by Nebula Haze
Growing Marijuana Flowering Stage Timeline
Week i-iii – Transition to Flowering
Week three-4 – Budlets Form
Week four-six – Buds Start Fattening Up
Week half-dozen-viii – Buds Ripen, Pistils Darken –
some strains spend longer in this stage
Week eight+ – Flowering Ends, Last Flush, Harvest
Introduction to the Cannabis Flowering Phase
Do you desire to know what to wait when growing marijuana in the flowering phase? First, allow’s talk a footling bit nigh the beginning of your plant’south life so y’all can sympathize exactly how the flowering phase comes in. During the phase known as the vegetative phase (the get-go stage of life for marijuana), a cannabis plant grows nigh how yous’d expect… like a weed! In the vegetative stage, a cannabis plant only grows new stems and leaves, and tin can grow several inches a day with the added ability to recover from just virtually annihilation.
Even if you lot run into major problems in the vegetative stage, you lot can bring your institute back from the brink of death merely by addressing the problem and giving your plant some TLC.
In the vegetative phase, your cannabis found only grows stems and leaves and is resistant to issues. It grows similar a weed!
However, things aren’t so rosy in the cannabis flowering stage. In the flowering stage, your cannabis institute grows very differently and is much more than sensitive to problems. The tricky matter about the flowering stage is that you don’t accept much room for mistake and big mistakes can lower your yields.
In society to maximize your yields, it’south important to know what to focus on during each part of the flowering phase. It’due south likewise actually helpful to know what to expect so yous know when something is going incorrect!
Calendar week-by-Week Timeline of the Flowering Cycle (with pictures)
This marijuana flowering phase “walk through” will explain exactly what to expect week-by-week while your institute is making buds, and information technology’ll tell y’all what you need to exercise to ensure you get to harvest with the best bud quality and yields possible!
Week one-iii: Transition to Flowering
When growing cannabis indoors, the flowering stage begins when yous modify your grow lights to a 12/12 light cycle (12 hours light, 12 hours darkness each twenty-four hour period). Getting those 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day gives your plant the signal that it’south fourth dimension to commencement flowering. In a way the plant “thinks” wintertime is coming because the days are getting curt.
Note: It’southward mutual to think that a cannabis found getting 12 or less hours of light is what initiates flowering, but it’s really uninterrupted darkness that does the pull a fast one on! If the plant gets whatever lite during the dark period, even for just a infinitesimal, it won’t brand buds! In fact, a flowering plant may even revert back or express hermaphroditism if it gets any lite at nighttime!
Outdoors, it’s also the days getting shorter that crusade a cannabis plant to start making buds in tardily summer, just outdoor buds develop on different schedules depending on the local climate. This tutorial is meant to explicate how a cannabis constitute normally develops when grown indoors, since that is done nether controlled conditions, and plants tend to abound the aforementioned way.
For the purposes of this tutorial, the flowering stage starts the day you switch to 12/12
Autoflowering strains of cannabis don’t demand special light periods to offset flowering, however the cannabis flowering timeline in this tutorial is a expert general guideline for indoor machine-flowering strains, too. Their “vegetative stage” lasts near iii-4 weeks, so as long as you lot start counting at week 3-4 from seed (when they outset getting their first pistils) this flowering timeline volition generally apply to autos besides, though sometimes they finish upwards faster.
During the first few weeks after being switched to a 12/12 schedule, your plant volition be growing like crazy and apace gaining height. In fact, a cannabis plant can (and frequently will) almost double in top after the switch to 12/12. This period of super-fast and frequently stretchy growth is sometimes referred to as the “flowering stretch.”
Case of flowering stretch – what to expect
– just before 12/12
Post-Stretch – 4 weeks after 12/12
Although your female person plants will start sprouting lots of white pistils, they usually won’t kickoff growing “real” buds with substance quite yet. If you’re new to growing cannabis, it’svery important to note that only female cannabis plants make buds.
Did you know you lot can figure out if a plant is
male or female
while it’s nevertheless in the vegetative stage?
