How To Grow Big Marijuana Buds

If you really want to maximize the outcome of your harvest, you are going to need to figure out a few things.

First, you’ll need to be able to identify the type of plants you are growing.

Then, in order to know how to grow huge marijuana buds, you need to understand how to make buds bigger during flowering.

That is the goal, right?

The bud of a marijuana plant is the prized appendage that appears after a plant enters the flowering stage of its life cycle.

The leaves of the marijuana plant contain THC, but the buds of female plants are the most potent product by far.

So as an individual grower, it’s important to focus a significant amount of attention on the buds of your crop.

Growing bigger buds takes skill. If you do it right, you can accomplish incredibly huge buds with a high THC content.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to accomplish that goal.

Keep reading and learn how to grow bigger marijuana buds.

BONUS: make sure to read the bonus section about splitting the stem of your plant. The purpose of stem splitting is to disturb the flow of nutrients and water right at the base of the stem. This will cause the plant to start producing more trichomes which means heavier and denser buds with higher THC levels.

What are marijuana buds?

Before you can grow big marijuana buds, you need to have a bit of background knowledge. For starters, a bud is the growth that pops up during a plant’s flowering phase.

Cannabis buds
Cannabis buds

Although marijuana plants’ leaves also have a THC content, the buds have a far more concentrated amount.

This is why the buds are the prize possession of any marijuana grower – they are the part of the plant that gets you high.

While both male and female buds contain plenty of THC, there are some important differences that distinguish the two.

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Male buds flowering vs. female buds flowering

Plenty of people seem to believe that male plants don’t produce smokeable buds at all.

While it’s true that female buds contain the most THC levels, male buds are also quite potent and able to be smoked.

Male buds flowering vs. female buds flowering
Male vs female cannabis buds

Male buds look like round flowers that are jam-packed with pollen.

Be careful that your males don’t pollinate your females because your plants will start producing seeds and less THC.

I only grow males to produce seeds and remove them from my female plants.

Female buds will start showing up about two weeks later than male buds, and they start out as growths that are round, white-colored, and hairy.

They show up on the very tip of every branch, as well as at the top of the plant.

Don’t dismay if your plant doesn’t look like it can produce big buds.

If treated well, the smallest buds on your female plants will grow to be longer than two inches.

See how this bud grows during 8 weeks of flowering

8 weeks of flowering for a cannabis bud

Since female buds really are the cream of the crop, you are going to want to ensure that their buds get as large (and potent) as possible.

Therefore, the best way to grow bigger buds is simply doing things to encourage growth at a faster rate.

Download my free Grow Bible for more tips to increase your yield.

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    The faster they grow, the more time they have to become huge.

    Read the article Male or female marijuana plants for more information about sexing plants

    Removing yellow leaves helps make buds bigger during flowering

    Once it has entered the flowering stage, the number one thing to speed up your plant’s bud growth is to remove any dying leaves.

    These leaves can be identified by their yellowing color.

    They are a lost cause, and they are using up your plant’s energy and resources that could be focused on bigger and better things (namely, the buds).

    Take away the yellowing leaves to conserve these resources.

    Remove bottom yellow leaves for huge buds
    Remove bottom yellow leaves

    Instead of discarding these leaves, keep them and cure them properly.

    They have a high enough THC content that you can make cannabutter or weed brownies in case you run out of weed or while you are waiting for the big harvest.

    If you want your buds to be fat and juicy, you are going to have to spoil them a bit.

    Take special care of them during the flowering phase of the plant’s life cycle.

    Best nutrients for big buds

    Marijuana plants require nutrients to thrive.

    In many cases, the best nutrients for big buds come from the Earth.

    In other scenarios, growers need to supplement these nutrients through the use of fertilizers.

    Therefore, knowing how to utilize nutrients for cannabis correctly is integral to the growth of your cannabis plants.

    Many things can act as fertilizers to some degree, but it is often easiest to purchase packaged fertilizers at a local garden center.

    Most fertilizers are sold as hydroponic solutions.

    Some are designed for soil, while others are designed for hydroponic growing.

    The best nutrients for flowering buds will have nitrogen to aid leaf growth, potassium to facilitate the development of the flower, and phosphorus for root growth.

    These are represented by their elemental symbols of N, P, and K respectively.

