Flowering stage is one of the most important phases for an abundant quality crop – good growing is fundamental for flowering, regarding how many buds are produced and their quality.
Flowering depends on its different phases – different times for specific needs of the plants; it’s fundamental for the grower to know these needs, so the plant would get its necessary patterns for a top-quality crop.
Being a fundamental stage for quality and quantity, flowering is also the most delicate moment of the plant – very prone to pest attacks (especially fungi) or nutritional lacks; besides, it’s the most difficult moment for treatment procedures – final-product quality could be harmed.
- 1- Week 1-3 – Transition to flowering
- 2- Week 3-4 – Bud formation
- 3- Week 4-6 – Bud fattening
- 4- Week 6-8 – Bud ripening – some strains are slower
- 5- Week 8+ – Final flowering, final rinse, crop
Transition to flowering
For indoor growing, flowering stage starts changing the growing light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 (12 light hours, 12 dark hours per day); 12 continuous daily dark hours tell the plant to start flowering – the plant ‘thinks’ winter’s coming because days are gradually shorter.
If the plant gets some light during dark stage, just for a minute, it won’t produce any buds – a flowering plant can even develop hermaphroditism if getting some light during the night.
Outdoors, gradually shorter days make a cannabis plant start producing buds by late summer – developed at different times depending on local climate; this tutorial tries to explain how a cannabis plant’s developed when indoor growing – controlled conditions with similar growth.
With a 12/12 timeline, during the first weeks, your plant will grow amazingly and increase its height fast – cannabis plants can usually double or triple their height when dealing with 12/12 timeline (very useful to start using some flowering booster, such as Delta9).
Vigorous stretching of the first weeks slows down during the third and fourth weeks, but the plant keeps stretching little by little – buds instead of ‘hair’ with all the pistils white, long and kind of straight.
Usually, some leaves are lost during this stage, especially the leaves not getting any light – similar to nutrient lack so that they fall, but, actually, they’re not getting enough light; generally, all plants have to stand lush and green during the third and fourth week, while their buds are being produced – if necessary, some flowering product should be gradually used.
The plant starts needing a huge nutritional intake to fatten all those previously produced buds to the maximum – for those needs, it’s necessary to start using some PK.
Although most of the pistils will probably remain white by late sixth week, the buds are bigger, and more dense, day after day – the branches start feeling their weight, so it could be useful to help them with tutors (holders) if necessary, and, lastly, the buds are getting gradually covered by resin, so the smell starts to be intense.
The sprouts get ripened, because the pistils get dark and deformed – a loupe’s needed to check this precisely.
From now on, the plants produce no leaves and no new stems – vegetative-growth rhythm has changed totally, and all their energy’s focused on the growth and ripening of the buds and the resin, from now on to the crop.
Final flowering, final rinse, crop
It’s always useful to provide a couple of water-irrigation weeks, with no nutrients, to properly rinse the roots and to remove the fertilizing traces in the plant for a tastier crop – when most of the pistils get amber and deformed, time for cutting, drying and curing.