The cannabis plant is also known as the weed plant or marijuana. It is cultivated for thousands of years and was a part of ancient civilizations and culture. Apart from getting high, there are several medical benefits of the cannabis plant. Even today, the plant is grown for these two reasons. If you are planning to grow cannabis on your own, you need to understand the flowering stages of the plant. The plant goes through seven different stages of growth starting from being a seed to getting harvested. The flowering stages of the cannabis plant are where all the action takes place. Hence, we are going to discuss the flowering phrase week by week. The flowering phase lasts for around eight to nine weeks. It would be a great idea to know what you should expect during the flowering cycle of the cannabis plant.
Basic requirements for growth of cannabis plants
Some of the essential requirements that promote the growth of cannabis plants are mentioned below:
- Lighting – In every stage of the life cycle, the cannabis plant requires an optimal amount of light. Light becomes even more crucial during the flowering stage and you should maintain 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. You should open up the growing environment and interrupt the dark periods. Improper lighting can slow down the budding process.
- Temperature – The cannabis plant requires a temperature that ranges between 18°C to 26°C during the flowering stage. If the temperature goes below this, it may have adverse effects on the plant and it may even die due to the freezing temperatures. Temperature below 17°C slows down the plant’s growth and may destroy the play forever. If the temperature level goes beyond 28°C, it can cause problems like burnt leaves, heavy evaporation of water, excess dryness, and stunted growth.
- Humidity – Maintaining the relative humidity in the growing environment is the key to better growth of the cannabis plant. The relative humidity is the percentage of humidity present in the air. To enhance the growth possibilities of the plant, you should keep the humidity levels between 40%-50%. If the humidity levels are high, it may cause problems like fungi and mold.
- Nutrients – The main nutrient that is essentially required for the cannabis plant to develop are Potassium, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen. The concentrations of phosphorus and potassium have to be increased when the plants start blooming. During this time, the concentration of nitrogen should be lowered. The other nutrients that are necessary for the plant are calcium, magnesium, and sulphur. Micronutrients like zinc, silicon, copper, cobalt, chlorine, boron, manganese, and iron are also required.
- Water – Watering the plants every day should be the norm. You should water the plant regularly with safe and clean water. If you want better results, you can use filtered or chlorine-free water. Make sure you do not overwater your plants. Always water for a good drainage facility so that the water does not spoil the roots. Stick a finger for around one inch into the soil and check if it is dry. If it seems to be dry, you should water the plant.
Cannabis flowering week by week
The flowering stage of the plant starts after the vegetative phase has ended. The sub-phases of the flowering stage are mentioned below:
Week 1, 2, and 3 – These are the first few weeks of flowering and you will not be able to notice any abrupt change in your plant’s growth. During the first weeks, the cannabis may undergo optimum growth stretch.
- Week 1 – During the 1st week, your cannabis plant will be undergoing the transition stage. During this time, the plants tend to grow rapidly and some cannabis strains double in height during the 1st week. As the stage induces a faster growth rate of the plant, it is known as the stretch phase. The plants will grow many new leaves on the top of the main colas. In this stage, your plant would need the growing nutrients.
- Week 2 – During week 2, you will be able to find the early white pistils growing up on the female cannabis plants. These fine and white hairs will develop in those locations where the large fan leaves meet the primary stem. These fine hairs become buds at a later stage. If your plant is a male, it would not grow these hairs. Instead, you can find small pollen sacs growing. If you do not know the gender of your plants, you can “sex” your plant so that you can segregate the males from the females. During week 2, you should generally increase the flowering nutrients so that your plants reach the maximum yield.
- Week 3 – In week 3, your cannabis plant would be around 50% bigger than they were three weeks before. The stretching will slow down in week 3 and would come to a halt soon. On the places, where you had spotted the hairs, you will see the first signs of buds developing there. You would be able to find too many trichomes and resin glands on your plants, which implies that the smell would not be excessively pungent. Make sure that you are providing sufficient nutrients to the plants during week 3 and you can check the labels for the right dosages. Do not forget to check for potential deficiencies, which may result in yellow leaving or discoloration of leaves. You should also lookout for signs of overfeeding the plants. If you overfeed the plants, it would discolor the tips of the leaves and you would have to feed them less.
Week 4 and 5 – When the cannabis plant starts to form small buds, the growth spurt slows down. Each stage of the flowering phase is critical than the previous one. Hence, you should be more careful so that your mistakes do not affect the harvest quality.
- Week 4 – When your cannabis plant reaches week 4 of the flowering stage, it stops growing and spends the energy on growing the buds. You can see white hairs sticking on the exterior of the buds, but the buds would become big and fat every day. With the large buds, your plants would produce more trichomes that make the odor significant at this stage. As your cannabis plant has now stopped growing, you would not have to bother about growing your plants longer. If they require support, you can consider holding them up instead of bending down the branches.
- Week 5 – When you reach week 5 of the flowering phase, you can see the buds becoming thicker over your plants. In this stage, you can spot some new buds growing as well. They grow in new places like the main cola. With the buds thriving over your plants, your plants would get fatter each day. This is a positive sign that your cannabis plant has reached the full-fledged flowering mode. Your plant would have an intense odor at this point. You need to ensure that you have a good ventilation system if you are growing the plants indoors or at a place, where legal cultivation is not allowed. You will notice that some of the white pistil hairs of your cannabis plants are turning into a darker shade like brown or amber. Some of the trichomes of your plant will become opaque. When the hairs turn dark and trichomes become milky white, it implies that your plants are near to the harvesting phase.
Week 6, 7, and 8 – Not all strains of cannabis require the same amount of time for flowering. Many of the variety would be ready to be harvested in the last three weeks. However, some would not be ready before Week 8. Week 6, 7, and 8 are the late flowering stages, which come right before harvesting.
Your beds are fully mature and you can see them ripen in this stage. All the resources and energy of your plants will be focused on ensuring that the buds properly ripen. During this time, you will notice that the buds have reached a large size and therefore you would need to stop providing them all the nutrients. When you stop providing them nutrients, it will help them to flush out the excess nutrient and the residue of the nutrient is consumed by the plant. You might find some leaves falling off. Raise the light higher during these weeks as the buds are fragile. Additionally, you should increase the airflow and lower the temperature of the environment.
No matter whether you have just started to grow cannabis or have some experience doing it, it would always be good to know and understand the flowering cycle of the cannabis plant. You would witness various characteristics in the plant during the entire lifecycle of the plant. Among the three stages of germination, vegetative and flowering stage, the final flowering stage is quite overwhelming. That is because this stage shows the quantity and quality of your harvest. Understanding the entire process would surely make growing easier.