How to Grow Cannabis During Vegetative Phase for Best Results

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How to Grow Cannabis During Vegetative Phase for Best Results

Availability of User-Oriented Strains

Availability of User-Oriented Strains

Want to equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to cultivate healthy and vibrant cannabis plants in the vegetative stage? Looking for a way to support cannabis during the vegetative phase for the best results?

This stage is a period of explosive growth, with meristem producing a large number of leaves. A stronger weed plant will support healthier buds when flowering.

There are 3 main stages in the marijuana growth process:

  1. Germination phase
  2. Vegetative state, and
  3. Flowering stage.

Many new growers aren’t sure about what the vegetative period entails. If you’re looking to learn more about the vegetative state, come dive in with us as we explore all of the ins and outs.

Once your plant grows its first set of fan leaves, it goes from being a seedling to being in a vegetative state. At this point, it will only grow leaves and stems, not buds or flowers. It is during this time that your plant focuses on growing large and strong.

Your plant will use light, air, and nutrients to grow.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to the vegetative stage of a marijuana plant’s life cycle.

What is the Vegetative Phase in Marijuana’s Life Cycle?

What is the Vegetative Phase in Marijuana’s Life Cycle

What is the Vegetative Phase in Marijuana’s Life Cycle

Vegetative stage is the period of the weed growing cycle that lies in between the germination and flowering phases.

After germination, cannabis seeds emerge from the soil as seedlings or youngsters. They feature two rounded cotyledons with a short stem that forms the first ‘true’ leaves.

Over the subsequent 14 to 20 days, the youngsters produce lots of fan leaves for photosynthetic activity. The production of fan leaves marks the beginning of vegetative stage in a weed clone or plant.

How long does a vegetative stage last? Depending on the type of strain and light cycle, the vegetative state may last 3 to 16 weeks or even longer.

As this phase starts, you’ll need to transplant the weed plant into a larger container to provide more room to the root system to expand. There will be a dramatic increase in the internodal space.

Here’re some key facts about the vegetative stage:

  • Sativa cultivars grow taller while indica varieties remain short, putting out lots of lateral growth.
  • In case of photoperiod varieties of cannabis, a shortening of light cycle will end the vegetative phase.
  • If you are growing weed outdoors, your plant will transition from vegetative to the bloom with the change of season from summer to autumn.
  • For indoor cannabis cultivation, a light cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off will induce flowering.
  • There are autoflowering strains that start to bloom based on their age, as opposed to change in light cycles.

Why is Vegetative Phase Important?

Why is Vegetative Phase Important

Why is Vegetative Phase Important

When it comes to weed growth, size often equates to yield. Here more nodes means more bud sites.

In the life cycle of a marijuana clone, vegetative stage is a vital period, requiring optimal environmental conditions for maximum yield. Make sure to provide the right amount of water, light, and nutrients.

Here’s why this phase is so significant:

  • During the time of explosive growth, you can train your weed plants to remain short, while still providing excellent yields.
  • Vigorous physiological functions are underway, such as fan leaves are converting more and more CO2 and light into energy.
  • Root system expands to provide anchorage and uptake more vital nutrients and water.

How Long Does The Vegetative State Last?

How Long Does The Vegetative State Last?

How Long Does The Vegetative State Last?

A healthy cannabis plant will sit in the vegetative state for anywhere from 3-16 weeks depending on several variables.

In outdoor growing situations, this stage can last even longer. If you want a bigger plant, you will need to account for a longer vegetative period.

Depending on the desired plant size, many growers will vegetate their plants for around 4-8 weeks.

Most cannabis plants will start flowering after the fourth week, in which case they’ll be pretty small.

How Will The Cannabis Plant Change Over The Different Stages?

Cannabis plants change over photoperiods or changes in the light cycle.

You have to remember that cannabis is an annual plant, meaning its flowering period is dependent on the seasons. When the cycle ends, the plant will die.

If you’re growing indoors and want to trigger the flowering stage, you have to change your lights on a 12/12-hour cycle.

Things to Do During Vegetative Phase to Maximize Yield

Things to Do During Vegetative Phase to Maximize Yield

Things to Do During Vegetative Phase to Maximize Yield

For a bountiful harvest for your indoor or outdoor cannabis grow, make sure to:

  1. Provide the right amount of light (18 to 24 hours per day), water, and nutrients.
  2. Closely monitor watering.
  3. Maintain optimum temperature.
  4. Invest in fans, hygrometers, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers.
  5. Kill pests and pathogens.
  6. Prevent fungal infections.
  7. Avoid stagnant areas.
  8. Maintain proper airflows.
  9. Keep the light source at the right distance (about 30cm) to avoid light burn.

Other Crucial Factors to Consider During the Vegetative Stage

Sexing and Separation

It is essential to prevent males from pollinating the females. So, timely sex cannabis plants and separate them.

If your goal is to produce resinous flowers, identify and remove males as early as possible.

Conduct sexing around 4 weeks after germination.

Here are practical tips to sex cannabis plants during their vegetative phase.

  • Females produce flowers pre-flowers that resemble the shape of a teardrop.
  • On the other hand, pre-flowers produced by males are more spherical.
  • You can use a magnifying glass to help with sexing marijuana clones.

Proper Spacing

Proper Spacing

Proper Spacing

Provide each weed plant with the right amount of space. Crowded clones will overshadow each other and block out light.

You can usually fit 4 to 16 plants per square meter. For an even horizontal canopy, pot several small cannabis plants closer to each other.

If you are using a low-stress training technique to tame your marijuana plants, fit about 4 plants per square meter.

Pot Size

Pot Sizes

Pot Sizes

The larger the pot or growing environment, the larger your plant will grow. If a plant has more room to spread its roots, it will do so.

Temperature Requirements

Temperature Requirements

Temperature Requirements

Cannabis plants thrive around temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

If temperatures go above 85 degrees, the growing process will slow. If temperatures go below 55 degrees, your plants will die.

Humidity Needs

Cannabis plants thrive in 50-55% humidity. If it is too humid, you could introduce mold growth. If it is too dry, your plants can wither up and die.

Thriving During the Vegetative State

Thriving during the Vegetative State

Thriving during the Vegetative State

Knowing how your plant will act during the vegetative state starts with understanding the strain that you are growing.

Here at Big Daddy Clones, we help new growers gain a better understanding of their given strain so they can successfully vegetate.

For best results, start with the right marijuana clones.


How long should cannabis be in the vegetative state?

The vegetative state can last between 3 to 16 hours depending on cultivar, light cycle, and other variables. Much like a human adolescent, a weed plant gets most of its vertical growth during this phase. Make sure to provide 18 hours of full-spectrum light per day.

What to do during vegetative stage cannabis?

During the vegetative stage cannabis, keep the plant in well-drained soil, optimum temperatures, and well-ventilated space. Also provide the correct amount of nutrients.

Can cannabis be in vegetative stage too long?

The answer is: “It depends”. If you have photoperiod cannabis varieties, they will keep growing under optimum lighting conditions. However, if you keep them too long in the vegetative stage, they will grow unusually large and unwieldy.

What does cannabis look like in vegetative stage?

During the vegetative stage, a cannabis plant is covered with fan leaves and leaflets. There are only stems (meristems) and leaves and no buds or flowers.

Still Need More Help to Get Started?

Need more practical information and tips about the vegetative stages of marijuana plants?

Make sure to get in contact with our professional grow experts here at Big Daddy Clones if you have any more questions about growing or purchasing clones!