The best time to identify the sex of your marijuana plants is during their flowering time. Male and female characteristics will start to show up during this phase. Therefore, it is very important that you learn what to do during the pre-flowering and full-flowering periods of weed growing.
In this article, we will cover some of the basic things that you need to consider during these stages. If you want to learn more, then we recommend the complete how to grow weed guide which is the Growing Elite Marijuana eBook by Ryan Riley.
– The flowering stage of cannabis will start after the plants have finished the vegetative period. During the vegetative time of growing pot, plants need as much light. To induce flowering time when you are growing cannabis indoors, change the light cycle. Starting from 24/0 light cycle during the vegetative phase, then make it to 12 hours’ light on and 12 hours of total darkness.
– Growing a pack of regular marijuana seeds will not give you the exact number of male and female cannabis plants. With a pack of regular weed seeds, you will be growing marijuana males and females. It is really hard to determine the sex of the weed while they are still young and if they are still on their vegetative time.
Pre-flowering Stage of Cannabis Growing
Before marijuana plants will fully bloom to produce buds, they will undergo the pre-flowering time which will usually start during the 4th week of the vegetative phase. It is hard to detect if the plants are already pre-flowering unless you will use a magnifying glass. It takes expertise for you to identify the sex of cannabis during the pre-flowering period of marijuana growing. During the pre-flowering, small pear-shaped nodes appearing on the 4th node of the stem can be seen if the plant is female.
At this point, you are now starting to see some signs that they are in the pre-flowering phase. Once most of the strains reach a particular level of maturity or size, they show signs that they are now ready to enter another level. If you use regular seeds, you can take advantage of this phase to identify the male plants, removing them from the bunch. Keep in mind that even a small release of pollen at this point may lead to having seeds later on. This is fine if you are growing plants for breeding purposes, but if you are growing medical marijuana, removing the males may be best at this point.
On the other hand, if you started using clones, it would be relatively easier to estimate the length of growing time before they bud since the genetics are already known. However, it is still worthy to note that fertility and environmental differences, including management may also influence the quality of growth after the budding has already started.
For instance, if you have kept Carbon Dioxide at ambient levels during the vegetative phase, and you also apply the needed carbon dioxide during bud phase, you can definitely expect to see a surge in stature and growth of the plants, that is, within the reach of your natural genetic selection.
Early Flowering Phase of Growing Marijuana
In between the pre-flowering phase and the full-flowering phase is the early flowering phase. What happens to your plants at this point plays a vital role in the determination of quality as it reaches the full-flowering phase. The early flowering phase usually starts a few days right after you put the light schedule to 12 – 12. The pre-flowers start to turn into budding sites, and eventually to early flowers.
Generous and fast development of the budding sites, as well as early flowers, is very important if you are interested in having larger yields, as well as earlier harvest. Some products are recommended by expert growers, as these usually create more budding sites quicker. During the early flowering phase, the early flowers have already turned into tight, small, dense clusters which begins to fill the internodes of the stem.
This phase generally lasts a period of 1 to 3 weeks after switching to the 12 to 12 lighting schedule, depending on the plant genetics. During the early flowering phase, as well as the other phases that follow it, giving your cannabis plants extra potassium, phosphorus, and carbohydrates will allow you to expect a more potent and heavier harvest.
The Full-flowering Phase of Marijuana Growing
Weed plants move into its full-flowering time approximately after one to two weeks of changing the light and dark hours. You will now be able to identify the sex of the plants during this stage. You will know if you are growing weed plants that are females if white hairs called pistils will start to develop. These white hairs will fully develop into flowers. The small white hairs will start turning to red or dark brown then develop into buds ready for harvest. Depending on the type of weed strain you are growing and the kind of environment where these plants are grown, maturity will take from 6 to 12 weeks or more.
A good harvest of highly potent buds starts from getting pot seeds with good quality genetics. From the time the seeds are germinated up to the vegetative and the flowering stages, growing cannabis in the best environment will produce a bountiful harvest. The flowering time of marijuana will tell which ones are the males and which are the females. Decide whether you want to breed or you want just female plants that produce buds.
This phase of your marijuana cultivation is very important. As a matter of fact, it is when your plants starts to develop the most THC, terpenes, weight, size, and other cannabinoids. There are certain things that you have to look into at this phase. For example, issues with humidity, temperatures, diseases, pests, pH, conditions, or even hydroponics nutrients can sharply impact your final harvest.
