If you are reading this, then you are either flowering your cannabis, or preparing to flower your cannabis. And unlike the vegetative stage, the flowering period is where your plants begin to bloom and get closer and closer to becoming wonderful, smokeable herbs!
Are you ready to grow some weed?!
In this this Video & Blog series, A Week-By-Week Guide to Flowering Cannabis Indoors, we document the changes in the plants each week with video. Let’s get started by looking at Week 1.
Taking your Cannabis Plant from Vegetative State to Flowering State
Before you begin your 12/12 flowering cycle, you must first decide if you and your plants are ready. We cover most of the considerations in our article on transitioning your plants from vegetive to flowering. But just to recap, consider the following:
- Are you plants at the right size?
- Have you topped your plants at least once or twice?
- Are your plants in the right size pots for flowering?
- Do you have the right lights, as well as increased cooling and dehumidification necessary for the flower period?
After you have checked the boxes of the above criteria, you should be ready to get going.
Preparing for your first week of the flower period
Before you flip your plants into flower, there are several tasks you should complete beforehand, to make life easier on both you and your plants during the next 8-9 weeks.
Set up your Trellis before you begin the flowering period
First, you should set up your trellis netting before switching your light cycle to 12/12. As we have explained before, your plants will go through quite a bit of stretching and growing during the initial weeks of the 12/12 light cycle. Trying to spread out your trellis and tuck your plants after they have already stretched out is a chore that you do not want.
Your results will not be the same if you put trellis over your plants after Week 2 or Week 3. The best solution is to put up your trellis netting before you even start Week 1 of the flowering light cycle.
Check your Equipment and make all necessary adjustments
Next, is an equipment check. You will need more powerful lights than you used during the vegetative period. Your lights must cover all spectrums, including blue and red, and you lights must have the power to create a high amount of PPFD, i.e. light density, to pierce the canopy and get your nugs to blow up into dense, rocky nugs.
Larfy, wimpy, airy nugs are often the result of poor light density. You do not want fluff, you want real nugs, with proper density. And that comes from having powerful lights, as well as enough lights for the size of your canopy.
If you are growing at home in a tent, you can either increase the wattage of your lights, if that capability exists. Or you can switch out your lights.
Your increased wattage will bring on much more heat than your low watt Veg lights, so be prepared to increase your cooling capacity. And as you get deeper into flower, you will want to taper down the humidity. So make sure your HVAC can handle that, or get additional dehumidification. A small de-humidifier may suffice for a small space.
Ease your plants into their new environment
Anything you do to your plants is a form of stress. Which is alright, because just like exercising our bodies, certain forms of stress causes adaptations, and that is what we want.
When you top your plants in veg, that cutting of the tops is stressful to the plants. But they recover, and produce new tops and in the long run, your plant will be bigger, and yield more.
When you transition your plants from a vegetative environment to a flowering environment, your plants will undergo a certain amount of stress. They will eventually recover and flourish.
The key is to minimize excessive stress and allow your plants time to adapt.
Pro Tip: make incremental adjustments to Light Density, Temperature and Humidity
As you flip into flower, you might try a few things:
- Ease into the increase wattage – increase over time
- Mimic similar temperature and humidity settings – decrease over time
Something we do is that we start our lights at 600 watts, and then we increase up to a 1,000 watts over the course of a week.
By increasing the wattage incrementally, you can reduce the shock that comes from switching from low watt veg lights to full power flowering lights.
Similarly, you don’t need to crank on the A/C and bring in the cool temps at Week 1. You can introduce yoru plants to slightly cooler and dryer temps in Week 1, but no need to be drastic. You can increase those in the following weeks.
Observations during Week 1 of the flowering stage.
During the first few days of the new light cycle, you may notice some visual evidence of stress, such as drooping look. This is okay, as these plants are transitioning from one environment to another. They may be a bit shocked, but give them some love and they will recover.
Toward the end of the week, you may notice some growth. Make sure you trellis netting is just above the top of what is the current canopy, because by next week, they will be poking through!
One thing we note in the video above is that these plants were topped during veg. By topping these plants, we created multiple distinct branches that become “colas.” These additional colas will fill the canopy with fat flowering nugs, increasing yield and bud density.
This series continues next week…
Stay tuned for next week, we will dive into Week 2 as we watch these plants progress through flower.