Determining Length of Vegetative Period
Vegetative Phase of Growing Cannabis
The growth of a cannabis plant can be roughly broken down into 7 growth phases that take at least between 3 to 4 months to complete. The vegetative phase refers to the fifth stage of growing cannabis. Once cannabis clones or the germinated seeds have been planted, the plants will grow until maturity. This is the “vegetative” phase.
More about the “Vegetative Phase”
The vegetative phase is like the childhood of a cannabis plant that comes between planting and flowering (maturity). Like with human childhoods, it’s the most important part of the plant’s life. The vegetative state will determine how successfully the plant will flower. Careful care needs to be taken so that the plants grow well.
How Long is the Vegetative Phase?
The length of the vegetative phase largely depends on the strain of the plant and the care it receives. Typically, it can take between 2 weeks to 6 months for plants to enter the flowering stage. Some growers may prefer to have this stage be as short as possible. Indeed, there are certain tools and techniques that growers can employ to make sure that plants quickly grow through this phase and enter the flowering stage.
How to Accelerate the Vegetative Stage
There are several techniques to accelerate the vegetative stage. But do keep in mind that this will always depend on the strain of cannabis. Some strains naturally take longer to mature and flower. Then again, cannabis plants respond well to how much sunlight is available during this stage. Carefully controlling the light intake can accelerate or decelerate the vegetative stage.
One of the simplest ways to fast track to flowering is to allow exactly 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness for the plants per day. This works for nearly all strains of cannabis. Switching to the 12/12 method forces the plants to flower.
If you are looking to extend the vegetative stage of the plant in order to grow larger plants, just make sure the plants get at least 16 hours of light per day. It could quickly hasten the flowering stage.
The quicker a grower can get the plants through the vegetative stage, the quicker the plants will be ready to harvest. However, do be aware that a short vegetative stage also means smaller plants. So the harvest crops will be smaller too. Growers who want quick crops but not smaller plants can use naturally smaller strains of cannabis. The varieties that grow only a few inches usually respond well to the 12/12 method without sacrificing the crop size. The naturally smaller the variety, the more successful the 12/12 method will be.
Getting Optimal Yields
To get big enough plants, it is necessary to keep the plants in the vegetative stage for a handful of weeks to a few months. Patience will result in sizeable harvests. It is recommended to keep all varieties of cannabis in the vegetative stage for 2 to 3 weeks because buds do not appear sooner than that following seeding. For more buds, increase the amount of light.
For optimal yields, keep the plants in vegetative stage for at least 3 weeks with minimum 18 hours of light per day. For certain strains, 24 hours of light per day is the best.
Pretty much all cannabis plants about double in size during the vegetative phase up to flowering. Therefore, make sure the growth area has plenty of space to accommodate rapidly growing plants.