TABLE OF CONTENTS
Are you ready to unleash the full potential of your cannabis harvest?
Get ready to maximize your yield and grow the biggest, most potent buds. With our expert tips and insider knowledge, you'll be well on your way to creating a thriving cannabis garden.
Let's dive in and unlock the secret to growing massive, trichome-rich buds every time.
Steps to Take For Growing and Harvesting Bigger Marijuana Buds
Choose High-Yield Cannabis Strains
Starting with high-yield genetics is the best way to grow big buds.
While indicas tend to grow shorter and bushier than sativas, this isn’t always the case. Research strain growing information (height, yield size, etc.) of indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties before committing to a strain.
Research reputable seed vendors and consider the following factors to choose the right genetics:
- Availability of seeds or clones: Seeds are obtained from the pollination of a female plant by a male pant and are used to grow new plants. On the other hand, clones are cuttings taken from a mature “mother” plant and used to grow new plants with identical genetics.
- Desired effects of the flowers: Different cannabis strains affect the human body differently. Some strains are known for their relaxing properties, while others are known for their energetic and uplifting effects.
- Desired length of time from planting to harvest: The length of time from planting to harvest can vary between strains. Some strains have a shorter flowering period and are ready for harvest in as little as 8-9 weeks, while others may take longer.
- Desired yield: Yield is a measure of the amount of buds produced by a cannabis plant. High-yield strains are known for producing large amounts of buds, but it's important to keep in mind that yield also depends on growing conditions and the care given to the plants.
- Growing environment: The growing environment can have a significant impact on the yield and quality of cannabis plants. Choose a strain that is well-suited to your growing conditions, including temperature, light, and humidity.
- Space requirements: Some strains are more compact and better suited for small grow spaces, while others are larger and need more room to grow.
Pro tip: For new growers, we recommend starting with 1-2 indica clones, since indicas are usually easier and faster to grow than sativas. Autoflowering strains are also a good option but aren’t as high-yielding as traditional photoperiod strains.
High-yielding strains include:
- Bid Bud
- Northern Lights
- White Widow
- Blue Dream
- Cheese Quake
- Purple Trainwreck
- Critical Kush
- Original Glue
- Thai Stick
- Super Silver Haze
- Amnesia Haze
Further Reading: Learn more about these high-yielding strains with our blog post.
Grow Hydroponic Weed
Hydroponic cannabis grows can produce bigger yields than traditional grow systems. Many commercial growers rely on hydroponic systems like deep water culture (DWC), ebb and flow, and nutrient film technique (NFT), to grow bigger and better plants.
- Deep Water Culture (DWC) System: The DWC system involves suspending the roots of the plants directly into a nutrient-rich solution. This system provides plants with a consistent water supply and nutrients, leading to rapid growth and high yields.
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System: The NFT system involves circulating a thin film of nutrient-rich water over the roots of the plants. This system requires careful monitoring to ensure the correct balance of water and nutrients but can result in fast growth and high yields.
- Ebb and Flow System: The ebb and flow system involves periodically flooding the grow tray with nutrient-rich water, allowing the roots to soak up the nutrients and draining the water back into a reservoir. This system is easy to set up and maintain, making it a popular choice for home growers.
- Aeroponic System: The aeroponic system involves misting the roots of the plants with a nutrient-rich solution. This system provides an oxygen-rich environment for the roots, leading to rapid growth and high yields.
- Drip Irrigation System: The drip Irrigation system involves dripping a controlled amount of nutrient-rich water directly onto the roots of the plants. This system is efficient and can result in high yields, but requires careful monitoring to avoid over- or under-watering.
Generally, the idea of hydroponic systems is to provide plant roots with a nutrient-rich solution in a highly-oxygenated environment. Plant roots are supported by an inert medium like Rockwool or hydroton clay pebbles instead of soil. In this environment, plants can absorb nutrients and minerals more effectively.
Growing plants hydroponically can be difficult for first-time growers. However, as long you understand how to manage pH and provide plants with the right nutrient solution mix, you can grow big buds with minimal issues.
A major aspect of having a successful hydroponic garden is the cleanliness of the environment to reduce the risk of disease.
Give Plants Plenty of Light
Cannabis plants thrive in a well-lit environment, which promotes photosynthesis. Choosing the best grow lights for your cannabis garden depends on various factors, including your budget, the grow space, the stage of life of the plant, and your desired yield. The size of your harvest will depend on the amount of light your plants receive.
One of the main types of lighting used in cannabis cultivation is HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting. HID lighting comes in two forms, Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), and provides a strong, full-spectrum light that is ideal for the flowering stage of growth.
However, HID lighting is energy-intensive and can produce a significant amount of heat, making it important to choose the right size for your grow space and provide proper ventilation.
For HPS lights, consider these recommendations for HPS wattage and distance between lights and plants:
- 150 watts: 8-12 inches
- 250 watts: 10-14 inches
- 400 watts: 12-19 inches
- 600 watts: 14-25 inches
- 1000 watts: 16-31 inches
Another type of lighting that is becoming increasingly popular among cannabis growers is LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting. LED lighting is energy-efficient and generates very little heat, making it ideal for small grow spaces. LED lights come in various spectrum options and can be customized to provide light specific to the stage of growth.
When choosing lighting for your cannabis grow, it's important to consider the lights' wattage, spectrum, and coverage. You'll want to provide enough light to cover your entire grow area, with a higher wattage being necessary for larger grow spaces. The light spectrum should match the growth stage, with different spectrums used during the vegetative and flowering stages.
