What is Flipping?


If you’re new to growing, you might walk into the grow store and hear people talking and sharing stories about their gardens.

A word you might hear tossed around in those conversations is “flipping”.

If you’ve never heard this term in reference to gardening, you might think it could have something to do with flipping plants upside down for some reason. At least, that’s how I thought of it when I first heard the term.

In reality, flipping is much simpler, and less idiotic than my interpretation. Plants thrive on certain light cycles, and flipping is essential to maintaining this cycle.

Some plants like about 18-24 hours of light a day when they are in their vegetative stages. This allows them to absorb as much light and nutrients during the day to make them stronger and more resilient.

Flipping Your Plants

When plants go into the flower stage, this light cycle needs to change. Most flower cycles will be set on a 12/12 cycle. This means the plants will have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day. This represents the shorter days that come in the fall, which encourages the plants to finish their flowering for harvest.
 
What you just read is the basic definition of flipping. Flipping is simply going from the vegetative light cycle, to the flower light cycle. To explain the term as simply as possible; during the veg stage, plants sit in light almost all day. Flipping, is basically ‘flipping’ the light switch so to speak, so the 12/12 light cycle can begin, and the plants will be pushed into the flower stage.
 
Luckily these days most seeds you sprout will have recommended flower times on the package so you can have a general idea of when you need to flip. But if you're breeding your own seeds or just got a cut from a friend you'll want to watch your plants' growth, and flip them once you see their vegetative growth has ceased after several weeks.