How to make your plants bud?

BY ROBERT BERGMAN

The hard part comes not with knowing that fact, but with knowing how exactly to accomplish it.

Luckily, marijuana growers all over the world have experimented and reported their results. Their experience led to a few basic concepts that are necessary to understand before even hoping to achieve the biggest buds possible. There are also some tougher concepts that can make a big difference as well. Let’s look at some of both.

An introduction to marijuana buds

The buds are what contain THC, the chemical in the smokeable product form of marijuana. This is why they are so important, and why there is so much hype about them. THC, of course, is the chemical that leads to the “high” feeling that smokers (or consumers of any other type) experience.

THC is, in fact, found in the leaves of marijuana plants as well as the buds. However, the buds contain the most concentrated dosage (and simply more altogether) compared to anywhere else on the plant. In other words, the buds of the marijuana plant deserve all the attention they receive.

TIP: Download my freeMarijuana Grow Bibleand learn the basics about growing marijuana

Marijuana plants have several phases, including the vegetative phase and the flowering phase. Buds don’t make an appearance until the flowering phase. This doesn’t mean the vegetative phase isn’t important, however. The vegetative phase is all about building up the foundation to support the healthy growth of buds when it’s their turn to grow.

Male and female marijuana plants

Male Marijuana Plant , Female Marijuana Plant

One important thing to know concerning buds is the fact that there are male and female plants. While both plants have buds that produce THC, female plants are more potent – and when in combination with males, they will not be able to produce their biggest and most potent buds possible.

Some people are under the false impression that male plants don’t have any kind of usable buds at all – making them more or less useless to marijuana growers. That is not, in fact, true. While female buds contain higher concentrations of THC, male buds are also perfectly smokeable and potent enough to be enjoyed.

Generally speaking, the male marijuana plant likely receives a bad rap because they contribute to the female plants not producing the biggest buds possible. If the male plants pollinate the female ones, the female plants will start focusing their efforts on growing seeds rather than buds. Therefore, in most marijuana gardens, the males are discarded as soon as they are identified.

TIP: Download my freeMarijuana Grow Bibleand learn the basics about growing marijuana

Although both contain THC, male buds are different from female buds in the way they look. They appear to be rounded flowers filled with pollen – and this pollen is what pollinates the female plants. (Again, pollination causes females to produce lower amounts of THC). Male buds usually start popping up about two weeks before female buds do.

Female buds, on the other hand, look like white, hairy growths that appear on the end of each branch and the top of the marijuana plant as well. These are the buds you are going to want to cultivate. If done right, even the tiniest of these buds can end up being larger than two inches in length.

Increasing the buds’ speed of growth

The most important rule, as obvious as it seems, is this: the faster your buds grow, the bigger buds you will have when you harvest. It may seem obvious, but it is a highly important concept.

Once you accept (and understand) this fact, you can start thinking about how you are going to speed up the growth of your marijuana plants’ buds. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to do this.

Pruning

The first and most effective way to get your marijuana plants to grow faster once they enter their flowering phase is to remove any leaves from it that are already dying. You can tell which leaves are dying because they will be yellowing. They will not bounce back – that’s not how it works – so you might as well cut them off.

They are also doing some harm (with regards to the speed of your bud growth). This is because, while they are still attached to the plant, they will continue to drain precious resources that could be directed at bud growth instead. So, remove those leaves as soon as you can tell they are dying.

Don’t throw away the yellowing leaves, however. Dry and cure them because they actually should contain enough THC to tide you over between growing seasons and the like.

Another form of pruning, called topping (see picture above), is a good way of speeding up the growth of your marijuana plants’ buds. To do it, chop off some of the buds at the very top of your plants. This bud won’t be wasted, since you can cure it and smoke it as well, but it will allow the other buds to grow bigger and faster.

More tips about different pruning techniques in my Free Marijuana Grow Bible.

Other types of pruning (or, more accurately, “training”) include LST or low-stress training. This means there is no cutting or removal of plant matter whatsoever. It involves physically moving your plants and manipulating their growth patterns, so they grow to be bushy and wide rather than tall and skinny. Bending is often employed in this process, but the stems of the plant are never broken.

The key to doing LST successfully is to start when your plants are still young. Screen of Green is another LST option that utilizes a net to maintain the shape and growth patterns of your plants. This will allow them to take in the most sunlight as possible, making their growing faster and more efficient in all phases of their life.

Nutrients

When the flowering phase begins for your marijuana plants, you should start a new nutrient regimen. Keep in mind that marijuana plants require more phosphorus during their flowering phase than the previous vegetative phase, so choose a mix that includes 30% phosphorus (as well as 10% nitrogen and 10% potassium). This can be distinguished by the term “NPK 10-30-10.”

It can be rather difficult to find mixtures with this amount of phosphorus, so you may need to add your own. Wood ash and water should provide an ample amount of phosphorus for your flowering plants. Of course, (generally speaking), good nutrition practices will help your marijuana plants grow big buds.

Read this article called the Best and most popular marijuana fertilizers and learn all you need to know about nutrients.

Lighting

If growing your marijuana plants indoors, there is a lot you can do with the lighting to speed up their bud growth. The intensity of the light is the big part of it – the more intense the light, the bushier the plants will become (as opposed to tall, skinny, and weak).

The way to increase light intensity is not complicated at all. You simply need to move the lights closer to the plants. The light should be directly hitting the buds themselves to get the maximum growth possible.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide helps plants grow faster in general, and the flowering phase of marijuana plants is no exception. If you combine an increase in the intensity of light with an increase in carbon dioxide, you will achieve the best results. Carbon dioxide helps plants grow efficiently, and it even helps them take in more light energy.

Please note that pumping in extra carbon dioxide into your grow room, while effective for plants, is quite dangerous for humans.

Temperature and humidity

The key to temperature and humidity is to always monitor it and make sure it is consistent and within the healthy range for your strain of marijuana. This is important not only during the flowering phase but also during the phases before that. Make sure that the temperature and humidity are adjusted accordingly for each stage of growth.

