When Do Cannabis Plants Begin to Flower
When Do Cannabis Plants Begin to Flower:
Life is a series of milestones. For cannabis plants, the flowering phase is a step towards the realization of a dream. It is during this time when the buds develop and turn into flowers. It is also at this moment when the anticipation of growers reaches epic proportions. Watching the trichome produce resins, the thought of the psychedelic high it induces becomes almost unbearable.
However, without a fundamental knowledge of the flowering stage, the result may end up unsatisfactory or underwhelming. Hence, it is vital for growers to know the signs to watch out for when plants are ready for the transition. Knowing in advance also allows for the necessary adjustments to ensure optimal growth.
Four Flowering Stage Indicators
“Letting nature take its course,” an often-repeated phrase, applies to cannabis plants. The length of time it took during the vegetative phase is an indicator of its readiness. If growers follow the right calendar for growing and meets the ideal climate and daylight conditions, then the flowering stage should be imminent.
From germination to seedling and finally to vegetative stage, cannabis plants typically takes from 6 to 8 weeks. Using regular and feminized seeds, growers would start cultivating on certain times of the year. Indoor growers, on the other hand, can virtually begin planting any time of the year. An exemption to this is auto-flower seeds. Unlike the first two types of seeds, it is not dependent on the light cycle. Instead, it is time-based and usually flowers in as early as 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting.
Cannabis plants, to ensure optimal growth, need to be in the right environment be it indoors or outdoors. Aside from the medium used and many other factors, none is as crucial as light.
In a controlled environment such as inside the house, growers use artificial lighting designed for plants. After going through the vegetative phase, switching the light cycle to 12/12 triggers the flowering stage. Outdoors, as the days get shorter and nights longer, the plants react by beginning to flower.
One of the noticeable signs that plants are ready or about to flower is when tiny buds begin sprouting.
3. Physical Appearance
Cannabis plants enter the time of sexual maturity during the flowering stage. As growers know very well, there are male and female plants, as well as hermaphrodites.
One way to tell when female cannabis plants start to flower is when fine white hairs appear at the stem junctions. Males will have small pollen sacs that look like swollen grapes.
For most people, only female plants are valuable as its flowers are not only flavorful but also potent. Male plants, on the other hand, are problematic in the sense that it can fertilize the females. Once that happens, instead of focusing on producing THC, it now focuses its energy on seeds. For this reason, growers take out the male plants the moment they see them.
4. Plant Support
During the vegetative period, cannabis plants focus its energy on rooting and growing. As the leaves become full-bodied, the stems and branches become rigid and stronger; the flowering period becomes imminent.
Four Segments of Flowering
There are four segments to the flowering stage namely, Pre-flowering, Early Flowering, Peak Flowering and Late Flowering.
To understand what these plants experience in the whole flowering stage, here are what commonly happens in each segment. Note that there might be slight differences in what takes place among indoor-maintained and outdoor-grown plants. Also, not all strains are the same.
1. Pre-Flowering Segment
During this stage, growers will notice a clump of leaves crowding at the top of the plants. During this time, the cannabis plant will develop more leaves and stems. As such, growers must provide the necessary care and adjust the nutrients needed.
One thing that growers can do is to apply Low-Stress Training (LST). The idea of doing so is to pave the way for the development of new shoots that will result in a higher yield.
In this method, growers bend the top branches away from the center of the plant and tie them down or around the pot using rubber-coated wires or soft ties. It is only applied when there is a cluster of three to four sets of leaves emerging.
2. Early Flowering Segment
During this stage, the real buds start to emerge as the plants continue to grow upward. By this time, growers would begin changing the nutrients to one that is apt for blooming. Often, it will contain potassium and phosphorus.
For indoor-maintained plants, foliar feeding can also be adopted. This is done by spraying and the most suitable time to do it is half an hour before exposing them to light. As for those grown outdoors, early morning is the best time to spray foliar.
3. Peak Flowering Segment
At its peak, the cannabis plants will not only have thick buds but also more of them. In the vegetative stage, growing leaves is one of the primary focus of the plants but not during the peak flowering segment. At this time, the main activity is centered on producing flowers as well as trichome. Resin glands will be obvious, and because of this, it begins to emit an odor.
4. Late Flowering Segment
At this point, growers will notice the pistils turn into a darker shade, from white to amber tinge. At the same time, its odor becomes more pronounced. Moreover, the trichomes will change from clear to opaque.
When Cannabis Plants Flower
Growers tend to get enthusiastic and cautious, at the same time, during the whole flowering process. Of course, the anticipation of a bountiful yield is enough motivation to keep up the effort. Hope springs eternal too as the reasonable expectation is that the flowers will have rich flavors as well as contain a high amount of THC.
For beginners and relative newbies, the results may not be what was expected. However, that is also a part of the process of growing cannabis. Much like how these plants go from seedling to vegetative and finally to the flowering stage, growers also learn and become better at taking care of it.
Having a fundamental knowledge of the flowering period, though, ensures a higher success rate.