Understanding marijuana plant stages
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- The marijuana growth cycle
- Where to plant cannabis
- Germination Stage
- Seedling Stage
- Vegetative Stage
- Flowering Stage
- Harvesting Stage
- Pruning Stage
- Storing Cannabis
- Cloning Cannabis
- Cultivating marijuana at home
The hands-on, sensory pleasure of planting a garden is an experience like no other. Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can grow a marijuana garden at home by understanding the essential life cycle of the plant.
The cannabis plant experiences growth throughout six distinct stages: germination stage, seedling stage, vegetative stage, flowering stage, harvesting stage, pruning stage, and finally a preparation stage for the cycle to start again.
Here we outline each of these important stages in the growth of a marijuana plant and share how you can oversee each one to optimize your crop. Measuring the nutrient feed is the best way to ensure that you are not overloading your plant with any one element or skimping in one area either.
The marijuana growth cycle
Beginning with tiny seeds and culminating in rich harvests, the marijuana growth cycle can last between 10 and 26 weeks, or as much as half the year. Therefore, growing your own cannabis entails a sizable commitment of time and effort, but the rewards may be equally abundant. In three to six months’ time, you can raise a crop to serve you with plant-based medicine, recreational enjoyment, or both. The marijuana you grow can transform into smokable, edible, and topical treasures that may offer a combination of physiological and psychological benefits.
The cannabis plant requires differing amounts of nutrients as it grows. There are three primary nutrients for the cannabis cultivator to understand: nitrogen, potassium, and potassium. Nutrient packages often label these big three components as NPK , based on the chemical symbols for each one. In addition to these most vital nutrients, there is another trio of secondary nutrients to be aware of: magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. Finally, marijuana requires an array or micronutrients which tend to appear naturally in soil. Some of these micronutrients, or trace elements, include zinc, manganese, iron, boron, chloride, cobalt, and silicon.
The key is balance when nourishing a weed plant. All-in-one mixes tend to be too broad, while overloading with one single nutrient, even those in the NPK group, could be hazardous to the plant’s health.
Where to plant cannabis
There are three main locations where cultivators plant cannabis: outdoor, in a greenhouse, or indoors.
Outdoor cultivators often begin to grow their plants in the spring to prepare for a fall harvest. Choosing the right soil is perhaps the most vital component for outdoor cultivators. Choose a soil chock full of plant nutrients and organic materials, including microbes, earthworm castings, and forest humus. Some soils are even classified as “super soils” because they minimize or eliminate the need for liquid nutrients. Overall, an investment in cannabis-compatible soil is the biggest investment for the outdoor cultivator.
One other option to consider is to start growing marijuana in a greenhouse. A greenhouse provides the bright sunlight necessary to raise a healthy plant while offering better environmental controls. For example, darkness is key during certain growth stages, and a greenhouse gives you the control to use blackout shades or roof covering systems. Cannabis also receives protection from the elements in a greenhouse, as well as from animals and pests. However, a greenhouse is an expensive undertaking and not ideal for the budget-conscious grower.
Indoor cultivators have the flexibility to plant their cannabis seeds any time of year, as long as long as indoor conditions are managed with regard to temperature, humidity, light, and air quality. Light management is especially important as plants cannot survive without the right amount of photosynthesis. In an outdoor garden, natural sunlight does all the work, but indoors you’ll need to invest in a lighting system, such as LED lights or high intensity white light.
Indoor cultivators have the flexibility to plant their cannabis seeds any time of year, as long as long as indoor conditions are managed with regard to temperature, humidity, light, and air quality. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Before you start to plant your outdoor, greenhouse, or indoor marijuana garden, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with state and local laws which can vary significantly. Once you’ve established the legality of cultivating cannabis at home in your state or region, you can begin the first stage of growth and plant seeds.
Duration: 24 hours to 2 weeks
The germination stage is the first stage in the cannabis plant cycle. As a grower, you will want to maintain an abundance of female plants because they are richer in trichomes than their male counterparts. Trichomes are the white crystals that grow on marijuana plants and contain the sought-after cannabinoids of CBD and THC.
You’ll want to purchase feminized seeds and germinate them. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
On the other hand, male plants are not as useful and could in fact contaminate your female plants. Therefore, you’ll want to purchase feminized seeds and germinate them. Online seed banks are an excellent resource to find feminized seeds.
