and practice can make a huge difference– especially when you are only growing one plant!

But, ultimately let’s not forget that the cannabis plant is a sentient being. She’s alive! Her growth is dependent on many factors and the same plant can produce a pound in one situation and a couple grams in another. Below we will detail the known factors that impact yield and potency, discuss where things can go wrong, and where things can grow right.

What is yield? (wet vs. dry yield)

Yield is the amount of weed you get when you harvest your marijuana plants. This is only the buds themselves, removed from the stems. This is most often measured once your marijuana buds are dried and trimmed. This is generally measured in grams, ounces, and pounds. The “lid” is not a used measurement anymore.

One of the most know measurements currently is an 1/8th (of an ounce) which is 3.5 grams. This is commonly found in dispensaries as well as something one might purchase from their friendly neighborhood weed guy. In this picture below, only two perfectly grown and cured buds were needed to reach this weight!

Wet and dry cannabis does not weigh the same.

Immediately upon harvesting, your buds will be quite heavy. That’s because, like humans, freshly harvested cannabis flowers are 75 – 80% water by weight. Once dried and cured, the actual harvest you get is about ¼ of the wet weight. So, if your harvest weighs out at an ounce at first cut, when it’s all said and done, you will have a quarter ounce of homegrown weed to smoke.

To estimate your dry yield from your wet yield, just multiply the wet yield by 0.25 to get an idea of what you’ll have to share with your friends (or stash away for yourself)!

This varies slightly depending on if you grew a sativa-dominant or an indica-dominant strain. Sativas are notoriously more airy so if you weigh your sativa harvest wet, you will get 20 – 22% dry. Indicas tend to be a bit chunkier so if you weigh your indica harvest wet, you will get 22 – 25% dry.

​​Yield vs. Potency

Yield is an important factor to consider because cannabis is an annual crop; there’s only one harvest per plant. After harvest, the plant is dead and returns to compost. Yield is the weight of the buds that you harvest. Yield should not be confused with the potency of these hefty green nuggets. Potency is the strength of the cannabinoids found in the trichomes on your cannabis buds.

In other words, you can have a high yield of low potency buds. Or you can have a low yield of high potency buds. In a perfect world, you’d get a high yield of high potency buds and we are going to discuss how to make that happen!

What to do to increase your weed plant’s yield?

Let’s get the most out of your homegrown medical (and recreational) marijuana. Best plant performance and yield are the result of growing the right strains under the right conditions. The most important factors being: light, plant density, fertilizer, temperature, duration of the flowering growth stage, and plant variety. In sum, the TLDR version is:
blast as much light as you can afford, grow less plants to fill your space appropriately, feed your plants just enough but not too much, keep the space not too hot and not too cold, don’t harvest early, and don’t buy shit genetics
(bag seed gamblers are included!)

Light to Increase Weed Plant High Yield

The yield from an indoor-grown cannabis plant largely depends on the light the plant receives. Cannabis plants, being photosynthesizers, receive all their energy to function from light.

The type, quality, and amount of light you provide your marijuana plant directly influences yield and should not be taken lightly (see what we did there?)

Sunlight is the most powerful light us earthlings have access to, so if you are able to give your plant direct sunlight, do it! Sunshine is also free, and that is a big plus. The only downside is that we cannot control cloudy or rainy days and winter makes it challenging to grow with the limited amount of sunlight (the freezing temperatures also don’t help).

Moving to an indoor grow environment, w hen it comes to lighting fixtures, it does not benefit you to get the cheaper option. And we know how challenging it is to pick the right light- – there’s so many options out there! (incandescent, CFL, HPS, LEDs)

We do not encourage growers to use incandescent light bulbs when growing indoors. To get enough energy for your plant, the bulb would put off too much heat and not be fun to see on your electric bill. CFL bulbs are equally useless. Stick to new technology to protect your plants and your wallet.

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While HPS light fixtures are historically the choice for those who want to maximize their indoor cannabis crop harvest, they are slowly fading out from commonplace. An experienced grower can expect to harvest a gram of weed from each watt of HPS light provided to the plant. This means that if the light is a 400-watt HPS bulb, then 400 grams of weed could potentially be harvested. However, LED light technology is getting more advanced. LEDs are: 1) cheaper to run than HPS and 2) run cooler than HPS which also lowers the cost of air conditioning and 3) reduces the likelihood of burning your plants with too much light.

