When to move from veg to flwrng: yes I know it's been discussed

I read a bunch of when to go from veg to flowering stage and it has not, I am sorry to say, been useful to me. The reason is that everyone references N weeks. Friends, comrades, brothers and sisters, my plant doesn’t like your timetables. I just topped last week after about 8 weeks in the vegetative state with about six pairs of leaves, plant looking very healthy except for some gnats that I’ve been dealing with using a commercial, organic bug juice (it has a lot of sulfur, which is fine because my pH is too high and the sulfur will lower it). Yesterday I trimmed the gigantic fan leaves to let the light get in everywhere. It stressed mildly an is bouncing back already.

All that said, what do you look for when you are ready to flip to flowering? I mean, what physical characteristic says “it’s time”? Is it the size of those spikey things in the nodes (It’s a girl!)? Is it number of buds? Size of cola? I just don’t know.

When I get a chance I’ll post a picture of her if that will help in answering the question.

BTW, I use a timer for light and I can set it in fifteen minute increments, so when I lower the light, I’ll do it fifteen minutes a day maybe every other day. Yeah, I know I’m being slow, but I have a ten gallon container for her and about three more feet of height she can use before it gets too close to the light. I think my grow space can handle a five foot high plant.

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@Reefers a good rule of thumb with Photo varieties is 6 weeks before flip to flower…but if height is the deciding factor you may have to flip sooner say at 4 weeks because typical growth during flower is double size


Hey @Reefers , welcome!

Ya, lots of discussion about when, how, why, what, but really, it’s about YOUR plants in YOUR setup and what YOU want them to achieve!

Me, I’m legally allowed 4 plants, so I try and make them get as big as I can! I use clones, so I can flip them whenever I want (usually later so they’z a bigger!). My last batch, got Aug 11 as pissy little stalks with a couple of leaves on them, flipped October 1, and chopped Christmas day. I thot I’d be able to harvest end of November, but they kept getting bigger and the trich’s weren’t changing.

If I were allowed 20 plants, I’d be forcing them after 4 or 5 weeks, much smaller plants but probably same yield in half the time. But I’m not so I can’t and I don’t!

And my clones…Once I flip them, they DON’T double in size. Probably because they are already big and don’t have rootspace to grow into. They might have grown 6 to 8 inches after flipping. Genetics, pot size, etc will all play a part.

Try training your plants when they are young, lots of good stuff in this forum about LST. Watch Kyle’s videos. And practice! You will hone your skills with practice! Try something on half your plants and see the difference…then next crop you can do that to all and try something else on half (if it was a good thing you did the first time, lol! No sense doing it to all your next crop if what you did really fucked then up!).

If you are using Autos, they will bud when they want to. If you planted photos (or clones), YOU get to play God and dictate when they mature!


I appreciate the advice. I’m sure there’s a way to try it on half my plants, but I only have one plant so if it comes out badly, game over. I found a seed in some reefers I bought so that’s what I am growing and I don’t think it’s autoflower or feminized or anything but a plant. Only things I am certain about are the strain (Pineapple Jack) and the plant is healthy and I love how it finally began to really grow when it finally began to grow.

Totally agree with @retiredoldguy and @spudgunner. They’re your plants, you get to decide. The answer really is different for all of us and depends on the size of your grow space vs your plant count.

Training them to have more tops can limit your stretch. The cool thing about photoperiod is that even if you mess up, you can just veg them longer until you’re happy with the size and shape.

If you are trying to maximize canopy area, a good point to flip is when the plants have filled the grow space to where the leaves are nearly touching.

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So at this point, you don’t even know if it’s a male or female…

Me, I’d take a couple of clones of it now. Everyone stresses about cutting clones…you need domes, you need this, you need that…no you don’t!

Get a jar, fill it with water. Cut about 4 or 5 inches off your plant (about 1 or 2 sets of leaves) and put it in the jar. Cut all the leaves about halfway so they look like MMA gloves. Put them on a windowsill. In 5 or 6 days you will see roots growing out the bottom, congrats, your first clone! If you get 4 or 5 out of 8 cuttings (not all will make it, but most probably will), you can then cut your light down to 12/12 and force (hopefully) mamma into flowering…if it IS a female, you now have a bunch of clones you can groom, if it was a male, well, KILL THEM ALL!!!

Or you can buy all those trays and use rooting hormones etc and maybe get 7 out of 8 survive! Me, I’m cheap, and ANY branches I trim for the plant’s sake I will drop in water and make clones. Even after flipping lights I’ve done it (when stoned) and ended up with small bud plants that the trolls try and steal (search for my posts and you will see my troll plants!).

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So here she is and I don’t think she’s anywhere near ready to flip. I intended to pinch the buds a few more times before I got to flowering, but I’m just wondering what to look for in the context of plant development. I may have stated my question poorly so I will rephrase: while I might want to let the plant grow further before I flip to flower, what would be the MINIMUM development of a plant before you flip, not what is optimal or desirable. Do you see buds before you go to flower or does it only develop buds after you flip? That sort of thing.