If your plant is male, information technology will starting time growing distinct pollen sacs and should exist removed from the grow room immediately to prevent it from pollinating your female plants and causing ‘seedy’ buds. Learn where to get feminized (all-female) seeds online so you don’t accept to worry almost male plants.
Remove any plants growing pollen sacs instead of pistils, because they are male and won’t make buds. Plus they can pollinate your female plants and cause them to grow seeds! What if my plant is growing
pistils and pollen sacs?
Female plants should be growing pistils wherever a fan leaf meets a main stalk. They look like white wispy hairs emerging from the joints
During the get-go few weeks of the flowering phase, you will run into bunches of single leaves forming at the tops of your chief colas (similar in this pic). Soon white pistils will showtime coming out of the eye of the bunches, and they will become your main buds!
During week 1-3 of the flowering stage, your plant will mostly be producing new stems and leaves every bit it grows taller. Right now your establish is still very resilient and can handle problems just like in the vegetative phase. All the same, information technology’due south nonetheless very important to avoid problems and take great care of your establish!
As part of the stretch, your plant will be growing out its bud sites. Stunting growth at this point could crusade the plant to make smaller and fewer bud sites than it would if it were salubrious and growing fast.
If you take more room in your grow space nether the light to spread your plants out, or if y’all are running out of headroom, it is important to gently bend stretching stems down and away from the middle of the plant to assistance maintain a apartment awning (a technique known as low stress training).
During the stretch, gently curve new stems down to try to maintain a flat, even canopy
If you keep up with it during the stretch, you lot tin can prevent whatever one stem from getting much taller than the others
When stems are new, they are flexible and easy to bend, but they quickly harden upwardly and plough woody. Past keeping a shut eye on your plant and bending any too-alpine branches down and away from the eye of the plant equally soon as you can, y’all volition maximize your yields since that flat shape will most efficiently use your grow lights. If all your master bud sites are spread out and nigh the aforementioned height, you can increase your yields past upward to xl% or more!
Spreading out your bud sites and maintaining a flat canopy can increment cannabis yields past as much equally xl%…or even more!
At this bespeak, you lot only have a few weeks left until yous lose the ability to do whatsoever further training, so don’t miss this last opportunity to control the shape of your plant, especially if you’re running out of room!
Week 3-iv: Budlets Grade
The mad stretching of the first few weeks will start to slow downwardly in week three-iv, but your cannabis establish will still exist growing upwards. At this point you’ll actually start to run across real buds instead of merely hairs (I like to telephone call them “budlets” during this stage) and all the pistils will exist white and sticking well-nigh directly out.
“Budlets” start forming where buds will be, with white pistils sticking straight out
Your plant is going to start getting a little picky virtually the surroundings and nutrients in week 3-iv so it’s of import to keep a close eye on your garden. You need to make sure your plant stays good for you all the way to the end of the flowering phase, and you’ve still got more than than a calendar month to get and so y’all don’t desire your institute to run into whatever major health problems now!
Be specially aware of leafage symptoms, for example: discolored/yellow leaves, or if your plant starts rapidly losing leaves. It’s completely normal to lose a few leaves at this phase, especially leaves that aren’t getting low-cal (which often await like they may accept a nutrient deficiency and so fall off, but it’s simply your constitute cannibalizing the foliage since it isn’t getting whatsoever more lite). That being said, overall your unabridged constitute should still be lush and light-green in week 3-4 while your budlets are forming.
Equally your constitute continues through the flowering stage, it’due south normal to see a few yellow or discolored leaves near the bottom of the constitute, peculiarly in the places where the leaves are no longer getting light. This isn’t anything to worry about if it’s but a few leaves as the found is putting its energy to the top of the constitute and the buds.
normal for your found to be yellowing or losing leaves rapidly like this
Diagnose sick plants as presently as possible!
