By now our plant was finally ready to get into the flowering stage so we changed the light period from 18/6 to 12/12 of lighting, meaning the plant gets into her stretch phase. This is where she grows a large amount over 2 weeks, by the end of this phase small flowers we’ll be visible on your buds.
If you’re want to know more about the stretch check out our FAQ on the subject.
We’re going to go over the stretch in 4 stages:
Changing the light cycle
So in order to start the flowering stage you need to change the light cycle from 18hours of light to 12 hours.
That change will trigger a natural response in the plant telling her its time to focus on the flowers.
At this point the stretch starts, for 2 weeks she will grow before focusing purely on flower production.
For the first couple days after the switch, I like to keep the vegetative stage light in order to reduce the amount of possible stress given to the plant.
Here’s a picture of her a day or two after changing the light. As you can see, no real big change between the vegetative stage yet.
Changing to the Sodium light
I’m using two 400 Watts MH/HPS light bulbs. During the vegetative stage I use the Metal Halide (MH) based light, then switch to the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting during the flowering stage. We’ll do a piece on this, but basically it’s the technic that’s proven to work, although you get more heat issues.
After two/three days of switching the light schedule that’s when I switch from the MH bulb to the HPS one. I do this in order to try and reduce the stress given at once.
After this, she’s fully in her flowering environment.
You can see in the image below that she already started growing nicely during the couple first days.
The Stretch: Period of very strong growth
Now I don’t know if you can really tell with the picture below, but for an indica strain her stretch was pretty decent. She grew at least 60% on her main branches.
It’s really too bad I messed up and didn’t cut down most of those branches, I could of had a real nice flowering stage with this one.
If you’re wondering what are the differences between indica and sativa check out our piece here.
At this time you should be reducing the levels of Nitrogen given gradually, once the stretch begins her intake will reduce little by little.
While reducing the Nitrogen increase little by little the levels of Phosphorus and Potassium that you give them.
The early flowering stage: Showing her first buds
By the end of the stretch we enter the early flowering stage. You can see in the image below her the first little buds. This white little string like pistils will grow in quantity and size, by the end of this transformation they will look like the buds you’re familiar with 🙂
By this time you should have cut off the Nitrogen nutrients, and start the Phosphorus and Potassium one’s. By now your plant won’t ingest Nitrogen through her roots anymore so you might as well safe it.
She needs Phosphorus and Potassium now in order to produce the flowers we all love so much.
Alright folks that’s all for this one! next time we’ll go over the flowering stage of this little one.
Until then, be safe and grow easy! 😉