When to Trigger the Flowering Cycle

Hello, Nico! Quick question for ya…
How do you know when its time to start the flowering cycle? It has been two months since the seed first popped out of the soil. Is it time to trigger flowering? How do I know? Many thanks! – Bianca

Hey there B – Thanks for reading and writing in to us!
Your question is a good one and often asked by new growers as cannabis is, in fact, a very odd plant when you really think about it. To start, cannabis has male and female plants – the female plants, of course, being the ones that actually flower and produce the buds we harvest and smoke. And on top of that cannabis also has two distinct phases of growth – vegetative and flowering.

So how do you know when to induce flowering? Well, there is no standard rule for this as the answer mostly depends on you, the grower. Generally, this decision is predicated upon two factors: time and space. The longer you allow your plant to vegetate and develop before flowering, the larger it will be. A general guideline for cannabis plant growth is that once you trigger flowering, your plant’s size will increase by one-third of its current size – and sometimes a bit more. So you are looking at a 30-50 percent increase in plant size during flowering. The next factor is more obvious: time. Some growers want to get to harvest quicker, while others prefer to get a larger yield by growing a bigger plant. It’s all up to you.

But to give you a more specific answer, I would say the average veg time for more growers is anywhere between 2-4 weeks. I personally like a 4-week veg period as it gives the roots time to expand in the medium (assuming you did a transplant after rooting your clone or seedling) and it gives the plant some time to develop and grow strong and hardy before forcing her to flower. Of course, I know plenty of growers who take cuttings, root them for a week, then plug them into a sea-of-green (SOG) or screen-of-green (ScrOG) trellis system and go right into flower, but that is usually more of a commercial set-up.

For you, Ms. B, at two months veg time, I’d say you’re ready to flower and looking at a nice harvest from a well-developed plant. So go ahead and flip the lights to a 12/12 light-dark cycle and get your flower on!

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

Got questions? Email ’em over to Nico at NicosNuggets@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!
  1. I really think i might of messed up and i hope i haven’t stressed out my girls too much. I was told to go from a 12/12 light cycle during veg then switch to 6/6 or even 4/4 I’ve had them on the 6/6 for 3 days. What do i do.i HIGH TIMES Help me!!!!

    1. Why in the world would you do anything of that nature lmao. Stick with something continuous. They’re a tough plant. If you haven’t already killed them they’ll be okay just treat em wth care

  2. What about outdoor in the North East of the US? Should I induce flowering and if so when. It gets cold here quick and it’s getting me worried. This is my first outdoor attempt and I can no longer control everything..

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