You’ve just arrived at a party, and you’re observing your friends grinding up some prime nugs to roll a sweet jay. You pull out your own baggie amid an audible gasp… “Duuuuude where’d you get that purp?!” crows your buddy, who’s been growing for years. You smile, and inwardly smirk. “Magic,” you say. If only they had access to IMK blog posts discussing how to do exactly that. Read on to make your own friends envious of your purple thumb!
Whether you’re attempting to grow purple marijuana to awe your friends, for sweeter, more intense terpenes (natural flav-ah), or more bang for your buck (or more buck for your bang), you’ve come to the right place to learn how. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros & cons, the steps to do so, and a little fun science behind the reasons why cannabis has this royal color capacity.
Cannabis changes colors for a variety of reasons, but we’ll tackle the main two here. One is strain specific genetics, i.e. Grand Daddy Purp, Purple Apollo 13, Blue Haze etc. These strains have been hereditarily bred to produce more anthocyanins, (the flavonoid responsible for that violet hue – also seen in blueberries, eggplants, and that super-cool super food acai everyone keeps talking about). But let’s say you AREN’T growing a purple-gene-specific strain. It’s still possible to pimp those purple-nugs, albeit NOT as intensely or as easily as a purple strain.
The way to ensure your cannabis nuggets turn purple is to expose your plants to colder temperatures. This forces the plant to produce less chlorophyll (the green pigment!), which is what your cannabis plant uses to absorb food from light. Once there is less chlorophyll, the anthocyanins are more easily seen in your nuggets. This happens quite naturally in outdoor gardens, as evenings are colder outside. In a temperature controlled indoor grow, however, the power rests in your lighting and temperature schedule! During the late flowering stage of your buds, turn the night cycle temperature down to just below 50 degrees F, for no more than a week. This will force your buds to stop photosynthesizing, and convert those sugars to color and bud development.
(Recommended 12/12 light/dark light schedule is, imho, the best during this period.)
Science time! Chlorophyll is what gives plants in general their green color, anthocyanin is dat purp, and carotenoids are responsible for yellow & gold leaves, nugs, and trichomes. Fun fact, flavonoids make up over 400 pigments in plants, and the word itself actually means yellow – derived from the latin ‘flavus’ meaning blond.
DANGER ALERT: Purpling will occur anywhere from 7-10 weeks into the flowering stage of growth. DO NOT drop the temperature until the plant is in the flower stage. If you do, you risk the plant turning purple early (cool, right? No. Not cool.) This means the plant is stressed, which means lower yield, lower quality, and wasted time, effort, and money.
~Keep in mind~ that although these are great tips for profitable purpling, some strains are almost impossible to turn purple. This doesn’t mean you lack a purple thumb, it means you have some fantastic chlorophyll-strong strains, and they’re just as fantastic to smoke.