Here’s a leafy, healthy plant which is being grown under bright grow lights – notice how many bud sites are hidden in the middle of the plant. Here’s the plant immediately after tucking and removing leaves – notice that the buds are now much more exposed to air. Less than 2 weeks later (and after another defoliation session) The biggest colas are the ones that get exposed to the most light and air. This may happen because cannabis plants are wind-pollinated in nature. Buds that aren’t exposed to air can never be pollinated in the wild, so the plants may “give up” on them.
Yet when buds are exposed to light and air, the plant “knows” they can possibly be pollinated by the wind and so the plant puts energy toward fattening them up. Hidden buds don’t fatten up, so give your buds room and expose them to a gentle breeze! For the most dense buds, make sure each cola has a few inches of space to itself while developing. One easy way to accomplish this growth pattern is to use the manifolding technique while the plant is still young. This spreads the plant out while producing many well-spaced colas. 6.) Lower humidity below 45% RH during last 2-3 weeks before harvest. Keep humidity under 45% in the flowering stage (especially in the last 2-3 weeks before harvest) to trigger your plant’s natural response to go into bud production overdrive.
Very low relative humidity in late flower may enhance density levels, promote resin production, produce more of a smell/taste, and possibly even increase potency. Lower humidity will also prevent bud rot from forming in the middle of dense buds. Indoor growers have a lot of options for controlling humidity in the grow space. Outdoors, it’s best to find a strain that is suitable to growing in your climate, and give plants cover when you know there’s going to be bad weather coming soon. Protect buds from getting too wet in rainy weather, and if at all possible try to plant them in a place where they will get some amount of wind. Lower humidity during the last few weeks before harvest can boost resin production and bud density. Before thinking about supplements, it’s most important to making sure you’re first providing the right base nutrients. Without proper base nutrients, your plant simply won’t grow or produce buds no matter what supplements you provide. But once you know you’re giving your plants the essentials, what do you add next? Some cannabis supplements claim to increase yields and bud density, and generally these supplements contain a source of sugar. They also often contain ingredients such as amino acids, humic acids, vitamins, trace minerals and other additives which may be helpful to bud formation. There is another common “formula” for bloom boosters that adds a lot of extra Phosphorus and Potassium. Give 1/2 tsp per gallon of Blackstrap Molasses when watering (for soil or coco coir) for the last 2-3 weeks before harvest to possibly increase density as well as improve taste/smell of buds. As a cheap alternative to expensive bloom boosting supplements, some growers water plants with a small amount of blackstrap molasses for the last few weeks or so before to help buds get bigger/more dense (it’s just the regular stuff you find in your kitchen or at the grocery store). It adds sugar as well as amino acids and various trace minerals. As a bonus, molasses can also improve the taste/smell of your buds. However, anything organic like molasses is not suitable for a hydroponic reservoir! Only for soil and coco growers 🙂 The jury is still out and which is the most effective supplement, but many growers are happy with bloom promoting supplements that include sources of… carbohydrates/sugar amino acids humic acids vitamins trace minerals. I personally don’t use this type of supplement so I can’t recommend a particular one, but some of the most popular cannabis supplements based on this type of formula include… Note: These are only for soil or coco coir! (since these supplements contain a lot of organic materials like guano and fishmeal, they are not suitable to hydroponic reservoirs) The supplements listed above use ingredients that add only tiny amounts of base nutrients (NPK). They use other ingredients to help the plant use its resources better, or in the case of sugar, to directly plump up buds. But that’s not the ony kind of density-boosting supplement. Phosphorus (P) increases number of flowers Potassium (K) increases weight/density of flowers. Many popular density/yield increasing supplements contain extra Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) , sometimes with a small amount of Sulfur (S), and possibly other ingredients like amino acids, trace minerals and/or sugar. However, it’s very important to use these types of supplements sparingly as your regular base Bloom nutrients will already contain quite a bit of P and K. Although you want to make sure your plant can get as much P and K as it can use while making buds, you don’t want to give too much or you’re just going to burn your plants and/or cause a nutrient deficiency (too much of one nutrient can cause deficiencies in others).
Suitable for Hydro, Soil or Coco – Supplements to Increase Yields/Density with extra P & K. When you harvest at the right time, you’re giving your buds the time they need to develop to their fullest. Harvesting too early will lower your yields and you’ll usually end up with more airy and less developed buds. Even worse, harvesting too early causes reduced potency and some people may get headaches from early-harvested buds. Don’t harvest while pistils are still white and sticking out.
These buds were harvested at the right time, giving them the chance to thicken and tighten up as much as possible. Proper drying and curing after harvest can help buds become slightly more dense, while also adding to better taste, smell, potency and bag appeal.