10 pound marijuana plant

Gigantic Marijuana Plants

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Cannabis crops are some of the most versatile crops on the planet, capable of adapting to almost any growers needs thanks to the amazing variation in how long some strains take to grow versus others. You can find spectacular autoflowering strains that are ready to cut in just about two months of cultivation, and then you can also find seasonal strains that need certain photoperiods (periods of light and darkness) to grow and flower. Today we’re going to talk about some tips and tricks to grow gigantic marijuana plants; to do this they’ll need a longer growth period and a whole lot of care, but you’ll be rewarded with the biggest specimens that you have ever seen.

Many growers have already seen astonishing images in which American growers are standing beside incredible 4 or 5 meter tall marijuana trees with an enormously dense branch structure that end up looking like big green balls. This phenomenon is quite typical in Humboldt’s seed catalogue and other American seed banks, as well as professional growers books and of course thousands of images and videos online.

Choose a good strain

Choosing a strain with a decent growth level is essential because your plants entire structure will depend on this specific characteristic. Sativa strains tend to have a much larger growth as well as a larger distance between nodes and a thinner, taller structure. Indicas, however, grow into more manageable plants with shorter distances between nodes, more branches and a stronger central stem.

Indica and sativa hybrids obviously have characteristics from both genotypes, although depending on the strains used to create the hybrid and the percentage of indica vs sativa, they’re more likely to have certain characteristics. Generally, the biggest specimens will have a sativa percentage of over 60%; if the plant is indica-dominant then the specimens will be more compact but with a larger branch structure.

Make sure they get a good growth period

Growth timing is definitely a key element when trying to grow large plants due to the fact that once your plants move on to the flowering stage, they tend to get a lot bigger. This means that the bigger your plant grows during its growth stage, then the more they will develop during the flowering stage.

For outdoor crops, growers have to depend on the seasons and the climate for their plants to switch periods, whereas indoors the grower decides when to change the light period, allowing him or her to choose how big their plants should grow. This means that indoor growers can play around with the number of plants and the timing of their crops; with a shorter growth period you can have more plants. This is how SoG systems were born; cuttings don’t need a growth phase and seeds only need two growth weeks.

There are also growers that like to fill their crop area with just one plant, giving it an enormous growth period as well as a large flowerpot; this makes for plants that would leave outdoor growers astonished. Some seed banks keep mother plants for over 10 years, so we know that you can give your plants all the growth time you want and rest assured that they won’t die (if you take care of them properly).

So, now that you know that you can grow plants indoors for as long as you want, and that outdoors marijuana plants grow a larger branch structure, the question is: What would happen if you let your plants have a long growth period and then took them outside to flower?

When you grow your plants indoors and then take them outdoors they go from getting 18h of light a day to getting a lot less, so they immediately begin flowering. If it’s still growth season your plants will begin budding but then they’ll revegetate, losing potency in the process which is something you want to avoid, especially with a crop like this that takes a lot more work.

However, if you take your plant outdoors to flower when the sun begins to set earlier, your plants will begin flowering normally and should be ready around the same time they would be ready if you had planted them outside from the beginning. The obvious difference is that these plants will be much larger and have a much higher yield; by using this method you can get plants that are over 4m tall.

Increase the number of branches through pruning

If you use the previous method it’s not hard to get gigantic plants, but large plants don’t necessarily have a lot of branches. If you’re looking to increase the number of branches on your plants then you’ll need to consider pruning them.

It’s actually quite common for indoor growers to prune their plants every now and then when they’re employing a long growth period. If done properly without stressing your plants too much, then your plants should grow various new branches per pruning. All you’ll need to do is use a revitalizer on your plants to reduce stress and a couple of weeks after pruning more branches will have grown. If you’re thinking of using a growth period of a few months then you’ll have enough time to repeat this process a good few times. Once they begin flowering the amount of branches will obviously be higher, making your plants incredibly leafy and bushy.

Stake or string your plants to increase strength

Staking plants is essential if you want them to develop correctly and constantly, so you’ll need to start doing it during their first few days. You’ll need to start by staking the trunk and then wiring the branches that grow, which will give a higher yield thanks to being held up.

When your plants have reached the production levels that we were talking about before, the stakes or string you’re using might not be strong enough to put up with the weight of the branches and buds; one of the most recommended systems is by using metal meshes. By doing this you can hold up each branch individually and with less stress on the mesh due to the fact that the weight of the plant will be evenly distributed. It’s also pretty easy to set up, all you have to do is extend the mesh over your plant, placing each branch in a hole making sure that light can still access all of them.

So, now you know that if you want to get monstrously huge plants you have to consider the strain, give them a much longer growth period, prune selectively, and make sure that it can deal with the weight of all of those amazing buds. If you follow all of these tips you’re guaranteed to produce enough per crop to keep you going in between seasons. We recommend using organic fertilizers to increase flavor and cannabinoid levels in your plants, so that way your gigantic marijuana plants will have an extremely high production rate as well as powerful and flavorful buds.

