Flowering stage in Cannabis plants: a guide for beginners

Flowering stage in Cannabis plants: a guide for beginners

In this article, you’ll find information about the Cannabis flowering, week by week, with photos and pictures. The flowering stage in Cannabis plants is the period when they grow their buds. After some weeks of vegetative growth, Cannabis plants will be able to flower when the photoperiod switches. Learn how to take care of your plant in this stage to harvest quality buds!

When does the Flowering stage begin?

Flowering stage outdoors

Growing outdoors, plants will start the flowering stage when the days grow shorter, usually when Autumn is coming.

Flowering stage indoors

For Cannabis plants to enter the flowering stage in indoor crops, the photoperiod must be switched to 12 hours of light / 12 hours of darkness schedule.

Autoflowering strains don’t need a photoperiod change to start flowering, their vegetative stage lasts around 4 weeks and then it switches stages automatically.

How long does the flowering stage take?

The duration of the flowering stage varies among different strains.

The flowering stage in Cannabis plants usually goes from 8 to 11 weeks, depending on the strain. It’s usually divided into weeks or three stages. The flowering period for Indica strains is typically around 8 weeks, but it may take up to 10 weeks. Sativa strains may take up to 10-12 weeks. Typically, hybrid strains will take up to 6-10 weeks to fully develop.

How do I know if my plant is male or female?

Here’s a quick visual guide on how to tell if your Cannabis plant is male, female or hermaphrodite. For more information and tips on how to find out, read our full article on determining the sex of a Cannabis plant.

Basic growing requirements for flowering Cannabis plants

Lighting

Light is very important in every stage in the Cannabis plant life cycle, but in the Flowering stage is key maintaining a Photoperiod: 12 hours of light / 12 hours of darkness. Do not interrupt the dark periods by opening “just for a sec” your growing environment. Light contamination may cause your plant to slow the budding process or even to revegetate (go back to veg stage) or start producing hermaphrodite flowers.

Temperature

Cannabis plants in the flowering stage thrive in temperatures around 18° – 26°C. Consequently, temperatures below this range may affect negatively the plant, or even kill it if it’s exposed to freezing temperatures for a long period. Temperatures under 17°C may slow the plant’s growth and very low temperatures (under 2°C?) may damage the plant irreversibly. On the other hand, high temperatures also affect the plant negatively. Temperatures over 28° C may cause problems such as stunted growth, burnt leaves, too heavy evaporation of water, excessive dryness, etc.

Humidity

As well as keeping temperatures within those “warm” ranges, taking care of the relative humidity in the growing environment is key. Relative humidity measures how much humidity is present in the air expressed as a percentage.
Humidity must be kept ideally between 40-50% in this stage. Higher levels of humidity may cause problems such as mold and fungi.

Nutrients for Cannabis plants in the flowering stage

The main nutrients that the Cannabis plant needs to develop are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). 

When the plant starts to bloom, the concentrations of P and K must be increased progressively, while the N concentrations are lowered. That is why there are specific fertilizers for vegetative growth and flowering. 

Other secondary nutrients will be necessary for the correct development of the plant. These are Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and Sulfur (S). Finally, the micronutrients are necessary but in a minimum concentration. These are Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Iron, (Fe), Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mb) and Silicon (Si). 

So which is the best feeding plan or nutrient application schedule for my plant? That’s up to each grower, but bear in mind you’ll need to add these nutrients, via foliar, liquid or solid fertilizers. Even when growing organic, usually having your plant in plain soil is just not enough for the plant to produce big fat buds.

Several brands of fertilizers offer fertilizer kits specially formulated for each stage with the necessary nutrients. Start with the dose indicated by the manufacturer or even 1/2 lower to avoid saturation and gradually increase the amounts until the desired results are achieved.

Read this article to learn more about nutrients for Cannabis plants in the flowering stage.

Watering

Water your plant regularly with clean, safe and water. Certainly, using chlorine-free or filtered water leads to better results. Always avoid overwatering and watch for good drainage. How to know when to water a Cannabis plant? A good test might be to stick a finger down a few cms or an inch into the soil and if it’s dry, then you’ll know it is time to water.

Ventilation

Ventilation and airflow are key for Cannabis plants to thrive and grow healthy. In this stage, they need air not only to breathe and grow their bodies but also good ventilation to avoid the formation of mold, fungi, and rot. A good fan moving the air inside your growing environment helps a lot, but beware not to point it directly to the buds. An exhaust fan is great for increased ventilation and air movement, this also helps lowering humidity. If the exhaust fan is not enough, a dehumidifier is definitely the best and easiest solution for keeping humidity at range.

pH levels

pH levels must remain between 6 and 7 when growing in soil. Most nutrients are available for the plant in the growing medium only between this range of pH. pH levels out of this range may cause your plant to experience nutrients deficiencies and toxicities because the nutrients may be in the soil but the plant cannot absorb them.

Container size

The size of your container is always related to the plant’s size. Are you growing in your garden soil? In pots with soil? In buckets? Hydro? The bigger the container is, the more chances of getting a bigger plant you have. Remember to transplant your tree before the flowering stage begins to avoid stressing the plant or accidentally damaging it.

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Flowering stage in Cannabis plants week by week

Flowering initiation stage – week 1-3

From week 1-3 plants stretch and grow in size and height. This phase is also known as the transition phase, as plants experiment drastic changes these days. Plants stretch and may double their size in this phase. The female Cannabis plant starts blooming by producing pre-flowers, their pistils look like “white hairs”.

Cannabis Flowering stage initiation
Cannabis Flowering stage initiation – week 2 PH: Alicia M
Cannabis Flowering stage initiation - week 2
Cannabis Flowering stage initiation – week 2 PH: Alicia M

Towards the end of the third week, the plant starts forming its bud sites in the plant nodes (where the main stem and the branches meet). Look for clusters of female preflowers.