Timing the harvest

No matter how fast or slow your buds grow, the timing of the harvest is critical in terms of maximizing the amount of product you end up with. This is because the last couple weeks of growth can add a whopping 25% to the size and potency of your buds.

For that reason, it is crucial that growers wait until the buds have grown for as long as possible before they harvest.

Of course, waiting too long could mean your buds will pass their peak by the time you harvest. It is important, therefore, to not harvest too early or too late. The timing can also be determined by your personal preferences, as the type of high will change according to how early or late you harvest.

Genetics

As always, everything comes down to genetics. If you start things off with cheap, low-quality seeds or seeds that you happened to discover in some weed you purchased, your plants and the resulting harvest will inevitably be unsuccessful.

If you paid attention to genetics from the beginning and didn’t try skimping on it, you should end up with overall success – or at least a much higher potential for success. In the end, genetics are always worth the cost.

Want to know more about growing? Get my free grow guide . The best marijuana seeds are available in this webshop.

Happy growing,

Robert Bergman

Contents

Grow More Big Buds Indoors

You want the biggest and the best harvest? Then it’s all about the details! With these seven key strategies, your crop will be bigger and better than ever. Achieving these results is easier than ever. Read on to learn mroe about how you can increase the size and quantity of your harvest.

1. Turn Up The Lights

Compact fluorescent and LED bulbs produce enough light for plants to grow and even to flower, but high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures provide the most light in the spectrum that plants need during their budding stage. HPS lights can get hot, so you need a well-ventilated room to use them.

You want to keep the lights 18 to 36 inches above the tops of the plants. Check to be sure they’re not too hot by putting your hand under the lights at the same height as the tops of the plants—if it’s too uncomfortable for you, it will be for your plants as well.

2. Change Nutrients for Each Stage

Plants need the macronutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium throughout their growth, but the proportions of each element—collectively called the N-P-K ratio—change as the plant grows. In the early stages, you want the plants’ energy directed into growing stout stems and dense leaf canopies. The bigger the leaf area, the bigger your buds will be. Nitrogen is the nutrient needed most for this green growth.

When plants reach their mature size and begin flowering, they need more phosphorus, the nutrient most essential for budding. Check the N-P-K ratio listed on every package of nutrients to be sure that you’re using a high-nitrogen formula during the vegetative stage and a high-phosphorus fertilizer when your plants are flowering.

3. Train Your Plants

As plants grow taller, the bigger leaves on top shade the lower leaves and branches. That can lead to small plants with buds on only the highest tier. By gently bending the top of a plant, you bring light to the lower leaves, increasing the colas (nodes where buds form) and bringing light to lower-level buds.

Tie the bent stems to thin bamboo sticks with twine to keep them in place—just remember not to cinch the ties so tightly that you cut off the circulation of vital fluids in the stem and branches. This low-stress training technique is more effective at increasing bud size and quantity than snipping off the top leaves (known as topping) as many growers do.

4. Bone Up On Your Feeding

Phosphorus is the critical nutrient during the budding stage. Bone meal, a natural plant supplement, is loaded with phosphorus and calcium, which activates key growth-regulating hormones essential for flowering. Weekly doses of bone meal, starting just before budding begins, ensure that your plants have the phosphorus and calcium they need to bud abundantly.

Take note, though, that these supplements are on the alkaline end of the pH scale and that at a pH above 7 (neutral), plants are less able to absorb phosphorus. When using bone-meal supplements, check the pH of your nutrient solution and, when needed, use natural acids to bring it down.

5. Control Temperature and Humidity

Plants are most vigorous when the temperature is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day (or when the lights are on inside) and 70 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s dark. In warmer conditions, plants tend to wilt. When it’s colder, plants are stressed and stop growing. Disruptions such as these diminish the plants’ energy for bud production.

Humidity helps keep your plants hydrated, preventing the drought stress that can slow their growth. With water used constantly in indoor gardens, grow rooms tend to have high humidity, often as much as 80 percent. Too much humidity can lead to fungal diseases, including those that can turn your buds into a mildewy mess.

As plants begin flowering, reduce the humidity in your indoor garden to 50 percent, enough to ensure that there is sufficient moisture during this intense stage of plant growth but not so much that you lose buds to mold. The simplest way to reduce humidity is through ventilation with outside air, which outside of tropical climates is closer to your ideal.

6. Pump Up CO2

Carbon dioxide is the fuel for photosynthesis, the process that plants use to convert light into growth. The atmosphere has about 400 parts per million (ppm) of CO2, enough to sustain plants outside. In an enclosed indoor space, CO2 levels can drop as plants absorb it from the air, slowing their growth.

Consistent ventilation with outside air is all the CO2 plants need during budding. More CO2—as much as 1,500 ppm—will amp up your plants’ growth rate and yields. Pushing the level to as much as 1,500 ppm of CO2 makes the maximum amount available to your crop during the crucial period when the buds are forming and fattening up. You can get a simple CO2 generator for less than $120.

7. Be Patient

When you see buds maturing, you’ll be tempted to harvest them. If you can wait, you’ll see that buds bulk up noticeably in the last couple weeks before they finish growing. Give the plants only water—no nutrients—after you see the buds are mature. Hold off on picking them for another 10 to 14 days, when they’ll be at their peak.

Which Step Helped You The Most?

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Grow Bigger Cannabis Buds Outdoors and Indoors [FIND OUT HOW]

As a proud marijuana grower, you know the main goal is to grow the most massive and healthiest buds possible. It is incredibly disappointing to spend several months caring for your plants only to achieve a mediocre harvest.

It is crucial to realize that some cannabis strains provide higher yields than others. For the record, high yield strains include:

  • Cheese Quake
  • White Widow
  • Critical Kush
  • Blue Dream
  • Purple Trainwreck

Genetic considerations aside, there are a variety of tactics you can use to increase the size of your cannabis buds. These tactics may be different depending on whether you grow your plants indoors or outdoors.

Why Should I Care About My Cannabis Bud Size?

The buds on the marijuana plant are what contain THC, the psychoactive compound in weed. They also include a host of other important cannabinoids, which may have potential medicinal benefits.

