You may have seen marijuana buds that are pink, purple, red, orange, or possibly even blue! If you want to grow buds that are pink, red, or purple, you must choose the right genetics! The tendency to turn colors is almost 100% determined by strain/genetics, so you can’t force any plant to produce colorful buds. However, you can purchase seeds of strains that naturally turn vibrant colors, and there are tricks to maximize their genetics and bring out the colors of your buds.
You cannot produce buds this purple without a strain that has been bred to makes purple buds. There are tricks to maximize the natural color of your genetics, but you have to start with good genes! 4 Different “Parts” of Cannabis Can Become Colorful. When people are talking about “colorful” buds, most people imagine brightly colored buds in their hands. But there are actually different parts of cannabis plants that can display non-green colors, and sometimes people will lump all them all together. Each one is a little different from each other, and some have a significant effect on the final looks of your bud, while others don’t make much difference. Many different parts of a cannabis plant can turn purple, including the whole plant! The parts of the plant that can become colorful are… Pistils (Hairs) – some of the color remains after drying/curing Calyxes (Buds Themselves) – very strong effect on final color Leaves – relatively small effect on final bud color since many are removed by trimming Trichomes – small effect on final color.
Buds are made up of different parts and are usually more than one color. Most growers want the buds themselves to appear colorful, so the color stays even after the buds are dried and cured. There are two parts of the buds that can turn color. There are several strains where the pistils turn pink or purple. Sometimes just the pistils/hairs turn pink or purple, while the leaves and buds may still be green. When buds are dried, they retain some of their pistil color, but you will still be able to see the color coming through underneath. Colorful Calyxes (Buds Themselves) Calyxes are what make the buds themselves. Cannabis “buds” are actually made of hundreds of calyxes stacked on top of each other, and some or all of them may become colors other than green. This fantastic picture shows how the overall appearance of buds changes with the ratio of colorful vs. Nearly all Smooth Smoke buds (by Tropical Seeds) produce at least a few pink calyxes here and there, and some plants in the right conditions can produce buds where almost every calyx is a deep purple. Even a few purple calyxes can give the buds an overall purple tint, and when you break open the buds there will be some pieces that are completely purple. After being ground up, you can see the purple pieces distributed throughout. The higher the percentage of purple calyxes, the more vibrant your final bud color will be. Colorful Leaves – Sometimes It’s Not the Buds That Turn Color! With some strains, the leaves may turn purple while the buds stay mostly green. This can make for absolutely gorgeous plants, but since leaves mostly get trimmed off after harvest, usually, a lot of the purple will no longer be visible on the buds after the trimming process. For some strains, the leaves may turn purple while the buds stay green. This often happens after the plant gets exposed to chilly night temperatures (but not always). The leaves exposed to direct light are most likely to turn purple, while leaves in the shade often stay green. Although the leaves have turned purple, the buds themselves are mostly green. Only the tops of buds exposed to direct light have any purple left after trimming off all the leaves. Trimming removed almost all of the purple coloring. In general, cannabis trichomes go from clear (not ready) to white (highest THC) to amber/yellow (more of a mellow effect) before they eventually wither and die. These color changes are often used to determine the best time to harvest cannabis.
However, sometimes, trichomes can turn purple or pink, making it difficult to know when to harvest. In that case, you want to also look at the pistils to determine the best harvest time! Purple or pink trichomes can make it tough to know when to harvest, but they’re exotic and beautiful! The color of trichomes may leave a slight tint on the buds after they’ve been dried and cured, but the bud color underneath will be the dominant color. Before you do anything else, you need to begin with the right genetics. If the genes of your plant don’t make colorful buds, there’s nothing you can do! So, you must start with a colorful strain to get the best results with maximizing color. Choose Colorful Strain ( Most important!) Choose Strain that Produces Very Dark Colors (if you want buds to maintain color after being harvested and dried) Temperature – Warm days & cool nights Bright Light – Strong light levels can help bring out color PH at the Roots – Some strains may express colors at higher or lower pH ranges. Choose Strains with Brightly Colored Buds and Pistils If Possible – This maximizes the overall colorful appearance of your buds.
For the most significant final effect on your dried and cured buds, you want to choose a strain where as many parts of the plant as possible are colorful. So ideally, you want buds where the pistils and calyxes (which make up most of the final color) are both vividly colored.