Marijuana Flowering Stage: All You Need To Know About It

In order to become a big and healthy plant, marijuana has to go through various stages.

While each one of them is crucial, the marijuana flowering stage has its peculiarities that will affect the ultimate product. During this phase, buds will start appearing. 

Marijuana flowering occurs when the light becomes scarce. During the initial phases, the plant needs to get as much light as possible. This allows it to weed to grow from a seed to an adult cannabis plant.

At one point, there will be a period of increased darkness during which plants will start growing buds. In nature, this process occurs at the end of the summer, when days become shorter. In order to start this phase, you will have to turn off the lights for 10 to 12 hours per day. Cannabis flowering goes after vegetation.

There is some variation when it comes to this phase. We recognize strains with short, medium, and long weed flowering timetable. Most of them will have a medium marijuana flowering stage, which lasts around 8 to 10 weeks. 

Producers who want to start growing cannabis have to learn more about specific pot strains. There are lots of variations to the whole process, and this is especially noticeable during the marijuana flowering stage. Keep in mind that this is more of a generalization as growers can also decide to prolong or shorter certain stages.

The initial 3 weeks

Inexperienced marijuana growers may think that weed flowering is something that happens overnight. This cannot be farther from the truth. It is a slow process that takes time, and each day you will notice small changes to your plants.

There isn’t a clear-cut between the stages. Your plants will continue growing even though they’ve reached the marijuana flowering stage. Depending on the strain being used, they may have a big growth spurt during these initial three weeks of cannabis flowering. 

It is essential for a producer to calculate the necessary space. Some strains will have triple growth during cannabis flowering, so your plants may increase in size overnight. Proper planning will also help you get higher yields.

The 1st week 

The first week is also known as the transition stage. They will slowly go from one stage to another. As already mentioned, your plants will continue growing naturally while also weed flowering at the same time. Don’t be surprised how big these plants can get! In fact, the speed of growth is greater than during the previous stage.

The experts also call this week “the stretch phase.” One of the more noticeable changes in the growth of new leaves at the top of colas. Biologically, the plant is trying to strengthen its basis so it can support the upcoming cannabis flowers. Weed will become much stronger, much more resilient during the first week of the marijuana flowering stage.

And here is something that many weed growers get wrong. Due to the fact that the plants will have a growth spurt, most people think they will need to provide additional nutrients to support the process. This cannot be farther from the truth. You need to continue with your previous schedule, for at least one extra week (during the stretch period).

There are several interesting methods that can increase the plants’ yields during this period. One of them is low-stress training. You will have to bend your plants so they can get more light. If you do it properly, they will be able to grow much stronger and better.

The 2nd week 

During the second week, you will notice some additional changes. For example, female plants will start growing white pistils. They are crucial for marijuana flowering as they will become buds later on. White pistils appear on the intersection of the main stem and fan leaves.

As you can presume, male plants will be a bit different. They cannot produce buds, so they won’t have pistils. However, they will need the pollen sacs. In some cases, growers will not separate the female from male plants from the get-go.

During the second week, when they start getting pistils and sacs, you can separate them from each other. It is very important to group your plants according to their sex. Otherwise, your males will start pollinating female plants, which you don’t want to happen.

Now is the time to change their “diet.” It is best to consult the nutrient manufacturer’s schedule to learn how much they need during this stage of development. If you stay on the same schedule, you will stifle plants’ growth. So, make sure you don’t forget to do this.

The 3rd week 

The third week brings about additional challenges for inexperienced growers. 

Keep in mind that the growth process hasn’t stopped. In fact, the plants will increase in size by about 50% in these last three weeks. Luckily, this is also the time when the stretching slows down until it reaches its ultimate stop. 

You will notice additional changes in female plants. In places where there was hair, small buds will start appearing. This change will be minor at first, but as time goes by, it will become more visible. The smell of the plants will not be that strong, but it will increase as time goes by.

One of the things you need to pay attention to is nutrients. The marijuana plants exert a lot of energy in order to produce cannabis flowers. Needless to say, this stage is of utmost importance for all growers, so you will have to be careful as to what you’re doing. Again, you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out how much nutrients they need.

At this point, it’s not only about the number of nutrients, but also their quality. The cannabis plants will even start showing nutrient deficiencies if you’re not providing them with the right stuff. For example, they might change the color of their leaves. They might even lose them altogether.

It is also common for plants to get too many nutrients. The symptoms will be very similar to deficiency and will reflect on the leaves. This can be really tricky for growers who don’t have the experience, as it might become hard to discern whether cannabis is getting too little or too many nutrients.

The 4th week 

By the 4th week, the plants won’t grow any longer but instead will start using all their energy for the buds. The buds will become visibly larger with each passing day. At the same time, the smell will become much stronger. 

Everything’s getting a bit simpler now. Regardless of the methods, you used previously, you can now simply let nature do its things. You won’t have to pay that much attention to nutrients. 

The 5th week 

Although the plant itself has long stopped growing, the buds will continue increasing. They will become much thicker, much bulkier. They will also increase in numbers and may start growing in places where there weren’t any buds previously.

With the buds, the whole plant will look a bit bigger. This is the pinnacle of the marijuana flowering stage where the plants get a very strong odor that we all like. Unfortunately, given that there will be a lot of plants in a relatively small space, this smell might become too heavy. This is why you should consider investing in a ventilation system. If you want to become a professional grower, it will be a necessary purchase. 

Keep in mind that white pistils on your female plants will start changing into darker nuances. You shouldn’t be concerned about it as this is a natural part of the process. In fact, this is a sign that you’re approaching harvest.

The 6th, 7th, and 8th week 

This is the last stop before the harvest. No matter how long the marijuana flowering process took, they will all be ready for harvesting in the last three weeks. But keep in mind that even if you rush the process, you likely won’t be able to get the product before the 8th week. In some cases, the whole process may take up to 12 weeks and even more. It all depends.

During this stage, you will have to flush the marijuana. So, what’s this? Well, instead of feeding your plants with the natural nutrients that you previously used, you will start giving them a special type of water. By doing so, you will be able to neutralize all the nutrients that were already present in the ground. As a result, you will get a better product. If you don’t do so, marijuana will have a pungent taste.

Related: How to Harvest Cannabis Plants

It might be hard to determine whether or not the plants are ready for harvest. This is especially true if you’re inexperienced. The best way to check this is by using a microscope. You will have to look at the trichomes and determine if they turned from clear to milky white. If a lot of them are still clear, this means that your plants will take some additional time.

The milky appearance of trichomes tells you that the plant has the maximum concentration of THC, which is the right time to use it.


Cannabis flowering is a critical stage of growing marijuana.

If you want to become an expert, it is imperative to learn more about it so you can get the best results possible. This article can definitely be a good starting point.

We also suggest that you read our article about how long it takes to grow weed.

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