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cannabis flowering too early

12-12 From Seed – Flowering Plants Early

The term “12-12” means you’re giving your cannabis plants 12 hours of darkness, and 12 hours of light every day. “12-12 from seed” mean you’re giving a cannabis plant a 12-12 light schedule from a very young age to force it to flower early (make buds).

Some growers are attracted to the idea of 12-12 from seed, because it means that harvest will come sooner. How long does it take to grow a plant from seed to harvest?

But does the 12-12 from seed technique work to give you a faster harvest, and if so, what are the results?

I have changed cannabis plants over to the flowering stage from seed, but no matter what the light schedule, plants don’t start flowering (making buds) until they are about 3 weeks old. Initiating a 12-12 light schedule at 3 weeks old from seed is as early as I’d recommend for this technique, if you choose to use it.

“12-12 From Seed” is a misnomer if you’re trying to force your cannabis to flower early – 3 weeks from seed is the earliest time a plant can start flowering after the switch to 12-12

Make sure to let your young marijuana plants get a minimum 2-3 weeks in the vegetative stage before changing them over to flowering. Your plants will be healthier and will start flowering at the same time as if you started 12-12 from when they first sprout.

Giving a 12-12 shedule when a cannabis plant is younger than that will not work to make the cannabis start flowering – a cannabis plant will only grow vegetatively for the first few weeks of life, and giving them less light will only cause them to grow more slowly.

Some strains of cannabis will naturally start flowering after about 3 weeks, and you don’t need to do anything with light schedules to cause that to happen. These strains are known as “autoflowering” or “Ruderalis” strains.

Many Growers Who Want To Force Cannabis Plants to Flower at a Young Age May Be Interested in Auto-Flowering Strains – No Need for 12-12 and Often Much Better Yields!

I have grown a few plants from seed to harvest just in a solo cup container. I was able to do this by flowering a plant from a young age – giving the plant 12-12 lighting when it was only 3 weeks old (pictured here).

These solo cup plants were able to survive their entire lives in a small container. I wouldn’t recommend a solo cup because they tip over easily, and plants are prone to nutrient and root problems once the flowering stage begins (the root space is just way too small, even when doing 12-12 from seed or using an auto-flowering stage).

But it’s possible.

The downsides… When your cannabis is kept in a too-small container, you will notice that you have to water your plant much more often than if you kept your plant in a big pot. As time goes on, plants are also more likely to suffer from nutrient problems and root problems because the roots aren’t being give enough room to spread out. When plants become root-bound this way, there’s not much you can do about this besides transplanting your plants into a bigger container.

While I wouldn’t recommend 12-12 from seed, and no longer ever use this technique myself, there are growers who are going to do it anyway.

For those growers who still want to use 12-12 from seed despite the warnings here…

If you are set on keeping potted cannabis plants in small containers for their whole lives, the smallest container you should try is a 1-gallon or 2-gallon container, like the pots pictured here.

Keeping plants in tiny containers may be important when growing in a very space-limited grow space, such as growing in a space bucket for stealth reasons.

There are powerful cannabis growth control techniques that will also allow you to grow high-producing plants, while keeping them short.

But like this extreme girl to the right (less than a foot tall and grown under CFLs), I’ve experimented starting the plants on 12/12 from seed to keep plants REALLY small.

When forcing your cannabis to flower early, plants will stay small and spend almost all their energy on producing flowers/buds on what few stems they have, instead of growing tall or making more colas/nodes.

Some people say that cannabis that is forced to flower too early will not make any buds, but that’s not true. The plant pictured here produced 0.75 ounces of bud after drying. So while 12-12 from seed may not be optimal, it does work.

The problems I’ve had with forcing cannabis to flower early is that since the plant is much smaller, you get smaller yields, but you’re still basically spending about the same amount of time to grow the plant as if you’d grown it bigger.

Compared to 12-12 from seed, growing an auto-flowering strain will generally give you bigger yields for the time, and will be less trouble

With such small plants, you don’t have the time to train your plant, which gives you much greater control over the final shape and size of your plant, improving yields without adding much time.

The other disadvantage to overly small plants is their inability to recover well from problems: you have fewer leaves as a ‘buffer’ so the plant can’t bounce back when something goes wrong such as a pest attack. In a too-small container, as roots get more root-bound, cannabis plants have a harder time using nutrients efficiently, and may start showing nutrient problems.

