When you fully get into growing cannabis plants, your knowledge and understanding about the whole process will surely start expanding. Knowing the amount of marijuana nutrients and amendments that you feed your crops is important. Like human beings or any other plant, cannabis need some specific amounts of nutrients to grow properly.
Oftentimes, cannabis plants grow naturally in the wilderness. They get nutrients and minerals through the organic elements around them. Regardless if you operate an indoor and outdoor setup, giving your plants the necessary amendments will surely boost their qualities! Now, let’s take a look at the different nutrients that cannabis plants need. In addition, how it eventually affect the growth of your weed gardens.
Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients
As you have learned in your science classes, a lot of elements and compounds that make up the periodic table. If you thought that you won’t ever use those learnings and apply them in real life, think again! The marijuana nutrients that growers would typically provide and feed their crops with are subdivided into two categories: the macronutrients and the micronutrients.
The way that each of these compounds act and affect your grow will vary with one another. Soil mixtures and solutions are each created differently. Therefore, you will need to fully know and understand how the measurements and quantities come with each package. Normally, the different nutrient solutions sold will vary in terms of:
- Nutrient Composition/Ratio – The “optimal” amount of nutrients that you will give your plants will depend on a lot of factors. However, the most influential and deciding factor that comes into play is the grower’s preference. When shopping for various marijuana nutrients’ brands, make sure to check out the ratios that they offer.
- Growing Medium – The types of marijuana nutrients that you purchase and eventually introduce to your plants should be in line with your growing medium! Some products work better for soils whereas some are specifically for soilless or hydro systems. Be careful!
- Amount of Supplements – Just like how other “pure” ingredients actually contain small doses of other minerals, the same goes for nutrients. These supplements can either make or break your weed buds, depending on what type they are and if your plants really do need them.
- Organic or Inorganic – Each type of nutrient solutions will either be made from organic ingredients or man-made, inorganic mixtures. Both of them will be beneficial for your plants as the developers aim to achieve the same goal: an optimal nutrient ratio.
Doing a little research about what will give the most value to your weed gardens is key. Do not rush yourself when choosing the type of nutrients and fertilizers to give your plants! Taking the time to study and understand how they work will definitely stop you from carelessly overfeeding or underfeeding the cannabis babies.
Non-Mineral Elements that your Cannabis Plants need!
The most common compounds which are not considered as minerals are Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. While these are essential for the growth and development of your cannabis plants, you usually won’t have to worry about giving them to your plants.
Through the natural processes that take place in your growing environments, your cannabis plants will be able to absorb these much needed compounds. Providing the cannabis gardens with proper air circulation and ample watering schedules helps ensure that they get enough carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
The first group of marijuana nutrients that we will be talking about are the macronutrients. As you can tell from the name, they are the compounds that you will need to give your weed plants in large but controlled doses during the cultivation process.
Listed below is the list of macronutrients and how they would subsequently improve the growth of your marijuana plants!
Nitrogen is the main driver of plants that allows it to undergo photosynthesis. Because it is highly present in the chlorophyll of a plant’s leaves, it allows them to convert the absorbed levels of light into energy. This energy is then focused into the development and growth of a cannabis plant’s overall structure.
It is especially important for the cannabis plant’s vegetative stage where the seedlings start building a framework and structure for the whole plant. Additionally, the set of amino acids that Nitrogen belongs to helps provide the cannabis plant with the necessary nutrients to strengthen the stems and branches. Without it, the cannabis plants will easily break and wilt.
Phosphorus, on the other hand, is needed in order to improve the plant’s systems which allow it to suck up all the other nutrients given! Acting as sort of a catalyst for weed plants, the presence of phosphorus aids the development of roots and allows the flow of nutrients up to the plant’s body. This gives the plant enough minerals to develop fat and healthy buds!
The lack of phosphorus content in your cannabis plants may lead to the immature development of leaves and stems. Also, you will notice significant discoloration with the way the leaves develop if they are lacking in phosphorus.
Potassium in a cannabis plant works more as a regulatory type of compound. It helps normalize the functions of the plant’s systems and keeps them active throughout the whole growing process. Osmoregulation, which deals with keeping the balance of water and salts inside the marijuana’s roots and stems, depends largely on the levels of potassium.
Just like in us human beings, a potassium deficiency will ultimately lead to a cannabis plant’s stunted growth. This compound controls the opening and closing of the stomata, the plant’s part that is in charge of the flow of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon.
A cannabis plant’s ability to produce glucose from photosynthesis is tied to the levels of magnesium present. It is the main molecular body in a cannabis plant’s cells and also aids in the photosynthesis process.
Once this glucose is metabolized, the cannabis plants will have sufficient energy levels to continue growing in the vegetative and flowering stages.
Everyone is quite familiar with how calcium works. In cannabis plants, it strengthens the cell walls and gives a much more durable and sturdy plant structure. It also gives a much fresher and healthier development to your cannabis plants.
Without calcium, the other parts of the plant won’t develop nearly as strong as they should be. Additionally, they will appear much weaker and fragile with brown spots developing throughout the whole framework of the crop.
Sulfur in your marijuana plants has more to do with the development of enzymes and acids that act as essential vitamins for your cannabis plants. They are also in charge of developing the nodes in your marijuana which will eventually turn into colas to sprout your flowers.
