When growing your own cannabis crops, you have the luxury of choosing the strain you’ll grow, and what specific goal you’d like to reach. Like maximizing yields overall, enhancing the strongest possible aroma or taste…or, growing the biggest buds you possibly can. Over the years professional growers have discovered techniques that help reach these target preferences for pulls, especially in indoor environments. So, if you want to go big or go home with your plants’ bud size keep reading – as we cover how to get bigger buds during flowering indoors, with the top 8 proven best practices.
Pro Tip #1 – Use Fabric Pots
The process to cultivate massive buds starts sooner than you think. In fact, the type of container or pot you use for your cannabis plants is the first way you can boost their size. Gone are the days when standard plastic growing pots are the only container to grow in. With advancements in the horticulture industry, and positive results over time – we now know that other materials are much better at nurturing healthy growth, and huge buds, too. Which brings us to our first pro tip for answering how to grow heavy buds – use fabric pots.
The material promotes optimal drainage that’s ideal for keeping your soil or medium in the best condition for better health overall. Plus, fabric allows for more oxygen to reach the roots unlike other containers like clay, or plastic. Overwatering, over saturated and non-aerated medium environments all promote bound roots which severely and negatively affect the plant’s health altogether. If you’re watering less, you’re also afforded more time to devote to other techniques that’ll help work towards growing giant buds.
Pro Tip #2 – Consider Hydroponics
Beginner indoor growers shouldn’t be intimidated by hydroponics growing or set-ups. Now, there’s a variety of options – even ‘soilless’ mixes that appear and feel like soil, but are actually hydroponics in growing nature. If you want to learn how to grow big buds fast, then hydroponics is a growing style you should definitely consider. Not only will your crops grow up to 25% faster, but hydroponics can also increase your yields by up to 30%, too. That’s because hydroponics provide plants a nutrient and oxygen rich water solution that promotes healthier, maximized growth overall.
In soil methods of growing, depending on the consistency and weight of your soil – nutrients and water can have a hard time reaching the roots. Since these two components are vital to healthy growth, and are absorbed through the roots – this is a deterrent to the best growth possible. With hydroponics, nutrients, water, and oxygen have a direct route to the roots which helps grow big buds, more quickly.
Pro Tip #3 – Maintain an Optimal Environment
Just like maintaining an optimal environment for your roots with fabric pots, and hydroponics set-ups, you’ll want to maintain an optimal exterior environment for giant buds, too. Cannabis plants are highly susceptible to disease, and mold growth when improper air conditions exist. So, beyond making sure you have airflow and air exchange, allowing fresh air in, and stale air out – making sure your temperature, and humidity levels are ideal is key.
Environments affect the plant’s photosynthesis and metabolism process, which of course, affects their growth. As a guide, ensure you’re keeping your grow room or growing space at the temperature and humidity levels listed below to nurture bigger bud growth –
- Seedling & vegetative –
- Temperatures: 68ºF – 77ºF
- Humidity: 70%
- Flowering –
- Temperatures: 59ºF and 72ºF with lights off, up to 82ºF with lights on
- Humidity: Begin at 65% dropping 5% each week until reaching 40% at full maturity
When learning how to fatten up buds before harvest, you’ll see that dropping the humidity over time during this stage will help. Another factor to consider for an ideal environment for growing bigger buds, is the lighting you use. For one, the lights you choose will affect your room’s temperature. Secondly, the height of your lights can help to avoid heat stress that can stunt growth.
Pro Tip #4 – Nurture with Nutrients
The more the merrier is not a motto to use when it comes to big bud nutrients. In fact, giving your plants too many nutrients can hurt growth, while not giving them enough can too. So, finding the right balance of big bud nutrients has somewhat of a learning curve. Also keep in mind that the ratio of nutrients you’re feeding your plants will fluctuate with the stage of growth they’re in too.
The three main macronutrients that supplement healthy growth, are NPK – or, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutrient functions, so you can best understand how the varied levels will affect how your plant grows –
- Nitrogen: Nitrogen is crucial to the photosynthesis process, and to producing chlorophyll. Higher levels are used during veg for healthy, vigorous growth, and then decreased during flowering for dense and full developed buds.
- Phosphorous: Phosphorous is vital for healthy root growth, and maintaining growth development overtime (meaning, faster, bigger, buds). Unlike nitrogen, levels given to plants are increased during flowering. Many growers also add bat guano or worm castings to their medium, which helps boost phosphorus levels when feeding.
- Potassium: Potassium is a key component to keeping your plant’s metabolism levels on track, for maximized growth. The better your plant processes its feed, and water, the bigger its buds can be. Increasing levels of potassium close to harvest, promotes giant buds to burst.
