Sort of—not really. Some growers believe that plants grown from seeds must be given 60 days of maturation in the vegetative state. However, this is not necessarily true. It is important to remember that young seedlings cannot start properly flowering for 2–3 weeks. However, when growing from clones, age is not an issue. Growers can switch to the flowering stage as soon as the clone has established a solid root system.
Clones can grow very tall very quickly, forcing growers to make the flip to flowering based on plant size alone. However, growers should make sure to give their clones the necessary amount of time to establish themselves before flowering. Seedlings can be flowered much earlier, but remember that they will require 2–3 weeks before being able to do so.
Lollipopping is a technique that involves removing the lower growth of the plant that receives very little to no light. Because plants need light to grow, these regions will produce smaller buds and drain the plant of energy that could be better spent elsewhere. By removing the lower leaves and bud sites, the plant can focus its energy on the upper colas that grow denser, thicker nugs. This method typically involves a height-based flowering switch. Sativas are usually switched when they reach 30–45cm, since they grow so much during the flowering stage. Indicas are switched when they reach a height of around 100cm, giving them more time in the vegetative state.
However, outdoor plants do not necessarily need to be left to their own devices. Similarly to indoor plants, they can also be forced to flower by a change in conditions. Some climates simply do not offer plants enough time to flower before winter. Other climates may require a grower to force flowering so as to keep the plant in check. Additionally, some growers choose to force flowering in order to harvest multiple grows during the same season.
Keep in mind that these characteristics apply to pure sativa and indica strains. Most strains will demonstrate characteristics representative of both kinds since they are not 100% indica or sativa. When dealing with hybrids, make sure to research the genetic makeup of the plant so as to have a better idea of what to expect during the grow. A basic rule of thumb for growing hybrids is to expect that the plant will grow to be twice the height it is at the end of its vegetative state.
Whatever the reason, forcing outdoor plants to flower is a simple process. Outdoor growers usually force flowering by covering up their plants, reducing their exposure to sunlight as a result. Cultivators using greenhouses simply need to cover the windows of their grow room.
Knowing when to flip your grow from the vegetative to the flowering stage is one of the most important factors to ensure the success of your plants. This is because making the switch too early can result in a smaller total yield. Conversely, making the switch too late can result in overgrowth, or burned buds. The decision to make the switch should be based on the careful consideration of numerous factors such as the age of the plant, the maximum height that the plant can obtain within your setup, the type of strain(s) being grown, the source of the plant (from seed or clone), and the growing method being employed.
Different growing methods such as the sea of green (SOG) method, the screen of green (ScrOG) method, lollipopping, and super cropping can all affect the switch. Depending on which method you choose, your flowering time will likely be different.
This method relies on flowering plants early so that they only produce one large bud. This method is usually employed with indica strains that are packed tightly together in the grow space. When using this method, plants should be flowered when they reach a height of between 15–30cm.
Switching your cannabis plants from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage requires careful consideration of several important factors.
To introduce your plants to this new stage in their life cycle, make sure you are using the right flowering grow lights. Gradually change the light cycles until you reach a 12/12 hours ratio of light and darkness. Again, growing indoor gives you the perfect opportunity to create an environment that suits your plants best. It’s important to take advantage of indoor growing instead of being dependent on the rhythm of the sun. The better your cannabis flowering stages are, the better your yield will be.
When it comes to managing humidity during the flowering stage, keep your grow room between 45% humidity. While cannabis plants do love moisture, especially in the cloning and vegging stages, in the flowering stage you run the risk of powdery mildew on your buds with humidity anywhere about 50%.
Finally! Buds with substance. White pistils will be sticking in all directions and the buds themselves will be bigger every day. Congratulations! You have come a long way and your plants are rewarding you. Here’s the best tips to follow during the flowering phase to get you here:
In week 3 or 4, the first real buds will show instead of only hairy pistils. The growth of the plant will now slow down a lot – it’s important to watch out for the health of your plants at this point. A few dead leaves are normal (ex: if they do not get enough light). You do not want a major disease at this point so it’s also important to watch your nutrient levels and observe your plants closely to ensure nothing strange is happening.
Before spotting a marijuana flower, you will still want to support your plants in the growth stage as much as possible. Once the flowers are showing, you want to optimize for light and nutrients. Now you can, and should, switch to nutrients for the flowering stage.
The entire flowering stage will be about 8 weeks and consists of the following stages: transition, first buds, growth of buds, buds ripen and harvest.
Be sure to get a good thermo-hygrometer, measure your grow room daily, and employ the use of a dehumidifier if you see your humidity start to creep up into a dangerous range. A standard 30-pint dehumidifier like this one will work for most setups from small grow tents up to a 500 square foot grow room. For bigger grow rooms (1000 square feet+), consider stepping up to a 70-pint dehumidifier like this one.
The first 1 to 3 weeks of the flowering stage are a transition phase and your plants will still be growing. Your plants could double their height at this point depending on the type of strain you are using.
The flowering stage is the moment we all have been waiting for. For you, as a professional grower, this is the most important part of growing marijuana. Let’s discuss how you can take care of your flowering cannabis and grow the best yield ever.
These flowering stage tips will take your cannabis production to the next level. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. Weeks in the making, now is the most important part of your plants' lifecycle. It's make-or-break for the success of your crop. Follow these simple steps to ensure you maximize your yields.