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The Flowering stage begins once you decide to change the lights to 12/12 which means. 12 hours on and 12 off. The hours of the day you choose are up to you but when the dark period is taking place you must make sure it is totally dark . make sure any light source whatsoever is covered. This will assure a better harvest as the light will affect the production of buds and can even cause herme is some cases. Test your space by closing the door behind you and letting your eyes adjust. If you can easily see your hand in front of you then there is work to be done to block off that light source.
As you know flowering period varies by strain and flowering "hairs" will begin to show within generally 5-10 days.these hairs are sensitive to touch and bacteria so little handling of buds is recommended for a better product. the use of powder-free latex gloves is recommended.
There is also an Increase in the use of phosphorus (P) products during this phase. such as bone meal. this helps to stimulate the bud growth. The use of nitrogen is decreased during this phase as plants do not require it as much as it gets closer to harvest. This will show as yellowing of the larger fan leaves and then to the smaller ones as time progresses during the middle and later stages of Flower.
If You don't already have good lighting for this stage of Growth(Many Growers reccomend at least a 400 watt) Then You can view some options here
Sexing of the plant also takes place during this phase (if you don't already know) The picture below diagrams what to look for once you make the 12/12 light switch. Once the sex is determined, remove or destroy all the males from the flowering room immediately. Below you will see the male "balls" like pouches on the left and female with pistils on the right.
This Chart can help you diagnose deficiencies in your plant.
Once you have decided to harvest....click here for Harvesting page