How to perform marijuana regeneration

Published May 6, 2019 12:39 p.m. ET
AP Photo/Thomas Peipert

Growing marijuana seems relatively straightforward and included a relatively reliable growing cycle that includes the end of the plant’s life after harvest. What most people don’t realize is that there is another technique used to regrow a marijuana plant after it’s lived for an entire cycle or any time before that.

For those who have personally witnessed their plants die off at the end of its expected life span this might be difficult to believe, but the truth is that if the conditions are just right you can extend the life of a marijuana plant long enough to get a bit more out of it and there are a few reasons you might want to try it yourself. Once you've learned how to grow marijuana, marijuana regeneration shouldn't be much more difficult. Here, we will cover what exactly marijuana regeneration is and how to perform it yourself with a few simple steps to lead you on the path to success.

What is marijuana regeneration?

Regeneration can be done at almost any stage of a marijuana plants growing cycle and is essentially confusing the plant into believing that it is time to go back into a vegetative state.

Why is marijuana regeneration useful?

There are several reasons that regeneration might be helpful when growing marijuana including:

  • Requiring more time to harvest clones to preserve genetics.
  • Inability to grow more marijuana plants to replace the ones nearing their end of life.
  • To provide a longer growing time which will, in turn, produce more colas.

How to perform marijuana regeneration

A lot of people with experience growing marijuana might have already performed this technique without even realizing it by adjusting the light periods in the wrong way. Though it does happen accidentally, it is not a recommended grow method for beginners and should be used only by those with plenty of experience cultivating cannabis unless you have spare plants you don’t mind wasting to experiment with.

  1. Wait to implement the regeneration growing method until the marijuana plant has several well-established colas for the best results.
  2. Begin by removing anywhere from 50% to 75% of the buds from the marijuana plant. Try your best to keep the plant materials including fan leaves intact while gently removing the colas. Leaves and bud flowers left behind should be primarily located towards the base of the plant and hang as low as possible. Leave behind the highest smallest popcorn sized buds to establish a health base for regeneration. When you are done, the middle and base of the plant should hold the most leaves and bud while the rest should appear bare like a skeleton.
  3. Flush the roots of the marijuana plant over two weeks using nothing but water and omitting any additional nutrients during this time.
  4. Dig up the marijuana plant and visually inspect the roots. If you see any defective or dead roots, they can now be removed using sanitized razor blade or scissors.
  5. Transplant the marijuana plant into fresh clean and nutrient dense soil.
  6. Set your lighting system to provide between 20 and 24 hours of light until the marijuana plant has a chance to establish itself in a new pot. This may take anywhere from one to two weeks.
  7. Once the marijuana plant shows signs of a stable recovery the lighting can be adjusted down to 18 hours per day. This will place the plant into a stressful shocked mode that will force the regeneration of the smaller leaves and colas that were left behind.
  8. Do not use additional nutrients, and water your marijuana plant regularly for two full weeks.
  9. After two or three weeks you will notice a new layer of weird and oddly shaped growth in the form of leaves. At this point, those new growths can be trimmed off of the plant.
  10. Set the lights to even 12 hours on and 12 hours off cycle and allow the marijuana plant to finish until it is ready to harvest.

Pros of marijuana regeneration

The perks of growing marijuana using this regeneration technique are plentiful when it is performed correctly and include:

  • save time
  • save money
  • larger yields
  • new clones
  • preserve genetics

Cons of marijuana regeneration

These are the potential risks to attempting this method of growing marijuana, which may or may not seem worthwhile depending on your level of comfort and prior experience with cultivating cannabis.

  • marijuana plants could die
  • plants might not produce new colas
  • takes times
  • takes consistency

While there are many advantages to choosing this method of growing marijuana, there are just as many risks that might not be worthwhile for you. If you do decide to try it out, then start with only one plant so that there isn’t as high of a loss in case things don’t go your way. The best advice you could get when testing this method for yourself is to invest in high quality cannabis seed, lights, nutrient rich soil, and a reliable timer to help keep the lighting conditions under strict control for the best possible results.

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