All those places where white pistils have been growing are future bud sites. If you accidentally cut the preflowers along with the fan leaves, there’s a chance that that bud stops growing. You may lightly defoliate your plant during this phase, but be careful not to touch or damage the forming bud sites.

Cannabis plant early flowering stage
Cannabis plant forming bud sites – week 3 PH: Alicia M
Cannabis early flowering bud sites
Cannabis plant forming bud sites – week 3 PH: Alicia M

Look at the color of the fan leaves and the general look of each plant to have a better idea of their health and needs. The fan leaves should be vibrant green, not too light nor dark. For example, yellow and discolored leaves may indicate a deficiency, while dark and clawing leaves may indicate nutrient burn. Track these changes in the Grow with Jane app as soon as you notice them for a better chance of diagnosing your plants correctly and in time to heal them!

It’s also important to check for pests, mold, and fungi before our plants start making their buds. Most importantly, to eliminate these at this point is usually easier than doing it later into the flowering stage.

Mid-Flowering stage –  week 4-5

From week 4-5 plants stop growing in size and start growing, fattening their buds and darkening their pistils.

  • Humidity levels need to be lowered to 40-50%
  • It’s best to slightly lower temperatures in flowering
  • Temperatures with lights on 18-26 ° C (avoid high temperatures)
Cannabis Mid-Flowering - week 4
Cannabis Mid-Flowering – week 4 PH: Alicia M
Cannabis Mid-Flowering - week 4
Cannabis Mid-Flowering – week 4 PH: Alicia M
Cannabis mid-flowering outdoors
Cannabis mid-flowering outdoors PH: Alicia M

At this stage, you should continue to train your plant if you started some weeks earlier and you should be seeing some changes. In addition, if you need to tie or move your plants, bear in mind that now they are putting all their efforts into growing buds, so any stress or damage may slow that process. 

Remember to continue to move your lamp or plants so they maintain their adequate distance. Now your plants are growing at a fast rate and they need their feeding and watering schedule to be followed for optimal results.

It’s normal at this phase to see some old leaves yellowing and finally turning brown and falling. That’s because some nutrients are “mobile”, meaning that once the plant has absorbed them, they can be stored and distributed inside the plant as needed. So an old leave may “send” nutrients to the newer ones and once the plant doesn’t need that leave anymore, it lets it die and fall. If you notice lots of leaves yellowing or any changes in color or texture in the new or old leaves, check for nutrient deficiencies or burn!

Late flowering / Ripening stage – week 6 to harvest

In the last few weeks, buds gain the most weight. They are sticky to the touch and can be very smelly. You are very close to reaching your goal = harvesting!

  • Bring down humidity levels: 35-45% if possible
  • Increase the temperature difference (day/night)
  • Temperatures with lights on 18-24 °C 
  • Start checking trichomes for signals or ripening to know when to harvest 
  • Remember to flush your plants 1-2 weeks before harvest

Most importantly, buds are now covered in trichomes, which are rich glandules for secreting THC and other cannabinoids. These are responsible for the stickiness in the colas. Depending on the strain and the breeding, these buds may have strong aromas, reminding of fruits, flowers, and spices for example. 

In this stage of the Cannabis plant, pistils may show white, cream and brown colors. They also start curling inwards and they get covered in trichomes. Similarly, trichomes also change colors and you should pay close attention to these changes because they are one of the best clues for knowing when is the best time for harvesting.

Cannabis late flowering - week 7
Cannabis late flowering – week 7 PH: Alicia M
Cannabis late flowering - week 8
Cannabis late flowering – week 8 PH: Alicia M

Remember you’ll need to do flushing prior to harvesting, so calculate your times in advance! 

Flushing your plants (week 8-10)

Flushing a Cannabis plant is basically to run a lot of water through its growing medium (soil, for example) to get rid of the excess of salt and mineral nutrients. This action forces your plant to use up any amount of nutrients previously absorbed. The result will be buds with better flavor and aroma. The excess of fertilizer in your Cannabis plant may result in buds which are harsh to the throat when smoked and

Flushing with clean, room temperature water will help to get rid of fertilizer excess in the soil.

Two weeks before harvesting is usually a good moment to start flushing your plants and watering with water only and no fertilizers until the harvesting moment.

Regarding the amount of water needed, a good rule is to calculate 3 times the volume of the pot. For example, if your pot is 5 liters, you can flush with 15 liters of water per pot. An easy way of doing this is carefully placing each plant in a big bucket, barrel, shower, or bathtub and add the water gradually to the soil, without drowning the plant. The excess water will slowly drain from the bottom of the pot.

A good visual sign is that, in the beginning, the water coming from the bottom of the pot will be dark and will gradually turn to a lighter color. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can do it inside the tent. Place a container (bucket or similar) under the pot for collecting the excess water, be careful or this may result in a bit of a mess. By running this process once in each plant, most of the salt buildup should flush away from the substrate.

Harvesting guide

Read the following article to learn exactly when to harvest your flowering plants, how to tell if they are ready by looking at trichomes and pistils, how to dry and cure your buds, and more! All explained in a simple way, with pics and a Step by step harvesting guide.

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109 thoughts on “Flowering stage in Cannabis plants: a guide for beginners”

    • Hi! Joshua!
      If your plant is showing clear signs of nutrient burn, you should definitely do it.
      If it was grown organically it may not be necessary.
      If you haven’t applied any mineral nutrients it’s up to each grower if flushing is needed or not. Some growers swear by it and some just skip this process.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a nice day!

