Vegetative Stage

Last Updated: February 19, 2019

Definition - What does Vegetative Stage mean?

In horticulture, the vegetative stage refers to the phase of plant growth that occurs after germination and before flowering, during which the plant develops the majority of its foliage and truly flourishes.

During the vegetative stage, plants are busy carrying out the process of photosynthesis, consequently accumulating and stocking different types of resources like CO2, nutrients, and lighting, that are required for reproduction and flowering. Plants tend to be more fragile in the vegetative stage as opposed to the flowering stage.

MaximumYield explains Vegetative Stage

The vegetative stage sees the development of additional leaves and tillers, while encouraging a gradual but noticeable increase in the plant’s height.

During the vegetative stage, plants require all of the nutrients essential to plant growth, but they are especially hungry for nitrogen. Upon finishing the vegetative stage, the nutrient feed should switch to a higher potassium and phosphorus blend to promote huge flowers.

In most cases for outdoor plants, the plant’s vegetative period occurs in late spring and summer. The exact number of days required to reach full maturity varies according to different plants. For example, rice requires between 55 and 85 days to reach peak development.

Plants tend to be quite fragile during the vegetative state. If you’re growing plants indoors, it’s important to ensure that they have at least 18 hours of lighting to encourage them to bloom. Grow lights with bulbs higher in the blue spectrums are highly recommended for indoor plants going through their vegetative periods.

The vegetative stage is often simply referred to as the 'veg' stage' or the 'growth stage'. It is always followed be the flowering stage, otherwise referred to as the 'bloom' stage. Because the plants in each stage require slightly different lighting and nutrient parameters, it's not uncommon for commercial growers to utilize separate rooms for vegetative and flowing stages.

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