The flowering stage is the moment we all have been waiting for. For you, as a professional grower, this is the most important part of growing marijuana. Let’s discuss how you can take care of your flowering cannabis and grow the best yield ever.
When your plants switch from the vegetation to the flowering stage, the growth will eventually get slower. When the plants start to develop flowers (so called buds), it is time to treat them differently. This means changes in light and different nutrients for the flowering stage.
While plants have been growing and prospering like crazy in the vegging stage, your plants will now be more prone to problems. Everything that happens from here on out will affect your yield – for better or for worse.
The entire flowering stage will be about 8 weeks and consists of the following stages: transition, first buds, growth of buds, buds ripen and harvest.
Different stages of flowering cannabis
Stage 1: Entering The Cannabis Flowering Stage
To introduce your plants to this new stage in their life cycle, make sure you are using the right flowering grow lights. Gradually change the light cycles until you reach a 12/12 hours ratio of light and darkness. Again, growing indoor gives you the perfect opportunity to create an environment that suits your plants best. It's important to take advantage of indoor growing instead of being dependent on the rhythm of the sun. The better your cannabis flowering stages are, the better your yield will be.
The first 1 to 3 weeks of the flowering stage are a transition phase and your plants will still be growing. Your plants could double their height at this point depending on the type of strain you are using.
Stage 2: Spotting Your First Flowers
Before spotting a marijuana flower, you will still want to support your plants in the growth stage as much as possible. Once the flowers are showing, you want to optimize for light and nutrients. Now you can, and should, switch to nutrients for the flowering stage.
Remember: Only female plants will produce buds. You can make sure to have female plants by using feminized seeds.
In week 3 or 4, the first real buds will show instead of only hairy pistils. The growth of the plant will now slow down a lot - it's important to watch out for the health of your plants at this point. A few dead leaves are normal (ex: if they do not get enough light). You do not want a major disease at this point so it's also important to watch your nutrient levels and observe your plants closely to ensure nothing strange is happening.
Stage 3: Glorious, Beautiful Cannabis Bud Pistillation
Finally! Buds with substance. White pistils will be sticking in all directions and the buds themselves will be bigger every day. Congratulations! You have come a long way and your plants are rewarding you. Here's the best tips to follow during the flowering phase to get you here:
Best Flowering Stage Tips for Cannabis
Pro Tip 1: Only cut leaves and branches that are dead
It might be tempting to cut big branches, but your plants need all their power and health they can get right now. Never taste the freshly developed flowers - let them grow in peace. You might bend the plants and tie them down to create a more horizontal table-like shape instead of a Christmas tree shape.
Pro Tip 2: Keep humidity around 45%
When it comes to managing humidity during the flowering stage, keep your grow room between 45% humidity. While cannabis plants do love moisture, especially in the cloning and vegging stages, in the flowering stage you run the risk of powdery mildew on your buds with humidity anywhere about 50%.
Be sure to get a good thermo-hygrometer, measure your grow room daily, and employ the use of a dehumidifier if you see your humidity start to creep up into a dangerous range. A standard 30-pint dehumidifier like this one will work for most setups from small grow tents up to a 500 square foot grow room. For bigger grow rooms (1000 square feet+), consider stepping up to a 70-pint dehumidifier like this one.
Pro Tip 3: Use a carbon-filtered airflow system
If it hasn't happened yet, your plants now might develop the known marijuana smell. Make sure to use a carbon-filtered airflow system. Your airflow system is important at this point and fresh air needs to be constantly flowing into your grow room. In this phase, your plants will need a lot of CO2 (carbon dioxide) for growth and health.
In weeks 4 to 6 of your cannabis flowering, the buds will get bigger and fatter. Once the flowers are showing as small white pistils (white wispy hairs), your plants will need more phosphor and potassium. Both are important for a good bud formation. The nutrients support flowering and fruiting.
Pro Tip 4: Avoid Nutrient Burn
Nutrient burn could be a source of declining health of your plant. Make sure not to over-feed your plant with nutrients. You will notice that the tips of the leaves will seem burned if you over-feed your plants.
Pro Tip 5: Support Heavy Buds to Maintain Light Exposure
You do not have to think about tying your plant down at this point anymore. However, you might consider holding your buds up and close to the light if they are too heavy for your plant.
Pro Tip 6: Trim Excess Foliation
Some pros trim their plant leaves at this point (defoliation) so their plants can focus mainly on bud growth. Make sure to leave enough leaves to support your plant’s health! The leaves are fueling the plant’s system and therefore bud growth.
Around weeks 6 to 8, your plant will have stopped vegetative growth completely and only work on the buds. A few leaves might turn brown at the bottom now and this is perfectly normal. Your plants will be sensitive to a lack of nutrients at this point. Watch your pH levels to make sure your plants get all they need.
Pro Tip 7: Avoid Light Burn
Even though your plants love your powerful grow lights, make sure they do not get burned by high levels of light and heat. If you're using a grow tent, be sure it has enough height for the lights to be at least 12-36 inches above the top of your plants' canopy. If you're using higher wattage lamps (1000W or similar), you should be at the top end of that range, and for lower wattage lamps (250W or similar) you can be at the low end of that range, but make sure you always have at least 12 inches.
