The life cycle of Cannabis Indica is divided into two distinct phases – vegetating and flowering – which are reactions to different day-lengths (photo-periods).
Vegetation occurs when the plant experiences long days and short nights, known as the long photo-period. When vegetating , Cannabis Indica devotes its energy to increasing in size and stature. As days become shorter and nights longer (the short photo-period), the plant receives the signal that winter is approaching and its flowering phase is triggered.
In the flowering phase, upward and outward growth slows or stops as Cannabis Indica directs the bulk of its energy to growing reproductive parts – male flowers which distribute pollen or female flowers which produce the majority of cannabinoids and are meant to receive pollen and produce seeds. If male plants are eliminated early in the flowering phase, female plants are prevented from making seeds and their cannabinoid-rich flowers (also referred to as buds, tops or heads) may be harvested for medicinal and recreational use.
Indica strains require both a vegetating and a flowering period in order to reach their full size.
General Physical Appearance of Indica Strains
Cannabis Indica L. is typically a more compact, thick-stemmed bushy plant unlike its Sativa cousins, usually reaching a height of less than 6 feet. The foliage is generally dark green, some having almost blue or green-black coloring on the short, wide blades of the leaves.
Indica strains tend to produce more side-branches and denser growth than Sativas, resulting in wider, bushier plants. Indica flowers form in thick clusters around the nodes of the female plant (the points at which pairs of leaves grow from the stem and branches). They usually weigh more than Sativa flowers of similar size, as they are denser.