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. If the leaves and trichomes are also colorful, that will improve the effect even further. In this case, the buds are purple, but the pistils are orange. To maximize the final color, you want to choose a strain with brightly colored buds and pistils. For example, this bud has purple calyxes, mostly purple pistils and even some purple leaves. This combination makes the entire bud appear bright purple. Choose Deep Purple Buds for Maximum Color After Drying/Curing – Deeply colored buds (sometimes called “black” strains) tend to be the most vibrant after drying/curing. To produce the most colorful buds, you need to make sure the color goes all the way through the buds, and ideally, also through all the surrounding leaves. This level of color-penetration is most likely to happen with intensely dark colored buds. Buds that are paler in color tend to lose a lot of their vibrancy in the post-harvest processing. These buds were mostly pink at harvest, but the color doesn’t go all the way through the buds. There was still a lot of green on the parts of the buds that didn’t get direct light. After they’re trimmed and dried, the pink color has become more subtle. You will “keep” the most color after drying/curing by choosing strains that are dark purple through and through, from buds to pistils to leaves if at all possible. Deeply colored buds keep more of their color after drying and curing than pale purple or pink buds. These buds were deep purple at harvest… When buds are darkly colored, they tend to keep more color after being dried and trimmed. Note: Your buds will naturally lose some of their overall vibrancy and color during the drying/curing process (but not any of their potency!). That’s why you will likely never run into neon purple buds that have already been dried and cured for 2+ weeks. Even green buds go from being bright green to a more muted green color by the time they’ve cured for a few weeks. When you see very brightly colored buds, it almost always means the buds are still relatively fresh. Although color is determined primarily by genetics, there are a few things you can do to help your plant express its natural colors… Temperature – Some Strains Express Colors When the Night Temperature is a Few Degrees Cooler than the Day. If you’re growing a strain that turns color, some strains will only show their colors when night temperatures are at least a few degrees cooler than during the day in the flowering stage, especially towards the end.
However, some plants don’t react to cool night temperatures, and many strains (like Panama) nearly always turn color no matter what the temperature. Certain strains like Querkle turn color more easily when the temperature is warm during the day as opposed to cool at night. So, it’s always a good idea to aim for nice warm days, and cool, comfortable nights, because that contrast seems to help bring out colors for many strains. Warm Days (75-80°F / 24-27°C) Cool Comfortable Nights (65-70°F / 18-21°C) Note: Some strains turn color no matter what the temperature. You can sometimes contact the breeder and ask if they have advice on how to bring out colors for a particular strain. I’ve found that most breeders will get back to you quickly if you go to their website and ask questions! Some strains need contrast between day/night temperatures for their buds to turn colors. For example, the buds of this Auto Frisian Dew turned bright purple after it started getting below 70°F (21°C) temperatures at night.
In some cases, a plant may produce purple tones in response to intense, direct light (on buds and leaves). Although we’re not sure exactly why it’s possible this may act as a sort of sunscreen for the plant!