Re-vegging, or re-vegetating, is a horticultural technique that involves returning a flowering or fruiting plant back to its vegetative growth stage. This process can be particularly useful in cannabis cultivation, but it’s also applicable to various other plants. The purpose of re-vegging is often to save a particularly valuable or desirable plant, to continue harvesting from perennials, or to rejuvenate a plant after harvesting. This explores the why, how, and when of re-vegging plants.
Re-vegging is essentially a way to ‘reset’ a plant’s growth cycle. After a plant has completed its flowering and fruiting stages, re-vegging encourages it to return to the vegetative stage, where the plant focuses on leaf and stem growth. This technique is particularly prominent in cannabis cultivation but can be applied to other flowering plants as well.
Why Re-Veg a Plant?
Preservation of Genetics: In cases where a plant exhibits desirable traits, re-vegging allows the grower to preserve its genetics without relying on cloning or seed production.
Continuous Harvests: Re-vegging can be used to get multiple harvests from the same plant, which is especially beneficial in perennials.
Cost-Effective: It can be more cost-effective to re-veg a plant than to start a new plant from seed or clone, particularly in controlled environments.
The Process of Re-Vegging
Timing: The best time to start re-vegging is immediately after the harvest. The process is initiated when the plant still has some leaves and bud sites intact.
Lighting Conditions: To encourage re-vegetative growth, particularly in cannabis, the lighting schedule needs to be adjusted to mimic the long days of summer (e.g., 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness).
Nutrition: During re-vegging, the nutritional needs of the plant shift. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers that support leaf and stem growth are required.
Pruning: Pruning the plant after harvest, but leaving some foliage, can help stimulate new vegetative growth.
Techniques for Re-Vegging
Natural Re-Vegging: This happens outdoors when plants naturally re-enter the vegetative state as the seasons change.
Forced Re-Vegging: In controlled environments, growers can manipulate lighting conditions to induce re-vegetation.
Challenges in Re-Vegging
Stress on Plants: Re-vegging can be stressful for plants, and not all plants respond well to this process. Stress can lead to reduced vigor or abnormal growth.
Time-Consuming: The process of re-vegging can be lengthy, taking several weeks to months before the plant re-enters the vegetative phase fully.
Disease and Pests: Stressed plants are more susceptible to diseases and pests, requiring careful monitoring and management.
Tips for Successful Re-Vegging
Maintain Optimal Growing Conditions: Consistent temperature, humidity, and nutrition are crucial during the re-vegging process.
Be Patient: Re-vegging takes time, and plants may show slow or abnormal growth initially.
Monitor Plant Health: Regularly check for signs of stress, pests, or diseases.
Re-vegging is a valuable technique for growers looking to preserve desirable plant traits, achieve continuous harvests, or save costs. While it presents certain challenges, such as the potential for plant stress and the requirement for patient, careful cultivation, re-vegging can be a rewarding process. It allows growers to extend the life of their plants and maximize their yield potential. With the right approach and conditions, re-vegging can be a successful strategy for sustainable and efficient plant cultivation.