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Cannabis plants turning to seed in early flowering

Pre-Flowering and Early Flowering Tips For Growing Cannabis Indoors

Last time in our home growing series here at Medical Jane, we discussed pre-veg and vegetative growth for cultivating medicinal cannabis indoors successfully. Some of the things we talked about included knowing how much space to leave for growth once flowering begins and what kind of spacing and plant numbers a grower might need to achieve their desired yield levels with the strain(s) selected.

Pre-flowering Tips And Tricks For Growing Indoors

If you started your plants from seed, your crop may be showing you signs of pre-flowering. Once most strains reach a certain level maturity or size in veg, they often show some sings that they want to enter the reproductive phase. Take advantage if you used regular seeds (a great choice), because you can use this opportunity to identify and males plants and remove them from the garden. Even just a small release of pollen early on can lead to seeds later on. Growing medicine is one thing, growing for seed breeding purposes is another. More on that later.

If you started your crop from cuttings of cloned plants, it’s much easier to gauge how long to grow them before budding, because they are of known genetics. However, environmental and fertility differences as well as management can have some bearing on how much the plants will grow after budding has started, genetics aside.

For example if you keep Carbon Dioxide levels at ambient during Veg, and apply supplemental CO2 during the bud phase (especially early on), you can expect to see a significant surge in growth and stature — within the reach of your genetic selection, naturally.

Light levels do not need to be exceptionally strong for crops to benefit from supplemental CO2. Commercial greenhouse growers have long been applying supplemental CO2 during winter months with lower light levels in order to stimulate and maintain higher levels of production and faster growth rates in lowered light conditions.

How much space you have for roots is also a factor leading up to this point and beyond. Transplanting during budding is usually not a good idea; the shock hurts yield potential. Avoid transplanting at least a few days before budding begins.

If you vegged under lower light intensities versus what plants will get for the budding phase, for example starting under T-5s and budding under HPS lighting, it’s wise to get plants accustomed to higher intensities and a drastic change in spectrum before budding begins.

The same holds true for ventilation. If your veg plants received less air movement and more humid conditions during veg, they could be in a for a shock moving into a more intensive environment-so that’s not the time to start budding, as the shock cuts into the time of the window of opportunity for creating your potential yield and crop quality at harvest.

If at all possible, give indoor grown marijuana plants at least a few days at 18/6 lighting in the types of conditions they will be budding in so they have some time to adjust before you make “The Flip” into the budding cycle by changing the lighting cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off (uninterrupted darkness).

Here are some things you can do to get your crop primed and ready to create a stronger and more prolific flowering response once you decide to initiate the budding phase (or with auto-flower strains, they will do it themselves, regardless of day length):

  • If you grow your plants in soil or soilless mediums, you can add a small amount of carbohydrates in along with your regular crop feeding program. When Nitrogen is reduced at the start of flowering, this can help lessen stretching, keep growth tight and efficient under grow lights.
  • Soil and soilless grown crops take longer to exhibit changes in fertility levels to the plant once growers start transitioning their crop feeding program. Hydroponic grown crops can demonstrate responses to a change in the nutrient solution in hours, rather than days. So, if you grow soil or soilless, you might start adding a small ratio of bloom fertilizer early on-just before flowering. In hydroponics, you might run your veg food a few days into flowering, before starting to transition to your base nutrients for budding.
  • Discontinue use of B-Vitamin supplements during the transition to bloom; your plant will show a stronger response to the change in light duration, ie budding faster and more intensely sooner.
  • Supplying microbial products in soil or soilless gardens can help grow more roots to support bigger buds while helping to protect root systems against increasing salinity over the duration of crop fertilizer applications to harvest.
  • DON’T over-apply lighting intensities. Keep HID lamps a respectable distance from the tops of plants. Too much light will hurt growth and likely create calcium deficiencies in the early bud phase.
  • DO Add more calcium to the nutrient solution in hydroponics and soil growing methods; additions of fulvic acids will further help improve gains in the early bud and pre flowering phase.
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Important Note: A lot of growers start to treat their plants to budding conditions as soon as they flip the lighting cycle to 12/12. Often growers see more growth gain, which means more budding sites, and healthier crops when they transition their plants through pre-flowering into budding. Normally, it takes from 7 to 14 days for plants to show signs of flower and bud development once the critical lighting cycle has been set. Just like we talked about with regard to pre-veg when transitioning from propagation to vegetative growth conditions.

Experienced growers know that a smooth transition lends well to better yields later-with fewer chances of problems in between.

As a final thought, it’s better to rid your crop of any problems BEFORE you start budding, even if it means a delay of a week or two, for example ridding your crop of an insect attack or a nutrient deficiency. You can always prune, bend or tie plants to conserve space if you need to—the most important part is to ensure your soon to be budding cannabis plants are in the prime of their health before charging across the starting line to towards the harvest at the end of the bud phase.

If possible, keep light/dark temperatures close, ie. a narrow differential during the onset of flowering; it’s a natural way to keep growth tighter and helps prevent spikes in humidity once the lights shut off.

