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Cannabis Veg Cycle by Dr. Robb

Dr. Robb explains why it can be helpful to put your cannabis plant through a veg cycle in his his cultivation blog.

Cannabis Veg Cycle

The technique of vegging out your cannabis crops is widely used to increase the overall plant infrastructure to support much higher yields during harvest. Your plants may have to go through the cannabis veg cycle before having to work extra hard to produce flowers. The cannabis veg cycle helps by building out their root and shoot system so that they’re ready for the rigors of high-intensity flower production. There are plants whose vegging out can be controlled, called photoperiodic, by providing them with short periods of darkness. Lucky for us, most commercially grown cannabis cultivars (or strains) are photoperiodic, which gives us more control over our crops.

Photo credit to @republicofcanna (Instagram)

Why It’s Called The Cannabis Veg Cycle?

This period of growth of the plant is called the veg cycle, or vegetative. In the world of multicellular organisms, there are two types of cells: reproductive or somatic cells (also called vegetal or vegetative cells). A somatic cell is not involved with reproduction. In order to keep your plant in the cannabis veg cycle, you have to prevent it from developing flowers. In other words, you have to keep it from developing its reproductive parts; hence, you keep it vegetative.

Why Is It Important To Veg Your Cannabis Crop Before Setting It To Flower?

The key term to that question is the word ‘flower’. As cannabis growers, we want our plants to produce lots and lots of flowers. The flower buds (yes, that is why it’s called bud) are born on the terminal tip of either the main branch or axillary branches. Those axillary branches tend to stay dormant as long as the apex of the main branch remains. As long as the tip of the main branch is still attached to the plant, the axillary buds won’t turn into new branches and will create new places for flowers to grow. Since we’re in the flower growing business, we generally want more flowers.

During the cannabis veg cycle, a grower can pinch off the apex of the main branch and break apical dominance, also known as topping. Topping will stimulate the previously dormant axillary buds to grow and eventually become more locations for flowers to develop. In addition to creating more budding branches, topping also allows for the cultivator to keep his or her plants fairly uniform in height. Achieving uniformity in production is one of the primary goals of large-scale production. It allows for more predictability come harvest. Also, if you’ve found a cultivar that is absolutely amazing and works for you and your patients, you definitely will want to get the same results time after ti me after time.

Now That We Know Why It’s Called The Veg Cycle, How Do We Do It?

Earlier, I mentioned that there are some plants that are photoperiodic. Most commercially grown cannabis cultivars are as well . First, let’s dissect that word: photoperiod. There are two base words there. Photo refers to light, and period refers to a period of time. The length of day/light, not the length of night/dark periods, dictates the photoperiodic cycles. Photoperiodic plants such as cannabis use long, uninterrupted periods of dark to pull them out of a vegetative state.

There are different types of plants that trigger flowering at different times of year, though. Irises flower in the summer and are called long day plants. Cannabis flowers in the fall, (and spring, if temperatures aren’t too cold through a winter climate) they called short-day plants. In order to continue through the cannabis veg cycle, a farmer can either keep the nighttime short or interrupt the nighttime with light. For more information on how much light to provide, visit our blog post on creating the grow room.

Photo credit to @honeydew_farms (Instagram)

Are There Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Want To Put My Crop Through The Cannabis Veg Cycle?

Actually, yes. It depends on the style growing you would like to do. Typically, a cannabis cultivator who is growing in controlled environments (indoors or greenhouse) will veg their crops from anywhere from 5 days to a couple of months. This is very much cultivar dependent. We typically veg our OG Kush phenos for 5 days. They don’t need much time. I’ve seen growers who love to veg for long periods of time even for indoor production. (Outdoor production with 1 harvest per season sees those monster trees that produce upwards of 12 lbs. per plant because they veg for many months in the open sun).

There’s a style of production called Sea of Green (SoG) where the farmer doesn’t veg much, if at all, but plants many more cuttings. Instead of increasing the number of flower sites by topping vegged plants, the farmer eliminates that step by just planting very densely with significantly more clones. SoG requires little maintenance once you set the plants to flower. You can almost plant the SoG crop and show up 2 months later for harvest. The dense foliage doesn’t really require much pruning, and all of the flowers will be tops. These plants, sometimes called “lollipops” or “bangers,” are another very viable way to produce cannabis on a large scale. It definitely saves on labor.

