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Re-Vegging Cannabis (“Monstercropping”)

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Intro: What is Re-Vegging Cannabis?

“Re-vegging” cannabis is what happens anytime you take a cannabis plant in the flowering (budding) stage and revert it back to the vegetative stage. Cannabis plants that are re-vegging can display strange stretchy growth and often grow round leaves with no serrations, but sometimes growers use a re-vegged plant’s unusual growth patterns to their advantage!

Example of a revegging cannabis plant – the edges of the new leaves are round instead of serrated

Sometimes Cannabis Growers Re-Veg on Purpose…

  • Monster Cropping – Take a cannabis clone from a flowering plant, a technique that is sometimes known as “monstercropping” (more on that below!)
  • Harvest Plant 2nd Time – Re-grow a cannabis plant after harvest

A cannabis plant may be accidentally re-vegged due to various light schedule problems. Learn more about cannabis light schedules. For example…

Light Leaks in the Flowering Stage – Revegging is common when flowering cannabis plants are exposed to light during their 12-hour dark period, for example if there’s a light leak in the grow tent, or if someone is occasionally turning the light on in the closet.

Timer Not Working Properly – If your timer is somehow on the fritz, it may be giving your plants light during their 12-hour dar period, which can cause them to start reverting back to the vegetative stage.

Planting Outdoors Too Early – Putting cannabis plants outside at the wrong time of year can be a culprit. If a cannabis seedling is planted too early in the spring, it will start flowering almost immediately due to the short days but will start revegging when the days get longer. Wait to plant cannabis outside until mid to late spring to prevent this from happening.

Changing Hands – When a plant is sold, traded, or otherwise changes hands, it’s not unusual to see signs of revegging if the plant is changing light schedules

These cannabis plants were re-vegged by accident

Close to Harvest

Right After Being Brought Outside Too Early in the Year, Causing Re-Veg

Though the initial leaves grow in looking strange, the new leaves will start growing normally again a week or two after the plant is fully back in the vegetative stage.

“Monstercropping” – Cloning a Flowering Cannabis Plant

What is “Monstercropping?” It’s basically a fancy word someone came up with to describe what happens when you take a clone from a flowering cannabis plant.

This clone was taken from a flowering cannabis plant, notice the strange rounded leaves

Here’s the same plant 2 days later. It continues to grow new leaves with round edges and long stems while the plant is re-vegging.

Here’s that plant about a week later – at this point it’s already growing (mostly) normal leaves

Monstercrop cannabis pictures by Don B

In addition to the initial strange growth of the leaves, during the process of reverting back to the vegetative stage, a cannabis clone tends to grow much more bushy than normal with a strong tendency to create many side branches. Some growers prefer this pattern of growth and re-veg plants on purpose to try to create this effect.

Example of a Monstercropped Cannabis Plant

However, it seems the altered growth patterns only exist for the first few weeks after the switch to the vegetative stage, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how the plant is trained. The changes in growth from monstercropping also seems to have a varying effect depending on the strains grown. In any case, you can override how your plant grows naturally if you use plant training!

This picture gives you a bit of an idea of the initial strange stretchy growth of a monstercropped cannabis clone. In the end this monstercropped plant yielded less than the other clones in the grow room.

Monstercropped Cannabis Pics by John Henry

If you’re already taking clones from a flowering cannabis plant for other reasons, that’s a great time to experience monstercropping for yourself so you can see what you think. However, from speaking with other growers who have monstercropped their cannabis plants, there seems to be a consensus that it’s not a consistent technique for getting the plant to branch out, so it should always be combined with other plant training techniques to make sure you get the results you’re looking for.

For what other reasons do growers take cuttings from cannabis plants in the flowering stage?

It’s common for a grower to want to take a clone from a particularly impressive plant before harvest. But when that happens, the clone must go through the process of reverting back to the vegetative stage before it will start growing again.

How to Take Clones From a Flowering Cannabis Plant

If taking clones from a flowering plant…

  • Take cuttings from the bottom of the plant
  • Make sure to pinch off any buds (may improve rooting speed; also, bud growth halts)
  • Expect clones taken from a flowering plant tend to take a little longer to root compared to clones taken in the vegetative stage

This is what clones from a flowering plant look like after they start re-vegging, this is completely normal!

These plants will start growing normally again in 1-3 weeks

Harvesting a 2nd Time: Should you grow a cannabis plant again after harvest?

It seems like the obvious way to grow cannabis…at least it seemed that way to me when I first started growing. I wanted to harvest the plants, wait, and then get to harvest them again. The idea of having a cannabis plant that keeps giving you bud is so appealing! Who doesn’t want a cannabis plant that’s like an orange tree with the ability to pick off a bud whenever you want?

Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. A cannabis plant is very “single-minded” in the way that it’s either growing buds or it’s growing stems/leaves, and not a lot in between. Unlike an orange tree which can produce leaves and oranges at the same time, cannabis plants tend to focus on making just one or the other. So since the plant is in “flowering” mode when the plant is harvested, you need to revert it back to the growing/vegetative stage (re veg the plant) before it will start growing again for your second harvest. This is because your plant will need to produce new budsites from which to grow bud.

During that process the plant will display some odd growth and possibly strangely shaped leaves, before it starts growing again, just like any other revegged cannabis plant.

One thing to keep in mind when re-growing a harvested cannabis plant is you’re still working with the “skeleton” of your old plant. Every part of the plant that you don’t cut off during harvest will remain with you. One of the really nice things about growing a cannabis plant from seed or clone, is it is so flexible and gives you the ability to train the plant however you want. It can be a pain to work with the ravaged shell of an old plant, instead of being able to get the plant to grow however you want.

This plant was just harvested, and a few branches were left to help the plant re-veg

Ideally, the grower would have removed the buds, since they will soon shrivel and die anyway (and you might as well harvest them!). When re-vegging a cannabis plant, it’s better to remove all buds, and make sure to leaves several leaves and growth tips. But even in conditions that aren’t ideal, the plant will usually recover and start growing even if it takes a little longer!

Here’s that plant 3 days later after being put on a 24/0 schedule, you can see the buds are dying but the plant has created several new leaves, some of which are smooth edged like a typical re-veg.

From this point on, new vegetative growth will continue to emerge from the green parts, and the plant can be grown again to a suitable size and re-harvested.

Benefits to re-vegging cannabis after harvest

  • you don’t have to plant a new seed or clone
  • possibly saved vegetative time
  • no need to dispose of harvested plant
  • re-vegged plants can grow back more bushy (sometimes to an extreme)

Downsides to re-vegging cannabis after harvest

  • it can take a few weeks for a flowering plant to fully re-veg and start growing vigorously, and sometimes re-vegged plants just always grow slowly
  • initial growth is strange and stretchy
  • plant training is more difficult since you have to work with the “skeleton” of the old plant
  • yields are often lower the second time around

If you do decide to re-veg a cannabis plant after harvest:

  1. During harvest, remove most of the plant including big branches, but make sure let the plant keep several leaves and a few “growth tips” where leaves are emerging. Your plant uses these to start forming new vegetative growth more quickly.
  2. Pinch off any buds on your remaining vegetative growth, so there’s only leaves and stems. If you skip this step your plant will still reveg, but you’re going to lose the buds anyway so why not harvest them? Plus it’s possible the plant may reveg faster if you remove the buds first.
  3. It’s normal for new growth to look strange, but the plant will start growing regular cannabis leaves after 1-3 weeks in the vegetative stage

Here’s one last example of a plant that was re-vegged after harvest 🙂

Closeup of the odd, round leaves. Every strain expresses re-vegging a little differently!

"Re-vegging" happens when a cannabis plant in the flowering (budding) stage reverts back to the vegetative stage. Other than accidents, this is usually done for "monstercropping" or to re-harvest a plant.

Best Vegetation Stage Tips For Cannabis (Vegging)

For today’s piece about vegging cannabis, we will assume that you have planted your seeds or clones already. After the process of propagation, small and fresh baby weed plants have now started to grow. You might have used seed starters, a special growth medium or a plastic dome to help them grow initially. Now you have brand new marijuana plants to take care of. It is time to find their spot in your grow room and start improving their health, strength, and shape.

Growing indoor gives you the opportunity to build just the right conditions for your plants. The growth phase is the heart and soul of your plant’s health – just follow our ideas and tips from this article. We have covered light, air, and water in a hydroponic system before and I recommend you to check out these resources for best practices for your cannabis plant.

ENTERING THE VEGETATION STAGE

The vegging stage starts once the plants have developed enough of a root system to take in water without a humidity dome that was used for seeds or cuttings before. Give your plants 5 to 10 days of transition. Slowly start increasing lighting and air flow.

Pro Tip 1: Lighting During Vegetation

In the vegetation stage, you will want about 18 hours of light for your plants. Use full spectrum lights. More Light = Faster Growth.

First things first: if your plant is in good condition, the factor that will limit or support your plant’s growth the most will be light. Don’t let them search for light while sitting in a dark spot. Also, don’t let your plants get burnt by the lamps if they’re too tall.

The goal of vegging cannabis is to grow a strong and healthy plant. We will want the buds to be exposed to the light because this will get them to grow much more once transitioning to the flowering phase.

Pro Tip 2: Adjust Your Nutrient Mix For Vegetation

Use a nutrient solution with high nitrogen, medium phosphorus, and medium-to-low potassium. Look for fertilizers with NPK ratios of 2-1-1, 4-2-1, 6-3-2 or similar.

You’ll want to change up your nutrient mix for each stage of growing from seedlings/clones, to vegging, to flowering. Your plants have different needs as they go through these stages and you need to feed them differently to keep them healthy.

