A cannabis plant once past the germination stage, according to experts, will require a maximum of 18 hours of light and be allowed at the most six hours of darkness. That being said, how long does it take to veg cannabis?
How long to veg cannabis from seed?
Once you have tilled the land or set up the necessary environment to allow you to plant your cannabis seeds in a flower pot, the next stage is the vegetative stage.
A typical marijuana plant will enter the vegetative stage not later than two weeks, for some, it may be a week. In this crucial stage, the marijuana plant takes full advantage of the light available to it in order to develop a strong root system that will anchor it firmly into the ground. The stems are also developed in this stage as well as the branches in preparation for the budding stage that follows thereafter.
The time difference between the seedling stage and the vegetative stage will largely depend on the breed of the marijuana plant. Those that are auto flowering may take a shorter time to reach the vegetative period from the time they are seedlings, while the ones that flower naturally will most definitely take longer which may be a difference of up to a week.
How long to veg before flowering
Unlike with typical plants, it is more beneficial for the marijuana plant flowering stage to be delayed. The main reason for this is that we want the plant to develop more during this stage and have a healthy root and stem system that can support more leaves. The more the leaves there are on a marijuana plant, the more productive the plant will be during the photosynthesis stage.
Having more leaves also helps the marijuana plant to take full advantage of the available light conditions.
The availability of light will greatly affect the longevity of the vegetative stage.
It is for this reason, that other farmers opt to expose their marijuana plants to the 18 hour light cycle which ensures that the flowering period is delayed as much as possible and the vegetative period is prolonged as a result.
In some areas, the plant may even be exposed to a 24 hour light cycle. It is important to understand that once the plant is exposed to more than eleven hours of light, that will trigger flowering as the plant assumes it is going into the winter season where there are scarce light hours.
How long to veg cannabis clones
A cannabis clone is an exact reproduction of the original mother plant that is used for propagation of the plant. A cannabis clone, also commonly known as a ‘cut’ can be manipulated in various ways in order to come up with a desirable phenotype that will yield a high THC or CBD content. Cannabis clones can be especially weird for a first-time cannabis cultivator since they exhibit a growth pattern that is not common with the parent cannabis plant.
Smooth edged leaves are the most unusual phenomenon when the clone starts vegging and as an amateur, you may feel that something has gone wrong. When you observe this, relax, nothing is wrong with your plant. Given at least two weeks, the leaves will be serrated and similar to those of the mother plant that the cut was taken from.
The vegetative period of a cannabis clone will depend a lot on whether the clone was taken from the parent plant at its vegetative period or whether it was taken from it at the flowering period.
Clones also take quite long to root and thus you will need to give them time, but during vegging, clones tend to do it faster and better than parent plants.
How to tell when the vegetative stage ends
In the vegetative stage of the cannabis plant’s growth, the plant only develops its stems and leaves and does not have any flowers developing at this stage. The fact that the vegetative stage can be manipulated may cause you to think that it cannot easily end not unless induced. This may not be so, especially if the exposure to light is not kept in check and if it falls below the threshold of at least 13 hours a day.
When it appears that the cannabis plant has started to form gender-specific features such as pistils and buds for the female plant and pollen sacs for the male plant — this is a sign that the vegetative stage is coming to an end. At this stage, one may decide to cut clones from the mother plant and re-veg them or gradually decrease the exposure to light in order to manipulate the flowering period to be much better.
Caution should be taken never to withdraw light exposure too soon as that may lead to premature flowering— which is not desirable.
From this, we can say that though the vegetative period of a typical indoor cannabis strain can last between two to five weeks, the question of how long to veg cannabis very much depends on the wishes of the cultivator.
The ability to influence the vegetative period by controlling the light exposure makes the time frame vary greatly.