Ready-To-Harvest Cannabis Picture Gallery

Updated Jul 11, 2021

Harvest cannabis buds at the right time for the highest potency, yields, and best effects!

Example of a beautiful colorful cannabis nug that was harvested at the right time then dried and cured like a professional!

by Nebula Haze

Cannabis buds can come in all shapes and sizes! Although variety is the spice of life, it can make it a little confusing to know when to harvest your buds based on how your plants look. But if you harvest when buds are ready, you’ll get the best yields and potency, so it’s a good idea to try to harvest at the right time if you can!

We have a full harvest tutorial, but this article is mostly just a picture gallery 🙂

When buds first appear on your plant, they look like little round puffs of hair. Each bud is made up of many white hairs (“pistils”) that stick straight out.

Not Ready

Baby buds (budlets) look like a ball of white hairs. These buds have many weeks to go!

Example of a marijuana plant that has just started the flowering stage and is making wispy white pistils in preparation for making buds!

Still Not Ready

As the marijuana plant buds get closer to harvest, they thicken, and those white pistils start to darken and curl up. You’ll notice your buds are slowly getting thicker and denser. However, if you still have a lot of straight white pistils, like this bud, you know you still have a few weeks to go.

This cannabis bud is not ready, even though some of the pistils have started to darken and curl in

Ready to Harvest!

You’re in the weed harvest window when most of the pistils have darkened and curled in. However, sometimes it’s a little challenging to identify when buds are ready since each plant is different, and buds can look very different at harvest time. So today, I want to share lots and lots of pictures of many different cannabis buds that are ready to harvest so you can see the full gamut of variation!

A bud is ready to harvest when most of the hairs darken and curl in

This cannabis cola is ready to harvest

Continue to the picture gallery below, or read the full tutorial on when to harvest your cannabis 🙂

These Cannabis Plants Are Ready to Harvest!

Without further ado, here’s the gallery of “ready for harvest” cannabis buds!

Weed cola looking good! Ready to be chopped and dried!

Pretty bud - click for a closeup!

This marijuana bud is finished and ready to harvest!

Kaya Gold under LED grow lights

This Auto Sour Diesel is still working on darkening some pistils. More time would benefit it greatly!This bud could be harvested now, but it wouldn't reach its maximum size or potency.

Purple auto-flowering buds just before the chop!

AK47 plants and colas

LED grown bud

Critical Hog cola - grown in DWCThis Blue Cheese bud is ready to harvest

Example of cannabis bud that is ready to harvest!

A few weeks left... these buds are not quite ready to harvest

This fat, smelly cannabis bud is ready to harvest!

Ready to Harvest Cannabis buds; the dog in the background is not harvestable.Ready To Harvest Marijuana plant

All the pistils have mostly darkened and curled in, so you know this cannabis cola is ready to harvest

These marijuana buds are ready to harvest

This auto-flowering cannabis plant is ready to harvest!

This plant with purple leaves is ready!

This purple bud / cola is ready to harvest!This fat weed cola is ready to harvest!

This pretty cannabis bud is mature and ready to harvest right now!

This cannabis bud grown under LED grow lights has just entered the harvest window!

HPS grown marijuana bud

Autoflowering Lemon OG HazeFat cannabis bud

Purple buds with trichomes

Trichomes galore - phone picture!

This bud is at the very beginning of the harvest window

This cannabis plant is ready to harvestAnother huge fat smelly cannabis cola that smells amazing and is ready to be harvested and dried!

All the pistils have darkened and curled in - this cannabis cola is ready to harvest!

Some buds kind of look almost white at harvest due to either lots of trichomes or the buds themselves may be pale. This type of coloring is how strains like “White Widow” got their name 🙂 If you look closely, the actual pistils/hairs have all darkened and curled in, so this bud is ready to harvest!

Marijuana cola ready for the chop!

A few more examples of pale buds that are ready to harvest

This bud almost looks white from being covered in trichomesOriginal Amnesia cola had very pale buds

This cannabis bud keeps putting out new white pistils right when it looks like it’s about ready to be harvested! Some plants keep doing this over and over during the flowering stage, and you may eventually have to decide to make the chop. This picture is right before the grower decided to harvest this plant. Learn more about what to do if your plant keeps making new pistils.

This Sativa plant keeps putting out new pistils over and over. At some point you need to just decide it's time to harvest.

Here’s that plant from a little further away for context

Fruit Spirit cola, ready to harvst!