In simple terms, the bud is what pops out during the flowering phase. Experienced growers know that this is a big moment because it indicates that harvest time is just around the corner.

While the plant’s sugar leaves are coated in THC-rich trichomes, there is a far more concentrated amount in the buds. This is why experienced growers take pride in the resinous buds their plants produce after several hard months of work.

It is incorrect to assume that male marijuana plants do not produce usable buds. Male buds look very different and are capable of producing potent weed, albeit nowhere near as strong as female plants.

The main issue is that males pollinate females when grown in proximity. When this happens, your females begin producing seeds and less THC. Most growers only use males to produce seeds and ensure they are kept well away from the females.

For the record, female buds appear approximately two weeks later than males. In this guide, we show you how pruning, feeding, lighting, and training are vital to growing large buds.

Pruning Your Cannabis Buds

For the uninitiated, a plant’s node is where a branch or leaf grows off the stalk. The node is also where you’ll find your cannabis buds. The bigger the plant, the more nodes that spring up. As a result, there are more places where buds can grow. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that an increase in nodes automatically means more abundant and bigger buds.

Too many nodes can become a big problem. A plant with a lot of nodes with buds near the bottom will attempt to develop during the flowering stage. However, as they don’t receive enough light, there is no way they can grow to a considerable size. Therefore, pruning away the plant life that isn’t getting enough light is the key to success.

Pruning, i.e., removing the small shoots between the trunk and branches, helps the marijuana plant develop huge buds.

Which would you prefer; a lot of small and light buds or a few large and heavy ones?

We recommend pruning during the vegetative stage to ensure the plant has time to recover and grow large leaves. Wait a minimum of 72 hours after pruning before forcing your plants into the flowering stage.

As a bonus, remove dying leaves when the plant reaches the flowering stage. You will spot such leaves due to their yellow hue. These leaves do nothing other than take up resources and energy better spent elsewhere. Don’t throw these sugar leaves away, however. They have a high enough THC content to make cannabutter as long as you dry and cure them properly.

How to Feed Your Marijuana Plants for Bigger Buds

You must ensure your marijuana plants receive enough Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) at varying stages of the growth cycle. Typically, your plants need more N during the vegetative stage, and more P and K during flowering.

Buds thrive on Phosphorus, so try a mix of 30% P, 10% K, and 10% N; i.e., NPK 10-30-10.

When you add the right amount of P, you help the buds fully develop and become denser. If you’re using soil as a growing medium, add a layer of worm castings or bat guano to boost P levels. You can also add a compost tea mixture to the soil during flowering. This process increases mycelium in the soil, which ensures your plant absorbs a higher percentage of nutrients.

There are a few other things to consider when feeding your plant:

  • pH: If growing in soil, keep the pH at around 6.0. Reduce it to 5.5 if growing hydroponically. The pH level of the soil impacts a marijuana plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. For instance, marijuana plants don’t absorb magnesium well when the pH level is too low.
  • Carbon Dioxide: Also known as CO2, carbon dioxide is crucial to the flowering and overall growth of your cannabis plant. When it comes to plants, more CO2 is better. For the record, there is usually 350-400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the air. Your plants combine that CO2 with light energy to create the sugars it needs. If you add more CO2 to a grow room, be careful because high levels are hazardous for humans.
  • Temperature & Humidity: For seedlings, the ideal temperature range is 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit with 70% humidity when the lights are on. When the lights are off, turn down the temperature to between 59 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure the maximum difference between day and night temperature is 18 degrees. When plants reach flowering, they can tolerate up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, cut humidity by 5% a week until it reaches 40%.

The Right Lighting for Your Cannabis Plants

The light intensity that your plants are exposed to will dictate whether or not you benefit from big buds. Premium quality cannabis strains in dispensaries have been exposed to an optimum amount of light. This is true whether they were grown indoors or outdoors. As a general rule, 100 Watts covers one square foot. For instance, you need a 400-Watt light to cover a 4’ x 4’ area.

When plants don’t receive enough light, they fail to produce large buds. They may become tall and thin because they ‘reach’ to desperately find the light source. Poor lighting during the vegetative stage means your plants will grow uneven colas. From that point onward, it will become challenging to distribute the light evenly and effectively.

As a result, it is imperative that your lighting is at the right height from the get-go. Otherwise, your marijuana plants could suffer from heat stress. If you are growing your weed indoors, you can move your lights a bit closer to the plants. This is safe as long as the temperature the plants are exposed to doesn’t exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When growing outdoors, please ensure that there is ample space between the pots. This is necessary to make sure that all of the plants receive a relatively equal amount of sunlight.

QUICK TIP: Make sure your plants grow on a south-facing slope.

Training Your Cannabis Plants

If you leave your marijuana plants alone, they usually develop a large stalk with several smaller stems growing around it. The big stalk will produce an impressive cola. However, the plant’s height dictates where the lights must be placed when growing indoors. As a consequence, the lower branches receive far less light, which negatively impacts growth.

Fortunately, there are low-stress training (LST) methods available to train your cannabis plants without cutting. Through LST techniques, you can manipulate your plants to grow wider and flatter instead of them becoming tall and skinny. One of the best LST tactics is to tie down the top branches. This helps the surrounding branches to grow and develop.

When you train your marijuana plants, you ensure the central stalk’s growth hormones are redistributed to the other branches. This ensures even growth for the whole plant. Ultimately, you benefit from an even group of branches that grow a large cola apiece. This is due to them all being a similar distance from the light.

Final Thoughts on Growing Bigger Cannabis Buds

If you are serious about growing marijuana, then cultivating it so it has large buds should be your top priority. Remember, large and healthy buds are filled with THC and other cannabinoid goodness. Therefore, if you want the most potent marijuana, large buds are a must. However, don’t assume that you can follow a simple guide and learn how to grow bigger buds quickly and easily.

No matter what anyone tells you, gardening – especially growing marijuana with big buds – is a difficult skill to learn. It takes time and patience to master. It is unlikely that you will produce monster buds at the first attempt. So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do so.

