As your cannabis plants reach maturation, you will observe more amber coloured trichomes. This indicates that the THC cannabinoids are degrading, converting to other cannabinoids at this stage. If you prefer a more couch-lock euphoria, harvest your plant when you have roughly 75% cloudy and 25% amber-coloured trichomes.
An easily distinguishable visual sign of growth change occurs in the pistil on the flower. The pistil is the reproductive organ of female flowers. Attached to the pistil are small hair-like strands called stigmas that are necessary to collect pollen when plants breed.
While growing autoflowering cannabis strains is considered to be easier than regular seeds or feminized seeds, it is important to fully understand why and when is the right time to harvest your auto-flowering marijuana seeds.
Trichomes the Key to Harvest Time
Trichomes go through development stages as the plant cycle evolves. An early inspection of their manifestation reveals translucent, lucid mushroom-shaped projections. As the plant continues to grow, however, the colour of the trichomes begins to change. They first take on a cloudy white hue and eventually turn to light amber.
Depending on the type of marijuana strain, usually around week 7 – 8 for an indica autoflower and 9 – 10 weeks for sativa autoflowering from the beginning of growth, auto plants will start to exhibit other signs communicating a change in plant development. Yellowing fan leaves are a signal that the plant is almost reaching maturity.
The transition from the vegetative stage into the flowering cycle for autoflowering cannabis seeds is quite rapid, usually only 3-4 weeks. The plant will then begin to show signs of pre-flowering followed by full-blown bloom within the next month. As the plant shifts from the vegetative phase into the pre-flower phase, you will start to notice substantial changes in your autoflowering cannabis plants.
If your autoflower received synthetic nutrients during plant growth, it is a sign to start flushing with water when abundant fan leaves have turned yellow. Wash out residual compounds found in non-organic fertilizers by flushing with water approximately 7 – 10 days before harvest. This process ensures the total uptake of sugars and proteins in the final stage of plant development.
When the buds at the top are ready but the lowers aren’t, you can opt for harvesting partially, this way you can harvest the branches that are mature and leave the others a couple of days to fatten up.
No, it won’t taste like diesel-like you’re imagining. Think of a harsh, acrid taste. So, to avoid this problem, you can flush the plants.
Dark period before harvesting
As a cannabis grower, you’ve probably used different nutrients to help your babies. The nutrients help the buds swell up. But if the plant hasn’t used all the nutrients, the nutrients remain in different parts of the plant.
Your flowers should be good after curing for 2 weeks but you can experiment curing for up to 1 year and see what works best for you.
Once you’ve harvested all the stems, you can uproot the plants. The final step is to dry and then cure the buds. But for now, take a good look at the buds you have grown and pat yourself on the back! It’s time for the next big yield now.
Maintenance: It’s crucial to stop harmful intruders such as mold and spider mites, so check your cannabis plants daily and keep the humidity low at 40 percent. Maintain the watering and feeding schedule established in week six.
During the flowering stage, sticky, resinous buds will make their first appearance during week five. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Here are four of the top reasons to grow autoflowering cannabis:
Just as harvest timing depends on the size and classification of autoflower plants, so does the amount of cannabis they yield. Regular plants tend to yield between 10 and 50 grams per plant, while the next level up, the super auto, can produce yields between 100 and 200 grams per plant. The abundant yield of a super autoflower can be a double-edged sword if you are working within the confines of a small space. So, use small spaces for regular autos whose yields are more manageable, and reserve larger spaces for those impressive super autos.
Harvest: Milky white trichomes and red-brown pistils on the buds indicate they are ready for harvest. Drying and curing comes next, then you can finally sit back and enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor.
In addition, autoflowers need at least 15 to 18 hours of sunlight or LED light each day to thrive.
Late Flowering: Don’t be surprised to see a flower forming in every bud after two weeks into the flowering stage. Drop the humidity to 40 percent and reduce the temperature back to 68 degrees. Water with 1.5 liters and feed the plants three times a week.