Most strains come with their own nutrient schedule so it’s important to check this and keep to it to avoid over or underfeeding your crop. If it isn’t provided with the seeds you bought, you can always check online.
Of course, it’s vital to know what to look out for as things develop so that you know when to harvest at exactly the right time.
The one major thing you need to do is to pick the right harvest time. This is where you can rely on your strain information or, with experience, do it yourself. The latter is by far the best method.
Invest in a jewelers eye magnifier and use it to take a long hard look at the trichomes. If these are relatively clear and transparent, you’re not yet ready. Once they start to change to milky white you should really be on your marks. You’ll see them start to change to an amber color and this is when your THC levels are really at the maximum.
There will be variations from strain to strain so don’t expect you crop to follow our example here 100% accurately. Certain phases may come on quicker or even take longer depending on a range of factors. Don’t let it worry you too much, every plant and environment is slightly different.
There are some things that you must do before you actually harvest, however. The first is called flushing. This basically removing the nutrients from the soil and replaces them with pH balanced water. It’s done normally about two weeks before the big day. This is not actually for the benefit of the plant but to get rid of nutrients that might well affect the taste/flavor of the final cannabis product once you harvest.
With all indoor photoperiod plants, you can decide when they go into the flowering stage. You do that simply by changing the amount of light they are exposed to. In the vegetative stage you have probably been using about 18 hours of light and 4 hours of darkness.
All the energy now is going into bud growth and you start to smell that tell-tale aroma as the buds get bigger and juicier. This smell is down in no small part to the trichome growth. The rest of the plant will have stopped growing completely now and you don’t have to worry about training the stems.
For outdoor plants, things are slightly different because it will depend on the daylight hours where you live. In most temperate places, you’ll find the flowers beginning to bud around September time and it’s just a question of keeping an eye out for the changes.
There’s no doubt that the flowering stage is important when it comes to producing a great crop of cannabis. Over the next several weeks, you’ll find those buds developing and it’s a pretty exciting time. Of course, it’s vital to know what to look out for as things develop so that you know when …
In week 5 of flowering, you can observe the buds all over your plant becoming thicker. You may also spot new buds growing in new places such as along the main cola. With buds abounding, your cannabis plants will get fatter every day. This is a surefire sign you are in full flowering mode. At this point, your plant will have a very intensive odour. Ensure that you have a good ventilation system in place if you grow indoors or in a region that doesn’t allow for legal cultivation.
Important things to know in this early stage of flowering.
At week 4 of the flowering stage, your cannabis plants will likely have stopped growing altogether and are now spending all their energy on growing buds. There will still be white hairs sticking out from the buds, but the buds themselves will become bigger and fatter with each day. With more and larger buds growing, your plants will now produce more trichomes, making the odour a lot more noticeable at this stage.
In week 2 of flowering, you may spot the first white pistils growing on your female cannabis plants. These fine and wispy white hairs will develop at those locations where the big fan leaves meet the main stem. It is these fine hairs that will later become buds.
When the light cycle provides your cannabis plants with longer hours of uninterrupted darkness, they enter the flowering stage. Your plants will stop growing and instead put their energy into producing buds (flowers). Outdoors, this will normally happen when the days get shorter around the end of summer. When you grow indoors, flowering will begin once you switch your lights to 10-12 hours of darkness.
What happens during flowering and at what exact time can somewhat vary depending on the particular strain you are growing. So don’t expect your plants to follow this schedule to the T; see it more as a general guideline that you can go by. Let us look at the flowering phase of cannabis week by week.
While your plant is putting in quite some overtime to gain size and height, she will grow a number of new leaves mostly at the top of the main colas. Your cannabis plant is busy growing “green stuff,” like leaves and stems so she can become stronger and sturdier.
If your cannabis plant happens to be a male, it won’t grow these “hairs,” but will instead grow small pollen sacs. Should you grow regular, non-feminized plants where you don’t know their gender, now is the time when you should “sex” your plants so you can separate the males from the females. The males won’t grow buds and will also pollinate your females, causing them to grow seeds. This is something you do not want to happen.
Although your plant has officially entered the flowering phase, she will now have an increased need for growing nutrients. You should not abruptly change your nutrient schedule and use flowering nutrients from one day to the next. It is usually recommended that you continue to give growing nutrients for at least one more week once flowering starts.
What happens during the flowering phase of cannabis? Learn about flowering week by week. This guide will help you maximise flower production and THC content.