Plants are genetically programmed to take a certain time to mature. Sometimes you’ll run into a situation where the buds of one or more of your cannabis plants don’t appear to be maturing as fast as expected, even after you’ve been in the flowering stage as long as the breeder has estimated.
The most common reasons for cannabis buds taking a long time to mature
Some cannabis strains just take longer than others to finish ripening in the flowering stage. Sativa and Haze strains often get really tall and can take months in the flowering stage before buds are mature When looking at the estimated flowering time for a strain, remember that most breeders start counting when first flowers appear, not after the switch to 12/12. That might be fine for outdoor growers, but indoor growers should add two weeks to the breeder’s listed time for a more accurate estimate. Even when doing that, in general, most cannabis plants take a little longer than the breeder’s recommendation to be “fully” mature.
Some LED growers have getting odd results with flowering times, and certain plants seem to take much longer than expected for buds to mature. This seems to happen more often with auto-flowering strains though this issue can also affect photoperiod (regular) strains.
One possible reason your buds may have stopped maturing is the plant is “re-vegging.” This means it’s reverting back to the vegetative stage in which the plant only grows stems and leaves. This happens most often when plants are somehow getting light during their 12-hour dark period. Sometimes it can take just a small amount of light to trigger the plant to reveg.
How to get buds to mature faster?
When your plant is getting less light each day, it “thinks” winter is coming. This is why giving a plant 12 hours of darkness a day causes it to start flowering. If you have an auto-flowering strain that is not maturing, try switching from the standard 18-6 schedule to a 12-12 schedule just like photoperiod cannabis plants. The longer nights can help encourage plants to flower sooner if you have one that’s taking too long. For instance, a plant which takes 10 weeks to mature under 12 hours of darkness daily, takes about 8 weeks if grown under 14 hours of darkness. This is a time saving of 20%. The downside to this technique is you will reduce your yields by giving your plant fewer hours each day. It doesn’t take much light to interrupt your plant’s night period, make sure it’s completely dark in the grow room when lights are off.
Some growers believe lower temperature and reduced light levels can make plants ripen faster by simulating the fall. Another method some growers use to increase trichomes and possibly speed up maturation is to lower the humidity below 40% RH, which may also help imitate cold, dry winter weather.
There are supplements you can give your plant that (some growers claim) will actually help boost the level of maturation, though this hasn’t been proven.
Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to wait, but you will be rewarded! Harvesting on time increases potency, and the bright side of buds taking longer is you usually end up with significantly bigger yields because buds get more time to bulk up!