MarijuanaGrowGuide - Growing Marijuana Guide - Flowering Stage
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The flowering stage is by far the most exciting of all stages of growth. You will finally start to notice marijuana buds forming. The sweet smell of fresh marijuana will begin penetrating the air, and you will have some seriously nice looking plants. All your hard work is about to pay off, but don't get too excited. Let your plants keep growing until their peak. Harvesting too soon can seriously reduce your potential yield. Be patient, and you can expect a great harvest.
As soon as you notice the plants showing sign of their sex, you will want to remove the males. If both sexes are allowed to grow to maturity, the males will pollenate the females and your weed will not be sinsemilla. To learn about determining the sex of your plants, see Sexing Plants.
The biggest change from the vegetative stage is the lighting. We want to increase the amount of red-spectrum lighting and we want more light in general. Attempt to maintain 3,000 lumens per square foot of growing space. If you were growing with fluorescents, you can keep any tubes out there. A lot of people like to use fluorescent tubes to provide side lighting for your tall plants. This is a good idea. You will want to replace most of your 6,500K CFL's with 2,700K CFL's. The 2,700K spectrum is usually called soft white.
You might also want to think about High Pressure Sodium bulbs. They sell standard socket HPS bulbs at hardware stores for about $20. It's more expensive than other lighting, but you can produce a much greater light output. They also produce more heat, so keep them farther away from your plants, a foot or so should suffice. Direct contact is perfect fine with fluorescents, but proximity to HPS lighting will burn your plants.
The lights need to also be on for less time. The perfect flowering light cycle is 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Keep the same dawn time you used for the vegetative stage to reduce stress on the plants. This lighting cycle will let the plants know Fall has come, and for the Cannabis plant, Fall is the season of love.
Keep your watering the same. If you were using nutrients for vegetation (nitrogen-rich), stop them as the plants will need more phosphorous than nitrogen at this stage. Grow supply stores sell great nutrients for flowering. Almost anything with the word bloom in the name will work, but ask the sales staff for advice if you're uncertain. Nutrients will usually be mixed in with the water at watering. Just like before, only water the plants when the top of the dirt has become dry and crusty. The plants are still very suceptible to over-watering.
Remember only to do any gardening while the lights are on. Lights on in the middle of their night-time periods is not good for the plants. The care you have to provide here is much the same as with the vegetative stage. Control any insects and keep your plants happy. Pay attention to their needs. You might want to trim some of the larger leaves to allow light to penetrate to the lower levels, but this is not absolutely necessary.
When you start to notice a snowy haze forming on your buds, it's time to consider Harvesting your marijuana. Below are several pics of healthy marijuana plants during the flowering stage.