Without the necessary amount of Sulfur, your plants will lose a lot of vitality. This will lead to them not being able to reach their full potentials in terms of height, potency, tastes, and smells.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have micronutrients. While still a very important and somewhat necessary compound for your plants, they will usually be given in much smaller doses instead. Also, not being able to provide them with micronutrients can cause severe health problems to your garden. However, it generally won’t lead to any stuns in the growth.
Here is a list of the different micronutrients that can give an added boost to the production of healthy and frosty weed nugs.
Feeding Marijuana Nutrients in a Hydroponics System
Using a hydroponics setup for your weed plants will also demand a slightly different ratio of marijuana nutrients. This method of growing will generally forego the use of soil as a growing medium. Instead, growers will typically use water coupled with other mineral-based growing mediums in order to fully sprout and develop healthy cannabis buds!
Because of the lack of soil, the marijuana nutrients for a hydroponics setup will usually come in different forms! The most common type is a dilutable powder that growers can easily add to their water reservoirs. Other times, the marijuana nutrients also come in liquid forms which makes it very easy to provide as long as you control the amounts you put.
Why use a hydroponics setup?
In addition to making it extremely easy to feed your cannabis plants, hydroponic setups have quickly risen to popularity due to the very numerous advantages that it gives. You can get extremely high yields out of a hydroponics setup, even more than any other type of cultivation method out there.
However, one downside to a hydroponics setup in relation to the marijuana nutrients that you will give them is that you will need to be extra particular about the amounts! Remember, one small slip in the amounts that you give them and your whole cannabis garden can start experiencing nutrient burns! It is also extremely important to keep the pH levels of the growing medium at a 5.5 to 6.5 measurement.
Growing Medium Amendments
In addition to just using water, some other substrates are introduced to a hydroponics setup in order to further improve the performance of their yields. Check them out:
Perhaps the most organic and natural amendment that is common for a hydroponic setup is coco coir. These are made of coconut fibres that are very effective for both absorbing and retaining the nutrients given.
These fibres act as a sort of reservoir that constantly keeps the roots hydrated and well fed throughout the whole cannabis process. Many growers will usually come up with a solution made of 30% coco coir. This ensures a safe amount of marijuana nutrients are retained but won’t overfeed the roots.
Rockwool is another very common amendment used due to it being very accessible and cheap. It is basically made up of ground up rocks that were threaded together in order to make a soft absorbent for nutrients and water. Like coco coir, it retains nutrients very well but it is much less organic.
Moreover, the alkaline levels of rockwool are a lot higher than other growing mediums so make sure to soak them into lukewarm water with a pH level of 5.5 – 6.5 before introducing it to your plants!
Clay pellets are perfect for helping the flow and circulation of nutrients and water in your hydroponics setup. While they don’t retain water very well, they actually serve an opposite purpose. Clay pellets will instead improve the drainage systems of your cannabis plants and help the roots release any excess water contents.
This works great for avoiding overwatering and overfeeding. By using clay pellets, you can help the cycle of water and air in the growing medium and make sure that nothing stays stagnant.
Marijuana Nutrients: When to Feed Your Plants
It is very important to know what NPK ratio to give your plants at their specific cycles or stages of growing. Because their compositions will continuously change throughout the growing stage, their demands for specific nutrients will also vary.
The NPK ratio refers to the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium by weight is present in the marijuana nutrients’ solution. For example, a “4-2-3” NPK ratio indicates a 4% Nitrogen, 2% Phosphorus, and 3% Potassium.
You won’t have to worry about giving the plants some nutrients during their seedling stages. They will still be absorbing the inherent nutrients found in their seeds. Giving them any more might lead to overfeeding. Instead, wait until your plants develop for 3 to 4 weeks. Once they show a couple of leaves, then they have entered the vegetative stages.
To start off, growers can give their plants a nutrient solution with 2-1-2 NPK ratio during the start of vegging. This helps ease them into absorbing nutrients and doesn’t cause them feel and sudden burns.
After a week, slightly increasing to a 4-2-3 NPK ratio will jumpstart the vegetative growth of your plants. The higher contents of nitrogen will give plants the required energy for photosynthesis. In turn, it will give them enough energy to build their structures.
After 6 to 7 weeks of vegging, shift to a 10-5-7 NPK ratio. Now you are looking to boost the plant’s development of green hues and thick branches. This allows a lot more growing locations for the colas and buds to produce. Finally, near the end of the vegetative cycle, using a 7-7-7 NPK ratio will give the cannabis plants a heads up. That it is about to switch from bud to flower development.
Flowering plants will need a lot more potassium and less nitrogen. This will boost the development of thick and chunky buds. Start things off with a 5-7-10 NPK ratio at the beginning of the flowering stage. From there, regularly increase the Nitrogen and Potassium levels until they stay at a steady 6-10-15 NPK ratio during middle stages. It is crucial to have higher potassium levels as they will spearhead the growth of buds up until harvest.
Once you are just about to harvest, finish things off with a 4-7-10 NPK ratio during the last feeding sessions. Remember to familiarize yourself with the telltale signs of when your cannabis plants enter certain stages. This will help you keep track of the marijuana nutrients that you will be giving them!
Learning Marijuana Nutrients
Things may get a little complicated when you start learning about the nutrients and minerals that cannabis plants need. This is an essential aspect of cannabis cultivation. Therefore, you should start familiarizing yourself with it as early as possible!
Take the time to browse through this article and learn the many different marijuana nutrients that your plants will demand. They will surely improve in terms of their qualities and highs when fed properly!