HOW TO OPTIMIZE THE FLOWERING STAGE OF THE CANNABIS PLANT
The flowering stage is usually the most long-awaited phase of a cannabis plant. This is when the plant produces flowers or buds, and it is the most satisfying part of growing cannabis for most growers. When growing photoperiod feminized cannabis, the flowering period starts when you introduce the 12hours light and 12hours dark cycle.
But if you are growing the auto flower feminized seeds, it means that plants flower once they are at a certain age no matter the light exposure, so you cannot control them. Instead, you must wait until the plant is ready to flower, around 4-6weeks after germination.
What does the flowering phase refer to?
The cannabis flowering phase is when the feminized plant starts to produce female buds or flowers that will be eventually harvested. For the photoperiod-dependent feminized seeds from i49, the flowering period may last around 9weeks. Besides producing long blooms full of stacked flowers, the resinous trichome glands are also stimulated, hence the sticky aromatic resin that coats the buds a white sugar-like frosting.
During the flowering stage of your cannabis plants, you will most likely see it grow vertically as soon as it starts flowering. Sativa strains can stretch up to 3times their pre-bloom size during the main flowering stage. Indica strains are less stretchy, but they can double their height during the flowering stage. When they reach mid-bloom, the plants continue to increase in size and buds quantity. That means they need more nutrients and water. Here you need to boost the phosphorous and potassium and increase the light intensity too.
During the late bloom, you should start flashing your plants off the excess nutrients and maintain low humidity levels to minimize the risks of mold growth. All through the flowering phase of your cannabis plants, you will notice the aroma increasing, which means that the terpenes are going into full flow.
The ideal amount of light
The ideal amount of light that cannabis flowering plants need is 12hours of light and 12hours of the dark. High-intensity LED lights deliver the maximum amount of light for indoor cannabis cultivation without producing too much heat. So you use the 12hours light and 12hours darkness to induce the flowering stage in photoperiod cannabis plants.
When to induce the flowering stage depends on your growing method. If you are growing your cannabis plants naturally without plant training, you should wait from bout 3-6weeks in the vegetative stage to induce the flowering light cycle. But how long you wait depends on your preferences, including the available growth room, the desired vertical height, and growth style. For many growers, the size of the grow room determines when the plants are high enough to induce the flowering stage.
If you use auto flower feminized seeds, you don’t have to worry about inducing the flowering stage. They will begin the flowering phase automatically from around 4-6weeks irrespective of the light cycle you expose them to. The most obvious indicator that the blooming stage is about to start is plant-stretch.
Which nutrients does the plant need during the flowering stage?
Unlike the vegetative stage, where your plant needs more nitrogen, the nutrient requirements change to more phosphorous and potassium during the flowering stage. You need to know the best place to outsource the nutrients, especially if you are an inexperienced cannabis grower.
If using soil as your growing medium, opt for slow-release organic nutrients because they make your work easier. That means you don’t have to bother about increasing the nutrients during the early flowering phase apart from the PK(phosphorous and potassium) during the late bloom.
One critical thing you need to avoid when growing cannabis is overfeeding the plant. You overfeed it during the flowering stage, and the leaves start to curl or form brown tips. That can slow down the growth and make it hard for the plant to recover. It is even better to underfeed the plants and increase the nutrients with time than overfeed them. So, avoid overwatering and overfeeding the plants. If your plants are rooted in nutrient-rich soil, you may not need to add any more nutrients during the late bloom.
The ideal temperature and humidity for the flowering stage
You need to maintain humidity levels of around 40-50% during the flowering stage to reduce the risks of bud mold and rot. You can utilize a dehumidifier to achieve that, especially one with a large water collection reservoir.
The temperatures should be at 22-15degrees Celcius. Note that too cold temperatures slow down the bloom and eventually reduce the yields. Suppose you want to speed up the cannabis plants’ flowering stage. In that case, the secret is to maintain the correct temperature and humidity range while being careful not to overfeed or underfeed the plants. You can also use a tensiometer to measure the soil moisture levels to prevent it from being too wet or dry.
When to plant train during the flowering stage
Plant training can be a bit tricky if you are a beginner cannabis grower. But generally, when to plant train depends on your grow style. Some people do not plant-train their cannabis plants, allowing them to develop naturally. Others regularly eliminate the lower fan leaves and bud sites exposed to less light so that the plant can focus all nutrients on the most productive parts.
However, plant topping is not advisable in the flowering stage, but it is suitable in the vegetative stage because there is much time for the plant to recover. Some experienced Sativa growers top the longest blooming plants during the early bloom to control the primary bud.
How long does the flowering stage last?
The flowering stage for indica strains lasts about 7weeks, but slow blooming Sativa strains can have auto-flowering phases lasting for even 14weeks. So, how do you tell if the flower is ready to harvest? Many growers often harvest when the trichomes of the flowers are cloudy. In feminized auto flower plants, you can look at the pistil color. They change from yellow-white to orange and amber. Orange pistils indicate that they are mature for harvesting.
The final words
Choose the best quality cannabis seeds so that you enjoy high-quality yields.