How To Flush Cannabis Plants and Why (by Stoney Tark)

How To Flush Cannabis Plants and Why (by Stoney Tark)

  Stoney Tark  

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Flushing Cannabis is a very important part of growing, and will be the difference between the flowers grown being smooth, tasty and full of flavor, or a harsh, chemically inducing coughing fit. In this article we break down all you need to know about flushing Cannabis, the right window to do it, the benefits and mistakes to avoid.

What does flushing Cannabis mean?
In the same way we are used to flushing a toilet to exchange the water inside, the same goes with nutrients that have accumulated over the lifecycle of the plants. Nutrients are basically salts and the more salts that build up over time, can determine how many nutrients the plants are storing, and if there is an excess amount.

The goal behind flushing Cannabis is to provide enough plain water over a certain time frame, to allow the undissolved salts to finally break down. As a result, the internal reserves of the plants are used up, as well as any salts sitting around the roots.

The best time to flush
Flushing Cannabis is a technique that is performed over the final 2 weeks of the flowering cycle. So for example, if you were growing a fast flowering 7 week strain, then you would begin flushing from week 5-7, and if you grew a 12-week Haze, then you would flush from weeks 10-12.

The volume of water that the plants receive during the final 14-day flush, is the same amount they have been fed with nutrients, so the only adjustment is to use plain water, and cut off all nutrients.

Signs of well flushed Cannabis
There are 2 ways of knowing if a Cannabis plant has been well flushed of nutrients and that is by looking at the plants, and then smoking the buds.

The plants - The first thing you will notice is a rainbow-colored fade which begins with the largest size fan leaves, and moves its way through the rest of the foliage. This is the time when the plants will produce an array of head turning colors ranging from yellow, red, maroon, pink, purple, magenta and many others. This will be a clear sign that the internal reserve nutrients have been fully used.

The buds - Just by looking at a bud can be difficult to know if the grower had flushed the plants properly when growing. The only true test is to roll and joint or blunt and fire her up. A well grown flower will be very smooth to taste, fill the mouth full of flavor and be an enjoyable experience that leaves you licking your lips in admiration. When lighting up a joint or blunt, the ash will instantly burn with a light gray borderline white soft ash.

How do I tell if the flower I am smoking was flushed?
There are 3 main signs to look out for when trying to identify if a flower has signs of being poorly flushed…

1. When you are lighting the joint, the ember will not burn properly and will often take constant lighting. After a few pulls of a joint, the sides will burn uneven, and the ash will become black and jagged.

2. You will notice the ash of the joint when burning is reminiscent of a charcoal black color. When tapping the end of the joint into an ashtray, there is a black residue left behind that will stain the ashtray.

3. The final sign, which is often the easiest to identify, is the harsh, hot and dry sensation when inhaling and exhaling. Badly flushed buds will make you cough your lungs out in an unpleasant coughing fit, causing a sore throat.


How to correctly flush Cannabis plants
On the basis that you are using plain water, that is pH adjusted and not too cold, then feeding water for 2 weeks is an easy task. Some growers prefer to use reverse osmosis water, which has a very low E.C level when flushing, whilst some use bottled water or an enzyme solution.

  • Keep the volume of water the same as the usual feeding regime.

  • Do not use hard water and try to work with soft water if possible.

  • Enzymes are an excellent way to speed up the process

  • Probiotic microbes and bacteria can also enhance the flush.

  • There will be a wide range of colors displayed on the plants.

  • Using room temperature water is best when flushing Cannabis

  • Less than 14 days may compromise the final quality of the buds.


5 Mistakes to avoid when flushing Cannabis

1. The biggest mistake some growers make when it comes to flushing, is to simply disregard the flush under the impression the more nutrients means bigger yields. Piling on the nutrients until the final harvest date will only cause the buds to burn with a black ash and the plants to be dark green.

2. When flushing Cannabis, never increase the amount of water of the frequency, as this will only over saturate the growing medium. As a result, the roots will sit in a soggy environment and not have access to oxygen and nutrients as they would like. Over watering your plants at any stage is a bad idea, especially during the final few weeks.

3. Do not cut the flushing period short or think it is wise to shave a week off. The shorter the flushing period, then the less chance the plants have of using their internal nutritional reserve, and as a result being picked too early.

4. Flushing Cannabis plants too late can also be a problem, and may cause the harvest window to expire until the point of degraded terpenes. You should time the flush with the harvest window, so that the plants are fully flushed over a 2-week period, the calyxes are the most swollen and under inspection the trichomes are milky with a touch of amber.

5. Be sure that the pH of the water that is being used when flushing Cannabis is between 6.0-6.5. This is the optimum level for organic grown Cannabis and will produce the very best tasting flower and aromatic terpene profiles.


Conclusion
Flushing Cannabis makes a massive difference in the overall experience, and should never be discarded. There is no point in growing a crop that will not be up to scratch, and when sharing with friends will only come up short. Make sure you follow the rules of flushing, and will be rewarded with cup winning quality that is given compliments by all who experience.

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