A final, supremely important thing to note about lighting during the flowering stage: once you start switching to the flowering light cycles – never go back. Never expose your plants to light in the dark phase of the day. You do not want to confuse your plants or make them switch back to the vegetation phase. This could dramatically impact your yield. It is the un-interrupted darkness that leads your plants to flower. Make sure this darkness is definite - not one minute of light in the night! Use a programmable timer to make sure you don't forget when you need to turn your lights on or off, and be sure to test your settings and confirm they're correct before trusting it on your precious cannabis plants.
Hardly any flowering cannabis will be ready for harvesting before week 8. You will be watching your plants closely at this point, treat them like a lady! Cater to all their needs. It also may be helpful to consider flushing them out using plain water for a few days before harvest. Between week 8 and 10, they should be ready for harvest depending on the strains. The intensity of the marijuana smell could be a good indicator. Your plants might start turning yellow at this point, which is what the plants normally do when they finish up the flowering stage. Do not raise your nutrient levels at this point. Your buds should be big and fat at this point... which means...
You made it! Enjoy your harvest!
Cannabis Flowering Week by Week Pictures
Weeks 6 to 8
New to growing cannabis?
1st. Time hydroponics grow for me, 30+ years gorilla growing outside. OMG, what a difference between the 2 , I may never grow outdoors again , (lie: Can’t hardly beat 15 ft. Plants with 2-2 1/2 ft vegetable can size colons) but still its like night & day , I started from clones I took from outside grow ,roots in aprox 10 days , put into veg. I’d say 3-4 weeks , (21/2 ft tall even after topping them a bunch of times ) went with 1 in fencing over top to grow thru , put the girls into flower, & changed nutrients , like a day later popping thru fence , Mucking plants grew 2 in one night no kidding, it’s like 2 week into flower my problem is the taller branches are blocking light and my 5×5 was completely covered is now spoted with holes or way shorter brances trying to pop thru , I hate to cut anything off my girls but ,…should I cut back the taller to get more light or just trim leaves from them,thus stunting my large colons ,.? Any helpful advice appreciated…tyvm
So I guess it only takes 6-8 weeks to go from seedling to fully matured bud according to your photo timeline. Dont we all wish that was true? But its not. Your photo timeline is fake weed news.
Blue Moon I too am interested in your crazy strain. Don’t know your email tho.
Have you ever grafted marijuana? Im going to give it a whirl and see how it comes out.
Plant of unknown strain is into the 11th week of growing, very healthy but all of the hairs don’t turn into buds just more leaves and stem. the plant is 33 in tall now and shows NO sings of buds developing, just more plant?? What’s up??
Growing outside, water, temp, container size, nutes, all good??
Got white buds all over it some got red hairs how long it take make it for flowers & put in dark for 12 hours
Hi guys I’m from New Zealand and have just entered my 18th year growing inside and 21 years outdoors. I’m looking for someone overseas with some strains that we may not have here I have plenty of great seeds of beautiful strains for most climates as we have superb growing conditions her. My email address is email@example.com if anyone is interested
Does anyone know if I change lights around week 8 will it hurt anything.?. I’m currently using 600w and looking to change to 1200w. This is auto bubble gum in a grow tent . … btw anyone interested i do have a helluva strain i been working on myself .. email me for more info
Out of all the things in all the notes that I have taken in the last 8 months as if I was grow in this year but I can say add up all the notes that I have taken there’s one thing to be missing from growing cannabis and it’s one of my own secrets they love music and the seed is so important because if you know you’ll seed you will know the type of music your lady will like a tip from me to you good luck
Blue Moon – I’m interested in that crazy strain your talking about but you didn’t leave your email! Mines is firstname.lastname@example.org please contact me so we can talk details about that strain.
I wish to plant the marijuana in the traditional farming method of open field. what technique is best for me. Thanks
Email me if any folks out there are interested in a crazy strain took me 5 x too perfect it I don’t think I’ve had anything close to it no jive and the brother with the the weird nitro problem have u even tried any nitrogen fertilizers check out foxfarm it fine for for all the brothers and sisters I know around the country! !!
good information new and learning. Thank you look forward to more.
Im not sure who writing this but fact check. Depending on the strain your asking for trouble at 70% RH is going to cause problems with possible bud rot and the higher humidity promotes powdery mildew and if you’re getting into flowering you don’t want to be using a sulfur burner to fix it for obvious reason never go above stay between 30% to 50% depending on genetics, If your plants are an indica dominant strain they will grow shorter and be in a cooler temp. Another issue: I understand your affiliate marketing for feminized seeds I get that but there are more hermaphrodites in Fem seed stock then in some standard I have come across. Hermaphrodite identification is essential. cheers
Right I need some help I’m new to growing so decided to buy the Quick one cannabis seed, she is 8 weeks old and a staggering 100 cm, with loads of white hairs all over her, and she is under a 300 watt lamp is that normal for her to grow 100 cm? when it said she wont grow any taller than 50 – 60 cm, I also started her off on a 12/12 so I missed out the veg stage… could someone tell me that she wont grow any taller. and how long until I get some nugs? Thanx peace
Nice article. Thanks for the detailed info. To complement my growing, I also buy from https://getkush.ca/ and the quality is great.
