The first stage in successfully growing an excellent plant is germinating marijuana seeds. Paying attention the details is important!
Seedlings require several things and attention to be healthy during this stage, again, paying attention to details will pay you back later.
When does it flower? Is this when to change the lights? How long does this last? What do my plants need in this stage? Lights ON or OFF.
When to harvest the plants? Then what do you do?
Cutting, trimming and drying your marijuana buds (curing).
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Learn more about the best beginner tips for helping you grow excellent marijuana, cannabis & weed indoors and in soil.
Temperature & Humidity:
Room temperature should stay between 72 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes 78 is ideal, but if the room temperature is maitained in this range, it should be fine. Sometimes, being exact will drive one nuts, and sometimes one needs to be exact. Humidity is good if 45 - 65 percent can be maintained in the vegetative grow room. However the room can be 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit at night (lights out) without any problems.
Lights should now be ON for 16 to 20 hours per day (24 hour period) - Light timers or outlet timers are best to control this. When lights come on we'll call this dawn (4:00 a.m. or whatever) - remember this for later.
Marijuana plants should only be watered when they are dry and not when they are damp. Letting the top of the surface actually get crusty dry is best practice.
The plants should be dry before watering again. Besides appearance, one can "lift" the plant and check it's weight. When it is really light, then you know that the plant is dry.
It's important to keep fresh air moving through the grow room. This is critical in keeping healthy plants. This also helps to maintain a stable temperature and humidity level. Have an exit area for air to escape and replenish the room (even at night). Do not blow constant wind on any plants, keep it moving, not blowing ON the plants.
There are 3 main components to plant fertilizers; Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). Depending on what stage of growth marijuana is in, determines the nutrients. If in-water nutrients are used, be careful of how much and how often. Reading the label could help prevent harm to the plants. Water nutrients just every-other watering.
During this vegetative stage of growth the plants will like a few things like Nitrogen. If using a potting soil with nutrients or plant food enhanced soil, then it probably has a good concentrate of Nitrogen already. See Growing Tips for more custom soil information and ingredients.
It is recommended that the plants have a number of weeks of strong vegetative growth. A plant should be 18" inches or taller, and have at least 4-6 leaf branches before moving them into the flowering stage.
Some plant types (strains) take longer periods to attain the same height or leaf levels, it helps the plant to be strong before leaving the vegetative stage. We want plentiful and potent buds, most seeds have recommended terms listed for the strains purchased. Controlling this plant's "summertime" can be very useful. When growing indoors it is sometimes preferable to prune or trim your plant before it reaches these heights... some marijuana plants can easily exceed 8 feet at their peak.
At this stage, one may not know or be able to tell yet what sex a plant is unless the seeds were bought as female seeds or were taken from female clones. When the plants are in the flowering stage of growth it will be easier to define sex.
The flowering stage of marijuana growth is probably the most satisfying, as one's hard work and devoted time begins to show success. It's also a good time for identifying the sex of the plants.
Once the plants have reached 20" inches or so and look strong and green (well nourished), it is then time to change the lights to 12 hours ON and 12 hours OFF. This makes the plant think that Fall has come, and that it is time to begin flowering (budding).
When the plant is in it's OFF cycle, there should be NO LIGHT AT ALL . Schedule any gardening time for when the lights are ON. If one must garden in the night cycle, use green light bulbs. Green bulbs will afford enough light to see, but does not harm the plants at all.
DO cut off some large fan leaves as the plant grows (just a few), which allows more light to get to the lower buds on the plant. Depends on how the lights are set-up.
Remember what time the palnt's "dawn" was before? This is when to keep that the same. In other words, if the lights were 18 hours ON and dawn was at 4 AM, then the DAWN now should also be at 4 AM. So set timers to 12 ON and 12 OFF starting at 4 AM if dawn was at 4 AM before. Doing this adds no additional stress to the plants, and has their "sun" coming up at the same time as in the vegetative stage. Anything that does NOT promote stress is very good.
Sexing a Marijuana Plant:
Unless planning on breeding (not cloning, but breeding), then destroy your MALE plants as soon as you can define their sex. Here is an excellent photo of the female marijuana plant. You will distinctly see two pistils at the branch "joints", you will generally see this difference within 10 days after moving into this flowering stage light period. We want female marijuana plants (sensimilla) only - High in THC, low (to no) seeds.
Now that the lights are 12 hours ON and 12 hours OFF the plant thinks that "Fall" has come, and moves itself into this final flowering stage of growth. Keep high intensity lamps about 2 feet from the plants... fluorescents can actually be touching the plants. Put a thermostat by your budding tops to see if they are too hot - that would mean the lights are too close.
Temperature & Humidity:
Still attempt to maintain 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit when the lights are on. Too HOT is NOT good in this phase.
Same applies as before, water when plants are dry. The plants should be dry before watering again. Letting the top of the surface actually get crusty dry is best practice.
Keep the air circulating with fresh air. Do not 'blow' the fans directly on the plants for extended periods... blow the air 'around' the cannabis plants. They require the fresh air exchange.
Heavy into the flowering stage of cannabisNutrients: Stop with Nitrogen nutrients at this time. The plants need more Phosphorous and other nutrients during this stage. PH level affects all the stages of marijuana growth - on a scale of 1-14 - seven (7) is neutral. The ideal PH range for cannabis is 6.5 - extremes above or below this level will slow growth and be a give-away that something is not right.
Phosphorous, Potassium, Magnesium and some Sulfur are usually found in good blooming feeds).
Length of Flowering Stage:
This will vary for every type of marijuana plant. Generally, the seeds come with an indication of the flowering stage length. However, the lenght of the flowering stage is not necessary to know the best time to harvest your cannabis plants. Use a small 30X magnifie or view the buds with an 8X magnifier, but use a good magnifier to be able to distinguish the absolute best time to harvest your marijuana plants.
Harvest when there is a "snow" like effect all around the buds. These are the trichomes that actually contain the THC. With magnification it is easy to see when the plant is ready to harvest.
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