Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (2023)

Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (1)

Hemarijuana plant, commonly known as the marijuana plant or weed, is something that has been cultivated for thousands of years and is part of many ancient cultures and civilizations. Some have used it for its medicinal benefits, while others have taken it simply to "get high". The same pattern of use continues today as these are still the two reasons the herb is grown today. However, in these modern times, we know a lot more about growing cannabis than ever before. We now know the different stages of the plant's growth cycle and how to provide the "optimal conditions" so that we can get the best possible yield from the plants. With that knowledge in mind, in this article, we are going to take a closer look at thecannabis flowering stages week by week– how they grow and what are the things growers need to look out for.

The cannabis plant goes through seven different stages of growth between being a seed and being harvested. We'll start by looking at all the phases, but then we'll turn our attention to the topic at hand, which is the flowering phase. There we will see the week by week progress of how a plant blooms. Typically this flowering phase can last for eight to nine weeks and we will walk you through a detailed progress of the plant week by week. Let's start now by first understanding what the different phases are:

What are the different growth stages of a cannabis plant?

When it's aboutgrow a marijuana plant, the path begins with the humble seed. The seed you buy needs to be feminized. You can get specially feminized seeds from various "seed banks" that will ensure you get the right kind of seeds to grow your plants. Once you get your seeds, you need to germinate them first by soaking them in water for a while and then keeping them wrapped in a damp cloth in a dark room. Once the germination process is complete, you will see that a solitary sprout has emerged from the seed, which is the "tap root".

Once the taproot has emerged, you know the seed must now be placed in the soil. Place it in the soil with the taproot facing down and use a sprinkler to sprinkle some water into the soil so that it is moist and eventually you will see a small sprout start to grow out of the soil. This means that your plant has already entered the molting phase and is where it is weakest and needs a lot of care. You will have some very small leaves coming off the plant at this stage. A temperature around 73F is good for seedling growth and they need a lot of light. About 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness every day.


After germination, the plants start growing and getting taller at a fairly rapid rate, which is the fourth phase after seed, germination and seedling: the vegetative growth stage. Here, you need to provide lights that are in the bluer spectrum, and the plant will need lighting for about 16 hours a day during this time. This is followed by the pre-flowering phase where you can determine the sex of the plant as the sexual organs begin to appear. If there are male plants, now is the time to separate them. By dimming the lighting from 16 hours to 12 hours, you enter the flowering phase. Now let's take a detailed look at the flowering stages of cannabis week by week:

Cannabis flowering stages: a week-by-week look

Weeks 1-3:

Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (2)

For the first three weeks of the flowering process, you'll start by reducing the photoperiod to 12 hours. This tricks the plants into thinking it is the winter period (hence the shorter days). This is still a period of time where you will see vegetative growth continue to increase and plant height double, or sometimes even more than that. Many people call this the "stretching" phase, and this is a good time to "train" your plant with low-stress training methods if you wish. The youngest shoots will start to form now.

Weeks 3-4:

Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (3)

This is the next step that starts when the buds start to emerge. During those two weeks you will notice a lot of buds appearing, while some leaves on the underside will start to look paler/yellow. You really don't have to worry about the bottom leaves as this is something that is bound to happen. What must not happen, however, is that the upper leaves are not burned by the nutrients. Look at the pigmentation and texture of the upper group of leaves on the plant and see if they show any color change; sometimes the tips can turn brown because of this. If this happens, you will need to reduce the nutrients you are supplying the plant. This is also a good time to check the plant bodies for other infections.

(Video) Grow the Perfect Cannabis: 10 Top Tips!

Weeks 4-6:

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The small shoots from the previous stage will now mature and flatten. At this point, your plants have reached their maximum height and growth and will not grow any taller or thicker. New shoots are also unlikely to develop now, so you might want to stop your training process if it's still going on. At this point, new leaves won't grow either, so you might want to remove the leaves at the bottom that aren't quite right and have turned pale or yellowed. You might consider defoliating these leaves, but remember to only do this if you have previous experience, otherwise you could damage the plant and add more stress to it during an already stressful time.

Week 6-8:

Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (5)

At this stage, your beds will be fully mature and begin to ripen. All of your plants' energy and resources will ensure that the buds mature properly. You'll notice that these buds are getting really big around this time and that's when you stop giving them all the nutrients you have. This will help clean the plant so excess nutrients are drained away while the plant consumes residual nutrients. Some leaves will start to fall off (if you haven't already skinned them). Also turn up the lights because the buds are fragile and can suffer light burns. Also increase airflow and reduce temperatures.