Additionally, there are some farmers who prefer to grow cannabis cultivars that are autoflowering (day-neutral plants). This means that the length of day or night will have little effect on when the plant flowers. Although the crop still goes through a veg cycle, the farmer is not triggering when that happens. This means that the farmer could potentially give the crop over 12 hours of light per day and potentially get higher yields. Unfortunately, the cultivars of cannabis that are autoflowering are derived from C. ruderalis , which is the species of cannabis that doesn’t produce much in the way of cannabinoids. This makes it a bit more difficult to source genetics that has both high cannabinoid content that also autoflowers as the breeder needs to breed that cannabinoid production back into the genetics. That doesn’t mean that genetics don’t exist though.

Final Words.

Vegging of cannabis crops continues to be widely used to increase the overall plant infrastructure to support much higher yields during harvest. This is the stage where our babies graduate to teenagers (yes, that is what we vernacularly refer to our plants). Unless you’re growing Sea of Green, vegging the plants really is the fundamental stage of the plant’s life cycle that promotes the foundation for a stronger, healthier harvest. Hopefully, now you know a little more about the etymology, reasons why, and basics of how to navigate the cannabis veg cycle. Although there are many ways to veg out your plants, it really depends on how you want to grow and what cultivar you want to grow.

Next month, I will be talking about the next stage of the plant’s cycle: flowering, or as I like to call it, Breaking Bud. Make sure that you are signed up for our Newsletter to be updated when the next topic is posted. Also, if you are looking for more ways to increase your yields this season, check out Dark Heart’s blog topic on boosting your yield.

4 Factors That Affect How Long to Veg Clones Before Flowering

Do you want to know how vegging affect your profit as a cannabis grower? If YES, here are 4 factors that determine how long to veg clones before deflowering. Some growers argue that plants grown from seeds must be given 60 days of maturation in the vegetative state. However, this is not necessarily true.

Table of Content

What is Vegging?

The technique of vegging out cannabis crops is majorly used to increase the overall plant infrastructure to support much higher yields during harvest. Some of these plants may have to go through the cannabis veg cycle before having to work extra hard to produce flowers.

The cannabis veg cycle helps by building out their root and shoot system so that they are ready for the rigors of high – intensity flower production. Some whose vegging out can be controlled, called photoperiodic, by providing them with short periods of darkness. This period of growth of the plant is called the veg cycle, or vegetative.

As a cannabis grower who wants to make profit and produce standard products, your best bet will be to make your plants produce lots and lots of flowers. The flower buds are produced on the terminal tip of either the main branch or auxiliary branches.

Those auxiliary branches tend to stay dormant as long as the apex of the main branch remains. As long as the tip of the main branch is still attached to the plant, the auxiliary buds won’t turn into new branches and will create new places for flowers to grow.

During the cannabis veg cycle, a grower can pinch off the apex of the main branch and break apical dominance, also known as topping. Experts note that this topping will stimulate the previously dormant auxiliary buds to grow and eventually become more locations for flowers to develop.

Coupled with creating more budding branches, topping also allows for the cultivator to keep his or her plants fairly uniform in height. Note that achieving uniformity in production is one of the major goals of large – scale production because it allows for more predictability come harvest. Nonetheless, if you’ve found a cultivar that is absolutely amazing and works for you, you definitely will want to get the same results time after time after time.

4 Factors to Consider When Vegging your Clones Before Flowering

During the vegging cycle, there are numerous considerations and factors a grower needs to analyze. Making the switch at the right time is very important to maximize yield and avoid complications. Since each grower is unique, you have to be careful when copying the methods and techniques used by them. They may actually end up giving you dramatically different results than what you intended.

1. Type of Strains — Indica or Sativa

The key differences between indica and sativa strains must be considered when making the switch to the flowering stage, especially since indicas and sativas act differently during flowering. Indica strains are renowned for producing shorter, thicker, bushier plants when compared to their sativa counterparts.

Ideally, they will gain only 25–50% of their height in the flowering stage. When compared, sativas are renowned for their height, and for their ability to keep growing taller throughout the flowering stage. They have been known to double their height from the first day of flowering until harvest.

Have it in mind that different growing methods such as the sea of green (SOG) method, the screen of green (ScrOG) method, lollipopping, and super cropping can all affect the switch. Depending on which method you choose, your flowering time will likely be different.

  • Sea of Green (SOG)

This method relies on flowering plants early so that they only produce one large bud. According to experts, thus method is mostly used for indica strains that are packed tightly together in the grow space. However, when using this method, plants should be flowered when they reach a height of around 15–30cm.

  • Screen of Green (ScrOG)

This method is known to make use of a mesh screen that is layered horizontally above the plants. The screen is typically placed 30–60cm above the base of the plants. Note that this allows them to grow right through it. When using this method, plants must remain in a vegetative state for several more weeks than with the SOG method.