We recommend keeping a detailed journal of your cannabis’ growing cycle that outlines what you are doing each day. When you achieve a bountiful harvest, referring to your journal will help you identify what you did correctly. Then you can use this knowledge again and again to grow bigger buds and to achieve consistently impressive yields.

What Causes Flowers to Bloom?

Flowering Plants

In general, it is the need to reproduce that causes a flower to bloom. How that process is triggered differs from specie to specie. Flower buds form in reaction to different occurrences. The plant may be mature enough to put the energy required into flower and seed formation. The plant senses a coming winter in response to lengthening night periods. The plant experiences a cold period which stimulates growth toward sexual maturity. The plant senses the coming of spring by the shortening night periods. In some cases, the plant senses it will die and only then flowers and produces seed.

Theory holds that a flower-inducing plant hormone called floriden is the physical mechanism within a plant that causes flowering. There is strong evidence this theory is correct, but studies on it continue.

Annuals

Annuals are plants that germinate, grow to maturity, flower and produce seed in a single season. The plant dies, leaving only its seeds behind to grow into new plants the following spring. Annuals grow quickly, and the flowers begin blooming as soon as the plant can provide the energy required to bloom and produce seeds.

The short life cycle of annuals causes the plants to undergo physical changes which force the flower to bloom, even if the plant has not reached full size. As the nights lengthen, the plant senses the coming winter and puts its energy into flower and seed production rather than growing.

Even though the plant may only manage to bloom a single flower, this may be enough to ensure that some seeds for the next year will grow into new plants. For annuals, maturity and lengthening night periods causes the plant to bloom.

Biennials

Biennials, such as Sweet William, grow slowly the first summer, building a root system to survive the winter. In the spring, the roots put forth new shoots which grow very quickly.The shoots and leaves grow faster than the plant can produce more food, utilizing stores of energy from the previous year. Once the stems and leaves are mature, the flower buds are formed and opened. After pollination, seeds are produced and the plant dies. Biennials flower in response to maturity which is achieved the second year of their lifespan.

Perennials

Environmental conditions and maturity play a large part in causing a perennial plant’s flowers to bloom. These plants usually do not flower in the first year after germinating from seed, although some do. Perennials spend their first summer establishing themselves as plants that will live more than 2 years. Sensing the coming winter by the lengthening night periods, they go dormant. After the days begin to lengthen again and temperatures warm, they break dormancy and begin growing again.

When a perennial plant reaches maturity, it flowers and puts some energy into the process. Seeds form, fall to the ground or are carried off by animals. For perennials, flowering may be put off if conditions are not exactly right. They can afford to be a little patient and bloom at exactly the right time.

Scientists Unlock Secret Of What Makes Plants Flower

The study reveals the likely mechanism by which the Arabidopsis plant flowers in response to changes in day length. Earlier research had shown that plants’ leaves perceived seasonal changes in day length, which triggers a long-distance signal to travel through the plant’s vascular system from the leaf to the shoot apex, where flowering is induced. However, the identity of the long-distance signal remained unclear.

This new research, carried out by scientists at Imperial College London and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, has led to the proposal that this signal is a protein known as Flowering Locus T Protein (FT protein), which is produced in leaves by the Flowering Locus T gene (FT gene). It travels through the plant’s vascular system to the shoot apex, where it activates other genes, causing the plant to flower. The research team were able to track the progress of the protein through the plant by tagging it with a green fluorescent protein originally isolated from jellyfish, allowing it to be detected in living tissues using highly sensitive microscope systems.

The team then grafted two plants together, only one of which contained the gene for the fluorescent version of FT. This allowed them to show conclusively that FT protein moved from where it was produced in the leaves of one plant, across into the other plant.

The FT protein is produced when the FT gene is switched on by another gene known as CONSTANS. This is a key gene expressed in leaves which reacts to changes in day length.

Dr Colin Turnbull from Imperial College London’s Division of Biology, who carried out the research, said: “This could be a really important breakthrough in plant science. Since the 1930s when it first became clear that something was communicating the perception of changes in day length in leaves to the shoot apex, and causing flowering, scientists have been trying to work out exactly how this mechanism works.

“Over the past couple of years several labs made exciting discoveries all pointing to the FT gene being central to controlling flowering time. Now that we have been able to track FT protein moving from its source in leaves to its destination in the shoot tip, we have a plausible explanation for how plants respond to day length. Parallel work in Japan shows very similar mechanisms operating in rice, so there is immediate potential to translate research into practical benefits for food crops. The ability to control flowering is of enormous commercial significance across food and non-food species, for example extending production seasons or designing plants better adapted to changing climate.”

Scientists have completed research in attempts to explain what we see in our parks and gardens every year: with the onset of warmer weather comes blooming flowers and trees.

Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), scientists from the John Innes Center have investigated the effects of warm weather and global climate changes on flowering plants and trees. Their findings on this research will be published soon in the journal Nature.

The research identified a control gene, called PIF4, whose job it is to activate a flowering pathway, causing the flowers to bloom. When the temperature gets below a certain point, the gene is unable to act.

“What is striking is that temperature alone is able to exert such specific and precise control on the activity of PIF4,” said Dr Phil Wigge, the lead scientist in the study.

This is not the first time scientists have looked at PIF4 in plants. Previously, the gene had been shown to control other plant responses to warmth, particularly growth. With this new research, the scientists have found this same gene is also responsible for activating flowering when the temperatures turn warm.

When plants flower, a special molecule called Florigen is activated. Florigen can be activated by many signals, like the longer days that accompany spring. While some plants rely more heavily on temperature to spark their flowering and leaf emergence, others depend on longer days to start their new life cycles.

The affects of daylight on Florigen has already been documented. This study is the first of its kind to understand how temperature instead of daylight acts as a Florigen activator.

Plants can still flower when the temperatures are cooler, albeit through other pathways. If PIF4 is activated too late, it will not bind to the flowering molecule Florigen and therefore will not accelerate flowering. When the temperatures rise, PIF4 will bind to Florigen and plants will flower more quickly via the PIF4 pathways.

“Our findings explain at the molecular level what we observe in our gardens as the warmer temperatures of spring arrive,” said Wigge.

“It also explains why plants are flowering earlier as a result of climate change.”

