Your guide to growing dense cannabis buds
Choose the Right Strain
It is important to choose a strain of cannabis that is more likely to produce dense buds. Overall, Indica strains tend to produce denser buds than Sativa strains. Sativa is usually long, sausage-shaped buds. Indica is usually dense and has bulbous buds. This allows for the Indica to produce, generally, denser buds than Sativa.
When you are looking for denser strains, don’t necessarily choose a pure Indica. Many cannabis strains are mixes of the two strains. What you want to look for is a strain that is Indica-dominant. The Indica-dominant strain should be able to produce a very dense bud.
Cannabis plants need light to grow. Light is a major factor in the development and health of your marijuana, as well as the denseness of your buds. You want to make sure that your plants have all the light they need to grow. Keep in mind though, that you don’t want to be blasting your plants 24 hours a day. Your plants are living things and also need downtime.
Maximizing Height and Coverage
You want to put your lights in the best position possible. You do not want your lights to be too close to the tops of your plants. This could cause them to overheat, or even burn. You also do not want them to be too far away, as this will not allow the light to produce maximum results. You want to adjust your lights so they are not too close to, and not too far away from, your plants.
Ideally, you want your lights far enough away from the tops of your plants, that the entire canopy of your grow area receives good light. You also want them to be far enough away that they don’t burn the plants.
A good guide is located at the end of your arm. Place your hand just above the tops of your plants. If the heat is too much for your hand, then it is too much for your plants. Alternatively, and probably better, you can place a thermometer at the top of your canopy. This will give you a good idea of the temperature at that height.
As your plants grow, you will need to adjust the height of your lights to match them.
Your Lighting Schedule
Your plants may be growing in your garden or in your indoor grow space. But at one time, their ancestors grew outside. Those seeds you planted are the descendants of wild cannabis. Like all wild plants, they were lit by the sun. This means that the natural cycle of growth involved time spent in the dark.
You will need to have a schedule for your cannabis plants. Of course, this is for feminized plants more important than for auto-flowering plants. When your cannabis plants are in the vegetative stage light your plants for 18 hours and let them have the darkness for 6 hours. When your cannabis plants begin to flower, light them for 12 hours and give them darkness for twelve hours. The plants begin to flower when they have longer periods of darkness. During the vegetative, or growth period, you can light them up to 24 hours a day, but you want to save a little money on your electric bill, right?
Colors and Reflections
One way to maximize the effect of your lighting is to surround your plants with reflective material. You don’t want to use something that will intensify the light, or concentrate it in one spot. Something that bounces the light around will help to get the light to more than just the canopy. More light on the underside of the plant will help with photosynthesis. White plastic or Mylar are good examples of reflective walls which aid in bouncing light.
The color spectrum of your light can also play a role in the growth of your cannabis buds. During the flowering stage, your plants better synthesize light located in the red end of the spectrum. Using light with red enhancement will help your cannabis plants grow better during the flowering stage. Make sure that the light is a full spectrum light with red enhancement.
Growing your cannabis outside provides the best lighting possible for your plants, the sun. Growing your cannabis outside does have its own potential difficulties. You want to make sure that your cannabis plants are planted where they can get correct exposure to the sun. Many growers try to plant their cannabis so that they get maximum light during the morning and evening, but that they are shaded when the sun is at its strongest.
Temperature is a key factor that can impact the health and growth of your buds if you do not keep an eye on it. It is vital that you check the temperature of your grow area regularly to make sure that it is within the correct range. The ideal temperature to keep your cannabis plants at is between 18 – 26º C (65 – 78º F) and should never go above 30º C (86º F). If a plant gets too hot or cold, it can negatively affect the flowering process.
Feeding and Watering Properly
Improperly feeding and watering your plants can create a huge problem with your plants. Too much water and nutrients can be problematic, while not enough of these can diminish the growth of your plants.
Overwatering your plants can cause root rot, which will seriously diminish the quality of your plants. It can even kill them if you continue to practice overwatering. If you need to know if your plant needs water, check the soil. If the soil is dry, water your plants. If the soil is damp, then do not water.
As far as feeding goes, each plant is different. You will want to make sure you have a good feeding process in place for your specific cannabis plants. In general, cannabis plants need different amounts of nutrients during the different stages of growth. The plants will usually need more nitrogen early on, during the vegetative stage. They will also usually need more potassium and phosphorus during the flowering stage.
I always recommend researching the strain of cannabis you are growing. This way you will get a better idea of what your specific plant needs.
High levels of humidity in your grow space can destroy your entire crop. You want to keep your humidity where your cannabis plants are growing below 60% relative humidity. You will want to reduce this in the last few weeks to about 45%. Keeping your plants within this range will help to produce denser buds on the plants and to deter mold and fungus growth.
Growing cannabis plants at the level where you are consistently producing quality, dense buds can be challenging, but it is not impossible. It will take time to learn the skills necessary to consistently produce the results you are looking for. Take your time. Have patience. Learn from mistakes and build on what you do right. Soon you will be producing yields of fat, dense cannabis buds.