Is that a garbage can? :grin: What size is it? I’d drill some holes in it - 1/2” diameter, about every 6” about the perimeter, in rows like about every vertical foot. I would have expected quite a bit more growth over 8 weeks. I’d think you’d get it with more air in the root zone. It looks good otherwise.

You could flip it today if you wanted. You really can flower them when they’re very tiny, you just won’t get much bud for your effort.

Optimal to me is based on size and health. I want enough plant to where I’m not wasting a lot of the light from my big 600w. And I want it in the peak health of its life, growing Vigorously heading in to flower.


I’ve seen pics here of plants smaller than yours where folks have flipped them already! Minimum, probably 4 weeks. You should see 2 little white hairs (hopefully) grow at the nodes soon, and not ball sacks of pollen.

Buds develop after you flip and the plant thinks the season is coming to an end, better make babies! Her entire drive at that point is reproduction. As long as you don’t “satisfy” her with pollen, she’ll go all mad-raving hormonal until she gets some, or is spent trying (leaving nice juicy buds for us!).

Wow, just had an Exorcist flashback, Ragan screaming at the preacher “fuckmefuckmefuckmefuckme!”

If that were my plant, I’d let it go a couple more weeks, take half dozen clones, see what sex it is. Male, kill them all. Female, either flip them all, or kill mamma and let the clones grow. Or flip mamma in a different tent. Again, comes down to what your setup is, space, lights, legalities (if a concern), and your desired outcomes. I’d love a bunch of clones to plant out near rivers, creeks, etc, but I’m looking at a few inches of snow! Not an option for me until May to put clones outside. Depending which ocean you are close to, maybe in a month you could put them outside and flip the mamma inside.

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Do you have any grow-buddies close that you trust? Reason I ask is that basically you are running an experiment right now. You have no clue what you have (I don’t say this in a mean way) so you need time to figure it out. You could grow it for another month and it could be a male. You could clone it, all males. You don’t know. Which is why I like to hedge my bets (and effort/costs) by taking a backup (clone). Then if it is a great plant, you have many great plants!

My daughter’s boyfriend used to get me clones in the spring for an outdoor grow. I now have a place for a 4x4 tent, and an no longer limited summer grow, So now I took some clones off my Death Bubba right before I flipped (and a few after too! Damn troll weed, but it was tasty!). I gave those clones to him. I just harvested, and in a couple of weeks, he will give me back clones from the ones I gave him and he will flip his into bud. When is buds are done, my baby clones will be ready for motherhood (or spawn? Not really mother when you clone, but you get the idea), so I’ll take clones and then flip mine.

Perpetual cycle. If you had the room, you could do this yourself…a clone area, a veg room, and a bloom room. I don’t, neither does future son-in-law, but together we can keep each other supplied indefinitely for no cost. And since we might have 8 or more clones that survive (but can legally only grow 4), can always sell them for $10-$15 each, pays for the soil, nutes, whatever.

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Yup, ten gallon garbage can. Cheap. I wanted it right away and I had to wait for canvas pots or whatever the cloth ones are made from. I’ll improve my facilities if I ever grow again. Will see how this one goes. I’d hate to get to the end with what we used to call “mean green”. (Mean green was what we called the really crappy bud people used to grow in coffee cans at home. Two or three joints would get you high and the headache was part of the package.)

Thanks to everyone; I understand now. Flip when it reaches the size you want it once it is a certain minimum size, not when some other obvious or subtle sign says so. I was thinking there was a visible alteration in it’s characteristics that said, “It’s time”. Like maybe some specific anatomical feature had become a certain size or color, that sort of thing.

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@Reefers I look at the size of my tent and decide how big of a plant or plants will be able to fit. Then I flip to flower when the have vegged long enough to where I know when they finish flowering I’ll still have enough clearance in the tent for the light above the colas. So on my 4x4x7 I flip to flower when they are roughly 2 to 3 feet tall and they will leave just enough room for my lights when finished.


That’s what I decided, based on previous responses, to do. My space is about a quarter of yours at 2’ X 2’ X 7’. I’ll either flip when it gets to about full width or just enough height to permit enough room for the light. Same as you, that’s about 2’-3’. I figure I’ll get maybe another foot from the flower.

For anyone still following this thread who, like me, is a beginner, I know what you’re feeling because that’s what I am feeling. First grow, very excited to harvest and enjoy the fruits of my labor, and impatient for it to get there. That’s why these questions and being certain of the timing is important. It doesn’t reduce the impatience, but it does define when you go to the next stage and that will keep me from flipping them too soon and getting a poor yield. This thread has been, for me, educational, but it has also given me markers to use so that I don’t just say, “That’s good enough, let’s get down to business” before I have optimized my grow. By setting specific milestones, it motivates me to reach the milestones as much as I am motivated to reach the finish line.


@Reefers how tall is garbage can if it was me start tieing them limbs down get it stretching side ways open the inside up to get multiple tops

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17 inches, though I tell women it’s 24 inches.

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Yeah I would start LST i that plant it will get big and bushy @Reefers

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