The most anticipated stage of a cannabis plants life is when buds start to appear.
And every grower wants the largest, juiciest buds.
In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips that will show you how to make buds bigger during flowering.
Why is Bud Size Important?
Buds are the part of the cannabis plant that contain the highest levels of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives you that lovely ‘high’ feeling.
Buds also contain other important cannabinoids used for medicinal purposes such as CBD, THCV and CBG.
So we want them as big as possible.
How To Make Buds Bigger During Flowering
Before we begin, it’s important that you understand the basics of growing weed.
Many things can have an impact on your yield before the flowering stage.
If you’re confident you have the right set up, here are 7 tips on how to make buds bigger during flowering…
1. Increase Your Light Intensity
I’m sure you’re aware that in general, more light generally means a larger yield.
The most effective step you can take to increase the size of your yield is to push the limit of light intensity that your plants are receiving.
Cannabis is a hardy plant, and can actually absorb a surprising amount of light without damage.
You should therefore be as aggressive as possible when choosing the distance between your canopy and light.
For LED grow lights, you should hang your light between 12″ and 18″ above the canopy when flowering.
The perfect distance will vary from light to light, so It’s important you consult the manufacturers instructions and test the light at different heights.
Start at 12 inches, then keep an eye on your plants over the next 12 hours and look for signs of light burn, which is a sign that your lights are too close.
If they are, inch them back until the light burn stops.
For optimal yields, you need to hang your light at the distance just before light burn occurs.
2. Dark means dark!
Cannabis starts budding when plants get at least 12 hours of interrupted darkness each night.
After plants start budding, they must continue to get long dark nights until harvest or they may revert back to their vegetative state.
Once the plant is changed to the flowering lighting schedule (12 hours on, 12 hours off ) there is generally another 6-10 weeks before the plants buds are ready for harvest.
It is absolutely essential to ensure that plants are not exposed to any light during their dark period, as they may revert back to vegetative growth, severely limiting the size of the buds
3. Ensure Air Circulation / Co2
Once your grow lights are optimised for intensity, you need to make sure your plants are able to breathe properly.
Your cannabis plants require CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process, when they convert usable light into energy.
Without CO2, your plants would shrivel up and die.
Plants can absorb A LOT of light before they require CO2 supplementation.
Therefore, for most growers, a simple rotating fan will be enough to circulate the air and provide plants with enough CO2 to process the light.
Pruning is a technique that most growers utilize to increase their yield.
The small shoots between the main stem and the branches are removed so that energy is diverted to flower production.
You should only do any pruning during the vegetation stage of growth, as the plant will need sufficient time to recover from the shock and resume growth.
Make sure your plants are growing again and evaporating enough water.
Avoid adding any additional fertilizer until they are showing signs of recovery.
The following video shows you how to prune effectively:
5. Get Rid Of Any Male Plants
Cannabis plants have two pairs of sex chromosomes, one of which carries the genes that determine sex (male or female).
If you are growing non-feminized seeds, each sex has a 50% chance of occurring.
If your plants are not grown from clones, you must sex your plants.
Sexing your plants and removing the males will ensure that cross pollination does not occur.
By getting rid of the male plants from your garden, this allows the female plants to grow large and seedless buds, referred to as sensimilla.
A cannabis plant won’t start to show its gender until it enters the pre-flower stage.
This can occur as early as 3 to 6 weeks into the plants life cycle.
Once your plants are approximately 3 to 6 weeks old they will start to display signs of pre-flowers, which will indicate the sex of the plant before it enters its flowering stage.
It is important to remove male plants as soon as possible.
Plants that don’t reveal their sex at the pre-flowering stage will reveal their gender in the first 1-3 weeks after the lights have been switched to a 12-12 flowering cycle.
6. Adjust Your Fertilizer To Match Your Plants Requirements
By adjusting your nutrient giving to your plants exact requirements, your plants will grow the largest buds possible.
It is important not to overfeed them as an oversaturation of nutrients can harm or even kill the plant.
During the vegetative stage of growth, a multi-purpose fertilizer may be used. Cannabis plants respond well to a mixture of fertilizer that is high in Nitrogen, Kalium and Phosphor.
You can check this via the NPK rating that is generally written on the fertilizer packaging.
However, in the flowering stage, your plant needs fertilizer with a higher level of Kalium and Phosphor, and low levels of Nitrogen.
The reason is that Phosphor will stimulate your plant to sprout more buds while the Kalium increases density and weight.
Ideally, you want to use a fertilizer that has been developed specifically for the flowering stage.
Check Your PH Level
If you are fertilizing your plants, you must regularly monitor the pH level of your growing medium.
Without the correct acidity level, nutrients won’t dissolve properly and the cannabis plants root systems are unable to absorb them.
The optimal pH range for cannabis plants grown is soil is 6.0 – 7.0 and 5.5 – 6.5 for hydroponic setups and plants grown in coco peat.
7. Harvest At The Right Time
Picking the right time to harvest is vital to the yield you will get.
Leaving your buds to ripen fully could add up to 25% more to your yield.
By inspecting your plants trichomes closely, you will be able to determine exactly when you’re plants should be harvested for maximum yield and potency.
During this article we have concentrated on how to maximize bud size during the preflowering, or flowering stage of the pants life cycle.
While the techniques listed above have been proven to work, the ultimate goal of any cannabis grower should be to grow the healthiest plants possible and this covers everything from seed selection to correct care during the important vegetative growth period.
By ensuring your plants are healthy at all times, you are guaranteed a bountiful harvest.