3 FREE ZOAP Seeds On Orders Over $150 – Expires November 1st

Flowering Cannabis – From the First Signs of the Flowering Stage Until Harvest

Written by Taylor Christianson May 26 2022

Flowering cannabis is arguably one of the most important growth stages. When cannabis flowers, it begins to show those all-important buds that cannabis cultivators desire. In this article, we will look at the first signs of the flowering stage, all the way until the end when it is time to harvest.

What is flowering cannabis?

One of the main stages that influence the success of your cannabis plants is the flowering stage. Your cannabis plants will enter this stage upon specific light cycles that favor their exposure to uninterrupted darkness. At this point, your cannabis plants do not care about growing but focus all efforts on bud production.

Different cannabis flowering stages

The flowering period may last at most nine weeks, but it varies depending on the cannabis strain. The reason cannabis flowering is a crucial part of your plant’s life cycle is that it is the most sensitive period that, if you are not careful, could lead to errors that will jeopardize yields. The only way you can ensure the success of your cultivar is to conduct enough research on cannabis flowering stages to understand what your plants need to thrive.

When does cannabis start to flower?

Cannabis flowering time will depend on the type of plants you are growing. Male cannabis plant flowering is different from that of female plants. Also, if you are growing your plants outdoors, expect the cannabis flowering time to differ from indoor plants. Your outdoor plants will begin showing flowering buds in the time of the year where days are shorter than nighttime; Autumn or the end of Summer. However, if you have an indoor location for your cannabis plants, you should switch light cycles to 12 hours of light/ 12 hours of darkness so that your cannabis plants can begin flowering. The only circumstance where switching light cycles is unnecessary is if you have auto-flowering cannabis strains which flower automatically after about four weeks when the vegetative stage ends.

When should you flip from veg to flowering cannabis?

During the vegetative stage of cannabis, your cannabis plants will grow leaves and stems. In this period, your cannabis plants will also increase in size. Growers begin budding cannabis when they feel that their plants have achieved the desired maximum growth. You should expect to see the first cannabis flower after transitioning into the appropriate stage by adjusting grow lights and exposing your plants to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness in a day.

What are the first signs of the flowering stage?

One of the first signs of cannabis flowering stage is the flowering stretch. But, what do buds look like when they start to form? Cannabis plants usually begin growing exponentially immediately after the light cycle switches to 12/12. Growers report that cannabis plants could grow up to twice the size before the light adjustment. The pre-stretch of cannabis pre-flowering happens just before 12/12, and post-stretch occurs after about a mouth if adjusting the light cycle to 12/12.

Signs of the flowering stage
Signs of the flowering stage.

Although your female plants should begin sprouting white pistils, you should not expect to see real buds just yet. It would be best to differentiate female from male plants during cannabis early flowering because this will influence your results. If your pollen sacs develop, these are made plants you should remove as soon as possible so that they do not cause seedy buds upon pollination with female plants. Plants showing their sec is one of the key first signs of the flowering stage.

Novice growers should search online for ‘what do buds look like when they start to form’ to know what to look for during the flowering stage and thus easily detect male plants. We recommend growers check out our useful guide to cannabis sexing so that any male plants can be spotted early and dealt with accordingly.

How long does a cannabis plant stay in the flowering stage?

Flowering cannabis
Cannabis plant with visible hairs and leaves in the late flowering stage

Week 1

You should not expect to see cannabis plant flowers in week one. During this time, your plant will be growing and forming new leaves. You should try and introduce cannabis flowering nutrients which will support plant growth. Size and height are not the only things your plants will gain in the stretch phase; the number of new leaves will also increase, especially at the top of the main colas.

Week 2

In week two, if cannabis is flowering, your plants should start producing white pistils. This distinct feature is specific to female plants. The junction of big leaves and the main stem is where the fine wispy white hairs will form. You do not want your male plants pollinating your female plant; therefore, if you notice that some plants produce pollen sacs instead of white pistils, get rid of them as soon as possible because those are non-feminized plants.

Week 3

Growth continues in the third week. However, your cannabis plants will start focusing most of their energy on producing flowers. You will notice that the hairy white pistils are growing into real buds, but since trichomes and resin glands are not yet present, the buds will not have a pungent smell. The third week is a crucial cannabis flowering time since your plants become picky and quickly develop cannabis deficiencies. Ensure that you introduce the right cannabis flowering nutrients that will promote the growth of your plants at this budding cannabis stage

Week 4

Your cannabis plants will stop growing in the fourth week of pot plants flowering. For this reason, you do not have to continue training. The only thing you should expect is for your flowering buds to grow larger and more prominent. This growth will develop trichomes; thus, your buds will start to smell.

Week 5

In the fifth week, your plants will be in full flowering mode and will present thicker buds with intensive odor. Thus, a sound ventilation system is critical. Also, keenly observe the trichomes becoming darker, a sign that the cannabis flowering cycle is about to end and harvest is near.

Later stages of flowering cannabis

The late stages of cannabis flowering are weeks six to eight. Flushing your plants with pH-neutral water will ensure you harvest pure-tasting buds.

Cannabis ready to harvest
In the late flowering stage, your cannabis will begin to display signs it’s ready to harvest.

In week seven of flowering, your trichomes should have progressed from a clear to milky color meaning it is time to harvest.

How long is the flowering stage outdoors?

One question most growers ask is how long is flowering stage outdoors? The duration will depend on the type of strain you are growing. Cannabis flowers for an average time of 8-11 weeks; the exact time largely depends on the strain or the type of cannabis.

Grow techniques for the cannabis flowering stage

The most important thing to maintain when flowering cannabis plants is a 12/12 photoperiod: This lighting technique will speed up the bidding process. Temperatures should not be lower than 17 degrees Celsius lest your plants die or higher than 27 degrees Celsius because this may cause stunted growth. Maintain a feeding plan that ensures adequate nutrient application, which will prevent a cannabis flowering deficiency during the flowering stage. Moreover, pH 6.0-7.0 will ensure maximum nutrient absorption by cannabis plant riots, thus maximizing the growth of flowering buds.

Taylor Christianson

Taylor is an indoor expert. Through their writing, they offer a masterclass on growing cannabis indoors, maintaining a productive growing environment, and guiding growers through all the stages of growth both indoors and outdoors. Combining multiple fields of expertise allows for Taylor to give in-depth insights into overall cannabis growing. About this Author

You might also like these cultivars