  • Lollipopping

Lollipopping is a technique that involves removing the lower growth of the plant that receives very little or no light. Since these plants need light to grow, these regions will produce smaller buds and drain the plant of energy that could be used elsewhere. Note that by removing the lower leaves and bud sites, the plant can channel its energy on the upper colas that grow denser, thicker flowers.

Have it in mind that this method mainly involves a height – based flowering switch. Sativas are usually switched when they reach 30–45cm, since they grow so much during the flowering stage. Indicas are switched when they reach a height of around 100cm, giving them more time in the vegetative state.

  • Super Cropping

Super cropping was designed to produce very heavy yields from a minimal number of plants. Hence, plants grown using this technique are expected to remain in the vegetative stage for longer. Super cropping involves bending upper branches down so as to allow more light to reach the lower parts of the plant. Note that this keeps the height of the plant in check throughout the cycle, and allows for a longer vegetative period.

3. Plant Height

Remember that the longer those plants are kept in a vegetative state, the taller they will become. Hence, vegging your plants for too long in a confined space can result in an overgrow situation. These plants that grow too high can potentially reach too close to light fixtures and suffer damage as a result.

However, you should never let your plants reach closer than 30cm from the lights above them. Also ensure to consider the light fixtures being used. Some bulbs glow hotter than others, and this will certainly affect the minimum distance that should be kept between the plants and the lights.

4. Outdoor Considerations

Outdoor growers allow their plants to flower by themselves. This is more or less happens after mid – summer when days become shorter than 12 hours. If you are an outdoor grower, then you should take care to ensure that your plants do not receive any kind of light at night. This includes light sources from garden lights, street lights, or spotlights.

Outdoor plants do not necessarily need to be left to their own devices. Just like indoor plants, they can also be forced to flower by a change in conditions. Some climates simply do not offer plants enough time to flower before winter. Other climates may require a grower to force flowering so as to keep the plant in check.

Conclusion

Clones can grow very tall very quickly, forcing growers to make the flip to flowering based on plant size alone. However, growers should make sure to give their clones the necessary amount of time to establish themselves before flowering. Seedlings can be flowered much earlier, but remember that they will require 2–3 weeks before doing so.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Can You Move Clones To Veg?
  • Clones need to be fully hardened off. Test their capacity to withstand the humidity and temperature used in the ‘vegetative phase’.
  • Must be plenty of air pruned roots on the outside of the propagation cube. Do not leave it too late otherwise roots will begin to circle the pot and become root-bound.
How Long To Veg Clones for In SOG?

It all depends on the resources you have to work with and how much time you have to produce your crop. Most growers will veg for four to six weeks or when their plants reach ten inches in height. There are some who switch to the flowering light regimen when the marijuana plants are only about six inches tall, or two to three weeks into their growth.

Other SOG method growers who can invest in larger pots and don’t need to cram as many plants per square foot can allow for more extended vegging states, up to seven or eight weeks. The larger pots provide more room for roots to spread.

Does The Generation Of The Clone Matter?

Yes, depending on your “starting” cell, a clone from the clone of a clone might just be a bag of mutations on the brink of dying from cancer. This might all seem weird since the word “clone” usually means a creature that is completely identical to the original. But it turns out that a clone isn’t really identical. You see, small changes in your DNA can and do happen over your lifetime.

Can You Use Sensizym in Veg?

Yes, experts apply this mixture every week throughout the vegetative and flowering cycles. For hydroponics use mix 5 ml of Sensizym per litre into the nutrient reservoir. Once again use every week during the vegetative and flowering phases. That’s all it takes to achieve the incredible results provided by Sensizym.

When Should You Harden Your Clones?

Suddenly moving plants from a stable environment to one with wide variations in temperature, light and wind can seriously weaken plants. For most plants, start hardening off about a week before the final frost date for your area.

How Can You Speed Up Your Veg?
  • Choose a Good Play Strain
  • Give Plants More Light
  • Use Carbon Dioxide
  • Give Plant Supplements
  • Give Nutrients
  • Proper Plant Care
  • Hydroponic Growing
  • Large Growing Container
How Long Do You Veg Clones Before Flowering?

Growers can switch to the flowering stage as soon as the clone has established a solid root system. In optimal conditions, plants should be kept in their vegetative stage for approximately 60 days. This time period should give the plant the opportunity to maximise yield and acclimatise to growing conditions.

How Do You Switch From Veg To Bloom?