Duration: 2 to 3 weeks
The marijuana plant is a baby at this point in the life cycle. No longer merely seeds, your plants are now officially seedlings. During the seedling stage you will notice your cannabis plant sprouting from the soil and growing a pair of leaves that fan outward from the stem. Leaves will also sprout from the top of the plant while a root system simultaneously develops. While it’s possible for the seedling stage to extend to six weeks, a timeline of two to three weeks is much more typical.
During the seedling stage you will notice your cannabis plant sprouting from the soil and growing a pair of leaves that fan outward from the stem. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Nurture your seedlings in a warm environment with a temperature of approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit with 60 percent accompanying humidity. Fertilizer (preferably nitrogen-based) and light are also vital during the seedling stage. To determine what’s best for your particular plant, research the strain that you are cultivating. By the time this stage concludes, your plants will have outgrown their tiny pots.
Duration: 3 to 8 weeks
Also called the vegetation phase, the vegetative stage marks a significant growth spurt for your seedlings, which you will need to transfer to larger pots. Growth occurs rapidly during the vegetative stage, with vertical growth especially pronounced. Can you imagine your plant growing two inches taller in just 24 hours? It could happen!
Growth occurs rapidly during the vegetative stage, with vertical growth especially pronounced. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Your plants will also begin to take on a definitive shape at this stage. For example, a sativa plant will become long and narrow, while an indica will be shorter, bushier, and denser with foliage. The sexual characteristics of your plants will also become apparent and you can differentiate between the males and the females now. By the end of the vegetative stage, female plants will exhibit two white pistils and male plants will grow pollen sacs. Be sure to remove these pollen sacs to avoid contaminating your female plants.
A slightly lower temperature is ideal during this phase. When your plants were seedlings, you maintained a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, but now you can adjust to a range of 68 to 77 degrees. Humidity may also vary more, with 50 to 70 percent sufficient. Give your plants ample light: at least 16 hours a day and as many as 24 continuous hours. Finally, keep feeding your cannabis plants with nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Duration: 6 to 8 weeks
If you’re wondering which is the most crucial among the stages of growth, the flowering stage is the one to watch! Look out for sticky resin on the leaves and clusters of trichomes as well. The more trichomes you see, the more potent your marijuana plant is becoming. Ultimately, potency also depends on how much time a plant spends in the flowering stage, so if it goes beyond the 8-week mark, you might be in for a pleasant surprise at harvest time.
The flowering stage represents the final stage in the growth cycle but not in the life cycle of your cannabis plants. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The flowering stage also represents the final stage in the growth cycle but not in the life cycle of your cannabis plants. One key distinction of the flowering stage is a reduction of light on your plants. No longer does a cannabis plant require 24 hours of light; 12 hours will be adequate, along with a corresponding 12 hours of darkness.
A consistent temperature range of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended as your marijuana flowers, along with moderate humidity of 50 percent. Nitrogen is no longer the most important nutrient; now feed your cannabis plant potassium and phosphorous instead.
The end of the flowering stage marks an eagerly anticipated milestone in the growth process as you prepare to harvest your crop.
Duration: Varies; Harvesting generally takes place in fall for outdoor plants but can occur any time of year for indoor plants.
Congratulations! The harvesting stage is when you reap the rewards of your careful planting and cultivation. The challenging part is knowing exactly when to harvest and proceeding with care. If you harvest too soon or too late, your weed may not taste or smell the way you expect, and you could also affect the potency.
The harvesting stage is when you reap the rewards of your careful planting and cultivation. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
So, how do you know when the harvesting stage has arrived? Your plants will provide you with numerous clues to guide you. For example, take a good look at the pistils on your female plants. If the pistils are mostly brown, then there’s a good chance that it’s harvest time. In contrast, if all the pistils are brown, then you may have missed the optimal moment for harvest and the marijuana will be classified as “overripe.” Likewise, observe the color of the leaves. If the leaves are yellow, rather than green, then don’t delay the start of your harvest.
Is it ever too late to harvest a marijuana plant? If the stem is swollen and all the yellow leaves have fallen off, then it is too late to harvest the marijuana. Cannabis at this late stage will likely taste and smell unpleasant, possibly bitter. As a general rule, it is preferable to harvest earlier rather than later. Prematurely harvested weed has not reached its maximum potency, but it will probably taste and smell more desirable than that which has become overripe. So, invest in a hardy pair of scissors and harvest your weed when the time is right!
Duration: Varies; May begin in spring to anticipate a fall harvest for outdoor plants or start in any season for indoor plants.
