by Nebula Haze
What Causes Plants to Grow Smooth Leaves?
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 flowering plant stops flowering and re-enters the vegetative stage. For photoperiod cannabis strains (which is the majority of strains), a plant needs long nights (typically at least 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness a day) in order to stay in the flowering/budding stage. If the plant starts getting light during its night, sometimes even just a little light like a blinking light in your grow tent, the plant can start re-vegging.
Re-vegging is caused by plants getting light during their 12-hour dark period. Even a few short nights or a light leak during the flowering stage may be all it takes to start a re-veg!
Re-vegging cannabis plants show odd leaf symptoms such as smooth leaves, twisted or unusual growth, and you may see new stems or long leaves growing directly out of bud sites. Often the new leaves are single-point leaves (just one “finger” per leaf instead of the typical 7 or 9 for adult cannabis leaves).
This is an example of the oddly smooth leaves caused by a cannabis plant revegging. If you look towards the bottom, you can see it was initially growing normal looking leaves.
These odd-looking leaves started growing out of the developing buds of this plant in the middle of the flowering stage. The grower didn’t realize that turning the light on for a few moments during the dark period could cause a problem. If the plant is getting light at night, it only takes a few days to “flip the switch” and initiate the re-vegging process!
This plant was flowering indoors, but when it was brought outside too early in the year, the short nights caused it to start re-vegging almost immediately
These clones were recently taken from a flowering plant and have started re-vegging, causing odd growth and some smooth-edged leaves. Like many of the other cases of re-vegging, you can also see several single-point leaves among the new growth.
This outdoor plant started re-vegging, resulting in odd, twisted growth as well as smooth single-point leaves with long stems
The leaves of a re-vegging plant may look different depending on the environment and particular strain, but you know you’re seeing symptoms of re-vegging when the leaves appear more smooth than typical leaves. There really aren’t any other cannabis problems that cause that particular symptom.
Each cannabis plant expresses re-vegging a little differently!
Sometimes marijuana growers choose to re-veg their plants on purpose, for example monstercropping (taking a marijuana clone from a plant in the flowering phase in order to change the clone’s initial growth patterns) or to harvest a plant for a second time (put 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.
- Let it re-vegetate completely if you actually want the plant to be in the vegetative stage, or…
- Correct the light periods by getting rid of any possible light leaks and giving plants 12 hours of interrupted darkness a day (to get it to go back into the flowering stage).
Plants that are further in the flowering stage tend to take longer to re-veg, as much as a few weeks, and will be relatively easy to reverse if you catch the symptoms quickly. This 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 normally again.
Luckily, a little time and proper care will get your plant growing normally again!
This cutting was taken off a flowering marijuana plant plant and put in a cloning device so it would re-develop roots and grow into a new plant. After a few days of growing, it started producing the the typical rounded leaves of a re-veg.
A little under two weeks later, the plant is now growing (mostly) normal leaves. Although the growth patterns were odd at first (cannabis plants tend to grow a lot of stems and get bushy immediately after a re-veg), from this point on, the plant will usually have relatively typical growing 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 top shape again!