The Perfect Grow, Ep. 7: Vegetative Stage of Weed

Soft Secrets
02 Mar 2023

During the vegetative stage of weed the growing process of the plants speeds up. Your plants are transplanted into their final pots, setting them up for growth. This is when you have plenty of time to prune your plants and prepare them for the flowering stage. In the seventh episode of The Perfect Grow, our dear friend Drew Anger explains everything you need to know and consider during the vegetation phase.

The Basics of the Vegetative Stage of Weed

While the weed plants are in their vegetative state, it’s important to keep the humidity around 60 percent. The temperature should remain in a range between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius (68-77 Fahrenheit). The lighting intensity can now be increased by about 5% or 10% every week or so. If the lighting intensity was around 20% when the plants were young seedlings, during vegetation you can get them to midway or around 50%. The weed vegetative stage is also a great time to do some topping and training in your grow tent in order to boost the yields in the end.


The vegetative stage of weed is when the plants can truly benefit from some topping. You can start topping after you give them a week or two to adjust to their new, bigger pots. Topping is essentially cutting off the top of the main shoot of the plant so that the plant stops spending extra energy growing vertically. Topping helps to redirect that energy to the lower branches, to grow wider and ultimately giving your plants more big buds at the top of every branch.

As you proceed with topping, grab the top of the plant and pull the leaves away and then make a cut about three or four inches down the top. You can use a pair of queen snips and cut right above the young branch that’s started to form. Snip that off and leave the plants like that for around a week.


A week after doing some topping, you’ll see how the plants expand horizontally and how they look a lot wider and bushier. You can proceed next with cleaning up the bottom of the plants or doing some lollipopping. This means taking care of the lower branches or the lower bud sites that aren’t gonna be exposed to good light, which will only produce unusable popcorn buds in the end. Here you can cut off really low branches and strip off some nodes that are not gonna be useful. 

You’ll have to do this a few times before you get a feel for it and know exactly what branches and nodes need to be removed. While doing this, you’ll want to leave three or four nodes on the top of each branch. These nodes are going to be all the growth of the plant that comes off from this point on. Another round of trimming can be done again a couple of weeks later, just before your cannabis plants start flowering. At that point, you will want to strip out the plants even further down to only those nodes where you want to produce a bud.

Vegetating Cannabis Plant in a Growing Tent

Some more training

As the vegetative state of weed nears its end, and before you switch to a light regime for flowering, consider placing a trellis in your grow tent. This will get the plants some support as they start to pack in some weight, and the net will also keep them from falling over or breaking its branches. Plus, this is good to continue training your plants.

Training is the same idea as topping. When you have the trellis in place, you can take each individual branch and stretch it over into one of the squares in the net. This will ultimately widen the canopy and promote a wider growth area instead of vertical growth.

This way, every node or bud site will get a really good exposure to the LED lights, which is essential to produce nice fat buds. This will probably look like a mess in the first week because a lot of leaves will be disoriented. However, after you give your plants a day or two to adjust, you will see them stretching back towards the source of light. This is generally the point where you can switch the light cycle down to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.


See more from The Perfect Grow series:

Learn more about the vegetative state of weed by watching the full video on our YouTube channel. Due to an age restriction, the video is only available in YouTube.

Soft Secrets