Pruning is the next step to take after you cut down and harvest your plants. The purpose of pruning is to round out the buds and, by doing so, enhance the smoking experience. You can experiment with two different types of pruning, wet and dry. Many novice growers find it easier to prune when the plant is wet, so you may like to start there. Dry plants tend to curl at the leaves, which makes them more difficult to prune.
Whether you use the wet or dry method of pruning, you will need to fully dry the cannabis before proceeding with curing and storage. To dry cannabis, hang the cuttings upside down, perhaps on a clothesline and most definitely in an environment that is not overly moist. Once the plants have dried, you will be ready to complete the last steps of the pruning process.
A precision pair of pruning scissors is your most useful tool at this stage. Whereas a heftier pair of scissors is appropriate at harvest, a more delicate pair does the job for pruning. A pair of gardening gloves is also helpful to protect your hands from the sticky resin of the buds.
First, use your hands to pluck the fan leaves from the buds. Next, use your scissors to trim off the sugar leaves which contain high levels of trichomes and can be used to make cannabis concentrates. You can also save the sugar leaves to use as an ingredient in your favorite edible, such as cannabutter. Others prefer to discard the sugar leaves, but there’s no reason to do so unless you’re trying to preserve space. Lastly, collect the excess resin that sticks to your gloves and put it to work if you create any dabs.
Everything you have pruned from the plant can serve a purpose, but the crowning glory is the bud. Curing the dried buds is one of the final steps in the process before you can enjoy a relaxing smoke. Patience is essential at this point proper curing can take up to two months and affects the quality of the buds. One easy curing method is to place the buds in a glass jar and leave them there for up to eight weeks. During the first two weeks, open the jar periodically to let in oxygen and “burp” your buds.
Patience pays off at the end of the pruning stage when you can consume the cannabis you’ve cultivated and effectively store any leftover weed for future use.
As with curing, glass jars make ideal storage units for cannabis if you plan on using the cannabis soon. Long-term storage of up to two years necessitates vacuum sealing of containers to keep the weed as fresh as possible. Even in the most tightly sealed jar, cannabis can lose some THC content the longer it is stored. This is one reason why you might like to clone your excess cannabis and begin the growing cycle again.
To continue the weed life cycle, you can purchase more seeds or you can breed and clone your cannabis during a final preparation stage. Start growing a whole new cycle of cannabis by choosing a branch that is at least four inches long and cutting it off from your most fertile crop. Then, plant the branch into a rooting solution to grow a new batch of plants that will be genetically identical to the ones you just harvested.
Of course, if you were not satisfied with your harvest, then breeding and cloning would not be a good choice. Perhaps the strain you chose was too potent, or not potent enough, for your preferences. In this case, revisit an online seed bank and take the opportunity to learn the difference between strains. Explore your options and you’ll not only educate yourself about the growth process but you’ll also enjoy the ride.
Cultivating marijuana at home
Understanding these stages of growth is the first step towards cultivating a healthy yield of cannabis. Observe the development of your plants throughout the process and consider keeping a journal of their progress. As you work through trial-and-error with your crops, you can pinpoint which techniques work best to deliver the desired results. You’ll also have the satisfaction of seeing a cannabis plant through from its smallest form as a seed to full maturity when it’s ready to smoke, eat, and enjoy.
Understanding marijuana plant stages Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents The marijuana growth cycle Where to plant cannabis Germination
Learn About the Cannabis Vegetative Stage
The vegetative stage is the first stage of life for a cannabis plant. It is a period of growth where a plant focuses on getting big and strong. When a plant is only growing just stems and leaves (without any buds), that plant is considered to be in the vegetative stage.
These cannabis plants are in the vegetative stage. They’re only growing stems and leaves, without buds.
Cannabis Life Stages
- Vegetative – stems and leaves
- Flowering – making buds / flowers
Indoor growers can keep cannabis plants in the vegetative stage for as long or short as they want by providing at least 18 hours of light a day. This is usually accomplished by putting grow lights on a timer. Unlike outdoor growers who are reliant on the sun cycles to get plants to start making buds, indoor growers have more control over the final size and shape of their plant.
The exception to the rule about light schedules is auto-flowering strains, which automatically go from start to finish in about 3 months regardless of what light schedules they receive. Learn more about autoflowering strains.