    In fact, on most commercial fertilizers, you’re going to see an NPK ratio listed on the bag (e.g., 20-20-20).

    This tells you exactly how much of each element is in that particular fertilizer.NPK aren’t the only nutrients found in marijuana fertilizers, however.

    There are also micronutrients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and many more.

    Although these nutrients for flowering cannabis help with specific processes inside the plant, they are not quite as vital as the three core nutrients.

    During the vegetative stage, plants need an added boost of nutrient content to ensure that they are growing and producing at the right rates.

    For plants that are in a vegetative state, it’s essential to use a fertilizer that has an even NPK distribution of 20-20-20.

    This will provide them with an equal amount of each of the three core nutrients.

    During flowering, you are going to want to change the fertilizer just a bit.

    Cannabis thrives when it has a lot of nitrogen, and it uses extra nitrogen during the vegetative stage.

    This need for nitrogen reduces during the flowering stage, and extra potassium and phosphorus become necessary.

    That’s why the best nutes for flowering cannabis has an NPK ratio of 10-30-10.

    The phosphorous helps with the production of buds and flowers to ensure an optimal yield.

    The cannabis plant gradually stops needing all nutrients as flowering ends, and it matures.

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    The important thing to remember is that the best nutrients for bigger buds act like marijuana multivitamins.

    In fact, you could say that the plants “eat” the nutrients to thrive. Without proper nourishment from fertilizer or the soil, a plant will not produce the desired outcome.

    You will see the effects of a lack of proper nutrient intake.

    Plant leaves will start to show burnt tips, and the amount of growth will appear to cease. If you want bigger buds, nutrients are key.

    That’s why it’s important to ensure your plants are getting the proper nutrients starting with the macronutrients.

    How to use nutrients for bigger buds

    Nutrient burn is one way to ruin a perfectly good harvest, but it’s not the only way. Here are some more nutrient tips that will help give you the best results.

    Mixing nutrients

    Leave nutrient mixing to the experts. If you do it yourself without prior experience, you risk coming up with a solution that contains incompatible nutrients that will lead to plant death instead of a performance boost.

    Administering growing and flowering feeds

    Avoid changing the leaf growth feed to the flowering feed the moment you notice the flowering cycle has started. It takes a bit of time for cannabis to respond optimally to light stimuli.

    Therefore, that extra nitrogen is necessary for two or three weeks after the beginning of the flowering cycle, which is when growth will have adequately slowed down.

    Mixing organic feeds

    You may prefer to use organic nutrients. Ready-made organic feeds are available, or you can do your own mixing if you have the right knowledge and patience.

    Keep in mind, sometimes it takes months to get the perfectly balanced home-made organic feed with the right big bud NPK ratio. 

    Controlling plant growth

    Mediums without nutrients are ideal for controlling the amount of nutrients your cannabis receives, and the rate at which it receives them.

    They do not contain standard potting soil or compost, and you’ll need to add what’s needed to the plant’s water, instead of the soil.

    You should not use these mediums with slow-releasing nutrients or manure unless you are a pro.

    Nutrient problems

    If your plants are looking sickly, and you’ve already checked your nutrients, you should check other factors such as the pH of the nutrient solution, medium, or water.

    Underfeeding, overfeeding, and overwatering are common causes of wilting and plant death.

    Other factors include disease, fungus, pests, lack of sunlight, and extreme temperature.

    Dilute it first

    Indoor growers should dilute their solution a bit before using it on their plants.

    Even though you may think, the more nutrients for big buds, the better, the truth is, indoor plants do not generally respond well to large infusions of nutrients.

    It is definitely possible to go a little bit overboard with your fertilizer.

    If you can scale back each of the nutrients by about 20%, then you should be okay.

    Best Fertilizer and Macro Nutrients

    The most vital elements for every plant on Earth are the so-called Macronutrients. Topping the list are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

    They are an inseparable part of all kinds of fertilizers; however, the amount of each nutrient varies according to the type of fertilizer.

    The best nutrient for bigger buds on your cannabis plants may not be the best nutrient for your berry plants.

    Different types of plants require different ratios of these nutrients. Keep in mind; the cannabis plant has needs that are similar to a tomato.

    Each element has different atomic characteristics – leading to a particular effect on a marijuana plant.

    Understanding each of these elements can help growers safely address deficiencies in their plants.

