The cannabis plant shows different characteristics during various stages of its lifecycle. The stages include germination, vegetative, and flowering. For many cannabis growers, the flowering stage is a very exciting one. It is a good thing to have an idea of what to expect during the cannabis flowering stage, regardless of whether you have been growing cannabis for a while or you are just starting.
A Week-By-Week Guide to Cannabis Flowering Stages
The cannabis flowering stage reveals what the quantity and quality of your harvest will be. Growing becomes easier when you understand the process. The flowering stage begins immediately after the vegetative phase has ended. Below is a week-by-week guide to the cannabis flowering stages:
Week 1-3: Transition to flowering
Between weeks 1 and 3, the cannabis plant grows rapidly in height and size during this flowering stage. This period is also called the transition phase. The first thing for a grower to do in the first three weeks of this stage is to minimize the photoperiod to 12 hours. Plenty of vegetative growth is involved in this stage.
This stage also helps give the plant enough strength and size to ensure the development of the bud. It is a dramatic stretch that can see most cannabis plants double or triple in size. By growing pre-flowers, the female cannabis plants start blooming.
Week 3-4: Bud formation
In weeks 3-4, the rapid stretching of your cannabis plant will start to slow down. The bud’s development at this stage will begin to accelerate. The pistil protruding straight from the bud at this stage will remain white. Ensure that you keep a close eye on your gardens, as the cannabis will begin to become sensitive to the nutrients and environment.
Your leaves may turn yellow , but do not worry because it is a normal process at this stage. However, you must still pay close attention to the condition of the leaves. Ensurethat they do not get burned due to the excess nutrients. At weeks 3-4 of the flowering stage, the cannabis plant should still look green and lush.
Week 4-6: Buds begin to fatten
The stretching period is over at this stage. You need to be careful with the remaining leaves at this stage because your plant may not add many more. For advanced growers, appropriate defoliation can be done at this stage.
Defoliation helps to expose the location of the bud. However, you must ensure that the plant maintains enough foliage that will absorb light. This helps to maximize yields.
Week 6-8: Darkening of pistils and ripening of the buds
This is a stage of flowering when your cannabis plant will not produce new stems or leaves. At this stage, your cannabis plant will channel all its energy into growing buds. Your buds should be flourishing if all goes well.
Furthermore, the buds will significantly increase in size in the next few weeks. Your plant should still be healthy and green at week 7 of the cannabis flowering stage. Normally, a few leaves may turn yellow.
Week 8+: End of flowering
You will find the pistil and trichome ripening at the last flowering stage. As they increase in THC, the pistil will begin darkening while the trichome changes to milky from clear. The yellowing of the leaves is normal when it approaches harvest. However, you should make sure that your buds are still looking healthy at this stage.
Sometimes, the pistil will remain white while the trichome will become milky white. The trichome remains clear , but the pistil begins to curl, and the color turns to dark orange or red. When the trichome and pistil change together, then it is time for harvest.
Cannabis Growth Stages
There are other stages to the lifecycle of the cannabis plant besides the flowering stage. There is a unique demand at each stage, like varying levels of water, nutrients, and light. To grow a cannabis plant from start to finish takes between 4-8 months. Below are the growth stages of the cannabis plant:
Germinating seeds: Your seed must be mature enough for germination if you want them to germinate effectively. Immature seeds will perform poorly. You will notice that your seed will appear shiny, dry, and hard to touch once it is mature. Underdeveloped seeds will feel soft and look green or white. The seedling stage: This stage is a fragile and crucial one. To grow adequately and quickly, your seed requires more than 18 hours of sunlight, moist soil, and mild humidity. Additionally, the root system of the seed at this stage is small. You should not overwater the seed, so they do not get damaged. Vegetative growth: The vegetative growth stage starts as soon as your seedling develops a complete set of fingered leaves. The growth of the plant will be dramatic after being transferred to a larger pot. Its root system becomes stronger, its stem gets taller and thicker, and it produces more leaves, branches, and nodes. Pre-flowering: The pre-flowering stage begins a week or two after the vegetative stage. You will be able to determine the sex of your plant at this stage. There will be small green sacs around the node areas of the male cannabis plant. Two pistils will be growing on the buds of female plants. Flowering stage: The flowering stage begins once the cannabis plants start getting 10-12 hours of darkness every day. You will know that the time for harvest is right when the trichome heads change to an amber color from transparent, and the pistil change to orange from white. Harvesting: You should cut down your plant to smaller branches once you are ready for harvest. This will help make the drying process easier.
The cannabis flowering stage is a rewarding one. You can gain more from your plant if you understand the process. As discussed already, the 5 flowering stages have their distinct characteristics and requirements. Ensure that you pay close attention to the details at this stage for maximum yield.