Having a light period that lasts 18+ hours each day will make cannabis think that it’s summer/grow time. As long as cannabis plants get 18+ hours of light a day, they will remain in the vegetative stage, growing only stems and leaves.
Use a timer to automatically turn indoor grow lights on and off
Indoor growers usually provide either a 18-6 or 24-0 light schedule during the vegetative stage of cannabis. 18-6 means 18 hours of light and 6 hours of dark each day. 24-0 means 24 hours of light with no darkness each day.
18-6 vs 24-0 Light Schedule for Indoor Growing
Some people will keep their lights on 24 hours during this stage while others will keep the lights on a schedule where they’re 18 hours on and 6 hours off every day.
Which is better?
The answer depends on which grower you ask, and may even be different from plant to plant. Most weed strains are fine and will flourish when given 24 hours of light a day in the vegetative stage. Yet some strains may do better on 18/6.
If electricity costs are a big concern, you may want to consider a 18/6 light schedule in order to help keep electricity costs down. This also allows growers to use the 6 hours of darkness to help cool the grow area. If your grow area gets too hot at certain times of the day, you could set your 6 hours of darkness to happen during that time, so lights aren’t running when it’s hot.
If you’re worried about the temperature dropping below 70°F (20°C), then 24 hours of lights a day might be better, because it can help keep your plants warm.
There will always be growers who feel that cannabis plants need some time with the light off (a dark period) in order to have optimal growth, while others believe that the extra hours of light are better since they give your plants slightly faster growth in the vegetative stage.
Auto-flowering strains of marijuana need 18-24 hours of light a day from seed to harvest. You sort of treat them like they’re in the vegetative stage and let them do their thing.
I typically keep my lights on and 18-6 schedule (18 hours of light, 6 hours of dark) for all my plants during the vegetative stage (or for autoflowering strains). It’s easy and my cannabis plants grow fast and healthy. I live in a hot climate with high electricity costs, so the 6 extra hours of lights-off is meaningful.
However, I have used 20, 22 or 24 hours of light a day for my cannabis plants, and they grew just fine. If you have your grow dialed in, the main difference is just that plants tend to grow faster. A full 24 hours of light/day certainly provides somewhat faster vegetative growth than an 18/6 schedule because plants are getting more light to make energy. It’s up to you to decide which light schedule is best for you. Anything between 18-24 hours per day works great.
On average, most indoor growers vegetate their plants for 4-8 weeks. Seedlings are able to start flowering as early as 3 weeks from germination, but the resulting plants will be small. Most growers choose to let plants vegetate for longer because giving them more time to grow results in bigger plants, which tend to produce bigger yields as long as you have enough light to cover all the bud sites. That being said, you can still produce quite a bit of bud with a lot of small plants growing at once as long as you fill up your grow space.
Daily Care in the Vegetative Stage
In the vegetative stage, your job is simple. Cannabis plants grow fast and are tough in the vegetative stage.
To keep your cannabis happy and healthy, you need to do the following
Provide water – Water plants when top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. In containers, make sure water can drain freely out the bottom. In a hydro setup, there will always be plenty of water. How to water plants.
Nutrients – if providing nutrients, start using the included nutrient schedule at ½ strength, and only raise to higher levels of nutrients if needed. Simply add the directed amount nutrients to your water before giving it to plants or adding to reservoir. Manage pH levels if using liquid nutrients.
Provide light – Use your vegetative grow light as directed. Simply turn grow lights on and keep at the recommended distance from the top of your plants. Outdoors plants will continue vegetating until days start growing short. Indoors plants will stay in the vegetative stage as long as they’re getting 18+ hours of light a day
Not too cold, not too hot – Vegetative cannabis plants prefer a comfortable room temperature or slightly warmer. 70-85°F (20-30°C) is great. Avoid low humidity (below 40% RH) in the vegetative stage if possible. Never allow plants to experience freezing temperatures.
Air circulation – Make sure cannabis gets a constant supply of fresh air so plants get the CO2 they need to grow, and keep air moving so there are no hot spots and leaves are always moving/rustling. Outdoors you may want to put up wind breaks if it gets too windy so plants aren’t being waved around.
Some things to look out for during your first grow:
- Strange coloring or spotting in your leaves. It is normal a few older and lower leaves to turn yellow or brown and die as the plant matures. It is also normal for all the leaves to start turning yellow in the last week or two before harvest time as your plant pulls nitrogen from the leaves into the mature buds. Other than those exceptions, your leaves (optimally) should always look green and healthy during the whole grow.
