Q&A with Jorge
I have a female plant that just went into a 12/12-hour day/night schedule and has gone into pre-flowering. I am using a regular fluorescent lightbulb (the spiral kind). How long do you think it will be until I start to see buds? How much do you think I will yield? My plant has six tops and is about 2.5 feet tall.
–Stam the Sativa
Male and female cannabis plants start pre-flowering after about two months of growth, regardless of the photoperiod—that is, they develop either male or female pre-flowers in spite of the hours of light per day they receive. Even if the plants receive 24 hours of light and no darkness, they will still produce pre-flowers. Pre-flowers grow from the third and fourth internodes and other branch unions. A female pre-flower has a small seed bract with two white pistils protruding from the top. A male pre-flower starts as a small nub and develops into a short post with a male pollen sac located at the end.
Once a seeded plant is two months old and has passed into the pre-flowering stage, it’s ready to be induced to fully flower with a 12/12-hour day/night photoperiod. This is the stage I believe your garden is at.
The small household spiral fluorescent lamp you have is probably 35 watts or less, which means it won’t produce sufficient light to grow respectable buds. There is probably enough light to keep the plant alive and flowering, but the foliage and flowers will be very small.
There are many compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) from 65 to 200 watts that are inexpensive and will provide enough light to grow decent buds. One of my favorites is the 65-watt Fluorex lamp ($30), found at Home Depot and other discount stores.