When the flowering period starts, it isn’t an abrupt change in your plants’ growth. Cannabis won’t just stop growing and then go into flowering right away. In these first weeks of flowering, many cannabis strains may indeed undergo a considerable growth stretch. This is important to know when it comes to feeding your plants properly, but also if you want to give them sufficient space to grow. Vegetative growth has ended and the plants concentrate more of their energy into flowering. Odor becomes more noticeable as the plants start to produce capitate trichomes. In the very first weeks of flowering, your cannabis plants will be in the transition stage. Thinking that winter is not far away and that she will soon have to carry a big load of bud, your plant will likely grow rapidly. Some strains can almost double in height during this time. Because of the fast growth that your plant is undergoing now, this early flowering phase is also known as the stretch phase. While your plant is putting in quite some overtime to gain size and height, she will grow a number of new leaves mostly at the top of the main colas. Your cannabis plant is busy growing “green stuff,” like leaves and stems so she can become stronger and sturdier.
Did your plant experience a growth spurt?
You may have experienced a growth spurt prior to this point, but most cannabis plants will shoot up during the first 2 weeks of the photoperiod switch to 12/12. Be aware of how tall your plant gets. You should allow for 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) distance between the top of the plant and the top of the light. If you get too close, give the top a snip. Genetics are the main cause of stretch.
Interested in cloning your plant?
This is the perfect time to take a couple clones if you want to save the exact genetics of the plant you are growing. Seeds will convey similar and often the same characteristics, but taking a clone ensures the exact genetics are continued. To cut a clone off of your plant you will need a glass of water to place the cutting in immediately after removing it from the mother plant, and a razor blade to make a sharp cut. (Some scissors crush the stem)
Lollipopping: A Pruning Technique
The growth at the bottom of your plant can be removed. With the big nodes all at the top of the plant, soaking up all of the light, the undergrowth really lags behind in both size and ripeness. Lollipopping removes all of the undergrowth, allowing the plant’s energy to be focused on the main flowers and not the small ‘popcorn’ flowers. You will be left with a plant that looks like a lollipop stem with tons of growth above. Your cannopy should be approx 30 - 40 cm or just over 1 foot.
Remember what Low Stress Training is?
This is your last chance to offer some low stress training to your plant. If you’ve topped previously, you can again top those tops. If you have not done any topping, don’t worry, you will finish with plenty of flower, just concentrated around one main stem, as opposed to several smaller tops.
Start to prepare for your next grow.
Have a question about what strain to grow next? Want to see pictures of other Grobo grows? Head over to All Growers and join in the conversation!
Autoflowering vs Photoperiod
There are a couple differences between photoperiod strains and autoflowering strains. Here is a summary:
Photoperiod - Will grow vegetatively on light cycles of 81/6 and 24/0.
- Will flower once put into a 12/12 light cycle.
- Can be easily cloned, ensuring the one seeds genetics can produce unlimited plants.
- Takes longer to finish and harvest, typically 4 months.
- Responds well to topping or low stress training in the vegetative cycle.
Autoflowering - Will grow vegetatively for a limited time and automatically transition into flowering.
- Difficult to clone.
- Finished quicker than a traditional photoperiod seed.
- Not a great candidate for topping or low stress training.