Flowering Cannabis indoors is one of the most exciting and anticipated moments, on the indoor grow calendar. Understanding what the plants demand in terms of nutrients, temperature, humidity is a big part of the equation to growing superior Cannabis buds. Below are 10 top tips for beginner growers flowering Cannabis indoors.
The amount of intense lighting that your crop receives will play a big role in the plants metabolism. High levels of lighting will encourage plants to bloom with an abundance of flowers, as long as the nutrients and carbon dioxide levels are ideal.
- Our top tip here is to find out the P.A.R rating that your grow light has, and calculate if you have enough photoactive radiation per square metre that is intended. Lumens are a measurement of light created for the human eye, so do not base your decision making on the excessively high lumen count printed on the side of a H.I.D grow bulb.
Temperature and Humidity
It is recommended growing Cannabis indoors at 24 degrees celsius during flowering, with a humidity level that reduces down to 30%. As plants surpass the transition stage and stretch almost twice or triple in size depending on cultivar, it is very important to make sure that the humidity levels drop below 40% to prevent pathogens forming and also to increase the density and trichome production of your budding plants.
- Our top tip here is to reduce your humidity over the first two weeks of 12/12 (transition stage), from 70% down to 30%. The more dry the grow room temperature is, then the more density and trichome production of your budding plants. Using a dehumidifier plugged into a temperature-fan controller will allow you to create the ideal conditions.
Keeping pH on Point
Cannabis plants require primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, and trace elements. How the plants obtain these is through nutrient solution, however the pH of the solution will dictate the availability and uptake for the plant's roots. pH will dictate how acidic or alkaline your solution is and if it needs adjusting with pH up or down products.
- Our top tip here if growing with organics is to ensure that your water source has a pH level of 6.0-7.0. Hydroponic systems prefer a lower pH of 5.5-6.5. If the pH level drops below 5.5 then the nutrients will become locked out and cause deficiencies to occur.
Phosphorus and Potassium Levels
During the blooming period, Phosphorus and Potassium are used by the plants to aid in stem, flower, terpene, and trichome production. Once you have passed the transition period, it is a good idea to feed your plants a booster. These are available as organic, hard foods and liquid feeds and will be accompanied by a feeding chart.
- Our top tip here is to use the necessary amounts of bloom boosters, however it is very important for the sake of the flower to flush your plants. As high amounts of undissolved salts gather in the growing medium and around the root zone, a minimum of 14 days flushing is required. One reason is to allow the plants to use up their stored nutrients, and the other is to wash the soil out allowing for a smooth and clean experience when smoking.
Working With Clones
If you are used to working with only seeds, then you may find using mature clones that are ready to be flowered may be far more beneficial than seeds. Cannabis clones are an excellent way to acquire large numbers of plants that have been verified by other growers.
- Our top tip here is clones are incredible for Sea of Green farming, which is reliant on large numbers of smaller-sized plants growing closely together. Farmers who work with a tight crop rotation of 8-9 weeks will use clones to save time and resources.
The Spectrum of Light
Do not be fooled into thinking the brighter the grow bulb, then the more effective it will be. As indoor lighting has advanced over the last five years, the grower is far more aware now of the importance of spectrum. Cannabis plants require red, white, and blue light and are balanced to the desired wavelength. Some lighting manufacturers even offer a controller with their LED that allows the spectrum to be customized and set by the control.
- Our top tip here is to avoid using H.P.S lamps on their own as they emit yellow and red which is not used by the plants, anywhere near as effectively as red, white, and blue. Pair high pressure sodium lamps with metal halide to provide the plants with the best of both spectrums if you cannot afford high-end LEDs.
Organic Aerated Compost Tea
By the flowering stage of your Cannabis plants' life cycle, the soil food web should be thriving. Beneficial bacteria and fungi present in the soil will feed off the compost and carbon. Aerated compost teas are a wonderful way to supercharge your growing medium even further, as well as boosting the plants with a much-needed dose of Phosphorus, Potassium, and many other trace elements.
Our top tip is to add the aerated tea once a week until the final few weeks. Compost teas for flowering are often made from bat guano and worm castings, as these are both a rich source of enzymes and enhance the final flavor of dried Cannabis buds.
No Plant Training or Pruning
The last thing that we want to do when the plants have started producing buds is to stress them. Trauma at this stage could cause plants to stunt growth, and the worst case begins to become a hermaphrodite.
Our top tip here is to make sure all types of plant training such as topping, fimming, super-cropping, and pruning are all done during 18/6. These particular techniques will do more harm than good and are not necessary late into the blooming period.
The Crop Rotation
There are two ways to grow Cannabis indoors, the Sea of Green method that flowers plants almost immediately or growing large-sized plants with long vegetative periods. There are many advantages associated with Sea of Green and may be the most practical way for bedroom home growers to rotate crops.
- Our top tip here is to fill your grow space with smaller-sized plants packed closely together, in a 7.5 litre pot size. The vegetative stage will last only a week at the most, and some growers prefer to flower rooted clones immediately, allowing for smaller-sized plants, growing consistent top heavy colas.
As so many breeders are working with extra pungent, terpene monsters of the O.G Kush variety, it is extremely important to keep on top of your odor control. No matter what cultivar is being grown from fruity and floral, to pungent and fuel keeping the air fresh inside the grow room and having it carbon cleaned is essential to avoiding the authorities and disgruntled neighbors.
- Our top tip here is to invest well in your extraction kit and carbon filter. The filter should be able to mask any smells your plants throw at it if it is a well manufactured model. Trying to cut your budget in half and choosing cheaper carbon filters may save some money, however may fail to do its job at certain times.