Drying plants directly in the pot, without cutting the stem?

nexus

New member
One thing that I have always wondered regarding the initial drying of the plant, before curing... If growing in soil, is there any particular reason not to just let the soil dry out, turn off the lights in the growing room, and let the plants dry right where they are -- standing upwards in the pots? This may of course be impractical if there are several rotating grows in the same grow room, or if the plants are not finished at the same time for other reasons, or if the grow room should be directly used for the next grow, and so forth, but if we disregard such "external" reasons for avoiding this method and just consider the idea of letting a plant stand in the pot when it dries... is there anything wrong with doing so? Any reason not to do it?

Seems to me to be pretty convenient as you won't need to hang the plant at all or do anything in particular. The pot will serve a bit like a "tripod" (don't know the proper word in English) while it dries, and air flow will presumably be good around the plants, and afterwards you just cut, trim, and go directly onto the curing.

Any thoughts on this?
 
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Barnflowers

New member
Worth a try

@nexus
First of all a disclaimer, I have no experience drying and curing, tonight I will probably chop my first grow in thirty years (my second actual attempt at growing).

That said I have read a bunch of stuff on various forums and I will share my opinion for what it is worth.

  • Everyone seems to agree that a slow dry is best.
  • Most people agree that drying the plant whole provides a nice slow dry
  • Drying the plant whole can be a problem when the plant is hung upside down because the large leaves can stick to the buds making trimming difficult, I have read that hanging the plant right side up helps with this situation.
  • I have read that drying a plant in the pot as you suggested will yield a good result.

There are a few caveats however
  • Likely it will take longer to dry maybe two or three weeks VS five - ten days
  • Depending on how dry the soil is and temps/humidity there could be a chance of rot or fungus.
  • Of course as you mentioned this ties up your growing space for a while.

So there you have it, advice from a newbie!
I only have three plants that I am harvesting perhaps I will try this with a couple of them, my plants haven't been watered in about two weeks. All the trichs are cloudy almost none are clear, a very small percentage are amber. I don't have enough experience to know better so it seems to me that it's time. Right now I am heating a room and that's not how I planned to spend my electricity $$ so I want to shut it down until spring.

I'll keep you posted on what I decide and what I did.

Mr Barnflowers
 

onetokeover

New member
I am experimenting with this process right now. I have several fully seeded plants that I won't be smoking anyways so I thought it would be a safe way to test the drying portion of the program. I will smoke some of the de-seeded bud out of curiosity.

I took 5 plants and stuck them in the back corner of my shop 3 weeks ago. It took 10 days for the plants to deplete the moisture in the soil and start to wilt. That tells me I should have stopped watering several days before I removed them. Since then they have been drying very slowly, still not ready yet, but getting close. I think one more week.

No mold to be seen but won't know for sure till I trim and deseed.
 

Fated

Member
it's a matter of time.

sure, you can do that for awhile - instead of girdling then waiting - however, after some time you will need to go ahead cut the plant off and hang it.

This has been done by several already, and there are some online videos of that process.

I generally wait until the plants start using less water than usual. that's a sign (to me) that the plant is nearing the end of its flowering cycle. then when the soil is dry (and the plant looks done) I harvest. getting it down correctly is a matter of experience.

certainly some people use a darkened room for the last 24 hours or so (i have seen online video claiming a week). I personally have never made it past about 2 & 1/2 days with the dark room thing. I didn't notice any real jump, but that was my experience and yours may be different.

So Here Is The Important Caveat: You Will Need to check for over-ripening.

that is also something that people who girdle plants also need to check for.

from what i have been told (and my experimentation has been limited) - girdling actually deprives the roots of nutrients more rapidly than the growing plant. So the root system will die before the above ground portion of the plant. That is supposed to be a method for getting the whole plant to mature at one time - instead of doing like good ol' steve tuck recommends and harvest slowly from the top down. more modern methods for bulk harvest involve chemicals, and some archaic methods use smoke.

either way If the whole plant is starving it May cause more (or less) problems.

The Best Way to Know for Sure is to test one. That way you can contribute. Plus it's always a good idea to take online advice with a grain of salt (even mine), and test things for yourself. regurgitating other peoples words without first hand experience is just plain Bad.
 
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nexus

New member
Thanks a lot for your replies! For those of you actively experimenting with this: I am looking forward to hear about your experiences later on.

