If there is something evident in the cultivation of cannabis, it is the need for the plant to have a range of hours of exposure to light. It must be understood, first of all, that it is the sunlight that allows the process of photosynthesis. In fact, plants can survive with water substitutes, but without light they will perish quickly.
Photosynthesis is the process by which light energy is converted into chemical energy. It is vital for the creation of certain complexes formed by proteins and chlorophylls, which are located in chloroplasts and are called photosystems.
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This process allows inert matter to be transformed into organic matter thanks to the energy provided by light. It is not only important for the cultivation of marijuana, it is also important for the very existence of life on earth.
The photosynthesis equation is simple, the sum of water, light and CO2 creates organic chains that are what allow plants to grow. This process takes place in chloroplasts. You may be wondering why we are telling you all this, but it is that it turns out to be essential for you to understand why the photoperiod is so important when it comes to making a correct crop, in which the plant is not endemic.
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The photoperiod is not something that humans are alien to us, but civilization has developed with a correlation to the hours of sunshine. You work during the day and sleep at night, not the other way around.
The same thing happens in the vegetable kingdom, since the alternation that occurs between the periods of light and shadow are those that mark the flowering of the vegetables. However, the photoperiod is not the same for all, rather lighting needs vary depending on each one. Also exposure to the sun, there are plants (such as indoor ones) that cannot survive with such direct exposure to the sun.
We could define the photoperiod as the relative times of light and darkness that living beings receive in a given period of time. Thanks to this phenomenon, plants can regulate their biological functions as they are guided by the parameters of light and shadow.
Nevertheless, do not think that this means that if your plant has 24 hours of light exposure it will flower sooner, the most normal thing is that it dies, since it will not be able to perform the different functions that it performs in the dark. Yes During the light period the plants carry out photosynthesis, during the shadow periods they carry out many other functions as, for example, the process of respiration, that is, the taking of oxygen to release carbon dioxide through us. They are also engaged in the transportation of sugar. For this reason, it is advisable to regulate the periods of light and shade appropriately.
How to regulate the photoperiod?
As we have pointed out, it is counterproductive that the plants do not receive the hours of light and night that correspond to them. Cannabis plants are especially susceptible to this fact, but it is also that, depending on the season or season of the year in which we are, they will need more or less hours of light. You have to bear in mind that regulating the photoperiod in outdoor conditions (unless you cover the plants) is impossible, since you cannot provide them with more light than the sun itself, however, in indoor conditions you can. it’s possible.
Various studies, as well as most of the community, indicate the need for in the growth period the plants must receive a period of 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness. Nevertheless, in the flowering season the photoperiod changes so it should be 12 hours of light and 12 of shadow. It should be noted that in order not to confuse the plant, periods of darkness or light must be uninterrupted.
However, it is also convenient to say that not only is there an official canon on how to proceed when regulating the photoperiod, since many growers who want plants to grow quickly raise the number of solar hours to 24, it is say, they forget the night period. As a general rule, the more hours of light a plant receives, the more it will grow. However, there is a danger that is evident, that of the plants being burned since they are receiving 50% more light per day and therefore, they can be burned.
You have to keep in mind that cannabis is very sensitive so it is convenient to rely on the method of trial and error until you find the optimal point. In addition, this will allow you to fine-tune other nuances as well.
A little trick used by the big growers and the most expert is to take the indoor plants outside during the month of June. This is done because during the month of June is when the night period is less, so the plants will grow even more.
Another of the best known systems is that of Reinhard Delp, which ensures better results if the plant is exposed to 12 hours of light, 5 and a half hours of shade, one hour of light and another 5 and a half hours of darkness. It is a system that has received as many criticisms as endorsements.
Anyway, you have to take into account the stress that the plant can suffer since, as we have pointed out, they are very sensitive and, just as the light must be total, the darkness must also be. For this reason, it is very important that your plant is in complete darkness. That is, nothing that the light leaks through holes in the closet, for this do the test with a camera or a recording device that allows you to make sure that the darkness is total (this advice you have to take into account) .
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On the contrary, in the flowering period the photoperiod should be 12/12, according to the canon most followed by the community. However, plants like indica will flourish in as little as 10 hours of shade. In some marijuana hybrids, periods of 11/13 may be the most ideal, but with the disadvantage that the maturation period will be a bit longer. On our blog, we talk about the variety of indica marijuana, in case you want more information about this.
However, as we have pointed out, the best thing is not that we tell you how you have to do things, but that you try and experiment yourself in order that little by little you become a true expert in the cultivation of marijuana.
How to change the photoperiod?
You have to understand that plants require a certain arrangement, since, for example, in nature they do not go from 18 hours of light to 12 at a time, but they do it gradually. However, we are going to play with the adaptability of the plant to achieve better results.
When you go to make the change, you have turned off the lamp and it is cold (Be careful! Do not burn yourself) you have to replace it with a specific one for flowering, in that case a good option would be the Sylvania GroxPress Flowering Bulb. Although, if it is mixed, this change is not necessary as is the case of the Lumatek Dual Bulb. If the lamp is multipurpose, you will have to attend to its various configurations..
The second step is to change the timer, taking into account that when the lamp is turned on again it will be zero hour. Remember it well, since for example if you do not adapt to change you may open the closet when it is night for them.
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For the rest, as you may have observed, there is no exact science, there are no estimated periods when it comes to cultivating. You have to keep in mind that each plant is different and that each variety is also different, so practice and experience will tell us that it is more appropriate for each one.
In addition, if you are a novice, experimentation is recommended, since if you do not do it you will not learn anything and you will not be able to fully enjoy the beautiful experience that is growing cannabis.It is worth remembering that you have a very complete guide on the lighting in indoor cultivationand know everything you need to grow a successful crop.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand two concepts in this article, that of photosynthesis, that is, lhe transformation of inert matter into organic matter thanks to the influence of sunlight and the photoperiod, that is, the times of alternation between light and dark that plants use to regulate their growth.
You should also learn how the changes are made and how to adjust the hours of daylight and night for optimal growth and a perfect harvest. On the contrary, If you are overly guided by the official canon, you may not reach the maximum performance And taking into account that it is an indoor crop, you may be wasting kilowatts of light and that you are paying a surcharge for the result of your cultivation. So now you know, to experiment!