Tips and tricks for more vibrant cannabis plants and buds

Published May 24, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Olga Tsareva

Cannabis cultivars come in a wide range of colours and shades, some of which are spectacular even without any special intervention, but we all know how amazing it is to see beautiful photos of vibrant, surreal-looking buds. It’s a marketing tactic, an art, and though some of the pictures we see online are certainly altered, it’s completely possible to pull off a similar look at home, and you don’t need any special skills to do it.

There are dozens of myths in circulation surrounding the best ways to amplify the colour of cannabis, but if you follow our advice, you’ll be guaranteed better results without ever having to risk the health or well-being of your plants.

Always start with the best genetics

It is important to remember that no matter what you do, the genetics of your cannabis plants will play a significant role in the end result. Plants cannot express colours without the appropriate genetic building blocks to start with. However, there are some things you can do to influence the intensity of those shades.

Growing cannabis in cold temperature

Some regions with all four seasons experience the natural colour changes in trees, which go from green to yellow, red and orange as the temperatures drop. Though all cannabis plants are green, to begin with, some cultivars will also automatically go through this incredible metamorphosis. Of course, it’s only certain types that will do this with Grandaddy Purple showing the most distinct changes, and many growers don’t live in an area where outdoor cultivation is possible.

Instead, to replicate this effect, you can gradually drop the temperatures in your grow room and shorten light cycles, and the amount of influence you have doesn’t end there.

Producing pinks and reds

Colourful weed strains don’t often include pink or red hues, but there are many that boast bright red pistils. Some of the best cultivars for these attributes include Alaskan Thunder Bolt, Bloody Skunk, Acapulco Gold, Tropicanna Poison, Pink Lemonade, Tropicanna, Dark Devil, and Pink Thunder Shaman. It is possible to enhance these natural colours by depriving the plants of phosphorous.


Go black as night

The darkest cannabis plant shades are typically the result of rock bottom temperatures, which does come with some risk, though most who have succeeded would say that the end result was more than worth it. Around 50°F is recommended, assuming you’re starting with strains that already boast darker colours, like Black Widow, The Black, Black Dogg, Vietnamese Black, Black Domina, Black Diesel, or Black Jack.

Brighter oranges and yellows

Orange and yellow hues are produced by cannabis plants containing certain kinds of carotenoids, most of which do quite well in a high alkaline environment. Increasing alkaline can be done slowly towards the end of the flowering stage to amplify these bright, bold colours, using composts and organic matter, but you’ll still need strains that will express this specific trait, like Strawberry Banana, Lemonberry, Lemon Kush, Alien OG, Lemon Haze, Golden Lemon, or Orange Bud.

Why cold temperature shocks are never recommended

Even if you have the healthiest, hardiest cannabis cultivars around, it’s important to remember not to make significant adjustments to your grow space too fast. Doing so could put a plant into shock, effectively killing it and potentially damaging the leaves and buds. Instead, we recommend small adjustments over time of no more than 5°F each day. That way, you’ll reduce the risk of damage while still taking advantage of the power of cold to create big, beautiful and colourful cannabis.

How to grow a photogenic cannabis plant


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