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What Causes Plants to Re-Veg?

What does it mean to accidentally “re-veg” a cannabis plant? “Re-veg” is short for “re-vegetation” and refers to what happens if a plant that has started flowering re-enters the vegetative stage. The majority of cannabis plants are photoperiod strains, which need long nights in order to make flowers/buds (indoor growers typically give 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness a day). If the plant starts getting light during the night time it responds by re-vegging.

Sometimes even just a little light like a blinking LED in your grow tent is all it takes to interrupt your plant’s beauty sleep.

Re-vegging happens when flowering plants get light during their 12-hour dark period. A few interrupted nights or even a small light leak can start a re-veg!

Re-vegging cannabis plants show odd leaf symptoms such as:

  • smooth leaf edges

  • buds stop developing

  • long leaves or new stems grow out of bud sites

  • main stem sprouts 1-point leaves (just one “finger” per leaf instead of the typical 7 or 9 for adult cannabis leaves)

  • curling leaves (may look like heat stress)

  • wrinkled, twisted, or unusual growth

Sometimes marijuana growers choose to re-veg their plants purposely, for example, monster cropping (taking a marijuana clone from a plant in the flowering phase in order to change the clone’s initial growth patterns) or harvesting a plant for a second time (putting it back into the vegetative stage and grow the whole plant out again after harvest, sometimes used by outdoor growers in warm climates to get a second harvest in a year).

Unfortunately, most of the time a grower sees the tell-tale leaves of a re-vegging plant, it’s an unwelcome sight!

What to Do About Accidental Re-Vegging

When a plant is revegging, you basically only have two choices.

  1. Let it re-vegetate completely if you actually want the plant to be in the vegetative stage, or…

  2. Correct the light periods by getting rid of any possible light leaks and giving plants 12 hours of interrupted darkness a day (to get them to go back into the flowering stage).

Plants that are far in the flowering stage can take a month or more to re-veg, while a plant that has only just started flowering re-vegs much faster. That goes both ways. If a plant has been re-vegging for a long time, it may take a few weeks to get the plant back to flowering and developing buds.

About two weeks later, the plant is growing (mostly) normal leaves. Cannabis plants tend to grow a lot of stems and get bushy immediately after a re-veg. Although the growth patterns were odd at first, from this point on, the plant usually has relatively typical growth patterns.

If you see your cannabis plant re-vegging, don’t panic! Figure out whether you want your plant to be in the vegetative or flowering stage and act accordingly. A little time is all it takes after that to get your plant in tip-top shape again.

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