Few things in life are more satisfying than growing a cannabis plant from seed to harvest, taking advantage of those sticky buds and dense colas just before the curing stage. Growers must know when to switch their growing operation from the veg to the flowering phase unless they are only dealing with auto-flowering seeds. This transformation is referred to as “turning your plants” in the cannabis horticulture field.
When it comes to looking at your ultimate results, knowing when and how to turn your cannabis plants might make all the difference. As you’ll see, turning your plants at the proper moment and using the right tactics may take a mediocre harvest and turn it into something extraordinary.
You should pay close attention if you’ve never grown your own cannabis before. Harvests are created or broken during the blossoming season. Let’s get ready to work. Get comfortable, put on your gardening gloves, and let’s get started.
Understanding the Four Cannabis Growth Stages
Cannabis does not grow from a seedling to a fully mature plant without some effort. Cannabis plants have a four-stage growth cycle that varies somewhat depending on the strain.
The cannabis plant’s key growth stages are as follows:
Germination: 3 to 10 Days
Seedling: 2–3 Weeks
Vegetative: 3–6 Weeks
Flowering: 7–11 Weeks
Plants in the wild will progress from one stage to the next dependent on their sexual development. Plants’ sexual maturity is determined by their ability to generate buds and pollen sacs. When the sun directs them, plants will naturally make the shift to flowering. Plants will recognize that the days are getting shorter and the light is disappearing, which will make them want to reproduce.
Indoor growers can emulate nature’s light schedule to replicate the flowering-flip stage of the process. Shifting from a 16-hour on, 8-hour-off light cycle to a 12-hour on, 12-hour-off light schedule can be enough to get plants to flower. While it may appear to be a straightforward process, it is significantly more difficult to carry out in person.
Now that we’ve covered the four main stages of cannabis growth, let’s take a closer look at the flowering stage.
Understanding Cannabis Measurements
First and foremost, switching from vegetable to flower can necessitate a significant amount of vertical area. Cannabis can swiftly double or even quadruple in height after the flipping stage, causing indoor gardeners to run out of room for their prized plants. Indoor tents must have enough height clearance to allow your cannabis plants to flourish to their full potential. Limiting your plants’ area might result in lower yields, as well as waste of space and potential damage.
Measure from the base of the cannabis plant to around 12 inches below your lights to determine when to start flipping your plants. You can switch to the flowering phase when your plants are a third of the way between these two stages.
Step 1: Lighting Transition
The first alteration you’ll need to make as you shift from vegetative to flowering growth is to your lighting. To induce flowering, alter your lights from a 16- to 20-hour vegging cycle to a 12/12-hour cycle when you first start blooming. Connect your lights to a timer that goes off for 12 hours per day to make this process easier.
Note: It’s critical to keep any light pollution from the outside world out during this period. Lighting will instruct plants when to start flowering, and light leaks can wreak havoc during this transitional period.
Step 2: Control Your Environment
It’s critical to lessen the general humidity levels in the space while your plant enters the flowering stage. Reduce your humidity levels from 70% during vegetative development to around 50% during flowering. You may prevent mildew and mold in your garden by controlling the overall relative humidity levels.
You should also keep the temperature of your grow chamber between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit during this stage. Again, different strains will withstand different temperatures, so know what you’re dealing with. Some plants are more suited to tropical conditions and extreme heat than others.
Step 3: Search For Pests
If you think dealing with an infestation during the veg stage of plant growth is difficult, consider dealing with one during the blossoming period. In the world of gardening, pests and diseases are unavoidable, so take advantage of this opportunity to do a thorough inspection of your plants. Examine the leaves while looking for symptoms of mold, mildew, pests, or disease on your growing substrate.
Step 4: Proper Nutrient Cycle
As your cannabis plants progress through the flowering period, they will require more and more from their feeding routine. Higher levels of magnesium and phosphorus should be added at this phase, but nitrogen levels should be reduced to encourage greater flowering.
Changing your feeding schedule might be especially difficult for finicky plants. To avoid stressing out or otherwise harming your crop, gradually change your feeding plan.
Flower Types: Sativa, Indica, Hybrids
Does every cannabis strain go through the same stages of growth and flowering? “Eh, somewhat,” says the answer. The height, bud shape, and feeding requirements of each strain will differ. Following the change to the flowering stage, indicas tend to double in height, but sativas can stretch up to three times their overall length. The majority of cultivators work with current strains that fall under the hybrid paradigm.
Make sure you follow the guidelines stated above to ensure a plentiful harvest. Taking care of your crop is critical to achieving an even and successful harvest.