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You will also need to prepare your plants’ structure for an intense flowering period, so that it can easily hold up hefty buds in the future and also spend more energy on making larger flowers. You’ll need to strengthen your plants’ natural strengths and immune system using organic products in order to ensure that no insects or fungi can get near your beautiful specimens. If your plants start flowering on the right foot, they’ll have a much easier time reaching the harvest date fully intact. Once they begin to flower, you’ll need to start feeding your plants using a more complete and intense nutrient schedule.
Knowing exactly when your plants are going to begin their flowering period is incredibly important – depending on how you prepare your growing area and how you prepare your plants for such a delicate phase, you’ll obtain better or worse results. However, keep in mind that many different factors are involved when growing cannabis successfully, so we’re going to give you a few tips on how to deal with your plants, answering the age-old question: when does cannabis flower outdoors?
When does cannabis flower outdoors? The flowering period is the most anticipated moment of the year for many cannabis homegrowers, as it’s when your plants start growing their precious, sought-after flowers.
The start of the flowering period in your plants is marked by daylight hours decreasing, which happens right after the summer solstice. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and after that daylight hours begin to decrease until autumn begins. In the northern hemisphere, this usually occurs around 20-22 nd June, and in the southern hemisphere it’s around 20-23 rd December.
Autoflowering cannabis plants are another widely available option when it comes to growing cannabis; these strains do not need any sort of change in photoperiod in order to start flowering; they’ve developed their own automatic flowering system. They’ve adapted and survived in colder areas this way, allowing them to flower when they reach a certain size rather than depend on the light or dark to produce potent, hefty flowers. Nowadays you can get plants that flower after just 60 days.
In order to know exactly when your plants are going to flower outdoors, you’ll need to understand how it works and the concept of photoperiodism. You’ll also need to know when the light begins to change outdoors during the day and nighttime – flowering in cannabis plants is generally caused by an increase in the hours of darkness that your plants receive.
When it comes to cannabis plants, the pre-flowering period is a sign that your plants are going to start flowering soon – they’ll begin to slowly show signs of flowering, growing thicker and thicker flowers as summer goes on. The first thing you’ll notice is the plants’ sex (male, female or hermaphrodite) which is why it’s called pre-flowering. You’ll soon start to notice your plant growing much taller than before, as it’s probably preparing to hold up massive flowers.
Photoperiodism happens when there’s a variation between the hours of darkness at night and sun during the day time, which change depending on how the earth is spinning in relation to the sun. This causes seasons to change which therefore influences the amount of daylight hours and hours of darkness at any given time of the year.
When does cannabis flower outdoors? Find out more here; everything you need to know about photoperiodic cannabis plants and when they flower outdoors.
When you decide to go the route of force-flowering your outdoor crop, it is very important to stick to the schedule and not miss one single day. Cannabis that has started flowering is very sensitive to any type of changes in light exposure; some forgetfulness could easily make your plants revert back into the vegging phase, something which would seriously hurt your harvest. Seasoned growers who might depend on force-flowering because of their climate zone may want to consider some kind of automated system.
While force-flowering can be a necessity in these aforementioned climate zones, it is also a way for growers in other climates to cultivate multiple harvests in one single season. By strategically planning a crop and then force-flowering at a particular time, some growers can harvest as many as 2 or 3 cycles per year. This means that outdoor cannabis growers can start planting very early in spring and then flower a part of their crops for a harvest in June, with the rest of their plants being ready by autumn.
Some locations and climate zones allow you to essentially grow cannabis at any point throughout the year. Cultivars that happen to grow in these warm-temperate regions, like in parts of Southern Europe or the tropics, may start to force-flower at any time. There may be local conditions, however, that should be taken into account; but otherwise, there won’t be any restrictions on when to flower.
When you cover your plants or put them away somewhere to start flowering, heat is likely to become an issue. Together with your light-proof tent, shed or DIY light-blocking frame, you will want to maximise good air circulation so that your plants won’t die from the heat. There are some elaborate solutions to provide your plants with adequate temperatures, but in some cases, a simple fan with a cool breeze can be all that’s required.
For cultivators who grow cannabis in the northern regions of Europe (or those in the Southern hemisphere respectively), force-flowering outdoor plants is a way to make sure that crops can finish before the cold winter weather arrives. In these zones, flowering will start as the daylight hours become shorter, but the winter frost will be arriving just a few weeks afterwards, potentially destroying your crop and your harvest. When you start flowering early, however, you can plan your grow accordingly and give your buds the extra days they need to fully ripen.
Seasoned cultivars can plan their forced flowering in such a way that they can harvest every 2 or so weeks in what is called “perpetual harvests” all year long.
Growing outdoors can sometimes be tricky because it means you are relying on natural daylight cycles for your plants’ growing stages. But not always does the location or the climate allow for your plants to go through their entire flowering cycle. When this is the case, you may want to force-flower your plants to get an optimal harvest.
For those who live outside moderate climate zones, such as in northerly and southerly regions of the globe or in locations near the equator, growing outdoors can be a bit tricky. If you grow in northern climates, nature may not give your plants enough time to complete flowering by the time the winter cold sets in. A similar problem can be if you grow near the equator. There, your plants can go through a very long period of vegetative growth, convincing you to initiate force-flowering to prevent them from growing out of control. Below, we provide an overview on how to force cannabis flowering outdoors.
What also works is a light-proof garden shed. In this instance, you would move your plants into the shed at night. Obviously, this means that your plants would need to be in containers and that you, depending on the number of your plants, would have to lug them in and out of the shed on a daily basis. Likewise, if you grow in a greenhouse, all that you’d need there would be light proof curtains if you want to initiate flowering.
There are reasons why you would want to force your outdoors cannabis crops to flower. Learn how you can force flowering outdoors in our guide.