Why am I unable to produce wonderful dense buds?
Bud density is wonderful, but it’s not everything. This article will explain why your buds are consistently coming out light and fluffy, if you’re not sure why. Discover the precise methods for cultivating the densest, hardest-to-break buds.
An illustration of thick buds feels and looks sturdy.
This density article shows you how to prevent airy “popcorn” buds!
Why do growers want dense buds?
Dense buds have many advantages:
- Potency: Dense buds tend to have higher levels of T H C than looser buds from the same plant. This isn’t always the case, but the same principles that make buds dense (being located at the top of the plant, bright light, a good growing environment, vigorous plants, etc.) also tend to raise T H C levels. As a result, on average, the densest buds on a particular plant tend to be some of the most potent buds on that plant.
- Weight: If all your buds are dense, that will greatly increase the overall yield weight at harvest. This means each harvest will give you more weed, so it either lasts longer or leads to higher profits or savings. Another advantage is that you can fit much more weed in less space when the buds are dense.
- It looks great – Beautiful aesthetics aren’t necessary, but it does put a smile on your face to see that your homegrown weed looks amazing. In general, dense buds are seen as the most visually appealing, though it is likely that this is the result of the fact that dense buds are often some of the best ones to smoke.
- Smoking experience: dense buds tend to make a smoother and longer-lasting smoke compared to loose or airy buds. Note: If buds get too dense, they can be difficult to work with or grind up. It’s definitely not the case that more density is always better.
Would you like to start growing denser buds? If so, you’ve come to the right place. There are some extremely common reasons your buds aren’t growing as compact or dense as they could be, and we’re going to reveal exactly how to fix that today!
1.) The Basis of Density is Genetics
The genetics of a plant are unbreakable. Even under ideal growing conditions, some strains will only produce loose or airy buds. It’s not your fault if buds come out fluffy if the genetics just don’t make high bud density; there isn’t much you can do about it. Having said that, the buds from a few of my all-time favourite strains tend to be less dense. Buds with low density are not always undesirable. It is typical of haze-leaning and sativa strains, as well as some hybrids.
You don’t notice the difference after you start smoking the buds!
Selecting a strain with a reputation for growing dense buds can greatly enhance the likelihood of yielding dense buds. Although most strains these days are hybrids, indica-leaning strains frequently produce the densest buds.
2.) Feed me! (Healthy Nutrition for Hard-rock Buds)
The precise nutrients given don’t really matter as long as the plants are growing green and healthy during the vegetative stage, which is when plants are often tolerant. However, as soon as you reach the blooming stage and buds start to form, nutrients start to directly impact the quality, density, and yield of your buds.
Keep Your Plants’ Nutrient Supply Up While Buds Are Forming
During the blossoming stage, don’t rely on ordinary potting soil for nutrients. When plants are grown in the same soil from seed to harvest, the nutrients are frequently depleted by the time buds begin to form. A plant has to be properly nourished in order to develop the largest, densest buds.
As buds are growing, don’t rely on ordinary potting soil to supply nutrients. Plants that are in the blossoming stage require a lot of P&K.
If you are currently adding nutrients to the water, it is unlikely that this will have an impact on you.
Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to supplement your plant with blooming stage nutrients (rich in P and K) if you’re not using fertilisers. The only times this doesn’t apply are when you frequently transplant into new soil or use amended, composted soil, which releases organic nutrients gradually over the course of a plant’s life. Ensuring that the plant receives the necessary nutrients is more important than the particular brand.
To ensure that your plants receive enough nutrients during the blossoming stage, buy high-quality nutrients.
Avert Excessive Nitrogen During the Blooming Stage
Conversely, it is possible to overfeed plants with nutrients. High nutrition levels all around result in nutrient burn, which is purely aesthetic and has little bearing on bud density. On the other hand, overfeeding plants with nitrogen (N) during the flowering stage may prevent the formation of buds.
Leaves that are too nitrogenous (N) turn dark green. Occasionally, they seem nearly glossy.