Many nutrient manufacturers such as General Hydroponics, Advanced Nutrients and Fox Farm make this easy for you by selling nutrient “trios” with a pre-planned mixture for each stage of the grow cycle. For more info on picking your nutrients, check our our guide on the Best Nutrients For Growing Weed.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR VEGGING CANNABIS PLANTS

Give your plants some time for a strong vegetative phase. Grow it up to 18’’ inches tall, with at least 3 to 6 leaf branches, before switching to flowering phase.

Keep in mind how big you need your plants to grow. When using the same space, having a lot of plants will mean less time until the room is filled in buds. A smaller number of plants means the need for them to grow bigger and taller until the space is completely filled.

Different cannabis strains lead to very different shapes and sizes of plants. The balance between filling your space as much as possible and giving your plants as much room as possible might take some experimentation and learnings on your side. While a Sativa might grow another 150% after transitioning to the flowering stage, Indica will only grow about 25% more.

Pro Tip 3: Get The Right Weed Grow Pots

As a rule of thumb, 5 gallon fabric pots will work for most at-home setups, but for commercial applications or very large plants you may need to go up to 7 or 10 gallon weed pots.

Cannabis Pots: Best Grow Pots For Your Weed

The size of your plants will be determined by their roots. The amount of roots will be determined by the pots or net pots you are using. Give the roots room to grow and the plant will grow as well. If you plan to grow in soil, your plants will need to be watered frequently, especially if growing in a small container. In addition to more root space, larger containers will afford you a bit more leniency here as well. Lastly, breathable fabric pots (rather than plastic) will help ensure your plants get the aeration they need.

One of our favorite options for the best pots for growing weed are the 5 Gallon Fabric Aeration Pots from iPower, which you can usually find on Amazon in a 5-pack or 10-pack for under $20.

Pro Tip 4: Train and Shape Plants to Maximize Yield

Get familiar with tactics like topping, fimming, pruning, low-stress training, and high-stress training (AKA super cropping)

In the vegetative stage, you’re setting the foundation for how your cannabis plants will develop. Your plants will in search of light – they will stretch as much as possible and get very tall while they try to reach the for more light. If left to grow naturally, there will be many blank spaces between the nodes and branches which will negatively affect your yield.

If you want to maximize your yield with dense, bushy plants, you need to get familiar with the various approaches and tricks that master growers employ:

Topping Cannabis Plants

Using a razor blade, cute the stem right above its second set of leaves from the top. Now your plant will focus on two colas and grow a strong Y-shape. Give your plant some time to rest after the topping because the procedure will slow down growth. But after a few weeks you could do the same process again.

Fimming (Pinching)

Fimming is similar to topping. It’s called FIM for “F*ck I Missed” because you pinch off

75-90% of the tip from the main stem using your fingernails instead of a clean cut of the whole tip using a razor blade. Some growers find this to be more effective than topping because it can cause up to 4 or sometimes 8 shoots to branch off from the main stem rather than the 2 shoots you typically get from topping.

Cannabis Defoliation (Removing Leaves)

Removing leaves in the vegetative phase will slow down the growth process of your plant. Only remove leaves from a healthy plant. It will let you control the shape and growth speed of your plant. Use this technique to create a smaller plant that exposes its buds to the grow lights.

Low Stress Training (Bending)

These steps create a lot less stress for your marijuana plants because they are only tied down or bended. There is no cutting involved. Through bending, you can make your plant grow a horizontal rows of buds. Bend over branches that are taller than the rest. You can try tying them down or use weights. Super cropping is essentially a technique where you bend your plant until the bent point is slightly damaged.

Super Cropping (High Stress Training)

Unlike low stress training, high stress training is typically done at the end of vegging or very beginning of the flowering stage, and involves snapping the bud-bearing branches just below the newly emerging flowering cluster. The goal is to have the bud lay sideways so that it gets exposed to light along its entire length, rather than being shaded by neighbors. While a high-risk tactic that should only be tried by the most confident growers, when done well, this can significantly increase yields.

Pro Tip 5: Manage Grow Room Humidity While Vegging

Keep the humidity around 65% with temperatures between 72 and 85 degrees. Keep fresh air moving within your room using oscillating and inline exhaust fans.

Vegging Cannabis: Growing the Perfect Shape

In this phase, you are looking to grow your baby weed plants into big, healthy, bushy cannabis plants. If you have the space, it is best to grow your plants into a horizontal sea of buds that can then be beautifully exposed to light in the flowering stage and will create the best yield for you. Vegging cannabis is really a preparation for flowering stage. It sets the standards for your yield because now you are going to make the changes and tweaks that will later accelerate your yield in the flowering stage.

See the best tips for vegetation stage of marijuana. For today’s piece about vegging cannabis we will assume that you have planted your seeds or cuttings already. After the process of propagation small and fresh baby plants have started to grow.