      Reply
        • Hi Juanette! The duration of the flowering period is more important to achieve a higher yield and even higher THC concentrations. Harvesting just in time, not early nor later, will have more impact on the quality of your flowers. The rest may be up to environmental conditions, especially if growing outdoors. If weather conditions are harsh in your area in Autumn, it’s a good thing to have your plant flowering early. This means you may harvest sooner than later and avoid strong winds, rain, or even snow, which may damage outdoor crops severely. Follow a nutrient schedule for the flowering stage and avoid interruptions in the hours of darkness if growing indoors.

          Reply
          • My leaves a changing to purple n orange its outside i live in florida ive never put chemicals what so ever whats your recommendation my buds are beautiful smell great just fist time grower

          • Hi! If your plant looks good overall and there are only changes in the leaves going purple/orange, it could be due to strain features. There are Cannabis phenotypes that show orange and purple on the leaves and buds. Drops in temperatures sometimes trigger these changes. There’s a chance that harvesting is near so start monitoring your trichomes with a magnifying glass! If trichomes are still transparent, wait a few more days and check again until you start seeing white trichomes, maybe some of them amber. Then you’ll be ready to harvest! Thanks for reading and happy harvesting!

      • My plants are photosynthesis and are in either 7 + 8 or a and 9 I’m not sure is there anyway I can upload pictures to show you guys so you can tell me

        Reply
          • Hey everyone…started them late not until june didnt get very big ..especially because i didnt use any chemicals except for the spider mite killer..they look great not big but nice buds..if I havent used any chemicals do i still need to flush??

          • Hi Robin! There’s no need to flush your plant if you’ve been growing in soil and haven’t applied any fertilizers.
            I hope you enjoy your harvest! Thanks for commenting!

      • I’m growing in a DWC system. I started flowering, and one of my plants has started budding but are not filling out and the leaves are curling up. What do I do?

        Reply
        • Hi Herman! Curling leaves may be caused by very high temperatures (heat stress) and/or overfertilization. To get personalized advice on your case, please download our app from http://www.growithjane.com and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to take a look! Thanks for commenting and happy growing!

          Reply
      • Hello, yes you can! Some panels have veg and flower switches for adapting to each stage. Always set to 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness for veg stage.

        Thanks for contacting Grow with Jane, have a nice day!

        Alicia

        Reply
        • Pushing plants to flower stage since its been 10 weeks. ( Sativa). 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Lights are blue and red. Veg / bloom.
          Its been 2 weeks and I dont see any signs of hairs. How long does it take?

          No discoloration on leaves. Proper nutrients and ph balanced water. Temp 78 degrees humidity 48.

          Reply
          • Hi! Some Sativa strains may take more time to develop and start flowering. Most plants start showing preflowers in the first or second week after switching, this might take a little longer.
            Add nutrients intended for the flowering stage, as nutrients for veg have high levels of Nitrogen and this may delay and hamper flowering. Temperature and humidity are fine, keep them that way. Make sure that the dark periods are completed without any interruptions or light filtrations, this may confuse your plants and also delay flowering.
            Look for signs of preflowers in the nodes (where branches meet the stem) in the medium / top part of the plant.
            When plants are early in the vegetative stage, leaves and branches grow opposite to each other. They won’t start showing preflowers yet. Wait a few more days until your plant is sexually mature!
            When plants are ready to start growing preflowers and switch to the flowering stage, they start growing alternate leaves and branches sets.
            Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • I hope this is the right place to ask these questions. What is the powder substance that falls when the leaves get moved? The plant is indoors. Is it to late to trim it when it has there little green seed looking things growing? Thank you

        Reply
        • Hi! Female Cannabis plants should not have any powder falling off the leaves! A prime suspect for powder on the leaves is “White Powdery Mildew”, a fungal disease that affects Marijuana and may damage your crop. A grow environment with high humidity, poor ventilation or no airflow is ideal for this kind of “mold”. Overwatering and plant crowding or patches of leaves covered in water worsens this situation. If this is the case, clean the leaves with paper towels or cotton and a solution of water + baking soda, Ne water + neem oil, or Hydrogen Peroxide (1 teaspoon of 35% H202 per gallon of water).

          If this is your first grow and this doesn’t seem to be the case, check this article to make sure your plant is not a male plant! https://growithjane.com/determining-sex-cannabis-plants-male-female-hermie/
          Those “little green seed looking things” may be in fact male preflowers and the powder may be coming from them. In that case, the powder is in fact pollen. Which pollinates female plants and makes seeds.
          I hope this helps! Thanks for contacting Grow with Jane!

          Reply
          • Hi Codydog! Yes, it’s normal. Hybrid Cannabis plants may have long or short flowering periods depending on the strain. Most hybrids nowadays show either more Sativa or Indica dominant traits. Indicas have shorter flowering periods than Sativas. For a hybrid Cannabis strain with Sativa dominant traits, flowering periods may be longer and for strains with Indica dominant traits, they may be shorter.
            Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • No just water it like you do. This is my 3rd run with living soil and no flush was needed but I will say that not all living soils make it all the way through with the nutrients they have so if you do add any nutrients flush a week and a half before. All 3 runs were flawless and the taste and smell are way better with living soils

      Reply
    • I do not believe so, a freinds dad uses all natural/ worm casings and he dosnt flush for that reason and his flower is ALLWAYS quality

      Reply
  1. How should you water and fertilize? Should it be water one day and then fertilize? Or should it be fertilization all the time when you water?

    Reply
    • Hello Blu, that depends on the fertilizer, each brand has its own feeding schedule. Some of them need to be applied with almost every watering, some products are meant to be applied once a week, and so on. Check with the manufacturer, most of them have calendars or plans where the concentration of each fertilizer varies every week and with the plant’s stages.
      For fertilizers that need to be applied with every watering, you can skip fertilization once a week and watering with water only to avoid nutrient burn and salt buildup.
      I hope this helps. Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Happy growing!

