One of the golden rules when it comes to successful cannabis cultivation is to have patience. However, there are instances where cannabis flowers seem to take a lifetime to mature. You invest heavily in the cultivation process from day one, but for some reason your plants seem reluctant to deliver the goods.
In which case, what exactly is standing between you and your harvest? What kinds of factors can affect the speed at which cannabis flowers mature?
Before taking things further, it’s important to note that slow progress towards maturity doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. Hence, you don’t need to panic right away. Nevertheless, one or two adjustments could help steer things in the right direction.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why cannabis flowers sometimes mature more slowly than expected:
Cannabis Strain Choice
There are some cannabis strains that naturally take longer to reach maturity than others. Common examples of which include anything with the XXL moniker, the vast majority of Haze strains and most sativa strains in general. In all such instances, there isn’t a great deal you can do to speed up the process. However, you may find that with plants like these, a period of little to no movement is suddenly followed by a rapid transition to maturity.
Just as long as you’re providing your plants with the conditions they need, it’s only a matter of time.
Unrealistic Supplier Indications
Breeders will always indicate on the seed packet (or elsewhere) how long you can expect the flowering period to last. However, it’s not uncommon for breeders to the publish information that’s a little on the optimistic side. Or in some cases, completely unrealistic.
This is one of the reasons why it’s important to stick exclusively with renowned and reputable breeders you can trust. Even then, flowering times are to be interpreted strictly as a guideline only. Where an approximate flowering time of 9 to 11 weeks is stated, this could technically mean anything from 8 to 13 weeks…sometimes even more.
Issues with Lighting or Heating
Cannabis flowers are sensible to a wide variety of stimuli, which can impede their growth and development. Light and heat stress in particular can impact the speed at which cannabis flowers mature. Specifically, if your cannabis plants are exposed to overly strong heat or light during the flowering stage, it can slow the process down to a crawl. If the problem is particularly severe, it could even stop the flowering process in its tracks.
Be sure to keep an extremely close eye on lighting and temperatures as your plants approach maturity. If in doubt, think about upgrading your equipment where necessary.
Use of LED Grow Lights
Quality LED grow lights can be great, but lower-grade LEDs have been known to adversely affect flowering times. Both with photoperiod strains and auto-flowering strains alike, it’s worth considering the quality (and the intended purpose) of your LED grow lights.
Unless they’re specifically designed with cultivation in mind, you probably shouldn’t be using them. They may get the job done, but not nearly as quickly or consistently as purpose-made LED grow lights.
Last but not least, specialised supplements should be provided at all times throughout the cannabis plant’s life cycle. This includes the flowering stage, during which very specific nutrients are needed in carefully measured quantities.If your plants do not have the nutrients they need to fuel their developmental processes, things will inevitably progress more slowly than expected.
Pick up a batch of quality nutrients, administer them precisely as advised by the manufacturer and watch as your cannabis flowers burst into life. It’s a small price to pay at such a late stage for a high-quality harvest to follow.