Grow Q&A: Understanding Vegetative Time
There is no ideal amount of time to keep your plants in their vegetative stage. You decide for yourself how long you want to take to build leaves and branches of your plant under 18-20 hours of light, and then induce flowering using 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. The longer you keep your plants in the vegetative stage, the bigger your plant will be, resulting in bigger yields from plants that were vegetated longer.
The drawback to a longer vegetative period is the fact that it takes more time, lengthening your growing schedule and allowing more time for things to go wrong along the way. Vegging a plant for three months is a waste of time so think of it as something with diminishing returns when you overdo it. I usually recommend a week of veg time for every gallon of growing medium (ie: a plant grown in a 5-gallon bucket should get about a 5 week veg). Most people veg their plants anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months but there are Sea of Green growers who hardly veg at all and large plant experts that go longer. The important thing is that the plants are healthy throughout this vital stage of growth. That way, they’ll be ready to pack on the flowers during the blooming stage.
The Stages of Cannabis Growth
Cannabis growth is made up of a series of stages that plants undergo during their lifecycle. Each stage during the cannabis cultivation process requires its own unique demands, including different levels of light, water, and nutrients.
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks!
The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
Cannabis Growth Timeline
1. Germinating: 1-7 days
2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks
3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks
4. Pre-Flowering: 1-2 weeks
5. Flowering: 6-8 weeks
1. Germinating Seeds
2. Seedling Stage
3. Vegetative Growth
How to tell if your plant is a male or female
Female: Two pistils (the pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower) will be growing on the buds (flowers grow above these leaves, one cluster on each side).
Male: Small green sacs full of pollen will be seen on the node areas.
- If there is a high color ratio of white to red pistils your cannabis will provide a euphoric THC high.
- If the color ratio is more red to white, your cannabis will provide a calmer, CBD-stoned feeling.
- If you harvest once half the trichomes are opaque and the pistils haven’t turned brown, your cannabis will provide a balanced THC/CBD high.
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