This strain grows in a similar way, and this bud is also ready to harvest even though there are lots of new white pistils

Example of purple marijuana cola with an odd structure

This bud has many tiny new sugar leaves and new pistils on top. It also has a top-heavy “fist” shape. These are common symptoms of heat or light damage, especially if they only appear on the parts of the plant close to the light. If this is happening, look at the older parts of the buds to decide when to harvest. Even though there’s a bunch of new white pistils on top, this bud is ready right now because the rest of the bud looks ready!

Example of a plant with light burn

Since the non-damaged parts of the plant are ready to harvest, this plant is ready to harvest now. All the new pistils are from heat or light damage, and should be ignored! Learn more about why this happens!

Example of heat and light stress - the extensive new growth at the top of the bud is caused by the grow light being too close!

Examples of Outdoor Buds that Are Ready to Harvest

These outdoor buds are ready to harvest! Sometimes outdoor buds look a little different than indoor. For instance, they’re often leafier (though not always!)

These buds are ready to harvest? Why is it purple? This cannabis plant turned purple because it got cold at night Example of outdoor grown cannabis that's ready to harvest

This thick outdoor marijuana cola is ready to harvestAnother example of an outdoor cannabis bud that is ready to harvest

Outdoor Sativa bud just before harvestExample of an outdoor plant with a mature bud!

Fat, round cannabis bud

Pretty purple outdoor marijuana bud

What About When Pistils Are Pink or Purple?

Sometimes it’s harder to know when to harvest with certain strains because the pistils might be purple or pink from the beginning instead of being white at first. For example, the pistils on this plant came in pink, and as they got closer to harvest, they curled in, and they darkened slightly to an orange hue.

Example of a plant where pistils grow in pink, but then start to turn orange when they curl in

You need to do your best to try to harvest when most of the pistils have darkened and curled in as best you can tell 🙂

It can be hard to know when purple strains are ready to harvestExample of a purple auto flowering plant outside - ready to harvest!


Ready to Harvest Auto-Flowering Buds

Auto-flowering strains of cannabis are a special strain variety. Autoflowering plants start flowering (making buds) after about 3-4 weeks, and are usually ready to harvest 2-3 months from germination. This is different from standard photoperiod strains, which need to receive 12-hour dark periods every day to start flowering and develop buds properly. Learn more about why growers put plants on a 12/12 light schedule.

For the most part, autoflowering buds are the same as photoperiod buds. Some of the newer autoflowering strains have buds that are indistinguishable from their photoperiod counterparts. But some autoflowering buds tend to be a bit leafy looking. Here are some examples of different autoflowering buds that are ready to harvest.

Auto Lemon OG Haze plant that’s ready to harvest

Auto-flowering Lemon OG Haze cannabis coloa

Gorilla Glue Fastbud Auto

Cinderella Jack Auto by Dutch Passion (one of the most potent auto-flowering strains I’ve grown so far)

Black Cream Auto plants just before harvest

Example of various Black Cream auto cannabis plants by Sweet Seeds

What If Buds Appear “Burned”?

This bud was too close to LED lights and got burnt, and is ready to harvest. Anytime you see a completely “burned” looking bud without any green leaves left, it’s time to harvest before the quality of the bud starts degrading further.

Damage from light and heat have matured this bud, and it is ready for harvest immediately!

This plant also got burned from a too-close LED light. When a marijuana plant is damaged this extensively, harvest immediately to prevent further yellowing from spreading to the buds!

Example of damaged cannabis buds - harvest immediately!

Nothing terrible happened to this plant, the grower just wanted to let it go a little longer. However, a plant is usually ready to harvest by the time the sugar leaves are turning yellow.

You know to harvest this plant since the sugar leaves have turned yellow

What About Trichomes?

Looking at the buds themselves is very important, but if you want to ensure the best potency, you also want to look at the glittery trichomes on your buds under a magnifier. By combining looking at the buds with looking at the trichomes, you can pinpoint the perfect time to harvest with any strain!

"Glitter" on buds, or trichomes, give cannabis your potency!

Learn more about looking at trichomes to determine when to harvest!

Sparkly bud cola with tons of trichomes



Read Full Marijuana Harvest Tutorial – with more information and additional tools to help you check if buds are ready

How to Dry and Cure Buds – this process is necessary to ensure a good taste/smell, to prevent headaches, and to increase potency compared to fresh buds



Jump to….

Tips to Growing Top-Shelf Cannabis

Flushing For Better Buds

How To Get To Harvest As Fast As Possible

How to Increase Yields



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