By unlocking these mysteries and understanding why plants flower and bloom when they do, Wigge and his colleagues hope to develop crops that will be resistant to climate changes and fluctuations. When crops react strongly to warmer temperatures, their yield is reduced. By understanding at the molecular level how these plants react to temperature and when they begin to bloom and mature, the team hopes they can breed a heartier and more resilient crop.

According to NOAA´s 2008 State of the Climate Report, Wigge´s research may be coming at just the right time. The report shows the Earth is warming at a rate of .29 degrees Fahrenheit per decade and average surface temperature has warmed about 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1970. In fact, the eight warmest years on record have occurred in the last 11 years, with the title of warmest year going to 2005.

“Knowing the key players in the temperature response pathways will be a valuable tool for safeguarding food security in an era of climate change,” said Wigge.

How To Force Cannabis Flowering Outdoors

For those who live outside moderate climate zones, such as in northerly and southerly regions of the globe or in locations near the equator, growing outdoors can be a bit tricky. If you grow in northern climates, nature may not give your plants enough time to complete flowering by the time the winter cold sets in. A similar problem can be if you grow near the equator. There, your plants can go through a very long period of vegetative growth, convincing you to initiate force-flowering to prevent them from growing out of control. Below, we provide an overview on how to force cannabis flowering outdoors.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO FORCE-FLOWER CANNABIS?

For cultivators who grow cannabis in the northern regions of Europe (or those in the Southern hemisphere respectively), force-flowering outdoor plants is a way to make sure that crops can finish before the cold winter weather arrives. In these zones, flowering will start as the daylight hours become shorter, but the winter frost will be arriving just a few weeks afterwards, potentially destroying your crop and your harvest. When you start flowering early, however, you can plan your grow accordingly and give your buds the extra days they need to fully ripen.

While force-flowering can be a necessity in these aforementioned climate zones, it is also a way for growers in other climates to cultivate multiple harvests in one single season. By strategically planning a crop and then force-flowering at a particular time, some growers can harvest as many as 2 or 3 cycles per year. This means that outdoor cannabis growers can start planting very early in spring and then flower a part of their crops for a harvest in June, with the rest of their plants being ready by autumn.

Seasoned cultivars can plan their forced flowering in such a way that they can harvest every 2 or so weeks in what is called “perpetual harvests” all year long.

WHEN CAN YOU FORCE-FLOWER CANNABIS OUTDOORS?

Some locations and climate zones allow you to essentially grow cannabis at any point throughout the year. Cultivars that happen to grow in these warm-temperate regions, like in parts of Southern Europe or the tropics, may start to force-flower at any time. There may be local conditions, however, that should be taken into account; but otherwise, there won’t be any restrictions on when to flower.

This is different in cool-temperate climate zones like in the UK or some Northern parts of Europe. There, autumn can be cold and damp, correlating to a full, natural flowering cycle lasting through mid-October. Rather than waiting for the natural flowering period to set in, a grower may force-flower their crops prematurely, say in July, to ensure that they can harvest early enough. Here too, local conditions can play a role in when it is best to force-flower. Last but not least, the time to force can also depend on the particular strains being used and their unique flowering durations.

As an example, let us take an outdoor grow in the UK. Flowering there will usually not start before September. To avoid the strong winds and rainy conditions in autumn, it can be a good idea to start flowering as early as mid-June or early July. Growers in these climate zones will normally start their plants indoors since these zones that have a cold and/or wet autumn will also have a spring that will be too cold for starting plants outdoors.

HOW TO FORCE CANNABIS FLOWERING OUTDOORS

The basic principle behind force-flowering cannabis outdoors is that you artificially reduce your plant’s natural daylight hours to provide them with longer hours of uninterrupted darkness each day. You do this by covering up your plants with some type of material that doesn’t allow any light through. In the simplest case, you could use a tarp of some kind; in a “fancier” case, it could be that your plants are sequestered inside some type of enclosure, possibly even with an automated roof on a timer.

Urban cannabis growers that have only a small number of plants outdoors, like on their balcony or in their yard, could make a simple frame from wood and some light-proof material. They can then put this frame over their plants in the evening to ensure that plants get the required 12 hours of darkness for flowering. Folks who are not too keen on DIY can also look into toy tents, which they can re-purpose as a plant cover as long as the fabric used is light-proof.

What also works is a light-proof garden shed. In this instance, you would move your plants into the shed at night. Obviously, this means that your plants would need to be in containers and that you, depending on the number of your plants, would have to lug them in and out of the shed on a daily basis. Likewise, if you grow in a greenhouse, all that you’d need there would be light proof curtains if you want to initiate flowering.

FORCE-FLOWERING: THINGS TO KNOW WHEN COVERING YOUR PLANTS

When you cover your plants or put them away somewhere to start flowering, heat is likely to become an issue. Together with your light-proof tent, shed or DIY light-blocking frame, you will want to maximise good air circulation so that your plants won’t die from the heat. There are some elaborate solutions to provide your plants with adequate temperatures, but in some cases, a simple fan with a cool breeze can be all that’s required.

When you decide to go the route of force-flowering your outdoor crop, it is very important to stick to the schedule and not miss one single day. Cannabis that has started flowering is very sensitive to any type of changes in light exposure; some forgetfulness could easily make your plants revert back into the vegging phase, something which would seriously hurt your harvest. Seasoned growers who might depend on force-flowering because of their climate zone may want to consider some kind of automated system.

Likewise, any type of cover or enclosure for your plant needs to be 100% light proof. Sometimes, street lights alone can make flowering impossible. No light should reach your plants in the hours of darkness.

What if you grow indoors, but your plants won’t go into flowering? If you’re one of the many cannabis cultivators who grow under artificial light and your plants just won’t bud, check out our blog on “What To Do When Your Homegrown Cannabis Won’t Flower.” This article will help you get your indoor plants flowering in no time.

Speed Up Flowering Of Outdoor Marijuana Plants

For outdoor growers, the question of how temperature will affect the flowering time of their marijuana plants is a big one. Especially in some places where fall can come early, and September might bring temperatures in the 30s! The flowering phase doesn’t usually begin until mid-August (or later), meaning that the harvest won’t actually happen until mid-October.

