The pH at the Roots may affect cannabis bud color expression. Outside the cannabis world, there are a few species of plants with flowers that are known to turn different colors based on the pH at the roots. For example, the flowers of specific types of hydrangeas can turn blue in very acidic soil but may turn pink if exposed to neutral or only slightly acidic soil (though this type of variation is rare in the plant world). Yet there have been occasional reports of cannabis strains that produce different bud colors based on the pH at the roots, though unfortunately, more testing is needed! If growing multiple plants of the same strain, you might consider giving plants different pH ranges to see what effect it has on the final bud color!
Here are some pictures of cannabis strains that sometimes grow colorful purple and pink buds. The next two pics are of the strain Frisian Dew, a popular strain by Dutch Passion, who specifically designed the strain for growing outdoors. It is exceptionally hardy, high yielding, and is also mold and pest resistant. About 50% of the time, Frisian Dew buds will turn bright purple instead of green! The plant in the middle with the dark purple buds is Frisian Dew. Purple Trainwreck buds are usually purple-tinted, with purple leaves or pistils. This Purple Trainwreck plant is growing purple pistils. For this Purple Trainwreck cola, it’s mostly just the leaves turning purple.
This Purple Trainwreck bud turned particularly purple. The following plants with pink pistils are from the strain Panama by Ace Seeds. This is what Panama buds may look like when they’re first growing in. As the Panama buds develop, the pistils and even the buds themselves may intensify their pink color. Smooth Smoke buds (by Tropical Seeds) can become quite colorful, with colors from hints of pink to deep purple! Auto Frisian Dew by Dutch Passion (this is an auto-flowering version of the original famous marijuana strain) – Unlike the regular Frisian Dew which gets about 50% purple bud plants, the breeder claims only 10% of the plants from this strain produce purple buds. Still, some growers are getting far better odds than that. When purple does appear, the color is incredibly vibrant and spills out onto the nearby leaves! This Auto Frisian Dew plant got a little stunted at first, but still ended up producing beautiful purple buds! Dark Devil Auto is another fabulous auto-flowering strain by Sweet Seeds that turns a gorgeous purple or even a deep red. This Dark Devil Auto bud turned completely purple from top to bottom. Colorful “Duck” Strains (Stealth Leaves) “Duck” strains are characterized by their oddly shaped leaves. The idea is that the plants look less like cannabis with 3-finger leaves. The bright colored buds also help make them look less like cannabis. One of the most popular variations of the Ducksfoot (Ducksfeet?) strains is called Frisian Duck by Dutch Passion. This strain thrives outdoors and grows with the traditional stealthy leaves. This strain also often makes bright, beautiful purple buds (with cold enough temperatures) that have a fresh scent that is sometimes even a little fruity. Frisian Duck plants react well to growing in a living soil that’s been composted and amended with slow-release organic ingredients. This is a Frisian Duck plant in the vegetative stage. This Frisian Duck plant was grown outdoors in a greenhouse. More than half of Frisian Duck plants grow bright purple buds! Frisian Duck is based on the famous Frisian Dew strain which also produces purple buds and has been bred for generations specifically for growing outdoors. The Frisian genes thrive under sunlight, and buds are resistant to bugs and mold! This Frisian Duck plant is just about ready to harvest!
However, even with stealthy strains, be aware that they still smell like cannabis in the budding stage! Sometimes you’ll see purple leaves because of a nutrient deficiency, but oftentimes purple leaves are actually caused by natural plant processes! There are many species of plants that make purple leaves. The leaves appear purple due to high levels of a purple pigment called anthocyanin . Anthocyanin may act as a sunscreen for plant leaves because it protects against damage caused by UV-B rays.
Anthocyanin is also known to help protect against cold or heat stress on the cellular level. It’s not just cannabis plants that grow purple leaves. Here’s an example of a False Shamrock plant, which has glorious purple leaves from top to bottom! With some cannabis strains, the leaves may turn purple while the buds stay green. Just like with buds, the leaves are more likely to turn color when the plants are getting cool night temperatures in the late flowering stage.