This guide provides you with reliable information that will enable you to grow the plant indoors. Once you have resolved to grow cannabis, the next step is to find out how it is done. There are various factors you need to put into consideration before you plant cannabis, for example, what is the ideal environment, what are the stages of cannabis flowering, and how long does the plant take to mature? Though this sounds like it will consume a lot of energy, you will reap a huge harvest.
The botanic aspect of cannabis
Subsequently, we will look at the botanic aspect of cannabis that will make you a successful grower. The marijuana plant is often referred to as an annual, dioecious herb. Annual meaning it only survives in one season and dioecious meaning it has both female and male plants. The male plants are responsible for producing pollen while the female plants produce seeds; thus, you need the two plants as a bonus to ensure you will have seeds for the next planting season.
Five requirements for cannabis plants
For cannabis plants to thrive, they need at least five main requirements. The following sections explore those requirements. Take a look at these main requirements:
The most favorable temperature range should be from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. Any temperature above 32 degrees Celsius can decrease the main compound growth, commonly known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Nonetheless, some cannabis plant compounds are suited for extreme temperatures. For instance, Sativa is adapted to high heat, while Indica is adapted to cold temperatures.
Cannabis requires light to process chlorophyll due to its photosensitive nature. Light is also a major factor in the stages of cannabis flowering; the processes begin when the day length ratio is 12 hours light and 12 hours dark. Also, controlling light is a major requirement in growing cannabis.
Water is an important requirement. However, the plants can be damaged by tap water that contains chlorine. Therefore, it is recommended that you let water sit in a container for a short period to let the chlorine profoundly evaporate before using it on cannabis plants.
Cannabis requires a spectrum of nutrients for proper growth. It requires nitrogen at the early stage, while in the later cannabis flowering stages, it requires phosphorous. Nevertheless, the most important requirement is providing a constant supply of nutrients.
It is difficult to control air movement in a room, but with proper airflow, you will enjoy stable CO2, humidity, and temperature. Make sure you have ventilators well-spaced out in your room if you are planning to move air around. This setup will ensure that the atmosphere in the room is stable and the carbon dioxide ratios and humidity are.
The basic stages in a cannabis life cycle
The first stage of growth is germination. This stage is mainly facilitated by moisture and warmth. The embryo takes approximately 12 hours to 9 days to open up and produce roots. The root is then fixed in the soil, and a new seedling is pushed out of the soil surface. Eventually, leaves open up to receive sunlight.
The second stage is the seedling stage. During this stage, the second pair of leaves emerge. It can last for a period between 1 week to 4 weeks. The third stage is the vegetative stage; at this stage, the plant can easily absorb light and nutrients. At some point, the lower leaves drop off.
The other stage is the pre-flowering stage; during this stage, the plant begins to produce nodes (intersection points for branches and stems). From these nodes, the plant grows tiny buds known as calyxes. The calyxes later form either female or male flowers. The stage lasts for a period of 10 days to 14 days; during this period, the plant stretches and may double in size. The pre-flowering period can also be referred to as the stretch. The final stages are the most important and are commonly referred to as the cannabis flowering stages.
The stages of cannabis flowering
This is the period when the plant begins to produce flowers, which are later harvested, dried, and smoked. When the plant is subjected to long hours of darkness, the stages of flowering cannabis begin. The plant stops growing in height and instead puts more energy into the stages of flowering cannabis. If the cannabis is grown outside, flowering happens at the end of summer when the days are shorter. If the plant grows indoors, the cannabis flowering stages begin once the lights are switched to 10 to 12 hours of darkness.
In most cannabis strains, the cannabis flowering stages occur between 7 to 9 weeks, though some strains take longer to mature. Thus don’t expect all plants to follow a particular schedule. Below are the stages of flowering cannabis.
During the first week, the plant doesn’t stop growing immediately and moves into the cannabis flowering stages; it goes through a considerable growth stretch. In some strains, the plant doubles in height. Further, the plant grows several leaves and becomes sturdier. Now that the plant has entered the cannabis flowering stages, it will require additional nutrients, and you are required to give it growing nutrients for an additional week. You are also required to bend the stems from the center to form an even canopy that will enable you to attain better results.
During the second week, you are likely to spot white pistils on female cannabis. The pistils develop in locations where the leaves meet the stems; they later form buds. If the plant is male, it doesn’t grow hairs but instead grows pollen sacs. At this stage, you are required to contact your nutrient schedule. At two weeks, you increase the nutrients of your plant to enable them to attain its maximum potential.