Nitrogen toxicity sometimes causes the tips of leaves to claw down
Fortunately, determining whether your plant has too much nitrogen is simple. The primary signs of nitrogen poisoning are dark green leaves, with perhaps clawed tips as well.
An overabundance of nitrogen during the flowering stage can inhibit the growth of buds.
Fixing nitrogen toxicity is really simple. Simply cut back on the nitrogen your plants are receiving. Pull back on the nitrogen, but don’t completely cease giving it.
You must locate alternative nutrients if you’re employing all-purpose or vegetative fertilisers, which are high in nitrogen. Low amounts of nitrogen are found in “Bloom” nutrients, which are suitable nutrients for the flowering stage. You don’t need to worry if you’re utilising various bottles of nutrients that you blend in accordance with a nutrient plan (such as Advanced Nutrients or Plagron). During the flowering stage, the programme will automatically reduce the amount of nitrogen.
When a plant receives too much nitrogen, its buds don’t develop as well as they could.
What happens if you use low-nitrogen Bloom nutrients yet your plants still appear dark?
In this instance, lower the overall nutrition amounts. Don’t alter the proportion. I don’t enjoy working with fractions, but you may use them to calculate how much nutrition to add (trying to reduce the nutrients by a third, for example). I make mistakes far too easily! Rather than adjusting the ratios, I dilute the overall amounts by adding more water after mixing the nutrients.
Nitrogen toxicity should be treated with enough water to allow for some discharge. Runoff water aids in clearing the growing medium of any nutrient accumulation.
Take Nutrient Deficiencies Seriously
You now understand that herbal plants that are in flower require high levels of phosphorus and potassium (P&K) but low levels of nitrogen (N).
The emergence of nutritional shortages is the next most frequent nutrient problem during the flowering stage. The plant may require greater overall nutrient levels if you’re not adding nutrients to the water. In this case, supplementing with an appropriate Bloom nutrient will take care of the issue.
Nutrient issues like this potassium shortage should not be disregarded! For optimal bud growth during the flowering stage, maintain the healthiest possible plant leaves.
While P&K is crucial for bud development, your plants also require other nutrients to finish typical plant activities. You are decreasing the general development rates and maybe decreasing the size and density of the buds if you disregard a sick plant.
How Do Supplements Fit In?
Consider plant supplements. To what extent do they influence bud density?
The fact is that foundation nutrients are all you need to attain amazing bud density and quality. They have all the nutrients your plant needs to grow healthily, so you don’t need to add any to get fantastic buds. Beginner growers may be perplexed since it appears that supplements are necessary to get yields and buds worthy of boasts. However, supplement makers frequently want you to think so since it increases bottle sales. We want to reassure you that supplements are not necessary, not because they don’t have benefits. Occasionally, they may compound the problem by reacting with your nutrients or one another. Give nutrients sparingly at first to observe what effect they have. Many supplements can be helpful in tiny dosages, but at bigger doses, they may damage your plants.
It’s difficult to determine which supplements are most effective in increasing the density of buds, despite claims to the contrary. Sadly, there aren’t many side-by-side studies that demonstrate how different each supplement is. These are a few well-liked options.
Advice for supplementation during flowering: • Add one new supplement at a time. If you add multiple new things at once, you’ll probably get unexpected results.
- You can identify which supplement is causing the results you see by adding only one supplement at a time.
- Make sure your foundation nutrition and supplements are produced by the same company. Remaining loyal to a single business lowers the likelihood of unwelcome interactions. Every firm formulates their supplements and nutrients to work in tandem.
- Use supplements wisely. Usually, a little goes a big way! Certain supplements taken in excess might burn leaves, damage plants, or prevent buds from growing. Never exceed the lowest dose that is advised, and only raise it if the plants appear to be responding well.
Although everyone wants magic in a bottle, the climate and general plant care are far more crucial in producing outstanding yields and bud quality than any one supplement. No matter what you do for your plants, a poor growing environment is unsurmountable (more on that later).