Maintain Optimal Temperature and Humidity
Getting the temperature and humidity just right for your plants can make a big difference in yield, bud size, and trichome density. We recommend avoiding going over 80º F during the flowering phase.
For seedlings, the temperature should be around 77º F during the day and 70º at night with a 65-80% humidity. During the vegetative stage, temperatures can range between 71-82º F in the day and 64-75º F at night with a 55-70% humidity.
In the early flowering stage, the plant thrives in temperatures between 68-78º F in the day and 61-72º F at night with 40-50% humidity. In the late flowering stage, keep the temperatures between 64-I’m 75º F in the day and 61-68º F at night with 30-40% humidity.
The excess humidity and heat can increase the risk of bud rot and evaporate the heat-sensitive, aromatic terpenes. Extra chilly temperatures can slow down bud growth and create wispy nugs.
To maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels, it is important to invest in a temperature and humidity control system. This can be as simple as a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity levels or as complex as a climate control system with automatic adjustment capabilities.
Remove Male Plants
Before growing marijuana buds to get them bigger, you need to understand that buds developduring the flowering stage. Because the buds have a higher level of THC content, it is essential to get them as big as you can. However, there are some differences between the male and female plants, which you need to know too.
Female marijuana plants produce buds with a higher level of THC than male plants. Male marijuana plants do not produce cannabis buds but can produce leaves and stems with minimal trichomes, although you can still smoke them.
Because the male buds have so much pollen, you have to be careful not to allow female plant pollination. If the female plant gets pollinated, then the marijuana plant will begin to produce seeds instead of buds and have a lower level of THC.
The marijuana buds of the female plant will start to show within two weeks after the buds of the male plant show up. You should focus your attention on the female buds as they are superior tomale pollen sacs.
Further Reading: How to Determine Male vs. Female Marijuana.
Prune Cannabis Plant Leaves
Pruning cannabis plant leaves is an important part of growing and harvesting bigger marijuana buds. By removing yellow, damaged, or infected leaves, you can increase the overall health and vigor of your plants, leading to better yields and more potent buds.
Pruning cannabis plant leaves has several benefits. By removing damaged or yellow leaves, you can reduce the risk of mold and mildew and prevent the spread of disease or pests. Additionally, pruning can increase the amount of light and air reaching your plants' lower parts, promoting better growth and leading to bigger buds.
Pruning can help your marijuana plant eliminate unnecessary foliage and focus on growing its most critical components.Start by getting rid of the dry leaves. Look for discoloration of the leaves so you know which ones to remove.
To properly prune your cannabis plants, you'll need a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors. Cut the leaves close to the stem, being careful not to damage the plant or leave any stubs. After pruning, dispose of the removed leaves and sanitize your pruning tools to prevent spreading disease or pests.
Even though you will remove those leaves, you don’t have to discard them, but you can keep the leaves for curing because the discolored leaves still have a sufficient level of THC content. You use them for recreational smoking while you wait for your bigger marijuana buds.
Train Your Marijuana Plants
Plant training allows you to manipulate how your cannabis plant grows. Plant training techniques range from low-stress training (LST) to high-stress techniques (HST). Plant training usually does not require expensive equipment or extensive training. Consider using LST and HST on your plant, including:
- Super cropping
- Screen of green (SCROG)
For example, topping your female marijuana plants involves removing the top of the main stem of your vegetative plant. Topping a plant causes additional branches to grow and produce more buds. It also saves the plant energy and helps with pruning.
Further Reading: 7 Methods of Training Cannabis Plants.
Use the Right Ratio of Nutrients
Another thing to consider is using the best nutrients for your marijuana plant throughout its vegetative and flowering stage. Nutrients should be chosen for each phase, the flowering phase. Be careful what nutrients you use during the flowering stage.
To get bigger marijuana buds, make sure the plant receives enough phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Phosphorus is usually most of what your marijuana plant craves during this stage. To get enough phosphorus for your plant, you could mix water and wood ash and apply them to your plant.
Harvest During Peak Maturity of Trichomes
Harvesting your cannabis plants at the right time is crucial for getting the best yield and potency. One of the most important factors to consider is the maturity of the trichomes on the buds. Trichomes are the small, sticky, glandular structures that cover the buds and contain most of the plant's cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds.
To determine the best time to harvest, you'll need to examine the trichomes under a magnifying glass. When the trichomes are clear, the buds are not yet fully mature, and you'll get a more energetic, uplifting high.
As the trichomes start to turn cloudy, the buds are reaching peak maturity, and you'll get a more relaxing, sedative effect. When the trichomes turn amber, the buds are starting to degrade, and you'll get a more couch-locking, sleep-inducing high.
It's important to note that the desired effects will vary depending on personal preferences, so you'll need to experiment to determine what works best for you. In general, most growers harvest when most trichomes are cloudy, providing a good balance between potency and taste.
When harvesting, handle the buds gently, as they're delicate and can easily be damaged. You should also dry and cure the buds properly, as this will help to preserve the potency and improve the flavor of the buds.
Learn More About Growing and Harvesting Bigger Marijuana Buds at Cannabis Training University
If you want to learn more about growing and harvesting your plant for bigger marijuana buds visit the Cannabis Training University today. Since 2009, CTU has been the leading cannabis training institute for those who want to start a career or business in the industry.
Whether you are a new or experienced cannabis grower, our complete education guides you through every step of the cultivation process. It provides a wealth of resources, such as additional reading and HD videos, to teach you the latest techniques for growing big buds.
Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana college today!
Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.