Learn how to grow gigantic marijuana plants, you'll get an enormous yield without using any chemical fertilizers that could alter the final product.

The HIGH TIMES Spring Pot Planting Guide

Heavy yields of big buds in the fall are the result of proper planning and planting in the spring. Danny Danko breaks down the basics of mastering these early stages in order to harvest more down the road.

Start Early Now, Harvest Heavy Later

As winter fades away, our thoughts turn to renewal. Spring always brings with it hopes for the future: The ground begins to warm, and tender young shoots emerge from the soil. But these plants are perennials, destined to grow out year after year without toil, while our beloved cannabis is an annual and must be planted each spring in order to grow bigger throughout its vegetative stage in the summer and then enter its flowering stage in the fall.

The best way to ensure bigger plants, and thus greater harvests, is to plant seedlings or clones indoors under lights during the winter, before they can survive outdoors. This means planning ahead and creating a vegetative space attuned to healthy, happy pot plants. You’ll need a warm (over 70°F) and humid (around 50 percent relative humidity) space, clean and well lit.

We highly recommend using metal halide (MH) lights for the strongest growth and best results during the vegetative stage. The wattage you use will depend on the size of your space, but a good rule of thumb is that a 2′ x 2′ space can be covered by a 250-watt bulb and reflector, while a 3′ x 3′ space would need 400 watts and a space or larger can handle a 1,000-watt system. High-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, light-emitting diode (LED) technology or fluorescents will work for this purpose as well, but the MH spectrum is ideal for vegetative growth and will keep internodes short and plants bushy.

The biggest outdoor plants start their lives indoors as early as December and, by the time they go outside after the threat of frost has receded (which varies depending on where you live), they’re three feet tall or bigger, with thick stalks and many branches. This is the only way to achieve the massive 10-pound monsters you see in the photos.

Planting Seeds

There are several ways to properly germinate seeds. Some people place them between two wet paper towels and wait until they start popping open before gently putting them into the growing medium. The important thing to remember when using this technique is not to let the emerging taproot get too long before doing this (and also to always place the seedling into the medium with the taproot pointing down).

The easiest and most fail-safe way to sow seeds is directly into your medium of choice. Poke a hole in your moistened soil mix (or coco, rockwool cube, etc.) and drop the seed in about one-quarter to half an inch deep. Cover the seed with mix, keep the area moist and warm, and within a couple of days, you should see a tiny green shoot emerging from the soil. Immediately place it under adequate grow lighting – preferably a high-intensity discharge (HID) light – and your seedling will stay strong without stretching.

Plants grown from seeds tend to grow more vigorously than those grown from clones. The hybrid vigor particular to seeds from the F1 (or first filial) generation creates monster bushes that grow rapidly as long as they receive plenty of fertilizer and light. Many outdoor growers prefer to start from seed for this reason.

Rooting Clones

The best way to ensure uniform growth (important for indoor growers) and strain consistency is to root clones taken from mother plants and then grow them out. Clones are pieces that have been cut from plants in order to induce new roots to shoot out from the cut ends. The cuttings thus become smaller exact replicas of the mother plant, maintaining the sex (female), strain genetics and growth characteristics. This is how commercial growers end up with uniform plants that perform the same, growing a level canopy and taking advantage of all available light without shading each other out.

Clones are cut from vegetating mother plants using a sharp blade. Cut on a diagonal just below a node, leaving at least three sets of intact leaves on the cutting you’ve taken. Remove the lowest leaves (the ones coming out of the node that you cut below) and immediately place the cut end into your moistened medium of choice.

Temperature and humidity are very important factors for inducing roots to grow from the cut ends, so use a plastic tray with a heat mat underneath and a clear plastic dome over it for the best results. Within a week or so, you should see roots emerging from the bottom of your plugs or cubes and new growth from the plant tips. You are now ready to transplant your rooted clone into the growing medium and begin the all-important vegetative stage.

Maintaining Mother Plants

In order to get healthy clones, you must have healthy mother plants. These are female plants in their vegetative stage with green leaves and new shoots forming constantly. Mother plants should preferably be kept under MH lights, but compact fluorescents will work in a pinch.

The best way to acquire a mother plant is to grow one out from seed. But the only way to determine the sex of the plant without flowering it (unless it’s grown from feminized seeds) is to root a cutting from the plant and then flower out the clone. In this scenario, the mother plant remains under 18 to 20 hours of light per day, while the rooted clone is placed in a separate flowering area under a 12-hours-on/12-hours-off light schedule.

Within two weeks or so, you’ll see signs of sex on the clone, but it’s best to continue flowering it out completely in order to ensure that it’s not a hermaphrodite. Any signs of male genitalia on your flowering clone mean you must get rid of the corresponding mother plant or risk seeding your crops. Male flowers are easy to spot: They look like tiny yellow bananas sticking out from the buds.