3.) Dense Buds Are Made by Intense Light
Selecting the right grow light is essential to increasing density since dense buds require intense light growth. Regrettably, no matter what you do as a grower, some grow lights struggle to produce dense buds.
Grow lights that excel in generating a high density of buds:
- LED grow lights: Mars Hydro, Lumatek, and Spider Farmer
- HPS grow lights: These are good lights, but because of their tremendous heat, gardeners with chilly grow rooms are the greatest candidates for using them.
- LEC/CMH grow lights: They are comparable to HPS overall.
T5 fluorescent lights, for example, can provide dense buds if you maintain the lights close together. However, because the light doesn’t go very far into the plant, lower buds on plants produced under fluorescent lights are usually fluffier. Fluorescent lights are not the ideal option if density is your first priority.
Fluorescent lighting, such as T5s, typically produces fluffy buds. Not the greatest option for the densest buds.
Certain LEDs, particularly the off-brand ones, don’t harden off in the buds and have poor penetration into the plant.
Buds with poor grade LEDs are frequently airy. These buds were raised in cheap LED lighting. The plants appeared cheerful and healthy, yet they remained little and larfy. Generally speaking, LEDs that appear “blurple” in colour are not good for growing herbs.
In general, powerful contemporary LEDs or HID (“big bulb”) lights like HPS will provide you the best results in the flowering stage if density is your most important consideration. But in recent years, LED technology has advanced significantly, and a wide range of contemporary LED models routinely generate long, thick buds.
Although high-quality LEDs are often more expensive, the benefits may outweigh the expense.
Certain LEDs produce high density buds.
When plants are healthy and maintained cool, HPS grow lights regularly yield thick buds. On the other hand, the high heat produced by HPS grow lights results in puffy buds. Thus, a cool grow chamber is the ideal setting for HPS grow lights. In terms of heat resistance, LEDs outperform HPS in this regard.
4.) Vegetative Stage: Ready Plants for Dense Bud Formation
You have complete control over the eventual size and shape of a plant when it is in the vegetative stage. This is something you can benefit from. Plants should be properly setup now to encourage the development of thick buds later on.
Grow Multiple Primary Buds
Plants typically only produce one primary bud at a time.
However, growers can use simple techniques in the vegetative stage. often called “plant training” or “plant pruning” that will force the plant to grow many buds in the flowering stage.
Plant training increases yields by forcing plants to grow multiple main buds instead of just one.
Avoid Too Many Bud sites
But if you cultivate a plant with an excessive number of buds, it might not be able to fill them all up before harvest. This is more likely to occur with younger, smaller plants and with grow lights that are not as powerful. Try to get your very little plant to concentrate on a small number of major buds rather than dozens. Plants under two feet tall should often have four to ten main buds. Larger or wider plants may hold more weight.
Avoid overstretching the plant’s energy, as this could result in an abundance of tiny “popcorn” buds.
More large, dense buds can be supported by larger plants, older plants, and manifolded plants. particularly when paired with a strong grow lamp.
Avoid Transitioning to the Blooming Stage Too Soon
This relates to the previous point in a way. Larger plants are capable of supporting larger buds, and going to 12/12 too soon runs the risk of your plant not growing to a size large enough to produce dense, thick colas and buds.
When your plant is around half the size you want it to be, try moving it into the flowering stage. Upon reaching 12/12, plants tend to double in size, so you should be able to grow the largest plants feasible in your grow space.
When plants are half the final ideal height, switch to 12/12. This guarantees that they are large enough to hold thick buds.
5.) Flower Power: Establish the Ideal Bud-Building Conditions
When it comes to bud quality, density, and yields, the flowering stage is the most crucial phase of your plant’s existence. Bud formation is a direct result of the growing environment. Airy buds are frequently caused by inadequate care or the environment in which the buds form. The following variables may influence whether you achieve the optimal bud density during the flowering stage.
Avoid Very Leafy Plants While Buds are Forming
Issue: Because leaves cover so much of a plant, air and light cannot pass through them. Buds don’t receive direct light because leaves cover them.
As a result, the buds don’t enlarge as much as they may.