During the third week, the cannabis plant is still growing in size and is 50% larger than 3 weeks earlier. However, the stretch gradually slows down and comes to a halt. You will begin to spot some real buds developing. The resins have not yet developed on the plant, and hence the smell will not be very pungent.
It is worth it noting that during the cannabis flowering stages, your plant begins to spend more energy on growing flowers and thus requires the right dosage of nutrients. After the first three stages of flowering cannabis, the plant becomes picky and can suffer from deficiencies such as the yellowing of leaves or suffer from overfeeding.
At this stage, the plant has stopped growing and is spending more energy on buds' growth. With larger buds, growing the plant produces trichomes; the odor thus becomes noticeable at this phase. You may also consider holding up the previously bent branches before.
During week 5, the buds become thicker; you will also spot buds growing in new places. With the buds thriving, the cannabis gets fatter each day. This is the climax of the cannabis flowering stages. Already, the plant has an intense smell. After the five cannabis flowering stages, it is important to install a good ventilation system, especially if you grow the plant indoors.
Week 6 to 8
The cannabis plant will be ready for harvest before week 8. The harvest period should not exceed one week; after this period, the tetrahydrocannabinol will degrade into Cannabinol, which leads to a sleepy feeling. At week six, the pistils start changing color from white to orange. This is a signal that the plant is no longer producing new buds anymore, and it is time to harvest.
The trichomes also turn from being clear to being milky as the THC increases. The color later changes to amber as it degrades to CBN. The two phases may overlap; however, growers believe that the plant has achieved its full potency level when at least 20% of the trichomes turn amber, and the rest can remain milky.
At this point, the grower should be careful with the plants. They are very sensitive to the environment; for instance, without proper airflow, moisture may be trapped in the plant, leading to buds' growth that eventually destroys the environment.
Flushing the cannabis plant
You are advised to flush the plant during the last stages of flowering cannabis; this is approximately two weeks before harvesting. So what exactly is flushing? You stop giving your plants any nutrients by the process. This process enables the plant to extract necessary nutrients such as nitrogen from the leaves to continue living. Flushing is very productive; nutrients need to be removed from the plant, leaving space for the production of cannabinoids.
How to check if the plants are ready for harvest
To check if the plant is ready for harvest, the farmer should use a microscope or a loupe to check the trichomes. If the trichomes are transparent, then it’s too early to harvest. However, if the trichomes are opaque, the plant is ready for harvest.
A cannabis exception: autoflowering plants
It is incredibly important to also note that we also have autoflowering cannabis plants. Their cannabis flowering stages do not necessarily depend on light or darkness; instead, they bloom depending on the amount of growing time. Autoflowering plants can flower even when subjected to higher amounts of light; you can subject them to 18 hours of light if you want. The Autofloweing plants take a period of between 4 to 6 weeks before they begin the stages of cannabis flowering and can finish the entire cycle in only 10 weeks. Nevertheless, some strains may take a longer period.
How important is 12/12
Most people who get bad results from the cannabis plant have never heard of the 12/12 concept. Nonetheless, it is an easy concept, and we have explained it to you.
Cannabis grows outdoors during April, October, and November; this means that the plant will be flowering from September to October. It is during this very period; the nights get longer while the days get shorter. During this period, the plant is subjected to 12 hours of light and a similar 12 hours of darkness. The 12/12 period naturally stimulates the stages of cannabis flowering. As the 12/12 period continues, the numbers of flowers increase and become large.
12/12 is a part of the cannabis evolution. As a grower, if you are looking to achieve great results, then you must subject the cannabis plant to the 12/12 cycle. Therefore, we must ensure that lights are turned on and off according to the ratios. To facilitate this process, you can use a timer. During the 12 hours of darkness, ensure that the growing area is dark enough. In case any light penetrates the darkroom, then your plants will be delayed in the stages of flowering cannabis. This means that the room should be sealed completely to a point where no beam of light can penetrate the room.
If you are looking forward to setting up a cold room, we recommend that you read more about photography dark rooms. Photographers are known to use light-tight rooms while filming. If you can copy such ideas (black screening on all doorframes and light points), then you will have the best environment for the stages of cannabis flowering.
Nevertheless, 12/12 can be disastrous if adopted earlier than the pre-flowering stage; it may lead to abnormal growth. Most people refer to abnormal growth as "early flowering" (this is, however, not early flowering; the ‘early flowering’ stage does not exist. The plant is only triggered to a situation where it believes that it has no production chances; the condition is known as 'self-pollination.'
During ‘self-pollination,' the plant produces both female and male flowers on a single plant. The male pollinates the female flower, leading to the production of seeds. What triggers ‘self-pollination’? The plant realizes that the photoperiod is not regular and also realizes that it should not be in the vegetative stage but the stages of cannabis flowering. The plant tries to move to the stages of cannabis flowering in an attempt to receive pollen grains because it feels like it has already missed the chance (wild males are known to release pollen at the same time as females begin to flower or even before that).