If the clone is female, you’ll know the corresponding mother plant is female as well. At the same time, since the mother plant itself hasn’t been flowered, this means the plant is stress free, since its light schedule has never been interrupted. Mother plants grown from already flowered and then reversed plants tend to produce stressed-out cuttings, while mother plants that have stayed in their vegetative stage give off only strong, healthy clones.

Feed mother plants a mild vegetative nutrient solution and always monitor them for overfeeding. Because they live much longer lives, mother plants are at greater risk of deficiencies, nutrient overloads and pH imbalances. Give them plain pH-balanced water between feedings and you’ll find that they stay much healthier and happier.

The Vegetative Stage

After a seedling or rooted clone has begun to form its first few sets of new leaves, it enters the vegetative stage of growth, when more leaves form and new shoots become branches. Care must be taken to provide the plants with a nutrient solution high in nitrogen, since this is the macronutrient that assists in the formation of green foliage.

On the N-P-K scale, the nitrogen (N) level is given first, followed by phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). During the vegetative stage, use a fertilizer with a high number at the beginning of the N-P-K ratio listed on the package or bottle (e.g., 5-1-1). Healthy green leaves and new growth are signs that the nitrogen levels are good, but yellow leaves point to a deficiency. Conversely, burned leaf tips indicate an overabundance of nitrogen and other nutrients, so scale back on the feedings and flush your plants with plain water if you see the leaf tips start to get crispy.

Keep in mind that the larger the hole in which your plant is growing, the bigger the plant will eventually be. If you’re growing in containers, use nothing smaller than five-gallon pots in order to yield plants that are decently sized. Larger pots, such as 35-gallon tubs, are ideal both indoors and out if you plan to have a vegetative stage lasting longer than a month. (Outside, this period is determined by the sun, but indoors, you can control when the flowering stage is triggered by cutting back the light to 12 hours on/12 hours off.)

Root systems with plenty of room to flourish produce much larger plants than root-bound ones. Outdoors, you can dig out a 3′ x 3′ hole and be sure to dig deep as well. Fill the hole with store-bought planting mix and add any amendments you’ll be using at this time. We suggest organic ones such as seabird guano, greensand and compost. Some people like to use polymer crystals to cut down on watering, since the crystals soak up and store liquid and release it slowly to the roots. They’re a great addition to your soil mix, especially if you don’t have everyday access to your grow site.

The vegetative stage is the time for pruning in order to achieve more branches and bigger plants. Once a plant has three or more nodes, it’s time to start the pruning process. It can be as simple as trimming the tops off growing shoots in order to increase the amount of future branches, but there are several different ways to prune selectively.

Some growers train the branches by weighing or tying them down. This increases the surface area that the light can reach and turns secondary branches into main tops. Bushier plants produce much more pot than Christmas-tree-style plants with one main cola.

A sinker (such as those used in fishing) works great to weigh down a main branch without having to cut it. Once the main branch sags below the lower branches, the plant signals those branches that they are no longer subordinate to a main top and can each become a dominant branch – thus raising your future harvests significantly.

Smart growers introduce a trellising system during the vegetative stage in order to spread their plants’ branches wide. There are many different types of trellis, from chicken wire to ropes, but what they all have in common is spreading the canopy. Branches tucked underneath a horizontal trellis will produce many more bud sites than branches growing upward, so be sure to use one form of trellis or another to get the most out of each plant.

Foliar Feeding

The early stages of growth are also the best time for foliar feeding – spraying the leaves of your plants with water or a mild nutrient solution such as aerated compost tea or liquid kelp. Plants can absorb trace elements directly through their stomata, making foliar feeding a great way to get those elements where they are needed.

Foliar feeding is best done in the morning, before the sun reaches its highest point, to avoid burning the leaves or branches; in the middle of the day, the hot sun and bright light can also force the stomata to close up. You should also avoid spraying close to nighttime or the start of the dark cycle, because the liquid won’t have time to be absorbed and will linger on the leaves, creating the perfect situation for mold to develop.

Foliar feeding has the added benefit of cleaning the leaves of any dust that could be hindering their ability to take in light. It also discourages most pests from making a permanent home out of your plants. Be sure to spray both the tops and undersides of the leaves for full absorption. Never foliar-feed plants indoors without first protecting your light source from the mist, and cease foliar feeding at about two weeks into flowering to avoid bud rot.

Onward Into Flower
Now that you’ve gotten them off to a good start, your plants are ready to enter the flowering stage. As you see signs of bud formation, shift over to a nutrient solution with more P and K (phosphorous and potassium). The plants you’ve painstakingly built into big vegetative bushes will soon transform into monster-sized marijuana trees. Enjoy!

For all of HIGH TIMES’ grow coverage, click here.

Heavy yields of big buds in the fall are the result of proper planning and planting in the spring. Danny Danko breaks down the basics of mastering these early