It’s good that you have noticed the growth compromise your plants faced recently. The extra darkness during flowering issue, right?
Well, you are lucky – even if it led to significant damage. Why?
Because you are not alone, many other growers (even professional ones) have experienced this issue. Instead of worrying about all your effort going down the drain, realize there are solutions that can help.
We have laid out all in this guide. Let us start with the following:
- Extra Darkness During Flowering – For Starters
- The Key Aspect of Timing the Darkness Period For Plants
- What are Your Options?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Extra Darkness During Flowering – For Starters
The extra darkness during the flowering approach has both benefits and drawbacks. These are perspectives and issues that are common among many growers today.
It can be confusing if it’s your first time growing budding or fruiting plants. Plus, the darkness before harvest myth is also a widespread issue/topic growers consider.
We recommend you realize the importance of the signals that your cannabis plant should start flowering. Any period equal to or less than 12 light hours will initiate the flowering process. So, extra darkness during flowering is actually good for your flowering plant.
You have to manage the day length of your plant correctly. Any increment in the time (duration) plants get exposed to light can help compensate for low light intensity issues. It’s applicable if the plant’s flowering cycle isn’t sensitive to day-length issues.
Any increased light duration ensures the plant can produce sufficient food for growth and survival.
However, plants also require some time in the dark to rest and develop. So, even if you can play around with the light cycles of your plant, we recommend no more than 16 hours per day of light. Your flowering plants must receive no less than 8 hours of darkness for optimal growth.
Using excessive light is as harmful as using a small amount of light. If your pants receive excessive light, they can become frail and eventually die.
The Key Aspect of Timing the Darkness Period For Plants
One of the challenging stages to manage is the vegetative one (especially for novices). Some plants require down lime, just like people. However, setting them in the light or dark can compromise their growth.
Usually, advanced growers use a 20-hour light cycle, with only four hours available for the plant to rest (in the dark). There are some variations to this process, but it requires an informed approach to avoid damaging the plant.
The other thing you should consider is that roots develop mainly during the dark hours of the day. The roots also perspire, which is a process involving the acquisition of oxygen (the rest of the plant breathes CO2).
Usually, this process occurs mainly during the night. Based on this perspective, you must provide your plants with controlled darkness levels during the vegetative stage.
During the flowering stage, use the 12 to 12 light cycle approach. Once you have experience with plants, try calibrating these light cycles to suit your needs. We recommend you also try the 14 hours dark 10 hours light approach for flowering.
Again, giving your plants more dark time during the flowering stage can have several benefits. However, “NEVER” give your plants more than 12 hours of light during the flowering stage.
Doing so can cause your plants to revert to a vegetative state. Some plants even revert to hermaphrodites and experience self-pollinating issues. The result is that you have buds that have seeds, which isn’t good.
So, is it possible to add more light during the flowering process?
Yes, it’s possible to add more light during the flowering process. However, you have to be careful. Consider the tips mentioned above to help you with light addition process. Too much light can overwork your plants, and this isn’t good.
What are Your Options?
Here is a list of the issues which can arise when your plants experience extra darkness during flowering:
Situation #1. When the Plants Revert to the Vegetative State
Disrupting the dark cycle by supplying more light can compromise the flower development process.
Additional light means that your plant will produce a reduced amount of Florigen. The result is that the flower yield of your plants won’t be significant. At the same time, using more light (up to 14 hours) can improve the photosynthesis process.
It encourages the plants to develop leaves and continue developing. The plant will soon revegetate after a few days.
Solution: If you notice the lights were on for significant periods, it’s possible to reverse this process.
All you have to do is to set the plant in the dark for a few hours. Doing this will trigger the Florigen product process. The plant will then revert to the vegetative state, and start the flowering process once again.
Situation #2. Buds Mature Faster
The other impact of light disruption involves the maturity of the buds. While it might seem positive, you should never disrupt the conventional budding process.
Some growers make the mistake of letting plants sit in the darkness to trigger the flowering process. When this process is complete, the flowers will mature fast.
But there will still be one issue! There will be a compromise on the yield quality the plant can produce.
Solution: Ensure you maintain the correct balance between dark and light hours. “NEVER” overdo anything.
Situation #3. Gender Changes
When the light operation of your grow room faces a compromise, things are likely to go out of control. If the lights switch regularly, this will confuse the plant’s growth.
The result is that your plant will have scrawny buds, which will eventually become same-sex plants.
A sudden change in the light quality hurts the gender issue. The intensity of the light is another major cause of this growth compromise.
Issues like thermal stress or overheating also go hand in hand with the side effects of compromised light functions.
Solution: We recommend that you start the grow-house process once again. That is because the plant will have died at this point. The yield will also be minimal even if you can still recover them.
Situation #4. The Yield Reduces
The extra darkness during the flowering issue, especially when the periods are long, can also decrease the yield of your plant.
A good example is when you give the plants more than 20 to 21 hours of light each day. Doing this means that your plant won’t have sufficient time to recover from the long day it experienced previously.
Solution: Set up some new plants in your grow house. Check the functions of your grow light and the efficiency of the timer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Many Hours of Darkness Do Flowers Need?
Plants generally require between 8-12 hours of darkness. It all depends on the type of plant and your personal preferences. However, one thing is clear; plants do need darkness every day.
Are 48 Hours of Darkness Before Harvest?
The 48 hours before darkness theory refers to giving your plants time out in the dark. It supposedly helps improve the buds’ yield and the quality of results the plant can produce. Some growers also use 72 hours of darkness before flowering process.
Do Buds Grow in the Dark?
Yes, cannabis buds can grow in the dark. Usually, most growers use the 12/12 light/dark cycle for the best results. However, the right preferences depend on the plant type and the expected results.
Should I Increase Light Intensity During Flowering?
You should decrease the DLI and increase the light intensity levels during the flowering stage. The photoperiod averages 12 hours during the flowering stage. It also averages 17 – 18 hours during the vegetative plants. Increasing light will also increase your plant’s light demands.
What Light Intensity Level Is Best for Flowering?
Red light intensity is the best for flowering. The reason is that red has longer wavelengths than most other colors. The most critical wavelengths in the red spectrum average between 640 to 680nm.
How Close Should Light Be During Flowering?
The closeness of the light during the flowering stage should be between 16-36 inches from the canopy. You may also have to move the grow light closer to improve the light intensity. It will also help improve the photosynthesis process.
Can I Add More Light During Flowering?
Yes, you can add more light during the flowering stage. Once the light cycle changes to 12 hours, adding more light helps improve the yield and flowers of your plant. Many growers like using the 14 hours of light during the flowering approach.
As you have seen, having extra darkness during flowering isn’t a significant issue. It depends on your ability to customize the darkness period and light cycles. We recommend you use a grow light timer and an informed approach to use the grow light dark cycle.