Q&A with Jorge
Flowers Without Buds
I have 37 Northern Lights x White Rhino plants. This is my second year growing. I can get them to flower, but I can’t get any buds to grow. Please help.
— Pete Pot
If your plants are flowering, they have buds. Technically, buds are small developing flowers. I think you mean that your buds are small. Small buds can be the result of many cultivation practices. You need to go back to the basics: heat, light, water, growing medium and air. Give your plants the proper levels of each, and they will grow great big buds.
Heat should be maintained at about 75?F-80?F during the day and should not fall below 55?F at night. Soil or growing-medium temperature should be a bit cooler for good oxygen, nutrient and water uptake. Clones should enjoy high relative humidity (90%), a slightly cooler atmosphere (70?F) and warmer growing medium (75?F) to make roots grow the fastest.
Cuttings and new seedlings require low light levels. Clones root and seedlings grow best under fluorescent light. Vegetative plants grow well with metal-halide light. Flowering plants require high levels of MH or high-pressure sodium light to form tight, full buds.
Use water containing few dissolved solids, measured in parts per million (ppm) or electrical conductivity (EC). Water containing more than 300 ppm dissolved solids should be filtered with a reverse osmosis (RO) device. Water containing more than 50 ppm sodium should also pass through a RO device. You can measure ppm with a handheld meter.
The growing medium—soilless mix, rockwool and hydroclay—should hold plenty of air and moisture. Air is often forgotten because it’s invisible. You’ll need at least one extraction fan to remove humid stale air and one or two oscillating circulation fans to keep the air in the room flowing properly.
Last but not least are your seeds. If you crossed these plants yourself, the offspring could be inherently weak. Try growing seeds from a reputable supplier.