Buttercream Gelato Feminized was developed by carefully hand-selecting the finest qualities of Durban, Gelato, and Hindu Kush. It is an easy-to-grow plant that finished flowering in 99 days and produced a heavy harvest with an exotic terpene profile. Pungent effects range from uplifting to a relaxing full-body stone, and it’s a great addition to any garden.
Flowering stage: 77 days
Total time, seed to harvest: 99 days
Final yield: 87 grams
THC content: 17.13 %
In most cases, growers can utilize the same growing area again, and we are no different, facilitating the cultivation cycle in our indoor growing area. Oscillating fans moved air above and below the canopy, and inline fans pulled all air through a carbon filter to remove odours. The soil of choice for our grow reports remained unchanged and used BAC Lava Soil Mix.
We use a simple, two-part feeding system that includes Bio Grow and Bio Bloom nutrients. To give the plant energy for photosynthesis, we use a 1000W Green Power Phillips HPS bulb fixed to the ceiling 300 cm above the soil surface. Whether it was pure water or feeding solution, we always pH’d to 6.2 before applying it to the soil.
Environmental controls were another aspect we kept with minimal fluctuations. Temperatures ranged from 23°C during the day to 21°C at night. Humidity was adjusted during the cultivation cycle, but we began our Buttercream Gelato Feminized seeds in 65% humidity. Our lighting schedule was a standard, 18 hours on/6 hours off for veg, and 12/12 for the flowering stage.
Germination & seedling
To germinate our seeds, we put them between two sheets of moist kitchen roll before moving them to a dark location. Within 24 hours, we could tell the seed had cracked open, and the white radical was starting to show. Within 36 hours, the radicle was sticking 0.5 cm out of the shell. At that point, the seed was removed from the damp tissue with tweezers and gently placed into the soil. We buried the seed 0.5 cm in the soil, with the radicle pointing down.
By the week’s end, our Buttercream Gelato Feminized had grown 3 cm above the soil. HPS lighting can often be too intense for seedlings, and our seedling spent its first week under the lower-powered 600W HPS at the height of 100 cm. By the third day, the soil needed some water and poured 100 ml of water with added root stimulant around the base of the stem.
In week two, we decided to transplant into the final pot size of 5 litres. The Buttercream Gelato Feminized was still tiny, both above and below the soil, but we wanted to give the roots plenty of room to expand. As the saying goes – the bigger the roots, the bigger the fruits. This also eliminated the need to transplant later, avoiding potentially shocking the plant.
We were still applying 100 ml of solution to our seedling, but switched out the root stimulant for our Bio Grow nutrients. The EC was adjusted to 1.4, and like before, the solution was applied around the base of the stem to target the young root zone.
As always, we proactively treat our cultivar for pests using organic methods like beneficial insects. Sachets of Neoseiulus Californicus and Amblyseius Swirskii are hung from the lower lateral branches of our Buttercream Gelato Feminized. These predators are effective at deterring infestations of thrips, fungus gnats, and two-spotted spider mites.
By week three, our Buttercream Gelato Feminized had doubled in height and now stood 19 cm tall. We increased the solution volume to 200 ml for each watering, which was still concentrated at the base of the stem.
The lower limbs were starting to reach out from the main stem to receive unobstructed light from above. The fan leaves were large and densely clustered due to the tight internodal spacing. New growth was lighter as it emerged but turned into a rich green as it grew into the familiar five and seven-fingered cannabis leaves.
In week four, we continued to see vigorous growth and subsequently increased the nutrient strength to an EC of 1.7. The volume of solution was also increased to 400 ml to support the expanding root system. With more foliage comes more transpiration, and we reduced the relative humidity to 60% because of the extra moisture.
By week five, our Buttercream Gelato Feminized had grown to 60 cm. With more than nine nodes, the decision was made initiate flowering by adjusting the light schedule to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. We knew our plant would stretch vertically during this phase, so we felt this was an excellent time to transition.
This change also meant we stopped using the Bio Grow nutrients and switched to the Bio Bloom formula. During the flowering stage, plants require less nitrogen (N) and can use more phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to build better flowers. The solution volume was increased to 800 ml per feeding, which was applied to the entire soil surface, not just the base of the stem.
