The the plant will
be induced to fruit or flower with dark cycles of 11-13 hours
that simulate the oncoming winter in the fall as the days grow
shorter. As a consequence, it works out well indoors to have two
separate areas; one that is used for the initial vegetative
state and one that is used for flowering and fruiting. There is
no other requirement other than to keep the dark cycle for
flowering very dark with no light interruptions, as this can
stall flowering by days or weeks.
Once a plant is
big enough to mature (12" or over), dark periods are required
for most plants to flower and bear fruit. This will require
putting the lamp on a timer, to create regular and strict dark
periods of uninterrupted light. In the greenhouse, the same
effect can be created in the Summer (long days) by covering it
with a blanket to make longer night periods. A strict schedule
of covering the plants at 8pm and uncovering them at 8am for 2
weeks will start your plants to flowering. After the first 2
weeks, the schedule can be relaxed a little, but it will still
be necessary to continue this routine for the plants to
completely flower without reverting back to vegatative growth.
More pictures of
and Fall, the nights are sufficiently long to induce flowering
at all times. Merely bring the plants from indoors to the
outside at these times, and the plants will flower naturally. In
late Summer, with Fall approaching, it may be necessary only to
force flowering the first two weeks, then the rapidly
lengthening nights will do the rest.
plants high P plant food and keep them on a strict light regimen
of 12 hours, with no light, or no more than a full moon during
the dark cycle. 13 hours light, 11 dark may increase flower size
while still allowing the plant to go into the flowering mode.
Use longer dark periods to speed maturity toward the end of the
flowering cycle if speed is of the essence. (8-10 days) This
will however, reduce total yield.
Two shelves can be
used, one identical to the other, if strictly indoor gardening
is desired. One shelfs lights are set for 12-13 hours, and one
is lit continuously. Plants are started in continuous light, and
are moved to the other shelf to flower to maturity after several
weeks. This flowering shelf should be bigger than the "starting"
or "vegetative" shelf, so that it can accommodate larger plants.
Or, some plants can be taken outside if there is not enough
space on the flowering shelf for all of them near harvesting.
A light tight
curtain can be made from black vinyl, or other opaque material,
with a reflective material on the other side to reflect light
back to the plants. This curtain can be tied with cord when
rolled up to work on the garden, and can be velcroed down in
place to make sure no light leaks in or out. If the shelf is
placed up high, it will not be very noticeable, and will fit in
any room. Visitors will never notice it unless you point it out
to them, since it is above eye level, and no light is being
emitted from it.
like very high P level foods, such as 5-50-17, but 10-20-10
should be adequate. Nutrients should be provided with each
watering when first flowering.
Trace elements are
necessary too; try to find foods that include these, so you don
not have to use a separate trace element food too. Home
improvement centers sell trace element solutions rich in iron
for lawn deficiencies, and these can be adapted for use in
cultivating the herb. Prices for these mass produced fertilizers
are significantly cheaper than the specialized hydroponic
fertilizers sold in indoor gardening shops, and seem to work
FLOWERING SOLUTION, per gallon:
1 tspn high P
plant food, such as 15-30-15, or 5-50-17, etc.
1/2 tspn epsom
1 tspn Oxygen Plus
Plant Food (Optional)
1 tspn Trace
I cannot stress
enough that during the FLOWERING PHASE, the dark period should
not be violated by normal light. It delays flower development
due to hormones in the plant that react to light. If you must
work on the plants during this time, allow only as much light as
a VERY pale moon can provide for less than 5 minutes. Keep
pruning to a minimum during the entire FLOWERING PHASE.
A green light can
be used to work on the garden during the dark period with no
negative reactions from the plants. These are sold as nursery
safety lights, but any green bulb should be OK. It is best to
keep the dark hours a time when you would normally not wish to
visit the garden. Personally, I like my garden lit from 7pm to
7am, since it allows me to visit the garden at night after work
and in the morning before work, and all day long, while I am too
busy to worry about it, it lies unlit and undisturbed, flowering
should not be sprayed often as this will promote mold and rot.
Keep humidity levels down indoors when flowering, as this is the
most delicate time for the plants in this regard.
Early flowering is
noticed 1-2 weeks after turning back the lights to 12 hour days.
Look for 2 white hairs emerging from a small bulbous area at
every internode. This is the easiest way to verify females early
on. You can not tell a male from a female by height, or
3-6 weeks after
turning back the lights, your plants will be covered with these
white pistils emerging from every growtip on the plant. It will
literally be covered with them. These are the mature flowers, as
they continue to grow and cover the plant. Some plants will do
this indefinately until the lights are turned back yet again. At
the point you feel your ready to see the existing flowers become
ripe ( you feel the plant has enought flowers), turn the lights
back to 8-10 hours. Now the plant will start to ripen quickely,
and should be ready to harvest in 2-3 weeks. The alternative, is
to allow the plant to ripen with whatever natural day length is
available outside, or keep the plants on a constant 12 hour
regimen for the entire flowering process, which may increase
yield, but takes longer.
Plants can be
flowered in the final stages outdoors, even if the days are too
long for normal flowering to occur. Once the plant has almost
reached peak floral development, it is too far gone to revert
quickly to vegatative growth, and final flowering will occur
regardless. This will free up precious indoor space sooner, for
the next batch of clones to be flowered.
Look for the white
hairs to turn red, orange or brown, and the false seed pods (
you did pull the males, right?) to swell with resins. When most
of the pistils have turned color (~80%), the flowers are ripe to
Don not touch
those buds! Touch only the large fan leaves if you want to
inspect the buds, as the THC will come off on your fingers and
reduce the overall yield if mishandled.