Growing and cultivating plants has been a bedrock of human tradition for thousands of years. No wonder planting and gardening have become renowned hobbies throughout the world! However, when setting out on your journey to take care of these wonderful beings, many questions might need to be answered.
One of them is: How long does it take for plants to grow?
There is no standard growth speed for plants, but depending on the category and specific species, the speed can vary anywhere from near 0 inches to a couple of yards per week.
How can there be such a wide distribution, and why did it turn out that way? Which plants grow faster and which ones grow slower? These questions and more will be answered in this article, so read on if you wish to find out more about the growth of your favorite plants!
How Long Does It Take for Vegetables to Grow?
Out of all the plant-based foods, vegetables are probably the most planted and cultivated ones at home. Depending on the species, they are often quite simple to take care of and can provide incredibly nutritious and tasty food.
When talking about growth speed in this article, I will use different measurements and reference points depending on the group of plants discussed, since it makes much more sense to measure tomatoes or cucumbers by ripeness and readiness to eat rather than by inches per week.
So, what should you expect when growing vegetables? How long do they take to grow? Obviously, it differs between different groups and specific species, but the average vegetable takes somewhere around 65-90 days to grow.
Most vegetables fully grow in about 70-120 days. Below, I will quickly run through the main vegetables and their more specific times of growth. Although, very few of them take longer than 120 days to grow properly.
The fastest-growing vegetable is the spring radish, which can grow and fully ripen in under 40-45 days, constituting the bottom end of the spectrum of vegetable growth speed.
After that, you have vegetables like squash, broccoli, or beets, which all need around 60-70 days. These faster-growing vegetables are nearing the average vegetable growth.
Aside from sweet potato, parsnip, and maybe a few more vegetables that can take anywhere from 100 days to 130-140 to grow fully, most vegetables fall into the next category, which comprises those growing between 60-70 days and between 110-120 days.
Here are all the classic vegetables everyone knows well, in order of growth speed, from least time necessary to the most time necessary: carrots, cabbage, eggplants, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, corn, onions, potatoes, and pumpkins.
If you are an avid consumer of vegetables, it may be a good idea for you to transform your backyard into a vegetable garden. This way, you will have your own source of produce and you will be able to partake in an activity that is good for your physical and mental health. To help you get started, here is a guide to turning your backyard into a vegetable garden.
How Long Does It Take for Fruit to Grow?
If you are looking to plant fruits instead of vegetables to enjoy some apple, sweet pear, and perhaps some exotic mango pies, you might want to know how long it will take these plants to grow and flourish.
Again, like with vegetables, there is a wide variety of species and groups of fruits. It is like comparing the entire animal kingdom in terms of lifespan; it is simply too varied.
However, some numbers and facts might help you better prepare for planting these fruits. First and foremost, fruits, in general, take significantly longer to mature than vegetables. Although the speed varies depending on the species, even some of the fastest-growing fruits will likely take more time to grow than the slowest-growing vegetable.
For example, a fast-growing fruit like strawberry requires about a year to start producing fruits — or at least that is the recommended time to wait until picking fruits and focusing on fruit production. Once the strawberry plant is ready to grow fruits, it still takes around 4-6 weeks after blossoming in the spring to produce ripe strawberries.
However, like strawberries, perennials generally grow faster than trees, and many tasty fruits grow on trees. They take a lot longer — often years — to start producing fruits.
For example, an average apple tree, one of the most common fruits worldwide, takes about 4-5 years to mature and grow enough to produce fruits that can be picked and consumed. And pear trees can take even longer, sometimes up to 6 years.
Generally, fruit trees of all sorts take years to mature to the point of bearing fruits, although the average fruit tree should grow fruits somewhere around 3-4 years, including cherry, peach, plum, and other fruit trees.
How Long Does It Take for Flowers to Grow?
Though the class of both fruits and vegetables are of immense variety and size, there are definitely way more types of flowers than the prior two. Due to the sheer size of the “flower” category, which encompasses everything from a standard rose to an exotic orchid, it is hard to draw an average.
