Marijuana grow phase is also called vegetative growth phase or veg phase, and it’s way more important than most marijuana growers realize.
The success of your marijuana bloom phase—bud size, harvest weight, THC and other cannabinoids, taste and smell, plant health—are greatly determined by how well you treat your plants in marijuana grow phase.
In marijuana grow phase, your plants develop:
- their major root structure and network
- their main stalks and sub-branches
- their metabolic functions
- their leaves
Grow phase starts from the time a seedling sprouts, or the time a cutting is rooted, and ends when you switch your lighting to 12-12.
If you’re growing autoflowering marijuana, marijuana grow phase lasts from the time your marijuana seeds sprout until the time the plant decides to flower.
Usually, this is about 2-3 weeks max.
How do you know your marijuana grow phase is going well? Here’s what you see:
- Aboveground growth of at least one inch per day
- Root growth of one inch or more every two days
- Five or more sets of true leaves within two weeks of a seedling sprouting.
- Healthy, fully-formed, lime-green leaves
- Thick stalks
- Short, dense plants that stand up fine on their own with no support
- Increasing use of water and nutrients
How can you ensure you get the fastest, strongest, and most useful marijuana grow phase plants?
- Call tech support for the company Advanced Nutrients. Tell them the system you’re growing in, the type of water you’re using, how old your plants are, whether they’re cuttings or seedlings. Ask them advice on what grow phase hydroponics base nutrients to use, and what parts per million.
- Note that the parts per million (ppm) of your hydroponics base nutrients should start lower than manufacturer’s recommended dose, and gradually climb as plants get larger.
- Put fan breeze directly blowing on your young plants to strengthen their stalks.
- Use Roots Excelurator, Voodoo Juice, and B-52.
- When plants have five sets of true leaves, cut the top leaf set from the main stem. This creates branching and dense growth, instead of plants that are too tall.
- Use T-5 Hortilux PowerVeg bulbs for first 2-3 weeks of marijuana grow phase, and then add metal halide.
- Keep your nutrients water at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the water aerated.
- Measure hydroponics nutrients water runoff and pH. If the nutrients water runoff ppm elevates to at least 400 ppm more than the ppm you’re sending in, or if the pH deviates more than .4 pH points—call the nutrients manufacturer to ask about the pH deviations. In the case of the 400 or more ppm elevation, do one feed cycle with only reverse osmosis water to flush out the root zone.
- Use only reverse osmosis water.
- Routinely inspect your marijuana grow phase plants for pests and diseases.
- If growth rate slows or stops, or if leaves go off-color or show signs of leaf tip burning, do nutrients problems diagnosis, and check to make sure you’re not overwatering.
- Read this article series that gives you all you need to know about diagnosing and fixing marijuana hydroponics nutrients deficiencies.
- Give your veg phase plants at least four weeks in grow phase so they have adequate roots, stalks, and branches. If you’re doing sea of green or screen of green (SCROG), and/or if you’ve got limited height, you may have to trim or train your plants to keep them low. But do everything possible to give them at least four weeks, if not 5-7 weeks, in grow phase.
The simple fact is that a high-yielding bloom phase can only be achieved if you build your plants properly during marijuana grow phase. Now you know how to do it!