Most of us growers are used to cut down our cannabis plants once harvested because they ended their life cycle and provided us with fresh, beautiful and potent flower. However, it exists a method, which is not known and practiced by many, that can give you multiple harvests from one plant. Sounds a little strange, huh? This technique is called regeneration and basically means to revert your plant back into the vegetative phase (hence re-vegging). In some situations this can be very helpful, e. g. when you can't get new clones or seeds and have to use the same plant again for a crop of buds or a certain specimen showed really nice potential and characteristics so you want to get a clone even in flowering stage. Some may even have experienced re-vegging by accident when light leaked in during the flowering period - their plants started to revert into growth. We show you how to do it on purpose and what advantages and disadvantages you can expect.

HOW TO RE-VEG YOUR CANNABIS PLANT

First of all, re-vegging your favourite plants is no beginners technique. You shouldn't try this in your first grows because it can get real tricky and you always have to keep in mind that this method is very stressful and unnatural for your plants.

The regeneration of the chosen plant begins when you harvest the flowers. To put it back in the vegetative period of its life, you only harvest most of the buds. Keep the smaller leaves and flowers in the lower third of the plant and some larger fan leaves in the middle section. It should look like the plants skeleton when done right. It is hard to let the small popcorn buds on there but they are needed to stimulate the vegetative growth and don't really add something to the overall dry weight of your harvest. After that, you flush the roots and, if possible, have a look at them and prune all the defective roots.

Now, you can transplant to a new pot with fresh soil. You can put additional bacteria and additives to the soil mix if you like to further stimulate the re-vegging process. At this stage you will have to put your lady under 20-24 hours of light, so it goes back to the vegetative phase. Once it has fully recovered, you can switch to 18 hours of light, like you normally would. Your plant is in stress and shock mode now and will produce strange mutations in the first two weeks like round leaves. This is completely normal for the regeneration process and a more normal growth should start after about two weeks. This also means, that you have to be really careful with watering and adding nutrients because you don't want to overwater or overfeed your baby.

After a few weeks, your plant is ready to get into flower mode again. Trim back the strange leaves and give your experiment a little rest, then switch to 12/12 light cycle. This can save you time compared to a full cycle from seed to harvest.

HOW TO RE-VEG YOUR CANNABIS PLANT

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES AND RISKS

The benefits of rejuvenating your cannabis plants can be plenty if done correctly; you don't need new seeds or clones, it can possibly save you time, the growth of a re-vegged plant can sometimes be bushier and this method can preserve specific genetics which performance you like. But you already noticed, how many "ifs" there are, right? Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong and usually regenerated plants tend to yield far less in every successive harvest, often show hermaphrodite tendencies, the quality and potency is reduced a lot of the times and the stress that comes with this process can also force the plant to take a long recovery (which eliminates the time advantage). Moreover, regeneration does not work with all strains and specimen of cannabis.

It's up to you if you decide to try this technique. Experienced growers can benefit a lot from re-vegging but you learned how many things can go horribly wrong. Maybe you see for yourself and try to rejuvenate one of your plants in the next grow round to witness the risks and potentials of this growing method on your own.

ACCIDENTAL RE-VEGGING

It sounds kind of complicated to re-veg a cannabis plant after harvest, but did you know that you can start the re-vegging process by accident if you're not careful? It's happened to a lot of people, and caught most by surprise. Here's how it can happen, how to prevent it, and what you should do if it happens to your plants.

HOW DOES ACCIDENTAL RE-VEGGING HAPPEN?

When growing cannabis indoors, even small light leaks can disrupt the flowering period and make your plants revert to a vegetative state. These are the most common sources of light leaks:

  • Faulty timers
  • Light leaks around windows, zippers, ports or pinholes
  • Anxious growers who check their plants "for just a second" during the dark period
  • Electronic indicator lights inside the tent or grow room

Outdoors, accidental re-vegging happens when you plant too early. Seedlings that are put outside before the spring equinox when nights are longer than 12 hours can start to bloom almost immediately. Then, as the days get longer and nights shorter, they will revert back to veg and start growing the same odd-looking leaves that show up on plants that have been purposely re-vegged.

If this happens to you, don't panic. Mother Nature will take care of the problem soon enough. Before long, the leaves will start to have the normal, multi-fingered growth pattern that's typical of weed plants, and they will start to flower again late in the summer.

HOW DOES ACCIDENTAL RE-VEGGING HAPPEN?

HOW CAN I PREVENT ACCIDENTAL RE-VEGGING INSIDE?

To correct light leaks in a grow tent, turn on all the lights in the room, get in the tent, and zip it up. If you can see light coming in, even if it's only a pinhole, it can affect your plants. Cover all leaks with black tape to seal the room. You might need to tape or cover the zippers too. If your ballast, fans, and other equipment have LED indicator lights, place them outside the tent or cover the lights with tape.

For grow rooms, you'll want to do the same type of thing, but you'll look at the windows, gaps around the door, and any cutouts for a ventilation system.

Double check your timers. Make sure you set them the way you intended and that they are operating as they should. With mechanical timers, you can do this by plugging in a standard household lamp then manually turning the dial to see when the light stays on and when it goes off.

If you have a bad habit of checking your plants during the lights-off period, learn to be more patient. There's nothing that can't wait a few hours. Locks are a good way to keep curious eyes and light-switching hands away from your plants.

To minimise the chances of light leaks when you grow indoors, set the timer so that lights-off corresponds roughly to when it's dark outside. This won't prevent someone from turning on a light switch, but it will go a long way in keeping your tent or grow room darker.

WHAT DO I DO IF I RE-VEGGED BY ACCIDENT?

First, take a breath and relax. Your plants will be fine. Fix your lighting problem and they should recover in two weeks at the most. The longer they were re-vegging, the longer it will take them to start flowering again. If you'd like to jump-start the recovery, leave them in complete darkness for 24–48 hours.

Note that some cannabis plants don't handle the stress of switching quickly from flowering-to-veg-to-flowering very well. In very rare cases, a plant may turn hermaphrodite on you and grow some male pollen sacs. Carefully inspect your plants near the buds for yellowish sacs that resemble tiny bananas. Sometimes, they like to hide behind the bud near the stem or in the centre of the flowers, so look very carefully. If you find a few, pinch them off before they have time to open, release pollen, and seed your plants. If you find a lot all over a plant, it might be best to remove and discard the plant before it can do any harm.

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