How do I know my plants are ready for preflowering?

I am a newbie for growing MJ and I really don’t know if my plants are ready for pre-flowering.
Short story, during germinating I didn’t set up the light correctly, so plant were stretched really skinny and tall. After researching, I learned I can bury the stem with soil. I did just that and thereafter, my plants look healthy and growing strong. So, because of this ‘error’ at the beginning, I feel I have a few weeks behind the schedule.

The below, I note as much information as I can, so that experience growers here can guide me to do the right thing.
Strain; Banana Kush

Soil: Mixed with all-purpose potting soil (25%) + perlite (25%) + coconut coir (washed before I mixed with soil = 50%)

Potting: Home made. Just laundry basket (opening on the side and also at the bottom as well. Pick up from the Dollar Shop. Lined with garden fabrics. *** cheapest and the best pot I ever used for any kind of growing.

LIght: 2 of 300W LED full spectrum Grow lights & 1 of 450W LED Grow light directly above the plants (approx 12 inches from the top of the plants) and CFL lights - 5 (one bulb point to each plant ) of 100W daylight point to the plants at the side. (So, total 1050W LED power + 500W CFL daylight growing 5 plants)

Indoor-Basement Tent: 5’x5x’7’ Regular grow tent (clear vinyl cover) - I covered the walls, floor and ceiling with mylar grow reflector.
Fan: 2 small fan running 24/7 on low settings facing the wall + 1 OSC fan on low settings. Fans are not directly blowing to plants.
Heater: a small heater on 24/7 (small 250w power heater)
Humidifier: setup to turn on anytime as needed.

PH: 6 - 6.5
Foxfarm: Big Bloom + Grow Big - according to instruction, mix with water every other watering schedule. It comes close to 20-20-20 ratio.

Temp: 77-80
RH: 45-70

No ventilation system - I just leave the door open a few mins. daily.

3-17-2018: start the germination on 3-17-2018
4-3-2018 Transfer all plants to larger pot - buried the stem.
It’s been 5 weeks today.

I am not sure if this is ready for preflower stage or not. How do you determine its cycle? What do look for?
My plants are not tall. approx 24 inches height.






This Banann Kush is a photo strain, right? For photos, I grow to half the size that I want to finish at, due to the stretch, then flip over to 12/12 to start flowering.


Thanks for your comments.
I am sorry @Budbrother. I don’t know what you mean by a photo strain.
Also, do you mean I should turn the light schedule to 12/12 now?

What I really want to know is, what to look for (what sign) determine if it is ready for flowering stage or will it be too early, etc.

Is this cycle determine by calendar time? ie. 3 weeks seeding, 5 weeks vege, etc regardless of its growth?
or Is there some characteristic sign that I should look from the plant?

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Photoperiod (photos) plants need a change in lighting hours to induce flowering. If you have Autoflower (autos) plants, then they will veg and flower on their own, even under 24hr light.


If you got it from ilgm, then it’s a photo Banana Kush.

You have the control with photos and would have to switch the lights when you feel it’s time. That has several factors, depending on the growers needs ie. final height, fill out a scrog, space constraints, etc.


Thanks for the info.
Yes, I got it from ILGM.

:+1:t3: Then they are photos, and you can switch the light to 12/12 when you feel ready to start flowering. There will be a stretch period when doing so, and they may double or more in height. You will get lil white hairs forming, and that is when you start counting weeks of flowering.


Thank you again @Budbrother.
I think it is time that I need to add some kind of netting above the plant… I am anxious.
this is important that I need to harvest at least 1 lbs of dry bud from 4 plants (prefer more) to make RSO by July-Aug. My husband’s Pet Scan is schedule in Nov, so I want to make sure he has 2 full months to take 60gram of RSO before Pet Scan.
So, I want it to flower nice and big fast, but the same time, I can’t afford to mess this up by rushing this process.

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Sorry to hear about your husband and RSO is an excellent choice. Let’s call in some troops here and see what we can help you accomplish. @dbrn32 @FloridaSon @raustin @BIGE @Daddy @Laurap @SmoknGranny @Countryboyjvd1971 @garrigan62 @Sasquatch


@Budbrother I think you have her covered pretty good my friend! @THCCBD I believe @Laurap is the one to go to the oil…
As you can see there are lots of folks willing to help. Good luck with your endeavor .


