Cannabis is able to use certain light frequencies more effectively than others at certain stages of its life. Check out your flowering bulbs colour emission; most manufacturers put the details on the box of the bulb. During the flowering stage, cannabis utilises the red frequencies of the light spectrum most efficiently, so using a bulb with a high output (660nm is ideal) during flowering will help boost the amount and density of bud. However, it is important to note that cannabis uses the entire spectrum to some degree, so bulbs should be full spectrum with the red enhanced, not simply red. We have written an article outlining all you need to know about the light spectrum and cannabis, should you wish to find out more.
Cannabis is a strong plant capable of surviving extreme conditions. However, this doesn’t mean large, dense yields are guaranteed without the constant care of the cultivator. Ensuring the correct conditions for optimal growth are maintained should be the main priority for any grower, especially if they want dense bud.
Closely tied in with temperature, it is important that humidity also remains within acceptable bounds. Never surpass 60% in the flowering phase and try progressively reducing it down do 45% in the last 2-3 weeks before harvest. The plant will go into overdrive as it seeks to protect its flowers, responding by producing denser buds and more resin on them. Lower humidity will also help avoid mould formation.
The main causes of an underwhelming crop are bad lighting, poor nutrition, or extreme temperatures. Letting just one of these factors get out of control – especially towards the end of a plant’s life cycle – can drastically impact the quality of the bud. We are going to take a look at each in turn, and see how they can be controlled to produce the best yields possible.
Organic supplements like the bloom boosters can increase bud weigh by pumping sugars, amino acids, trace minerals, phosphorous and potassium in the plant. This can be a nice aid to already healthy growth.
If growing in a container, its size will influence root expansion and, as a natural consequence, a plant’s growth and bud development – ensure cannabis always has as much room as it needs to spread out its root base.
Maintaining an optimal light intensity is crucial. The more light buds get, the bigger they grow. Never let lights be too close or too far from the top of your plants – to close and plants risk being burnt by the heat, to far away and the light will not be strong enough. Ideally, lights need to be positioned so the whole canopy of the crop receives light, but close enough that they can benefit from increased intensity without burning. A good test is to place your hand at the top of your plants. If the heat produced by the lights are uncomfortable for you, they are uncomfortable for your plants.
Each strain has different feed requirements, so getting to know just how much feed a plant needs, and when to change amounts, comes with time and experience. However, generally, cannabis requires higher levels of nitrogen during the vegetative stage to push growth to the max, followed by higher levels of potassium during the flowering phase to fuel bud production. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the pH of your growing medium, as it can affect nutrient uptake.
Roots need oxygen as well as water. Excessive watering fills all the small air pockets in the soil, eliminating any trace of oxygen for hours or maybe days. This tragically damages your plants. They will start showing droopy and curling leaves, and buds quality will be compromised if the problem is not solved. Be careful when watering and be sure your pots perfectly drain out excess water. Always choose a light soil mix and add some extra perlite. Underwatering damages plants too, but that’s a less common, and much easier to fix, mistake.
Everyone wants bigger and denser flowers. Here are some steps to achieving it.
Do you have any experience growing big buds? Leave a comment below with your own advice!
Growing bigger buds is a lifelong ambition for most gardeners. However, bigger buds won’t happen overnight. Gardening is a skill that takes time to refine since you can’t speed up a plant’s growth process. One of the best things you can do is to write down what you’re doing to your grows every day; that way, if you have a successful harvest, you can revisit what you might have done differently in your garden and replicate it with future grows.
Once your plant switches to flowering, decrease your nitrogen levels and increase phosphorus levels to help the buds fully develop and become dense. If growing in soil, when switching from vegetative growth to flowering, top dress the soil with bat guano or worm castings as a great way to increase phosphorous levels while you liquid feed your plant other nutrients.
Correctly feeding your plant is absolutely necessary when trying to grow large buds. Nitrogen is associated with vegetative growth, while phosphorus is the nutrient that is most closely associated with flowering plants. Feeding a plant nitrogen while it is vegging creates a healthy, vibrant plant at a young age that will grow rapidly, which leads to increased yields.
If you want to improve the yield of your plant, the best method is to prune away any plant life that isn’t receiving quality light. Trim away the buds and foliage that are under the canopy to “lollipop” your plant. This strategy will send all the energy into the canopy where the buds are receiving the most light, thus giving you bigger, denser nugs.
Cannabis buds will form at most of the plant’s nodes. A node is where a leaf or branch grows off the stalk. The larger the plant grows, the more nodes will appear, which means your plant will have more locations where buds can grow.
Intuitively, you might think that more nodes means more and larger buds, but this is far from the truth. Nodes with buds that are lower down on the plant away from the canopy will try to develop in flowering but will never become fully developed because they do not receive adequate light.
Make sure your lights are at the right height so your plants are not suffering from heat stress. The plants should not feel hot, nor should your hand if you hold it at the top of the canopy. If you want to be precise, you can use a digital thermometer to figure out the precise temperature. By providing the right amount of light and keeping the lights the right distance away from your plants, you’ll keep your grow happy, resulting in the desired bigger buds.
Trevor is a freelance writer and photographer. He has spent years in California working in the cannabis industry.
If you’re a cannabis grower, you know the goal is to grow the biggest and healthiest buds possible in your garden. Here are some tips designed to help your buds thrive.