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The crucial part of growing cannabis revolves around the outcome or the yield. A favorable yield can result in high-quality marijuana and maximize profits. Hence, it is very important to make the most out of the harvest. However, the process can be challenging for amateurs or beginners. The secret behind successful grow is the element of lighting. It is much important to have the right kind of setting in terms of lighting. This means that the lighting that is received by the cannabis plant that is grown indoor or outdoor determines the quality of the harvest.
The light cycle that the grower uses to flower the cannabis directly contributes to the quality of the crop and the overall yield. Therefore, it is imperative to know about the light cycle of the plant. Moreover, the two growth stages of the plant in which the light cycle matters the most are the vegetative state and the flowering state. This means that you have to engage in careful monitoring of the light cycles in these two stages for better yield. This article aims to provide all the relevant information required for understanding the cannabis light schedules both for the vegetative stage and flowering stage.
The Vegetative Stage Light Cycle
This is the growing stage for the cannabis plant. The vegetative stage lays the foundation for a healthy and better quality yield. The plant with its stems and branches starts towering in this particular stage. Moreover, the plant also starts taking up space as it becomes larger or bushier. However, the growers must note here that at this stage the plant does not produce buds. You can control or manoeuvre the shape and size of the plant in its vegetative stage. This should be done using the element of lighting. The light can be manipulated for moderating the growth or for better growth of the plant. The lighter the plant receives, the better it will grow.
When the cannabis plant is in a vegetative stage, the lighting cycle should be for about 18 hours. This is also known as 18/6 growing light in which you need to keep the plant in light for 18 hours straight and 6 hours in shade. If you wish to let your marijuana plant grow to its fullest possible potential, then the setting should be 24/0. This means that the plant should be kept under indoor light for 24 hours.
Growers should be mindful of the fact that the cannabis plant will not produce flowers unless they receive 12 hours of continuous darkness. Unless and until the plant starts receiving continuous darkness, they will continue to be in the vegetative stage. Hence, control and maneuver the growth of the cannabis plants for as long as you want because even if the plants continue to receive 13 hours of light or more, they will not go into the flowering stage.
Indoor Vegetative Stage
While in the indoor vegetative state, light is not the only factor that determines the growth of the cannabis plant. If the plant is being grown indoors then another determining factor would be the height of the room. The grow room has to be well maintained with a high ceiling. However, if you have the best variety of the Cannabis seeds like the Northern Lights or the Jack Herer then such manipulations might not be needed for the growth of the plant. Therefore, the quality or strain of the cannabis plants also matters.
Outdoor Vegetative Stage
It is like a common custom to grow the cannabis plant initially under indoor lights before taking the plant outside so that it can receive and grow under sunlight. This is one of the proven methods to grow the plant healthy and well maintained. Typically, growers begin with the cultivation process by cutting the clones or putting seeds during March or April. Moreover, the growers keep the plants in light for a constant period of 18 to 24 hours before they are placed outside under the sun during May or June.
Therefore, if you are planning to keep the cannabis plant outside, then you must start with the plant being indoor under artificial light for a considerable period. This will help the plant to grow and gain strength. Moreover, keeping the plant indoors will protect the plant from dangers like frost and other potential outdoor dangers. Furthermore, the sudden temperature drop or snowfall can kill the cannabis crop instantly. Therefore, it is wiser to get the plant out in the sun from the late period of spring down to late summer.
The Flowering Stage Light Cycle
Now, let us look into the flowering stage of the plant. For moving the plant from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, it needs to be exposed to darkness for 12 hours or more.
Flowering Indoor Cannabis
Once the plant has reached the intended shape and size with controlled maneuvering techniques, it is placed in constant darkness for 12 hours or more. The indoor vegetative period of the plant usually lasts for 4 to 8 weeks under a 24/0 or 18/6 lighting cycle. The cannabis can be put into the flowering stage by imitating the outdoor conditions. For doing this, just cut short the light cycle by 12 hours. This means that the plant should start receiving 12 hours of indoor light and 12 hours of complete darkness.
Flowering Outdoor Cannabis
If the plant is placed outdoor, then nature must take care of it. This means that plant will grow into the flowering stage organically. Moreover, the plant might reach the stage on or after 21 June as the days begin to get shorter. Growers should be mindful of the fact that the plant will continue to grow and tower even in the flowering stage. This should be true for both indoor and outdoor set plants. However, in the case of the outdoor cannabis growers have to make sure that the plant does not receive any kind of light like the floodlights or streetlights during the 12 hours of darkness as it can disrupt the flowering stage.
Scheduling the light cycles for maximum yield
It does not matter if you have decided to grow the cannabis plant indoor or outdoor, as the proper understanding of the light cycle would lead you to a maximum yield. It is essential to understand the light cycle needed by the plant so that it can grow to its highest potential. If you have a room with considerable height and space, then you will be able to get the plant a good vegetative stage with a 24/0 or 18/6 light schedule. This can continue for 60 days before the plant has to be kept in 12 hours of darkness for a flowering stage.
On the other hand, the outdoor cannabis plant can be placed under the sun after it has grown considerably and there are no risks of freezing temperatures outside. After the passing of the stipulated time, the plant can be kept in the sun. One of the few benefits of having the plant outside is that syncs with the natural day and night cycle and does not need any artificial growing conditions. However, it is crucial to check that the plant does not receive any kind of artificial light during the period of darkness. Consider changing the outdoor location of the plant if it receives streetlights or floodlights as it can significantly affect the flowering stage.
Moreover, once your cannabis plant has successfully crossed the vegetative stage, after 3 to 6 months of the flowering stage, the harvest shall be ready to be reaped and enjoyed. Therefore, the plant must receive the right amount of lighting with enough room to grow to its fullest potential.
How much time shall the flowering stage take on average?
The flowering stage of the cannabis plant takes around 6 to 8 weeks on average. This means that the flowering will start within 1 to 3 weeks and pass through the mid-flowering state to reach the ripening stage.
When do the buds grow the most?
The buds grow the most at the end of the flowering stage. This means that the ripening stage shall be associated with the growth of fully formed buds.
How many blades does a fully-grown cannabis leaf have?
A fully-grown cannabis leaf might have 5 or 7 blades per leaf. However, some plants might have more.
Now, you can understand the difference between the vegetative and the flowering stage of a cannabis plant. Moreover, the strategic monitored light cycles, which would help to enhance the growth of the marijuana plant and derive a better yield, have also been explained. It should be mentioned here that there is a range of benefits for growing cannabis at home. Moreover, the scheduled light cycles will help the plant to grow healthy. Therefore, as a grower start experimenting with the light schedules to understand the cycle that suits your plant the best for maximum yield.
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.