I think I have more questions than answers. First, pre flowers are just pistils that will show around nodes when we’ll into stage they are mature enough to flower. You can change light schedule ahead of that, or continue to veg longer. There is no right or wrong way really. It will just be a matter of how large your plant is and how much it produces.

Next, there shouldn’t be really any need to add a net. If you want to, then you should most likely train your plant into it. In which case you should look into the scrog guide. You would definitely want to keep your plant vegging for a while while you do that.

Otherwise, at 5 weeks old you can switch to flowering schedule whenever you’re ready. Now, a couple weeks, or a couple months. The only difference will be how large your plant is.


Hi @THCCBD Welcome to ILGM. You are in a good place to get information on growing, this is the best site I have found.

First comment I wanted to make is that Robert has a great download Grow bible that will answer a lot of your questions for you. It is available on the seed site. Most of the growers here started with that and worked from it.

For determining when you want to switch to flowering is largely a matter of how tall you can allow your plants to get. Generally in a 7 foot tent you are safe letting the plant get 2 - 2 1/2 foot tall and then switching the lights and nutrients to flowering. Figure that a plant will grow 1 1/2 to two times that height it started flowering at. The seed information should give you some idea of how tall the finished will be. If your Banana Hush is Robert’s seeds, it says average height so you should be OK starting flowering at 2 foot and going from there. That would help your maximum yield and get the amount that you need.

When you switch to 12/12 lighting and flowering nutes, the nutes should be at about 1/4 strength noted on the container. Watch the plants for any signs of distress. You can advance the feeding to 1/2 , 3/4 and then full strength as your plant tolerates, remembering to watch the leaves for distress. Robert’s guide covers feeding pretty well also.

pH range Problems: Making sure you stay in the correct pH range with the fluids you give is, I believe, one of the more important things in growing cannabis. Always measure your pH before giving it to the plants, after adding any nutes.

I believe, and a few people agree with me, a good pH meter is a must for keeping your ladies happy. You are using coco, which I have never used, so I would have to look up your correct pH range.

I use an Apera PH-20 pH tester that costs about $50 but the really nice thing is I have never had to reset the meter after 2 years. It has an alarm system on it if it is out of calibration and then you need to re-calibrate. Like I said, I have never had to reset mine and my plants have not had any pH problems since I got it. It was $48 on Amazon and a good investment if you are going to be growing for a few years.

It does not have a PPM on it but you can get one pretty cheap on Amazon. I do not use the PPM very often any more. I flush a lot as I am watering. That is the way I keep the PPM down. Seems to work for me but I used a PPM meter for a long time up to that.

I wish you good luck on your grow and getting the bud you need. Jerry :us::man_farmer:


@dbrn32, @TxGrowman
Thank you both for the suggestion and comments.
I’ll follow all of your guide/suggestions.

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Seems you have good help here. Welcome to the forum. If you want my attention, just tag me.

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Man you can flip at any time bro if there not arto

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@AnneBonny has this down & shes is do helpful &great instructions. My last grow 4 photos, harvested pound and half including sugar leaves which are great in edibles. I truly hope cannabis can help.


Aww, thanks @Laurap. Appreciate the kind words.

Welcome to the forum @THCCBD. I’m sorry to hear your husband is sick but big kudos to you for doing all you can to help him beat it. I’m sure you’ve researched how to make RSO already and you will find that there are lots of ways to make the many different forms of cannabis. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

I recently found a way to make concentrated cannabis oil at home and shared it here. I will post the link. There is a recipe section in the members lounge where you can get lots of great info for other things too.

Good luck and tag me if you have questions. With the help of everyone here I’m sure your grow will be a success. This is the best place to be as new grower ~ AB

PS- don’t forget to take care of yourself too as you head to November.


Isnt it nice when kind is also true. Youve helped me so much on the edible & tincture side. Would of been lost without you. Many Thanks!


Pre-Flower looks like this @THCCBD
Or these

It’s that light green where the new growth is. It’s those little white hairs that give it away from what I’ve learned.


@Caosred, Thank you for your comment.
@skgrower, those photos are awesome! Looking at them with Envy! Thanks for sharing. :smiley:
@Laurap, Thank you for tagging @AnneBonny. I am new to the forum, so I don’t know who I need to tag when I post questions.
@AnneBonny , Thank you for the kind words and the link for Making CCO. I print them and it is in my journal. I have some question about the recipes, but I will post the question on that link rather than ask the question here.