When choosing an LED light fixture for your weed plants you are up against a surplus of options and information.

The most important metrics to look for in a lighting fixture are PPF, PPFD, and energy usage/efficacy . If none of these are present, you may want to look at a different fixture.

PPF, PPFD, and photon efficiency are measurements related to PAR. PAR is photosynthetic active radiation. PAR is not a unit of measurement but instead defines the type of light needed to support photosynthesis.

PPF is how much PAR a lighting system produces each second. This is not often listed as it does not show how much of the measured light actually lands on your plants but is a useful metric to calculate how capable a light fixture is at creating PAR.

PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) is the measurement of how much PAR actually arrives at your plant. This is a spot measurement and is typically highest at the center point beneath the light and decreases as light ripples outwardly. This changes with the distance away from the plant. Ideally, the higher the better but a single measurement won’t tell you much– you want the average taken from many measurements throughout the coverage area.

Photon efficacy is a way of defining how good a lighting fixture is at converting the electrical energy into PAR light that your plant can actually consume. This is not often listed in the spec sheet for most lights. Instead, most light manufacturers list the wattage, either total electrical watts or watts per square foot. Knowing the wattage is good to budget the main cost of your indoor cannabis grow. But the wattage doesn’t give the best information about the quality of light as watts are a measurement of the energy coming into the light fixture (from your electric bill) where photon efficacy is how good the light is at giving your plant energy.

We suggest paying attention to whether or not the company you want to buy a light from lists the actual wattage or the watt equivalent. (Hint: if they are only disclosing the watt equivalent, the light is most likely not strong enough for cannabis.)

LED wattage and incandescent wattage aren’t the same.

Many LEDs are marketed with their “incandescent equivalent” wattage, referring to the brightness of the LED. For example, a 10 watt LED may say “75 watts” on the package and in fine print say that the brightness is equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent. But for growing cannabis, you’re going to want an actual real 75 watts (or higher!) from your LED lamp .

Can I give my weed plant too much light?

The answer in fancy, science talk:

Effectively, within the range of practical indoor PPFD levels—the more light that is provided, the proportionally higher the increase in yield will be. Therefore, the question of the optimum LI [light intensity] may be reduced to more practical functions of economics and infrastructure limitations: basically, how much lighting capacity can a grower afford to install and run? – Victoria Rodriguez-Morrison, David Llewellyn , and Youbin Zheng

In plain English:

No, not really! For a vegging photoperiod cannabis plant, you will want to give her a minimum of 18 hours of light a day– some give 20 hours or even keep the lights on 24/7. We know that a lot of good growth happens during the dark period when the cannabis plant has time to rest so we suggest either a 18/6 or 20/4 light cycle for photoperiod cannabis in the vegetative stage.

Same goes with autoflowering cannabis, with an autoflower seed indoors, you’ll want to give it 20 hours light / 4 hours darkness each day.

When it comes to using light to maximize yield, maximize the light intensity to meet your budget.

Grow Less Cannabis Plants to Get More Weed

In some ways you may think that if you pop more marijuana seeds or get more clones that you will get a bigger harvest in the end. This is not always true.

Each cannabis plant wants her own space. Planting more than one seed in a pot leads to competition between plants for the shared nutrients and reduced yields. As seen in this photo below where two seedlings starved each other and both ended up dwarfed:

The size of the container that you grow your pot in matters, too. Outdoor plants have the potential of reaching extreme oak tree size when planted directly in good soil (which can be hard to find) and allowed to flourish in an open, sunny space. Indoor cannabis plants, become much like a goldfish in either a fishbowl or an aquarium or an ocean, you will grow a different size plant from the Mini Complete Pot Grow Kit (1/2 Gallon) to the Medium Complete Pot Grow Kit (5 gallon) or the Large Complete Pot Grow Kit (35 gallon) . The bigger pot, the bigger plant (and the more pot).

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Growing in a grow tent, consider the total space as well as the size of your containers. It may sound like a good idea to pack a small 24’’ x 48’’ x 60’’ tent with as many pots as possible but this will limit the canopy space for your plants to fill. Best to give each pot space for the plant to fill out.

