Hemp height varies by variety and timing and can significantly affect the final output of a hemp harvest. By promoting hemp height during growth, farmers may witness a much higher return on their investment. Today, we’ll explain how tall different hemp plants grow and discuss various methods of improving hemp height.
Average Height of Mature Hemp Plants
The hemp cultivation process differs based on the objective of the hemp crop. Plant structure and finishing hemp height also vary. For example, fiber hemp grows very tall and skinny. Fiber hemp plants grow closer together than other varieties, as well — often only a few inches apart. Because fiber hemp plants grow in such crowded spaces, they must struggle find enough light. Fiber hemp plants stretch toward the sun in search of their light source. As a result, they produce tall stalks that average eight to 14 feet tall with minimal stems or leaves.
Conversely, hemp height for grain plants tends to grow shorter and bushier. Farmers grow this type of hemp for its seeds. Grain hemp consists of a mix between male and female hemp plants, though some breeders have introduced monoecious or hermaphroditic hemp varieties to increase the final output. The idea is that, unlike male hemp plants, monoecious hemp plants will not die after distributing their pollen. Hence, more floral, seed-bearing plants will survive until harvest, thus producing more grain come harvest time.
Because pollinated hemp flowers produce grain (seed), the plants require much more space than fiber hemp. Grain hemp needs ample access to light and, thus, requires sufficient spacing between plants. When spaced appropriately – usually between four and six feet apart – grain hemp can grow quite large and reach heights of about four to six feet tall at harvest.
Finally, there is CBD hemp. CBD hemp plants are very similar to grain hemp plants in hemp height and stature; both grow to about four to six feet tall by harvest. However, there is one significant difference between CBD hemp and grain hemp: CBD hemp should not produce seeds. When pollinated, hemp flowers slow cannabinoid production in favor of seed production. For this reason, CBD farmers should only grow feminized CBD hemp seeds.
Factors Affecting Hemp Height
Soil quality is one of the most significant factors affecting hemp height. Light, loamy soil tends to produce taller hemp plants because of the increased drainage compared to other soil types. This is especially true of soil that is rich in nitrogen, which promotes plant growth. Light, well-aerated soil also helps protect roots from compaction, which allows them to spread better and absorb more nutrients from the surrounding soil.
Additionally, though a well-watered hemp crop tends to produce more cannabinoids than a drought-prone crop, soil that is allowed to dry slightly between watering encourages more expansive root growth, which translates into taller, more abundant vegetation. When roots crave water, they will grow and expand as they seek out a new source. Not only does this improve hemp height and size, but it also stabilizes the root system, which helps protect it from strong winds and other environmental stressors.
Most root systems reach about a foot or two into the soil, though female hemp plants can dig much deeper than that. Their larger, more abundant root system allows them to grow strong throughout the entire cultivation process, and often results in taller hemp plants, as well.
Final Thoughts on Hemp Height
Images of towering hemp plants fill the internet, but they are not always accurate representations of average hemp height. Though there are some steps farmers can take to improve the height of their hemp plants, much of it depends on genetics and over-all cultivation goals.
How tall was the tallest hemp plant you’ve ever grown?