Watering cannabis plants should be the easiest thing to do. After all, all plants need water, right? However, most growers, including seasoned cannabis cultivators, get it wrong. One of the most common mistakes is overwatering, which hinders your plant’s health and wastes your efforts.
During the flowering stage, your beloved cannabis flourishes, and with good watering habits, you might just elevate the quality of your harvest.
Whether you are growing your plants outside or indoors, adequate watering is essential for your cannabis plant’s growth and the overall quality of your yield.
How Often Should I Water My Cannabis Plants During Flowering?
The frequency of watering your cannabis plants at flowering depends on such factors as the strain, the size of the grow bucket, and the grow medium. As such, there’s no golden rule. Simply use the ‘soak and dry’ method— water your plant until the excess water leaves through the drain holes, then wait until it’s dry to water again.
Unlike the seedling stage, where your cannabis plants consume less water, the plant needs more water for bud formation in the flowering stage. The plant is also bigger, hence consumes more water than at the vegetative stage.
The best thing with the ‘soak and dry’ method is, you don’t have to count days or adhere to any book rules. Simply soak the medium thoroughly and wait till it dries before you water again. You’ll notice the water getting lost faster as the plant enters the flowering stage.
Though leaving the medium dry for some time helps roots grow and enhances aeration, you shouldn’t wait until the leaves begin to droop before you water again. At flowering, the plant is mainly focused on bud production; losing energy on recovery from wilting can reduce your yield considerably.
Don’t wait till it begins to wither. Water it as soon as you notice the medium gone dry— the plant will still be green and in its best health.
Most experienced growers use an alternating watering schedule during the flowering phase to prevent waterlogging. On the first day, you can use fertilized water or water with nutrients and skip the second day. On the third day, use purified water to hydrate your plants, skip the fourth day, and water again with nutrient-rich water on the fifth day, repeat.
This schedule is dependent on your grow medium and its water retention capacity. You also need to control the water pH, with the ideal being 5.5-6.5.
Factors that Determine How Much Water Your Plants Need During Flowering
Whether you are growing your plants indoors or outdoors, various factors determine how much water your plants will need during the flowering stage. Some of these factors include;
If you’re growing your cannabis plants in soil, take note of its water retention capacity. Some soils retain water better than others. If the soil drains quickly, you will need to water your plants more frequently. Grow mediums that hold water will require less watering.
When you’re growing outdoors, consider groundwater that is close to the surface. If your plants’ roots find the groundwater, they will get enough hydration, and additional watering may cause waterlogging.
The hotter the weather, the more you need to water your plants. Plants in hot, dry areas experience more evaporation and need regular misting to compensate for this water loss.
If you’re growing your plants outside in cool, rainy weather, then you’ll need to water less frequently since the plants don’t lose much water through evaporation.
If you’re growing your cannabis in a highly sunny climate, the high light intensity is likely to scorch your plants. The sun’s high-intensity light hits the plant and the ground— the water loss occurs both through the plant’s leaves and by evaporation from the soil. Worse, a lot of water is lost from the soil before even the plant absorbs it.
In such an environment, you’ll need to keep your plants hydrated at all times. The same happens when you use high-intensity lights indoors. The stronger the lights, the higher the water loss, thus more frequent watering schedules.
Weekly Watering Schedule During the Flowering Stage
During the first week, continue watering your plants with fertilized water. At this stage, the plants require Nitrogen and other nutrients. You can also begin watering the plants with 25% of the recommended bloom nutrients to encourage flowering.
At this stage, your plant is well into the flowering stage, and you should desist from any training methods and let them focus their energy on bud formation.
As you water the plant, perk it up by doubling the previous dose of flowering nutrients. However, stop using growth nutrients as the plant shall be having different needs. You can introduce boosters at 50% of the recommended dose to grow bigger colas.
This is the stage you have been working for, and the rewards begin to show in big, fattened buds. Includes phosphorous in your watering and feeding schedule as it’s essential for bud development. Check out this article on how to fatten up your buds during this stage.
You might also start to notice the white pistils changing into a brownish color. Keep a magnifying glass close to inspect the plants for when the pistils turn milky white— an indicator that harvest time is near.
While not all plants flower at the same time, at the 6-7-week mark, you can decide to start flushing your plants to leech out extra nutrients using plain water.
During the flushing stage, keep a close eye on your pistils. Cannabis buds left to flower for longer durations develop darker pistils that give a stronger high. We recommend you begin flushing when you see milky pistils forming the majority of the bud.
Watering your cannabis plants during the flowering stage can be a complicated process. Still, it is also the most rewarding and satisfying stage as all your hard work finally pays off.
Flowering is the most sensitive stage and also the most exciting in the marijuana life cycle. At this stage, any slip-up could negatively impact the quantity and quality of your harvest. Pay close attention to these guidelines, and you are well on your way to getting a great harvest.