Growing less plants means:

  1. A longer vegetative stage. This means bigger plants. Bigger plants have bigger harvests and higher yield. When growing photoperiod cannabis indoors, it is time to transition your tent to flower when the tips of the leaves of each plant begin to touch. More plants touch each other faster.
  2. Less plants to manage! You know each one personally and can tell when even the slightest thing is off which means you can catch pests and diseases before they become a major problem. This also means that you will have more time for defoliation and advanced pruning techniques to maximize your yield!

In the same space with a 600 watt HPS lamp, you can either get 37.5 grams from 16 plants, 150 grams from four plants, or a pound from one single plant! Don’t compromise on plant density; the more space you give a single plant, the more she can blossom.

Best Grow Mediums to Maximize Harvest

Yield can also vary based on the particular grow medium you use. It has been clearly documented that using hydroponics to grow marijuana can result in 20 percent more yield compared to using soil indoors.

Hydroponics increases yield because it is the most efficient way to feed plants. The grower supplies all the nutrients that the plant would naturally need to find for herself in the soil.

But, hydroponic systems are also 1) more expensive to set up and run, 2) can take time (like several runs) to dial in a nutrient feeding schedule and 3) can go wrong if your plants are fed too much.

At the simplest level, fertilizers come in varying NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) formulations. Fertilizers that are richer in nitrogen are ideal for the vegetative phase, and those richer in potassium are better suited to the flowering phase. Growing hydroponically you need to know which nutrients your cannabis plants need during their different stages of growth and have that ready.

Whether you opt for organic, inorganic, or a mixture of the two is more of a personal decision. The important thing is that your marijuana plants receive enough nutrients to give you a higher yield per plant, but never too much. Unlike light intensity, there is a sweet spot for nutrients when it comes to growing marijuana. Too much of a good thing can negatively impact your plants. Unfortunately, finding the right balance between enough nutrients and excess nutrition usually comes with experience.

Soil grown marijuana can pull down some epic yields as well. But not all soils are created equal. For example, one person growing marijuana in loam soil may have a richer harvest since loam soil is easy for the roots to penetrate. On the other hand, clay soil could lead to a dismal yield since it doesn’t easily drain and can be quite compact, making it difficult for cannabis roots to grow.

That’s why a Pot for Pot specially formulated our Superb Soil to contain just the right amount of nutrients to maximize cannabis growth. With a Pot for Pot grow kits, there’s no need to add additional fertilizer because their soil has everything your plant needs from seed to harvest . It isn’t just easy to use, it’s optimized for marijuana growth.

Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.

Just How Many Seeds Can One Palmer Amaranth Plant Produce?

Every time someone talks about Palmer amaranth and how nasty it can be as a weed in your field, they usually get around to talking about how many seeds a single plant can produce. Sometimes they say a million seeds. Sometimes it’s 500,000 to a million. Others speak in terms of just several hundred thousand seeds per plant.

According to a Purdue University research student, it is possible for a single plant to produce that many seeds if it is isolated by itself, but that’s far more than a normal plant produces. However, he in no way intends to underestimate the veracity of this ‘take-over-the-farm’ weed.

Seed bank: A stand this thick will produce maybe 3,500 to 140,000 seeds per plant, researchers say. It’s still enough to make the weed formidable.

The number in a normal stand of Palmer amaranth where there are many plants competing is more like 3,500 to 140,000 seeds per plant, Doug Spaunhorst says. He’s assisting Purdue University weed control specialists Bill Johnson, Travis Legleiter and Brian Young in plots near Twelve Mile.

While that’s a wide range, his work shows that in a thick stand 15,000 seeds per plant may be more normal.

However, he is by no means downplaying the weed’s ability to spread, he asserts. It’s still a huge amount of seed, he agrees.

The other problem for those wanting to control it is that Palmer amaranth continues to emerge throughout the season from seed. A tillage pass stirs up a new batch, and you can expect a flush of new plants one to two days after tillage, he observes.

Even plants that are two feet tall begin to produce seed, he adds. Seedheads eventually become up to 20 inches long, but even when they are only a few inches long and still growing, they can produce mature seed.