- Keep an eye out for leaves that are falling off, curling up or dying at a rate of more than a couple of leaves every few days. If your plant is losing more leaves than it’s growing, you know there’s a problem.
- Any sort of rotten or bad smell often indicates bacteria, mold, or rotting. Investigate your system to see if you can find the source of the bad smell. If your plants are starting to smell pretty skunky towards the end of your flowering stage, that’s totally normal.
- Keep an eye out for signs of mold on your buds or leaves. If you see something on your leaves or buds that does not look like trichomes, you may be seeing the first signs of mold. A common mold looks like white powder on your leaves and is known as “Powdery White Mildew.”
- Very slow growth means that something is wrong. Use this 7-step checklist to figure out what it is: https://www.growweedeasy.com/7-step-remedy
- Keep an eye out for “stretching” or when your plant grows very tall with a lot of space between nodes, as opposed to getting bushy and growing lots of leaves. This usually indicates that the plant needs more light and is trying to “reach” for the sun.
- Look out for any signs of bugs including mucus trails, eggs, spots, etc.
- Watch out for any other signs your plant isn’t growing vibrant and healthy.
Don’t worry about every little thing, but if you feel like your plant may be having some sort of problem, try to identify what it is and fix it as soon as possible! Many times a problem can be fixed if it’s caught in the early stages, and won’t have an effect on yields.
How often do I water my plants?
Seedlings may need less water at a time until they are growing vigorously. Especially if young plants are in a big container, avoid giving a lot of water at a time until the plants starts growing faster. Once plant is growing new leaves and stems regularly, start watering using the techniques explained below. How to water cannabis properly…
If adding nutrients in the water:
- Wait until the top of the growing medium is dry about an inch deep (up to your first knuckle – just use your finger to poke a hole in the soil and see if it feels dry).
- Add water until you see at least 20% extra runoff water drain out the bottom of your pot.
- Go back to step 1.
- Note: If water takes a long time to come out the bottom, or if pots take longer than 5 days to dry out before the next watering, you may actually have a problem with drainage
- How to water: https://www.growweedeasy.com/how-often-water-marijuana
If growing in soil without added nutrients:
- Try to give just enough water that grow medium gets moistened, but not enough to get significant runoff out the bottom
- You don’t want to accidentally wash away extra nutrients since you’re not giving any more
- Beware of overwatering! Soil that’s rich enough to provide nutrients until harvest can be easy to over-water.
- Learn how to grow plants in soil that provides nutrients until harvest: https://www.growweedeasy.com/organic-super-soil
Some growers also use the “lift the pot” method to decide when to water your plants (basically wait until your pot feels “light” since the plants have used up all the water). It’s up to you to decide what’s easier for you.
Is My Temperature Okay?
Vegetative cannabis plants prefer a comfortable room temperature or slightly warmer. 70-85°F (20-30°C) is great. Avoid low humidity in the vegetative stage if possible.
Make sure to always check the temperature as experienced by your plants, not the ambient room temperature. Check the temperature directly under the light where the top of your plants are located. If temperature feels too hot for your hand after 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your cannabis and you need to take steps to bring the temperature lower. If it’s just a hot spot, you can use small fans to disperse the heat and provide good air circulation in the room.
Cannabis plants cannot stand cold temperatures. Freezing temps can kill cannabis. So if plants are kept in a cold area (for example a basement), take steps to prevent the plants or roots from getting too cold. Grow lights will help keep the plant warm, but make sure the bottoms of the plants have a protective barrier from anything that might be too cold.
Vegetative cannabis plants prefer a comfortable room temperature or slightly warmer. 70-85°F (20-30°C) is great. Avoid low humidity in the vegetative stage if possible.
What if I run into problems?
It’s important to keep a close eye on your personal garden during your first couple of grows, and it is inevitable that you will make some sort of mistake or have some sort of problem with your plants.
No grower ever has a “perfect” grow
A good grower always keeps a close eye on their plants, so they can catch and correct any issues before the plant is permanently damaged.
It’s okay to make mistakes. Just keep an eye out and fix them!
Marijuana plants are very resilient, especially in the vegetative stage. As long as you fix any problem that is hurting them, they will usually bounce back quickly and go on to produce fine buds. Problems or nutrient deficiencies that happen to cannabis in the vegetative stage do not have much effect on flowering/budding as long as issues are corrected right away
How Long Should the Vegetative Stage Last?