    Nitrogen

    To begin with, Nitrogen, has the symbol ‘’N’’ in the periodic table, an atomic number of 7 and an atomic mass of approximately 14.

    It helps with photosynthesis and is responsible for chlorophyll production.

    Nitrogen deficiency in cannabis plants
    Nitrogen deficiency in marijuana plants

    Photosynthesis is impossible without the existence of chlorophyll, and this is why Nitrogen’s role is so important in the life of marijuana plants.

    Stimulating the growth of leaves and stems while also increasing the plant’s size and vigor are also effects of Nitrogen. That’s why it’s essential when attempting to grow big buds.

    Nevertheless, when there is a deficiency of N, the growth rates are reduced, and the leaves become yellow faster.

    The older leaves are the first to suffer, as are the lower leaves of the cannabis plant. Cold soil temperatures can also cause a nitrogen deficiency.

    Phosphorus

    The second element is Phosphorus or P on the periodic table with an atomic number of 15. It has an approximate atomic mass of 31.

    The primary benefit of this element includes promoting seed germination, as well as seedling and root growth.

    signs of phosphorus deficiency marijuana
    Signs of phosphorus deficiency marijuana

    Phosphorus is an essential element, and one of the best nutrients for marijuana because it helps the development of terpene resins and floral clusters.

    It also participates in the formation of sugars and starches necessary to grow buds.

    The overall vigor of the marijuana plant depends on Phosphorus.

    Therefore, a Phosphorus deficiency is signified by a reduction of the rate of growth and the quick drying of smaller leaves.

    They become purplish, and their edges are seared.

    What’s more, excessive levels of Phosphorus can also cause Potassium-deficiency.

    Potassium

    The last crucial macro element is Potassium or K on the Periodic table of elements. Its atomic number is 19, and it has an atomic mass of approximately 39.

    Marijuana Potassium
    Sgns of potassium deficiency marijuana

    Potassium is vital for healthy plant metabolism during the flowering period, and it helps in the formation of the clusters of marijuana flowers.

    Potassium keeps the plant vigorous, healthy, and growing. It is the best nutrient for big buds since a deficiency can cause a slow down of growth rates and problems with the leaves – leading to brown tips and curled edges.

    The Micro Nutrients

    The basic Macro Nutrients are not enough for a marijuana plant to grow normally.

    Micronutrients also have critical functions, such as maintaining vigor and health.

    These Trace-elements include Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Manganese, Boron, Zinc, and Copper.

    They are included in some of the best fertilizer for big buds but in smaller quantities.

    Calcium

    Calcium is one of the major microelements. It bears the symbol ‘’Ca’’ on the Periodic table of elements.

    Its atomic number is 20, and it has a mass of 40 approximately.

    Calcium deficiencies in marijuana plants
    Calcium deficiencies in marijuana plants

    Calcium is vital because it is a part of the cell walls. It provides strengthening of the stems and branches and helps in the formation of the root and its tip’s growth.

    A deficiency of Calcium causes distortion of the leaves.

    The leaves’ margins are hooked, and the roots do not finalize their development; their tips are weak.

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is also an important element. It has the symbol ‘’Mg’’ on the Periodic table, the number 12, and an approximate mass of 24.

    Magnesium stimulates the formation of chlorophyll and most of the reactions with enzymes.

    Magnesium Deficiency

    The structures of the leaves and the veins in them are healthy due to this element.

    When Mg is deficient, the effect is different in each plant species.

    Cannabis plants, for example, suffer from yellowing of the leaves, the disappearance of leaves, and withering, which starts from the older or lower leaves.

    Excessive levels of Magnesium can cause Calcium deficiency.

    Sulfur

    Sulfur or ‘’S’’ on the periodic table has the number 16 and an atomic mass of approximately 32.

    It consists in the proteins of marijuana plants and is important for their production. It also participates in the formation of chlorophyll and the growth of the plant.

    Sulfur Deficiency
    Sulfur deficiency marijuana plant

    The deficiency is presented by slower rates of growth along with smaller deformed leaves that are round and roll upwards.

    Soon they become stiff and die off, making the flowering stage unproductive.

    Manganese

    Manganese (or ‘’Mn’’, atomic number- 25 and an atomic mass of approximately 55) is responsible for the production of enzymes and chlorophyll production vital for photosynthesis.

