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Knowing the difference between light cycles - Veg Vs Flowering


One of the things that hydroponic growers learn as they go along is that plants have different needs in vegetative and flowering cycles.

In the vegetative stages, plants are simply plodding along, developing longer, thicker stems and bigger structures. By contrast, in the flowering stage, they're actually blooming and blossoming and producing their fruits, whatever that may be.

So how do you support plants well in both vegetative and flowering cycles? Some of these ideas relate to providing different kinds of light or different amounts of light in each phase of growing.

Timing Vegetative and Flowering Cycles

When you read a lot about the light cycles that are used in vegetative and flowering phases, you'll find that there's really no one true gold standard for growing. Individuals try different things and work according to what gives them the best results. However, there are some common ideas about the timing cycles of plants should be on in vegetative and flowering phases.

One of the first controversies is whether to give plants any darkness at all. Although some growers swear by a 24-hour light cycle for the vegetative phase, a lot of others have better results using a cycle of 18 hours of light and six hours of darkness. Then there's the flowering stage where some growers tend to push plants with 24-hour light, while others cut back even more to an even 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

Light Spectrum

There's also the question of light spectrum for vegetative and flowering phases. Typically plants will need certain types of light for both vegetative and flowering phases, including aspects of the lower energy red spectrum of light. Specially designed grow lights offer these lighting types whether they’re high pressure sodium bulbs, metal halite bulbs or new LED bulbs.


To complement these light cycles and light processes, growers often flush the reservoir for the flowering cycle and start to add specific ingredients for a last meal for plants. These strategies help plants to bulk up before harvest.

For much more on hydroponics and everything associated with it, check out the wealth of gear that modern manufacturers and retailers offer to individual growers hoping to get more out of their high-tech gardens.

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