Is cannabis useful?
Growing up, most would-be connoisseurs were made to believe that cannabis is a threat to humanity. However, we believe it is high time to rise above such misconceptions. Cannabis is among the world's most useful plants; it is used in different industries, from the petroleum industry to the pharmaceutical industry. Besides, cannabis products are easily biodegradable and decompose easily without causing harm to the environment.
Cannabis is also widely used for medicinal purposes. It is believed that cannabis can be used to treat over 100 diseases. In addition, some national organizations such as the New England journal of medicine support access to cannabis. Medical studies and reports influence this support. For instance, research conducted in Israel in 1966 concluded that cannabis could be used to treat epilepsy, and glaucoma, reduce tumors, and also control nausea during chemotherapy. Cannabis can also be used to treat asthma and also treat Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, cannabis is a gift to humanity!
Nonetheless, this fact has been greatly suppressed by the government and other agencies that portray cannabis as a negative plant. Millions of dollars have been cashed to organizations that dehumanize cannabis. It is believed that this funding is from alcohol manufacturing companies that fear increased adoption of cannabis may greatly reduce sales. Besides, it is amazingly interesting to note that the public is greatly adopting the use of cannabis, and soon the negative narrative will change.
Frequently asked questions about the cannabis flowering stages
Q: What does the term stretch mean?
A: The term stretch refers to the journey taken by the cannabis plant once the darkness period begins to increase. At this stage, plants push and stretch up as high as possible to deliver high-grade flowers. This is, however, dependent on the strain you are working with; for the Indica variety, the cannabis stretches approximately 100% of its normal size. On the converse, we have the Sativa strain that stretches too far as it reaches for the stars. It is a notorious plant and needs to be controlled.
Q: Should the grower prune the plants throughout the cannabis flowering stages?
A: Yes, this is a requirement. Imagine what irrelevant branches sprouting everywhere would do to the plant. They would cause the plant unnecessary stress. To ensure that all the energy is used in leaf and flower production, pruning is a must. Also, pruning ensures that the airflow at the bottom is at its maximum and also prevents pests from attacking the plant.
Q: Are enzymes a requirement in the cannabis flowering stages?
A: Cannabis growers may underrate the power of enzymes; however, they play an important role. Just like in the human body, enzymes break down food in plants. When combined with other flowering nutrients, they accelerate the plants' metabolism.
Q: Is it advisable for the grower to withdraw nitrogen nutrients from the plant during the cannabis flowering stages?
A: The plant grows new branches and leaves during the flowering stage as compared to the vegetative stage. Therefore, many companies advise farmers to ensure a constant supply of nitrogen throughout the entire period. Organic growers are advised to use blood meal and humus to ensure that the plant is charged during the entire flowering cycle.
Q: What ratio of P And K do plants require during the cannabis flowering stages?
A: Over the years, the most commonly used ratio is 0-13-14. However, other organic companies such as Biobizz offer a lower ratio while hydroponic companies offer higher ratios of 0-50-30. The trick is acquiring the best results and following your feeding chart.
Q: Are the stages of flowering cannabis rewarding?
A: As outlined above, the stages of flowering cannabis are rewarding; if the grower understands the process, he is likely to gain a lot from it. You can see that we have 6 distinct stages; every stage has its requirements. With proper supervision, each of the above stages places you on a path of harvesting a high yield.
Nonetheless, this article is a general guide. The grower is required to twist the process based on the specific strain you are growing. However, all cannabis strains eventually grow through all the stages, including the autoflowering strains. They all get to the flowering stage but must be triggered by the genetic code.
In conclusion, the most important stage of cannabis growing is the flowering stage. It is at this stage that we notice the buds developing and also feel the delicious ‘smell’ we have been waiting for. Unlike other stages, you also need to be careful with the stages of flowering cannabis to avoid attracting nosy neighbors. It is relatively straightforward to take care of a cannabis plant, keep it healthy, and you will enjoy it more when the time to smoke arrives.
It was a pleasure sharing my knowledge with you, and I would be delighted if you use cannabis for good purposes. At this very time, we strongly caution against excess usage of the drug. Similar to other enjoyable things, recurrent usage can lead to a habit. A cannabis habit can be very detrimental to personal growth and can also mess up your life goals. If cannabis usage becomes a habit for you, just moderate or stop using the drug for some time until the craving is gone. However, always remember that when cannabis is used with good intentions, the rewards always follow.