Best Light Schedule For Cannabis In The Flowering Stage
The majority of cannabis plants are photoperiodic, this means they depend on a 12/12 light cycle to flower. It’s crucial you provide the correct light cycle so your plants start to flower, although depending on the strain this can change, autoflowering strains start flowering automatically and don’t depend on light.
Cannabis plants in the flowering stage have already grown their branches and main cola, and are ready to put on weight in the form of buds.
Failing to provide them a good amount of light in this stage will result in airy buds, low yields, and your plant can become weak and unhealthy.
1. What Is The Light Cycle In Flowering Cannabis?
In the flowering stage, the amount of light your cannabis plants receive will influence on the quality, density, and yield of the buds. This means the buds will produce more resin and grow denser the more light they receive, resulting in a higher yield.
The most common light cycle for the flowering stage is 12/12.
This is because cannabis starts flowering when they receive at least 12hrs of darkness, while still needing the maximum amount of light possible to produce buds.
Our days only have 24hrs, so after 12hrs of darkness, the maximum hours of light we can give them is 12hrs.
There is no other light cycle to flower cannabis as they need as much light as possible, giving them less than 12hrs per day will result in lower quality and yield.
2. Light Cycle For Flowering Cannabis Outdoor
When flowering outdoors, you have to be really careful and plan ahead. As you may know, every season has a different light cycle and this will determine how long your plant grows before starting to flower.
To give you an example, cannabis outdoors in California only flowers from September to March. So if you were to cultivate a cannabis plant starting in April it would grow for 5 months before starting to flower, in September, resulting in a huge plant.
If you want to avoid this, you can apply light deprivation techniques, this consists of using a black tarp to prevent light from reaching your plants.
This is used by all farmers, independent of the kind of plant they’re growing, the downside is you will need a greenhouse to be able to do this, as you need to block all light from coming in and this can be really hard to achieve without a structure to firmly hold the tarp.
With autoflowers you won’t have any of these problems. Autoflowering cannabis doesn’t need a vegetative stage per se, it will grow and flower depending on age.
This means it’s way easier to grow them than photoperiodic plants. A really good tip is to search on the internet the amount of light you will get on each month and plan your harvest accordingly, your plants can benefit from the extra hours of light.
Even though autoflowering cannabis can flower properly all year long, it can slightly improve the quality and yield of your harvest.
3. Light Cycle For Flowering Cannabis Indoors
As said above, photoperiodic plants flower in a 12/12 light cycle. When growing indoors we keep it the same, although it can be easier to flower indoors because you don’t have to plan ahead.
When you feel like your plants have grown enough, you can simply change the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 by adjusting your timer.
It can take a couple of weeks for your plants to enter the pre-flowering stage and show signs of maturity (pistils or pollen sacs if they’re regular seeds), but soon you’ll see beautiful buds forming.
For autoflowering plants, there’s actually not much to do. They flower from seed in a vegetative light cycle, by providing an 18/6 light cycle from seed, your plants will go through all their cycle: seedling, vegetative and flowering without having to change anything other than the nutrients mix (if it’s required).
If you’re wondering why this happens, it is because automatic cannabis is a hybrid cross between Ruderalis and Indica or/and Sativa.
By crossing with Ruderalis, cannabis strains can have its characteristic of automatic flowering.
4. In Conclusion
Just like in the vegetative stage, when in the flowering stage your plants need the proper amount of light if you want your plant to develop to its maximum. If they don’t get the amount of light they need while flowering, the buds won’t develop properly and won’t produce the maximum amount of trichomes they can, resulting in lower yields and buds with less quality.
Your plants can also get weak and have a higher chance of being attacked by pests or diseases. To avoid this, always plan ahead when growing outdoors and get informed of how the seasons are in your city, including not only the amount of light but also humidity and temperature.
If you’re growing indoors, be sure to provide a good growing environment and especially a good amount of light and the correct light cycle.
The majority of cannabis plants are photoperiodic, this means they depend on a 12/12 light cycle to flower. It’s crucial you provide the correct light cycle so