Plants start budding when they get at least 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night (12/12). This must continue until harvest. Even if darkness is interrupted briefly, flowering will be hindered. In fact, plants may revert back to veg unless 12-hour nights are maintained.

How Early Can You Take A Clone?

Most clones will be ready to transplant into soil in 10-14 days, but some may take longer. You’ll know they’re ready when the white roots are an inch or two in length

Can You Use Bloom Nutrients in Veg?

Although you shouldn’t but you will be just fine if you do, however, you can swap back over to your veg nutes but be sure you’re giving the plants the same strength and pH so you don’t shock them. Usually bloom ferts don’t have as much calcium, so make sure they’re getting that ASAP.

How Long Do You Veg Photoperiod?

Traditionally growers use a veg photoperiod of 18-24 hours of daily light. For bloom, usually a 12/12 light schedule is used (12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness). There are also less commonly used alternative light schedules too. Usually 4-6 weeks is given.

How Do You Get The Biggest Buds?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to improve the size of your buds. Pruning, training, feeding, and lighting are the most common ways to dictate how your plant will develop.

What Is Veg And Bloom?

Veg is more or less when the plant is growing from seed to leaves. Bloom is when the plant is developing flowers or fruit.

How Often Do You Water Clones?

After a plant is well-established it’s important to water infrequently but thoroughly so that all parts of the root ball are irrigated and spent salts are washed out. Water frequently for one week! For the first week after transplanting your clone will not yet have grown a strong root system. Setting a cycle where plants need to be watered every two to three days is ideal. Keep in mind that as plants get bigger, they will need more water and need to be watered more frequently.

What Supplies Do You Need For Cloning?
  • 1 female marijuana plant (that has not begun the flowering stage)
  • 1 razor blade
  • 1 mister bottle
  • 1 bottle of cloning gel
  • 1 bottle of cloning powder
  • 1 cloning tray (with greenhouse dome)
  • 2 small plastic buckets
  • Compressed peat pellets (Rapid Rooters or Rockwool Cubes will also work)
  • 1 fluorescent light fixture and bulb
  • water
How Do You Keep A Mother Plant From Getting Too Big?

Pruning branches regularly will encourage new branches to grow. Note that the more branches your mother plant sprouts the more clones you have to replant in your garden. Pruning the top will also keep the plant from growing too big. Also remember that when you cut a stem near its top, two new, divergent stems will grow from the point at which you cut.

What Is A Cannabis Clone?

A cannabis clone is a cutting, such as a branch, that is cut off of a living marijuana plant, which will then grow into a plant itself. A clone has the same genetic makeup as the plant it was taken from, which is called the mother plant.

Why Is It Important To Veg Your Cannabis Crop Before Setting It To Flower?

Have it in mind that your plants may have to go through the cannabis veg cycle before having to work extra hard to produce flowers. The cannabis veg cycle helps by building out their root and shoot system so that they’re ready for the rigors of high-intensity flower production.

Should You Use Both Veg And Bloom Switches During Veg?

Yes, experts recommend that both switches be turned on in flowering and fruiting state for the plant.

Why Are Your Clones Rotting?

Moisture and humidity are key in cloning, but wet is not good. Wet media lowers the oxygen levels in the media, which usually leads to rotting stems.

What Are Feminized Cannabis Seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds are genetically engineered to only become female plants, and they almost always (99.9%) do so. Eliminating the game of chance, this advancement made growing cannabis much easier, as well as more economical. Feminized seeds tend to be designed to produce photoperiod plants.

Should You Remove Fan Leaves During Veg?

Yes, removing these fan leaves opens up light and produces better air exchange to the lower canopy. Healthy leaves at the bottom of the canopy should be kept to trap valuable light from being lost and wasted.

How Do You Stop Popcorn Buds?

While they still make an acceptable smoke and have a ton of uses, harvesting ounces of small, airy popcorn buds is far from a dream for any grower. Here are a few techniques to help you reduce the number of popcorn buds in your next harvest:

  • Lollipopping
  • Mainlining
  • ScrOG
  • Pruning
  • Defoliation
When Are Plants Ready For Transplanting?

When the seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, it’s best to transplant or thin them. If you don’t need many plants, you can thin them in place: just pinch or snip off the excess seedlings, leaving the remaining ones spaced about 2 inches apart.

What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?

Autoflowering cannabis seeds are known to produce plants that flower on their own after 2–4 weeks of growth. Growers don’t need to worry about switching the light schedule to initiate and maintain the flowering phase, like they would if growing feminized photoperiod cannabis.

Can You Put Clones Straight Into Soil?

Yes, that’s how most growers take clones. Keep the soil moist and spray the clones once a day and they should begin growing roots in a couple of weeks.