    Manganese deficiency marijuana plant
    Manganese deficiency marijuana plant

    Its deficiency has various results which depend on the species. On a cannabis plant, chloroplasts become yellow, and the stems are still quite green.

    On the surface of some leaves, there may be white or grey spots. It also causes Iron deficiency with similar symptoms.

    Boron

    Boron (B, Z=5, A=10) helps with the movement of sugars and reproduction as well as water consumption by cells.

    It participates in the formations of stems and stalks and prevents Ca from becoming insoluble.

    Boron deficiency marijuana plant

    Boron also aids in the production, coloring, and formation of leaves and their structures.

    It’s one of the best flowering nutrients because its deficiency causes death to the tips and malformations of the marijuana buds.

    Boron deficiencies also cause Mg and K deficiencies.

    Other marijuana micro nutrients

    Your plants are least likely to experience deficiencies of Zinc and Copper, but they are still essential to the health of your marijuana plants.

    Zinc gives the plant strength, by fortifying the stems, branches, stalk, and leaves.

    A zinc deficiency will look similar to a manganese or iron deficiency.

    Copper deficiencies, on the other hand, appear in younger leaves. Healthy leaves can quickly start to curl or wilt and eventually they will die.

    Without this nutrient, a plant has trouble forming new growth. When it has too much, it is unable to process iron properly.

    How to use nutrients

    Using both macro and micronutrients requires attention to detail.

    In addition to selecting the best nutes for bigger buds, you’ll also need to follow a feeding schedule and only give plants the bare minimum of what they need.

    Many times that means feeding your plants a lot less than the recommended dosages.

    A good place to start is ¼ of the recommended amount, and then slowly move up to ½ based on how the plant responds.

    Read the article Best fertilizers for marijuana plants for more info on nutrients.

    If you give a marijuana plant too many nutrients, it could experience nutrient burn. And, if you start with the full amount, you are very likely to burn your plants.

    Whereas nutrient burn won’t kill your plants, it will damage them. You will not get the best yield with bigger buds if you burn your plants.

    For the best results, use a complete nutrient set for your entire grow. Grab my marijuana fertilizer set in my shop.

    Marijuana Fertilizer

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    Monitor pH levels to make buds bigger

    If you haven’t grown marijuana before, you may not know nutrients and pH level go hand in hand.

    This is because the pH level of the soil (or whatever grow medium you are using) at the roots will affect your marijuana plant’s ability to absorb different kinds of nutrients.

    Many times, nutrient deficiency or toxicity is actually caused by a pH imbalance.

    The main nutrients marijuana uses to grow are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. During vegetation, they use a lot of nitrogen.

    During the first weeks of flowering, they use a lot of phosphorus and at the end of flowering, they use a lot of potassium. But they also use lots of other nutrients, like iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

    Each nutrient behaves differently when it is in an environment at a different pH level.

    To put it simply, the pH level decides how a nutrient or any chemical compound will “act.” Whether it falls apart, dissolves, or does something else is based on the pH level.

    Also read Measuring pH for your Marijuana Grow

    The pH level can be compared to the temperature and chemicals. For example, calcium in tap water won’t even be visible if the water is cold because it has dissolved completely.

    Once it surpasses the boiling point, however, it will precipitate instead.

    Wrong pH levels create nutrient deficiencies

    At certain acidity levels, certain elements can’t be absorbed by the marijuana plant’s roots.

    If the pH level is too low, for example, your marijuana plant won’t take in magnesium very well.

    Wrong pH levels create nutrient deficiencies

    Therefore, even if you’re feeding plenty of magnesium to your plants, they still will exhibit signs of a magnesium deficiency.

    A magnesium deficiency includes yellowing of leaves and even whitening, but the veins will still be green colored.

    Simply supplying your marijuana plant with more magnesium will not suffice, however, since the pH level is actually the root of the cause.

    The key, in this case, is to balance the pH level (or, in the case of a magnesium deficiency, raise the pH level) until your plant can take in nutrients.

    With the right pH levels you can grow bigger buds. And with the wrong pH levels you can ruin your yield. So know your pH.

    If growing in soil, you should keep the pH level right around 6. For marijuana plants growing in other types of media, such as rockwool or other hydroponic setups, keep the pH level at 5.5.

