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When does flowering start outdoor in California? Many new growers in the Golden State may be wondering when cannabis plants will begin to start developing their resinous flower buds in their neck of the woods. Flowering timelines depend on a variety of factors.

Generally, most cannabis strains will begin to flower at the start of August, give or take a few weeks. However, the flowering time of your plants will depend on its genetics, environment, and growing practices.

Our outdoor cannabis grow guide for California covers the plant’s growth timeline and the factors that can influence its speed of growth and flowering.

If you want to be prepared for the coming flowering season, our guide will help you time your outdoor cannabis garden planting and harvesting for best results.

When Does Flowering Start Outdoor in California? 

In California, you can expect your outdoor garden to start flowering sometime in August, which is when the light cycle triggers flowering. Of course, this is a general timeline for most photoperiod strains, or strains that require a change in light cycle to 12/12 to begin flowering.

During the plant’s vegetative stage, it focuses on growing stems and leaves. When the days get shorter outdoors, cannabis plants begin to make buds (around late summer). After the switch, cannabis plants can nearly double in height.

growing cannabis outdoors in California.

How Genetics Influence Growth

Genetics play a big part in the rate of growth and the time of flowering of your cannabis plant. For best results, consult the marijuana strain’s growth timeline to plan your plant’s growth.

Indicas vs. Sativas Strains

Indica strains tend to finish earlier than sativa strains, thereby, their flowering stage comes earlier. Indica strains have a flowering stage about 8 weeks long. For sativa strains, the flowering stage can take up to 10 weeks.

Landrace and Haze strains can take considerably longer than most strains to flower. Landrace strains that are grown outside of their native environment tend to take longer to grow and may develop smaller flower buds.

Autoflowering Strains

Autoflowering strains have different growth timelines than photoperiod strains. Autoflowering strains do not need a change in light cycle to begin their flowering phase. Instead, they automatically begin to flower after a certain period of time.

In autoflowering strains, the vegetative and flowering stage time varies and depends on the strain’s genetics. The vegetative stage usually lasts between 3 to 4 weeks. Autoflowering strains can take up to 10 weeks to complete their entire life cycle.

How Environment and Growing Practices Influence Growth

In California, cannabis seeds can be planted between April and July. Many growers choose to plant their cannabis seeds in early June. The timing of your planting depends on your strain and how big you want it to get.

If you want to give your plants the most amount of vegetative time to grow, you should plant them earlier rather than later. For instance, planting seeds in May can provide growers with about 3 months of vegetative time before the days get shorter and they start flowering.

In California, growers have the advantage of getting a long vegetative cycle if they want it. If you don't want really tall plants, you can try pruning, low stress training (LST), or planting seeds later than normal.

A shorter vegetative phase may be desired if you want to limit the size of your plant. For a short vegetative stage, you can plant your photoperiod cannabis seeds later in the planting season. This gives them a shorter time window to grow before the shorter daylight triggers flowering.

During the plant’s pre-flowering stage in the vegetative period, cannabis plants will begin to develop their pre-flowers. If you do not know the sex of your plant by this point, monitoring the pre-flower formations can tell you if it is a male or female.

Only female plants can develop resinous flower buds. Males develop pollen sacs. In the presence of males, female plants can be accidentally pollinated. If pollinated, you may see a reduced yield, smaller buds, and more cannabis seeds than usual.

Sometime around August, the flowering stage begins. Plants can be harvested sometime between the start and end of October. However, harvesting times for cannabis plants vary depending on its genetics and growing environment.

Growing Cannabis Outdoors In California Faq's

When is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors in California?

Cannabis is best planted outdoors in California in late April after the last frost. April to early May is best for most places, however climate and location differ.

What are the legal limitations for growing cannabis outdoors in California?

California residents 21 and older can grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use in a closed room. Check local laws for more restrictions.

How does the California climate affect outdoor cannabis growth?

Weather in California varies greatly from north to south. Southern California's warmer and dryer environment may require more water and heat stress management, while Northern California's cooler and wetter temperature is optimal for cannabis development.

What are the best cannabis strains to grow outdoors in California?

Choose microclimate-appropriate strains. Many strains, like OG Kush and Blue Dream, can endure California's varied temperatures and humidity.

How do I protect my outdoor cannabis plants from pests and extreme weather in California?

Manage pests with natural deterrents and regular inspections. Consider shade cloths for heatwaves and greenhouses or covers for severe rain or hail.

When do cannabis plants typically start flowering outdoors in California?

The flowering process often starts in the latter part of summer, around the month of August, when the days begin to get shorter. In spite of this, the precise timing may change depending on the strain as well as the weather conditions in the area.

How can I ensure a successful harvest of my outdoor cannabis plants in California?

Regular maintenance, appropriate nutrition, sufficient irrigation, effective pest management, and appropriately timing your harvest are all essential components. Determine the optimal time to harvest by keeping an eye on the development of the trichomes and the hue of the pistils.

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Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

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.

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