The Flowering Stage in Cannabis Plants
Among the various stages of cannabis plant growth, the flowering stage is one of the most anticipated. In fact, it is the part of marijuana growing that attracts many growers and those who use it for medicinal purposes.
During this phase of growth, you can expect that your plants will double their height. However, some strains are known to become taller than others. Once your cannabis plant has reached the flowering stage, it is signaled by the appearance of white hairs on some parts of its flowers.
This white hair is called ‘trichomes.’ The trichomes are small hair-like glands that appear on the surfaces of your cannabis plant. The color of these trichomes can be clear, cloudy, or amber. If you see many trichomes in white, this means that the flower is mature and well-developed for harvesting purposes.
If the flowers produced during the flowering stage are allowed to stay longer on their plant, they will eventually turn into seeds. Some growers can induce the flowering period of their cannabis plants by surgically removing some parts or manipulating its hormone balance with chemicals that include auxins and gibberellic acid (GA3).
What to Expect During the Flowering Stage in Cannabis Plants
During the flowering stage, your cannabis plant will grow to its full potential. It can grow as tall as three meters. Note that this is the time when you must choose whether to maintain your plant’s height or not. You have two options – keep it small by keeping pruning or topping, or let the plant flower until the end.
During this stage, many things happen in your plants. Let’s dig deep and discuss some of the processes that take place from the fast week of the flowering stage.
Transition to Flowering (Week 1-3)
For the first week of the flowering stage, expect your plant to have low growth. There are few new leaves in this early stage. However, this may vary depending on the strain you’re growing and its pre-flowering period.
Note that in high temperatures, there is a tendency for plants to continue their vegetative cycle instead of starting the flowering period. Watch out for this and make sure that your plants are well-protected from extreme temperatures until the third week of the flowering stage for them to develop fully.
Formation of Budlets (Week 3-4)
The next thing to expect in the flowering stage is the formation of single pistil clusters or buds through a process called “budding.” You can consider this as a pre-flowering period, which means that it is only starting from week 3. If you have been doing everything right up to this point, then your plants will have several small flowers forming at the nodes.
Although some plants produce more than one flower per node, it is still considered a single bud or “budlet.” At this stage, expect your plant’s flowers to have already formed their calyxes. Buds may be small in size, but you will see that it has already developed pistils when you look closely. These are the white hairs of your plant, which appear to be fluffy and tapered.
Fattening of Buds (Week 4-6)
The period from week 4 to 6 of the flowering stage is called “fattening.” During this period, your cannabis plant will produce more vegetative material, and there may be some increase in its height. Keep in mind that your plants grow stronger and thicker leaves day by day during the vegetative growth cycle.
Now you should notice that at the 4th week of the flowering stage, there are small crystals on your plant’s leaves, stems, and buds. These crystals are called trichomes, and they’re responsible for producing cannabinoids – a chemical that can either produce a high or stay active in the body.
Ripening of Buds and Darkening of the Pistil (Week 6-8)
After the fattening stage, there comes a period when buds change into dark and mature flowers called “ripening.” This is the most crucial stage in growing cannabis since it matters during seed production. If you’re growing your plants to produce seeds for future usage, make sure to let them ripen well in this stage.
Note that at this point, the cannabis plant does not make any new leaves or stems. The leaves’ colors may be different than usual. Pistils become dark and thicker, too. This signifies that buds are now ripe enough to harvest.
End of Flowering, Final Flush, Harvesting (Week 8+)
The end of the flowering stage is marked by harvesting. At this point, pistils will become brown or red. It signals that your cannabis plants are now mature and can be harvested to produce buds for consumption purposes.
Essential Nutrients Required During the Flowering Stage in Cannabis Plants
During the flowering stage, a lot of things happen. Some may be visible in your plant, while others are not so easy to see. You should be able to take care of them properly to produce healthy and high-quality buds for consumption purposes. The flowering stage in cannabis plants requires specific nutrients for their healthy being. These includes:
Potassium plays a vital role in providing solid stems and sturdy nodes for cannabis growth. Potassium also encourages the production of healthy buds in the flowering stage and increases seed production.
Cannabis plants need calcium to create flowers that are used for reproduction. If calcium levels in the soil are quite low, it can lead to slow bud growth and delayed development of pistils. Just like potassium, calcium also helps in creating solid stems for cannabis growth during the flowering stage.
Iron is known to enhance the production of flowers or “budlets.” Undoubtedly, this will ultimately lead to bigger and more potent buds in your plants. Make sure that you regularly check for iron levels during flowering stages. It’s best to use a supplement containing Iron three weeks before the flowering period starts.
You can expect your plant to be healthier and more robust if you use a supplement containing magnesium. It is particularly helpful in enhancing the production of flowers and buds during the flowering stage. Magnesium also encourages a quick and healthy growth of stems and leaves during this crucial period.
The flowering stage is crucial in growing cannabis. Without proper care and attention, it will be impossible to produce potent and healthy buds that you can use for consumption purposes. This is why it’s essential to regularly check on your plants during the different stages of the flowering cycle.