Vegetative plants appreciate healthy soil with nutrients. Feed them with a higher level of nitrogen at this stage.
At this stage, the plant is vulnerable to disease and mold. Keep its environment clean and monitor excess moisture. Be sure to give it plenty of light.
Outdoors, flowering occurs naturally when the plant receives less light each day as summer turns into fall. Indoor growers can trigger the flowering cycle by reducing the amount of light marijuana plants receive from 16 to 12 hours a day.
Be very careful to not overwater the plant in its seedling stage—its roots are so small, it doesn’t need much water to thrive.
Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day
Take meticulous notes on when and how you perform each step, as well as what the weather is like. Other notes can include how much water you give plants, at what intervals, and how much nutrients you give them. Pictures will also give you a better sense of how your plants look along the way.
Seed germination length: 3-10 days
As roots develop, the stalk will rise and you’ll begin to see the first iconic fan leaves grow, at which point your cannabis plant can be considered a seedling.
Vegetative stage length: 3-16 weeks
The main stem, or stalk, of a cannabis plant grows straight up from the root system and supports all lateral branches. The stem gives a plant structure and stability.
Also known as “buds,” the flowers of a cannabis plant are the fruits of your labor. They contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that get you high or offer health benefits. Flowers only grow on female cannabis plants and must be dried before consumption.
These are the first leaves to grow from the seed after germination. They usually come in pairs, and seeing them is a sign of successful germination and that your plant is on its way to growing healthy and strong.
When stems are new, they are flexible and easy to bend, but they quickly harden up and turn woody. By keeping a close eye on your plant and bending any too-tall branches down and away from the center of the plant as soon as you can, you will maximize your yields since that flat shape will most efficiently use your grow lights. If all your main bud sites are spread out and about the same height, you can increase your yields by up to 40% or more!
As your plant continues through the flowering stage, it’s normal to see a few yellow or discolored leaves near the bottom of the plant, especially in the places where the leaves are no longer getting light. This isn’t anything to worry about if it’s just a few leaves as the plant is putting its energy to the top of the plant and the buds.
If things are going well, your buds should be really hitting their stride at this point. They will grow in size significantly over the next few weeks!
From now on your plant won’t be making any new leaves or stems. It has completely switched gears away from vegetative growth and all its energy will be focused on growing buds from now until harvest.
You are basically just maintaining your plant until harvest. Different strains are ready at different times, but from now on you’re going to pretty much treat them all the same. Keep a close eye on the buds, pistils and trichomes as a whole to help you figure out the best time to harvest to get the effects you are looking for.