Why is it important to properly flush your plants?
One of the most important factors in determining whether or not your cannabis has reached its utmost potential is if your plant has been properly flushed of its residual nutrients.
Often times growers get to the final stages of flowering, only to come up short in the final weeks of harvest because they improperly or unknowingly fail to flush their plants of their residual nutrients. This can make what could have been an incredible product lackluster in flavor, aroma, and smoke.
A properly executed flush produces a smoother smoke and lets the plant display maximum flavor profiles and taste.
How do you know if your cannabis may not be properly flushed?
When a grower fails to flush their product properly, the final product often causes a harsher smoking experience. You may notice a burning in your throat or a coughing fit (this may happen regardless if you are not used to smoking). When smoking the improperly flushed product you may also notice that the bud tastes of the nutrients, this can sometimes be bitter or metallic.
Another way you can tell if your cannabis has not been properly flushed is by examining it physically while smoking. The easiest way to do this is to take you bud, grind it up, and roll it up in a joint. Then examine how it burns. Is your joint burning clean? Meaning, is the ash white/light grey in color or is it dark to black? If your cannabis has been properly flushed, it should burn a clean, white ash, not dark.
So how do you properly flush your plants?
This process is simple, however understanding the timing for when to begin your flush may vary depending on what strain you grow, due to that strains specific flowering duration needs (i.e. 45 days vs 63 days), so be patient in your learning process. To properly flush your cannabis plants, use regular water in the final two weeks of flowering. Some growers use “cleaning solutions,” but we find it unnecessary and try to keep the process as natural as possible.
Flushes are often misunderstood as just being a change in the color of the plant’s chlorophyll. Just because your plant changes color does not mean it has been properly flushed or that it is ready to be dried and sent to cure. Introducing only clean water, and especially cold/ice water into your watering schedule, will trick the plant into thinking it is “fall,” thus causing the chlorophyll to change color.
This change can potentially result in the expression of blues, purples, pinks, yellows etc. Playing with water temperature as well as external environmental temperature around harvest can be super interesting, so have some fun with it. Just remember that it is not the only indication that your plant is ready to be harvested. Flush your ladies properly, and the end result will be significantly better!
For more information regarding chlorophyll change and expression check out this article by Harvard’s ecological research team!