What if trichomes doesn't change to amber color?

I am a novice grower, using a hydroponics system. I am growing using a 600 watt MH & HPS bulb. I have just had my third unsuccessful harvest. My last harvest I planted NYPD, PPP and White Widow. The plants looked and smelled as if they were a success. However, when I attempted too smoke them, they had NO potency at all! I allowed the sugested numbers of weeks for each plant type but no success. On my last harvest, I even waited over 17 weeks for the trichomes to change from clear to amber. However, they never changed to amber. Also, I allowed 1 week to dry and another week to cure.

Please advise what is going wrong or how to correct this problem.


10 Answers


Kizmo Points7984
Blaze I feel so sorry for you buddy. Are you using the MH when flowering?

trichomes don't have to go amber, but I wait untill the 3 stages of leaf dying.

first one is the shade leaf (big ones) some will turn yellow about week 6 of flowering then, the second stage about week 7-8 when most of your shades die, and when the head leaf starts going yellow, I normally pick. but I have been doing it for a while, so I just look at it and say yep "its time"

It might be nutrent related, lighting or soil related.... Its hard to say why especially from 3 strains. I renember loosing 2 seasons due to the soil recycling, thats when I joined this forum

Blaze1-4me commented Oct 15, 2011

How far into flowering should I stop misting the plants ? I read that misting bud could cause it to mold. Is that ture?

Kizmo commented Oct 15, 2011

Misting? like a foilia spray, or a light spray of water. I have never done that unless I was spraying for pests, or when I start flower the is a feramoan spray called wilder that help them to be female (not always the case) oh sorry or really hot days and add a bit of humidity, when the lights just turned off so the leaves dont dry out, but an extra water is better for them.
A circulating fan must stay on to dry off the water, because any water left on the leaves when the lights come back on will burn holes in the leaves, and if the water just sits there and soaks into the flower it can rot it like an old lettuce causeing bud rot/mould especcially on large flowers, so I would try not to after 4-6 weeks of flowering

Blaze1-4me commented Oct 15, 2011

Thanks!  Yes I mist with water for humidity. Also, I use a fan to help dry them.  I have limited space to work with so I don't want the babies to burn from the heat/light. They're in the 5th week of flowering so I should stop soon?

Believf commented Aug 17, 2016

Why would you want to spray a flowering plant right before lights out? That's only going to raise the humidity more than it normally is when it's lights out, which can cause mold. As for water on your leaves: Where are you getting that water will burn holes in your leaves with lights on? If this were the case then every time it rained during the day plants would be losing leaves left and right. If you do mist your plants it's better to do w/lights on due to humidity issues and the lights also help to evaporate the water. Leaves transpire enough as it is during lights out, no need to add to humidity levels. Finally, unless there's a valid reason to, it's really not necessary nor advised to mist plants during flowering, exxept for maybe the first week or two; Weeks 4-6 is far too late to be misting for no reason.

Kizmo commented Aug 17, 2016

it is only due to the high concentration of HID lighting (MH/HPS) that will magnify the light to burn holes or damage the leaves, also out door plants have a lot better air circulation that also helps preventing it. Also the air circulation and extraction also helps to prevent mould, so even if you do mist in your room after lights go out, the air circulation and extraction is normally needed for an extra 60-120 mins to prevent the mould issues. (unless its winter and freezing conditions then the air will freeze the water and cause issues) hopefully that helps? it was a thread from 5 years ago


ThomasRoland Points91
Metal Halide? Maybe. I would suggest it could more likely be do to your nutrients since you said you are doing it hydroponically. TO much will kill them/ burn them. But as too TO little... I would think its possible that your plants would grow but not develop. I am guessing YOUR BUDS were loose and fluffy maybe. 600 watts should dense them up and grow something that will get you buzzed atleast even with metal halide. But for no potency. Maybe your lacking nutrients. What nutes are you using and in what hydroponic system???


knewguy Points1201
Wow, sorry to hear about your bad luck. Way to go on the persistence. I woulda gave up by now.

Don't know any about hydro, that's why I grow outdoors.  The sun provides all the plant needs. Have you thought about giving outdoor growing a try?

ThomasRoland commented Oct 14, 2011

Late in the season for that most likely


UncleBud Points1586
be carefull w/the nutes in hydro--if you add water between changes, use plain water or a reduced nute as the unused nutrients become more concentrated. you mention 2 points 1) you're waiting very long for the trichs to change, and 2) you're worried about the heat. i had one grow very similar--high heat, low humidity--trichs not turning. when i did harvest. the calaxys were dry and puffy like popcorn and the smoke was very weak. hang in ther, man!!


airplane Points17605
17 weeks is long evenfor sativ's look again at your operation, it can take up to 6mos to cure  your product,  each plant (strain) has it's own harvest date, 17 weeks is way to long for those strains, go to "seedfinder.com" site will give up harvest dates on all strains, tou can go by that , give or take, next  look at your nutrients. good luck

Blaze1-4me commented Jan 13, 2012

Thanks for your reply. I was about to post again because it’s happening again. This is the second harvest; it’s now the 18th week of flowering. Plants look well. However, trichomes are still milky white. What should I do? What type of nutrients
do you use? I’m using General Hydroponics.

airplane commented Jan 14, 2012

Alot of times indoor growing takes  a little, longer to mature, their are a number of things I personnaly think it's a lighting problem, wattage, type, and distance from plants, as for nutrients alot of folks recommend  "botanicare CNS17 grow and CNS17 ripe, advanced nutrients also "Bloom",TIME is your worsed emeny keep your eye on them, give them a few mor weeks


FREE ! Points3428
What strain have you taken to 18 weeks, im assuming its a sativa ?


FREE ! Points3428
Using MH with HPS during flowering wont hurt your plants , its stops them stretching too much, my guess is waiting 17 / 18 weeks is far too long and youve killed the potency waiting too long for them to turn amber. Some strains wont turn amber, find out what the seed supplier recommends them to finish and use it as a guide. When in doubt pick a bud dry it for a few days and see what high your getting body or head.

I cannot advise or hydro as i only use soil but my guess is the trics potency has diminshed during weeks 11 to 17. GL.


dd Points2034
This is such an old thread we should probably stop...


professor Points74
you need about a 60x telescope to be able to veiw the color change of the trichomes from white to pink to amber, when about 50% of the trichomes have went amber it is ready for harvest, but you can't see these changes with the nake eye.

steve commented Oct 25, 2011

I agree with ya 100% , I was using a smaller power eye loupe unmarked power , and just got a new 60 X lighted loupe,,  wow what a difference...made my trichomes look like a place i'd like to live

dd commented Jun 7, 2015

i agree regarding the magnifier, but maybe you already knew that.


Believf Points14
Although this is quite an old thread it can still help others. It seems as though you waited FAR TOO LONG to harvest your crop. If all of your trichomes are milky white and the plants are 8+ week strains, why are you NOT harvesting right then? All of the THC has degraded by the time you're harvesting, and you're left with marijuana that is apparently very high in CBN & CBD, but no THC.

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