I actually planned to do it this way last time I harvested, but in the end it turned out that the soil was too wet when I decided I wanted to start the drying, and turning lights off at that point would only make it take forever for the soil to dry out. Like onetokeover here pointed out: you need to stop watering at the right time for this to work well. Perhaps that is actually one of the strongest arguments against this method... :)

Still I like the idea of thinking like "how about NOT doing this or that" rather than "how about doing this or that" when growing stuff. Just leaving the plants in the pots is a bit along those lines... :)
 
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midwest

New member
This doesn't seem like a good idea at all to me
Essentially what you are doing is giving your plants an extemely poor final week of life leading to a slow painful death. The plant is going to do various things to try to stay alive such as converting sugars and going hermophrodite. The quality of the smoke is sure to be effected. I think you would be surprised at how long a plant will stay alive with no light and water.
 

nexus

New member
This doesn't seem like a good idea at all to me
Essentially what you are doing is giving your plants an extemely poor final week of life leading to a slow painful death. The plant is going to do various things to try to stay alive such as converting sugars and going hermophrodite. The quality of the smoke is sure to be effected. I think you would be surprised at how long a plant will stay alive with no light and water.
Hi! I think you are probably quite right. Still I am not 100% sure why a dry pot would be so different from cutting the stem? Couldn't you call the week after cutting the stem an extremely poor final week (or slightly less) of life as well? You mention the conversion of sugars.. does that involve the presence of the roots somehow? As I said, you're probably quite right and I am only missing something obvious.
 

midwest

New member
The difference is that when you cut the stem, the plant will die and the drying process will start
By leaving it in the pot, the plant remains alive, and instead of drying, it will deteriorate in health and wilt.


If you are interested in slowing down your drying process I would stick to the tried and true methods. Water your plant thouroughly the day before you harvest. Hang Dry for a couple days. Then switch to something like a paper bag, cardboard box, ect. After a while of that move it to jars and cure.

Just my $.02
 

Barnflowers

New member
By leaving it in the pot, the plant remains alive, and instead of drying, it will deteriorate in health and wilt.
@midwest
Hmm, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but your comments seem perfectly logical. Last night I cut one plant at the base and hung it to dry, I left two others in pots. This was my experiment.

I think maybe I should cut them all down tonight :eek:

The whole point of the grow was to get some good smoke, not a science degree! :confused:

Mr Barnflowers
 

BullDogDad

New member
re:

I did this once and the bud turned out nice. It can work just as well as hanging but hanging is more space efficient and frees up the grow space.
 

nexus

New member
The difference is that when you cut the stem, the plant will die and the drying process will start
By leaving it in the pot, the plant remains alive, and instead of drying, it will deteriorate in health and wilt.
Thanks again for clarifying, and again I have to say that I think you're probably quite right. However, I am still curious what you base this on? Do you have scientific evidence for what you say, or what is this based on? Apologies if I am not easily convinced. :) As I said, you're probably right and in a way I am fine with knowledge which is "just" based on experience and such. Just want to know what sort of knowledge we're talking about here. Not questioning your knowledge and skills as such. You mentioned something about "converting sugars" which made me think that maybe you have some proper knowledge of plant biology that may be underlying what you say?

I also wonder about people growing in hydro: Would there be a difference between cutting off the roots when the plant is removed from the hydro unit to dry, or not cutting the roots before hanging the plants to dry? A kind of "middle case"..

(Of course I know that there is not clear scientific evidence for everything.. just wondering if there is, in this case.)

Love and respect,
Nexus
 
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sprinkl

New member
I don't see the point in not trying this. Nothing that's been said in this thread has been proven. I mess around experimenting with this each grow and it never gave bad results.
In nature the plant automatically starts wilting when it's done flowering. Leave some plants in full soil outdoors, they will wither if you give them water or not. Shortening days, finishing flowering = the plants roots don't take up water or for some other reason, the plants just die. It can sometimes be rejuvenated by putting it back in veg time lighting. Otherwise it will just die. Buds suncure on the plant. I've let plants pretty much dry out, wither and die in a corner of the tent with less intense lighting and the top of buds(dried most) was smokeable straight of the plant, already lost most of the green color.

I most of the time put my plants in the cellar in the dark when they're done. For 24 hours at least. I read they keep converting sugars, clorophyl and other stuff and THC keeps increasing. This makes sense. THC is always highest after night I've read, best time to harvest is before lights go on. So I think leaving it in the dark will not detoriate/ripen the trichomes further as upposed to it being in the light. Besides it gives less pressure for getting the trimming job done which can be a pain.
When you cut a plant and dry it it doesn't know it's dead. If you're fast enough you can take cuttings or reveg.At a certain point it's too dry and is "dead". This first drying stage, which is actually the curing stage imo, is where clorophyll, sugars and other stuff is converted to better tasting stuff.
Stretching this as long as possible is something I've experienced with many times, with good results. It's important not to dry too fast and leaving the upper part of the plant whole or even the complete plant will make sure this won't happen. If you cut branches and trim it can dry too fast, leading to uneven drying or not enough clorophyl being converted. This can be somewhat fixed by a tedious long "jar-burping" cure method. Buds from the old days were often golden or black. Never green like most buds nowadays is. I believe this is due to a really good (wet) curing process where the clorophyll is completely destroyed, and in the case of black/brown weed, due to a fermenting process. One of these techniques was dumping wet branches on a pile, turning it around every now and then. Or wrapping in leaves in some kind and then drying. It all comes down to slowly, slowly drying. Keeping the plant material "alive" until it eats all the nutrients and clorophyl remaining, resulting in color loss.
 
