In rare cases, trichomes can turn pink or purple, which makes it hard to determine when to harvest. The most important aspect of colorful cannabis is the strain’s genetics. No matter what you do, if a strain isn’t genetically capable of displaying stunning hues, your efforts will be in vain.
The genetic ‘building blocks’ are called anthocyanins ; a flavonoid family which produces red, purple, or blue pigments. You also find them in plants such as red cabbage, violets, blueberries, and eggplants. For the record, anthocyanins are a group of over 400 molecules! As we’ll explain a little later, the pH these molecules are exposed to can make a big difference to the colors produced. Luckily, anthocyanins don’t alter the taste or smell of the weed, only the color. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color you see in plants. A mature plant begins producing less of this pigment, and at this stage, anthocyanins begin to come through in a variety of colors. As you can guess, some marijuana strains naturally contain greater amounts of anthocyanins than others. This is why certain strains express the same colors time and again.
For example, Granddaddy Purple always appears to provide light lavenders and darker purples. Other strains of this ilk include Purple Urkle , Purple Kush , and Mendocino Purps. If you want colorful buds, choose a marijuana strain with colored pistils and buds if you can. In an ideal world, the leaves and trichomes will also be colorful. If you want maximum color after the drying and curing process, deep purple buds are capable of maintaining their colorful appearance once they have been dried and trimmed. Five Important Factors You Can Control to Bring Out the Best Colors. Strains equipped with the right genetics produce stunning colors under specific conditions. Marijuana produces anthocyanin and flavonoids for protection. According to a study by Mansouri and Bagheri, published in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology in 2014, flavonoid accumulation is involved in various aspects of a plant’s growth including protection against UV radiation, pigment production, and pathogen resistance. Certain cannabis strains only show their true colors when you set the night time temperature a few degrees cooler than the daytime temperature; especially as harvest time approaches. Not every strain reacts well to colder night temperatures, while strains like Panama will become colorful regardless of the temperature. Then there are strains like Querkle that prefer it to be warm during the day. To cover all bases, look to grow your weed in a temperature range of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-70 degrees at night. In general, marijuana with red, blue, and purple hues react well to slight drops in temperature. Be careful not to reduce it too much because your plants could go into shock. The photoperiod plays a significant role in a plant’s color. By reducing the number of hours that your crop is exposed to light, you could see a change in leaf color. This process becomes more intense during the blooming phase in what is known as senescence, which leads to a halt in chlorophyll production. At this point, all of a plant’s resources are used to ripen the flowers which cause leaves to die. Expert growers believe that pH is one of the most important changes you can make to bring out a marijuana strain’s color. As a rule of thumb, soil should have a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0, while hydroponically grown weed performs well in a pH range of 5.5 – 6.5.
If you want red and pink colors, keep the pH range acidic, which means on the lower end of the ranges above. Yellow and blue colors tend to appear in alkaline, or high pH, conditions. While the importance of light levels varies depending on the strain, weed from the ‘purple’ camp prefers strong direct light on the leaves and buds. It is believed that experimenting with the light spectrum in LEDs can work wonders for increasing the rate of anthocyanin production in your plant’s tissues. It seems as if the molecules act as a ‘sunscreen’ for the plant, so if you increase the light and create stress, the plant will react by upping its anthocyanin production. Experienced growers know how to stress the plant just enough to produce the equivalent of a suntan for their weed! Nitrogen deficiency can result in a chlorophyll decrease, which turns the leaves yellow. A phosphorus deficiency could provide a darker green color with hints of purple or red in the buds.
However, we don’t recommend this tactic because it could severely damage your precious plants if extreme caution is not taken. Sunny and Bright Yellows and Oranges: Ideal Strains. Carotenoids are the compounds responsible for the bright and cheery yellows and oranges (and reds) you see in plants. In actual fact, humans also rely on carotenoids because they play a role in the production of Vitamin A, which we need for better growth and vision.