Growing extremely tiny marijuana plants is fun, but honestly you’ll get the biggest yields by instead investing a little more time in the vegetative stage to train your plant to grow into the exact shape you want. Or just grow an auto-flowering strain.

Auto-Flowering Strains – A better way to force plants to flower early

Plant Training Techniques – Make your plants grow how you want

Learn About Grow Lights – Which is best for your setup?

Learn what it means to give your plants "12-12 from seed" to force them to start making buds early.

My plants budding too early – Advice please

  • Jun 7, 2017
  • #1
  • Dboybakr
    New Member
    • Jun 7, 2017
  • #2
  • TorturedSoul
    Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017

    Re: My plants budding too early. Advice please.

    Simple – interrupt the dark cycle.

    Respectfully,
    Tortured Soul

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.-Ben Franklin

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.–Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Life’ll Kill Ya.-Warren Zevon

    The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program. -Larry Niven

    • Jun 7, 2017
  • #3
  • Imhigh85
    Well-Known Member

    Re: My plants budding too early. Advice please.

    Don’t interrupt the light cycle it’s a very good chance you can make them hermaphrodite your best bet is to just let them go and do your best with this one and learn from mistakes if you have any other questions you can find me in the Forum called LMAO cloning for dummies

    • Jun 7, 2017
    • Thread starter
    • #4
    Dboybakr
    New Member
    • Jun 7, 2017
    • Thread starter
    • #5
    Dboybakr
    New Member
    • Jun 8, 2017
  • #6
  • CaliOGhead
    New Member

    Rookie grower here.

    My advice is not to cut the buds unless your going to bring them back inside under 18/6 or more light (re-vegging)

    The next piece is what I just told my little cousin who is having the same issue down here in southern california. let it flower and hope for the best, unless u can bring it back inside to control it. but again, I’m a rookie and I’m sure there’s others on here with better advice.

    • Jun 8, 2017
  • #7
  • TorturedSoul
    Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017

    It depends on placement, I suppose. If it’s a backyard legal grow – turn the porch light on, lol. If it’s so deep in the woods you have to crawl on your hands and knees for miles. an old friend used a 25+ year old battery-powered (two 6v batteries) fluorescent lantern (it doesn’t take huge amounts of light, or long periods of it). If this is a guerrilla planting amongst the plant display at your local city park (or outside the mayor’s office ), well, yeah, that could be. tricky.

    Probably so. The odd-looking leaves mean it’s making the attempt.

    Err. I assume you meant the dark cycle. If the OP is growing a strain that has a high incidence of hermaphrodism (some Thai landraces, Gorilla Glue bag-seed that was produced in the first place by self-pollination, et cetera) then this could be a concern. OtOH, it’d be a concern with such strains in any event. And I’d think that getting the plant “straightened out” quickly would tend to be less likely to provoke such a response than letting things drag out for a more extended period of time. But, yes, plants that do not handle stress well. do not handle stress well :rolleyes3 . IF that’s the case with this particular plant, a person could attempt to help things along quickly and end up seeing a few – or even more than a few – male flowers; but the same thing could happen if the OP waits (again, if the plant happens to be. delicate), and I’d guess the disappointment level would be higher at that point because it would be further along in the growing season, perhaps too much so to swap it for a replacement that is known to be more robust (or at least hasn’t entered flowering yet).

    If you plan on running clones from the same mother again next year, perhaps if they are grown under slightly more hours of darkness initially (while still indoors) would help. For example, if they only received four hours of darkness this time, try increasing that to six or even eight hours next time.

    Not every plant requires 12 hours of darkness per night to begin flowering (in fact, many do not). That’s just used because it works for most strains. Also, consider the equatorial sativa types – these strains come from regions where the light/dark hours simply don’t change much throughout the year. I would not be surprised if such strains trigger from more minor differences in the light/dark schedule (even though some people flower them under 13 hours of darkness, to shorten the overall flowering period).

    If you cannot interrupt the dark cycle (and every night for about a week), don’t worry overmuch. It’ll probably still finish reverting in time to grow a bit and then flower normally. And it may end up being somewhat bushier than usual. You are certainly not the first person to have ever experienced this phenomenon.

    Respectfully,
    Tortured Soul

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.-Ben Franklin

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.–Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Life’ll Kill Ya.-Warren Zevon

    The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program. -Larry Niven

    Hoping somebody can help me out here. I started 6 plants from clones about 2 months ago. All are Grand Daddy Purps. I grew them in pots and brought them in…