In order to ensure that all of your plants receive the nutrients that they need, you may want to use a base nutrient (example: Sensi Bloom ph-Perfect) so that you can expect that your crops receive more nutrition faster. Also, you do not have to worry about pH meters. Carbohydrates products and resin gland boosters can also be used at this point.
It is worthy to note, however, that each cannabis strain can be very different. As a matter of fact, the plants may differ even though they are from the same seeds or mother. Still, adding the right ratios and amounts of potassium and phosphorus during the full-flowering phase is completely guaranteed in order increase the size of buds, THC and overall value.
At this point, it is also recommended to make sure that your plant canopy does not get too warm, that is, above 76F, since excessive heat can cause your buds to stretch out. As a result, they become airy and thin. Also, excessive warmth in the canopy may happen if your plants are just too close to your grow lights, and if the ventilation, air movement and air conditioning of the grow room is inadequate.
Therefore, it is very important to monitoring the full-flowering buds using a magnifier in order to track the progress, as well as the condition of your resin THC heads. As a matter of fact, this is the best and the most accurate method of determining when your buds are finally ready for harvesting. The full-flowering phase is generally the longest period in the 12-12 cycle. It may last about 2 to 5 weeks for most of the marijuana strains.
Tips to Consider to Ensure that Your Cannabis Plants are Healthy During ALL Flowering Phases
The following are some tips that you can take into consideration in order to make sure that your crop gets ready and primed, and to create a more prolific and stronger flowering response. This will also help them for the next stages of their growth.
- If you are growing your plants either in soil or soil less growing mediums, you can pitch in small amounts of carbohydrates together with your regular feeding program. Also, if you reduce nitrogen at the start of the flowering phase, you can also expect less stretching on your plants. This can also keep the growth efficient and tight under the grow lights.
- Both soil and soil less crops often take longer to show changes in the fertility levels once the growers have started to transition in their plant feeding program. Crops that are hydroponic grown can show responses to the changes in the nutrient solution in hours, instead of days. Therefore, if you choose to take this path, you may want to add a small amount of bloom fertilizer earlier on, just before the flowering phase starts. In a hydroponics setup, you might choose to run your vegetative food just a few days to flowering, prior to starting the transition of your base nutrients for budding.
- During the phase of transitioning to bloom, you may want to discontinue use of B-Vitamin so that your plants will exhibit a stronger response to changes in the duration of light, thus expecting more intense and faster budding.
- Giving your gardens some microbial products can also help in growing more roots in order to support bigger and better buds while also protecting the root systems against the increase of salinity all throughout the duration of applying fertilizer to harvest.
- There are also things that you have to watch out for. Make sure that you do not over apply light intensities. Make sure that you keep your HID lamps just a respectable distance from the plants’ tops. Too much light can hurt the growth of your plants, and more likely to create issues such as calcium deficiencies during the early budding phase.
- On the other hand, you may also add more calcium to your nutrient solution. Also, adding fulvic acids can also help in improving your gains even further during the early bud, as well as the pre flowering phase.
There are a lot of growers that start treating their cannabis to budding conditions as soon as the lighting cycle is changed to 12/12. Most often, growers see more gain in growth. This means that you can expect more budding sites, with healthier crops as the plants transition from pre-flowering to budding.
Generally, it usually takes about 7 to 14 days for the plants to show some signs of flowering and development of bud after the critical light cycle has already been set. Expert growers understand that having a smooth transition results to better yields later, and fewer changes of issues in between.
As a reminder, in general, it is much better to get rid of your crop of any issues before the budding starts, even though you may have to anticipate a delay for a week or even two. For instance, you may want to rid your crop of insect attacks or cure your crops’ nutrient deficiency. Of course, the process of pruning is always there as an option for you, or you can tie or bend your plants in order to conserve space.
Still, the most important thing you need to remember is to make sure that your plants are in their peak condition before you transition to the next phase towards the end of the budding phase. If all possible, make sure to keep dark/light temperatures close, such as having a narrow differential at the onset of the flowering phase. It is a very natural way of keeping the growth tighter, while helping in preventing spikes in humidity as the lights start to shut off.
Bottom line is that, everything should be done accordingly during the pre-flowering and full-flowering phases of your plants if you want to expect the highest quality of buds for your plants.