why vegetative phase precede flowering in plants

Dear it is the growth phase which has to take place before flowering... otherwise the reproductive organs will not develop properly.
 
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Flowers need energy, so usually there is a vegetative phase before flowering.
also Remember that not all plants have a vegetative phase. Parasite plants (e.g. Orobanche) build roots toward a host and then directly the flowers, without any vegetative (green) phase.
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