Week 8 and beyond:

Cannabis Flowering Stages Week by Week (with Photos) - 420 Arena (6)

(Video) FB.WCOG W8-11 & harvest

At this time, its flowering process has almost come to an end. This opens up a one-week harvest window beyond which the THC content would begin to break down and form CBN, which is not as potent. The smell coming from the plants will be stronger at this time and the buds will start to gain a lot of weight, sometimes making it very difficult for the branches to carry them and the branches will start to fall. This is where the harvest ideally begins and the flowering phase ends.

Things to take care of during flowering

  • Calling-You need to make sure you are giving the correct type of light and also the correct distance. During the flowering phase, the light should be reduced and moved closer to the plants according to the settings. Typically, this drop is from 24 inches during the vegetative phase to 18 inches in the flowering phase. The lighting must also remain on for a specific time, fewer hours compared to previous phases. Flowering plants need about 12 hours of light and the type of lighting they need is close to the red end of the spectrum (warm lighting).
  • air circulationProper air circulation is essential for plants, especially in the flowering phase. While it brings a fresh supply of oxygen and other elements that plants need, another great thing that a steady breeze does is ensure that temperatures stay cool. Helps disperse accumulated hot air.
  • NutrientsFlowering is the time when plants need a lot of energy, as all their resources are spent on developing flowers. You will notice that other parts like leaves etc start to wither and fall off while the flowers are in bloom. This is because all nutrients are used in the development of flowers. Plants need an excess supply of nutrients at this time, which you can provide by mixing them with water. Generally, a low nitrogen solution is fed to the plants during this phase.
  • keep pests awayIt is at this stage that the plants are very vulnerable to bugs and insects, as the colors begin to shine in certain parts of the plant's body and attract a lot of unwanted attention, bringing insects and pests closer together that can harm the plant. Therefore, you must ensure that your plants are grown in a pest-free environment.
  • MoistureIt is necessary to reduce the humidity levels in the flowering phase. This is useful because by doing this you will ensure that your plants absorb more water from the roots than directly from the leaves. Water intake through the root is important because this is how nutrients enter the plant's body.
  • TemperatureWhile temperatures during the growth phase can be a little higher (around 70-85F – 20-30C), you will need to cool down a bit during the flowering stage as heat is bad for flowers. The ideal temperatures for the flowering stage of the marijuana plant range from 65 to 80F which is around 18 to 26C.

FAQs about the flowering stage of cannabis

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the flowering stage of the cannabis plant:

1. What is the best grow light for the flowering stages of the marijuana plant?

Any grow light would work, but one that has a reddish tint is preferable. FORFull spectrum LED grow lightwhich will allow you to switch to the red spectrum and covers enough area to light all your plants and will better suit your needs.

2. Why does dimming the lighting help push the plant into the flowering stage?

Traditionally, the plant flowers in winter, and so when the day length is reduced, it is tricked into thinking it is winter (even if you are growing it indoors). Reducing the daylight period initiates flowering in the marijuana plant, but this can be different for different types of plants.

3. What are autoflowering plants?

Autoflowering plants have a different kind of genetic structure that ensures that the plants enter the flowering phase without actually changing their photoperiod. They can go into flowering after a fixed time without reducing daylight saving time to 12.


4. What comes after flowering?

As the flower nears its end, you will need to start the washing process. Here you basically ensure that excess nutrients are drained from the body of the plant. Then the harvesting, curing and processing phases begin, after which you can finally smoke the bud you've been growing for so long!


We hope this article on cannabis flowering stages has helped you understand in detail what flowering is and how it works. The cannabis plant is not a complex creature and grows comfortably indoors with minimal care and attention. You just need to give it the perfect conditions, and you can be sure of good growth. We hope this article has helped you to better understand the plant. If you still have any questions or think we may have missed something, send us an email or let us know in the comments below and we'll get back to you shortly. Until then…

….Happy growth! 🙂

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(Video) Outdoor Home Grow Ep 3 - Transition Your Cannabis Plants To Flowering


What should my buds look like at 7 weeks? ›

Your buds in Week 7 will be noticeably frostier, as the plants begin to finish out. These plants are beginning to look smokable! Seriously, at this point, you will want to rip off a nug and go smoke! That is how appealing your plants begin to look as you get into Week 7.

