• Post last modified:October 10, 2021
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Once your seeds have germinated and been transferred in to your growing medium of choice it is time to give them some much needed light and water (nutrients). This first stage of the grow is called the vegging stage and is where your marijuana plants begin to put on size for between 4 – 8 weeks, after this they will enter the flowering stage.

The vegging stage

The vegetative stage is where your young seedlings begin their journey to becoming bushy, buddy, healthy plants. During this stage the plant will develop its structural integrity, meaning the stem and leaves take form while the roots grow ever longer. During the vegetative stage your plants will require the most light during the whole process. Most people recommend using and 18 hrs on 6 hrs off light cycle, while some autoflower growers may choose to keep the lights on for 24hrs a day it’s kinder to your plants to give them some rest, keeping them nice and healthy. The early leaves will begin the photosynthesis process, absorbing the light and furthering the plants growth. Remember to keep your lights fairly close to your young plants but not so close that the leaves will burn.

Once your plant has a strong, stable structure it is all about looking after the plant, keeping it well watered, having the correct lighting and adding additional fertilizer (see nutrients guide). This will allow it to develop well before beginning the flowering stage. The time recommended for having your plant in the vegetative stage is from around 3.5 weeks to 8. However this will depend on the type of strain you are choosing to grow, in most cases the longer the plants are left in the vegetative state the bigger the plant will become, producing a higher yield.

When a plant is in its vegetative stage this is when many growers decide to introduce training techniques such as LST, fimming or topping to try to get the full potential out of the plants growth stage. These techniques encourage the plant to grow in a certain way, for example LST (Low Stress Training) involves tying some of the plants branches down to force the plant while it is young to grow into a wider shape. Although this can cause some stress to the plant if done correctly it will allow the foliage of the plant to grow wider which in turn will allow the plant to take full advantage of the light source above it with its wider canopy meaning that the yield of the plant will increase sometimes as much as 200% more. For more detailed instructions on this have a read of our guide on training cannabis plants.

The flowering stage

flowering stage of growthOnce your plant is looking strong and healthy after having had at least 3.5 weeks in the vegetative phase it is time to switch it over to the flowering stage. This is where your plant begins to develop its buds. In order to begin your plants flowering stage it is all about the light cycle.

During the vegetative stage your plants will have been running on a 16 hrs on 8 hrs off cycle. It is now time to change that cycle to 12 hrs on 12 hrs off. By doing this you are in a sense replicating winter for your plant, where the days will get shorter giving your plant the signal that it is time to start flowering. During your plants first few weeks in the flowering stage it will begin to produce new stems and leaves, this causes the plant to grow much taller in size (sometimes known as the flowering stretch). Also during these first weeks your plant will start growing whites pistils (look like little white hairs) but not buds just yet.

By around week 3-4 your plant will begin to start producing small buds and not just white pistils, these small budlets are the beginnings of what will hopefully be massive buds. During these next few weeks of the flowering stage bud production you need to keep an eye of your plant making sure it stays healthy, paying particular attention to its leaves. Some leaves especially lower down the plant may begin to discolour. This is ok, it just means they are not getting enough light and your plant allow it to fall off (you can also pick these off yourself). However if you notice these leaves higher up on your plant it could be a sign there is nutrient burn, meaning you are giving your plant to high a level of nutrients.

flowering stage of growthFor the rest of the flowering stage your buds will gain more substance and grow bigger and bigger. This time is all about maintaining the health of your plant and taking care of it. Keep a close eye on the buds, pistils and trichomes as a whole to help you figure out the best time to harvest to get the effects you are looking for. Most growers begin to flush the plant of nutrients a week or so before harvest. This means giving the plant only pure water.

Once the buds are big and juicy and the sweet aroma of cannabis fills your nostrils it is time to harvest your plant.

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