Cycles that divide the growth stage with the flowering stage, increasing the number of hours the plant spends in total darkness.
Cannabis Light Cycles
As a rule, light cycles are usually carried out for the growth stage of 18/6 (18 hours of light and 6 hours of total darkness) or 24/0. While a 12/12 light cycle is always used for the flowering stage (some growers even increase the hours of darkness even more if they are very late sativa varieties).
These cycles are designed to imitate nature in a certain way, in spring when the plants grow in all their splendor, they receive more hours of light than of darkness. When summer passes and the days begin to shorten, cannabis plants grown outdoors flourish. This is why they use specific light cycles for the growth and flowering of plants grown indoors.
When we germinate a Cannabis plant and plant it correctly, even though we begin to give it only twelve hours of light and twelve of absolute darkness, the plant will not flower. This happens because the plant needs to have a certain sexual maturity before it will start to bloom (maturity is obtained between 3 and 6 weeks after it is germinated).
Standard 18/6 grow cycle for marijuana.
Because of this, we have always tried to stimulate the growth of the plant to the maximum until at least it has that sexual maturity necessary to begin to bloom. With cycles of 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness, the plant can develop at a very good rate due to a large number of hours of light it has to perform photosynthesis.
The same happens if we give it twenty-four consecutive hours of light during the growth stage … although many growers prefer to leave a few hours of darkness, to avoid stressing the plant.
When the plant has a certain height, a certain structural development, it is when it is decided to go to flowering, bearing in mind that during the first weeks of flowering the plant will continue to grow at high speed.
Flowering Marijuana using 12/12 light.
But…. And if instead of applying a cycle of growth and one of flowering … .. we if we grow marijuana at 12/12 from seed? What would happen?
Well, you would save a good amount of electricity (minimum 180 hours of consumption ) and have:
- Very considerable energy savings
- Shorter crops
- The possibility of growing and flowering at the same time (perpetual cultivation)
- The possibility of cultivating sativas without needing a great height in the indoor.
The first thing we need to know is that plants that are grown to 12/12 from seed finish flowering with a lower height than those that have been cultivated with a growth phase and then another flowering phase. This is something very positive when used to cultivate sativa varieties, due to its height.
Another important point to keep in mind is that if to grow a “Haze” to give an example, we need a 4-week growth and an 11-week flowering, we will have spent 15 weeks in the crop. If we start to cultivate 12/12 from seed, it will take only about 13 weeks to harvest, so in addition to electricity, we will save time.
Since the light cycle is the same from the first to the last day, we can incorporate growing seeds into the cupboard when we have about three or four weeks to harvest, so that they can grow whilst the others are blooming.
The indica varieties do not respond very well to this type of crop, because they tend to remain excessively small, although it does not happen with all … if with the majority. It is highly recommended to use hybrid varieties or sativa varieties.
The Stages Of Flowering using 12/12 from seed
From the third week after they germinate, or a few days more … the plants will begin to show their sex and flourish (we will have saved at least a week in the growth phase).
Hybrid varieties like White Lemon will end up with an average height of one meter or meter and something, while sativa varieties like Super Lemon Haze, will finish their flowering with a height of one and a half meters (approximately).
Knowing that the light penetrates an average of between 30 and 40 centimeters from the tip of the plants … we can obtain good buds deep into the plant.
As the plants do not grow as much as if we had given them a previous growth cycle of growth at 18/6 or 24/0, we will obtain plants that are somewhat smaller in size, so they can take better advantage of the lighting of our focus. Interestingly, they do not develop many branches with this technique, which will allow us to include more specimens in the same grow space.
When growing and flowering 12/12 We must keep some things in mind, such as avoiding pot transplants. It is advisable to put the germinated seed in its final pot, and that it is of an acceptable capacity. If we grow in soil we will try a minimum of 12 liters per pot, while if we grow in coconut with 7 liters per pot it will be enough.
Not all are advantages … there are those who affirm that less production is obtained or that the flavor/quality diminishes with respect to those that have been cultivated with a previous cycle of growth.
We can assure that the flavor and quality do not vary at all, perhaps the production is a little lower, but nothing that is not solved by adding one or two more plants per crop.
However, in productive varieties, production is even higher due to the good formation of bud sites (thanks to the fact that light penetrates better all parts of the plant).
As you can see this method of cultivation is an excellent option to save time and money, we will obtain buds for our personal consumption more quickly and with less expense.save