Modified on: 27/04/2022
All about the vegetative phase of plants. What is it? What is its duration? How to best manage it?
The vegetative phase of cannabis is the stage in which the explosive growth of the seedlings occurs, on which their development and final yield depend.
Not surprisingly, the most conscientious growers are cautious about bringing the right amount of light, humidity, and nutrients to marijuana plants, especially during this period, trying not to make the slightest mistake and avoid diseases and pests.
But what, specifically, is the vegetative phase, how to best manage it, and how long does it last?
Today we will answer these and other questions, reminding you to use the information you read for informational purposes only. It is not allowed in the UK to plant and sprout cannabis seeds, let alone get the plants to the vegetative stage or flowering.
That said, let’s find out all about this particular hemp growth phase.
What is the vegetative phase of a cannabis plant, and why is it important?
A cannabis plant goes through numerous stages during its life cycle; one of these is precisely the vegetative phase.
After the germination of the marijuana seeds, the sprout develops and after a week, it begins to put on the first leaves: this is the seedling stage.
The seedling has, initially, a few leaflets with a single serrated tip. When the leaves start and multiply to reach 5 to 7 … Here begins the vegetative stage!
Many consider the vegetative phase to be the one that goes from germination to flowering. Still, we prefer to follow the more “schematic” current by dividing the growth phases of cannabis into:
- Germination (birth of the sprout)
- Vegetative phase
- Maturation (followed by the harvest, where man intervenes directly)
The vegetative stage is, specifically, the period in which the cannabis plant develops the most: the stem grows in height (a little, if we are talking about dwarf auto-flowering, and several meters, if we are talking about regular plants), the foliage thickens, and the sexual characteristics of the plant are manifested.
Around the end of this stage, the female plants’ first buds begin to grow, so pre-flowering occurs, and the pollen pockets of the male plants.
It will come as no surprise to you that an excellent vegetative phase results in a powerful flowering stage! Therefore, the growers aim to provide the plants with what they need to produce numerous, large and powerful flowers.
The duration of the vegetative phase of marijuana
The vegetative stage consists of a huge growth spurt of cannabis plants and variable duration depending on the species. Specifically, it can last from 3 to 16 weeks, depending on the plant’s genetic makeup.
The fastest strains of all are those born from fast growing weed seeds (also called quick seeds or fast flowering strains), followed by those given by auto flower seeds.
The slowest ones are plants with photoperiodic genetic heritage, whose growth depends on the light / dark cycles. Feminised cannabis plants, modified so that they have exclusively female sexual heritage, also belong to this category.
Regardless of the duration of this particular phase, the grower must carefully take care of the seedlings as if they were real daughters!
He must pay close attention to the following factors:
- relative humidity
- supply of nutrients
Let’s analyse them one by one in detail.
Irrigation during the vegetative phase
The exact water supply is essential during the vegetative stage because, together with other factors, it determines the development of a healthy, robust cannabis plant capable of withstanding the weight of the heavy flowers.
It is essential to consider that the seedlings grow enormously during this period. For them to thrive, they require increasing amounts of water.
However, growers must be careful not to drown the plant: symptoms such as yellow and curled leaves can highlight an excessive water supply. On the contrary, thin and “crunchy” leaves indicate water shortage.
Ideal ambient temperature, light, humidity and PH during the vegetative stage.
During the vegetative phase, the plants like to receive 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness, a fundamental need to obtain in indoor crops. The best lamps in this regard are HPS and LED lights, although some growers use CFLs on more modest plantations.
As for relative humidity, during this stage, the seedlings love humidity levels of about 60%, which are higher than in the other stages.
The soil’s pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5, while about temperatures, we must make a distinction between plants that grow outdoors and those indoors. Outdoors, vegetative cannabis tolerates high temperatures (especially if it believes directly in the soil), even over 30 °C.
Indoors, on the other hand, the temperature during the day should be between 21 and 29 °C, without touching 30 °C, while at night, it can drop a few degrees (from about 17 to 21 °C).
Now you know everything about the vegetative phase of cannabis … But you also know that, in the UK, it is not allowed to grow.
You can therefore use this information only for encyclopedism, without putting it into practice. However, we have good news: you can buy marijuana seeds online to collect them!