This makes the temperature question a very relevant one: is a changing temperature going to make your buds mature more quickly and increase the production of resin glands? Or is it going to stunt growth and keep the buds and plants from reaching their full potential?

Outdoor Flowering Tips

  • Use short season strain
  • Force flowering
  • Pollinate the flowers

Use short season strain

Marijuana plants fall under the “short day plant” category, which means that their flowering period is initiated once they have received uninterrupted darkness for a long time on a daily basis. This also means that other factors like humidity or temperature changes do nothing to trigger this flowering phase in your marijuana plants. That being said, humidity and temperature can have an effect on the overall flower growth that your plants are able to achieve. For instance, lower temperatures will slow growth, and a very dry environment is going to speed up the maturing process, therefore making buds that are smaller in size.

Download my free marijuana grow guide for more grow tips

When fall comes, the amount of sunlight decreases and the temperature drops, bud growth slows down. This is simply because, with less sunlight, photosynthesis cannot carry on at its normal efficiency. The lower temperature has an effect because it diminishes your plant’s respiration processes, making it more likely to get things like fungal infections. If your plant matures earlier, it will most likely have a high yield in the end – so you will probably want to take certain steps to hurry things along.

Any kind of marijuana strain that is known for having a shorter season (Indica) will begin to mature far before the late-season varieties (Sativa). If you have your sights set on a future harvest, this will be the best option for you. You can also use autoflowering marijuana seeds. They grow from seed to bud in only 10 weeks! Read the article Best seeds for your climate for more information about strains per region.

Force flowering

This is a technique used by many growers for all sorts of marijuana strains. You can force the flowering phase to begin earlier by ensuring your plants receive no light for at least 12 straight hours. Cover them with a cover of some sort, such as a tarp that is lightproof. You could begin this process as soon as the end of July. Simply shade your plants in the early evening, then remove the cover every morning.

If you do this every day, then it will trick your plants into flowering several weeks earlier than normal, meaning you could harvest as early as mid-September. You can stop covering these plants in late August since the amount of natural darkness is most likely long enough at this point in the season.

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Check out my marijuana seed shop

Having your plants flower earlier is going to give you another advantage: the buds will be bigger and tighter. This is because they will start blooming during a period when there is stronger sunlight, meaning they have more light energy at their disposal to focus on growth. The more UV-B rays, the higher the THC levels. You won’t risk mold at this time of year, plus there is the added bonus of almost no one looking around for plants to steal when it’s this early in the season.

Our free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants.

Pollinate the flowers

This is an option you may not have thought of before, but will allow you to harvest far earlier than normal. If you pollinate the flowers, you can then harvest those plants just one week afterwards – right as your fertilized plants are beginning to make seed pods, but before the seeds are actually formed yet. This is done primarily by growers who are avoiding an early frost that could kill their plants.

One advantage of this method is that you can make the decision to do it fairly last-minute. If the first frost happens at the end of September, for instance, and your plants are still 3-4 weeks out from reaching maturity when it’s already mid-September, glaze the flowers with pollen that you already have on hand.

Right when the female flowers have been pollinated, the plant will focus all its energy on seed production rather than growing new flowers. You will notice the pistils drying up and receding into the calyx, which is a sign that the ovary is turning into a seed. You will be harvesting the bud before the seed even gets a hard shell around it. Because the glands will be complete at this point, the resulting buds that you harvest are going to be ripe and firm. More information about how to pollinate in the article How to make marijuana seeds

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible

Robert

PS – If you have a website on cannabis, like Cannabis Seeds NZ, then you can partner with us and earn money from our marijuana affiliate program

The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing…

Inducing early flowering outdoors

In this guide we will speak about advanced flowering our medicinal cannabis on outdoor … or also called induced flowering outdoor..
For this system it is essential grown with pots not more than 11 liters Well, we’ll have to move, our marijuana plants every day to a dark room.

This is a great advantage to grow cannabis in outdoor, in this way, you can have two crops per year .. Or if your climate allows you, more … It can also help in humid climates, where bad weather can ruin the end of flowering… To prevent unwanted light from street lamps..

This technique is very easy, move the plants every day at the same times to dark room, .. You must be 12 hours in complete darkness .. This way you can start flowering when you want..

The cabinet or room, where we will keep the plants every day, should be a well-ventilated room, because we will have enclosed plants 12 hours straight … With poor ventilation in humid climates, may occur which we want to avoid ..
We also have to consider not open, ever, the lights during the dark period .. this could cause great stress to the plant ..

Emphasize once again the need to meet strict schedules to not stress to plants

Outdoor Induced Flowering plant

by

All of a sudden, my flower garden, which is normally full of color all year, has turned green. Why aren’t my plants blooming? -Julie M.

It’s so frustrating to take good care of your plants and be rewarded with a lack of blooms! In order to diagnose exactly why a plant isn’t blooming, you really have to understand the individual plant itself. Many plants have particular needs that can affect their flowering. However, if your entire flower garden has stopped blooming, there might be something else going on.

Here are the main reasons why plants don’t bloom, and some things you can do about it.

Annual plants typically bloom for most of the growing season. If they stop blooming, it may be caused by:

  • Overfeeding: Nitrogen promotes leaf and stem growth, so too much nitrogen results in green plants with no blooms. Even a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium might have too much nitrogen for your flowering plants.

    What to do: Water your plants really well to wash away some of the nitrogen. Stop using your current fertilizer and give your plants a few weeks’ rest before switching to one with little or no nitrogen and extra phosphorus. Fertilizers labeled as “bloom-boosting” usually have better proportions for flowering plants.

  • Heat: Some plants stop flowering when stressed by the heat, particularly if overnight temperatures rise too high.

    What to do: There’s not much you can do for heat-stressed plants other than keeping them alive and healthy until the weather changes.

  • Cold: While cooler temperatures are often vital for the setting of flower buds, a dip too low can freeze the buds and cause a season without blooms.

    What to do: Choose plants that are hardy in your climate, and protect tender plants from cold temperatures.

