April 13, 2020

How to Make Buds Bigger During Flowering – 8 Tips!

So you want big buds… There are many ways to increase the size of your overall finished product when it comes to growing cannabis. Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, there are certainly many methods to make sure that your buds will grow to be dense, healthy, and full of the many benefits of cannabis. I would recommend you take a look at some high yield strains, as that will be the easiest way to get more bud. We have reviews on highest yielding indoor strains and highest yielding autoflower strains for you to review!

How To Get Bigger Buds During Flowering Indoors and Outdoors:

  1. Low Stress Plant Training
  2. Pruning
  3. Hydroponics
  4. Using Female Plants
  5. Nutrients
  6. Felt Pots
  7. Controlling Temperature and Humidity
  8. The Molasses Method

In the article below we’ll be covering 8 tips which include, Low Stress Plant Training, Pruning, Hydroponics, Not Using Male Plants, Proper Nutrients, Felt Pots, Controlling Temperature and Humidity Levels, and the Molasses Method. Follow along below to make sure you get big buds during your next grow!

1. Low Stress Plant Training:

One of the best ways to get big buds is focusing on low stress training! Low stress training is a natural approach to growing bigger buds. With this training style, you will be able to control the height and shape of your plant all while growing buds sized beyond belief. This method will allow you to take full advantage of the light intensity and space that you are using to grow your plants. Cannabis plants grow naturally into a Christmas tree-like shape (apical dominance) which is not ideal for growing large buds. This is due to the overall surface area and how light is dispersed among the branches. LSPT helps the plant grow while making sure that all of its branches receive the same amount of light and it’s getting enough light. The key element to this method is in the name. This method is gentle and your plant will adapt in a short amount of time, definitely look further into low stress training!

You will need some equipment to perform LSPT: wooden dowels, plant ties, a hand drill and duct tape. First, you will want to start by drilling holes around the rim of your plant holder so that you are able to loop the plant ties through the holes and around the branches to secure the flattened position. Accidents happen and a branch might break, you can use duct tape to patch it up if need be. If extra stem support is needed, use the wooden dowels to help lift those branches. Your goal here is to break the apical dominance (Christmas tree shape) by bending the branches from the main stem outwards. LSPT is not a one and done kind of method because your plant is constantly growing; keep an eye on your plant and provide maintenance as needed. You can use the LSPT method both indoors and outdoors and it should only be used while the plant is in its vegetative state.

2. Properly Pruning:

Once your plant is in the flowering stage vs. vegetative stage, you still have to make sure you’re taking care of it! Pruning is the act of ensuring that your highest performing buds are receiving the most energy and nutrients; this is done by removing buds and leaves that are less desirable and wasting precious energy for growth. If you don’t prune your plant during the vegetative stage, the plant’s energy will be divided. Energy lost will go towards parts that will not be useful to the grower, thus reducing the growing potential of your buds. It is as simple as taking a pair of scissors, starting at the very top of your plant and removing any and all browning or discolored leaves. Leaves will die during the plant’s grow and it’s best to catch the dying ones quickly to guarantee that no valuable energy is lost. For pruning, you’ll want to dedicate a sharp pair of scissors to the task; you should not use your hands and avoid tearing stems as much as possible. 

Make sure to water your plant and include plant food during the vegetative stage and flowering stage. Taking these precautions can help to reduce stress and increase plant grow. Like the low stress method, you can also train your plant at an early stage by pruning it. To do this, you will remove parts of the plant in its earliest stage that are not dead. your plant will be forced to recover and grow back stronger. Pruning in the early stages can be referred to as a high stress method because it is not as gentle as the lower stress method is but it definitely helps to get big buds. 

3. Using Hydroponics:

If you are comparing a hydroponic method to an organically grown method, the hydroponic method is going to have the fuller yield. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient rich water based solution. Growing with the hydroponic method allows  the plants roots to have direct contact with the nutrient solution and oxygen, which is necessary for the plants growth. If you choose to grow hydroponically, your plant is guaranteed to grow at least 25% faster with up to a 30% larger yield than an organically grown plant. This positive growth happens because the plant works less to obtain nutrients. Strangely, the hydroponic method uses less water than a plant grown in soil. 

If you decide to start growing hydroponically, you can use most of the tools you might already have such as: LED lighting, a grow tent, hygrometer, oscillating fan, and proper ventilation system.. The other tools include: a grow medium (coco coir, clay pebbles), a hydroponic reservoir and tray, a carbon filter, hydroponic nutrients, net mesh planting pots, airstone and pump. A recommended hydroponic system for beginners is called deep water culture where your plant is placed in a bucket with a nutrient solution with an air pump providing the plant with constant oxygen. Most importantly, you want to ensure your plant’s safety by keeping the water/nutrient solution clean. It is recommended that you change the solution every two to three weeks.  

4. Not Using Male Plants:

While female plants are responsible for buds containing THC, their male counterparts may interrupt their growth. If pollinated by a male plant, female buds will become small and seedy, resulting in an unusable product for the grower. There are easy ways to catch signs of a male plant in the early stages of its development. Male plants have flowers and are generally taller than female plants. Female plants are distinguishable by the pistils (hair-like follicles) on their buds and leaves. The job of the grower is to separate the male plants from the female plants as soon as possible to limit pollination and allow the female plant the ability to grow big, strong and healthy buds.

