The length of day and night determines many biological processes
If we test this method with cannabis hybrids, we will find that under photoperiods of 13 hours light and 11 dark, plants will flower more heavily, but it may mean that the maturing process is extended by a few days. On the contrary, if we use a photoperiod of 11 hours light and 13 of darkness, the plants will have a shorter flowering period but the yield will be slightly reduced. It’s something that every grower can and should try out, depending on his needs and growing plan.
Some growers, when they’re in a hurry for their plants to grow to a decent size before flowering them, will increase the number of light hours per day up to as many as 24, leaving the plants without any night period at all. It’s worth bearing in mind that not all varieties will react well to this, and, because certain of the plants’ biological functions only take place in darkness, constant illumination can often lead to stressed and unhappy plants.
These standard photoperiods are very useful for the indoor grower when it comes to regulating the state of the plants, meaning, regardless of the cannabis variety being grown, they will behave as they ought to, growing under a vegetative photoperiod (18/6h) and blooming when it‘s changed to flowering (12/12h). However, many of the more experienced growers rarely use these photoperiods, especially during flowering. This is often because they are looking for the minimum number of darkness hours that will trigger the plant to start flowering. In this way, they have greater control over the light input during this important phase and will be able to achieve better yields or shorten the flowering time.
Once we get to June, the plants will no longer need any supplementary lighting, as the days will be long enough to keep them in a vegetative state, but at this point they will have had all spring and summer for vegetative growth and, providing they’ve been properly cared for and provided with enough substrate and nutrients, they will reach a really big size before they begin to flower in mid-late August, enabling them to deliver a heavy harvest of buds for us to enjoy.
If we only give them 6 hours of darkness each day, our cannabis plants will keep on growing, because the nights are too short to induce them to start flowering. On the other hand, if we give them 12 uninterrupted hours of darkness we can be sure that, independently of the variety (and with exception of automatic varieties) the plant will be triggered to bloom by the longer night length.
Logically, in nature, the photoperiod is determined by the season of the year and the solar cycle. But what happens with indoor crops under artificial lighting? The answer, also very logical, is that the grower sets the photoperiod of indoor gardens, and in this way, they are able to control whether the plants remain in the vegetative growth phase or if they begin their flowering process.
On the other hand, many Sativa varieties originating from equatorial zones will flower well under a 12/12 photoperiod, but will do better and express their Sativa genes more with longer night periods of 13 and up to 14 hours (in addition to saving an hour or two of consumption on the electricity bill!).
We can control the photoperiod to decide when our plants start flowering
In this post we explain the various photoperiods that we can offer our plants, depending on whether we want them to remain in a vegetative state or if
Indoor plants in the vegetative stage should ideally be receiving 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness in a 24-hour time period. This is represented as 18/6. This is only a recommended average; with some strains requiring more or less light or darkness.
When indoor-grown plants move into the flowering stage, the light period, or their photoperiod needs, change to 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness.
Most plant types are photoperiod dependent; however, there are some autoflowering genetics that are not photo-period dependent. In photoperiod-dependent plants, exposure to very specific periods of light timing is what triggers various plants to enter their life cycle phases.
Some plants are considered long-day plants. Long-day plants require days that are longer than their critical day length time to flower. Short-day plants will flower on shorter day lengths. In the middle, there are day-neutral plants, requiring equal amounts of light and darkness.
Plant cultivars have commonly been bred to require very specific photoperiod times in order produce a bountiful harvest. Some plants also only respond to a photoperiod when they are young and not upon maturity. Such plants simply produce flowers based on their age and not light exposure.
Photoperiod refers to the time that a plant or animal is exposed to light in a 24-hour period. Many types of plants require certain lengths of light exposure to enter various life cycle stages.
Growers frequently control the photoperiod in a plant’s life cycle through the use of grow lights to encourage the plant’s vegetative state, early flowering, bud phase, and ultimate harvest.
Some plants also respond favorably to a longer than natural photoperiod by producing a more abundant harvest yield.
Photoperiodism and photoperiod are two related terms that are used interchangeably.
Photoperiod Definition – Photoperiod refers to the time that a plant or animal is exposed to light in a 24-hour period. Many types of plants require…