How to Care for Flowering Marijuana
The flowering phase of marijuana plants is the most rewarding time for growers. During this time, resins from the plant can be harvested which normally contain trichomes with a rich content of THC and CBD, the two major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. However, it is important to know how to care for flowering marijuana plants because growth requirements of these plants keep on changing in each successive phase of development. As a grower it is important to know everything from the duration of flowering down to the water, nutritional and light requirements for marijuana plants that have started to show signs of flowering.
The flowering phase is preceded by the pre-flowering stage which spans about ten to fourteen days for as long as the light/darkness cycle is kept at 12/12 hours during the vegetative stage of growth. Cannabis plants will continue to flower for about six to twenty two weeks depending on the strain grown. Pure bred indicas have a longer flowering period than sativa varieties. However, the light/darkness cycle that is employed during the vegetative phase not only affects the duration of flowering but also the yield of marijuana plants. Formation of calyx structures can be triggered by exposing the plants to more darkness, but this reduces the flowering period and lowers the yield of marijuana plants. On the other hand, keeping the photoperiod and darkness hours equal prior to flowering normally allows growers to enjoy a longer flowering period without compromising on the yield of cannabis plants.
During the flowering phase, it is imperative to meet the nutritional requirements of marijuana plants in order to enhance THC potency. High levels of phosphorus along with mild amounts of nitrogen and potassium provide the most ideal nutritional requirements for the plants. It is important to avoid over fertilization as this poisons marijuana plants while at the same time contaminating the psychoactive compounds contained in trichomes. In addition, water is an essential require for flowering marijuana plants. At this stage of growth, the plants can take more water than any other phase because the root system has fully matured and the plants have more leaves.
It is also possible to prolong the flowering phase by putting marijuana plants in mild stress and increasing exposure to darkness. For instance, bending is a technique that growers make use of which delays maturity and buys more time for new flowers to develop. This method is suitable when all trichomes from a cannabis plant have been cut off and you intend to induce growth of new flowers.
If you intend to grow marijuana plants for harvesting THC rich trichomes, it is important to isolate male plants from female plants during the flowering phase. This prevents the female plants from being pollinated. A better practice is to plant feminized seeds or clone female marijuana plants in order to avoid throwing away unwanted males. When female cannabis plants are pollinated, all the energy is devoted to formation of new seeds as the plant attempts to propagate its lineage.
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