Tell any smoker that you have purple weed and you’re likely to get them very excited. Purple marijuana has become extremely popular, and instantly conjures up images of one of the most potent smokes one could have. Not to mention that the aesthetics of purple weed alone are pretty impressive. But, why does marijuana turn purple in the first place? And how can you turn green marijuana purple?
Of course, green is the standard color of marijuana, so why do some plants turn purple as they grow? Truthfully, all strains of medical marijuana are purple, but as chlorophyll starts to do its work, it covers up the purple color and turns the marijuana green. Some strains however, have been bred so that at the end of the life cycle, the chlorophyll dies and the purple becomes vibrant once again.
How to purple up plants
Turning plants purple is very easy. Start by choosing strains that are high in anthocyanin – this is the natural pigment found in foods such as eggplant and blueberries, and it works in cannabis plants as well. Blue Mystic, Haze Berry, Northern Light Automatic, and of course, Bluematic are all strains that will naturally grow purple leaves and buds.
Once you have a strain with high anthocyanin levels, you need to then coax the purple out a bit more, and this can be done by simply turning the temperature down during the dark cycle. Cooler temperatures will break down any of the green pigments formed from chlorophyll, which is why some strains grown in northern regions are more prone to purple. During the night cycle, keep the grow area below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and about two weeks prior to harvest, you’ll start to see purple leaves and buds.
How not to purple plants
Never deprive any plant of oxygen, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen. Some growers think that this forces the plant to “hold its breath”, thereby turning it purple. However, this will not work and will only stunt the growth and yield of the plant. Withholding nitrogen can also cause a nutrient deficiency and can cause the leaves to burn.
Also, while simply adding purple food coloring or dye to the plant may seem like an easy way to turn the plant purple, it’s highly recommend that you avoid this method. While it may initially turn your plant purple, it can actually kill the entire plant.
Strain and temperature are really the only safe, effective ways to turn weed purple. Grow strains that are high in anthocyanin levels, and make sure to keep them cool during their night cycles – especially those later on in the growing stage. This will mimic the conditions of fall and will turn a plant the vibrant purple smokers and growers alike look for.