      Reply
    • Hey I’m just starting and I have a beautiful outdoor plant that I have been growing. I topped it several times so it’s a short bushy plant. I’m not sure what kind it is but it’s leaves are all real small even the suckers. Anyways my question is what causes some of my branches that have just started budding to turn yellow and die. Not the very top but a few sucker leave down where it grows new buds die before they even get a chance to produce a leave why. Leaving me with a popcorn bud and a long bare branch underneath.

      Reply
      • Hi! First, check if those branches are receiving enough light. Not receiving enough light may cause the leaves to start dying and buds to remain very small. If growing outdoors, bud rot may also be a suspect. Check if there’s any white, gray or brown mold in those small buds and the base of the leaves. Another possibility is that your plant has a nutrient deficiency. Make sure to follow a good nutrient schedule for flowering. The excess of Nitrogen in the soil mix also causes buds to remain very small. Sometimes, it’s better to cut out the lower leaves and branches and let the plant grow their best buds on the top branches.
        Thanks for reading and commenting!

        Reply
  2. One plant started budding at end of June about when a seed I planted sprouted the sprout is about a foot tall will the budding plant make it start budding already? The budding one is slowly filling in but not crystallized that much it’s weird

    Reply
    • Hello Chip! Photoperiodic plants growing outdoors enter the flowering stage when the days grow shorter, usually towards Autumn. In the right conditions, each plant may start the flowering stage as soon as it’s sexually mature, which happens in no less than 3/4 weeks. If your first plant is already budding, make sure to apply nutrients for the flowering stage. If the soil is rich in Nitrogen but poor in P and K (which is very common), buds will be light and small. Some foliar nutrients intended for this stage will also help your plant to start making trichomes.
      Your other plant (the smaller one) will continue to grow in the veg stage for a few days before entering the flowering stage. One plant won’t influence the other, both will respond to the photoperiod (days growing shorter). Cannabis plants may start growing buds independently from their size, they may be one foot or 7 ft tall.
      I hope this helps, have a nice day and happy growing!

      Reply
      • Hi Spike! Thank you so much for your kind words! We have more articles with pictures and illustrations, I hope you enjoy them as well!
        Have a nice day and happy growing!

        Reply
    • Hi! The flowering stage may take several weeks according to the strain and growing conditions. Stick to a nutrient schedule for flowering and only start flushing one or two weeks before the expected harvesting date.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
        • Hi Dimuthu! You can cut some bottom fan leaves when the plant is flowering so it concentrates its energy on the top buds. Do not cut all the leaves as the plant needs them to grow. To get personalized advice on your case, please download our app from http://www.growithjane.com and contact us via in-app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to take a look! Thanks for commenting and happy growing!

          Reply
  3. You mentioned that budding usually begins towards August, but I’ve been reading that the plants don’t start budding until the daylight is reduced to 12 hours, which happens on September 21st. I’m growing outdoors, in a partially treed section of my yard. My plants are huge – about 4′ tall, 3-4′ in diameter, and there’s no sign of budding yet. While I am anticipating a late summer, we do get Frost’s – and even snow – as early as October, so I want to make sure my plants are done before the cold weather arrives. Should I be getting anxious? I did read an article about force-flowering, but with the way they’re planted (interspersed with my tomatoes), covering them for complete darkness will be challenging at best!

    Re: flushing: this is only for chemical ferts, yeah? My plants are in holes that I backfilled 3:1 chicken compost:sand, so I shouldn’t need to do that, right?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Hello Agnes, congratulations on your big ladies! The article says Cannabis plants start budding when Autumn begins, not August. In the northern hemisphere, as you say, Autumn starts on September 21st but in the southern hemisphere, that would be on March 21st. Anyway, those dates are just a guide, outdoors budding may start earlier or later due to the environmental and growing conditions.
      For now, I’d suggest applying nutrients intended for the flowering stage. Chicken compost usually has a high Nitrogen concentration and may or may not have enough P. This is great for vegetative growth but in the flowering stage the plant needs less Nitrogen, and if present in excess, it may delay flowering. Try fertilizers (organics are great) with higher concentrations of P and K (Phosphorus and Potassium). Bat guano, fish meal, and kelp products are good options and there are many other organic sources, just be sure that NPK ratios are as follows: N (low) – P (medium to high) – K (high).
      You don’t need flushing or watering in excess unless you see signs of nutrient burn in your plant.
      I hope this helps and you can harvest before the cold season begins. Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Happy growing! 🙂

      Reply
      • Hello Alicia. Can you please elaborate more on Agnes’s comment above? I am in the exact same situation as she is. I successfully germinated 6 seeds in late April and early May and 3 of them are females. I’ve separated them from the 3 males and have repotted them in grow bags outdoors when they were 1 foot tall. My biggest female plant is 3 feet tall now and the other 2 are close behind. I live in the north east and the days don’t get shorter until October and by then it will be too cold for the plants to stay outdoors. It sounds like all I can do is force flower them, right? Please tell me when I should do that and how? I bought a grow tent to put inside so that my plants can get 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness but I’ll have to bring them inside every night then back outside during the day for 12 hours. Any advice? Is there a better way?

        Reply
        • Hi Danielle! The best way would be to start and complete the whole flowering stage inside the grow tent with 12/12 hours of light and uninterrupted darkness, to avoid delays and to get a bigger yield. To do this, move the female plants definitely inside the tent when they achieve half of the desired size because they will continue to grow in the switching phase. Take into account the total height of the pot and the plant with some distance between the top of the plant and the grow light. That depends on each light but no less than 8″ for 150 W lights, 12″/ 19″ for HPS 400W lights. Plants growing too close to growing lights develop burns and other problems. Start applying nutrients intended for flowering one week before switching environments and light schedules.
          Regarding the male plants, they are going to accidentally pollinate female plants in your area, so you may want to consider taking them out before that happens.

