Face it – we all want to grow those big, dense buds of cannabis flower. But how do you do it? Achieving that manna from heaven is not just possible – it’s fairly easy when you know how.
Table of contents
- Genetics Play a Huge Part in Achieving Dense Buds
- Don’t Rely on Pot Luck
- Let There Be Light
- Temperature and Humidity are Vital Components
- Well-Fed Plants Grow Up Big and Strong
- Take A Training Course
- For Denser Buds, Don’t Harvest Too Soon
- 3 Strains For Dense Buds
Several factors contribute to the size of your buds, and we’ll take you through them one by one. Bookmark this page and use it as a reference, and with the right equipment and TLC, you’ll need a flatbed truck for your next harvest.
Genetics Play a Huge Part in Achieving Dense Buds
There’s no sense in wishing for high yields of voluptuous cannabis flower if you’ve chosen a strain that doesn’t have the genetics to manifest mass. You’ll get off on the right foot by choosing your strain carefully. Not all strains are the same, so start with one that can deliver big buds.
Check the yield rate in the strain’s characteristics and plump for something with a high number. If you’re unsure what numbers dictate a high yield, hop over to the Seedsman.com strain finder and choose ‘high yielding seeds’. Anything on that list will make an ideal starting point, but don’t just choose buds for buds’ sake. Consider other variables that make a suitable strain for you, such as taste, effects, etc.
Most cannabis strains available these days are hybrids. This is because crossbreeding indica and sativa genetics allows breeders to preserve the most favourable characteristics of each and can go some way to establishing better resilience.
It’s handy to know that indica-dominant strains typically produce fatter buds than sativas.
They originate from cooler climates, and many have evolved to contain tighter bud structures than their sativa counterparts. Sativas originate from warmer climates and have evolved to have a looser bud structure to accommodate the additional airflow necessary to guard against mould issues like bud rot.
Don’t Rely on Pot Luck
The next step in the chain is pots. It can be an oft-overlooked detail to newcomers but choosing the right pots to grow cannabis plants in actually has a big say in the end result.
When choosing, make sure to opt for air pots, as these will help air circulation around the roots of your plants.
This gives you an advantage at the root level and enables respiration – when your plant uses oxygen and the sugars produced during photosynthesis to provide energy for growth.
Planting directly in the ground or in large pots means your babies will have enough soil and space for root development. This means the added benefit of making it easier for them to absorb all the water and nutrients they need to produce big juicy buds. If you’re using pots, aim for at least 25L to ensure plants have the necessary space to develop healthy roots.
Let There Be Light
Light is essential to growing good photoperiod cannabis, and if you’re chasing big, dense buds, a bit of lighting know-how will help you go far.
More light equals bigger buds – it’s that simple, but where you position your lights in relation to your plants can make or break the operation.
Lights too close to your plants? You risk burning them. Lights too far away? You won’t get the results you’re looking for. You want the entire canopy to receive that bud-burgeoning illumination, but without the risk of burning.
Tip: There’s a belief that LED lights can’t burn your plants. This is not the case. Keep your lights 12-18 inches away from your plants to ensure they’re getting enough light without the risk of burning. Each grow is different though, so make sure you adjust as you go.
Indoor growers can get the edge here by installing reflective walls on their grow room or tent (some tents come with reflective panels as a standard feature). This will bounce light back to your plants, ensuring they get a superb amount of light to help vegetative growth and fatten up the buds.
Yes, light colour can help your buds! When your cannabis is flowering, it enjoys the red light spectrum’s frequencies. That doesn’t mean firing up as much red as you can muster, though, because the entire spectrum is necessary. Get lights with the red enhanced, and you’ll be doing your buds a huge favour without depriving them of any other essential frequencies.
Do you have to increase your light schedule to maximise bud growth? Stick to the 18/6 schedule during the vegetative stage, then cut it to 12/12 for flowering. If you’re growing outdoors, ensure you position plants to receive maximum sunlight at the appropriate times of the day. That means situating them in a place that receives plenty of light during the day but offers a bit of shade in the late afternoon.
Temperature and Humidity are Vital Components
Keeping humidity within a safe range is always essential, and the quest to optimise bud size is no different. Set a humidity ceiling of 60% during the flowering stage and gradually lower it to around 45% over the two weeks before harvest. Your plants will reward you by producing thicker buds as they work to protect their flowers. Lowering the humidity will also reduce the likelihood of mould forming.
Temperature-wise, it can be hard to nail a sweet spot for your plants if you grow outdoors in warmer climates. It’s helpful to remember that if the temperature gets too high, it can hinder flowering, and buds will suffer as a result. Aim to keep the temperature between 20C and 30C, with 30C being the maximum. Outdoor growers in hotter parts may find this a challenge, but consider lightly misting plants with water to keep them cool.
