As a final installment in our series on the vegetative stage, we want to look at how to care for your cannabis during this stage. This is the stage when the growing occurs and the way in which you care for your plant will really affect the yield and quality of your harvest. Up to this point, we have looked specifically at the nutrients that your plant needs in the vegetative stage, as well as how to determine when it’s time to flower your plant.

From knowing the proper amount of water to understanding how you can trim and train your plant to increase the flower power and create more buds for you, this post will cover it all. We provide all the necessary tips and tricks to help you cultivate how well your plant grows to increase the density and number of buds. This can be accomplished by ensuring that your ratios of water and light are correct and that  you are keeping your plant growing in a healthy environment. We also provide some tips about what to look out for in terms of signs that your cannabis may be in distress.

Water, Light & Temperature

During the vegetative stage, your plant is not yet budding (this happens in the flowering stage). But it is just as important because the vegetative stage is when your plants will grow bigger, stronger and, in turn, will be able to increase yield when they flower. During this stage, your plants need more water than they will in other stages, since the roots are growing larger. If you are growing your plants in pots, you will want to be sure that the top inch of soil is moist to the touch at all times. If you’re growing your plants hydroponically (as we do at Smokey Okie’s) then you will always be sure that your plants have plenty of water.

Cannabis plants also need more sun than can be produced naturally, with constant light absorption up to 16 hours per day, or more. This is why growers will use purchased UV lights that give you the ability to adjust and touch all the bud sites on the plant so that they can fully and properly develop. Many growers will even provide their plants with 24/7 light if they are growing an auto-flowering plant, or if they have concerns about the temperature dropping too low, below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You also want to be sure that the warm air is circulating with fresh air

Signs of Distress in Your Plants During the Vegetative Stage

When you are still learning to grow, you not only need to know what to do, but also what signs of trouble to watch out for. This can include:

    • Leaf Health: As your cannabis matures, it is normal to see some yellowing. It is also normal to see yellowing immediately before harvest as nitrogen begins to enter into the buds. Beyond that, green leaves are the optimum sight to see.If you have leaves that are falling off, dying, drying out or curling, that could also be a sign of distress that points to improper amounts of light, water or nutrients.
    • Smells or Rotting: If you experience any rotting or unpleasant aroma, that likely is pointing to some type of bacteria or mold. The best next step is to evaluate your system to see if you can find the source of the smell and remediate it. If you see strange growths that are not trichomes, that may be early signs of mold or mildew.
    • Shape of the Plant: If your cannabis plants are stretching or growing very tall with ample space between nodes, as opposed to being bushy with a lot of leaves, this can be because the plant needs more light and is trying to reach toward the light source.
    • Pests: Finally, we encourage you to always inspect your plants and ensure that you don’t see any signs of noxious bugs, including mucus trails, eggs, spots, etc.

Loving all the cannabis education that we provide? Check out our newest series about shopping for the cannabis that is best for you. Hint: THC isn’t everything. We help you determine how all the elements of a marijuana strain will affect the high it gives and flavor you prefer. Live on the Smokey Okie’s blog now!


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