Day 36 to 39 – White Marks on Leaves, Pop Corn buds and Pinching

Focus on the Apex of our flowering Critical+ 2.0 plant

Hey there and welcome (back) to our growing guide! This has been a turbulent session with these auto-flowering plants, it was our first time with these types, full of learnings! We’ve actually grouped it all together in an in-depth article if you want to know more.

During these couple days so many things happened, we started noticing some weird white marks on a couple leaves of our plants, had to prune some branches and pop-corn buds off and started seeing some nice bud growth getting started.

Before getting into it here’s some pics of the plant during these days, don’t hesitate to clic on them so see the full picture.

Day 36

Critical + 2.0 auto flowering 2 weeks into the flowering stage
Focus on the center buds of the weed plant
Fruit strain marijuana 2 weeks into the flowering stage

Day 37

Fruit strain early nitrogen deficiency
Fruit and Critical+ 2.0 starting to grow buds
Focus on Critical + 2.0 buds

Day 38

2 fruit strain weeds flowering
6 flowering marijuana plants
First signs of Spider mites infestation on our plants

Day 39

First step of one bud technique
Top view of our indoor culture
Focus on secondary buds of critical plant

Day 36 – White marks on leaves and pinching the stem

On day 36 two things really went down.

The first concerns pinching the stem of the plant where we are growing multiple side branches (bottom right one).  The objective of this is to reduce the amount of nutrients going to the Apex and redirect it to the side flowers.
It should also create a knot on the stem allowing the plant to store more nutrients. This is something that should be done during the flowering stage, but as we said in one of our previous posts these babies started their flowering stage a little early.

The second is that we started noticing some white marks on a couple leaves of one of our Critical+ 2.0 flowers. At that time we though it was some kind of deficiency, just couldn’t believe we had spider mites. We decided to see how would evolved over the next couple days before acting (worst thing to do ever!!); We should of just cut of those leaves right away..
If you want to now more on those little suckers and what they can do to your plant, check out our article on Spider Mites (aka the Tetranychidae Family)

Pinching the stem of Marijuana

As we said earlier, pinching the step of your cannabis plant will:

  • Reduce the nutrients brought from the roots to the area after the pinching area
  • Increase the nutrients brought to the rest of the plant
  • Create a knot allowing her to stop more nutrients
  • Should balance out the nutrient distribution on all branches or bud area’s

Here’s more on this

How to pinch the stem of Cannabis

  1. Identify where to pinch. This will depend on your goal.
  2. Place your index on one side of the stem and your them on the other
  3. Squeeze the stem until you fell/hear a clicking noise. You will know it when you feel it.

In our case we wanted to increase the amount of nutrients sent from the roots to the side branches, so we decided to pinch the stem just under the first level of buds.

This does not mean that the top of the plant won’t have any food, remember that plants produce their food through photosynthesis, what comes up from the roots are “just” extra nutrients. Furthermore, nutrients will continue to flow, just not as much.

In case you squeeze way too had and you’ve broken the outer layers of the plant place some tape around it until she fixes herself up.

Squeezing the step with thumb and index

Appearance of White Spots on the leaves

We started noticing that a couple leaves of one of our Critical + 2.0 plant started to have a couple little white marks grouped together on them.

You can see on the images on the right that each leaf has more or less marking on them.. Little did we know but that was the start of our infestation and the leaf with the most marking was the base leaf of it all.

At this point we didn’t really know what it was and thought it was some type of deficiency. As most first people first encountering spider mites.
In that spirit we at the next watering we decided to increase the amount of nutrients given, which didn’t hurt but didn’t help out for the infestation.

To make matters a little worst we also decided to lower humidity levels to about 45% since the flowering stage has begun. As we’ve covered in our guide, spider mites hate humidity and love hot dry weather (which we learned after hand..) so this made matters worst.

Spoiler alert: We were able to survive this but lost a good amount of leaf mass and spend a good amount of energy in management of the infestation. More on that in our next posts 😉 

White spots on your leaves? Here's how to Identify, Prevent and Kill spider mites

Day 37 – Trimming Pop Corn Buds

Now that our plants have well entered the flowering stage we can identify the bud sites that we want to keep and those that need to go (aka pop corn buds)
This is also the “last” opportunity to cut branches that are not receiving direct light, thus taking energy produced by photosynthesis of other sections of the plant.

What are pop-corn buds?

Basically Pop-corn buds are those small buds growing low of at the middle of your stems.
These area’s will generally produce low quality buds while taking a lot of energy to produce. It is much better to remove these buds in order to keep the energy for the buds higher up on the stem.

The earlier you are able to identify and remove these pop corn buds the more energy your plant will place into your main buds.

You might need to repeat the procedure once or twice if your plant sprouts new bud area’s but this shouldn’t be the case.

What might happen though is that you notice that you’ve missed a couple further down the road, at which point you’ll have to make the call.
Are they going to produce anything worthy or are you getting a blunt or two out of it? In the second case, get her to go.
(if you’re far enough down the line get it drying, it’ll be an early, lower quality taste of your harvest)

Pop corn buds shown of fruit strain
Pop corn buds shown of Critical+ 2.0 strain

How to cut pop corn buds?

  1. Identify what branches to remove
  2. Take scissors or a cutter (optional but recommanded)
  3. Place your fingers or cutter at the base of the flower
  4. Pinch/Cut off the bud

As you can see this is pretty simple and very similar to removing branches off your marijuana plant. Be careful not to damage the outer layer of the branch or stem.

As you can see in the last picture, by doing this with your fingers the cut isn’t very clean, since a clean cut will heal faster, it’s better to use a blade or scissors in order to trim your marijuana plant.

Focus on a pop corn bud
Pinching the flower in order to remove it
Area where the pop corn bud used to be

Our trimming session included pop corn buds and a branch of one of our Critical branches.

Why would we cut off a full branch? It was being covered by a large leaf over head so it was either that leaf of the branch, normally it’s pretty straight forward, the leaf has got to go, but in this case we already had pruned too many top leaves so we decided to cut the branch itself.

Here’s some pictures of a plant right before and after a pruning session

Before Pruning Marijuana

Cannabis plant before its last pruning of the flowering stage

After Pruning Marijuana

Cannabis plant before its last pruning

As you can see a large amount of buds are gone and this is good! Instead of having a bunch of small buds the plant will be able to focus on the remaining flowers to make them big and beautiful.

Our pruning was pretty late, as you can see in the images of what we’ve removed the plants had already started producing trichomes, so we lost a good amount of energy.. although in this case I think it’s better late than never

Here’s some of what removed and a focus on what a early marijuana flower looks like. As always click on the image to view it fully

Full branch and flower being trimmed off
Removed popcorn buds
Close up on early marijuana flower and trichomes

Day 38 and 39 – Calm before the storm

After those 2 pretty active days, day 38 and 39 was pretty calm. We watered out plants with some more nutrients in order to see if the white marks was some type of deficiency (so wrong) and let the plants recover from the recent pruning.

Little did we know that while we though our plants were recovering from an attack they were also being infested by some nasty bugs… But that’s for the next post of our indoor grow journal.

Until then, be safe and grow easy!

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