Flowering with LED Grow Lights – G8LED
In nature, flowering occurs in the fall, after the long hot days of summer. The long nights and short days of autumn signal the start of flowering. With LED grow lights we mimic the seasons by changing the light cycle from 18 hours a day to 12 hours. Give your plants 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light to induce visible signs of flowering which take two to three weeks. When the light cycle is changed to 12 hours, adding more light to the plants helps increase the flowers and yield. The G8LED 90 Watt Red LED Flower Boosters are added at this stage to increase the proportion of the essential red wavelengths, and to add more wattage, which results in more robust flowering. Once flowering starts, it can last six to ten weeks or longer before it is time to harvest the plants. The most potent time to harvest is when trichome formations turn from clear or milky to amber to reddish brown in color.
How Does a Cannabis Plant Flower?
During flowering, growth patterns and chemical changes take place in the plants. Stems elongate and leaves grow progressively fewer blades. Flowers initially appear near the top of the terminal growth and gradually develop on lower branches starting at the tips and moving downward. Flowers have white pistils which look like hairs. The pistils are attached at the base to an ovule which is contained in a light green pod called a calyx. Pistil packed calyxes form dense clusters along the stems. These clusters are called a top or cola. The calyxes develop rapidly for the first four weeks after which they grow at a slower rate.
Flower formation is rapid at first, then slows. During flowering phosphorus and potassium uptake increase to promote floral creation. Shortly before the flowering stage, change to a super bloom feeding formula with less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus. Reduce frequency of nutrient feeding as this can cause your plant to get nutrient burned. Use 30% fewer nutrients with LED flowering grow lights as compared to MH/HPS systems. Flowering plants take somewhat less water than plants in the vegetative stage. Nevertheless, adequate water during flowering is essential for plants to continue their chemical processes and resin production.
Should Large Fan Leaves be Removed During Flowering?
Large leaves are necessary to keep plants healthy. Removing large fan leaves to allow more light to reach lower parts of the plant or the smaller flowers is detrimental to the plants. Only remove severely damaged leaves and retain the rest.
G8LED grow lights are ideal in producing heavy and resin rich female flowers. Female plants grow bushy with branches close together along with dense foliage. The first signs of female flowering will appear one to three weeks of inducing flowering with the 12 hour light cycle. Female flowers usually appear near the top and gradually develop on lower branches, starting at the tips and moving down. The cluster of buds called colas put on much of their weight in the final two to three weeks. Different strains will have different lengths of a flowering period, with some strains being able to flower for four months. The plants are harvested once the trichomes change from white to amber or a little later when they turn a reddish brown color.
When to Harvest Plants
Growth stops at harvest, and the potency cannot increase after harvest. Most of the harvest weight is then put on the last two or three weeks of growth when the calyx formation has slowed. The majority of the plant yield comes in the last couple weeks. The trichome pistils will continue to swell and change in color from white to amber to reddish brown. Once this occurs, you are ready to harvest your plants. The ideal time to harvest your plants will be six to ten weeks after the plants started flowering. The proper handling of plants is critical during harvest. Avoid prolonged periods of light and keep an ideal temperate below 80degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid damp, humid conditions and excessive handling of the plants.