The length of this stage is a matter of personal preference. Most cannabis plants need at least 3 weeks in the vegetative stage before they will start making flowers, but after that you get to choose how long your plant spends in this stage (unless using an auto-flowering strain), because you’re the one to ‘flip the switch’ and get your plant to enter the next life stage: flowering.
When you start with a seed, even with an auto-flowering plant, you will always have at least 2-3 weeks of vegetative growth before any buds start forming no matter what you do. Growers generally allow their plants to stay in the vegetative stage from a few weeks to a few months.
The size your plant achieves in the vegetative stage has a very large effect on your final yields since bigger plants produce more bud sites than smaller plants. However, you need enough light to cover all the bud sites or they will never develop properly. Light is like food for bud growth!
These vegetating plants are about 4 weeks old from germination
To give you an idea as to what your FINAL marijuana plant may look like depending on how long it spends in the vegetative stage…
This plant didn’t spend any time in the Vegetative Stage. It was given 12-12 lighting almost immediately after sprouting. It’s so small that it spent its whole life in a solo cup, and its only light came from CFLs. I weighed down the bottom of the cup so it didn’t fall over. It ended up yielding about 0.75 oz.
These auto-flowering plants spent about 3 weeks in the vegetative stage before they automatically started flowering, and were ready to harvest just 5 weeks later. They were about a foot tall at harvest and yielded approximately 2 ounces each. Read the step-by-step tutorial to grow plants exactly like this.
This marijuana plant spent about 6 weeks in the vegetative stage before being changed over to flowering and yielded just over 6 ounces at harvest. View the complete grow journal with instructions on how to grow your plant so it looks just like this at harvest!
These cannabis plants were vegetated for about 8 weeks before being flipped to the flowering stage. Although they were grown in the exact same conditions from seed to harvest, their final heights are remarkably different because their strains had vastly different genetics. The smaller plant produced 6.6 ounces, while the big plant produced 9.3 ounces. Strain can make a big difference! Learn about growing different strains together.
These cannabis plants were vegetated for about 9 weeks before being flipped, in the exact same setup as above, and produced over 10 ounces each. Besides an extra week of veg, the biggest difference between this grow and the one above was simply the strains.
This human-sized plant (one of my very first plants) spent a little more than 3 months in the vegetative stage before I realized I needed to turn it over to the flowering stage. It then spent another 12 weeks in the flowering stage before it was ready to harvest because it was a long-flowering strain. It got way too tall for its space (taller than me!) and started falling over. However, despite the huge size and more than 5 months of growth, it only ended up yielding about 6 ounces. This is because it was under weak CFL grow lights. Though there was a lot of buds, the lack of strong light made them airy, without a lot of weight. Click the picture for a close-up. ?
Some people put their seedlings or clones right into the flowering stage if they want to harvest quickly though this makes for extremely small plants. For example, super-stealth growers who are growing in small hidden spaces – like out of a computer case – would want to put their seedlings into flowering nearly right away to keep their plants as small as possible. It’s also important to remember that container size and grow lights make a big difference. Small containers constrain the roots and keep plants from getting as big as they could, and small lights prevent buds from fattening up as much as they could.
I personally recommend at least 4 weeks in the vegetative stage with 18+ hours of light each day for the best results. Plants that are forced to start flowering sooner than 4 weeks don’t yield much compared to how much work you put in. That being said, keeping plants relatively small does have some benefits!
A good rule of thumb…
Your plant will likely double in size (maybe a bit less, maybe more) from when you first put it into the flowering stage; this is known as the Flowering Stretch. So make sure you end the vegetative stage before your plant reaches half the final height you want, or your cannabis plants may outgrow your grow space during the flowering stage!
Question: How do I know when the marijuana vegetative stage is over?
Answer: When the marijuana plant is in the vegetative stage, it only grows vegetative growth like leaves and stems.
In the vegging stage, the plant does not grow buds/flowers at all.
You can tell when the vegetative stage has ended because the plant starts growing gender-specific parts in addition to leaves and vegetative growth.
For example, you know the flowering stage has started when the plant starts growing pistils/white hairs/buds if plant is a girl, and balls/pollen sacs if a boy.
Vegetative Stage vs Flowering Stage Diagram
Notice how the plant only grows leaves and stems in the vegetative stage
Learn About the Cannabis Vegetative Stage The vegetative stage is the first stage of life for a cannabis plant. It is a period of growth where a plant focuses on getting big and strong. When a