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This is a question that every beginner grower will ask himself once he sees the flowers on his plants, and it is a very important point to take into account, as the quality of our harvest will depend on it. That is why in this article we show you when to cut cannabis.
Even if the crop has gone smoothly, with controlled nutrition and temperatures, no pests or diseases, if harvesting is not done at the right time, the result can be disappointing.
Here are three steps to follow to determine when to cut marijuana. In order to enjoy the best flavour and maximum yield from your harvest, we advise you to take these characteristics into account in your cannabis plants.
Seed bank references
Any grower who has bought cannabis seeds, whether feminised, regular or autoflowering, will have noticed that the package contains certain characteristics about the genetics they have bought.
It will often include the type of seed (feminised, regular, etc.), the genetics of the cross, the yields obtained and also the flowering time indoors and outdoors.
Data on yields and flowering time are indicative only. These two data may vary significantly depending on the growing conditions and phenotypes grown.
They are, however, useful to get an idea of what a genetics can offer or more or less, as well as how long you have to wait until harvest.
With the flowering time, the grower will be able to know roughly when to start looking to see if the plants are ready for harvest.
Taking into account the information on the packets of seeds sold will be the first thing to take into account in order to know when to cut the marijuana.
Condition of pistils
The condition of the pistils will be one aspect of the plant that the grower can rely on, to know when to cut marijuana. In most varieties, the pistils turn brown at the end of flowering.
However, the pistils can also turn brown without this meaning that it is time to harvest. Rain, a period of drought, wind or even foliar applications of phytosanitary products during cultivation can cause the pistils to turn brown.
Some genetics can also produce orange pistils, or other colours, without marking the time of harvest. Some genetics also produce new calyxes and pistils until the last days before harvest. They will still be white, even at harvest time, as is the case with the plant you can see below.
The most effective way to ensure that cannabis buds are mature is to look at the trichomes on the flowers of female cannabis plants. It is necessary to observe the state of the trichomes, their shape and above all their colour to know if the time has come to cut the marihunana.
For this, you will need a small magnifying glass with a minimum magnification of x10. If you have a magnifying glass with a magnification of x50, it will be even easier to observe the trichomes. It is simply a matter of bringing the magnifying glass closer to the buds in order to observe the trichomes.
The developed trichomes are mushroom-shaped and their colour changes during maturation. They turn from clear to milky and end up completely amber. Harvesting should be done when most of the trichomes (at least 50%) are milky white. Some trichomes may be amber in colour, but you won’t have to wait much longer.
Looking at the trichomes of your plants with a magnifying glass will be the best way to know when to cut your cannabis. Knowing the optimal time to harvest and get the most out of the terpenes and cannabinoids produced by your cannabis plants is very important to ensure quality marijuana.
What to do when harvest time comes ?
Once harvest time is approaching, make sure to reduce the relative humidity to avoid any mould problems inside the buds. Ventilating as much as possible will also help to avoid any problems.
You should also make sure that your plants have been well washed. Therefore, watering should only be done during the last weeks of flowering. Large leaves should be yellow in colour, a sign that they have already consumed all the nutrients that could be present in the plants.
It is possible to harvest in several stages. This is especially the case for outdoor plants that are very large. It is possible to harvest the tip of the plant and the lower branches a few days/weeks later to ensure that all parts have finished maturing.
We hope that this article will have taught you how to know when to cut marijuana, so that you can get the most out of your genetics and all the effort you have put into growing.