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When Does Cannabis Vegetative Stage Start?

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains

So, you have the best cannabis seeds and have managed to develop them into healthy seedlings, but just the beginning. The cannabis plant has to go through multiple other stages before you can obtain the fruits you need.

And the most important stage of these is the growing stage, otherwise called the Cannabis vegetative stage. This blog will take a deeper and in-detailed look at this stage. It will cover everything from the starting indicators of the vegetative stage to the nutrients the plant will need and the light changes to consider. Let’s get started. 

Starting of the Cannabis Vegetative stage

The cannabis vegetative stage, being the third phase of Cannabis growth, starts right after the germination and seedling stages. The stage has no fixed time and gets affected by multiple factors, including your seeds, environmental conditions, and genetics can affect the vegetative stage timing.

cannabis plants in vegetative stage
cannabis plants in vegetative stage

However, the stage is usually marked with some signs of maturity that you can use as an indicator. For instance, the stem of your cannabis plant will get slightly thicker and stronger with the beginning of the vegetative stage. It will also grow larger leaves and nodes.

Another good way of anticipating the start of the cannabis vegetative stage is the leaves of your plant. Cannabis growers believe that any seedling that grows seven sets of leaves is already in its vegetative stage.

Timing Of Cannabis Vegetative Stage

The timing of the cannabis vegetative stage differs from plant to plant. It will also differ for both indoor and outdoor plants. The outdoor plants depend on natural light to trigger changes, so the vegetative stage will start somewhat between the transition of summer to the autumn season. In contrast, indoor plants are independent of seasonal changes. You can alter the lights to trigger this stage.

The Autoflowering cannabis plant, on the other hand, has a pre-programmed timing for the vegetative stage. Their vegetative stage will start after a set period, depending on their genetics and the species used to create them. It can take somewhat around 2 weeks to 8 weeks for your plant to enter its vegetative stage.

What Does Cannabis vegetative Stage Mean for Your Plants?

As already stated, the vegetative stage is the growth phase of your cannabis plants. It’s the stage when your plant starts to develop and grow exponentially. You can say it’s like the adolescence of your plants.

So, naturally, during this part, your plant will start to accumulate resources for reproducing and growing. There’s also a boost in photosynthesis and growing roots to better collect the nutrients from the soils.

And just like the growing kids, the plant will need special care with a decent supply of nutrients. This stage is the most crucial part of your plant’s life and will decide its overall growth. It will directly affect both the quantity and the quality of the fruit your plant produces.  

And with that in mind, let’s learn about the different factors you need to consider for the best results. 


Like every plant, the cannabis plant also needs Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to grow. Usually, it would need a well-balanced blend of these nutrients in proportion to a 2:1:1 portion. However, this rule doesn’t apply to the vegetative stage. Since the plant needs to grow both in size and strength, it will need a higher quantity of phosphate and Potassium. The ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium changes to 1:2:2 and sometimes even 1:3:2.

Lighting Changes

Plants need light for photosynthesis which forms the building block for their growth. Now, as a sapling with just a few leaves and a short soft stem, the need for this process is low. However, as the plant matures and enters the vegetative stage, it needs to rapidly photosynthesis. Thus, you need to provide it with an abundance of light along with the nutrient supplement. 

Normally a cannabis plant will need at least 12 hours of bright light per day. But you can always increase the duration for better results. For instance, some farmers deploy a 24/7 lighting system for their plants. They believe that continuous light helps their plant to grow faster and also helps increase its fruit. 

In contrast, many growers believe in providing 18 hours or less light per day. They believe that the plants need some hours of relaxation period per day to thrive better. You can check out the various lighting cycles farmers use and deploy the knees you think works best for your plants. 


Cannabis plants grow in a conical pattern. They are wider at the lower section and become pointed towards the top. The plant also grows in straight light formation with just a few minor bends. Due to these characteristics, the plant often receives uneven light, which may affect the fruit quality. Therefore, you need to train your plant and mold them for better exposure. 

Low Stress Training
Low Stress Training

Now, there are mainly two types of cannabis training methods – low stress and high-stress training.The low-stress training includes using ties, mesh, and threats to reshape your plant. In contrast, the high-stress training includes cutting and slicing of plants to increase its business.

You are free to use any of these methods, but you have to follow them during the vegetative period. This way, the plant will recover before they enter the flowering stage. 


The cannabis plants in the vegetative stage are stronger and more developed than seedlings, but they’re still vulnerable. Pathogen, infestation, and several other factors can ruin your crops. So, as a cannabis farmer, you need to be aware of the common infestation and take preventive measures for them.

cannabis bugs
cannabis bugs

You can buy and spray the plant with chemical insecticides specified for the pest common in your area. But if you are not sure, just get the leaves tested for damage and take measures accordingly. It is also preferable to use organic compounds made of ingredients like garlic, onions, tomatoes, and more for the plants. When mixed with water and oil in the right quantity, these ingredients provide active defense against most of the pests, including spiders, flies, moths, caterpillars, and more. Not to mention, they don’t have any ill effect on the plant. 

But at the same time, the plant does not need to be fully restricted. You might need some insects for sexing your plant, especially for a large farm. 


Out of all the different phases of growth, the cannabis vegetative stages are the most crucial. It’s the stage when the plant grows, spreads, and prepares for the budding stages. During that time, the plant needs more light, nutrients, and protection from damaging agents. 

And for that, you need to know the exact factor that marks the beginning of the stage plus the changes you have to make. Hopefully, this blog would have provided you with an idea of both these things. 

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