          Thanks for reading and commenting!

          Reply
  4. If I haven’t defoliated my outdoor potted plants at all and I’m 5 days into switching to 12/12 is it too late or too early to do so? And when doing so should I be removing the smaller leaves starting from the bottom of the plants?

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie! I’d suggest starting next week with very slight defoliation, only if you notice your plant is growing very bushy. Do not defoliate if your plant doesn’t look healthy, this will only damage and delay yields.

      – First of all, work with sharp scissors or scalpel, previously disinfected with alcohol, to avoid infections.
      – Only trim the bottom big fan leaves that are not receiving any light, maybe some are turning yellow.
      – The upper leaves, trim only if it’s laying on top of a budding site and it’s preventing light from reaching said bud or if you find big water patches on those leaves.
      – Prune any small or dying bottom branches or leaves.
      – Be extra careful not to damage any bud sites!
      – Every leaf is valuable for the plant so you may cut only 5-10% of the total leaves at most for now.
      – As plants do not grow more leaves on the flowering stage, almost every leaf you cut it’s not growing back and the plant needs those for functioning.
      If later you need to pluck a leave now and then it’s fine, but once you’ve made this slight defoliation, wait at least two weeks before doing it again, only if necessary.
      I hope this one goes smoothly, it’s better to do it gradually so they can continue to grow healthy.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  5. I am growing five plants in a solarium and the tallest plant is 8 feet and the smallest is 6 feet. One plant in particular, the second tallest seems to be several weeks ahead of its sisters. in the flowering department. They were all planted at the same time, but was wondering if this is normal that one is so far advanced?

    Secondly, all the plants are seem quite healthy but nowhere near as bushy as some of the plants I see on the web. The colas are forming and staying close to the stalks, but like I said this is not a bushy plant. Is this normal too? My strain is White Widow,

    Reply
    • Hello Ted, every plant is a different individual and may grow differently even in the same conditions. In the case of tall plants like yours, they are not always as bushy as their shorter counterparts. As long as they have budding sites, they will grow just fine.
      White Widow in particular needs lots of light and will take no less than 9 weeks to complete flowering. Always make sure to be giving them the correct amount of nutrients and watering.
      If you need further help, you can email me some photos of the whole plants and some close photos of the buds or preflowers. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  6. Growing some pink kush… Just started flowering about a week ago… Been feeding with miracle grow 20/20/20 once a week… Should I be doing something else now that they’re flowering (outdoor grow

    Reply
    • Hi Karen! While some people had problems and avoided them altogether, 20-20-20 fertilizers may be ok for the veg stage outdoors. The problem is, they have a high concentration of Nitrogen. This is not recommended for the flowering stage because it produces small buds, among other issues.
      You may switch to a fertilizer with a higher % of Phosphorus and Potassium and a lower amount of N. A product intended for the flowering stage in Cannabis plants would likely have these NPK ratios: N (low) – P (medium to high) – K (high).
      If your plants are growing outdoors, water them accordingly and the sun will do the rest. Watch out for pests and fungi, especially if there’s heavy rain in your area.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! Happy growing!

      Reply
  7. Hi, I have a few plants out side, for the most part they are doing good there about 8 ft tall and big around and bushy. But they are not budding yet. All my plants in past years have already had nice buds established by this time of year. The newest growth is slightly purple. And all the leaves are small compared to most other plants. And they are definitely female. Do you think the late blooming is do to the strain or could I be doing something different? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Ian! There may be several reasons for late blooming. Strain in only one of them. Maybe something related to the nutrient schedule or soil? If you need further help, please upload your photos to the Grow with Jane app. Then send us an in-app message with your questions and we’ll be happy to help!
      Here’s the link for downloading for free the Grow with Jane app for Ios and Android https://growithjane.com/
      We’ll be looking forward to your contact via the app, have a nice day!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
      • I want to send a pic of my 1st time plant that is flowering on a few stalks,, does the flowering supposed to leave a white dust on some of leaves????

        Reply
        • Hello Dt! When flowering, Cannabis plants produce trichomes, which look like small crystals on some leaves. If you are noticing something like dust or flour, it could be a fungal disease called Powdery Mildew. In that case, spray the leaves with a solution of water + potassium bicarbonate or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) (5–20 grams per liter) and then clean the leaves with disposable paper towels. Some people use low-fat milk, some use neem oil. Whatever method you choose, repeat every 10 days until you eliminate the fungi. Spraying the leaves with alkaline reverse osmosis water also may work. Do not let the Mildew advance into your buds and treat your plant before it’s too late.
          Powdery Mildew usually grows in rooms crowded with plants, poor airflow, high humidity levels and stagnant air. It’s very common in outdoor crops too, especially after heavy rains. Moving the plants to get rid of excess water on the leaves (after rain) and adding a fan to move the air indoors may help.
          For us to see your pics, please upload them to the Grow with Jane app and send an in app message with your issue. Our Grower Support team will look at it as soon as possible.
          Thanks for reading and commenting!

          Reply
    • I was wondering what occurs if I remove the flower buds.
      I was given a small plant started from seed and was already flowering. I desire a taller bushy plant so I snipped of the beginning
      male flowers and repotted on its side so the main stem could begin to grow more branches, and has now tripled the amount of branches. They are all flowering as well.
      Thanks for you time!

      Reply
      • Hi Zaida! As “removing the buds” do you mean harvesting some buds and re vegging the plant? Some growers do this successfully, but Cannabis is an annual plant so maybe it’s better to harvest all at once and start off your next plant from seed or clone.
        Training plants, like growing them on their side to force them to grow more branches (LST – Low-Stress Training) is a great way to maximize your crop so make sure all those branches get enough light and go for it! You also mention “male flowers”… if your plant has buds and male flowers, it’s probably a hermie! Check out this article for more info! https://growithjane.com/determining-sex-cannabis-plants-male-female-hermie/
        I hope this helps, thanks for reading!

