HMJ Classics: Kind Bud Primer – The Plant with the “on/off” Switch

A few years back Hail Mary Jane ran a series titled “Kind Bud Primer.”  Here is one installment from that series.  Enjoy.


“Kind Bud Primer” is dedicated to the belief that there is always something new to learn about the cannabis plant. Kind Bud Primer, a HMJ project, is part of the College of Cannabis Knowledge. Go learn something.

From the moment it germinates every cannabis plant produces a hormone called phytochrome. In the presence of red light — daylight, lamp light — this hormone turns to an inactive form. But in the absence of red light — at night, in a dark room — this hormone builds up. When the period of darkness is twelve hours or longer, and stays that way for at least five days in a row, the plant hormone shifts the plant from vegetative growth to its’ flowering phase. It’s the flowers we all want.

Indoor growers select when their plants go into the flowering phase by manipulating the light cycle. As long as the plant gets more than 12 hours of light each day the plant stays in vegetative growth. Most growers give their “veg” plants at least 18 and often 24 hours of light each day pushing the plants to grow. Bigger plants yield more budding sites. When the plant is the size desired by the grower the grower changes the light cycle for the plant.

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At least twelve hours of uninterrupted darkness will induce flowering. Many growers go dark for a 13-hour period, so their plants have no question about flowering, yes/no? The hormone phytochrome builds up during the dark period. The cannabis plant responds by sexually maturing and then (male plant) releasing pollen or (female plant) receiving pollen — then the female plant makes seeds. If a boy plant really really loves a girl plant . . . . We looked at the dioecious nature of the cannabis plant in last weeks installment of “Kind Bud Primer.”

Outdoor growers can manipulate the dark period to start flowering at a time more of the growers choosing. This is done by shielding the outdoor plants with dark cloths to lengthen the amount of darkness a plant receives any given day. Because the light cycle can be manipulated to cause this effect it is said the cannabis plant can be forced to flower.

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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