    How to lower the pH

    Of course, the other elements of keeping healthy plants in general also come into play with growing big buds.

    How to lower the pH in cannabis plants
    Images by Bergmanslab.com

    Proper amounts of water and light, along with temperature and good genetics will all affect the way your buds grow.

    Monitor EC Levels to Grow Big Buds

    The electric conductivity, or EC value, illustrates what the salt content is.

    This salt content is a measure of how much nutrients are in the soil or in the water you are feeding your plants.

    Water with an EC value of 0 is purified, without any salts or minerals. Its pH level should be 7 if it is balanced and purified.

    Regular tap water would not be this balanced since it contains lots of minerals (including magnesium, calcium, and potassium).

    Generally speaking, tap water in the United States has a value of between 0.2 and 0.5.

    Tap water does not contain enough nutrients for marijuana plants – you will need to add some.

    How to increase EC levels

    The EC value is important because, if it is too low, there aren’t enough nutrients for your plants to access. An EC value that is too high could also be bad news for marijuana plants.

    How to increase EC levels in marijuana plants

    If nutrient salts start to build up in the soil, the pH value will decrease, and the roots will not absorb most nutrients as efficiently as they should.

    More about EC/TDS in the article The right EC and pH levels

    The Best Lighting Conditions for Big Buds

    One of the most surefire ways of increasing your bud growth is by increasing the intensity of the light that is hitting your plants.

    Light is what helps marijuana plants absorb carbon dioxide and convert that carbon dioxide into the useful sugars they need to grow bigger buds.

    When it comes to marijuana plants, more light is almost always better.

    Plants that aren’t getting enough light will not grow as fast, or they may even stretch into tall, thin plants that are “reaching” to get closer to the sunlight.

    These plants will never be able to produce bigger marijuana buds.

    LED lights are not know for their high yields
    LED lights are not know for their high yields

    If your plant has already grown uneven colas because of poor lighting during its vegetative state, it will be difficult to evenly and effectively distribute the light.

    The buds themselves should have direct exposure to the light for best results.

    If you are an indoor grower, try moving the lights closer to your plants. This will increase your yield significantly. Be careful temperatures don’t exceed 80 degrees.

    Generally speaking, HPS lamps are the best lamps for an indoor growing operation.

    For every 13 square feet of growing area, make sure there are 400 Watts of light during the vegetation stage.

    Also, for every 13 sq ft make sure there is a 600-watt lamp during the flowering phase.

    Fluorescent lighting is a less expensive option that can work well too.

    Here are more reference points for how much you can expect to achieve with various setups:

    With a 200-watt CFL lamp average 1.5 to 2.0 oz (3.5 oz for advanced growers) using a 3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft. grow cabinet
    With a 250-watt HPS lamp average 3.0 to 5.0 oz (9.0 oz for advanced growers)using a 3.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 ft. grow cabinet
    With a 400-watt HPS lamp average 4.5 to 9.0 oz (14 oz for advanced growers)in a 3.5 x 3.5 x 7 ft grow room
    With a 600-watt HPS lamp average 5.0 to 10 oz (21 for advanced growers) in a 4 x 4 x 8 ft grow room
    With a 1000-watt HPS lamp average 9.0 to 18 oz (36 for advanced growers) in a 5 x 5 x 8 ft grow room (with extra CO2 only)

    Read more about Marijuana grow lights if you’re growing indoors or about yield in my article about Marijuana yields

    Adding carbon dioxide to grow bigger buds during flowering

    Imagine how much you love food. That is how much your marijuana plants love carbon dioxide.

    Carbon dioxide is vital for the flowering and growth of your marijuana plant (and any plant, for that matter).

    More carbon dioxide is literally how to get bigger buds. Overall, the more carbon dioxide, the better.

    If you increase the amount of CO2 that your plant is receiving, you will essentially be “feeding” them more, allowing their growth to be sped up even further and achieve bigger buds.

    Adding CO2 nicely complements increasing light intensity since it basically is expanding your plant’s ability to use light.

    Grow monster buds with CO2
    Grow monster buds with CO2

    Between 350 and 400 ppm of carbon dioxide is standard in the air.

    The marijuana plant will take this carbon dioxide and combine it with light energy to create the sugars it needs to grow.

