Keep in mind that these characteristics apply to pure sativa and indica strains. Most strains will demonstrate characteristics representative of both kinds since they are not 100% indica or sativa. When dealing with hybrids, make sure to research the genetic makeup of the plant so as to have a better idea of what to expect during the grow. A basic rule of thumb for growing hybrids is to expect that the plant will grow to be twice the height it is at the end of its vegetative state.
The planting method chosen for the grow will also affect the timing of the switch. The difference between growing from seeds or clones will affect the growth rate of the plant’s root system. If the plant has not established a solid root system, then there may be issues and complications during the flowering stage.
FACTOR #2: STRAINS—INDICA OR SATIVA?
Sort of—not really. Some growers believe that plants grown from seeds must be given 60 days of maturation in the vegetative state. However, this is not necessarily true. It is important to remember that young seedlings cannot start properly flowering for 2–3 weeks. However, when growing from clones, age is not an issue. Growers can switch to the flowering stage as soon as the clone has established a solid root system.
When making the switch, growers need to be aware of all of these conditions, and of the ways in which they can affect the final product. Since each grow is unique, growers should be careful when copying the methods and techniques used by others. They may actually end up giving you dramatically different results than what you intended.
The genetic differences between indica and sativa strains must be considered when making the switch to the flowering stage. That is because indicas and sativas behave differently during flowering. Indica strains are known for producing shorter, thicker, bushier plants when compared to their sativa counterparts. Typically, they will gain only 25–50% of their height in the flowering stage. By comparison, sativas are known for their height, and for their ability to keep growing taller throughout the flowering stage. They have been known to double their height from the first day of flowering until harvest.
The vegetative phase is a period of the growing cycle that takes place after germination and before flowering.
After your cannabis seeds germinate, they’ll emerge from the soil as seedlings. These youngsters feature a short stem and two rounded cotyledons. Eventually, the first “true” leaves will form. Over the subsequent 2–3 weeks, seedlings will start to mature and produce a large number of fan leaves—structures required for photosynthesis. This marks the beginning of the vegetative phase.
WHAT IS THE VEGETATIVE PHASE?
How to support cannabis during the vegetative stage for best results.
The vegetative phase can last anywhere between 3–16 weeks (or longer), depending on the genetics of a cultivar and the goals of the grower. Explosive growth occurs during this time. Plants are typically transplanted into larger containers at the start of the vegetative phase to give their root system more room to expand. The main stem will ascend, and the space between nodes will increase dramatically. Indica cultivars will remain short and put out lots of lateral growth, whereas sativa varieties grow taller with much less ramification.For photoperiod varieties, the vegetative phase ends when the light cycle shortens.