5. Proper Nutrient Use:

Nutrients are a necessity for cannabis plants, whether they are getting it from the ground or supplemented in the form of fertilizer. In order to achieve voluminous buds, you need to understand the exact nutrients that your plant needs and at what point in their grow they need them. At the beginning of your plant’s life, normal potting soil works just fine as nutrients are not as essential until the plant enters the vegetative state. During the vegetative state, nutrients are needed to amplify your plants grow and production. A fertilizer that contains equal amounts of the three core nutrients is essential to ensuring proper nutrition for a plant during the vegetative state. 

The three core nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen helps with photosynthesis and the production of chlorophyll. Without nitrogen, your plant’s growth will significantly drop and the leaves on your plant will die faster. If the soil housing your plant is cold, that can also cause a nitrogen deficiency. Phosphorus is needed to enhance seeds in the germination stage and for root grow. The overall health and strength of your plant depends on phosphorus. If your plants are lacking phosphorus you will notice that your plants growth is happening at a slow rate. Potassium aids in a healthy metabolism for your plant during the flowering stage. It is responsible for the bountiful clusters of buds. Without potassium, your plant will suffer in its grow just like if it were missing nitrogen or phosphorus. To have a healthy, prosperous plant, having all three core nutrients is vital. There are other micronutrients that can also be useful like calcium, sulfur and magnesium.

Nutrients act as vitamins for your plants but, like everything, too much of a good thing can also be detrimental. A surplus of nutrients can cause “nutrient burn” to occur. Yellow leaves with burnt tips are a sign of nutrient burn. This can be misleading especially because it is similar to what it looks like when your plant is needing a certain core nutrient. Balance is key here, more is not better.

6. Using Felt Pots:

While growing your plants in clay or plastic pots is the usual method, alternative potting methods may speed up grow and produce healthier buds. Felt pots will save you time and hassle all while helping you increase your yield. If you are using a felt pot it will make it almost impossible to over water your plant because of the felt base. The roots of your plants will get more oxygen because of the felt material allowing air to enter and hit at all points of your plants unlike a basic clay pot. You will not have to worry about your plants becoming root bound or “choking” on the roots because in the felt pot your plants are able to practice “air pruning”. Without the risks that come with growing your plants in clay or plastic pots (overwatering or a plant becoming root bound), felt potting will allow you to have more time to focus on bud grow. You can also review our guide on how long marijuana takes to grow to give you a timeline of when you should be planting.

Check out our Grow Room Equipment Checklist to ensure you have everything you need for your grow!

7. Controlling Temperature and Humidity Levels:

            Don’t sabotage your hard work producing bountiful buds by forgetting the easy stuff. Air circulation needs to be a constant, especially if you are growing indoors. Fresh air needs to be replacing the humid air as much as possible. If you let your plants soak in a humid environment, they can become more susceptible to disease and pest infestation. Proper temperature is also a key factor in growing healthy plants. Monitor the temperature of the environment your plants are in. If the temperature gets below 68℉/20℃ it can cause bud rot in your plants. Temperatures beyond 80℉/27℃ can also be damaging temperature conditions for your plants.  

8. The Molasses Method:

Molasses is not the magic elixir you can sprinkle over your plants to make their buds grow two sizes overnight, but molasses will help to keep your plant healthy and a healthy plant means larger buds. If you want to grow completely organic buds, molasses is the way to go. Molasses can help to improve the structure of the soil your plant is in and its water retention ability. It may protect your plants from harmful pathogen buildup and pests. Molasses also minimizes salt build up in the soil, which could cause damage to the nutrient intake. You can use molasses as a regular added nutrient, while preparing a soil or as a plant (foliar) spray. The risk of overdoing the molasses is significantly lower than excess nutrients but it is still necessary that you are modest with your plants molasses intake.   

Final Thoughts on Growing Bigger Buds During Flowering Stage:

When we are talking buds, size does matter. These methods are all safe and natural ways to get your plant to produce bigger buds. The low stress plant training method, which gently trains your plants to grow into a canopy shape to increase light exposure and ensure it gets enough light intensity, is a simple way to get bigger buds for your cannabis plants. If you decide to use the pruning method, you may choose to do it early in the plant’s life or later on. Using hydroponics will guarantee a 30% larger yield compared to growing in soil. If you want to have healthy buds you need to be certain you are giving your plants the correct amount of nutrients. You should still be properly caring for your plant as well, so make sure you’re following plant care recommendations. Failing to properly care for your plant while using these methods could cause smaller buds or worse, the end of your plants life. Remember–the bigger, the better! I hope this guide on how to get bigger buds during flowering indoors has been helpful, please leave a comment below if you have any questions or additional methods!

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Jacob is the owner and lead author here at BudInformer.com.  He's been involved in the cannabis growing industry since 2012.  Based outside of Denver, Colorado, his passion involves sharing his knowledge of growing and the cannabis industry.

Jacob Hydra

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