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Wicked1

New member
I agree

I don't see the point in not trying this. Nothing that's been said in this thread has been proven. I mess around experimenting with this each grow and it never gave bad results.
In nature the plant automatically starts wilting when it's done flowering. Leave some plants in full soil outdoors, they will wither if you give them water or not. Shortening days, finishing flowering = the plants roots don't take up water or for some other reason, the plants just die. It can sometimes be rejuvenated by putting it back in veg time lighting. Otherwise it will just die. Buds suncure on the plant. I've let plants pretty much dry out, wither and die in a corner of the tent with less intense lighting and the top of buds(dried most) was smokeable straight of the plant, already lost most of the green color.

I actually had this happen to me with a plant that was stuck in the back of my grow room. I had like 30 plants in a 5'7"x3'8"x7'8" grow room doing a sea of green. It died and dried out in the pot while the others finished flowering. When I went to harvest them, I noticed this one was done. It was very very sticky and gooey, had a nice ripe smell and was ready tgo smoke right off the stem of the plant. I though this was crazy but the weed was phenominal. Have I done this since? Nope. Will I try it again? Maybe. I usually harvest, then take the bud upstairs to an empty room, pull the shades, run my clotheslines.....I use 3M stickems.....to attach the ropes to. They stick to the walls and then you pull the tab, it releases the sticky and it comes opff the wall no holes and no marks.....I hang the whole plants upside down with a fan circulating this room(Room is 12x14)not blowing on the plants. I come back in 1 week, check them turn the fan down, give it another week, then I start to manicure a little and smoke to see where we are. I usually trim and move them to brown bags and then to glass wide mouth mason jars KROGERS or Winn Dixie sells them for 12 bucks a case. I have about 35 plants coming out of the flower room soon and I will try some various methods....I like to make hash, so if I damage or fuck them up it is all good in the hash....I use bubble bags and ice extraction for this. Hope this helps.
Respects,
W1:eek:
 
One thing that I have always wondered regarding the initial drying of the plant, before curing... If growing in soil, is there any particular reason not to just let the soil dry out, turn off the lights in the growing room, and let the plants dry right where they are -- standing upwards in the pots? This may of course be impractical if there are several rotating grows in the same grow room, or if the plants are not finished at the same time for other reasons, or if the grow room should be directly used for the next grow, and so forth, but if we disregard such "external" reasons for avoiding this method and just consider the idea of letting a plant stand in the pot when it dries... is there anything wrong with doing so? Any reason not to do it?

Seems to me to be pretty convenient as you won't need to hang the plant at all or do anything in particular. The pot will serve a bit like a "tripod" (don't know the proper word in English) while it dries, and air flow will presumably be good around the plants, and afterwards you just cut, trim, and go directly onto the curing.

Any thoughts on this?
I did this once because I had to go out of town on short notice. When I came back 2 weeks later, 5 (of 6) plants were perfectly dry and ready for jars. However, 1 of the 6 did not make it and was completely withered. I had no choice, so I was happy not to lose my whole crop.
 

polyarcturus

New member
i do this pretty regularly. in my set NFT setup the plants are small enough to go under the hydro system in their pots. i leave them their in the semi dark for a week till the soil is bone dry then i chop. i have left them on the roots all the way till dry a few times, no difference really.
 

tkadm30

New member
I usually cut the fan leaves and the main stem without hanging them upside down. I really don't see any benefits in hanging the plant upside down. Maybe someone could shed some light on this?
 

bluntmassa

Active member
I usually cut the fan leaves and the main stem without hanging them upside down. I really don't see any benefits in hanging the plant upside down. Maybe someone could shed some light on this?
No benefits really, sometimes I don't bother to cut when I don't have time to trim but it takes a lot longer to dry and I often end up cutting and hanging to get it done but it just gives me extra time so my buds don't end up crispy dry.

All depends on the quantity to trim for me mostly because I very rarely have help trimming only one person I really trust but he thinks he's a pro because he trimmed out west for a year and I don't think he does a great job quicker than me but not much and I do a better job for free.

I will also cut the fan leaves and stems and start the cure occasionally just because the cure is more important than the trim and it takes time to process a few pounds the way I like it I don't like any leaves at all really half a leaf is fine but I trim it beautifully. :D

Basically it don't matter much what you do just don't over dry.
 

Big Sur

Active member
I used to cut plants and hang then upside down, but I find it is not needed and takes up a lot of space. These days I cut the plants at harvest time and remove the large fan leaves. I cut the tops to 6 to 8 inches in length and set them flat in shallow cardboard trays (soda can flats). I turn them once a day and dry them in cool place out of the sun until the sugar leaves are dry to the touch. Then I trim back the sugar leaves and put the tops in paper bags for curing in a back room for about 2 months, leaving the bags open at first and then folding the tops shut as they cure.

Works for me.
 
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mogie

New member
That is what have always done. Cut the girls down, hang them for about 5 -7 days, put into paper bags for another 2 - 4 days and finally into jars for at least 3 months. Those are all approximate times as the actual times vary depending on the rate of drying. But those are average.
 
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