Your plant is large enough to mature and flower when it has reached a minimum of 1’ in height. It is then up to you when you want to force it into flowering and fruiting. To move your plants to this stage, you will begin a dark cycle of 11-13 hours of uninterrupted darkness per 24 hour period.
If you are growing outside and want to force plants into flowering for a summer harvest, you will need to cover your greenhouse with a blanket to achieve a long enough dark cycle; if you are growing indoors you will need to put your lights on a timer. If you choose to keep your plants on a 13 hour light, 11 hour dark schedule, your plants will produce larger flowers, while reversing these hours will speed growth.
DO NOT allow regular light in your grow space during the dark hours. Any amount of light during this time will delay flower development. If you must work in your grow space during your dark time, you can set up bulbs that emit only green light, as these will not trigger the release of hormones that regular light does.
During the flowering stage, water plants with a hydroponic flowering solution consisting of 1 tsp. high-phosphorus plant food, ½ tsp. plant food and 1 tsp. trace element plant food. This will provide plants with essential nutrients for a hearty crop. Feed plants with every watering for the first week of flowering, then move to every few waterings.
Prune minimally throughout the flowering stage, as the growth of plants has slowed and you may stunt or traumatise the plant. Spray flowering plants minimally as this can promote rot and contaminate your harvest. Minimise humidity in your grow space during this time as this can encourage mold and rot.
After a week or two of keeping your plants on a light/dark schedule, you will notice the early stages of flowering. This is when you will be able to differentiate between male and female plants. Females can be identified by the emergence of white “hairs” from bulbous areas around each internode. It is at this time that you will want to pull all the males from your grow area.
Three to six weeks into your plants’ light/dark cycle, your plants will have white pistils growing at every grow tip. These are mature flowers, and when you feel your plant has a sufficient number of them, you can adjust your light cycle and prepare for fruiting.
When you are ready for your plant to fruit, you can reduce the light time to 8-10 hours to ripen plants quickly, and have a harvest ready within three weeks. You may also choose to keep plants on a 12 hour cycle throughout the flowering and fruiting stages, which will slow ripening time but increase overall yield.
You will know it’s harvesting time when the white pistils on the plant change from white to shades of red, orange or brown (depending upon the strain). When more than 80% of the pistils have turned, and the false seed pods are swollen with resin, you can begin picking the buds. Remember not to touch the buds themselves, as the THC crystals will stick to your fingers and reduce potency of your yield. If you need to inspect buds, handle plants by the leaves