Cannabis Hairs Turning Red Too Early

Cannabis Hairs Turning Red Too Early: [2 Major Reasons]

When you’re growing cannabis, the last thing you’re looking for is a poor harvest. You want your buds to grow out fully and be potent. 

So are wondering why are your cannabis hairs turning red too early

Sometimes the flowering nutrients that you spray onto your plant are too strong. Other times, your female flowering plants get pollinated early. Both of them can be resolved. You could dilute the nutes before applying. And you can keep your male plants away from your female ones. 

But don’t worry. We have all the details regarding them explained in this article. So just scroll down to learn more!

What are Cannabis Hairs?

The hemp plant often has little strands which are hair-like projections. They protrude from the center of the flower and are more commonly known as stigmas or pistils. 

These pistils collects pollen from the male reproductive organs of the cannabis plant. After the pistils collect the pollen, they can then become pollinated. 

Initially, pistils are white in color. That is, before they start maturing or get pollinated. So what happens to the pistils after maturation & pollination? 

Source: Flavor Fix

Let’s get right into that!

When do Cannabis Hairs Turn Red?

As the plant matures, the white pistils start to darken in color over time. Progressing to change color from white to yellow to orange to red and sometimes brown. 

But that also depends on the strain of your cannabis. Because different strains change colors accordingly. And the color change means that your plant is now close to its harvesting time. 

Just look out for when 70-90% of the pistils in our plant are red. And then you should be able to harvest the weed.

Now, followed by pollination, the pistils in the female plant develop a seed. That implies that the marijuana plant’s life cycle is now complete. And it is also when the pistils turn red. 

But the problem is, it means that your plant has now become less potent. And that’s not the best result for a grower. This is because you would like your plant to keep creating resinous flowers. 

However, after pollination, it stops doing that. Because the whole focus now moves onto the seeds. As a result, the weed obtained will be less potent than it first was. 

So, why are your cannabis hairs turning red so early?

Why are Cannabis Hairs Turning Red So Early?

Generally, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks into the flowering stage. And that is before the cannabis hairs change colors. But again, the time it takes differs based on the strains. 

So your pistils turning brown at week 6 is okay. 

If you’re 4 weeks into flowering and there are no buds, don’t worry. It is important to understand, that in some strains it takes up to 7 weeks to get red. But for some strains, it might even take less than 4 to 6 weeks. 

And this change in hair color is a sign of nature. It implies that your plant has grown out of the young stage. And that it is now mature enough for harvest. 

So, why are your cannabis hairs turning red earlier than they are supposed to? Well, there’s more than one reason for that. 

Let’s get right into those!

Reason 1: Flowering Nutrients Too Strong for the Pistils

Flowering nutes are often sprayed on the plants to help them develop the bud during flowering. Nutes are basically nutrients for the flowers. They are used to enhance the production of trichomes. 

However, if the sprayed nutes are too strong, that can cause the pistils to get burnt out. And that can cause them to change color to red earlier than normal. 

You can use Advanced Nutrients Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer for your cannabis plant.

Solution 1: Spray Optimum Nutes 

So, it’s best to start with like 1/4 strength of the nutes first, and then 1/2 strength. Just to see how the plant takes it. Maybe use one plant of the batch as a tester first. 

It’s safer that way and you won’t compromise the whole batch. And you can ensure if your pistils turn brown after spraying or are caused by something else!

However, if you’re past that phase, apply some foliar spray along with some kelp

That should help bring your plant back. Not the flowers with red or brown pistils, but for the ones which are yet to grow. 

Reason 2: Early Pollination of the Female Cannabis Plant

When your female cannabis plant gets pollinated, it put a lot of energy into the seeds. So little energy goes into producing quality buds. And the majority of it goes into seed production.

And that just means poor harvest. But the color of the pistils is a good indication of pollination. So if the pistils are turning red earlier than they should, that means your plant is pollinated. 

Generally, the color change usually takes place at the tip of the pistils. The stalk normally remains white. Unless the pollination occurred way before you started noticing. 

Solution 1: Separate Male and Female Plants

The best thing to do is to keep your male plants away from your female plants. That way, you can protect your other female plants from getting pollinated. 

But, you must learn to identify them first. However, it’s easier to keep them separate when you’re growing cannabis indoors. 

Source: Yahoo Finance

Because normally pollen can travel up to 7.5 miles. And in harsh weather conditions, it can go up to 30 miles. So that makes it kind of tough to keep away when you’re growing outside.

And even pollen from other growers can be carried by air to your plants. Therefore additional measures to keep your female plant from pollinating must be ensured. 

Solution 2: Separate the Female Pollinated Plants

It’s important to identify the flowering plant which has been pollinated. And it’s important to be able to do that early on. That’s because finishing this growth won’t really lead to the most fruitful harvest. 

So it’s better to just start over instead when you realize your female plant is pollinated. 

Other Ways to Determine if Your Weed is Ready for Harvest

Sometimes you could be into week 6 and your plant is still flowering small buds. So how can you tell if it’s ready to harvest? The best way to determine the accurate time for harvest is through the trichomes. 

Trichomes are tiny appendages, visible on the surface of the flower. These are responsible for producing and storing both the terpenes and the cannabinoids. 

While they appear crystal-like at the start, they eventually start getting cloudy. Cloudy trichomes indicate that your plant is now at its peak THC level. And the best way to check them is under a microscope.

So, wait for when 50% of your trichomes seem to have turned cloudy. That’s when your plant is truly ready to harvest. 

But it might still be a good idea to understand what the color changes mean!


Are trichomes also known as root hairs?

No, trichomes are not known as root hairs. Trichomes are actually stemmed hairs and are multicellular in nature. On the other hand, root hairs are unicellular. Trichomes are tiny outgrowths. And they are usually found on the stems and leaves of a flowering plant. 

What are my buds supposed to look like at 5 weeks of flowering?

At 5 weeks of flowering, all the buds in your cannabis plant are supposed to thicken. And often you will also see new buds growing in other places. For instance, along with the main cola. And as a result, your plant should also be getting thicker overall, with the buds. 

Why are the buds in my marijuana so small?

There are a number of reasons why the buds in your marijuana are small. For instance, it could be due to less growing space. Perhaps the plant is overcrowded with other plants. Because the spacing between the plants is very little. But it could also be a result of a lack of pruning. 


That’s it! That’s all we had to why are your cannabis hairs turning red too early! Hope we were helpful in answering any questions you had relating to that!

It’s best to have an overall idea about the plant’s anatomy before you start growing them.

Happy growing!

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