Growing Marijuana Guide – Flowering Stage

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The flowering stage is by far the most exciting of all stages of growth. You will finally start to notice marijuana buds forming. The sweet smell of fresh marijuana will begin penetrating the air, and you will have some seriously nice looking plants. All your hard work is about to pay off, but don’t get too excited. Let your plants keep growing until their peak. Harvesting too soon can seriously reduce your potential yield. Be patient, and you can expect a great harvest.

Growing Marijuana Guide - Flowering Stage
Growing Marijuana Guide – Flowering Stage

As soon as you notice the plants showing sign of their sex, you will want to remove the males. If both sexes are allowed to grow to maturity, the males will pollinate the females and your weed will not be sinsemilla. To learn about determining the sex of your plants, see Growing Marijuana Guide Difference Between Male And Female Cannabis Flowers

male and female cannabis preflowers
male and female cannabis preflowers

The biggest change from the vegetative stage is the lighting. We want to increase the amount of red-spectrum lighting and we want more light in general. Attempt to maintain 3,000 lumens per square foot of growing space. If you were growing with fluorescents, you can keep any tubes out there. A lot of people like to use fluorescent tubes to provide side lighting for your tall plants. This is a good idea. You will want to replace most of your 6,500K CFL’s with 2,700K CFL’s. The 2,700K spectrum is usually called soft white.


High Pressure Sodium Bulb
High Pressure Sodium Bulb

You might also want to think about High-Pressure Sodium bulbs. They sell standard socket HPS bulbs at hardware stores for about $20. It’s more expensive than some other lighting systems, but you can produce a much greater light output. They also produce more heat, so keep them farther away from your plants, a foot or so should suffice. Direct contact is perfectly fine with fluorescents, but proximity to HPS lighting will burn your plants.


The lights need to also be on for less time. The perfect cannabis flowering light cycle is 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Keep the same dawn time you used for the vegetative stage to reduce stress on the plants. This lighting cycle will let the plants know Fall has come, and for the Cannabis plant, Fall is the season of love.

 cannabis flowering light cycle is 12 hours on, 12 hours off
cannabis flowering light cycle is 12 hours on, 12 hours off

Keep your watering the same. If you were using nutrients for vegetation (nitrogen-rich), stop them as the plants will need more phosphorous than nitrogen at this stage. Grow supply stores sell great nutrients for flowering. Almost anything with the word bloom in the name will work, but ask the sales staff for advice if you’re uncertain. Nutrients will usually be mixed in with the water at watering. Just like before, only water the plants when the top of the dirt has become dry and crusty. The plants are still very susceptible to over-watering.


Remember only to do any gardening while the lights are on. Lights on in the middle of their night-time periods is not good for the plants. The care you have to provide here is much the same as with the vegetative stage. Control any insects and keep your plants happy. Pay attention to their needs. You might want to trim some of the larger leaves to allow light to penetrate to the lower levels, but this is not absolutely necessary.


When you start to notice a snowy haze forming on your buds, it’s time to consider Harvesting your marijuana. Below are several pics of healthy marijuana plants during the flowering stage.

chiesel by heath robinson
chiesel by heath robinson
Cannabis Tree grow by Heath Robinson
Cannabis Tree grow by Heath Robinson


vertical cannabis grow by heath robinson
Cannabis vertical grow by heath robinson

check out the post-Cannabis Flowering Week By Week for further info.

One Comment

  1. Good advice, good article. Thanks!

    A good place for natural water soluable ferts & amendments isa place I found called Kelp4Less. They have all kinds of stuff for your girls (and boys if you are going after pollen.) I found the site last summer in the middle of flower stage.

    I tried some of their Bloom Pac & Bud Hardener on my out door ladies. It made the sativa buds harder than they would be if left alone. Not as tight as Indida buds, but more solid than normal.

    I use a green light if I have to check my gals when they are napping, but I try to do all my checking when they are awake.
    Some say green lights don’t work, others asay they do. I have not had any problems using one. To each his own.

    Good greening to every ine! Hope your fingers & trimming blades get all stuck together! Great hash if you save the stuff that makes em stick. I keep my finger & scissor hash. Works well for when I have extra trouble sleeping or my back is bothering me more than usual.


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