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How to Grow Purple Cannabis

How to Grow Purple Cannabis

Purple cannabis has become a toker-favorite among connoisseurs and recreational users alike. A Pungent-aroma with purple-hued leaves gives little to be desired in terms of effects and plant visuals.

Due to consumer demand for purple-coloured cannabis, the number of professional and recreational growers learning how to grow purple weed is growing (no pun intended) at rates the 420 community has not seen before.

Marijuana is normally green and is usually the first colour coming to mind of those thinking of cannabis. Though to the surprise of some, cannabis can be purple too, and interestingly enough has become popular among cultivators and tokers that want the best of what cannabis agriculture has to offer. Here at Sticky Seeds we have a whole category dedicated to our purple cannabis seeds to help customers find exactly what they are looking for.

In this guide, you will learn how licensed cultivators create the highly-coveted, purple-strained cannabis that growers and users have come to appreciate more than any other, let’s get to it, shall we?


3 steps to purple cannabis

3 Steps to Growing Purple Cannabis

Wondering how to grow purple weed? If so, wonder not, here are three, easy-to-follow steps that will teach you everything you need to know about how purple marijuana is produced by the veteran growers of our world.

Step #1 - Use Purple-Genetic Strains

The strain grown is most influential to the colour of buds. If growing a strain that does not have the tendency to turn purple, as much as we hate to say it, the grower is wasting their time and effort as genetics have a significant impact on resulting colours. Genetics plays a significant role in the flavour and CBD/THC contents of your flowers too, so the grower should choose wisely when selecting their strain.

If you are wanting to collect purple strains, then here are a handful of seeds that you should consider purchasing:

The grower should also choose a strain that has the most colour changing areas as they will likely want calyxes and pistils that contain purple-coloured properties, not just sugar leaves, this is something to keep in mind. In the image of the Blackberry Kush below you can see that the sugar leaves are mostly green, as normal. It is the calyxes that are vibrant purple, this is what most people want.

example of purple cannabis in flower

Step #2 – Temperature Monitoring

Some strains only show their true beauty in environments that are cooler at night than in the day. Ideally, the grower will monitor and adjust grow-room temperatures during the flowering stage. During the daytime, temperatures should be at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and at nighttime, 65 degrees. Lowering the temperature at night will slow down chlorophyll production and encourage the plant to produce additional anthocyanins, which helps to give it the purple effect that so many people are after.

Turning a non-purple strain purple using brute force

Some growers drop the nighttime temperatures right down to 55 - 60 Fahrenheit. This will make even non-purple strains potentially turn purple. But the plant will not be performing optimally as it will be struggling to survive in these cold conditions. The resulting product may be purple, but it could lack power due to the lesser environment.

Step #3 – Plant Lighting

Some purple strains produce more vividly-bright colours when exposed to intensely-direct lighting. Remember, as an indoor grower, you assume Mother Nature's role in providing and regulating sunlight to your plants. Lighting and its effects on plant colouring should be experimented with in order to see how the strain being grown responds to it. As always, the grower should closely monitor plants to ensure they are not light-burned.
Keep in mind that when the cultivator chooses the proper strain and genetics, they can achieve the purple-hue effect more easily and will not need this step.

led lighting

Further Reading

holy grail purple bud

For some growers, cultivating purple plants is the Holy Grail, the main reason being that it's aesthetically appealing. Demonstrating the ability to grow chronic purple weed also exhibits the skills of a grower.

However, disbelieve the misconception that purple buds are more potent or superior than traditional green plants; potency ultimately depends on the strain you grow, not the colour of it.

Granddaddy Purple, for example, is a popular purple weed strain known for high-level potency, though much like the colour of the plant, its potency is genetics-based. In other words, while some purple buds are powerful, others may not be, it all depends on the strain and amount of THC the plant produces.

In this post, we review the step-by-step process used by the pros to growing purple cannabis, so if you are wondering how purple weed is grown, you won't be for long; we’ll show you how, but first, let’s discuss the factors influencing the colour of marijuana plants.

What causes a Marijuana Plant to be Purple or Green?

