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Cannabis Flowering Stage – Best Week By Week Guide

The cannabis flowering stage is critical to the whole life cycle. When the germination and nutrition stage of cannabis is complete, it will enter the flowering stage. Usually, the length of the flowering period is between 1 and 3 months.

This flowering stage guide will introduce the budding process of your plant step by step, and will tell you what & how to ensure the best bud quality and the highest yield harvest!


The flowering period is the last stage of the life cycle of indoor cannabis plants. Perhaps it’s the most significant stage.

But what are the signs of the cannabis flowering stage? The cannabis plant begins to flower when the first pistil comes out from the female pre-flowers. At the same time, the plant indicates that its nutrient requirements have changed, and from this point on, it will need more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen.

The pre-flowers will begin to appear between each node, and after three to four days, they will become more and more obvious as the size of the first pistil increases.

Week 1-3: Transition to Flowering

In this flowering stage, cannabis rapid growth in size and height. This stage is also called the transition stage.

During the first three weeks of the stage, the first thing for growers is to reduce the photoperiod to 12 hours.

This stage includes plenty of vegetative growth, designed to give the plant enough size and strength to support bud development in next. This stretch is so dramatic that most cannabis plants double or even triple in height during this period!

Female cannabis plants begin blooming by growing pre-flowers. Cannabis pistils look like “white hairs.” During flowering, your cannabis begins to transfer energy from vegetative growth to bud production, forming its bud sites in the plant nodes.

Week 3-4: Bud Form

week 3-4 cannabis flowering stage

The mad stretching of your cannabis plant will begin to slow down in week 3-4. At this stage, you can see that the bud development begins to accelerate. The pistil is still white at this stage and protrudes straight from the bud.

Your cannabis will start to become sensitive to the environment and nutrients, so be sure to keep a close eye on your garden. Don’t worry if the leaves turn yellow. It’s a normal process at this stage. (Cannabis transfer energy to the top of the plant and buds.) You need to pay attention to the leaves’ condition and make sure they are not burned by the excess nutrients.

In general, the cannabis leaves should still be lush and green at week 3-4 flowering stage.

Week 4-6: Buds Start Fattening


At this flowering stage, the “stretching period” is over. Since your plant will not add many new leaves at this stage, you must be careful about the remaining leaves.

At this stage, appropriate strategic defoliation is available (for advanced growers) helps to expose the bud location. But it’s also important to ensure that your plant maintains enough foliage to absorb enough light to maximize yields.

Week 6-8: Pistils Darken & Buds Ripen

At this stage of flowering, your plant will not produce any new leaves or stems. Cannabis plant will concentrate all its energy on growing buds. If all goes well, your buds should be on track by now. In the next few weeks, their size will increase significantly!

At week 7 of the cannabis flowering stage, your cannabis plant should still be mostly green and healthy, and it’s normal for a few leaves at the bottom to start turning yellow.

Week 8+: End of Flowering, Final Flush


At the last flowering stage, you will find the trichome and pistil ripening, the pistil darkening, and the trichome turn from clear to milky as they increase in THC. (Then it turns to amber).

When it approach harvest, the yellowing of the leaves is normal because cannabis is putting its last energy into bud growth. Just make sure your buds still look healthy.

Sometimes the trichome will become milky white, but the pistil will remain white. The pistil begins to curl(color turn to red or dark orange), but the trichome remains clear. Only when the pistil and trichome change together, it’s the best time to harvest.

Attention in Cannabis Flowering Stage

1. The flowering period of cannabis can follow a 1:1 ratio of darkness to light, that is, 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

2. Indoor cultivation of plant lights is necessary. In addition to controlling the light time, it can also control the degree of absorption of light colors by plants, generally with yellow or red ribbons.

3. For outdoor cultivation, hemp plants should be planted in areas with strong sunlight, so that the light is evenly distributed in all parts of the plant.

4. After hemp blooms, the application of nitrogen should be reduced. Correspondingly, phosphorus, and potassium can be appropriately increased to ensure the synthesis and operation of key substances during the flowering period.

5. Too much nitrogen will reduce the plant’s stress resistance and cause pests and diseases.

6. Appropriate addition of calcium, magnesium, and other trace elements, and stop the application 2-3 weeks before harvest, can improve the quality of flower buds.

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