What should my buds look like at 5 weeks? ›

In week 5 of flowering, you can observe the buds all over your plant becoming thicker. You may also spot new buds growing in new places such as along the main cola. With buds abounding, your cannabis plants will get fatter every day. This is a surefire sign you are in full flowering mode.

What does week 2 of flowering look like? ›

During week 2, the first white pistils will grow on the female cannabis plants. These fine, wispy white hairs develop at the locations where the big fan leaves meet the main stem. These white hairs are what later become the buds of the plant, called colas.

What should my buds look like at 8 weeks? ›

Around week 8 of the flowering stage, buds will start fattening quickly. Likewise, you'll see that trichomes and pistils are maturing and changing colors. Usually, when trichomes turn from transparent to a milky / white-ish color (and maybe 5-10% of them turn amber), your plant is ready for harvesting.

What week do buds put on the most weight? ›

The last three weeks is when your buds can actually gain the most weight – that is if you feed them Overdrive®. After your peak bloom phase, your plants enter their late bloom phase (the precise timing and length of which depends on the strain of cannabis you're growing).

What weeks do buds fatten up the most? ›

Thicker, more compact, and heavier buds are what we're looking for. Usually, you can see the most bud development during weeks 5-7 and it can be disappointing to see the light, airy buds; they are not what we imagine when we first start growing.

Should I remove fan leaves during flowering? ›

You can remove fan leaves during flowering in much the same way you do during veg. Prune away large leaves that are overshadowing bud sites, as well as dead or dying fan leaves. One thing to keep in mind is that you should prune in intervals, giving at least a couple weeks between each session.

What should my buds look like at week 3? ›

More growth and stretching of the plants in Week 3

You will notice continued growth and stretching. You can see in the video how bushy everything has become. This rapid, almost non-stop growth is all a sign of the post-vegetative stretch that these plants go through after switching to the 12/12 light cycle.

How do you tell if your buds are dry enough? ›

Whether wet or dry trimming, check drying buds or branches after two days by bending a branch or stem—if the stem snaps, that means buds are fully dry. If they don't snap, leave them and check the next day.

How often should you water a flowering stage? ›

Generally, you want to water every 2 or 3 days during Flower and you want to water enough that 10-20% of water comes out from the pot as runoff. You can check your soil moisture by sticking a finger in the pot: if the soil is dry a couple inches down, then it is time to water again.

Do buds grow at night? ›

12 or more hours of darkness is the biological trigger for photoperiod cannabis to bloom. Outdoors, as the nights grow longer incrementally from the summer solstice onward, some strains can even begin flowering when receiving 14 hours of sunlight.

What week Do pistils appear? ›

During week two, your plant may develop pistils. Pistils are extremely important to marijuana maturity, more on those a little later on. The growing and stretching will slow down during week three. You may also see the first signs of developing buds.

Do buds swell in week 7? ›

Week 7: The calyxes in the seven-week varieties swell to near bursting as THC is produced in the glands. At the end of the week they will be ready. The trichomes stand more erect and the caps swell with newly produced resin. At the end of the week the flowers reach the peak zone.

Are small buds as good as big buds? ›

Small buds, about the size of a marble or smaller, are appropriately called “Smalls” and are considered lower quality than larger nugs. Large and smalls can both come from the same harvest and the same plants but will get filtered out in the packaging process.

What should my buds look like when ready? ›

The telltale sign of harvest-ready weed is when the hairs of the plant, or pistils, have fully darkened and curled in. If your buds are looking thick and dense, but there are still some straight white pistils, it's not time yet. However, opinions on harvest time vary.

What nutrients make bigger buds? ›

The bigger the leaf area, the bigger your buds will be. Nitrogen is the nutrient needed most for this green growth. When plants reach their mature size and begin flowering, they need more phosphorus, the nutrient most essential for budding.

How do you make your buds heavy? ›

Feed Your Plants

If your plant gets off to a healthy start and grows big quickly, it will be able to produce bigger flowers later. Once the plant starts to produce its buds, it needs less nitrogen. It is at this point that phosphorous will be more useful because they help the buds become big, heavy, and dense.

How do you make buds swell up outside? ›

By providing the right amount of light and keeping the lights the right distance away from your plants, you'll keep your grow happy, resulting in the desired bigger buds. If growing outdoors, make sure your pots or trenches are spaced far enough apart so that the sides of the plants can receive full sun.

