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Small flower - day 20 flowering - why?

Organic Weed

Active Member
Hi Folks
I have a problem with my flowers. They are too small, or at least too small compared to what I was expecting.
:hmmmm: :6:

This is my first cycle but I read and studied A LOT before doing this so I was expecting better results so far.
My cabinet is 2 ftx2ftx6ft (65 cm x 65 cm x 180 cm). I am growing in 4 gals (18 litres) pots, 3 plants: White Widow, Northern Light and Kosher Kush. This is what I have:

1. Temperature both day and night: 25 at night and 29/30 °C (75F to 86F) during the day in grow box. A few days got above that, until 32°C (90F) but just a few (4/5 at most)
2. Relative humidity both day and night: 35 to 60%
3. CO2 level: I don't have any CO2 emitter

Light source and details
1. Lamp type: HPS 250. I have a sealed grow room, no light coming out. Double checked several time and fully sealed
2. Intensity of light in footcandles or lux at plant canopy: 25-30 cm from the top of the plan
4. Photoperiod: 12/12

1. Native or raw water pH and EC/ppm: tab water, left 24 hrs to leave chlorine. Ph at about 7.5
2. Temperature of water day and night: room temp
3. Amont of water: 0.5 litre per pot every 2 days (48 hrs between watering)

Growing medium
1. Soil - describe and list what you know: organic soil, a modification of Subcool's receipt. As you can see from the pic, the plan does not have any problem.
2. pH of medium: 7
4. Growing medium temperature: room temp

1. Composition - list of contents, what is in it and sources if possible: organic soil, a modification of Subcool's receipt. 20% perlite, 40% humus, 40% peated soil enriched with steam bone flower, bat guano, kelp, EM, molass, oat meal, rock powder, etc... all left cooking for 60 days before using it. The lowest 50% of the pot has been filled with this mix and the top 50% with base solid (30% perlite, 40% humus, 30% peat soil)

LST: I performed an LST when the plants were about 6 inches on 3rd week of veg. I left them in veg until day 49 (7 weeks form seed). They were 9 inches long just before flowering. After LST they grew a lot of side branches. I did 2 potting (1 litre and 3 litres) before going into the final 18 litres pot.

Defoliation: ater 12 days into flowering, I started a heavy defoliation because I did not see the development I expected. See picture

Never had pest, deficiencies, etc...

WHAT THE HECK DID I DO WRONG TO HAVE SUCH SMALL PLANTS???? Man, it looks like I did all right. Or maybe it is just me trying to get too much from the set up I have? Or is this the regular size of a plant at 20 days flowering under a 250 HPS? The pict is from the White Widow but they are pretty much the same.

Please advise...
From a disappointed and slightly frustrated Organic Weed grower :-(



Well-Known Member
It is because the plants are so small. Defoliation can produce great results, but one thing it does do is slow down growth. So if you want big plants you have to extend the veg time. I veg a minimum of 8 weeks and my girls are still smaller than I'd like.


Organic Weed

Active Member
Pantagruel thanx for the input... I double checked and I actually vegetated for 49 days (7 weeks). So after 49 days having them at about 10 inches was normal or small for a 250 HPS setup? How tall are should they be?


Well-Known Member
It's the defol and the training. Any time you stress the plant growth will slow. Also during flower it's recommended to wait until around day 21 to defol, because the stretch is done by then, so you let the plant get its growth in before you defol.

I sympathize - I have regularly ended up with smaller plants than I wanted, and its entirely because I didn't allow for the recovery. Now I am going much lighter on the training.

Edit: there is no one answer for how big at seven weeks, but I have seen guys get a plant to over a foot in 30 days whereas it has been taking me nearly two months. My current veg will be a month next week and I am expecting them to be 10 inches by then.

Organic Weed

Active Member
Ok understood... :thumb: very helpful... I was not aware this, so I made a mistake here... will the plant recover... shall i expect very little harvest? how much per plant?


Well-Known Member
It looks like you have 10 terminal buds there, so maybe you'll get 1 gram buds on the tops, then about 50% again in popcorn, my guess would be 15 grams. I usually aim to get my plants large enough to produce 2 gram terminal buds. The Red Dragon from my current grow is about the size of yours however.


Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Yeah man, your plant looks a lot like my bonsai gals, which I grow on my windowsill with much less than 12 yrs of light a day, and I don't think I ever let the veg for more than 30 days. I also perform defoliation, but I do it step by step, which means it's always done lightly in the beginning and then I proceed if exposing the budz to the sun is necessary. You did the wrong thing be removing the fan leaves, which you should rather tie down to the pot stretching plant outward in the same time, and cut only one or two in early flowering when THEY NEED THEM THE MOST, cause they stretch until 2nd-3rd week by performing very aggressive photosynthesis. Another thing is that you might've got a shitty pheno, which just didn't meet the expectations, and you have to treat these plants differently like they are extremely delicate. Otherwise they die on a spot.

Help that helps :tokin:

Organic Weed

Active Member
Man... thanks a lot for the comments.... I wished I knew this before.... :-( so much work for half of what I was aiming for... :-( I guess I'll do better during my next growth but this doesn't take away my disappointment... any additional input is welcome...

Organic Weed

Active Member


New Member
Hold on... @PossumLiquor has defoliated as much as I did but his/her plants are 3 to 4 times bigger than mine.... Ok the light set-up is not comparable with mine, but looking at this example the defoliation should still be the problem ??? Possum's 3D: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/budding-cycle/226708-33-days-into-bloom-looking-ok.html

He/She has 3 times the light power that you do. I went from a 400w to a 1000w and never going back. When it comes to lights, imo, bigger or more is better.

Organic Weed

Active Member
Defol isn't the problem, recovery is. I have pics from my last grow where I defol'd to the last leaf set on each branch.

Panta, I've been digging in this topic over the past couple of days and I got to the conclusion that defoliation is the most controversial topic in this forum and not only :21: :50: ... I've talked to a few people, one of which is getting 1/2 pound per plant with bigger set ups -- Barrelhouse is right on the spot -- and he told me he never cut one single leaf... I still think is ok but not to the level I did and that early, as you have suggested. Only now my plants start recovering, putting out more leaves and start growing again... I've lost 4 days of growth... Will light exposure compensate with 4 days (about 8% of the flowering cycle or much more if we consider they'll take longer to get back at full steam)? Will I get 8% (or more) grass? So far I have never seen any scientific answer with data on this... The ideal would de to use clones from same mother under same setup, one with defoliation, one medium defol and another untouched and compare harvest. Has anybody done this before?

One other thing I've noticed us that if you really want to expose your colas you NEED to defoliate a lot. So here we go again... Because it seems that light defol don't get you there... It is either a lot or very little/none

I still think defol is good but I am no longer as convinced as before... Ok I did it wrong way but I would really like know if someone did parallel experiments with same clones and setup


Well-Known Member
I think the guys who use it a lot understand it well. You can definitely make it work, that much is clear, but it does introduce new problems itself. For example, I have slight nutrient issues that my Durban strains are particularly susceptible to. But leaves act like a buffer, so if there is a bit of a def, the older, larger leaves will make up for it (i.e. the plant takes calcium or whatever from the older leaves) so a few big leaves die. But if I defol, the whole plant gets affected much more.

I just do a bit of defoliation now, like you say, to expose the buds better. I do take some fans during veg, but I bend and tie fans out of the way preferably.

This is was the most radical defol I ever did and I did get decent yields once I got past the nutrient problems it caused me


Organic Weed

Active Member
cool... how much did you get from them? how old were these ladies at time of the pix? did you bloom at what day?
this may help me in my current grow...
it's interesting to see that the one on the back-right is the healthiest and back-left has the most deficiency... on the front they seem even... phenotypes play a role here.. i guess they were from seed

Organic Weed

Active Member
Ok Folks... this is an update... I'll post the plants at 28th day of flowering and then at 38th day... any comments are more than welcome

28th day - white widow


Organic Weed

Active Member
If you have any comments please let me know... I've watered with a little bit less than 2 spoons of bone meal dissolved in 2 litres of water with 2 spoons of sugarcane molasse that I have then given to all the 3 of them (about 0.7 litres each plant). This is my last "fertilisation" -- never truly fertilised actually since I'm using my version of supersoil...

Are they small or average? Any idea on how much you think I should make out of them? Panta forecasted 1.5 grams per top, maybe about 15 to 20 gr per plants... do you think I can get more or that's it?
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