Light intensity up thru 5th week of flower will give you the biggest buds
…I run 1k and even set the ballast on super lumens…the LOVE to be pounded with a lot of light then….THEN, I tone the light intensity down for the last 2 weeks of flower…75% then down to 50% for the last 5 days…High intesity this late in flower can actually evaporate trichs….Anyone with a few yrs of growing under their belt has noticed how FROSTY your buds are just under the top canopy plane where the light was less intense, AND may have noticed the crystals on the very top most areas ARE NOT as frosty….They like to be blasted with light to get mass, but LOVE a moderate intensity for best trich ripening their last 10 days to 2 weeks…sept 2019 marks 40 yrs of hydro growing experience for me, so I have observed this for a LONG TIME…YT
Good to know to avoid nutrient burn but what are the best nutrients for flowering stage? Thanks
IMO the weed flower is the most beautiful flower on earth. I’d love to see a cannabis flowering week by week pictures if you guys could update this guide :)
WTH? I planted a few random seeds…in dirt and 2 was male and the other 2 are female. I cant barely smell it… but it is definitely starting to ..“flower” should I start putting the plant in the dark for 12 hours? please help
My indoor garden is at week 3 of flowering but seems to continue sending out leaves wIth no flowers? What’s up with that? Thanks for any info you may provide
i found a weed seed..first one ever. germinated it. a tail formed after 2 weeks. i planted it and TADA! my first weed plant! The buds are coming out on it now. The only ingredient im finding hard to locate is nitrogen. Other than that..Perfection!!
Im outdoors growimg 45 plants.They’re all in different stages of budding. It means for a staggard harvest. That’s fine, i was instructed to remove all shade leaves too make the buds swell. Is this bad advice or standard procedure?
I’m confused in chapter 3 unsay to keep 40 or so % humidity for the flowering stage then later in chapter 9 or 8 u say keep humidity at 70 % in flowering stage can u clarify this for me seems contradictory thank you
General Hydroponics and botanicare is now owned by Scotts Mircle Grow and they run tooo salty.
Try House and Garden
Humboldt Nutrients- especially the Humboldt Natural Grow/Bloom ( big boy stuff… the smell is overwhelming but the flowers stack so well)
Canna always heavy yields.
Technaflora, Roots Organics, FoxFarm , all great lines!!!!
Thanx for the info. First I’ve grown in about 10 years. Outdoors. On my balcony. It’s private and I don’t need anything but the sun and water. I’m old school. I have good soil so I’m not worried about nutrients. It’s budding now. Pretty. I live in Minneapolis and got my seeds from Colorado. I’m thinking I’m going to have some nice gonja. I’ll keep a close eye on any changes and I’ll let you kno how it turns out.
This is so well done. I too was able to glean quite a bit of tip that also seemly can help with outdoor. I’m a terroirist(my outdoor environment is influencing my flowers-for example I have a gelato growing in the middle of my lavender bush. And another growing surrounded by rosemary.) a lot of us are going back to the sun soil and fresh air. However I find that there is a large deficit when it comes to grow books or blogs that are only for outdoor growers . Anyone have any info about any? I’m mentoring with one of those old school growers and it’s rad. This person looks at me like I’m nuts when I mention nutes. I have been supplementing a bit ..like now I’m in 3rd-4th week of flower and having some nitrogen deficiency showing up. Do I give the ladies veg support and bloom support with a top dress of my special guano mix?. Happy growing y’all and thanks in advance.
Keep humidity at 70 percent during flower if you like powdery mildew. Who the hell wrote this?
Hi. I am growing in my balcony and putting inside in a dark room during the night and morning to shorten the sunlight for flowering. It is now three weeks into flowering but I am leaving for 4 days vacation. What should I do?
Hi started my first plant in February only been feeding it water as a project I wanted to try…
It’s huge the stem is thick as fuck, It’s just come into flowering stage and it’s doing really well.
Plus this plant is an outdoor just got a set up in a green house is that ideal.?
When growing cannabis, the flowering period is very important. I just gained good points by reading this post. Thank you for the insightful information! I am growing cannabis and used www.learngrowingmarijuana.com which is very helpful too!
2 new Strains to look out for in 2018 that are flame! –
1. Bazuka Gum (Bubblicious×Pre-98 Bubba)
2. Balloon Animals (Bubblicious×Animal Cookies)
Dave – good question. We’ll consider putting together a guide for growing cannabis outdoors. What type of climate are you in? We’ll make sure that’s covered so it’s most useful for you!
Do you have any advice on outdoor growing?
Best flowering stage tips I’ve found. This is going to be a huge help for my grow. Thank you!
Wonderfully written thx