What Is Medicinal plants Regeneration?
In botany, plant regeneration refers to repairing and renewing plant tissues.
As an annual flowering plant, the medicinal plants life cycle is limited to a single season. This is how it's always been and always will be—no matter how much we fumble with genetics. Essentially, medicinal plants grows when the days are long, and flowers when they're short. Once it reaches the end of its life cycle, it dies.
Regeneration is kind of like hacking that biological process. While the original plant will eventually die, growers can first revert it back to its vegetative state. As a result, you can grow the same plant again for a second—albeit, slightly less fruitful—harvest.
Why Re-Veg Your Medicinal Plants?
Whether it's your first plant or your fiftieth, there are plenty of reasons to re-veg your mediccinal plants. One of the most convincing is how much time you’ll save in comparison to growing another plant from scratch. On the contrary, regeneration also has its disadvantages.
In this section, we’ll look at the pros and cons of re-vegging.
Benefits of Re-Vegging
Although the science seems complex, re-vegging is actually pretty simple—and there are plenty of upsides to doing so!
- Preserves Phenotypes
Harvesting medicinal plants at different times from the same plant can shake things up immensely. For example, many growers take clones from a preferred mother plant before the flowering stage. If they don't, that special phenotype will be lost forever once the plant starts to bloom—unless they decide to re-veg. This way, growers can preserve an exact replica of that specific phenotype.
- Increases Viability of Plants
Not unlike a grandparent pruning their roses, taking cuttings is a great way to expand your crop. This is true for both holistic and recreational growers who might live somewhere with restrictions on how many plants they can grow. Basically, it's for those who only need a couple of quality plants to get by. Having two plants with the same traits will always be better than one from an unknown.
- No Need to Keep a Mother Plant
Ditching a mother plant can be emotional, especially if it's provided some of the best buzz you've ever had. As a result, some growers keep the mother plant around for as long as possible, pulling and flipping clones directly from her. While this is one way to preserve characteristics, you can also do that with regeneration.
Perhaps she's taking up too much space in your grow room. Or, maybe tending to her is taking up valuable time and resources you could use on something else. Whatever the reason, re-vegging your plant means you can get rid of her, and still produce a genetically identical crop.
Downsides of Re-Vegging
Of course, nothing in life is all upsides. Here are some of the common pitfalls you should be aware of when it comes to medicinal plants regeneration.
While simple in theory, the actual medicinal plants regeneration process isn't a walk in the park. Whether you're a first timer or have been growing for decades, things can—and will—go wrong. Before you set about trying, arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible: read forums, watch video guides, but also know it's okay to mess up. Luckily, you can take several cuttings, so you won't have just one shot.
Although it obviously doesn't take as long as a new plant, re-vegged plants can take a few weeks to show signs of regrowth. How long it takes to re-veg is specific to the individual plant and its environment. For example, if you take too long to start the re-vegging process, it's going to take longer for your plant to reach the flowering stage. Patience is key. After all, sometimes plants just grow slowly.
Even for some seasoned growers, medicinal plants training can be overlooked, which is a shame. Training your plants is one of the best ways to increase yields by more than 40% without messing with your setup. However, when it comes to re-vegging, the training process is harder. After all, you only have the skeleton of the plant to work with, rather than a curious young plant.
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