        Reply
  8. Great stuff, thanks. Does the plant need direct sunlight during the flowering stage? I’d like to move my plants to a less conspicuous location, but the amount of direct sunlight will drop. So, I know direct sunlight is key during the vegetative stage, is that equally true during the flowering stage?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hello Michael! Yes, Cannabis plants need direct sunlight during the flowering stage as well. They need fewer hours of direct sunlight than in the veg stage, so it might work if they receive enough. Check for stunted growth and consider adding an additional light if necessary. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  9. Great work Alicia! Thank you for sharing. Cannabis is such a lovely plant to prune, train and develop. I love my girls almost as much as you love yours 😉

    Reply
    • Hello Denton. Thank you so much for your kind words, also for reading and commenting! I’m very happy to hear you like the content. Cannabis is indeed a lovely plant and we all love to learn about it! Happy growing!!

      Reply
  10. Our Napoli Pink plant is flowering. We are growing outdoors in N CA and they are in 5 gallon bucks about 3 months old. Some of the stem is turning brown. Any recommendations for a fix?

    Reply
    • Hi Julie! There may be some reasons for a stem turning brown. Some of them are not to worry, others may harm your crop. Fusarium (fungi) and Pythium are two main suspects if stem rot seems to be the problem. Rot caused by fungal infections usually attacks the roots and starts showing in the lower part of the main stem as “damping off”. Sometimes the whole plant also shows symptoms as yellow and wilting leaves. If this is the case, avoid overwatering and try to improve drainage conditions. Disinfect the stem and the bucks spraying with a solution of water and H202. There are some products to treat these diseases, but they are hard to fight once established. Inoculating the soil mix from the beginning with beneficial organisms like Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma prevents these and other fungal diseases such as Botrytis and Powdery Mildew establish.
      Good luck and happy growing!

      Reply
  11. I have 1 plant outside and I used 20 20 20 in flowering stage and the buds are small what can I do to get them bigger. Do I need to flush

    Reply
    • Hello Les! The problem with slow-release fertilizers and products with high Nitrogen % is that they keep giving your plant more N than needed during the flowering stage. This causes buds to remain small, less potent and tasty. If your plant is growing in a container, you may flush it until the water runs more clear. If you have some weeks ahead of flowering, switch to a nutrient schedule/products intended for flowering. Consider adding products with higher % of P and K. If harvesting seems near, just flush and hope for the best. Avoid those fertilizers in your next grows, they are not good for Cannabis. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
    • Hi My! Yes, you can grow autoflowering and photoperiodic (regular) plants in the same tent. During the vegetative stage, both need 18 hours of light so it’s more or less the same. When switching to the flowering stage, auto seeds develop better, bigger and faster with 18 hours of light but they can make do with 12 hours. Bear in mind that autos growing with only 12 hours of light may experience slower growth and may take longer to mature. Also, most of the times, less light also means less yield when growing autos.
      I hope this helps! Happy growing!

      Reply
  12. Hi,

    I’m growing outdoors and am in week 7 of flowering, my pistols are turning orange-ish red. However, I noticed my buds are much less sticky than about a week ago and the smell is much sweeter than dank. Is it time to harvest?

    Reply
    • Hi Lucas! The perfect moment for harvesting is up to each grower. I’d suggest getting a magnifying glass and check the trichomes, not only pistils. Maybe it’s a little early for harvesting but a good moment to start monitoring.

      Pistils (white hair) start white and as the plant ripens, they get darker and curl in until they are brown.
      Trichomes (resin glands, look like lollipops) start clear and transparent. When they become milky-white and some of them are amber, that’s the best time to harvest. If they are all amber / brown, it’s probably too late.

      Here’s a quick guide:

      Pistils
      50-70% orange/brown – light buds, wait a bit longer
      70-90% brown – ripe
      90-100% brown – sharp, heavy buds

      Trichomes
      Clear trichomes – wait a bit longer
      Milky white/amber trichomes – ready for harvest
      All Amber trichomes – overripe

      Thanks for commenting! I’m writing an article on harvesting so stay tuned!

      Reply
    • Hello Nancy! There’s no need to flush when growing in the ground unless there’s a problem with your plants caused by nutrient lockout. Just keep watering and apply a nutrient schedule intended for the flowering stage. They may have several weeks of flowering ahead so monitor for changes in the buds!
      Thanks for reading and commenting, happy growing!

      Reply
  13. Hi there,
    Question: Can I move my plant half way through the flowering cycle..? I’m moving out of my boyfriends house but my plant is only in week 5 of flower. Can I wrap it in a bag or blanket and move it at night during it’s sleeping time? I have a new set up ready to go but I have to get it into my car to relocate. Will gently moving work or should I just start over in the new location? Any suggestions welcome 🙂
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Mariah! You can move your plant during the night time, just be careful and gentle to avoid damaging the plant. Here are some tips:
      – A blanket sounds a little heavy and may crush the budding sites, try wrapping it in a big black trash bag.
      – Try to avoid or minimize light filtration during this process and stick to the same light schedule in your new home.
      – Avoid watering the same day of moving (or maybe even a day in advance if the pot is big) so the pot doesn’t get too heavy and there’s no runoff water, which may get messy.
      Good luck with the process and happy growing!

      Reply
  14. Hello, I have a problem I haven’t found explained in your web page

    My weed plants are right now half generative and half vegetative. What could I do to manage such stages?

