How to Grow During Vegetative Stage

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The two most important stages of plant growth are vegetative stage and flowering stage. Vegetative stage is a growth stage connecting seedling stage and flowering stage. After growing the first set of intact leaves, plants unofficially enter the vegetative stage.

At this stage, the plant will only grow shoots and leaves—the process lasts about 4-16 weeks depending on the type of plant. After germination, your plant will expand at an explosive rate, and you will usually need to transplant it into a larger pot. For cannabis, Indica will grow laterally and have more branches in the process while Sativa will grow taller.

The importance of vegetative growth

vegetative stage

The importance of the vegetative stage is that the size of your plants at this stage almost determines your final yield. So, you need to provide a good growing environment for the plant to grow as large and healthy as possible.

At this stage, your plants obtain nutrients by digging their roots deep into the soil, and then transmits them to various parts of the plant through its branches. Plants that have absorbed nutrients begin to grow but of course adequate water and light are also essential for a healthy plant.

If you’re growing cannabis, this is the period to identify sex. A few weeks after the plant enters the vegetative stage, the plant begins to display its own sexual organs: Female plants grow small ‌preflowers with white hairs growing from the green calyx, known as the pistil—during flowering these will turn into the buds we want. Male plants also produce “flowers” but those flowers are round globules that are actually pollen sacs used to pollinate females.

Take out the males before the pollinate or wait for them to pollinate the females and discard the males after pollination if you want seeds.

How to grow during vegetative stage?

vegetative cannabis

For indoor growing, growers usually set up grow tents or grow rooms, which means that almost everything is under control, since providing a good growing environment is very necessary. Here are some factors to consider:

-Lighting: For indoor planting, the sign for the plant to enter the vegetative stage is to switch the light cycle to 18 hours of light and 6 hours of dark (of course this depends on the plant or strain—if you’re growing autoflowers you can keep your lights on for 24 hours a day).

In addition to the cycle, you also need to provide a certain amount of light according to the size of the grow room and the number of plants you grow. We recommend using LED grow lights, which provide full-spectrum LED grow lights that can adapt to all stages of your plant growth.

– Appropriate temperature and humidity: in the vegetative stage, the temperature of your grow space is best kept at 22-26 °C. Any temperature below 22°C and your plants may freeze to death; temperatures above 26°C and your plants are at risk of burns or heat stress.

Since you’ll be using grow lights the chance of overheating is much higher than that of having cold temperatures, but if you’re growing in say in your shed in upstate New York you’d better be careful. Invest in one or several fans or even air conditioners to reduce the temperature of your grow room to a suitable range. Humidity should be maintained at a level of 40%-50% RH.

-Nutrients: The main fertilizers required by cannabis plants are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Among them, nitrogen (N) is most needed by plants in the vegetative stage. When the plant reaches the flowering stage, the content of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) should gradually increase and nitrogen (N) should decrease. Nutrient brands offer various stages of fertilizers. Start with a reduced dosage of their recommendations to avoid nutrient issues initially.

-Pot size and soil pH: The size of the pot depends on the type of strain you choose to grow but most people will choose 3- or 5-gallon grow bags. If you plan to grow a taller strain, be sure to choose a pot that can handle the size. A soil pH value suitable for plant growth during the vegetative stage should be between 6-7, since the soil in this range can absorb almost all nutrients. Use a pH tester to test it frequently.

Wrap-up

The Vegetative stage is a very important period in the cannabis growth cycle. What your plant will eventually grow into and how much yield you will have depends on the period: plants that are large and healthy enough provide a solid foundation for flowering. Don’t take the veg stage lightly: try to take care of them to the best of your ability.

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