Once your seedling or clone has established a root system, you will start to see a growth spurt of leaves and a growth in height. These are signs that vegetative growth has begun, and your young seedling has now become a young marijuana plant in the stage we call vegetation.
Vegetation is the state that a plant really starts to show its form. This is also when an indoor marijuana gardener can start to really have some fun and experiment with different growing methods to see what works best for them.
Pruning a plant for instance, gives the gardener some 1 on 1 time with each individual plant, which is very good, since it allows more time to spot possible problems and pests.
During the vegetation stage, many marijuana growers perform tasks such as “LST” (low stress training), bending, pruning, micro-pruning, fim’ing, topping…. the list goes on. (We will discuss some of the above methods in detail later on)
During the vegetative stage of growth for the marijuana plant, make sure you are giving your plants the proper attention they need along with daily maintenance that might come up.
Vegetative growth will continue to take place in most marijuana/cannabis strains, as long as the grower provides plenty of light for at least 16 hours a day. Most gardeners seem to like the 18/6 light cycle for vegetative growth. 18/6 means the grow lights are on for 18 continuous hours and off for 6 continuous hours each and every day.
In most non auto-flower strains, a light cycle of 18/6 will allow you to keep a plant in the vegetative stage of growth indefinitely. This will allow the grower to keep a “mother” plant for many years, pruning it to make it bushy and taking cuttings off of the “mother plant” for clones.
During vegetation, always pay attention to the amount of water your plants are consuming. Many strains of marijuana require plenty of water during the vegetation so that they may grow at the proper rate, and stay hydrated.
This is also the time to begin using heavier nutrients along with your water.
Young vegetating marijuana plants need plenty of minerals and nutrients to thrive and produce foliage and those precious “bud spots”. Make sure to use a nutrient solution that has a high nitrogen level during vegetation to promote healthy growth.
Once your young marijuana plant starts to mature, you will begin to see “pre-flowers” meaning the plant is old enough to start flowering.
More information on flowering your marijuana plants, and how to tell the sex of your marijuana plants will be posted in their own categories throughout this site.