However, most gardeners and hobbyists agree that if there could be an intuitive growth-cycle length average for flowers, it would probably be somewhere around 100 days. It is notably true for annual flowers, like roses, which go dormant through cold winters.
Some roses, such as tea roses, for example, reach their peak height in 3-4 years and do not even live much longer than 5-8 years. Others can reach their peak height in 10 years and live much longer, but in general, they aren’t the flowers with the longest lifespans.
Roses tend to bloom in or before their first year, given that they receive the proper amount of nutrition, sunlight, and water, and that they tend to bloom since some climbers or other garden rose species don’t bloom before reaching at least one year of age.
Some of the fastest-growing flowers are those which, from the level of the seed, are able to be germinated in 14 days or less and bloom within 60-80 days. These include many types of flowers, like marigold, nasturtium, annual phlox, and sunflowers, among others.
Growing your own plants is a very rewarding activity. But if you live in the city, the lack of outdoor space may be one of the biggest challenges that you will face if you want to take up gardening as a hobby. The solution to this problem is backyard urban gardening. If you are not familiar with this term, check out our article where we explained what backyard urban gardening is.
What Is the Fastest Growing Garden Plant?
Depending on the climate you live in, the size of your garden, the type of soil, and a bunch of other factors, different plants will grow at different speeds in your garden, as they would in someone else’s. This means that there is not necessarily “one plant to rule them all.” However, there are a couple of really good contenders when it comes to growing speed.
As a disclaimer, it also depends on what garden plants mean to you personally. For someone who is trying to create a Chinese- or Japanese-style garden, it is quite certain that giant bamboos would be their fastest-growing garden plants, seeing as though they can reach growth speeds of up to 35-40 inches per day.
For someone else looking to grow vegetables or fruits in their garden, berries and vegetables like radish would take the prize for fastest-growing plants, since radishes can get from planting-stage to harvest-stage in a mind-boggling 3-4 weeks.
Berries, on the other hand, can produce fruits quite quickly and consistently, but the plants themselves don’t grow that fast.
Some other edible plants that grow fast include turnips, spinach, arugula, and bok choi, all of which can easily fit into a garden.
Finally, if you are looking for fast-blooming flowers, a couple of great options are sweet alyssum calendula, Johnny Jump-ups, cornflowers, and petunias.
How to Speed Up Your Garden Growth?
But what if you want to speed up this process? Is there a way to do that? That is what we will discuss in this last section.
For a plant to grow, it has to get enough nutrition from its soil, enough water through the roots and air, and photosynthesize efficiently enough to make useful food for itself.
This works best when you place the given plant under the exact type of sunlight it needs and gives it enough water to thrive. However, if you planted and placed your plant perfectly in position and in the type of soil that it could hopefully thrive in, what else is there for you to do?
Buying species- or class-specific fertilizers and nutritional supplements for the plants, as well as keeping them clean and healthy, might be a good idea. Although, you cannot interfere with the way nature wants these plants to grow since they are mostly genetically pre-coded.
These couple of known factors can increase your plants’ growth:
- More sunlight per day
- Better nutrition (without over-feeding them certain nutrients to avoid burning out or kill the plant)
- High-quality soil
- High-quality air
The more of these criteria you can fulfill, the higher the chances that your plant grows more than expected, or perhaps, faster than accepted.
Backyard gardening has enabled many people to create their own sources of food, minimize their stress level, improve their mood, exercise, maintain good mental health, create relationships and a community, and so many more. Here are 12 reasons why backyard gardening is important.
Gardening is one of those hobbies that require a lot of patience for you to truly and fully immerse yourself in the activity. There is no way around it, it just takes a long time for plants to grow. It will likely take more than a couple of weeks for you to see the fruits of your labor, but if you are patient, the rewards that you will get are definitely worth the wait.
Your waiting time will depend on the type of plants that you want to grow in your garden. In addition to this, there are different environmental factors that also affect the growth rate of your plants. There are a few things that you can do to speed up the growing process of your crops, but we suggest that you just do your best to take care of your plants and immerse yourself in the wonderful activity that is gardening.