We all learned in school that plants “eat” and “drink” from its roots and “breathe” from their leaves through openings on the leaves called stomata. What if we told you that there is a better way to feed cannabis plants than just running water through its roots? This is all about feeding cannabis plants through its leaves using foliar feeding.
How Does it Work?
Foliar feeding is a gardening term that means leaf feeding. You will give nutrients that plants need via the leaves and you will be doing this with the use of fine misting sprayer. There are actually several studies conducted to see if foliar feeding is better than root feeding in plants. A group of researchers from the Michigan State University used radioactive tagged nutrients that they applied on the stomata of the leave and the same nutrients placed on the soil for the plant to absorb. This study showed that foliar feeding was more effective 8 to 10 times more than regular feeding. Nutrients applied on the stomata were found in the roots of the plant in a matter of 60 minutes.
Quick Tips on how to Use Foliar Feeding for Autoflowering Plants
Follow these simple steps and you will have better, healthier autoflowering plants that will give you great yields using foliar feeding.
- A sprayer with the finest mist setting is needed. Remember that the stomata of the leaves are microscopically small and therefore you need a very fine mist to deliver nutrients. Make sure that you place the sprayer at the finest setting since large droplets of water will simply drip off from the leaves.
- Use plant food or nutrient solution at 1/8 recommended dose. You need to scale down your feeding because you are basically feeding your plants via its leaves so you can reduce the risk of suffering from nutrient burn.
- Use water with pH of 6.2 to 7 so as not to shock the plants.
- Spray from the underside of the leaves where the stomata are located. Handle the leaves gently if not, do not hold the leaves at all when you spray the solution. Take note that the underside ot leaves have a tender and are more receptive to feeding this way.
- Feed your plants only when the room temperature is up to 27C. Just like the pores of our skin, the stomata open during ideal feeding temperatures. You must therefore take note of the temperature readings over the course of the day so that you can feed your plants in a more efficient manner.
- For outdoor growing of autoflowering plants, foliar feed them first thing in the morning. This is the ideal time to feed your plants because the sun has not yet warmed the day too much. During this time too, the leaves are full of water which has collected overnight. It is also during this time when plants are more receptive to foliar feeding.
- If you are growing plants indoors, spray your feeding before the lights go out in the evening or before the dark hours. This is when the intense heat from the lights can cause damage to the leaves.
- Be careful spraying water over electrical equipment. Spray only on top of and on the underside of the leaves until the nutrient solution starts to drip from the leaves.
But of course taking care of your plants is not just about foliar feeding. You must also make sure that your plants get plenty of lighting and water delivered through the roots. Autoflowering cannabis plants need all the food it can get to grow and bloom at the genetically modified time of only 8 weeks so make sure that every “feeding” counts.