Sometimes you want your cannabis plant to be back in the vegetative stage.
It is most common with plants that have just been harvested.
Growers take them back to vegging, to get another harvest out of them, or to get another chance to clone them.
Sometimes, you might also want to go back to veg shortly after flowering has begun.
Perhaps your plants started flowering accidentally, or you meant to take clones, but forgot.
Keep reading to learn all about the switching of flowering clones back to veg. We’ll focus on taking a plant back to veg post harvest, but the process is them same if you do it sooner.
- 1 Can You Switch Flowering Clones Back To Veg?
- 2 How To Re-Veg Your Cannabis Plants
- 3 Switching From Flowering Back To Veg: Final Thoughts
Can You Switch Flowering Clones Back To Veg?
Yes, it is possible to take flowering clones back to the veg stage. It is actually fairly common something you you can learn how to do easily.
Growers do this to force plants to produce more buds in case it was a low yield, or if the harvested buds are particularly special.
Why Take Flowering Clones Back To The Vegetative Stage?
This process is also called ‘re-vegging’ or ‘regeneration’. It is a way to get more yield from a single plant than you normally would by harvesting and discarding the unused bits.
In nature, a plant will grow and drop its seeds, then gradually die. The seeds then carry on the plant’s genes and create a new generation from the mother’s seeds.
When you re-veg a plant, you are forcing it to regrow or regenerate again and produce more flowers and more seeds instead of dying like it would in nature.
There are three main reasons to re-veg a cannabis plant:
- Get more buds from a single plant: this is simply more economical.
- Get more of the same flowers: perhaps that particular plant produces special flowers and you want to make sure you can reproduce them again.
- The first yield was low, and you want to get more out of the plant.
Benefits Of Regeneration
The following are the benefits of taking a flowering plant back to the veg stage.
Getting A Replica And Preserving That Phenotype
Normally, growers will make a clone of a plant before starting the flowering cycle. However, some growers may forget to do this. If this happens, the only way to get a replica of the plant is to re-veg it.
More Flowers The Second Time
Plants that have been re-vegged, if it is done correctly, tend to be bushier and produce more flowers than they did the first time. This gives them a much higher yield than before. In some cases, potency can go up slightly, too.
No Need To Keep Mother Plants
Keeping mother plants from which to make clones is standard practice. However, those mother plants take up space, and space is valuable in a grow tent.
Re-vegging is a way to avoid keeping tons of mother plants around for various strains and flavors. If you can properly re-veg them, you will be able to discard them and save a lot of floor space.
Cons Of Re-Vegging Your Cannabis Plants
The following are the major drawbacks of re-vegging marijuana plants.
It Is Stressful On Your Plants
Forcing a plant that has already flowered and completed its life cycle to stay alive and keep living is interfering with nature and is quite stressful on the plants.
Over time, repeated re-vegging may end up giving you diminishing returns. Re-vegging once or twice may be a great idea, but trying to do it more than that may end up being a bad idea.
The first time you re-veg the yield can increase, but after that, it will decrease significantly. The idea of re-vegging forever is not viable, since, over time, the yield will not be worth the work.
Re-vegging Is Hard
It is not an easy task to take a plant that was ready to die and force it to go back to the growth stage and regrow new flowers.
It is difficult to do correctly, and can sometimes fail, resulting in wasted time and frustration. Even seasoned growers can fail at regeneration, so for new growers, it is considered very difficult.
Re-vegged plants have sometimes been known to turn into hermaphrodites after being re-vegged, which makes them have male and female reproductive parts. This is not desirable if you are trying to grow only flowering females and there is no way to change a hermie back to a female.
How To Re-Veg Your Cannabis Plants
- This is done with indoor plants only because it involves manipulating the light cycle to trick the plant.
- If you are going to re-veg a plant, make sure to leave a handful of healthy branches and buds near the base.
- Change the light period back to what it was in the veg stage; this should be around 18 hours of light and six hours of dark every day.
- Change the food you are giving the plant back to what it got in the veg stage; give it nitrogen instead of potassium and phosphorus.
- Bottom line: remember you are trying to get it back to the veg stage, so we have to feed it veg stage food and give it veg stage light.
What To Expect
If you have successfully re-vegged a plant and followed the instructions, you should notice it will be a bit of a slow transition.
You will need to be patient as it makes the transition from the end of harvest back to veg. It may not do anything at all for a few days or a week or so. This is to be expected as the plant is a bit confused and not sure what is happening, so it does not waste resources on anything yet.
You may see some leaf mutations in the early stages of the second veg. Leaves with weird shapes are not uncommon once a plant has been regenerated.
You may also see odd node patterns in the early re-veg stage. This is when you start to see small bumps on the stem and branches in a weird pattern that was not there before.
If your plant makes it past the transition and begins to re-veg successfully, you can expect to see vigorous and increased growth once the transition phase comes to an end. It is not uncommon to see more branches sprouting and leaves growing than the first time around.
Sometimes marijuana plants switch back to the vegetative stage unexpectedly. It happens for different reasons with indoor and outdoor plants.
Outdoor cannabis plants can revert to the veg stage by accident. In the wild, if the light cycle is interrupted or changes for any reason in a significant way, a plant can think it is time to be back in the veg stage and revert to that stage on its own.
Indoors, if a light timer is broken or malfunctioning enough to affect the light cycle, plants can stop the flowering stage and go right back to veg, thinking the sun has changed and it is not time to make flowers anymore.
Switching From Flowering Back To Veg: Final Thoughts
Switching from flowering back to vegging is possible and not entirely uncommon. Some growers will switch the plants back after harvest, in order to get more yield or to give them another chance to clone the plant.
The process is not complicated, but getting it right is not always easy. And it’s not something you want to do more than once or twice with a single plant.
If you want to go ahead and get your flowering plant to re-veg, follow the instructions above to get it done.