Your plant enters its vegetative growth stage as soon as it sprouts. Vegetative growth means your plant will be constantly photosynthesising, and growing at a rapid rate, and you will expose it to light around the clock. During this time, it will develop grow tips at the top of the plant, and at internodes. Grow tips can be trimmed for cloning or propagating asexually. You may choose to “top” your plant to produce two or more grow tips on the top, however the trauma from pruning can stunt your plant.
You can keep your plants in their vegetative growth stage indefinitely, simply by keeping them exposed to constant light. You will need to “force” your plant to flower when ready, and can continue growing your plant at an accelerated vegetative rate until it is the size you want. Use a 20-20-20 solution with trace minerals for plants growing continuously, whether growing hydroponically or in soil.
When plants are young, bend their stems back and forth to build resistance, as spindly, weak stems cannot support weighty flowering periods. If space permits, set up an oscillating fan in your grow area to reduce the buildup of moisture on the stomata and help build stem strength. Air circulation is incredibly important in your grow space as it promotes healthier growth and cuts back on hazards such as heat, humidity and accumulation of chemicals in the air.
Water plants using a hydroponic vegetative solution of 1 tsp. Miracle Gro Patio and ½ tsp. Epsom salts per gallon of water, and optionally add 1 tsp. of an oxygenating plant food. This ensures your plant gets a broad spectrum of nutrients and roots are well oxygenated.