Another thing to be aware of is nutrient burn. This is what happens when y’all requite your plants too-high levels of nutrients – the tips of all the leaves actually become “burned.” While a little chip of nutrient burn won’t hurt your plant, it’s important to try to avoid it if you tin can. Your plant can never recover the parts of the leaves lost to nutrient fire, so if you lot accidentally requite too much nutrients in the hereafter, the burning volition start “climbing” upwardly the “fingers” of the leaves. Cannabis leaves tend to look much less appealing/pretty every bit more than of each leafage gets burned. All the same, even cannabis plants with severe nutrient burn can produce good bud, then don’t surrender if you meet thi problem!
Try your all-time to avert food burn (burnt leaf tips acquired by too-high levels of nutrients), every bit information technology tin can only get worse as the flowering stage continues
When nutrient fire starts getting bad, it can actually outset discoloring your sugar leaves (the pocket-size single-finger leaves emerging from your buds). If nutrient fire reaches the base of the sugar leaves, y’all won’t exist able to trim it off at harvest so your buds volition stop up with yellowish/brown spots where all the leaves were burned.
Nutrient deficiencies can besides crusade the same problem if left unchecked. This doesn’t necessarily affect the authorization but buds don’t await as good every bit they could accept.
So to grow bud you’re proud of, you’ll want to exist enlightened of avoiding nutrient burn from the beginning. Since your plant isn’t actually growing many more leaves, you demand to really care for the ones it has left.
If they haven’t already, your plants may get-go to smell!
Some strains similar Blue Mystic and Northern Low-cal are known for having relatively low smells, but many strains can start getting pungent quickly!
Learn more about controlling smells in the grow room.
Calendar week 4-6: Buds Start Fattening
Your budlets are fattening and before long you lot volition have buds with substance! They volition still take nearly all white pistils sticking direct upwardly in every direction, but the buds themselves will be getting fatter every day.
By weeks 4-half dozen, the stretch is almost over and you no longer need to pay attending to training your institute. Instead of trying to keep the colas downwards, from now on y’all’re doing the opposite – trying to agree whatever buds upwardly if they get-go getting likewise heavy for your plant!
If you’re having problem fitting your constitute in your infinite within a safety distance from your low-cal, your training options can start looking very grim.
If your plant has grown into the light, you may take to consider last-resort solutions like supercropping (a high-stress training technique of forcing stems to bend at a xc° angle) which you ordinarily should never do this late in the flowering stage.
Since you don’t get many more new leaves, you need to think of your remaining leaves as armor – insurance against any nutrient or leaf problems.
Although y’all don’t want an excessively leafy plant, and strategic confusion (for advanced growers) can be helpful to expose bud sites, information technology’s important to make sure that y’all let your plant keep plenty leaf coverage to power the growth of buds. It may need a petty actress assistance if something happens!
Although defoliation may exist used to expose buds sites, make certain your constitute still has enough leaves (“armor”) to concluding until the finish of the flowering phase to ability the growth of buds, and as insurance against whatever possible nutrient or leaf problems.
Although almost of the pistils volition probably still be mostly white by the end of calendar week 6, the buds are getting bigger and denser every day!
Week 6-8: Buds Ripen, Pistils Darken
From now on your plant won’t exist making any new leaves or stems. It has completely switched gears away from vegetative growth and all its energy volition be focused on growing buds from now until harvest.
It’south normal for some of the bottom leaves to begin to plow yellow as the constitute continues to put its energy in the leaves and buds getting the nigh direct light, though the constitute should still be mostly green from acme to bottom even in week 6-8.
At this signal, your plant may start getting much more than picky and sensitive to nutrient problems, including those caused by incorrect pH at the roots. Now is not the time to slack off on caring for your plants!
If your leaves are already turning yellowish in week 6-8 information technology’s besides early! Early leaf yellowing is likely caused by either a nutrient trouble or light fire (which are both much more common in marijuanas flowering stage). React quickly to problems so you don’t injure your yields!
Quickly diagnose sick plants & don’t ignore problems!
Some other common trouble to lookout man out for at this stage: if you come across a whole new bud or “spire” emerging out of the side of an old bud that’s already developed, information technology’due south usually a sign of heat or lite damage.
