Week 4: Increased Nutrient Demands
During the fourth week of the flowering stage, your cannabis plants continue their rapid bud development, resulting in significant weight gain. As the buds mature, their energy needs increase, requiring higher nutrient levels to support healthy growth. It is generally desirable to reduce nitrogen levels in the nutrient regimen. Lowering nitrogen helps prevent excessive vegetative growth and encourages the plant to prioritize bud development and flower production.
To meet the escalating demands of bud development, it is crucial to provide higher levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) nutrients, commonly referred to as PK boosters. These macronutrients play essential roles in cellular processes, energy production, and the synthesis of vital compounds needed for flower formation and resin production. Ensuring an appropriate PK ratio in your nutrient regimen will help fuel healthy bud growth and maximize yield potential.
Popular PK boosters, often used during the bulk stage of cannabis cultivation, include various nutrient supplements designed to provide elevated levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Some commonly used PK boosters include bloom enhancers, flower boosters, and specific phosphorus and potassium formulations. Additionally, consider applying beneficial additives like silica, fulvic acid, or compost to enhance nutrient uptake and overall plant health.
Week 5: Bud Expansion and Resin Production
In the fifth week of the flowering stage, your cannabis plants continue their impressive bud development. The growing buds will expand in size and density, showcasing their potential for high-quality flower production. Additionally, resin production becomes more prominent, enriching the buds with cannabinoids and terpenes.
Maintain the increased levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to support ongoing bud expansion and resin production. Alongside PK boosters, continue providing a balanced nutrient profile to meet the overall nutritional needs of your plants during this critical stage.
You’ll want to perform another pruning on day 40 to maintain proper airflow and physically remove any pests that may be hiding on the underside of the leaves. Never remove more than 30% of a plant’s total leaf biomass.
The Finishing Stage: Weeks 6-8
During the finishing stage of cannabis cultivation, which encompasses weeks 6-8 of the flowering phase, your plants enter the final phase towards harvest. The maturation and ripening of the bud are what mark this phase.
Week 6: Bud Maturation
In the sixth week of the finishing stage, the buds continue to mature and reach their peak potency. The dense colas develop a robust aroma, while the trichomes undergo further changes. Keep a close eye on the trichomes, as they transition from clear to cloudy, signaling the ripening of trichomes. White hairs or pistils will begin to darken.
Maintain elevated levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to support the completion of bud development and resin build up.
Week 7: Nutrient Reduction
During the seventh week of the finishing stage, your cannabis plants experience a shift in nutrient requirements as they approach harvest. At this stage, the plants begin to reduce their energy demands as they stop growing. It becomes essential to gradually reduce nutrient levels to avoid overfeeding and ensure a smoother, more flavorful product.
Pull back on all nutrients and consider finishing with enzyme teas to solubilize nutrients that are present within the soil allowing the plant to uptake what it wants and use up stored nutrients.
During this phase senescence begins and leaves may begin to change colors alongside their microscopic counterpart, the trichome. Watch your trichomes with a jeweler’s loupe to identify the transition from clear to cloudy to amber. More pistils will change color at this time.
Week 8: Harvest Preparation
During the eighth and final week of the finishing stage is when you’ll typically reach peak trichome maturity. More trichomes become amber or brown, indicating a high level of cannabinoid synthesis. When trichomes are roughly 25-50% amber you will have a well-balanced cannabinoid content.
As the finishing stage progresses, maintain a vigilant approach to environmental conditions within your grow room, such as humidity and temperature, to minimize the risk of mold or mildew formation. Proper air circulation and monitoring of moisture levels are vital to ensure the health and integrity of the mature buds. By carefully observing the trichomes and preparing for harvest during these final weeks, you can achieve the desired characteristics and maximize the quality of your cannabis harvest.
The week-by-week journey through the marijuana flowering stage is an exciting time for any cannabis cultivator. Understanding the specific needs and changes that occur during each week empowers growers to make informed decisions regarding nutrient requirements, physical responses, and environmental considerations. By following these guidelines, you can optimize the growth, development, and quality of your cannabis crop, leading to a rewarding and successful cultivation experience.