The answer is to “re-vegetate” them. Some people call this “rejuvenation.” Re-vegging means you partially harvest your marijuana plants, then put them back into grow phase so they revert to vegetative growth and you start all over again with a new grow phase. Here’s the way you do it:
• When you want to re-veg your marijuana plants, you don’t harvest the same way as when you’re ending their life. Instead you leave 10-20% of foliar and floral growth on your marijuana plants. Yes, this means you leave some small buds. From these small buds and leaves, your plants will grow new vegetative growth.
• After you’ve done your partial harvest, flush your plants’ root balls, do root pruning to remove brown and/or defective root strands, shake your marijuana plants to dislodge unattached portions of whatever root zone media they’re growing in (unless it’s impossible to do root work, such as with aeroponics or DWC), and transplant them into fresh media and larger pots as needed. Add beneficial bacteria and fungi to the root material.
• Put your plants under high-output grow phase fluorescents or other grow phase lighting and leave the lights on 20-24 hours per day until your cannabis plants are totally revegetated, at which time you go to 18 hours HID lighting per day. Early intensive doses of constant light encourage your plants into reverting to veg phase growth faster.
• You’ve flushed your marijuana roots and your plants are in a grow phase environment again, so now use grow phase base fertilizer, adding Vitamin B such as B-52, Roots Excelurator, potassium silicate, Bud Candy, and beneficial microbes to the mix. Go light on fertilizer elements for the first 1-4 weeks. Your plants are in shock from being harvested and transplanted. They don’t have many leaves. It’s hard for them to take in hydroponics nutrients, and they need gentle feeding. After your marijuana plants have clearly re-established themselves in grow phase, increase your nutrients dosage to regular levels that work for you during grow phase.
• If your cannabis plants are able to handle the re-veg process, they’ll start showing signs of new growth within 2-6 weeks. The new growth will at first look like mutations. The leaves will be twisted, smooth—not serrated like regular marijuana leaves. Within a week or two, the mutated growth will shift to normal marijuana leaf formation. Please note: re-vegetation is a stressful procedure and some marijuana plants may develop hermaphroditic (hermie) tendencies when subjected to stress.
• Continue to feed grow phase nutrients and the additives, especially Roots Excelurator, B-52, and Bud Candy. You want your marijuana plants to grow new and better roots during re-vegetation.
• Within 3-8 weeks of harvesting, your re-vegetated marijuana plants will show lots of tangled, dense new growth. Much of the growth will be spindly, twisty stalks and leaves. Before you flip your plants into flowering again, trim back about 50% of the ugliest of the new growth. Shape your plants to have a wide canopy and several sturdy growth stalks. After this trim, wait at least ten days before you flip the plants back into flowering (the trimming causes shock, and you want the plant to add new growth in the trimmed profile before you go to 12-12).
• If you’re doing motherplants rather than aiming for another harvest, you can leave your re-vegetated plants in grow phase indefinitely while you’re taking clones. Once your re-vegetated motherplants are established, give them about 16 hours of light and a mild grow phase nutrients solution. You can maintain motherplants for years, using them as clone material, if you maintain these conditions.
• When you’re ready to flower your re-vegged plants, be sure to flush the root zone before you flip them, and then start in with bloom phase fertilizer, along with early bloom additives such as Bud Ignitor, and mid-bloom additives such as Big Bud. Remember…your plants are in an unnatural situation, and they may need a little extra food to make them produce a heavy harvest with lots of THC. It’s a matter of individual evaluation: your re-veg plants might be stronger or weaker than the first time around. You might get a better harvest, or a weaker one. It depends on marijuana plant genetics, root health, and how well you treated them during re-vegging.
Some marijuana plants are too damaged before harvesting or by harvesting, so they won’t re-vegetate. About seven out of every 10 marijuana plants I’ve tried to re-vegetate has handled the challenge well.
How many times can you harvest and re-vegetate? I’ve seen growers get 1-5 extra harvests off of one marijuana plant. Most often, growers are re-vegging so they can do motherplants.
Whatever the reason you’re wanting to put your harvested marijuana plants back into grow phase, re-vegetating is a method that preserves your favorite plants, and may even save you money and time.
Instead of having to buy new cannabis seeds or clones, you can rejuvenate existing genetics that already have substantial root systems. And you already know exactly what kind of marijuana those plants will give you. Have fun making your marijuana plants almost “immortal.”