QUESTION: I just switched my plants to 12/12 and am wondering how much they will grow in height before the stop growing and start flowering? I don’t have much room, maybe three or four feet left worth of headroom before I run out of space.
Dru West: The amount that a plant will grow once transitioned into the 12/12 Flowering Cycle depends highly on the genetics of the strain. Indica dominant strains will react far differently than Sativa dominant ones.
Indica dominant strains may only gain 50% in size during the first two to three weeks of the Flowering Cycle, finishing 1 ½ times their original size. Due to the short time in which they have to finish flowering, (6-8 weeks) less time and energy is spent on vegetative growth during these weeks of the flowering cycle. This is one reason Indica dominant buds are known to be larger in size and more dense than their Sativa counterparts.
In the case of Sativa dominant strains which take longer to finish flowering (9-12 weeks), more time and energy is dedicated to vegetative growth during the first four to six weeks of the flowering cycle. The average sativa dominant plant could easily stretch up to 200% in size during this time leaving you with a plant three times the size it was when you put it in. Sativa plants will produce several more buds than Indica plants but they are typically smaller and less dense.
Most of the plants we grow these days are hybrids with a nearly equal ratio of genetics from both of its Indica and Sativa parents. These strains are bred to isolate the best qualities from each parent strain in order to combine those qualities into a hybrid strain that is more desirable and easier to grow. This means that during the flowering cycle, the plant will display a level of vegetative growth consistent with a Sativa plant, while maintaining the shorter flowering time and also the bud size and density of an Indica plant.
Due to this, it is safe to always expect your hybrid strains to at least double in size in both height and width during the first three to four weeks if left untrained. If you have limited ceiling space in which to grow, you need to begin training your plants out in a more lateral fashion during the vegetative cycle. This will allow the plant to maintain a low, level canopy that is better suited to your restricted space.
I also suggest using a S.C.R.O.G (SCReen Of Green) to help support and maintain the structure of the plant’s canopy. To learn how to build and use a S.C.R.O.G as well as several other innovative training techniques and much more.
Check out my book The Secrets of the West Coast Masters: Uncover the Ultimate Techniques for Growing Medical Marijuana to learn our secrets on how to yield over a pound per plant in as little as a 4’x4’ space.
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