    I mean, the plants are growing generative in the part where the sun hits in the morning, but the other side is growing principally vegetative. Is very strange because I have amazing buds in the generative side and such horrible flowering and over elongation of stems in the other side…

    Would be really helpful your advice, thanks

    Reply
    • Hello David, I’m sorry to hear this! Uneven flowering may happen to any plant, especially where light doesn’t reach the leaves. It usually happens with the lower parts of bushy plants. One option may be pruning or defoliating, if it’s a very bushy plant. As light passes through, buds that were less exposed to light now may receive enough to develop correctly. Some growers cut budding sites in lower parts of the plant or parts which don’t receive much light so the plant “concentrates” on the top buds.
      If they still have some weeks of flowering ahead, you can try some foliar biostimulant and concentrate on the parts with less flowering development. Adding fertilizers intended for flowering always helps the plant to grow bigger buds.
      Some people choose to grow in containers because they can rotate them or move them around, but this may not apply if you have huge plants growing directly on soil.
      I hope this helps! Have a nice day!

      Reply
  15. Almost 9th week of flowering sugar leafs have 30-40 % Amber lots of red pistils curled but still lots of long white as well DWC system just running oh neutral water.. unknown strain harvest or not

    Reply
    • Hello Sivart! The harvesting point is a very personal choice, but you should look at the trichomes and pistils on your buds with a magnifying glass to make that decision. Here’s an article I wrote on how to know exactly when to harvest according to your preference, and how to do it, with simple instructions and pictures. https://growithjane.com/how-to-harvest-a-cannabis-plant/
      I hope this helps you with your harvest. You are doing fine giving them natural water, keep up the good work!
      Thanks for reading and happy harvesting!

      Reply
  16. Hi! I’m on week 7-8 on my plant and it’s growing everyday! Each leaf is perfectly green and I water it’s at least 3-4 times a day. Now it’s starting to smell alittle…. is it time flush ? If so, what type of water should I use? Some say ph water and some say regular. I’ve been using regular sink water since I started. What do you think? Thanks !

    Reply
    • Hello Cicily, using pH’d water is a good choice but as long as you are using non-chlorine water and your plants are green and healthy, there’s no need to worry. If you are using water directly from the tap, it’s a good idea to leave it until the next day for chlorine to evaporate. Watering 3-4 times a day sounds like a lot, it may be a good idea to limit it to 1 or 2 per day. If you are dealing with very high temperatures and quick dry-off due to a very small container, then go ahead and do whatever you need to keep your plant hydrated. Check for signs of overwatering, such as wilting after watering.
      If your buds are just starting to smell, I guess they have a few more weeks of flowering ahead.
      To know the best moment for harvesting, you should look at the trichomes and pistils on your buds with a magnifying glass. The harvesting point is a very personal choice, but there are some ways to know when the plant is ready and when to wait a bit more.
      Here’s an article I wrote where I explain how to look at trichomes, pistils, how to know exactly when to harvest according to your preference, with simple instructions and great pictures. https://growithjane.com/how-to-harvest-a-cannabis-plant/
      I hope this helps. Thanks for reading and happy harvesting!

      Reply
    • Hello Craziest9! In order to contact our Grower Support Team, please upload your photos to the Grow with Jane app. Then send us an in-app message with your questions and we’ll be happy to help!
      Here’s the link for downloading for free the Grow with Jane app for Ios and Android https://growithjane.com/
      We’ll be looking forward to your contact via the app, have a nice day!

      Reply
  17. I have planted an Acapulco Gold strain in Southern California in August.
    It went immediately from seedling to Flowering. I reveged it by keeping
    lights on to augment the natural light (Gaslight method) so that it had
    24 hrs on to reveg. The plant has not reveged but has not died. It has
    two small cotyledon like leaves but still seems alive. All my other plants
    are doing well ( considering cold weather near the ocean) but this AG
    plant just won’t grow. It’s like it is stuck in flowering stage and won’t
    give up. When I trimmed the miniscule buds they had pistils.

    Also I live near the beach and the plants get condensation every night.
    I water every four days as that is when the soil is dry up to my knuckle.
    Does this sound correct?

    Reply
    • Hi Juan! Thank you for your kind words in your other messages, which will remain private as you requested.
      Some growers using the Gas Lantern Technique had reported that some strains would stay in the flowering stage no matter what and won’t reveg, even with light changes. Switching between stages takes some days, and not every plant takes the same time to switch back to veg, maybe in some days she’ll reveg like the others. Make sure you are giving them a good nutrient schedule for vegetative growth and keep an eye for changes and leaf growth.
      Regarding watering, it depends on the size of the container, the soil mix, plant’s size, temperature, relative humidity, etc. If your plants seem healthy and do not show any signs of underwatering, such as wilting leaves and stunted growth, keep that schedule going.
      I hope your plants grow according to your schedule! Have a nice day and happy growing!

      Reply
  18. My plants are in the last week of vegetative stage and they aren’t growing how I see everyone else’s (height wise) Any clue why that is happening

    Reply
    • Hello Mary Jane! There are many reasons why a Cannabis plant won’t grow in height. Some of them are:
      – The size of the container is too small and won’t allow the plant to grow in size. The solution is to transplant into a bigger pot or container with a growing medium such as a soil mix with perlite and a high % or organic matter.
      – The lights are insufficient and/or very close to the plant. The solution in this case is to check if your growing lights (indoors) or sunlight is enough for your plant. Lights need to be moved up a few cm as the plant grows in height to stimulate growth.
      – Overwatering and underwatering may cause stunted growth. A growing medium with no nutrients or poor drainage causes stunted growth too. In this case, adjust watering schedules and check the bottom of the pot to see it has good water drainage. Always keep a nutrient schedule according to the plant’s stage.
      I hope this helps! Contact us again if you are having trouble finding out what’s going on!
      Have a nice day!