As you likely know, most marijuana plants are green, and like a majority of other plants use a pigment known as chlorophyll to convert light sources into energy, which it uses to grow.

It just so happens to be that plants have no need for the light in the green wavelength of the spectrum. However, chlorophyll appears green as it absorbs all colours but also reflects it away from the plant, the very reason it has the colour it does.

Adding to that, marijuana plants use a range of pigments to convert sunlight into energy with one being anthocyanins, which absorbs all light-spectrum wavelengths from the sun with the exception of colours from the indigo spectrum. This is what causes marijuana plants to be purple as they have anthocyanins as the main pigment rather than chlorophyll.

What Parts of the Marijuana Plant Change colour?

There are four main parts of the marijuana plant that turn to colours other than green, including:

  • Leaves: Fan and sugar leaves can alter colour though this has little impact on the colour of buds. Purple leaves deliver the most striking of pre-harvest, awe-inspiring visuals and is the most visually-prominent feature during the growth cycle.
  • Pistils: This is the name of hairs protruding from buds and is how to tell if a plant is female. For the most part, they first begin with a white hue but then turn to orange, red, or brown, though in some cases, can turn pink or purple too. The nice thing about the colour is that it remains even after you harvest, cure, and dry your cannabis.
  • Calyxes: These small pods contain your buds; hundreds of them stacked upon each other make up your cannabis flowers.
  • Trichomes: These are tiny crystals that layer the buds and usually have a frost-white colour. As your harvest matures, the trichomes may turn amber-coloured though you can make them purple if you so wish.

Is there anything else that helps weed turn purple?

Few other methods have been tried, although, some say pH levels matter.

In the world of plants, some species change colour based on the pH levels at the roots. However, more research is needed as this tactic is rarely tried by cannabis growers.

Some seed manufacturers claim cannabis plants grown in soil with a pH level close to 7.0 produces pink or reddish pistils. This is something a grower will need to try for themselves as not much evidence is available for this.

Aside from these techniques, there is only one definitive way to grow purple weed, and that is choosing the right genetics. Growers can also experiment with lowering nighttime temperatures just a tad more than normal; the lighting suggestion shared above is worth trying but do so cautiously as light burn can seriously damage plants. Adding to that, it is always best to grow weed indoors so you can control the environment and give plants optimal growing conditions.

What not to do when Growing Purple Weed

There are many myths and plenty of misinformation that surround the growing of purple cannabis.

Some are silly and others are outright dangerous for plants.

For example, some suggest you should deprive plants of oxygen or CO2 while some say you should add more nitrogen to the soil so the plant turns a darker shade of purple.

While this can lead to colour change, the change is caused by nutrient imbalances, which is bad for plant health.

If the grower chooses to decrease nighttime temperatures, they should do so by no more than fifteen degrees Fahrenheit.

Some growers believe plunging temperatures by thirty degrees will turn their cannabis purple, but this can cause plant shock, which in some cases, will kill the plants subjected to these temperatures.

Last but not least, avoid using artificial dyes; plant colours are genetically encoded. Keep in mind, strains not predisposed to turning purple will not turn that colour, if the grower uses dye, the only achievement they will have made is increasing toxin consumption.


final thoughts

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for turning weed purple; the colour is determined by the strain the grower selects so temper expectations and do not purchase Green Dream, Green Door Kush, or Green Crack with the hope of turning it purple.

Rather, focus on purple-genetic strains, such as:

Remember, weed turning purple has all to do with the anthocyanin content of the strain, without it, the cultivator cannot grow nor enjoy the purple cannabis they are longing for.

Finally, aside from bag-appeal, there is no reason to obsess over purple weed as scientific evidence does not support the notion that it is stronger than traditional, green-coloured cannabis. So if a vendor says purple weed is better than those that aren’t, you may want to consider shopping at another dispensary.

If you were previously wondering how purple cannabis was grown before reading this guide you should now know how; the step-by-step tips and purple-dominant strains shared above will get you on track to collecting purple cannabis seeds that you and your eye for detail will appreciate.

Select the right strain, monitor grow-room temperatures, use nutrient-rich soil and don’t subject plants to temperatures more than fifteen degrees under the recommended temp. It is as easy as that!



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