Well-Fed Plants Grow Up Big and Strong
You can’t gain weight if you’re not eating. Like anything living, extra feeding during growth spurts translates to more significant growth spurts for cannabis plants. For this reason, knowing what and when to feed your plants will produce the best results.
Every strain is a little bit different in terms of nutritional needs. It helps to do a little background research on your chosen strain to glean any information on how best to deliver nutrients. Go as far as contacting the manufacturer if needs be – in many cases, they’ll be able to tell you what each strain responds best to.
Cannabis plants typically respond well to a little extra nitrogen through the vegetative stage, then up the potassium and phosphorous at flowering time to achieve denser bud growth. Too much nitrogen during flowering can be counter-productive to your goal, so make sure you ease off.
Molasses are a great secret weapon you can use to your advantage in the quest to grow cannabis with dense buds, too. Packed with nutrients that nourish beneficial bacteria, a regular application of molasses in your soil towards the end of flowering can enhance the environment for your plants’ roots. This tip is for soil and coco growing only.
Amino Acids are another secret supplement to include in your trick bag. These promote nutrient uptake and can positively benefit your plant’s cellular structure.
It’s also prudent to keep an eye on your Ph levels, as this can affect your plants’ ability to absorb nutrients. Without good nutrient uptake, your buds won’t develop as you want them to.
Take A Training Course
There are numerous plant training techniques with different benefits. For maximising bud growth, employ techniques that allow your buds a little more exposure to light and air, such as defoliation. Buds that receive more air and light grow that bit bigger, so make sure you don’t have hidden buds lurking in the foliage, starved of what they need to bloom big.
For Denser Buds, Don’t Harvest Too Soon
The best things come to those who wait, and huge, dense buds of cannabis are no different. To let those beauties reach their maximum potential, you will have to play the waiting game a little longer than usual. By waiting until the very late stages of flowering, you’ll see your buds swell up to become the juicy, irresistible, resin-soaked treasures you dreamed of at the outset.
Delaying harvest is easy for indoor growers, as you only need the willpower to keep your hands off the goods a little longer. Outdoor cultivators face a different set of challenges. Pests, pathogens and inclement weather are among the factors that may interfere with bumper bud production late in the season, so plan ahead. If growing outdoors in a cooler climate, have adequate frost protection on hand. As for pests, consider recruiting beneficial predators to protect your crops and add healthy bacteria and microbes to your soil to guard against pathogens and assist in growing dense buds.
3 Strains For Dense Buds
Here are Seedsman’s recommendations for strains that produce bigger buds:
Alaskan Purple Feminised
If you’re looking for a strain that produces big buds, Seedsman’s own Alaskan Purple Feminised is a great place to start. This is a highly vigorous strain that will get you where you want to be in terms of enormous nugs of quality cannabis.
It’s a super-adaptable strain and responds well to various plant training techniques. Grown indoors, Alaskan Purple Fem will pump out 550 gm/m2, and outdoor cultivators should brace themselves for a staggering 1700 gm/plant!
This visually stunning strain has an enviable lineage, coming from Alaskan Purple, Kush, and a Brazilian Sativa, although the end product is indica-dominant. Growing in 9 weeks, Alaskan Purple Fem rewards with a sweet, fruity taste of berries. The effect is a long-lasting, relaxing body buzz with a good cerebral edge.
Peyote WiFi is a strain that excels in big bud production – and those buds are covered in resin! It’s another mostly-indica variety and packs a remarkable THC content that nudges towards 26%.
This is another high-yielding specialist, too. Indoor growers can expect up to 650 gm/m2 of quality buds, outdoors growers should brace themselves for as much as 1500gm/plant. The 11-week flowering time is well worth the wait.
Peyote WiFi’s taste profile is exceptional. Sour lemon and lime with earthy, Diesel notes make for a flavour to remember. This highly potent strain delivers an outstanding level of relaxation due to its high THC content and generous resin coverage.
Blue Dream is a first-ballot future hall of fame cannabis strain. Its production, flavour, and effects are elite, and once again it’s a Seedsman recommendation due to its big bud potential.
Blue Dream is a mostly-sativa variety, coming from Blueberry Ice and Haze lineage. The huge buds are simply packed with quality, and it boasts an impressive 20%THC. Yields are 500 gm/m2 when grown indoors, and 850gm/plant outdoors – so no concerns over Blue Dream’s ability to deliver the goods.
An easy strain to grow, Blue Dream is a favourite of beginners and experienced cultivators alike. In just 10 weeks, you’ll reap the rewards this superb strain has to offer. With a taste of sweet berries, lemon Haze, and fortified wine, the flavour is unique and infinitely palatable. Blue Dream has a remarkable long-lasting uplifting effect thanks to its sativa properties and is often touted for its numerous therapeutic benefits.