As we head into September, many plants in the garden are growing and changing in fun ways, including your hemp. You've probably noticed how your plants are sending out taller shoots. Over time these taller shoots develop the flowers that you will harvest in October. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, here is the step by step guide to your plants before harvest.
Late August Plants should be 'stretching' with more space between each set of leaves. You might notice a few of the shoots are significantly taller than the rest of the plant. At this time the plant is transitioning from vegetative growth (all the green leaves and shoots) to developing flowers as it matures. A bit of a lanky teenager look may result!
Early September Your plants continue to mature and you'll notice pistils forming at node sites along the branches. In non-technical terms this means the flowers are starting to develop in your hemp. Think of these as a green rosebud before it starts to turn into a yet-opened rose.
Mid-September Those buds are now starting to get bigger and fill out, looking more like the final flower. You will start getting some intense smells from your plants. This is a great time to give them a sniff every few days and enjoy the aromas!
Late September to Early October The flowers are looking very much like final flower, full of aromas and lots of sparkle like a dusting of sugar on the fine leaves of the plant. Branches might get very heavy and need some support, especially if you are in a high-wind area.
For more information check out Royal Queen Seed's flower development guide. You'll notice they talk about each stage in terms of week. Don't get too caught up one week vs. another. It's just more ways of saying the same thing, that your plants will mature over a general period of time. Like waiting for a tomato to ripen, just check your plants out from time to time and enjoy the show!