      Reply
  19. Hi Alica,

    I have a big bud auto that I have trained to be a flat 5 pronger.

    On one side of the plant has buds that have all red pistils and the buds are bigger.
    The other side looks like it will take another 4 wks for the buds to mature.

    Should I harvest the dominant side that has matured faster or just wait till the
    other slower flowering side catches up?

    thanks for your advice in advance.

    Reply
        • Hola Juanma, si la planta aún no está mostrando preflores (pelitos blancos) o cogollos, significa que sigue en la etapa vegetativa, sin importar su tamaño. En esta etapa es más sencillo entrenar la planta para bajar sus ramas y ponerlas de manera horizontal. Puedes ir atando las ramas de la planta e incluso poner una red para controlar su tamaño. Si lo haces progresivamente y con cuidado, lograrás que tu planta pueda crecer sin el estrés que le causa estar demasiado cerca de la lámpara. Para la próxima, es conveniente hacerlo a medida que la planta crece y no permitir que se descontrole en altura.
          Espero que sirva y tu planta pueda florar sin problemas y dar una gran producción, cualquier cosa nos escribes. Saludos y buen cultivo!

          Reply
  20. I have never seen a wiser teacher than the doing of a thing.
    Laugh cry hope fear, enjoy this artful dance called cultivating.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the information all my plants have been outside I’m just letting them go free I found one male plant they’ve been growing for almost 8 weeks when do you think I should bring them inside and put them under the lights

    Reply
    • Hi Terry, keeping your male plant inside may reduce pollination of outdoor female plants (yours and female plants 5 km around) and you can harvest that pollen for making seeds. Take into account there’s always a risk of undesired pollination but it’s up to you.
      Thanks for sharing, have a nice day and happy growing!

      Reply
  22. Very informative and well written. Good to get a decent explanation of the processes involved .anybody looking to start growing cannabis will definitively benefit from this article as an entry level xplanation. Although I would have added that applying ph correct water throughout all stages except flush would have been a valuable addition to the article. I will definitely pass this article on to would be grow newbies and the like.

    Reply
  23. My appologies. Bad memory. I’ve just ‘re read the part on ph control. I meant to say maintain ph correct water throughout whole lifecycle. Now I’ve made myself look ignorant. Lol. Very good article. Thank you.

    Reply
  24. Hi , my plant is currently at the flowering stage and I want to take them indoors..but my window doesn’t allow direct sunlight..
    Will my plant still produce good buds?

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff! A plant growing indoors needs a strong light source. If there’s no natural light, it is strongly recommended to add a lamp to help the plant grow buds. In the flowering stage, a regular cannabis plant needs 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness or its flowering cycle may be disrupted. I hope your plant grows great buds! Have a nice day!

      Reply
  25. How late can a plant be topped? My babies are growing like crazy (> 2 meters) and I was thinking it may be good idea to regulate its height a bit. I do not think they are in the flowering stage yet (beginner grower) but I’m not sure. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi! You can still top it if it’s still in the veg stage! Take into account that your plant will continue to grow in size until it starts to flower, so maybe you’ll need to top it more than once. Wait 1-2 weeks before topping again and see how she responds. If she continues to grow after the first topping and it¿s still too tall, then you can top again. If you see her rather stressed and stunted, wait a bit more for the plant to recover her strength. Remember to fertilize for the flowering stage when you see the first white pistils.
      https://growithjane.com/nutrients-cannabis-plants/
      Keep up the good work and happy growing!

      Reply
  26. Hi all. I put in a nice sized clone back before june. She is now over 6 feet tall and a good 5 feet wide. Has been a very hot and humid summer here so far. She is just starting her hairs now. Should i get rid of any small skinny stems that are shaded to push more flower? Out door plant and has been in great triple mix soil. My tomatos and peppers are loving it so should i just leave her alone or do changes?

    Reply
    • Hi Dave! Getting rid of the bottom skinny stems makes your plant “concentrate” in growing bigger buds on top of the plant, where there’s plenty of light, so go for it!
      For the flowering stage, your plants may need some extra help with nutrients intended for the flowering stage. Here’s some info about this https://growithjane.com/nutrients-cannabis-plants/
      If you have questions about your plants, please download our app from http://www.growithjane.com and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would help. We’ll be happy to take a look and share some personalized advice!

      Reply
  27. Hi Alicia,

    I just wanted to say “thanks” for all of the great articles that you have here. As a beginner grower I have found your information to be invaluable. Lots of great pics in addition to descriptions and explanations.

    I’ve got 2 Blue Cheese plants growing vigorously indoors and just started the flowering stage. Looking forward to a good harvest later on. Will continue to use your advice on harvesting!

    Thanks again…

    Wayne

    Reply
  28. My plant is about 2 feet tall a female sativa breed I believe. I see the pre flowers but I have now topped yet. I have over 8 nodes. Is it too late to top since it’s preflowering.

    Reply
    • Hi Roland! When plants are preflowering you can top them safely, just allow some days in between for the plant to recover. One or two weeks at least, but always check how they are responding. If they seem weak, wait a bit more. If you have more questions about your plants, please download our app from http://www.growithjane.com and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to take a look and share some personalized advice!

      Reply
  29. Hi Alicia,

    I’m a first time grower and my plants are in their 4th week of flowering and looks quite like the pics you posted. This morning, I saw one entire branch wilting as if it is dying and there are no visible signs of it being broken, or infested with insects. the rest of the plant is quite healthy. Do you have any thoughts as to why this happened or how i can fix it?

    Reply
    • Hi Nadeem, this sounds very specific. It could be due to fungi or viruses or just anything. If you want us to take a look at your plants, please download our app from http://www.growithjane.com and contact us via in app message, so you can also share pics and any info you think would be helpful. We’ll be happy to share some personalized advice for free!

      Reply

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