Erik Biksa has been writing about and discussing hydroponics growing, related technologies and cropping methods since 1999 in a variety of professional publications and platforms globally Erik has travelled the world learning and teaching modern …

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What causes seeds in buds while growing cannabis?

What does it mean to find seeds in your marijuana buds? Is it something to be worried about? This is something that happens while buds are forming in the flowering stage, but can be prevented with the right steps. Learn more below.

There’s a seed in my bud!

Sometimes you don’t see the seeds until they fall out of your buds

What causes seeds?

Seedy buds are the result of pollination. What does that mean? Cannabis buds are flowers. Like other flowers, they make seeds when pollinated. Cannabis buds get pollinated when they come into contact with cannabis pollen while the buds are forming.

Seeds happen when pollen gets on the hairs (pistils) of buds as they’re forming. In other words, seeds in weed are caused by pollination.

This bud is full of fat seeds because pollen got on the pistils during bud development.

Pollen typically comes from the pollen sacs of a male cannabis plant. Male plants spray pollen everywhere when their flowers are mature. Sometimes female cannabis plants will produce pollen (known as herming) due to genetics or stress. Any source of pollen, whether the plant is male or female, can pollinate buds in the vicinity and cause seedy buds.

If you’re not growing with feminized (all-female) seeds, about half the plants will be male and grow pollen sacs (male flowers) that release pollen. Unless you want seeds, male plants should be removed from the grow room immediately because they will otherwise seed all your buds.

Seeds are caused by the presence of male flowers while buds are growing. Male flowers release pollen that pollinates buds and causes seeds to grow.

Any time you see “bananas” or “balls” it’s important to separate that plant immediately to prevent possible pollination. These are the result of a hermaphrodite plant (“herm”) and these structures also release pollen.

Example of a hermaphrodite plant making seeds

You may notice a bunch of little yellow growths in these buds. They almost look like mini bananas. This plant is “herming” or growing male flowers that spew pollen everywhere. If this plant isn’t removed from the grow space, it will pollinate itself and all other plants in the area, causing seedy buds

This is the same plant. You can see that some of the pure white hairs have turned brown early. This is because those hairs were pollinated. If this plant were allowed to continue flowering, there would be a seed growing at the base of all those brown hairs.

You may not realize that seeds are forming while your buds are growing

But once they get really seedy, buds may look like they have huge plump calyxes/bracts (female flowers) or they may even be misidentified as pollen sacs (hermie/male flowers).

When handling the buds after harvest, you may see seeds or hear them as they fall onto the surface below

Does it mean the weed is bad? No!

If it’s very seedy the buds may not feel as potent, though a few seeds here and there won’t make much difference in bud potency. The main problem with seedy weed is that you are getting less smokeable bud for the amount of total mass there. If it is seedless, you will get more bang for your buck. Seedless bud (sinsemilla) is considered to be the highest quality and most potent type of weed.

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Seedy weed is still good to smoke

However, cannabis plants waste energy developing seeds that could have been used to fatten buds. When a bud has lots of seeds, it often isn’t as big and plump as it would have if the plant had not been pollinated. Notice how all the mass of this bud is in the seeds. The rest of the bud is airy and small.

Are seeds good to grow?

I’ve seen some growers get impressive results with bagseed (seeds you find in a “bag” of weed), but overall results seem to be hit or miss. Plants can grow in odd ways and often either the yields or quality isn’t as expected. The problem is that seeds often don’t “breed true” to the buds that they came from.

“Found” seeds can sometimes produce excellent results

But sometimes the plants grow poorly or buds don’t turn out anything like the buds you found the seeds in

That is why many growers either stick to clones (which are exactly the same as the “mother” plant) or purchase seeds of a stabilized strain from a trustworthy breeder. Starting with stable genetics helps ensure each of the plants will grow the way you expect, and buds have the smell, yield, and potency you want.

If you’re not sure what strains to get, here are a few recommendations. These strains produce excellent weed and are generally easy to grow. These seeds are all feminized, which means they will only grow female plants (no pollen to worry about!) Click the links for more information.

    – top-shelf looks and smell with classic effects reminiscent of 90s buds but stronger. Easy to grow. – this version is MUCH more potent than regular White Widow. The buds tested between 24-26% THC. Don’t plan to do anything else that day ? – for those who are looking for a face melter. These buds test up to 28% THC and produce buds with quintessentially “American” looks and smell. The mental and physical effects may be too intense for most beginners. is a good choice for commercial growers with high THC up to 30%, big yields, and a short flowering time. is a potent Sativa hybrid with great yields and uplifting unique mental effects is an autoflowering strain that produces photoperiod-quality buds in about 70 days from seed to harvest.

Platinum Cookies is essentially a more potent version of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain.

How can I tell if it’s a viable seed?

Good seeds are often dark and relatively hard. Very pale or white seeds that can be easily crushed between the fingers often don’t sprout. However, I have been surprised to find some very flimsy seeds sprout and produce amazing plants (we aren’t breeding them for hard seeds after all) so when in doubt, I highly recommend doing the true test to see if the seed is viable – try to germinate the seed and see if it sprouts.

The best way to tell if a seed is viable is to try to germinate it and see what happens.