Week six saw tremendous growth, and we were impressed. With the additional growth, some lower branches were too low or shaded from receiving optimal light. Being so far from the light source, they would not produce dense flowers, so we removed them. This action also created more airflow through the canopy, which is an effective part of mould mitigation.
It had been four weeks since we applied the beneficial insects to our IPM strategy and scouted our plant daily for unwanted predators. There was no obvious sign of damaging insects, but we released another sachet of Neoseiulus Californicus and Amblyseius Swirskii to eliminate the threat.
We increased the feeding volume to 1500 ml per feeding in week seven, but we began the week by doing a soil flush. This involves pouring enough pure water through the soil to create run-off. The excess water leaches pockets of concentrated nutrients and reduces sodium levels in the soil. Because we feed our Buttercream Gelato Feminized aggressively, doing an occasional flush can help improve the taste and burnability of the final flowers.
Week eight registered less vertical growth than the previous weeks. It was now week three of flowering, and most of the energy from photosynthesis was directed towards flowering. Each branch tip was adorned with a puffy white ball of stigmas, and these young buds were already starting to stack on the apical stem, forming an elongated cola.
The side branches also had relatively tight spacing, which meant they, too, were loaded with developing bud sites. Our Buttercream Gelato Feminized looked happy. The leaves were in the praying position, which is a sign of good internal water pressure and proper watering practices. The leaves from top to bottom were a rich green colour.
No fading from the lower fan leaves indicated we supplied adequate nutrition for our Buttercream Gelato Feminized. If we were underfeeding, we would see the mobile nutrient transition from lower to upper growth. They are no signs of tip burn on the leaves, which told us we were not overfeeding either.
Week nine focused on plant maintenance. This cycle had been going well, and it seemed like the days and weeks were flying by. Our Buttercream Gelato Feminized was not near finished yet, but we started to anticipate the final form of the plant and what it should look like at harvest. It did not grow vertically at all since last week. The Buttercream Gelato Feminized plant was now 139 cm.
We removed a few more lower auxiliary growth on each of the lateral branches. These rarely receive enough light, and by removing them, the growth energy is sent to higher bud sites. Light penetration is a factor to consider when keeping or removing lower branches, and these were not getting an adequate amount. To understand how light and distance work, familiarize yourself with the Inverse Square law.
We still had not discovered insect damage on our Buttercream Gelato Feminized by week ten, but we did not want to let our guard down! Per the IPM schedule, we released another sachet of the two beneficial insects. Using a natural defence against thrips, fungus gnats, and two-spotted spider mites was excellent, with no need for any additional chemicals.
The buds on our Buttercream Gelato Feminized were becoming prominent and dense. We decided to drop the humidity levels to 56%. Airflow was checked within the canopy, and we had excellent airflow. Both precautions are in place to reduce opportunities for mould to affect the buds.
Week eleven began with a flush of the soil. By looking at the plant, we knew our Buttercream Gelato Feminized had more than a couple of weeks remaining, so we continued with regular feeding after the flush. The plant had gained 2 cm since we last checked, but the growth on the buds was unmissable. Many of the limbs were weighed down by the buds, and we added plant stakes in the soil to support them.
A blanket of tiny trichome heads consumed the buds and surrounding sugar leaves. A few stigmas had turned brown, but we did not see any swelling of the bracts that growers would commonly see as the plant was making its final burst of growth. We noticed slight fading on lower fan leaves, which indicated a need for nutrients from the upper growth. Elsewhere, the plant maintained a healthy and vibrant green colour.
Week twelve was when we detected a floral scent from the growing plant. Our Buttercream Gelato Feminized was starting to become fragrant. To help maintain discreteness, our carbon filter was doing an excellent job of scrubbing the odorous air exhausted by the inline fan. We decided that one more round of beneficial insects would be applied. We hung sachets of Neoseiulus Californicus and Amblyseius Swirskii from the plant’s lower branches, allowing the beneficial insects to disperse.
In week thirteen, the floral scent was getting noticeably more robust. As our Buttercream Gelato Feminized came closer to harvest time, the smells increased on what seemed like a daily basis.
We continued to feed 1500 ml of solution at 1.8 EC daily. We saw more of the swollen bracts this week and an increased number of brown stigmas. Inspecting trichomes every other day, we saw the correct ratio of colours to know that harvest was close. Trichome heads begin clear before turning milky and then to a dark amber hue. Peak ripeness for most people is when 80% of the trichome heads are milky, 10% clear, and 10% amber.