    If the level of carbon dioxide begins to drop, the sugar production in your marijuana plants will also start to decline.

    This is why ventilation is so important — there always needs to be an incoming supply of fresh carbon dioxide.

    CO2 alone will not increase the yield. The more light and CO2 your plant gets, the more efficiently it will grow. This will also keep your plant from ever getting too much light since the added CO2 will increase its light capacity.

    Marijuana plants that have access to between 350 and 400 ppm of carbon dioxide won’t make a lot more sugars than is possible with a 600-watt HPS light bulb.

    Therefore, keeping the carbon dioxide level the same but increasing the wattage of the light you use will have little effect.

    However, increasing the carbon dioxide levels while also increasing the light will help your marijuana plants be far more productive — expect nearly double yields.

    This can be an expensive endeavor with all the equipment that is required, but when your yield is so much higher, it can certainly be worth the trouble and the extra money it costs.

    Using CO2 with CO2 reg and timer to get bigger buds

    Although it’s pretty tricky to ever reach the light threshold, this is yet another way to “hack” your plant’s speed of growth.

    If you do decide to pump extra CO2 into your grow room, be sure to seal it off properly – although it works wonders for plants, high levels of CO2 can be very dangerous for humans.

    Read the article Growing marijuana with CO2 for more info.

    The ideal temperature and humidity to make buds bigger during flowering

    Temperature and humidity need to be at the right level for your plants to reach their highest budding potential.

    In addition to ruining your shot at growing big buds, if the temperature is too high, your buds won’t have as potent of an aroma.

    Proper humidity while growing
    Proper humidity while growing

    When the light is turned on, an ideal temperature for the cuttings and seedlings is between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).

    As the plants get older they can evaporate a little bit more and the temperature may increase to a maximum of 82ºF (28ºC).

    When the lights are off, the temperature should lie between 59ºF and 72ºF (15ºC and 22ºC).

    Another important rule is that the temperature differences between day and night cannot be too high, a maximum difference of 50ºF (10ºC).

    So when it’s 82ºF (28ºC) during the day, it cannot go below 64ºF (18ºF) at night. A temperature difference of 40ºF (5ºC) is ideal.

    These are the best humidity levels to grow big buds:

    Veg week 1 70%
    Veg week 2 70%
    Flowering week 1 65%
    Flowering week 2 60%
    Flowering week 3 55%
    Flowering week 4 50%
    Flowering week 5 50%
    Flowering week 6 45%
    Flowering week 7 45%
    Flowering week 8 40%
    Flowering week 9 40%

    Controlling your temperature can mean controlling the amount of potency and smell of your buds – when done properly.

    Make sure you pay special attention to your grow room’s temperature throughout its entire life cycle. If you do this, the results will definitely be to your liking.

    Read more about temperature or humidity

    Marijuana bud growing limitations

    If all the factors above are optimally present, the buds on your marijuana plants will grow as big as possible. But there’s always a limiting factor.

    This is the factor of which the value is furthest away from the optimal value.

    Let’s say you have a 250 watt lamp, there’s sufficient CO2 in the room (350pp, just like outside) and the plant gets enough water and nutrients. The light will then be the limiting factor.

    Because if you use a 400 watt lamp in these circumstances, you can almost double your yield. And you can harvest even more with a 600 watt lamp.

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    But if you use a 1000 watt lamp, the plant will need more CO2 than standard air can provide, causing CO2 to become the limiting factor.

    The plant can’t convert all the energy from the lamp, because it needs more CO2 to do so. This is how all factors are connected and influence the functioning of a plant.

    Depending on the stage the plant is in, these values slightly differ, but generally speaking, these are the perfect values;

    Light600 watt per 12 square feet
    CO2350 ppm
    Wateras required*
    ECbetween 1.0 and 2.0
    pH6
    Temperature77 degrees F
    Humidity50-60%

    *These values depend on the stage the plants are in. Seedlings can’t take as much nutrients as older plants, and they’ll evaporate more and more water as they grow, so you’ll have to water them more.

    Read more in my article about watering marijuana plants

    Pruning: tricks that grow bigger buds

    Pruning is always done by tomato farmers to increase the yield.

    The small shoots between the branches and the trunk are removed so all the energy is used to maximize fruit production.