Beyond the appropriate NPK levels, there’s a plethora of micronutrients that help supplement growth and huge buds. The micronutrients most commonly used are calcium, sulfur and magnesium, which are often found in all-in-one fertilizer solutions for feeding ease and convenience. Compost tea and molasses are also growing in popularity as organic methods to deliver the best nutrients for big buds.
Both compost tea and molasses can improve the soil or medium’s environment for optimized growth. Compost tea nurtures ideal mycorrhizal relationships with the medium, and what’s known as mycelium. Since mycelium improves nutrient uptake, the more that’s present in the soil, the better for bigger buds. Molasses also promotes a more stable medium environment, which helps your plant fight harmful pests and common diseases. While also improving the medium’s overall water retention, too.
Pro Tip #5 – Pruning Periodically
Along with ideal airflow, temperature, humidity and soil conditions – light exposure is just as important for learning how to get bigger buds during flowering indoors. If fan leaves are blocking the light to the bud sites, the actual buds are limited on the light they’re able to absorb. That’s why pro growers prune, or de-leaf plants periodically, to ensure the whole plant is receiving maximum light exposure.
This method also increases the amount of energy your plant gives to the areas that matter most. Instead of wasting energy on the growth of undesirable plant parts (like fan leaves), your plant can devote its energy to the buds more exclusively. To prune your plant, you’ll use a sharp pair of trimmers to remove the fan leaves starting in the veg phase, and through flowering too. While this technique does take an ample amount of time depending on the size and amount of plants you’re growing – it’s worth the big buds, in the end.
Pro Tip #6 – Low Stress Training
Low stress training is another trick to increasing light exposure for massive buds, and also strengthening your plant to withstand the weight of giant buds, too. Naturally, cannabis plants grow with 1 main stalk with smaller stalks growing upwards from it, or an apical dominance like a pine tree. The bigger growth from the main stalk can overshadow the ones beneath it, cutting down the bud size of the majority of your plant.
Low stress training your plant, by manipulating these lower stalks and ‘training’ them to receive more light can help. To low-stress-train you’ll slightly bend, and stake or tie the branches away from the main stalk, so your light is reaching as much of the plant as possible. Think of it this way – you’re trying to teach your plant to be wide, and bushy, versus tall and straight. This produces a more level canopy, where you can achieve more than just one main big cola, but multiple from several branches.
Pro Tip # 7 – Supply CO2
If you’ve ever wondered how pro growers are able to produce cover-worthy types of big buds, one main reason is the addition or supply of CO2. Most commercial operations implement CO2 in their growing strategy to plump up bud size, and quality. Carbon dioxide is another essential compound for the overall growth of your plant, especially while flowering. While there’s always natural levels of carbon dioxide in the surrounding environment, supplementing with additional amounts can help produce bigger buds, overall.
CO2 allows the plant to ‘open up’ and better intake energy intensity from lights. Together, CO2 and light increases sugar production plants need to grow, and levels of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which is a vital compound for converting energy. The more easily your plant can produce sugars and convert energy, the more apt it can be to grow healthy, massive buds. Not to mention, CO2 will speed up the growing process for a faster growing time, as well.
When adding CO2 to your room, ensure you have a running fan that’ll spread the important compound evenly throughout the room and plants. Since, it’s highly dangerous to humans at certain levels, sealing off the area and installing proper ventilation is also required. Even though the set-up of a CO2 system might be higher initial cost than you’d hope for, you’ll have to consider the worth of the weight your plants will pack on overtime.
Pro Tip #8 – Timing Your Harvest
Most growers just salivate at the thought of harvesting their sweet, aromatic, and potent cannabis buds as soon as possible. But don’t fall into this trap, if you want the biggest buds possible, too. With some strains or environments, buds can increase their size and growth by 25% in the last 2-3 weeks. So, cutting down your plants early can significantly reduce the size of your nugs in the end.
The timing of your harvest can also affect the taste, effects, and potency of your crop again highlighting it’s important to get it right. Even though you might have a recommended harvest time or growing time from the strain you’re cultivating, that can also be affected by the actual environment, nutrients used, etc. But despite the strain, every cannabis plant will show you it’s ready for harvest through its appearance and specifically by its trichome development.
Trichomes are the sticky-icky crystal coating found on your buds. Overtime, they develop and transform in shape and color. Using a zoomed in camera lens, or jeweler’s loupes, keep a close eye on your trichomes during the latter stages of growth. When they’re bulbous, and have gone from clear to, milky, to almost all amber in color – your plant is ready to harvest, with the most massive buds it’s able to produce.
The Bigger Buds, The Better
Cannabis is a dynamic plant that will treat their grower well, when well-supported by the grower. If you give your crops the best environment, nutrients, and TLC they deserve, their biggest, baddest selves almost always show up to show off. Now, when asking yourself – how to get bigger buds during flowering indoors – you’ve got the answers. So, take these professional growing tips and implement them in your home growing or indoor space to improve your harvest’s bag appeal, with the biggest buds imaginable.