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Are Your Outdoor Plants Flowering Too Early? Why it Happens & What to Do About It

Are your indoor or outdoor plants flowering too early? What are the factors responsible for this dilemma? Premature blooming in the vegetative stage is one of the typical problems facing many cannabis crops. This issue often causes stunted growth and poor yields.

The problem affects plants that grow outside and inside. Although the situation can be confusing and challenging, it may not be as complex as you assume. A quick response plays a pivotal role in solving the issue.

Discover why cannabis plants flower prematurely and how to deal with it below.

Outdoor plants flowering too early: what are the causes?

If you notice premature blooming when your weed should be in the vegetative stage, the first step to dealing with this problem is to understand the cause.

Below are the primary factors that trigger early signs of flowering in weed plants.

False start

Planting your weed seeds too soon is one of the leading causes of early flowering. It exposes the seeds to excess cold, as the daylight hours are lower than required. 

If early flowering weed crops struggle to cope with the new stage, they may die. Prevent this problem by starting your weed seeds when the weather suits their development.

Experts agree that germinating cannabis seeds during the spring helps them grow in the ideal conditions to bloom at the right time. Start your outdoor seeds in April, May, or June when the heat isn’t too much for them in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sudden change in light cycle

An unexpected alteration of the light schedule for the veg stage often shocks marijuana plants. For example, if the illumination cycle for your crops is 20/4 and suddenly changes to 14/8, the forced flowering could stress them.

The plants may respond by initiating unintended early flowering. They begin to show signs of blooming in the vegetative phase.

Growing cannabis outdoors securely


Genes control many biological processes, including flowering. Research indicates that the genetic makeup of a cannabis plant may affect its development. The availability of certain chromosomes may encourage a crop to produce flowers as early as possible.

When buying seeds for cultivation, ask if they’re prone to pre-flowering in veg. The inquiry prepares you for possible challenges you may experience when growing marijuana seeds.

Lack of artificial light

There’s a notable difference between the light requirements of cannabis plants at various growth stages. When the vegging stage starts, crops need a lot of illumination to flourish and develop leaves, stalks, and other parts.

As the plant enters the flowering phase, light intensity increases, and illumination hours change to 12/12. If your weed crop doesn’t get enough light during the vegetative stage, it senses that it’s time to produce flowers and enters into the blooming state.

Avoid light deprivation if you want to prevent early flowers in weed crops. Provide your plants with sufficient artificial illumination during the vegetative phase.

You’re growing an autoflower

An autoflower is a non-photoperiod cannabis strain that starts blooming automatically, irrespective of the light intensity and schedule. Once the plant is physiologically prepared to bring out flowers, it does so.

Under the right conditions, an autoflower plant can start flowering within five weeks of germination. If you’re cultivating an autoflowering plant unknowingly, it may enter the blooming stage earlier than expected.

You may feel your indoor or outdoor plants are flowering too early, but they’re only following their normal auto growth phases.

Recognizing the type of marijuana crops you’re cultivating may solve the problem. Since the plant is already growing, it may be difficult to confirm whether it’s an autoflowering seed.

Pre-flowering vs. flowering stages

To identify early flowering issues, learn the different phases of cannabis growth. If your plant displays white hairs in the veg state, it’s already in the pre-flowering phase.

Female hairs starting to show on the cannabis plant
Pre-flowering stage

The pre-flowering phase is the period when a weed crop experiences a metabolic change and stops making new shoots. At this stage, it’s easy to tell the sex before flowering, as the reproductive organs are present. Your weed plant may stay in this state for up to 14 days.

During this period, your cannabis plant also shows a rapid increase in size and height, shooting up to 12–18 inches. As a result, the phase is otherwise known as the stretching stage. New leaves and stems also emerge to support the crop’s structure.

At this stage, you may think your small weed plant is already flowering. This assumption isn’t true, as the crop is only preparing for the next period.

Once your crop leaves the pre-flowering stage, it enters the blooming phase. An indoor marijuana plant goes into this state when it receives light for at least 12 hours per day.

If you’re cultivating plants outdoors, the flowering stage starts when the days become shorter. This period is usually at the end of summer when fall is about to begin.

Although the plant grows at the beginning of this phase, it focuses most of its energy on producing cannabis flowers. As the stage progresses, expect your crop to produce more cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.

Understanding the difference between the pre-flowering and flowering stages helps you know if your marijuana plant is blooming prematurely or not.

Marijuana early flower
Early flowering stage

Pros and cons of early flowering in cannabis

Early budding in weed plants comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Each grower considers their unique circumstances before deciding what to do about the crops.

Pros of early flowering

In some places, cannabis plants often deal with unfavorable conditions, such as fall storms or mold infestations. Early flowering avoids these issues by making your crops ready for harvest before the new season starts.

This factor highlights the primary difference between indica and sativa strains. Indicas grow in cold, windy mountainous regions and have shorter blooming times of about 6–8 weeks.

Sativas develop in equatorial regions and enjoy longer periods of sunlight. Some sativa strains can flower for 14 or more weeks.

If you like having multiple outdoor harvests annually, the phenomenon of cannabis early flowering in certain strains can be beneficial. It allows your plants to mature quickly, ensuring you get several yields per year.

Best Outdoor Strains

Cons of early flowering

The vegetative stage is when you provide enough artificial illumination or sunlight for weed plants to grow properly. Your crops develop branches, leaves, and a strong root base during this period.

If the plants leave this phase prematurely, they may not develop certain essential parts. Accidental flowering during veg may result in smaller cannabis crops and lower yields.

How to reverse early flowering in cannabis plants

Want to switch pre-flowering back to veg? The first step is to find the possible reasons behind the problem. Apart from helping re-veg plants, this process can also prevent similar issues in the future.

To learn how to reverse early flowering, place the cannabis plants in conditions suitable for vegging. Start by going back to an 18/6 light cycle to ensure your crops get enough illumination to promote growth.

Keep the humidity of the grow space to around 55–70%. This moisture level prevents trichomes from drying out and ensures mildew and mold don’t infest your crops. Although this factor helps vegging plants, it’s not enough to revert them to the veg state.

There are almost no benefits to re-vegging, as the process is extremely stressful, and weed crops show varying responses to switching back. How far the plants are into the flowering stage determines how long it takes them to revert to vegging.

Re-Veg Weed

Maximize your efforts with high-quality seeds

If your weed isn’t flowering or is blooming prematurely, you may face several challenges with your harvest. The quality of your seeds also influences the flowering of your cannabis plants and their overall yields.

Get premium cannabis seeds from our store and maximize your cultivation result.

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