  • Light: The amount of sunlight is crucial to getting plants to bloom. Sun-loving plants won’t bloom in shade, and shade-loving plants have trouble in too much sun. Also, some plants are “photoperiodic,” which means they bloom in response to the change in the length of daylight as the seasons progress.

    What to do: While you can’t change the seasons, you can make sure your garden is getting the amount of sunlight required by your particular plants. Check to see if trees or other plants have grown tall enough to shade your garden, and move plants to a different location if there’s not enough (or too much) sunlight.

  • Water: While all plants need water, some—particularly desert plants and highly drought-tolerant plants—slow or stop blooming when overwatered. On the other hand, water-loving plants can stop blooming during drought.

    What to do: Check each plant’s individual water needs to make sure you’re not over or under watering.

  • Underfeeding: Container plants especially are vulnerable to nutrient depletion.

    What to do: Amend your soil with compost and organic matter, and feed with a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus.

Perennials, Shrubs, and Trees

In addition to the above factors, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and trees might be affected by:

  • Season: Most plants bloom during a particular season that can last days, weeks, or even months. For example, if your garden is full of spring-flowering plants, it will only be colorful in the spring.

    What to do: Plant a variety of plants in your yard for year-round color.

  • Plant Age: Some plants don’t bloom until they’re mature enough, and many won’t bloom the first season after they’re moved or transplanted.

    What to do: Allow time for plants to mature when young or after transplanting.

  • Pruning: Plants that bloom once per year can be affected by pruning that removes tiny flower buds. For example, camellias set buds for spring blooms several months earlier, so a late fall pruning can cut off next spring’s flowers.

    What to do: Make sure to prune plants at the correct time for each type.

  • Alternate Flowering: Some flowering trees will spontaneously bloom very profusely one year, then take a year or two off.

    What to do: This can happen naturally in some varieties, but in the future you can choose plants less prone to alternate flowering.

  • Complacency: Plants bloom in order to reproduce and survive, and older settled plants may be “too comfortable” to need to bloom. Sometimes you can encourage a shrub or tree to bloom by stressing it a little.

    What to do: Try root pruning to encourage your plant to bloom.

Further Information

  • Why Plants Fail To Bloom (University of Vermont Extension Service)
  • ‘New Dawn’ Rose Not Blooming
  • Perennial Flower Garden Basics
  • Deadheading Flowers (video)

Want more flowers in your garden? Here’re 7 tips you should know to keep your plants blooming.

1. Use rich soil

Soil that is light and rich in compost or manure provides plenty of nutrients constantly to the plants. A soil that is rich in organic matter also encourages bacterial activity that promotes soil fertility. Add some compost or manure to the soil when planting your plants and go adding them time to time.

2. Deadhead often

Most plants grow better and have more flowers if their wilted and faded blooms are plucked often. When you see the wilted flowers, remove them, so the plant can direct its energy on other flowers and they will be receiving more nutrients. Wilted flowers waste energy and sap. They also attract insect and pests. Also, by cutting off the spent flowers you prevent plants from seeding.

3. Fertilize the plants

To have more flowers, feed the plants regularly during the growing season with half strength liquid fertilizer, a flowering fertilizer should be used that has more phosphorus than nitrogen, as phosphorus is the element that promotes more flower buds. Also, you can mix time-based fertilizer in the soil at the beginning of the growing season.

4. Provide more sun

Light is essential for the plant’s growth, direct sunlight for several hours a day can be a prerequisite for many plants that come to flower, however, shade loving plants tend to reduce the number of flowers when exposed to more sun.

5. Nurse the roots

To have healthy plants and abundant blooms– nurse the roots, and remember that it is through them the plants absorb nutrients and water from the soil. When you perform the transplant or when you dig soil around the plant be careful not to cut or damage the roots as if being damaged plant would take a while to recover or it may die.

6. Apply mulch

Plants growing in a mulched soil are usually more vigorous, less prone to pests and diseases.

7. Do moderate watering

Excess watering tends to favor the development of foliage but can also produce the absence of flowering. Similarly, the lack of water can cause the plant to drop the flower buds. The best way is to do moderate watering (avoiding both overwatering and underwatering) during the flowering season.

Why Plants Fail to Flower or Fruit

Drought stress in tomato plants can cause flowers to wither or drop prematurely.
LayLa Burgess, © 2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

It can be very disappointing to wait eagerly for a favorite plant to flower and it never does. Flowers and fruits are major horticultural features of plants and can fail to form for many different reasons. Plants that do not flower are often too young, or there is not enough light. If there are no flowers on a plant, there can be no fruits formed. Some other common causes are discussed below.

Why Doesn’t My Plant Flower?

Age of Plant: Being too young or immature is a very common reason that many trees do not flower. Plants need to reach a certain level of maturity before they begin to flower each year. Trees in particular usually need three to five years after transplanting before flowering.

Growing Conditions

Shade: Lack of adequate light is another very common reason that many types of plants do not flower. Plants may grow but not flower in the shade.

Cold or Frost Injury: Cold weather may kill flower buds or partially opened flowers. Plants that are not fully hardy in your area are the most susceptible to this type of cold injury.

Excessive pruning of crape myrtles will damage future flower buds.
LayLa Burgess, © 2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Drought: Flowers or flower buds dry and drop off when there is temporary lack of moisture in the plants.

Improper Pruning: Some plants bloom only on last year’s wood. Pruning plants at the wrong time of the year can remove the flower buds for next year’s blossoms. Many spring flowering plants, such as azaleas begin setting next year’s flower buds in the late spring. Pruning these plants in the summer or fall may prevent flowering next year. Cutting back a plant severely, such as with climbing roses, can remove all the flowering wood.

Nutrient Imbalance: Too much nitrogen can cause plants to produce primarily leaves and stems. The plant will be large and usually very green and healthy but will have few or no flowers.