What is the best bud hardener? ›

General Hydroponic KoolBloom

Available as Liquid KoolBloom or Dry KoolBloom, this additive is widely regarded as the best bud hardener out there.

How often do you fertilize in flowering stage? ›

The nutrient requirements will change dramatically when the plants enter the flowering stage, and this may be a little hard for new growers. You can feed your plants 1-2 times every week, gradually increasing the nutrients, but at the same time pay attention to your plants' reactions after each feeding.

What week of flower should I defoliate? ›

Once between the beginning of Flower and the 3-week mark. 3 weeks after beginning flower is the last time you'll want to defoliate.

Do plants need more water during flowering? ›

Watering during the flowering period

During the pre-flowering and early flowering stage, the plants don't require additional watering. However, once the plants enter the peak flowering stage, the buds start sucking the soil dry. The buds are filled with water; it's logical that more watering is required.

When should fan leaves be cut off? ›

Usually, growers trim the fan leaves weeks before harvest, which is a period that leads to senescence, a phase in the plant cycle when the larger leaves start fading away. It is safe to start removing these dying leaves and continue until harvest.

Do buds get bigger last 2 weeks? ›

The Final 2 Weeks Of Flowering. If you grow strains with an average flowering time, the majority of bud development will occur by the 6th week of bloom. In the last two weeks, the buds will mostly be ripening and not really growing much more in size.

What does healthy bud look like? ›

High-quality weed is often a deep, vibrant green color speckled with orange, purple, or red tones. A white, crystal-like coating should also cover the flowers, giving them an almost dusty appearance. If you take a close look, you'll see that those white crystals are tiny and mushroom-shaped.

What should my buds look like when I start to flush? ›

You should flush your cannabis plants when they are almost within the harvest window. Your plants should be almost ready to harvest but can still stay on the plant for a bit longer. This will result in the highest quality bud. Your plant should have clear trichomes with a few that have turned milky.

Do buds need darkness to dry? ›

The Room Must Be Dark

The ideal drying room must be dark, as light can damage the THC in your buds. While it does not hurt to have a light source inside to check on the progress of your buds, you should keep it off most of the time, and block all other passages of light that can enter the room.

How do you dry thick buds? ›

Humidity be- low 45% promotes faster drying, but at that humidity level big buds have a tendency to dry on the outside while the inside remains moist. Turn on oscillating circulation fans to keep air moving throughout the space. Add buds by hanging them or laying them on screens.

Do buds get tighter as they dry? ›

Dry & cure your buds in jars – In addition to improving taste, smell and potency, drying and curing your buds the right way will cause them to “tighten up” a bit.

Can you overwater during flowering? ›

Overwatering during flowering

During the bloom period, some leaves might fall off the plant, and you'll need to prevent them from remaining inside the pot, as if they mix with soil and moisture, they could rot and give way to harmful fungi, which can contaminate the roots and attack the plant's metabolism.

How can you tell if a flower is getting enough water? ›

The best way to tell if your plants need water is to stick your finger about an inch into the potting mix—if it feels dry, break out the watering can. If you detect dampness, check back again in a day or two. For smaller houseplants, you can also pick up the whole container.

Should I feed every watering in flower? ›

For soil growers, plants can be fed once every second or third watering. If plants are fed with every watering then nutrient buildup and lockup becomes a problem causing stunted growth, “crows foot” (curling downwards of the leaves), leaf burn, deficiency symptoms, burnt and damaged root system and decreased yields.

Do buds grow when lights are off? ›

The moon and stars don't bother cannabis, but any artificial light can stop its bud growth. In fact, light interrupting its dark cycles can make cannabis so stressed and irritable that it can lead to hermaphroditism. That can pollinate females and ruin your plants.

Will buds grow without fan leaves? ›

Remember that fan leaves removed during flowering won't grow back, and removing too many can throw off the plant's energy balance, stunting bud development in turn.

Why should we not touch plants at night? ›

In addition, at night you may not be able to see dangerous, spiders, bugs, or snakes that make their home in trees. In addition, at night it is difficult to identify dangerous plants (e.g. poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle, etc.).

What do Orange pistils mean? ›

Orange pistils are a sign that cannabis buds are mature, filled with cannabinoids and terpenes, and ready to harvest.

Do pistils always turn orange? ›

Pistils are not always orange. While in the vegetative stage, the hairs are white, and as they approach the flower stage, they begin to change color. Originally yellow, they become orange as they enter the flowering stage.