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They can also grow from 21 to 42 inches, doubling in size, in about a week during the middle of the summer, he notes.

No matter how many seed it produces, Palmer amaranth is still one tough customer.

In the coffee shop, it is known as Palmer pigweed. In university circles, it is referred to as Palmer amaranth. Whatever you want to call it, this weed is the No. 1 weed to watch. Stay on top of your control plan with our new free report, Palmer Amaranth: Understanding the Profit Siphon in your Field.

» WSSA » Weeds » Articles on Garden Weeds » NEVER LET ‘EM SET SEED

Have you ever wished you could grow vegetables without hours of weeding? If you are like most gardeners, I bet you have. The good news is that with a bit of dedicated effort, you can reduce the weeding you do year by year until your vegetable garden is virtually weed-free.

Have you ever wished you could grow vegetables without hours of weeding? If you are like most gardeners, I bet you have. The good news is that with a bit of dedicated effort, you can reduce the weeding you do year by year until your vegetable garden is virtually weed-free.

The key is to know a bit about something called the “weed seed bank” and how to manage it. Most people don’t realize that a weed can produce literally thousands – or even millions – of seeds per plant. Early in my career as a university professor, I conducted research to document the number of seeds coming from even a single weed plant. The accompanying chart shows the results were pretty stunning. And all those seeds fall to the ground and become part of a “seed bank” that fuels new weed growth.

The weed seed bank is central to the “never let ’em set seed” rationale. Seeds “in the bank” can remain viable for quite a long time and sprout when conditions are right. That means it will take several years for you to reach your weed-free goal.

How many years? The answer depends on the weed species growing in your garden. Seeds of most annual weedy grasses die after two or three years, but some broadleaf weed seeds can last for decades. On average, though, the bulk of your weed seed bank will be depleted in about five years if no additional seeds are added. That means diligence is the key. Never let one weed go to seed or you will be back to square one!

What about seeds blown onto your garden or dropped there by birds? They shouldn’t be a big problem. The seeds for most weed species drop directly to the ground, close to the mother plant. There are only a few bad actors with windborne seed, such as dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) and groundsel (Senecio vulgaris). And it is rare for annual weed seeds to be spread by birds. It’s a bit of gardening lore that isn’t substantiated by fact.

To hasten the path to a weed-free garden, I recommend a two-pronged strategy: drive down the number of viable seeds in the soil and quickly intervene when those that remain sprout. I grow between 70% and 80% of the vegetables my wife and I eat, and I now spend almost no time weeding them. I have managed to drive down the seed bank using solarization, mulching, hoeing and hand pulling. In case you haven’t heard of solarization, it involves covering the soil with a clear plastic tarp for several weeks in the summer to heat the soil and kill weed seeds. It may sound farfetched, but it works.

While there is never a 100% guarantee in the natural world, if you follow a “never let ’em set seed” strategy, I can virtually guarantee that you will soon be doing a lot less weeding in future years.

This column is provided as a courtesy by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). The author Robert Norris is an avid gardener and a professor emeritus in the Plant Sciences at the University of California at Davis.

Examples of Weed Seed Production per Plant*
Weed name Seeds per plant Where the plant
was located
Barnyardgrass, Echinochloa crus-galli 750,000 Davis, CA
Purslane, Portulaca oleracea > 2,000,000 Davis, CA
Black nightshade, Solanum ptycanthum > 800,000 Rosemount, MN
Puncturevine, Tribulus terrestris > 100,000 Pullman, WA
Powell amaranth, Amaranthus powellii 268,000 Freeville, NY
Shepherd’s purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris 40,000 Sheffield, UK
Chickweed, Stellaria media 25,000 Rothamsted, UK

* Data collected by various researchers around the globe.

A Note about Perennial Weeds

Most of the perennial weeds that plague perennial flower gardens and lawns need more than the “never let ’em set seed” rule for effective control. Many perennial weeds grow from underground roots or tubers – making the path to weed-free perennial gardening much tougher. Not only should you prevent seed production, but you need to control the roots and tubers, too. Frequent removal of the shoots of perennial weeds will eventually starve and kill the underground tissues. You’ll need to be especially persistent and use a variety of control methods to reach your goal. If necessary, this can also be achieved with the careful use of appropriate herbicides.

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