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Patience is key when it comes to growing cannabis. You can expect to give your plant an abundance of attention and care for three to eight months before you can enjoy your bounty. It is certainly not a quick reward, although it’s very worth it! There’s one, and only one constant, critical component to growing cannabis: there’s no one right way to grow it! But, there are things you can do to support growth to increase yields during the outlined four critical stages of cannabis growth.
How to Increase Yields During the Four Critical Stages of Cannabis Growth
Timing: 3-10 days immediately after planting
Activity: The germination time immediately after planting your seed. As it sprouts out of the ground, two round cotyledon leaves (also known as seed leaves) will emerge from the seed casing. These leaves are part of the seed’s embryo and take in sunlight to feed the plant. The roots grow stronger, allowing the stalk to rise and support other leaves.
How to Support Growth:
- Make sure you start with a hard and dry cannabis seed that is light brown or dark brown in color. A seed is considered undeveloped if it is squishy and green or white. Undeveloped seeds probably won’t make it to the germination stage.
- Provide 16 hours of light a day.
- Use Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix. This one-of-a-kind soil medium and fertilizer mix supports your plants’ vegetative growth with a unique blend of perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients for robust, vigorous growth.
Timing: 2-3 Weeks, once your plant grows standard cannabis leaves
Activity: Your plant will begin to develop the traditional cannabis fan leaves. The first ones will likely only have one ridged blade, followed by leaves with more blades. Once new leaves have five or seven blades (although some leaves may have more), your plant enters the next growth stage.
How to Support Growth:
- Provide 16 hours of light a day, likely with artificial light.
- Plants are vulnerable to disease and mold during the seedling stage. You should keep the environment clean to prevent these stressors.
- Don’t overwater your plant! At this stage, roots are still small and don’t need much water to thrive.
Timing: 3-16 Weeks, coinciding with the available photoperiod, with light available 18 hours or more per day. At least six of these hours should be full sun.
Activity: This is when your plant grows bigger and stronger to prepare to support flowering.
How to Support Growth:
- Make sure your plant is in the right-sized container. As the roots are growing bigger and stronger, they will need more space to expand.
- Keep up the light regime! If your plants are under a light regime of 18 or more hours per day, the plants will stay in a vegetative state. This means they will continue to grow and get bigger in order to support bigger blowers. Indoor growers can manipulate the lighting and can keep plants in a vegetative state until they run out of room or if they want to take cuttings during an extended period (they want lots of cuttings). Most growers will run plants in a vegetative state anywhere from 3-8 weeks, but you could leave them in a vegetative state indefinitely. The longer growers run vegetative cycles, the bigger plants become.
- Top and train your plants by removing the top growth right about a node. This encourages the two buds below the cut to grow into new branches.
- Increase water intake, keeping in mind that roots are starting to grow outward and not directly down, so you need to start watering farther out from the stem.
- Use a nitrogen fertilizer at this stage. Nitrogen gives plants the energy needed to grow and is the primary source of plant protoplasm. It helps plants synthesize amino acids, chlorophyll, nucleic acids, proteins, and enzymes.
Timing: 8-11 Weeks, once plants are exposed to a photoperiod of 10 or more hours of darkness per day.
Activity: This is the final stage of growth. During this time, cannabis plants develop resinous buds. First, females will develop pre-flowers which are the beginnings of buds. Next, during mid-flowering, the plant will stop producing new buds, and the current buds will “fatten up.” During the late flowering/ripening phase, trichome density increases, and your plant will get sticky.
How to Support Growth:
- Don’t prune your plants! It can upset the critical hormone balance.
- Add trellises so your buds are supported.
- Consider adding bloom nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium. In addition to supporting healthy roots, phosphorus is a key component of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the energy unit of plants. With the addition of Potassium, it helps support the firmness of cell walls by regulating all of the systems that occur in the plant cell structures.
Support Stages of Cannabis Growth and Increase Yields with Help from Harvest Hero
Enhanced Perlite Mix for the First Stage of Cannabis Growth
The innovative mix features a unique, proprietary blend of perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients that help support the critical vegetative growth stage of your cannabis plants. NC State conducted testing to see how cannabis plants were impacted by this 3-in-1 mix. Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix resulted in:
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Flower Bud Dry Weight.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Plant Diameter.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Phosphorous Accumulation.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Potassium Accumulation.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase CBD Yields.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Nitrogen Accumulation.
- Improves soil conditions to Increase Plant Height.
Harvest Hero is debuting an exciting new product for growers this Winter: Perlite+ Silica! Similar to our Enhanced Perlite Mix, this blend spotlights diatomaceous earth (the silica content) and perlite to support all stages of cannabis growth. Without the addition of nutrients, you have more control over the ones you add to your soil mix. The benefits of this blend include:
- Natural soil substrate: an organic amendment that will increase growth.
- Maintains high levels of oxygen in the soil.
- Increases your crops’ uptake in water and essential nutrients.
- The silica source provided by diatomaceous earth enhances resiliency towards abiotic environmental stress factors.
- Minimizes pH fluctuations by keeping oxygen levels consistent.
- Increases plant mass and plant growth. The silica fortifies the plant tissue to improve plant conditions in times of abiotic stress, like during temperature extremes, sunlight, and water extremes.
We know cannabis growers can have great success growing hydroponically and using soil media mixes, so we developed our Hydroponic Perlite to support both growing methods. This medium-grade perlite helps you grow further:
- 100% sterile growing medium.
- Allows for greater air availability.
- Provides superior water drainage.
- Holds nutrient-enriched water and distributes evenly.
- Regulates pH fluctuations.
- Increases yields and potency.
Grow Great with Harvest Hero
Help your plants get the nutrition they need for robust and vigorous growth with Harvest Hero. Shop now for FREE SHIPPING on all bag sizes from 8 quart to 3 cubic foot bags.