Cannabis Growing Series: The Vegetative Stage

growing cannabis series the vegetative stage

In marijuana growing, the vegetative stage is what we refer to as the first stage of life for a cannabis plant. During this period of time, the cannabis plant focuses on getting strong and large. The vegetative stage also refers to the stage when a marijuana plant is growing only stems and leaves, and not yet developing any buds. This is in contrast to the flowering stage, when takes place when the marijuana plant is making buds and flowers. Here we’ll share all the info you’ll need to know to enjoy a healthy vegetative stage with your cannabis plants.

How long should indoor marijuana plants stay in the vegetative stage?

Cannabis growers who keep their plants inside usually vegetate their marijuana plants for somewhere between four and eight weeks. Your seedlings could theoretically begin budding with flowers as early as three weeks post-germination, but if you go that route, your plants will likely be on the small side. If you allow your marijuana plants to vegetate for a longer period, your plants will end up growing larger and will thereby produce higher yields in the long run.

The vegetative stage for indoor growers

If you plan to grow your cannabis indoors, you can control how long your marijuana plants stay in the vegetative stage. Simply make sure that you provide your plants with 18 hours of light a day (this is probably easiest if you own grow lights that you can put on a timer). The beauty of this plan is that you don’t have to reply on the cycles of the sun—you can cheat nature by controlling the light that your plants get on a daily basis, thus giving you more control of your plants themselves. The only exception to this general rule of thumb is that autoflowering plants do not apply, as they tend to take about three months in this stage, regardless of their lighting situation.

Taking care of cannabis in the vegetative stage

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to take care of marijuana plants that are in the vegetative stage. These plants grow quickly and they are pretty hearty during this phase of life. The main goals for any cannabis grower with plants in the vegetative stage include:

  • Keep them hydrated. If the soil your seeds were planted in feels dry, give it some water. But, also make sure that the water can drain easily from the bottom of your pot.
  • Let there be light. Turn your grow lights on and make sure you keep the lights at the recommended distance from the top of your plants (this will need to be adjusted as the plants grow). 
  • Make sure the temperature is just right. When they are in the vegetative stage, cannabis plants like a room to be at a comfortable room temperature, if not even warmer than that. Above all, don’t let plants in this stage of life be exposed to temperatures that are freezing or below.
  • Keep the air circulating. Cannabis plants need fresh air constantly to make sure that they can grow healthily, so make sure that there is always movement in their leaves. If your plants are being kept outside, put up barriers so that they don’t get too much wind.

Beware of a few red flags

Though it doesn’t take much time or effort to keep plants healthy in the vegetative phase, you should be on the lookout for a few key symptoms to determine if your cannabis plants are headed for trouble. Your plants should look green until the later stages of the phase when they prepare to bud. If you see any strange spots or colors on the leaves earlier in the phase, this could be a bad sign. Similarly, make sure that your plant leaves aren’t falling off at a rate that is higher than around two or three leaves every few days. And, finally, if your plant suddenly starts getting very tall rather than on the bushier side, this might mean that it needs more light than you are providing it with.

Marijuana plants are resilient

There’s no doubt about it—it can be daunting to plant your marijuana seeds and you might be feeling a lot of anxiety about keeping your cannabis plant healthy. An important thing to know is that these plants are very hearty and resilient. You can make any number of mistakes and as long as you catch them before the plant is permanently damaged, everything will be alright. And, if any of these issues take place in the vegetative stage, rest assured that as long as they care corrected, they will have a minimal, if any, effect on the flowering stage that your plant will move on to next.

If you’re looking for any further tips and tricks on marijuana growing or the vegetative stage, or you’d like to purchase premium weed seeds, be sure to check out Grower’s Choice Seeds and our incredible selection of cannabis.

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