Should I harvest when pistils are brown? ›

For many growers a good time to harvest is when they see around 50%-75% of the pistils (hairs) are brown or when they see most of the trichomes have developed a milky (cloudy) appearance.

What happens in week 6 of flower? ›

Changes from Week 5 to Week 6

The biggest changes that you will witness in the sixth week of flowering is the amount of weight that has been added to the buds. Your buds in Week 6 will be noticeably bigger than they were in Week 5. At this point, these plants are deep into flower, and are really maturing day by day.

How long do trichomes stay milky? ›

Trichomes remain milky for about two weeks during the lifecycle of a cannabis plant. Growers may choose to harvest the buds at this time if they plan to pair the strain with CBD oil.

Are lower buds less potent? ›

In Testing For Truth Part 1 article, we found that the position of a bud on the plant does matter- buds near the top tend to be higher in potency than those near the bottom. That means growers need to be aware of this, and possibly adjust their lighting, plant spacing, etc. to reduce variation.

Why arent my buds getting bigger? ›

Poor Watering/Feeding

Cannabis plants need water and nutrients to grow and develop big, healthy flowers. Drought, overwatering, and over/underfeeding can all affect your plant's ability to develop big, dense, and heavy flowers.

How do I get the best quality buds? ›

10 Tips to Grow High Quality Bud
  1. Source Quality Seeds. ...
  2. Choose The Right Container Size. ...
  3. Allow For Proper Airflow and Spacing. ...
  4. Manage Temperature and Humidity. ...
  5. Don't Forget CO2. ...
  6. Invest in Proper Lighting. ...
  7. Maintain Appropriate Nutrition. ...
  8. Provide Support.
Dec 11, 2018

What do milky trichomes look like? ›

In the early stages of development, the Trichomes are at their most potent level and will look milky white in appearance. The Trichomes will then shift into an amber-like shade, which would produce sedative-like effects, instead of being psychoactive.

Do buds still grow in week 7? ›

During the seventh and eighth week of marijuana flowering, the buds finish forming, increase their weight and density, most of the pistils wither, and many of the trichomes change color, going from transparent to white or from white to reddish or amber All these changes are symptoms that announce that the harvest of ...

What are the signs of healthy pregnancy at 7 weeks? ›

You're probably feeling tired. Your breasts might feel sore and enlarged, and you may need to pee more often than usual. You may start to feel sick or tired, or have other minor pregnancy problems for a few weeks around this time.

Can I harvest at week 7 of flower? ›

Flowering week 7 and 8. Ripening is the most difficult phase. The buds need to ripen at this point in order to be harvested at the best possible moment. The buds are still getting bigger, but not as quickly as in the previous phase.

What is the best nutrient for big buds? ›

The bigger the leaf area, the bigger your buds will be. Nitrogen is the nutrient needed most for this green growth. When plants reach their mature size and begin flowering, they need more phosphorus, the nutrient most essential for budding.

How soon do you start showing? ›

You'll likely notice the first signs of a bump early in the second trimester, between weeks 12 and 16. You might start showing closer to 12 weeks if you are a person of lower weight with a smaller midsection, and closer to 16 weeks if you're a person with more weight.

Is no symptoms at 7 weeks normal? ›

At 7 weeks pregnant, you might notice common pregnancy symptoms such as bloating, nausea, and fatigue. It's also possible and normal to feel no symptoms at all, as everyone and every pregnancy is different.

What fruit is not good for pregnancy? ›

Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy Diet
  • Papaya – It tops the list for obvious reasons. ...
  • Pineapple – These are also not recommended to the pregnant women as they contain certain enzymes that alters the texture of cervix which could induce premature contractions. ...
  • Grapes –

What should pistils look like before harvest? ›

Guideline #2: Harvest marijuana when 70% of the pistils have turned brown or orange. Most cultivators who base their harvest date on the Pistil Method take down their plants when 70% of the pistils have changed color and curled inward. If 90% of the pistils are brown/orange, the plant is past its peak.

What does week 1 of flowering look like? ›

Week One. Week one is the transition stage between pre-flowering and full flowering when your plant switches from growing tall to producing buds. During this transition, some strains will double in height from what they were a week earlier. Because of this rapid growth, week one is commonly known as “the stretch”.

Can I defoliate in week 1 of flower? ›

Right before you switch to 12/12. Once between the beginning of Flower and the 3-week mark. 3 weeks after beginning flower is the last time you'll want to defoliate.


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