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Cannabis Flowering Stages Explained

While cultivating Marijuana, it’s crucial to understand when the plants are about to bloom. Your plants would need a different feeding schedule than they did during the vegetative stage.

The flowering period will last anywhere from 7 to 9 weeks. Your plants must be well cared for during this period.

Your plants not only need more light than they did in the vegetative stage, but they also require varying amounts of nutrients. The plants would be more susceptible to problems during the flowering period.

One thing growers should keep in mind is that anything that occurs during the early stages of flowering can have a significant impact on your yields.

Cannabis Flowering Stages

Marijuana passes through multiple flowering phases rather than only one. Each week of the flowering stage is distinct from the preceding seven days.

For the best plant health and yields, it’s critical to have the appropriate conditions for each flowering stage.

Week 1-3: Transition to Flowering

During the first three weeks of flowering, one of the first things a gardener can do is reduce the photoperiod to 12 hours. This deceives the plants into believing that the winter season has begun.

Your plants would automatically believe that the days are becoming shorter. The rate of vegetative growth will begin to accelerate.

Many plants, in particular, might double in size and occasionally grow taller. This is a low-stress period for your plants and a good opportunity to start preparing them.

The β€œstretch” stage is a word used by growers to describe the training period. In addition, fresh buds may begin to emerge at this point.

Week 3-4: Formation of Budlets

Buds begin to appear between weeks three and four. There would be a great number of buds that appear. Furthermore, much of the bottom leaves will turn yellow and become pale.

The yellowing of the leaves isn’t a cause for concern; it’s a normal part of the phase at this stage. However, keep an eye on the upper leaves to ensure they are not showing symptoms of nutrient burn.

Nutrient burn on your plants is an indication that they are receiving too many nutrients. As a consequence, the plant’s health declines, and yields can suffer significantly.

The impact of nutrient burn can often destroy a plant. There are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • The leaves are yellow.
  • Leaf coloration
  • The tips of the leaves become brown.
  • The texture of leaves changes.

If you suspect a nutrient burn, you can reduce your plants’ nutrient intake. In addition, look for any fungus problems.

Weeks 4-6: Buds Begin to Grow Fat

The tiny budlets from the previous weeks will begin to mature at this stage. The budlets will flatten out as well.

In comparison, the plants’ height and bushiness would have hit their apex. Budlets would therefore stop forming.

In this time period, all growth, including new leaves, has ceased. Consequently, you don’t need to train your plants right now; instead, concentrate on eliminating the yellow and discolored leaves from the bottom.

Many seasoned growers infest the plant’s leaves at this stage. This is a strategic tactic that is thought to boost yields.

Not all growers, though, assume that defoliation is beneficial to the plants. Many people believe it brings too much pressure on the plants.

Therefore, only defoliate if you are a seasoned gardener; otherwise, you risk severely harming or even killing your plants.

Week 6-8: Buds Ripen, Pistils Darken

The buds are completely grown and beginning to harvest during this flowering period. The plant’s whole attention is focused on ensuring that the buds ripen properly.

As a result, the buds grow significantly bigger. You should avoid feeding your plants nutrients if you find a significant change in bud scale. This aids in the flushing of your plants by removing extra nutrients. In the meanwhile, the plant consumes the residue nutrients.

Other important aspects of plant health maintenance include:

  • Increased airflow is needed.
  • The temperature should be lowered.
  • It is essential to remove all yellowed leaves.
  • To avoid burning the buds, the lights should be adjusted up higher.

Week 8+: Flowering Ends, Final Flush, Harvest

The flowering phase is almost complete by week eight. You have around one week to harvest the buds at this stage.

THC levels begin to decrease after you have passed the peak of bud performance. In addition, the buds begin to produce CBN (cannabinol), which is less potent than THC.

It’s important to know when to harvest the buds. In most cases, the scent is a telltale sign.

In most cases, the bud odor is far more robust. Furthermore, the buds accumulate a significant amount of weight.

The branches will struggle to hold the buds and may begin to droop. It’s now that you’ll want to harvest your buds.

When Are Cannabis Plants Ready for Harvest?

Other than having large, oversized buds on your plants, there are other ways to tell when it’s time to harvest. To examine the plant’s trichomes, you may use a handheld microscope or a jeweler’s loupe.

Trichomes are THC-containing resin glands found on marijuana plants. If the majority of the trichomes have an amber hue with a milky clarity, that means the THC levels are at their peak.

It’s too early to harvest trichomes that are transparent or white. Growers with a lot of experience use two different methods to determine whether the buds are ready to harvest.

The Pistol Method is another way to tell whether your plants can harvest. The pistol method entails physically inspecting the plant’s pistols.

If the pistols or hairs are either white and sticking straight up, it’s time to call it a day. When the hairs have darkened and curled in, it’s time to harvest.

What Do Cannabis Plants Look Like in Early Flowering Stages?

When your plants reach the flowering level, they may continue to undergo significant changes. Your plants can begin to grow at a much faster pace.

Your plants will actually double or even triple in size. Now is the period to provide nutrition to your plants so that they can withstand the extra weight of the completely mature buds.

Your plants would then begin to develop budlets. Furthermore, the plants’ bottom leaves may continue to discolor, becoming yellow or brownish at the edges.

Additionally, single leaves may begin to bunch up at the tops of the key colas (the central flower cluster). Pistils may often appear from the bunched leaves’ base. This indicates the formation of new buds.

Final Thoughts

Flowering is a rewarding phase during marijuana cultivation. You can get the most out of it if you grasp the process. As mentioned earlier, there are several different phases of marijuana flowering, each with its own set of characteristics and criteria. If you keep a close eye on each of these phases, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating the best, most versatile buds your weed strains have to offer.

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