“Foxtailing” like this is acquired by also much rut or calorie-free – it’s not normal bud growth! If y’all come across this it ways you need to control your temperature and low-cal levels to prevent farther impairment!
Learn more nigh marijuana foxtails caused by heat or light stress
From at present until harvest it’due south extra of import to avoid too-high levels of low-cal or estrus because (in addition to foxtailing) this tin can discolor/bleach/burn your buds and may fifty-fifty “evaporate” away some of the THC / potency.
If things are going well, your buds should exist actually hitting their stride at this bespeak. They will grow in size significantly over the next few weeks!
Week 8+: Flowering Ends, Last Flush, Harvest
Home stretch! Yous’re and then close! To make certain things go smoothly until harvest, treat your plant similar a movie star and attend to its every need! Very few strains of cannabis are ready to be harvested before calendar week 8, but now we’re at to the point where some short strains are getting close to beingness harvest-set!
Many growers exercise a final affluent, which involves giving only plain water to your plants (for a few days upwardly to a few weeks) earlier harvest.
In one case yous’ve reached week eight, buds are fattening apace. Trichomes and pistils are maturing, though new pistils may continue to develop on the buds as they grow.
Y’all are basically just maintaining your plant until harvest. Different strains are ready at different times, simply from now on you’re going to pretty much care for them notwithstanding. Go on a close eye on the buds, pistils and trichomes equally a whole to help you figure out the best time to harvest to go the furnishings yous are looking for.
Now is Probably the Best Fourth dimension to Have Bud Pics!
Desire to take better bud pics? Try taking a moving picture of the bud in the dark with your camera flash on. Learn more tips for taking bully bud pictures!
But around viii-10 weeks is when you get to see the buds in their full glory. It’s also when the odor of cannabis frequently starts to get
Your plants are probably STINKING up everything around them!
At this point it’s completely normal for your plant leaves to first yellowing, sometimes chop-chop. As long as the yellowing isn’t affecting your buds and you’re very shut to harvest and so it’s completely normal. You probably can’t prevent this type of yellowing no matter what you lot exercise with nutrients because this is simply what a cannabis found naturally does equally it’due south wrapping upwardly the flowering phase.
Subsequently Week 8 it’south normal to see leaves turning yellow, in fact in that location’southward non much you tin can practise to prevent it. As long equally it’due south close to harvest and the yellowing is non affecting your actual buds it’southward ok!
Raising food levels at this phase is not recommended equally it won’t cease the yellowing and tin perhaps forbid your buds from fattening up as much every bit they could take (cannabis wants relatively low levels of nitrogen in the flowering stage for proper bud growth).
If buds offset getting also heavy and fall over, special tools known as plant yo-yos (pictured to the right) tin can be hung from the ceiling and will claw around your buds to gently concord them up without damaging them.
Many growers choose to requite their plants a 2-week flush before harvest to aid make sure the plant has used upward any additional nutrients that may affect the taste or smell of the buds.
These buds are ready to showtime flushing – white pistils have well-nigh all darkened and curled in
(larn exactly when to harvest and so your buds produce the correct effects)
Sometimes you’ll need to harvest your plant early due to life situations, or because the establish is unhealthy and buds are starting to look burnt or discolored. If your buds look completely done, and you’re seeing leaf symptoms getting worse, it’s oft better to harvest a little early on to ensure the all-time possible quality given the situation.
You may desire to harvest your marijuana buds early if they’re starting to get damaged by food or other problems. Sometimes it’s ameliorate to cut your losses than let your buds continue to get beat up! If you lot harvest your plants besides early on you tin can improve many unwanted furnishings past curing them. For example, these buds probably should be harvested before the buds get any further harm.
Harvest buds early on if they’re getting damaged!
Harvest solar day is the all-time day!
(well, until the day yous try your buds for the first time!
Learn how to dry & cure your cannabis plants!
Diagnose Your Sick Plant!
Tips to Growing Height-Shelf Buds
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Quick Starting time Guide: Grow Cannabis in ten Steps
Check These 7 Things & Cure 99% of Marijuana Growing Problems