These plants have too many leaves for when they bloom. Buds won’t become as dense as they could be and won’t fatten very far into the plant.
When the plant is in the flowering stage, it should be able to let light and air pass through it. Each and every bud needs bright, direct light. You won’t need to do anything to do this with certain plants. However, in order to get the ideal level of leafiness with some plants, you might need to remove some of the leaves.
If the plants get very leafy during the flowering stage, you might have to trim them.
Don’t disregard illness or bugs
Although nutrient deficiencies have already been discussed, it is imperative that you respond promptly to any other difficulties that may arise. Never wait until an issue gets out of hand to address it.
When a sick plant is first having issues, it is usually easy to treat; but, the longer it persists, the worse it grows. Keep an eye on the health of your plant because an unhealthy plant will not grow buds as well as a healthy one.
Avoid extreme temperatures (especially heat)
Many growers overlook problems with the environment of the plant during the blossoming stage. Growers frequently are unaware of the extent to which this might reduce yields, potency, and bud density. Environmental issues, such as heat, are easy to overlook because your plants and buds will usually continue to grow.
The heat should be fine if the plants are healthy, right? Regretfully, no.
Buds typically grow more light and airy during the flowering stage if the air temperature is excessively warm (over 26°C). Heat can sometimes cause buds to produce ugly foxtails.
Too much heat causes buds to become less thick. Take a look at this bud’s loose structure—it was produced under intense heat.
Too-cold air can also cause buds to grow small, airy, and loose.
Another thing about temperature: herbal plants in the flowering stage like it to be a little warm in the day, but cool at night. Warm nights are also associated with airy buds. Try to keep the temperature consistently between 18-27°C for the best bud development in the flowering stage.
Another note regarding temperature: during the flowering period, herbal plants like a somewhat warm daytime temperature and a chilly night time temperature. Airy buds are also linked to warm nights. The ideal temperature range for bud development during the flowering stage is between 18 and 27°C.
Excessive humidity causes buds to loosen
During the blossoming period, humidity is another aspect that is sometimes overlooked. Because every leaf on a plant contributes moisture to the atmosphere, as plants grow larger, the humidity in the grow room tends to increase. Ironically, these plants thrive in high humidity when they’re young or small, but once buds begin to grow during the flowering period, this humidity becomes problematic.
Controlling humidity is important because it can prevent powdery white mildew and bud rot. There’s more, though. High humidity prevents buds from becoming as sparkling as they could, and damp air generally causes buds to develop more loosely and airily.
For optimal results, keep humidity levels below 50% RH when buds are developing.
When buds are growing, keep the humidity below 50% RH to prevent them from becoming as dense as they could.
Provide a tonne of clean, moving air
When buds receive lots of light and fresh air, they appear to fatten the fastest. Although you’ve already taken care of the lighting, you still need to make sure your plants have plenty of airflow. In addition to moving air through the plant and around the buds, air circulation helps regulate humidity and avoids wet areas.
Avoid major stress or deficiencies
Your plant should receive more attention during harvest if it doesn’t “look good” or appears sickly during the flowering period. Before attempting anything further, you should concentrate on mending plants that are generally unwell. Heat stress is affecting these plants.
Buds tend to stay small and fluffy on an unhealthy plant.
6.) Take Your Time: Correct Harvesting and Curing
Avoid harvesting too soon.
In the final few weeks leading up to harvest, buds increase significantly in size, weight, and density. This implies that the buds on your plants will be much smaller and less thick than they may be if you harvest them a few weeks early. Additionally, early-harvested buds have less potency and can cause headaches for certain users. Timely harvesting of your plants is beneficial for many reasons.
Wait until the plants are ready to harvest. Dense and ready to be harvested, these buds!
Always let your buds dry and “cure.”
Buds that have been dried and cured smoke better, smell better, and have more potency. Never omit this step!
Furthermore, drying and curing assist tighten buds for a “California dispensary” appearance.
If you avoid these mistakes, you will produce buds as dense as you’ve always dreamed!