Education Guides

When to Cultivate Cannabis

Many new growers are eager to know when to cultivate their cannabis plants. This can be an exciting time, especially for new growers. But it can also lead to some uncertainty.

By Gillian May | AROYA Contributor

Cultivating too early or too late can have negative effects on the taste, quality, and THC levels in the plant. This article will discuss some important aspects of cultivating cannabis plants.

How long does it take for cannabis plants to ripen?

Cannabis plants have a wide range of cultivation times depending on the strain, weather, indoor/outdoor growth, and growing medium. However, usually it takes between nine and and twelve weeks from planting to cultivation. Cultivating too early means that your cannabis may be less potent and flavorful. Cultivating too late means the cannabis wonโ€™t have a good taste.

However, some of the terpenes, which are noted for their health benefits, can be more potent in a late harvest. So it depends on your preference and what you want to get out of your cannabis. Below are some key indicators that can let you know when your cannabis is ready to cultivate:

Look closely at the trichomes

Trichomes are the little sticky resin glands on the flowers. Theyโ€™re shaped like a stick with a ball at the end and youโ€™ll need a magnifying glass to see them as they are quite tiny. Trichomes that are clear and see-through tell you that itโ€™s too early to cultivate your cannabis plants. At that stage the plant with lack potency and flavor. Instead, look for trichomes that are mixed between milky white and amber in color. Again, make sure you have a magnifying glass so you can clearly see the color of the trichome. If they are all amber and dark, then the plant is over-ripe, which will affect the quality as well. Trichome color is one of the most reliable indicators of cultivation readiness.

Look at the stigma

The stigma are winding hair-like objects that overlap the trichomes. These can be seen with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass may still be helpful. When the stigma turns orange and curls around the bud, thatโ€™s another sign that the plant is ready for cultivation.

Leaf color and quality

Another reliable clue that cannabis is ready for cultivation is the leaf color and quality, which can be seen with the naked eye. Youโ€™ll want to look at the fan leaves, which are the larger leaves surrounding the buds. Once they begin to dry out, turn yellow and curl up, itโ€™s time for the plant to be harvested. Curling leaves is a sign of the plant drying out, which happens as cultivation time gets closer.

Look at the bud shape

Although this is not as reliable as looking at the trichomes, the bud shape can give indicators of cultivation readiness. When the buds are large, firm, and tight, this is a good sign that the plant is ready to harvest.

These are some signs to look for to help you figure out the best time to cultivate your cannabis plants. Of all the signs, the color and quality of the trichomes seem to be the best indicator, but other factors like the stigma, leaf color and quality, and bud shape can all help guide you when determining the best time to cultivate your cannabis.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491815/

https://weedmaps.com/learn/the-plant/when-to-harvest-cannabis

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