Once the bloom cycle has begun your marijuana plants need time to develop good blooms. Some of this depends on genetics, some depends on nutrients and some depends on quantity of light.
Some people call the buds “colas”, from the Spanish word for tail, especially with strains that have a big central bud as opposed to multiple small ones. If you’ve gotten rid of all the males you will end up with “sin semilla”, another Spanish term meaning “without seeds” (once upon a time, long ago, when I was young, most weed came from Mexico).
Some plants produce single colas and some produce multiples.
There are dangers to watch out for while cultivating blooms. First, the buds can be very dense, and that can lead to mold, especially if you’re growing indoors or outside in an area with a rainy late summer or fall. Keep an eye out for that. You can lose a lot of bud to mold really quickly.
The buds can also be subject to bugs.
And buds are also subject to theft. The sad truth is that bud is the most attractive type of marijuana to steal. Be careful where you pant and who you let know about your marijuana plants, even if it is legal where you grow.
Assuming everything goes well you’re going to get some sort of bud. It’s quite possible that you’ll be completely blown away by your results. The question is – when should you harvest it?
First, you don’t have to harvest everything all at once. You can cut off buds as they mature, because it’s likely that they’ll mature at different rates.
Look at the buds as they develop. They will start producing THC crystals and develop hairs. Initially those hairs will be pretty clear or white in color. As time goes by they’ll usually turn orange or red.
Some people say that the THC is deteriorating by the time the hairs turn red, and recommend harvesting while they are still light colored. Others recommend harvesting the buds when they just begin to turn red.
It’s a challenge to determine when the change is about to occur, because, after all, while you’re watching big crystally buds develop you don’t usually want to cut them off.
Once you decide to start harvesting simply snip off the branch or branches that you think are ready. Remember, marijuana is the plant that hemp comes from, and hemp is used to make rope. Clip the branches off with a sharp knife or clippers. If you don’t make a complete clean cut you’ll end up tearing long strands off the part of the plant that you’re leaving.
Of course, you can also harvest the whole plant all at once.
Some people clip off the fan leaves right away, leaving only the bud on the stem.
Others leave the bigger leaves until after the curing process.
You need a place to cure the buds so that they don’t rot or get moldy (which they will if you aren’t careful). Be prepared to start the curing process right away.
Growing marijuana may be illegal where you live. Check local laws. I do not recommend breaking the law, nor am I encouraging or inducing anyone to do so.