The act of cultivating and harvesting cannabis plants is, for many users, a significant element of the experience of using cannabis. It’s possible that the DIY mentality of using your own grown products is what turns sessions into much more enjoyable ones. But do you know exactly when to harvest cannabis?
Some people do this so that they may make sure their cannabis is always fresh and all-natural. They want theirs to be cultivated in circumstances that are kind to the environment and produce little waste.
In this article, we will go through one of, if not, the most challenging aspects of cannabis cultivation for new growers, which is how to determine when to harvest cannabis plants.
How Much Time is Needed Before Cannabis is Ready to Harvest?
A challenging aspect of cannabis growing that makes it difficult to determine when to harvest cannabis is that the duration of the plant’s growing phase may vary greatly depending on the cannabis strain. To add on top of that, other variables that affect grow time include the type of cultivation and the target yield.
Plants grown outdoors would take the most time out of any technique, which is depending on regional variables like how long the natural season for growing lasts.
A Cannabis Plant’s Wide Time Range
In general, growing cannabis plants outside will take the longest. Growing cannabis indoors offers you more control over the plant’s development timetable. However, in order to cultivate something correctly, one often needs additional space, resources, and care.
When fully mature, most cannabis plants need anything from 6 to 16 weeks for their growth time before they can be harvested. The most common time until it’s ready to harvest falls in the center somewhere, often between 9 and 12 weeks.
How to Determine When to Harvest Cannabis Plants
If you keep yourself ready for a few key changes in the plants’ outward appearance, you may get a good idea of when they are ready to harvest.
The Fan Leaves have Started to Turn Yellow
Whenever the time to harvest cannabis draws near, the color of the fan leaves on the plant will start changing color from a vibrant green to a yellowish-green hue.
Nitrogen content is highest in the plant’s fan leaves during the blooming stage, which occurs during the plant’s penultimate stage of development before it is ready to harvest. During this stage of development, nitrogen provides cannabis plants with aid in their photosynthesis and is responsible for the green coloration of its fan leaves.
When this stage is over, the nitrogen concentration will drop, and the plant’s leaves will start to turn yellow. That’s a wonderful indicator that harvest time is approaching closer and closer!
The Pistils Start to Turn Crimson or Brown in Color
Pistils of a plant are the minute structures that look like small hairs that may be seen in the cannabis buds. This is the main reproductive organ of a female plant, which would produce seeds after being pollinated by male cannabis plants.
In the first stages of the blooming period, the pistils have a white color. When the plant approaches the conclusion of the blooming period, the pistils turn a hue that might be one of three shades: red, orange, or brown.
Pistils are White when Young
This needs some forethought about scheduling since the harvest time should ideally take place when between 50 and 70 percent of the pistils started to change their color. It is too early in the season if a large number of the white pistils on the flower are still visible.
In general, the intensity of the high will increase in proportion to the number of pistils that have undergone a color change. You should be experimenting with this to determine the best time to harvest your crop according to your tastes.
The Trichomes Start to Acquire Their Colors
Trichomes of cannabis plants are the minute resin glands that provide the impression of dewiness to your buds. Cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds that give different strains of the cannabis plant their distinctive qualities, are created during this stage.
These resin glands will have the appearance of crystals and will be transparent so long as the plant’s still under the blooming stage. This indicates that the plant isn’t yet ready to harvest, and the yield would be quite low if you were to do so.
Trichomes and Their Hues
When the trichomes start changing color to a milky white and perhaps a kind of amber hue, you will know that it is time to harvest your crop. On the other hand, trichomes are so minute that they are almost impossible to see without special equipment. This presents a challenge. You’re going to need some type of magnifying glass if you want to get a good look at the trichomes.
If you have the right equipment, the color of the trichomes on your plants is a dependable sign that may inform you of the harvest time.
The Leaves Start to Twist
As the harvest time for the cannabis plant draws near, the plant’s fan leaves will begin to twist into themselves and dry out in addition to becoming yellow. This is a sign that the plant is ready to harvest. In the same way that the plants absorb more nitrogen as they reach the blooming stage, so too do they take in much more water when they reach this stage.
As the harvest time draws closer, the cannabis plant will have a reduced need for water, and as a result, the leaves start taking on a look that is more dried up and wilted.
The Shape and Size of Cannabis Buds
Should there be nothing else to look for, one last thing you may examine to identify when the crop is ready to harvest is the plant’s buds’ form and density. When it is time to harvest a cannabis plant, it will typically have buds that are tight and solid, even if this approach may not be as instructive as a few of the others discussed above.
Indicators That It’s Too Soon to Start Harvesting Cannabis
Keeping an eye on the trichomes is likely to be the most precise variable you have available to determine where your plants are on the growth timetable. This is especially important if you’re looking to be certain about which stage you’re in.
Figuring it out is as easy as looking at the trichomes’ color since the plant may be less developed and potent when there is a higher concentration of the clear trichomes. As trichomes reach their maximum level of resin synthesis, they begin to alter the color of their surface.
In simpler terms, the level of clear trichomes at the time of harvest will determine the overall taste, potency, and scent of the plant you end up with. This is because clear trichomes are less dense.
Warnings That It’s Too Late for a Harvest
Keeping an eye on the color of the trichomes on the plant may also help you determine whether or not it is time to harvest. If there are many amber trichomes, this indicates that the plant has gone beyond its harvest period and is now overripe.
The THC content of the plant starts to deteriorate when the proportion of amber trichomes to the milky white ones begins to increase. When smoked, it will start to acquire a flavor that is fairly disagreeable, and the experience as a whole won’t be as satisfying.
The Follow-Up Actions
It is quite simple to get the time to harvest just right with some loving attention and care here and there. Naturally, after the cannabis plant has been harvested, it is not yet at the stage where it may be smoked. After the cannabis flowers have been picked, it must first be dried, then trimmed, and finally cured, before being rolled.
Harvesting Cannabis Plant FAQs
What do trichomes look like when ready to harvest?
It’s ready to harvest once roughly 20% of trichomes of a particular bud start to turn into a milky or amber color.
When should I stop watering before harvesting cannabis?
Several growers recommend halting watering three days preceding the plant’s harvesting time, while some stop the week before the harvest.
Should I harvest cannabis top buds first?
You can cut and harvest buds from the top then remove leaves and branches to let in more light. Lower buds should reach maturity in 1 or 2 weeks.
How do you know trichomes are done?
When the trichomes become milky, it is time to harvest cannabis. Waiting for amber trichomes reduces the cannabis concentration.
You have a somewhat long window of opportunity during which you may harvest cannabis. Still, you must be careful since there is a possibility that you will miss the window entirely. If you are watchful and keep careful track of your cannabis plants at all times, you will be able to detect when the crop produced by the plant is ready to be harvested since it will have reached the appropriate level of maturity.
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