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 plant that has started flowering re-enters the vegetative stage. The majority of cannabis plants are photoperiod strains, which need long nights in order to make flowers/buds (indoor growers typically give 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness a day). If the plant starts getting light during its night time it responds by re-vegging.
Sometimes even just a little light like a blinking LED in your grow tent is all it takes to interrupt your plant’s beauty sleep.
Re-vegging happens when flowering plants get light during their 12-hour dark period. A few interrupted nights or even a small light leak can start a re-veg!
Re-vegging cannabis plants show odd leaf symptoms such as:
- smooth leaf edges
- buds stop developing
- long leaves or new stems grow out of bud sites
- main stem sprouts 1-point leaves (just one "finger" per leaf instead of the typical 7 or 9 for adult cannabis leaves)
- curling leaves (may look like heat stress)
- wrinkled, twisted, or unusual growth
This plant was put outside too early in the Spring season, which caused it to start flowering due to the short nights. As Spring progressed the nights grew shorter and it began revegging, growing these oddly smooth leaves directly out of the center stem.
Unusual single-point 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!
Some revegging symptoms include wrinkling, curling, or twisted leaves. These symptoms may be confused for watering, heat problems, or even broad mites, when they’re actually a sign the plant is going through major internal changes. Notice the wrinkled leaves in this picture are more smooth around the edges than typical leaves. That’s a key sign this plant is re-vegging.
This plant was already flowering indoors, but when it was brought outside in the spring, 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
This plant was given a 12/12 light schedule after germination and buds (white hairs) started to form. The grower realized he wanted a bigger plant so he switched to a 20/4 light schedule so the plant would re-veg. Buds stopped developing and single-point leaves started growing out of the buds. Although you can still see a few white hairs, it is almost fully back into the vegetative stage at this point.
The leaves of a re-vegging plant may look different depending on the environment and particular strain. Ultimately, you know it’s the 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 purposely, 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 them to go back into the flowering stage).
Plants that are far in the flowering stage can take a month or more to re-veg, while a plant that has only just started flowering re-vegs much faster. That 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.
Luckily, a little time and proper care will get your plant growing normally again!
This cutting was taken off a flowering marijuana 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 typical rounded leaves of a re-veg.
About two weeks later, the plant is growing (mostly) normal leaves. Cannabis plants tend to grow a lot of stems and get bushy immediately after a re-veg, which can be seen heree. Although the growth patterns were odd at first, from this point on, the plant usually has 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 tip-top shape again.