Nutrient deficiencies may result in reduced flower production or poor pollination. However, nutrient excess can be harmful to plant growth. For example, phosphorus levels need to be sufficient in the soil for flower formation, but excessive amounts reduce the availability of several micronutrients to plants, especially iron. A boron deficiency may lead to incomplete pollination. Pollen quality, pistil formation (part of the female flower), and pollen tube elongation are affected by insufficient boron. But, be aware that there is a fine line between sufficient and excessive soil boron, which can become toxic to plants if the levels become too high. Therefore, test the soil periodically for the recommended fertilizers for various plants. For more information on how to test the soil, see HGIC 1652, Soil Testing.

Cold Period Required: This is true for most spring flowering bulbs. Some trees planted in latitudes in which they do not normally grow may also fail to bloom. Various apple cultivars and peaches require exposure to certain periods of low temperatures, or flowering will not occur.

Why Doesn’t My Plant Have Fruits?

Pollinators transfer pollen from male flowers (above) to female flowers in cucurbit species. The absence of pollinators or low numbers of female flowers can result in fewer fruits produced.
LayLa Burgess, © 2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Poor Pollination: This is one of the most common causes of no fruit. Some plants cannot pollinate themselves. They require a plant of the same species, but a different variety for cross-pollination and maximum fruit set.

Separate Male & Female Plants: Some types of plants have only either male or only all female flowers. The plant with female flowers can form fruit, but only if a male plant is nearby for this to occur. Some examples of plants affected this way are holly, yew and ginkgo.

Weather: A freeze that occurs while a plant is in flower can kill the flowers and prevent fruit set.

Why Do Some Plants Have Flowers?

Squash Listen to article

Flowers contain the plant’s reproductive organs which have the most important task – to generate seeds to give life to new plants.

The male organs of the flower, the stamens, produce pollen, which is made up of tiny little grains of powder, usually yellow.

These grains of pollen, carried by the wind, by water or by animals, become ‘intercepted’ by the pistil, the female part of the flower, and these reach the ovary. Seeds form when the pollen comes in contact with an ovule – that is, when an ovule has been fertile.

Flowers are perfumed because their petals contain essentials oils, widely used in the manufacture of perfume.

The oil of the rose, violet and jasmine are the ones widely used for medicines and disinfectants, as well as perfume. A flower’s perfume also attracts pollinating insects, such as bees and wasps.

However, there are some flowers which have an unpleasant smell. For instance, the Stapelia, in order to be pollinated, attracts flies with a smell of bad meat.

Credit : The Big Book of Knowledge.

Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”

Why Plants Have Flowers

Flowers are some of nature’s prettiest creations. Just take a walk outside — there are so many to see! They come in many different sizes, colors, and shapes. If you think about it, they are kind of like people that way. But have you ever wondered why there are so many different flowers? In fact, why do plants have flowers anyway? It could be that flowers blossom so that people like you and your friends have something pretty to look at and smell. That sounds really nice, but that isn’t why plants have flowers. They actually grow for a really cool reason. They want to have babies! Okay, so plants don’t really have babies, at least not like humans do. Plants do need to multiply and make more plants like themselves. To do that they need seeds. That’s where flowers come in: They help plants make seeds!

Both the male and the female parts carry important information that the new plant will need to grow and basically be a plant. The type of information depends on whether it comes from the male or the female part. The information that comes from the male part of the plant is in the pollen. That’s right — pollen! The information that comes from the female part of the flower comes from the ovules. The tricky part is getting the pollen to the ovules so that they can combine information together for the new plant that they’ll make. To do that, a little help from nature is needed.

Plants have a bit of a problem when it comes to getting pollen to other plants so that they can reproduce, or make more plants. Since they can’t pull up their roots and walk where they need to go, they depend on insects and animals and even the wind to do the hard work for them. Windy days are great for flowers and the spreading of pollen. On windy days, gusts of wind may blow pollen to other flowers. But what about insects? Insects need a little bit of motivation to help out. This is one of the reasons flowers are so colorful and why they smell as good as they do. Certain insects are attracted to the color of a flower’s petals. Some insects like the way a flower smells. When the insect lands on this sweet-smelling and pretty flower, it gets a bonus for its effort in the form of nectar. As the insect (which can be something like a bee) makes its way to the nectar, it has to touch the pollen on the male part of the flower. This part is called the stamen and it is covered in pollen. The sticky pollen clings to the legs and body of the insect. But don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt it and the insect really doesn’t mind so much.

The pollen needs to get to another flower and the plant is depending on the hungry insect to do the work. When the insect flies to another flower, it rubs against the female part of the plant and pollen falls off. This female part is what we call the stigma. The stigma is connected to a tube called a style. The style is also connected to the flower’s ovary. The pollen travels from the stigma to the ovary.

Whew! That sure was a lot to say, and it might be a lot to understand too. Sometimes it is easier to understand when you have a picture to look at. A picture can show you the parts of a flower, starting with the outside of it. In this picture you’ll see a closed flower. The colorful part of the flower is its petals. The small leaves at the base of the petals are called sepals.

The petals protect the inside of the flower. The inside is where you’ll find the male and female parts that we mentioned earlier. If you remove several of the petals, you’ll see the center of the flower is the female part. The entire part is called a pistil or a carpel. This pistil includes the stigma, the style, and the ovary. Around the pistil are the male parts. As noted, this is called the stamen. At the top of the stamen is a fat structure called an anther. The anther is where the pollen is made. It is held upright by a thinner stalk called a filament. The filament keeps the anther away from the pistil so that the flower does not fertilize itself. This is very important for plants because it makes each plant slightly different. If a plant fertilizes or pollinates itself, the new plant would be exactly the same as its parent! That means all of the new plants and the parent plant would be weak in the same way.

The following image shows an insect crawling into a pretty flower. As you can see, the insect is touching the stamen and picking up pollen as it moves. The pollen from this plant will be left on the stigma of the next flower it visits.

So how does that seed get made? When the pollen from the insect falls on the stigma it is pollination. The pollen moves down the pollen tube. The ovary at the base of this tube has made an ovule. When the pollen reaches the ovule it fertilizes it. Fertilization turns the ovule to a seed. The seed is a hard shell that protects and contains the baby plant. When that seed falls to the ground and the conditions are right, the baby plant will begin to grow and eventually turn into a new plant!

Chad Kremp

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