    For marijuana plants, it’s also very effective to remove these useless shoots so the plant can develop bigger buds.

    You end up with small plants, big buds, and an acceptable yield.

    Using this technique to produce a few big, hard and heavy buds instead of many smaller ones.

    remove shoots

    Pruning is mostly done by professional cannabis growers who wants to yield the maximum amount of weed per square foot.

    Because there is no energy wasted on the small buds and small leaves the top ones will grow bigger and heavier.

    The main colas will also get more light because they’re all at the same height.

    Before and after pruning useless bottom shoots
    Before and after pruning useless bottom shoots

    Pruning should only be done during the vegetation stage because the plant needs time to recover and grow big leaves.

    Wait at least 3 days after pruning before forcing them into flower.

    Make sure your marijuana plants are growing again and evaporate enough water.

    Go easy on the fertilizers and give them a few days to recover. If you master this technique, you will know how to grow big buds in every situation.

    Do it at the right time and it will definitely pay off. No more small and fluffy buds. You will only get big, hard, and heavy marijuana buds.

    Scrogging: make buds bigger during flowering

    If you use the SCROG (Screen of Green) method you also have to prune your marijuana plants.

    Place a screen at 50 cm above your plants. Take the top out of every plant when it’s 10 centimeters from the screen and wait until the new tops grow through the screen.

    Wait until they grow 10 centimeters through the screen, gently bend them and connect them to the screen.

    Just two plants can grow many big buds with scrogging
    Just two plants can grow many big buds with scrogging

    Prune your marijuana plants after the first shoots have grown through the screen. Wait a few days and force them into flowering.

    During the first two weeks of the flowering phase your marijuana plants will keep growing.

    Scrog result after 2 months with 4 plants

    Combine the pruning and the SCROG technique and you can grow 1 gram of marijuana per watt of light.

    So if you have 1 600watt HPS bulb you should be able to grow 600 grams of cannabis. Temperature, humidity and other factors also have to be right of course.

    Low Stress Training (LST) for bigger buds during flowering

    “LST” (low-stress training) is a way of training that doesn’t include any cutting.

    It is a way of manually manipulating your plants to grow flatter and wider rather than skinny and tall.

    It uses bending techniques that anyone can do (but proceed with caution, as with anything).

    Train your plant for bigger buds
    Train your plant for bigger buds

    LST is an effective way to get big buds because it trains the plant to grow in a way that will maximize its intake of light.

    Every leaf that is exposed adds another source of energy to your plant so you can see why it is an effective technique.

    LST generally begins at a younger stage of life, before the plant has established its own shape. Screen of Green is another form of LST that includes a net.

    The net (or screen) keeps your plants where you want them, and maximizes your plants’ use of the indoor growing space.

    These forms of training can all be helpful in improving your plants’ yield, starting from an earlier stage of your plant’s life.

    Even if you are a veteran grower, trying a new training technique might be a great way of improving your yield significantly.

    Read the article How to prune marijuana plants for a list of all pruning techniques like topping, low-stress training, super cropping, and monster cropping.

    When to harvest marijuana buds for the biggest nugs

    Ultimately, one of the most important factors in having the most potent and biggest buds possible is to harvest at the right time.

    You need to make sure you have let your buds become as ripe as possible before harvesting.

    Sometimes the amount of growth in a bud’s final two or three weeks can be as much as a 25% increase. In other words, by harvesting too early you could sacrifice your yield.

    Harvest at the right time
    Harvest at the right time

    In general, the best time to harvest falls within a window of two or three weeks.

    Harvesting before this window of time would greatly reduce your overall yield, and will result in less potent weed.

    Time of harvest affects the taste, smell and weight of your buds

    0-49% of the pistils are brown – Not ready yet
    0-49% of the pistils are brown – Not ready yet
    50-70% of the pistils are brown – Ready for harvest, but it’s still a bit young. Light taste and mellow high. Maximum weight not yet achieved
    50-70% of the pistils are brown – Ready for harvest, but it’s still a bit young. Light taste and mellow high. Maximum weight not yet achieved
    70-90% of the pistils are brown – Ready for harvest. Taste and effect are at their peak. You’ve reached maximum weight
    70-90% of the pistils are brown – Ready for harvest. Taste and effect are at their peak. You’ve reached maximum weight
    90-100% of the pistils brown – Almost too late for harvest. Taste is heavy and the effect is narcotic. Harvest right away and don’t wait any longer
    90-100% of the pistils brown – Almost too late for harvest. Taste is heavy and the effect is narcotic. Harvest right away and don’t wait any longer

    Harvest big buds by looking at trichomes

    Trichomes are small, white drops of resin that appear on your buds — you probably have seen them at some point, whether or not you knew what they were at the time.