To reduce the concentration of nutrients in the plant at the time of harvest, we stopped using all nutrients and fed our Buttercream Gelato Feminized only pure water. Giving the soil only pure water causes the plant to rely on its stored nutrients to finish the lifecycle. The extent of the fade on the plant leaves can gauge the effectiveness of the flush.
Week fourteen was the week when we decided to harvest. Yellow hues were visible in the larger leaves, but the buds remained lush green, accented by glistening trichomes and brown stigmas. We inspected the trichome heads and, after seeing our desired ratio, knew it was time to harvest.
It had been 99 days since our seed was placed into the soil. Now, reaching a final height of 143 cm, it was time to harvest our Buttercream Gelato Feminized, and we were excited!
The environment of our drying room was maintained at 15.5 °C with 60% humidity, and flowers were kept in pitch-black darkness. Small circulating fans moved the air around the drying plants. We avoided direct breeze on the plants because we did not want our Buttercream Gelato Feminized to dry too quickly.
We chopped the Buttercream Gelato Feminized plant near the base and brought it into our drying area to be hung upside down. Before this, we removed any large leaves that did not have significant trichome coverage.
We let our Buttercream Gelato Feminized hang for 16 days, checking it daily for moisture content. When the smaller branches snapped instead of bent, we knew the buds were ready for trimming. The buds were trimmed over our trim tray; this way, we collected any resin heads dislodged by handling. Trichome-covered leaves were set aside to later make hash with.
After trimming our buds, we placed them into a glass jar to begin the curing stage. Although the buds felt slightly dry to the touch, the weight indicated there was still moisture in the middle. Curing is the process of releasing that moisture over time. Because the freshly trimmed buds still had moisture within, we did not seal our curing jars for the first 36 hours.
Each jar was opened thrice daily for two weeks afterwards, and the lids were left off for approximately an hour. This is often referred to as burping the jars. Our buds develop sweet and earthy aromas as they are cured. During the final four weeks of curing, we opened the jars only once daily, but they received the same one-hour window to expel the trapped moisture.
Our Buttercream Gelato Feminized flowers were now adequately dried and cured. Not only was it time for us to test them, but we had a sample sent to a third-party laboratory for cannabinoid testing. Although we could describe the effects, the laboratory could tell us the THC percentage. When we got our results for the Buttercream Gelato Feminized from the lab, it had a remarkable THC level of 17.13%.
There were a few distinct profiles that developed throughout this cultivation cycle. Our Buttercream Gelato Feminized filled the air with a general herbal scent during the vegetative and early flowering stage. A robust floral odour appeared in the final weeks and became stronger each day until harvest. As the cure progressed, subtle aromas of sweetness and earth rose to the forefront.
The finished flower of Buttercream Gelato Feminized offered a specific but complex palate. The terpenes and flavonoids work in synchronization to create a unique profile. Scents of citrus were there to open your airways, allowing the remainder of the profile to follow behind. Buttercream Gelato Feminized emits hints of exotic sandalwood, refreshing mint, and soothing vanilla.
We always enjoy it when flowers offer the same flavour and scent. Buttercream Gelato Feminized had a fantastic taste that exhibited all the same qualities as the terpene profile. The effects of this enjoyable flower were immediate. An uplifting cerebral high sparked conversation and inspired artistic visions for some. This initial effect seamlessly gave way to a relaxing, full-body stone.
It would be an easy decision if asked to grow this plant again. The Buttercream Gelato Feminized did take a couple more weeks to finish than some strains, but it finished in a reasonable time. The quality of the dried flower was well worth the wait, and we think you would agree.
Buttercream Gelato Feminized is a low-maintenance strain with no training techniques needed. It was straightforward to grow, and trimming was a pleasure. After the flower was dried and cured, we weighed our harvest which totalled 87 grams.
The feminized seeds meant every seed germinated was a seed that would produce flowers. Combine all these factors, and you have an excellent strain for novice growers. Considering the unique profile and quality of flowers, it is also ideal for connoisseurs.
We would love to hear about your experience with Buttercream Gelato Feminized. Have you grown it, or do you have a friend that cannot stop talking about it? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Until the next grow diary, happy growing!
- Disclaimer:Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.