Where To Get Blue Dream Clones In The Oroville To Sacramento Area?

Perfect Union Recreational Marijuana Dispensary Northside

Can You Veg Too Long?

Yes, however, vegging your plants for too long in a confined space can result in an overgrow situation.

Do Light Movers Increase Yield?

Yes, light movers work good just so as long as you move them in no more than 2 to 3 feet depending on the light in each direction from the centre. There cannot be dark spots. If you move the light more than that, there will be dark spots and bud size and yield will suffer.

How Much Can You Yield Off 1000 Watts?

The yield you get from a plant under a 1000w grow light will vary based on a variety of factors such as your skill level, experience, the strain, growing techniques, and the quality of light you’re using.

However, if you’re looking for a rough idea using wattage, you can estimate 0.5 to 1 grams per watt, with 0.5 grams being considered a good yield, and 1 gram per watt would be considered an excellent yield. Therefore, under a 1000w watt, you can expect to get between 500 – 1000 grams (or 17 – 35 ounces). But note that these yields will be hard to achieve without the right growing conditions.

Can You Veg For 3 Months?

Yes, Generally speaking, it takes anywhere from 10-32 weeks, or about 3-8 months, to grow a weed plant from seed.

What Is A Cannabis Mother Plant?

A cannabis mother plant is a plant that is grown specifically for cloning purposes. They are kept in a constant vegetative state and never transitioned over into the flowering stage. Cannabis plants are especially appealing to use as mothers because they are easy to clone and are resilient to the minor stress that accompanies plant cuttings.

Do Clones Flower Faster Than Seeds?

Yes, clones from mature plants will normally start flowering sooner after flip compared to seed plants because they are fully mature already.

Does Co2 Speed Up Flowering?

Yes, Supplementing CO2 for the first two or three weeks during the flowering process becomes one of the more crucial time periods for supplementation, as this can boost the initial stages of flowering. This will not only speed up the process, but also improve flower size.

Does Vegging Longer Increase Yield?

Yes, the longer you Veg the larger your plants will be, hence larger yield. As a general estimate, adding two weeks of vegetative growth time, will double your yield.

When Should I Flip Mainlined Kosher Kush To Flower?

Kosher Kush grown outdoors can take an average of about 9 to 10 weeks to flower and be ready for a harvest. It can yield most generously in a well-kept indoor setting, yielding an estimated 19 ounces of fresh bud per square meter planted.

How Many Days After 12/12 Do Buds Form?

It usually takes 7 – 14 days of 12/12 for a plant to show “white hairs”.

Why Do Cannabis Growers Care About Plant Gender?

Cannabis plants are gendered, or for the botanically-inclined, dioecious. Female plants are particularly prized because they form buds that are rich in cannabinoids content. For most growers, maintaining a crop free of male plants is critical to ensuring that female buds are not pollinated.

Which Seed Banks Deliver Cannabis Seeds To The USA?
  • I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM)
  • Crop King Seeds.
  • MSNL Seedbank.
  • Quebec Cannabis Seeds.
  • Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds (AMS)
  • Gorilla Seed Bank.
  • Seed City.
Is Coca Cola Good For Plants?

No, Sugary soda pops are not the most ideal choices for use as fertilizer. Therefore, pouring soda on plants, such as Classic Coca Cola, is unadvisable. Coke has a jaw dropping 3.38 grams of sugar per ounce, which would certainly kill the plant, as it would be unable to absorb water or nutrients.

Does More Light Equal More Yield?

Yes, that’s because during the flowering stage (when plant start producing buds), higher light intensity is what drives the production of buds. Once your cannabis plant is producing buds, anything you can do to help get more intense lights to the bud sites will tend to increase your yields.

What’s The Cost Of Electricity To Grow Marijuana?

The cost of electricity to grow marijuana will vary greatly from state to state. However, In Massachusetts, the average commercial/business price per kilowatt hour is 16.14 cents (EIA, April 2019). Burning through 3,000 kWh will run you around $484 (3,000 * .1614).

According to industry resources, an ounce of marijuana in Massachusetts costs $340. That means a pound of marijuana would generate around $5,440 in retail revenue. So $484 in electricity for 3,000 kWh, to grow one pound of marijuana, generates $5,440 in retail revenue.

How Much Does A Sea Of Green Plant Yield?

A SOG yield per plant depends on the number and types of plants you cultivate. During the flowering phase, a SOG-grown cannabis plant will develop a single large cola at the top. These plants need little training to develop their buds aside from typical plant upkeep.