    Cannabinoids come from trichomes, so they are absolutely crucial to the marijuana consumer.

    Trichomes have the added bonus of serving as protectors of the marijuana plants, specifically against diseases and pests.

    This is because of the thick, sticky layer that it forms around the marijuana buds.

    It can also keep your marijuana buds safe against the wind, UV light, and water when necessary.

    Because of this protective feature, more trichomes are produced during times of stress.

    Therefore, inducing a certain amount of stress can have amazing effects on your marijuana plants.

    Other known techniques are using ice water or keep their plants in the dark for 48 hours just before the harvest in an attempt to get more trichomes to be produced.

    Download my free harvesting mini guide so you can always have a handy reference on when to best reap your crop.

    Harvest Guide

    Marijuana Harvest Guide
    • Time your harvest for Perfect Taste
    • Get THC levels for a Perfect High
    • Don’t waste any Precious Bud


      The biggest buds come from the best genetics

      Once again, genetics is everything. No matter what you do to increase the yield or grow bigger buds, poor genetics will ruin it.

      If you did choose marijuana seeds with great genetics, you will be pleased with the end result.

      Invest money in good genetics
      Invest money in good genetics

      Luckily, most strains that people buy today generally have very high yields and potency, which would not have been the case ten years ago.

      These strains will grow with fewer problems and will end up with plenty of happy, fat, potent buds.

      All in all, the most important way you can increase your yield is by investing early on in a high-quality strain. It may seem expensive, but the payoff is well worth the upfront costs.

      Do your research and pay the money, because the result will be amazing. Check my seed shop to make sure you buy high quality marijuana seeds

      BIG BUD SECRET: Split the stem

      There is one method of increasing the yield of your marijuana plants that not everyone knows about — splitting the stem.

      This will help your plants’ buds be heavier and denser and will improve THC production as well.

      This technique is exactly what it sounds like — it involves splitting the stem of your marijuana plant right at the bottom. It likely originated in China and Southeast Asia.

      Split the stem more thc
      Split the stem more thc
      Split the stem increase yield
      Split the stem increase yield

      To be successful with the stem splitting technique, start out by tying the stem right at the base, just above the soil. Tie a second rope or cable tie a couple inches above that.

      Take a very sharp knife and cut from the top tie to the bottom tie. There should be one vertical cut that is a few inches in length.

      The knife should remain inside until you have a pencil, chopsticks, or other objects to replace it with to keep both sides of the marijuana plant from touching each other.

      Remove the knife partially and rotate it to allow the chopstick or pencil enough space. Leave the ties in place, so the damage does not spread.

      The thing about splitting the stem is that it is a tricky technique to master, so you should only try it on one plant per growing season until you are confident you’ve gotten it down.

      Apply this technique a few days or a week before harvest, not sooner.

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      Produce more THC

      The purpose of stem splitting is to disturb the flow of nutrients and water right at the base of the stem. Because of this, the plant will start producing more trichomes and more THC.

      Trichomes are responsible for making heavier, denser buds that are just better overall, so you can see why this is a useful technique. All cannabinoids are created in the trichomes.

      Is splitting the stem something you’ve heard of before or are you going to try it? Please give me your thoughts on this technique in the comments below.

      Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my Grow Bible.

      Happy growing!

      Robert

      FAQ about growing big marijuana buds

      What do buds look like when they start to form?

      Buds appear as hairy, white-colored growths when they start to form.

      How to make buds bigger during flowering?

      There are several things you can do to make your buds grow bigger. You’ll need to remove dying leaves, give your plant an extra boost of nutrients, ensure the soil PH is balanced, monitor the EC value, and increase the light intensity.
      You should also increase the amount of carbon dioxide the plant receives and monitor the temperature and humidity levels.

      Where are bud sites on a plant?

      Buds show up at the top of the plant. You can also find them on the tips of the branches.

      Avatar for Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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