When growing cannabis using high-grade marijuana seeds for sale, we prefer to keep the maximum control on the growing process. This is especially important when it comes to growers of photoperiod cannabis strains. They need to dictate when the plants enter the flowering period by reducing the light their indoor plants receive.
When growing outdoors, that process is taken care of by nature itself. The changing seasons decide when the plants begin developing buds. But what if your photoperiod plants enter the flowering phase without the approval of both you and mother nature?
However, factors outside of the light cycle can influence the time and duration of the bloom phase of your cannabis plants. When that happens, the growers need to step in to identify and correct the problems.
This article explores a few external factors that can quicken, delay, or extend the flowering phase in cannabis plants.
1 – Insufficient nutrition
As with any living organism, your cannabis plants, too, depend on food for growth and development. Poor and inadequate nutrition could signify them initiating the flowering process due to fear of diminishing resources.
Cannabis plants tend to enter the flowering phase when the nutrients decrease proactively.
Those who regularly grow cannabis plants will know that nitrogen is the main macronutrient fed during the vegetative phase. They reduce the amount of nitrogen when the plants enter the flowering stage. In its place, other nutrients, phosphorus, in particular, are increased.
Gibberellic acid (GA) is an important ingredient in bringing the photoperiod plants to the flowering phase. It is interesting to note that GA levels are increased in nitrate-limiting conditions, and thus flowering starts.
Hence, you can say that when the nitrate levels in the soil are low, it signals to the plants that the vegetative phase is about to end, and it is time to begin blooming before the winter sets in.
So, despite keeping your plants on a light cycle of 18/6, you could bring forward the plant’s flowering period due to low nitrate levels.
2 – Ambient temperature
Apart from the light cycle, the surrounding temperature can also play a part in determining when a cannabis plant enters the flowering phase. The ideal daytime temperatures for cannabis are 20-30°C, with night-time temperatures lower.
Research indicates that temperatures higher than 27°C can stimulate the flowering proteins in some cannabis species, causing them to begin flowering sooner. Similarly, temperatures that hover below the ideal range can delay the flowering phase in plants.
However, it needs to be noted that extremely high temperatures (upwards of 30°C) can also delay the flowering response. That is because the heat interferes with the normal physiological processes of the plants.
For the cannabis grower, it’s a fine balancing act of providing adequately high temperatures without stressing plants and increasing the risk of health issues. Outdoors, even moving your containers to a shadier spot during the hottest part of the day can prevent issues associated with excess heat.
3 – Drought conditions
Experiencing drought can also speed up the plants’ normal evolution into flowers. Cannabis plants depend on a constant supply of water throughout their lifecycle. Long periods without moisture can lead them to induce the flowering period sooner due to the stress. The aim is to give rise to seeds before they die.
Researchers conducting controlled drought in cannabis plants discovered that limiting water access during the flowering phase increased cannabinoid content considerably. A 12% increase in THCA and 13% more CBDA was found compared to the control group. Some cannabis growers, therefore, proactively limit watering, hoping to reap a bigger harvest.
On the other extreme, too much water can stop the flowering process and pose a valid risk to the health and capability of the plants. Cannabis can resist drought conditions quite resiliently, but excessive water can spell the end for your plants.
4 – Sucrose and lipid levels
Sugar is an indispensable element in the growth of your cannabis plants. Certain photoperiod plants (not yet tested on cannabis) can induce flowering when fed a low dose of sucrose. The plants have increased sensitivity to both excess and lower amounts of the ingredient.
On the other hand, concentrations of and above 5% have delayed the flowering process in some species. Therefore, excess sugar can hinder the flowering process, which is as undesirable as flowering too early.
Apart from sugar, raised lipid levels can also bring ahead the onset of the flowering phase. In 2015 rapeseed plants showed that higher BnWRI1 (required in fatty acid biosynthesis) caused early flowering by 4-6 days without reduced vegetative growth. One reason for it could be because BnWRI1 is noted to raise levels of soluble sugars, which can induce flowering.
5 – Salt build-up
Excess salt is another factor that could inhibit flowering in cannabis. Studies indicate that increased salinity could directly hinder flowering, with higher levels of salt concentrations more severely affecting the process than lower concentrations.
Unfortunately, non-organic growers know excess salt is a common problem when growing indoors. Administering mineral nutrients to your plants can cause a build-up of salt in the root area, which could inhibit nutrient uptake.
This can halt flowering and bring up a number of different problems, specifically those involved with nutrient lockout.
The reasoning is that salt limits the flowering process by blocking the signaling trail of gibberellic acid, which is a key ingredient in inducing flowering.
You can resolve issues arising out of excess salinity by flushing the soil with pure water to clear the root area of the salt accumulation.
6 – Microbial pathogens
It might be surprising, but yes, fungi, bacteria, and other infectious agents can affect the flowering process of your plants. Fungal organisms can expedite or delay the flowering in some species.
As per a study in 2003, the bacterial pathogen P. syringae affected flowering in vulnerable plants. While the flowering was hastened by a few days by small amounts of the pathogen, it could be delayed by larger quantities.
Pathogenic species weren’t the only ones that can influence flowering time; soil microbes can also have an effect. Some beneficial bacteria around the root system can quicken the commencement of the flowering phase by bettering the soil composition and raising the expression of activator protein 1 (AP-1).
Even though some of the conditions mentioned above can have a negative effect on your cannabis crop, you can use some others positively to help your cause. For example, many cultivators feed sugar supplements like molasses to their cannabis. This improves photosynthesis, thus potentially speeding up flowering.
Additionally, exposure to higher-than-average temperatures (within accepted range) and infusing more CO₂ could promote a more efficient and productive crop.
Knowing that external factors can affect flowering time will give you more confidence to deal with any situation that arises, whether it’s a pest, drought, or a lack of nutrients. If you are looking to buy high-grade marijuana seeds for sale, please visit i49.