Every first-time grower’s top concern is: “how do I get buds growing on my cannabis plant as soon as possible?” For experienced growers, it’s not just about growing buds but growing big cannabis buds. Can cannabis growers influence how their plants produce buds? Where do these buds come from, and how do they grow? We are here to grow with you.
Where do Cannabis Buds Grow?
Cannabis plants enter the flowering phase when they stop developing foliage and begin to produce buds. However, the size of a plant has little to do with how many buds it will produce or how dense those buds will be when harvested.
Buds develop on the plant’s nodes, commonly called bud sites. Approximately 4–6 weeks into the plant’s life cycle, these spots begin to develop pre-flower structures where budlets form. From there, several factors contribute to how big and dense a bud becomes, including genetics, light, nutrients, and some other variables to watch out for.
What Happens During the Flowering Stage?
Cannabis plants flower for eight to twelve weeks, and the flowering stage has four phases. It takes 8-10 weeks for indica strains to flower, but not longer. In the case of sativa varieties, it can take up to 10-12 weeks.
Here are the four phases of the flowering stage:
Weeks 1-3: Start of Flowering
When you grow cannabis indoors, the flowering stage begins when you switch your light source to a 12/12 light cycle—12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. For cannabis plants to begin flowering, they need 12 uninterrupted hours of darkness every day. Buds will not produce if the plant is exposed to light for even one minute during the dark period. As female cannabis plants enter this phase, they begin to form pistils, which are responsible for the development of buds. However, they won’t grow actual buds just yet.
Weeks 3-4: Forming Budlets
In this phase, tiny buds, or budlets, begin to form where the pistils are. However, instead of just hairs, you’ll start to see actual buds, with pistils that are now white and sticking straight out. Meanwhile, the plant is still actively growing.
Weeks 4-6: Mid-flowering
At this point, your cannabis plant will stop growing, but its buds will begin to fatten. The most important thing now is to gently support any buds that become too heavy for your plant. Depending on how your plant grew to reach the light, you may need to bend the stems at a 90° angle.
Week 6 and On: Late Flowering
Cannabis plants in this phase have stopped growing vegetatively, so they won’t produce new leaves or stems. The plant will focus primarily on growing buds until harvest. However, your plant may become more sensitive to nutrient deficiency in this phase. To prevent lowering your quality or yield, make sure your plants are well cared for and respond quickly to potential problems.
Cannabis Cultivation: How to Grow Big Buds Indoors
Growing big cannabis buds is not an overnight process. If your cannabis buds are not growing or are growing slowly, it could be a problem with nutrition, temperature, ventilation, or some other vital growth factor. If you want to grow lots of weed indoors, you should consider these factors.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three essential nutrients cannabis plants need to grow and develop. To grow large buds, you must give your plants the proper nutrients. When your plant is in the vegetative growth stage, feed it nitrogen for a healthy, vibrant plant that grows rapidly. As your plant begins to flower, reduce the nitrogen levels and increase phosphorus and potassium levels to help the buds grow dense.
If your cannabis buds are not growing, you might want to check your light source. In most cases, the increased light intensity will produce larger buds during the flowering stage. To put it simply, if you want big buds, you need big lights. As a rule of thumb, plan for 100 watts of light for each square foot. Be vigilant when it comes to lighting your grow area; remember, light is the lifeblood of your plants. You should also make sure your lights are set at the right height so your plants do not suffer heat stress.
Your grow room must have proper airflow and ventilation if you want to grow larger buds. For top-grade buds in an indoor setting, you need top-notch air quality. Cannabis plants require air and proper ventilation to grow and breathe and prevent mold and fungi growth. For a large grow room with hot lights, plan for oscillating fans or an exhaust system. Do not point fans directly at the buds.
When cultivating cannabis indoors, you need the right level of temperature and humidity for your plant to grow big buds. During the blooming stage, temperatures between 65 and 80°F (18 and 26°C) are ideal for growing quality buds. In the final stage of flowering, slightly cooler temperatures are ideal for producing the best bud color, density, and smell. If the temperature is too high, your buds will not have a strong aroma.
Common Cannabis Growing Questions
How Many Buds Does a Cannabis Plant Grow?
A larger plant has more nodes, which means your plant will have more places to grow buds. However, more nodes don’t necessarily mean more buds or larger buds. For example, buds lower on the plant and away from the canopy will not receive enough light. As a result, they’ll likely never fully develop. For maximum yields, prune away foliage and buds that aren’t receiving enough light.
Do Male Cannabis Plants Grow Buds?
Male cannabis plants grow pollen sacs instead of buds. Unlike females, who produce buds high in THC levels, males only produce pollen to fertilize the females. It is common for growers to discard male plants because if they fertilize your females, they will produce seeds instead of buds.
How Long Does It Take for Cannabis to Grow Buds?
There is no definitive timeline since growth greatly depends on genetics and the strain. In general, the first buds usually start appearing by the third week. An autoflowering strain can begin producing buds at three weeks old and be ready for harvest by the fifth or sixth week. Certain strains may, however, take longer to start making buds.
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