by Greg Green
If all things have gone well and you have taken good care of your plants, you will now enter the flowering stage of the plant’s life cycle. You have removed and maybe killed off the males. You now have a number of females to work with. This is going to be the most important time you will spend taking care of your plant.
The male plant produces pollen sacks which, when ripe, burst and scatter pollen to the female plants. The female plant produces white hairs at the internodes and top cola (head) of the plant during flowering. These hairs (pistils) begin to curl slightly and grow longer and thicker. The top cola should carry the most pistils. These pistils are sticky too touch (do not touch them too much! they also contain your much wanted THC) and begin to cover in resin over the flowering period. The reason for the stickiness is that it is used by the female to catch falling pollen. If the female plant is not Pollinated she will try to grow more sticky areas. Hence the results of a sinsemilla crop……..Bigger and Better Buds!
During the strict cycle of 12/12 she will eventually reach a peak period of flowering. Along with the flowering cycle the plant will also fill out more. More leaves, more branches and more flowers. Your plant will start to almost take the shape of a Christmas tree. The lower fan leaves will be stretched out to the max in order to receive the most light. Running upward in a cone shape she will get tighter with floral and leaf development.
During the peak period of flowering the female pistils on the flowers tips will swell up. When the swelling takes place the pistils will begin to change in colour. They will generally change from a white to an orange tint to a red tint to a brown tint. All strains are different but in general it is a white to red or a white to brown colour change (It is best to use the breeders recommended flowering times for harvest guidelines though). When she does this you are ready to harvest her and sample your favourite herb.
Each strain does have their own flowering times and each strain also may have a different colour tint when they reach a flowering peak. We will talk more about harvesting in another chapter.