Weed plants are a popular choice for home cultivation, and it’s for a good reason. The plants are relatively easy to grow and can produce many buds. However, the big question many growers ask is:
Can a weed plant grow forever?
Many people are curious if a weed plant can continue to grow and produce buds indefinitely. After all, some weed enthusiasts apply some techniques to prolong their weed plants’ life, creating an illusion of cannabis “growing forever.” The truth, however, is, like any other plant, cannabis has a limited lifespan.
The Lifecycle of a Weed Plant (Cannabis)
To determine the potential lifespan of a weed plant, you’d first want to understand its lifecycle. A weed plant goes through four stages of growth: germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering.
- Germination: The germination stage involves the seed growing. To germinate, the seeds need warm temperatures, humidity, air, and water. The germination process takes 3-10 days.
- Seedling: In 2-3 weeks, the plant develops roots and leaves. The seeds will first open, and the first two round leaves will appear. Then, the small weed plant will start producing serrated leaves.
- Vegetative: In the vegetative stage, the weed plant grows in height and size. While the plant may show solitary flowers, the vegetative stage involves the growth of the stem and leaves. The vegetative stage is the longest growth stage and can last months or years, depending on environmental conditions.
However, depending on the desired plant size, most indoor plants take 4-8 weeks to vegetate. You might want to change the lighting schedule to trigger the flowering phase for an indoor plant.
- Flowering: The flowering stage happens between week-8 -11. For an indoor crop, you must adjust the photoperiod to a 12-hour light/ 12-hour darkness schedule. Interrupting the schedule can delay flowering, causing the plant to revegetate.
Outdoor plants start to flower when the days grow shorter, usually during Autumn. Generally, the duration of the flowering stage varies with different strains.
Can a Weed Plant Really Grow Forever?
While the notion of a weed plant growing forever seems captivating, certain factors limit its lifespan, such as:
- Genetic factors
- Environmental conditions
- Inadequate care
However, skilled growers can employ techniques to prolong the life of a weed plant and maintain a perpetual harvest. One method is called “re-vegging.” Re-vegging is forcing a weed plant to revert to its vegetative state.
You can trigger re-vegging by changing the light cycle or applying certain chemicals. However, re-vegged plants are less productive than plants grown from seed.
The Idea of Re-vegging At Its Core
Re-vegging, also known as monster cropping, is a technique that gives the illusion of a weed plant growing forever. The method involves tricking the plant into thinking it is still in the vegetative stage of growth by changing the light cycle or applying certain chemicals.
To re-veg a weed plant, you must change the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. You can also apply a chemical called gibberellic acid (GA3). GA3 is a plant hormone that can help to stimulate growth. By reverting a flowering plant to its vegetative stage, it continue to grow and produce new buds.
While re-vegging can prolong the life of a weed plant, re-vegged plants are not as productive as plants grown from seed. When the plant reaches the end of its lifespan, it’ll show signs of aging, such as:
- Decline in health
- Yellowing leaves
- Reduced growth
Your plant will stop growing and eventually die.
How Long Can a Weed Plant Potentially Live?
Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence provide insights into the potential lifespan of cannabis plants. While there is no definitive answer, some records suggest that certain cannabis plants have lived for several years. However, these plants were not grown in a typical cultivation setting. They were grown in a greenhouse, and it was given special care and attention.
In a typical cultivation setting, a weed plant can live for about six to eight months. However, the lifespan of a weed plant can be affected by several factors, including:
- Environmental conditions
Creating optimal growing conditions, such as providing ample nutrients, maintaining proper lighting, and preventing stress, can contribute to maximizing the life of a weed plant. However, when the plant lives past its prime, it produces lower-quality buds, become susceptible to pest and diseases, and lose potency. Consequently, you get decreased quality of the harvest.
Can You Re-veg a Weed Plant indefinitely?
No, you cannot re-veg a weed plant indefinitely. Eventually, the plant will reach the end of its lifespan and die. Over time, the plant may experience diminished vigor and productivity. However, with proper care, you can re-veg a weed plant for several years.
Does the Strain of Cannabis Affect its Lifespan?
Yes, the strain of cannabis can affect its lifespan. Some strains are known to have a longer lifespan than others. For example, Indica strains tend to have a longer lifespan than Sativa strains.
What Factors Can Shorten a Weed Plant’s Life?
Several factors can shorten a weed plant’s life, including:
- Pests and diseases
- Poor nutrition
- Environmental conditions
- Improper care
- Genetic predisposition to certain issues
A Weed Plant Can’t Grow Forever, But You Can Prolong Its Life
Weed plants cannot grow forever. Some people believe that cannabis plants can last for years. Typically, a marijuana plant lives for 6-8 months, depending on the growth condition.
Cannabis enthusiasts may argue that maintaining a mother plant would keep a weed plant growing indefinitely, but that isn’t the case. Even the most cared-for mother plant will eventually outlive its usefulness. With time, the mother plant will produce less potent and smaller yields.
While a weed plant cannot grow forever, re-vegging and perpetual harvest offer ways to extend its life and productivity. You can extend the life of a weed plant by providing it with ideal growing conditions such as:
- Adequate lighting
- Proper humidity
- Sufficient nutrients
- Proper pruning
- Applying a chemical known as gibberellic acid (GA3)
However, you can’t prolong the lifespan indefinitely because every plant has a genetic clock.