All plants have different requirements for each stage. Cannabis plants are not exempt. Light cycles are important for all plants to encourage healthy growth. Understanding the light cycle for weed increases yield. Let’s examine this.
What is a Light Cycle?
Light cycles refer to the duration of light and dark periods that a plant receives. In our case, cannabis. With weed, the life cycle of the plant depends on the light cycles. Therefore, subjecting cannabis plants to different durations of light and dark will determine yield.
Growing cannabis plants and especially for beginners, can be difficult. One very crucial factor is light. Since all plants need light, growing cannabis is no different. However, cannabis can be grown both indoors and outdoors. The light spectrum for cannabis also ranges between indoor plants and outdoor plants.
Therefore you need a tight light schedule for your plant’s growth, depending on if they are indoor or outdoor plants. Plants need light to photosynthesize. However, they also need complete darkness to complete the process of photosynthesis. Generally speaking, maximum yield is the goal.
So lets examine what the light and darkness requirements for cannabis are, if they affect yield and how indoor growing might be for you.
Light Requirements For Cannabis Plants
From the germination stage to the last flowering stage, there are four phases of the growth of cannabis. They are:
Germination stage, which takes three to ten days.
The seedling stage which takes two to three weeks.
Vegetative growth stage which takes three to sixteen weeks.
The flowering cycle which takes eight to eleven weeks.
It is important to note that cannabis plants are photoperiodic plants. This means that they respond well to seasonal changes in light. As a result, the light cycles vary between indoor and outdoor plants.
Light Requirements For Indoor Plants
When growing indoor plants, you should try to mimic the conditions of naturally growing marijuana plants. Before we proceed, you should understand that it is strategically important to monitor light in only two stages of the plants’ growth. These are the:
After germination, you will witness two rounded cotyledon leaves peeping up from the soil. You now have a seedling. The seedling stage requires 16-hours to 24 hours of light. Seedlings also require about 8-hours of darkness. The exposure between light and darkness is important and will determine yield.
During the vegetative growth stage, the light cycle should be manipulated such that there is a minimum of 18 hours of light per day. You can also subject your plants to 24 hours of light per day. However, keeping your plants in a light source for a long time will give you a longer vegetative growth stage. Your plants will not go into the flowering stage.
So the final stage is the flowering stage. Everyone loves this stage because they get to reap the benefits of their efforts. To usher in the flowering stage, ensure to expose your plants to at least 12-hours of uninterrupted darkness. This will enable the plants to transition into the final stage.
In a few days, you will see the cannabis plants begin flowering. This is after you subject the marijuana plant to at least 12-hours of darkness every day. The plant develops indoors as well as it develops outdoors. The cannabis light cycle is important for healthy growth, especially for indoor marijuana plants.
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Cannabis growth is also affected by other factors such as:
Water requirements and intervals
Amount of nutrients
When to top and prune
Light Requirements For Outdoor Plants
The roots develop fast on outdoor plants. The Cannabis light cycle is important because cannabis growing outdoors grows really vigorously. Outdoor plants get about 10-hours to 12-hours of sunlight per day. This is the best light schedule for cannabis plants.
Outdoor growers prefer to let the sun do everything for their plants. From the vegetation stage to the flowering process, everything comes together. However, with outdoor marijuana plants, as is with indoor plants as well, you need to remove the male plants to avoid pollination. Pollination produces more seeds than flowers.
With any marijuana plant, you require more flower buds than seeds. Additionally, when it is nighttime, the plants require darkness. So make sure not to shine any artificial lights on them. They have to be in a total dark period for the required time. Additionally, artificial lights can trick them into thinking its day time. This will delay the flowering phase.
Darkness Requirements For Marijuana
Marijuana needs long periods of uninterrupted darkness to transition into the flowering stage then ready for harvest.
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This is why they are referred to as having “long night” requirements. It is important to note that marijuana plants have red-light receptors. These are important because they absorb red wavelengths of light.
This is crucial in telling the plant to either remain in the vegetative growth stage or proceed to the flowering period. This depends on the exposure to light. The more you expose your plants to light, the longer they stay vegetative, and vice versa.
When the plants are exposed to light, phytochrome far red is in production and keeps the plant in the vegetative stage. As soon as you expose your plants to a dark period, the phytochrome far red becomes phytochrome red. This ushers in the flowering cycle. This is why it is crucial to expose your plants to darkness.
The best thing about growing cannabis indoors is that you can manipulate the lighting. This, in turn, also manipulates the exposure to red light. It then becomes easier to trick your plants into flowering. It is also important to trick your indoor plants into flowering because they are not exposed to a natural climate.
Advantages of Planting Indoor Marijuana
1) Fast Harvest Time
The harvest time for an indoor cannabis plant is roughly three months. However, outdoor cannabis takes up to nine months to be ready for harvest. The harvest time is speeded up because you can easily control light and darkness artificially. The delay in naturally grown cannabis is due to the natural climate.
2) Controlled Environment
Before growing marijuana outdoors, you have to wait for the right climate and weather. Marijuana generally requires hot weather during the day, warm at night, and low humidity. Sunlight is also crucial for growth and yield. However, with growing cannabis indoors, you can harvest yield in only a few weeks with stable conditions.
3) Better Lighting Schedule
With an artificial climate, you can keep the lights on for as long as possible. You can also easily control the duration of light exposure. Basically, with an artificial climate, you can speed up every process or delay any process as you wish. So you can keep your plant vegetative for longer or shorter. It depends on you.
4) Higher THC Levels
Marijuana grown indoors has higher levels of THC compared to outdoor marijuana. When it comes to potency, indoor plants are very potent. Most cannabis users have recommended the use of indoor-grown plants if you want to get very high. The reason for this is the control of all the necessary requirements such as humidity, light, and warmth.
This directly translates into better quality and dense buds with a higher THC level. The high is also more potent.
5) Few Security Regulations
If you didn’t know, marijuana is classified as a schedule one substance. This means it is illegal in many places because it has a high potential for abuse. It also has health benefits that have not been substantiated by the FDA. This means that there are very tight restrictions, even on cannabis growers.
Outdoor plants have a higher security regulations, including employing security personnel, strict inventory tracking, and securing the final product. You also have to have licenses and approval from your state. You also have to have surveillance and security systems put in place.
On the other hand, indoor plants have lesser security requirements. However, they are also a whole list. Growing indoors can help you better comply with the regulations set aside for indoor plants. Therefore, it is less of a hassle.
6) Indoor Plants Look Better
Apart from producing a higher yield, indoor plants generally look better. This is because they have greener leaves compared to their counterparts. They also have a potent high, and they are less afflicted by diseases and pests. Furthermore, they have all the requirements in perfect proportions. This gives higher quality buds.
The Bottom Line
Growing marijuana, either indoors or outdoors, is not easy. However, with practice, you can get there. Indoor plants need more care because of the artificial setup. With the right guidance, you will soon be producing an excellent yield of high-quality strains. Using the right tools and equipment also makes all the difference. We hope this guide was informative.
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