What is Flushing? Cannabis Growing Basics

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Throughout your cannabis plants’ lives, there are going to be instances when you will have to clear their systems and growing mediums of any nutrients and salts that have been accumulating themselves to less than ideal levels. Pretty much like us humans, our cannabis plants will also need some sort of cleansing to fully regenerate themselves and get them to “restart”.This is what we call flushing. But what is flushing and how does it benefit your cannabis gardens?

Those who are pretty new to growing marijuana plants may find this to be a pretty new term. However, this is something that you will have to do during the right times of your plants’ life cycles! Since you are going to have to get the timing and execution down, take the time to learn more about flushing cannabis plants here!

What Is Flushing?

We all know how detoxification of our bodies works, right? To remove all the unwanted things out of our systems, we flush them out. Well, the same concept applies to marijuana crops! Flushing is basically a process of stopping the nutrient feeding and intake of your cannabis. Instead, you provide them with only water during this time. Not only does this improve the development of buds during growth, but it will also significantly affect the output that your marijuana plants produce during harvests. 

Why Is Flushing Beneficial For Plant Health?

We know that the idea of getting rid of the nutrients in your plant may sound absurd, but it is actually a lot more beneficial and healthy than what people think! You see, when you flush out the minerals and compounds in the growing medium, the roots will start utilizing those that are left. This ensures that your cannabis plants will not take in anything that they do not need. An excessive amount of nutrients may cause the discoloration of the leaves, wilting of the branches, and even a nutrient lockout (which blocks your roots from absorbing any subsequent nutrients that they will need).

Flushing also plays a vital role in the utilization of marijuana seeds after harvests. Upon drying out and curing your buds, growers who smoke their supplies may notice a bitter and chemical-like taste in their hits! This is very different from the gassy, diesel flavor that comes with many classic strains out there. The cause of this is, as you would have guessed, the nutrients that have not been properly flushed out before harvests. 

Why Should I Flush My Cannabis Plants?

To add to the number of advantages that we have already stated above, there are a lot more reasons as to why you should go ahead and flush out the nutrients in your cannabis gardens. Let’s take a look at some of these:

  • Oftentimes, the amount of micronutrients present in your soils and growing medium are too much for the plants to handle. Because micronutrients should only be given in small doses, solutions containing them may have concentrated amounts that are unhealthy for the plants. To alleviate these levels, flushing is required. 

More Reasons Why…

  • Getting rid of the nutrients will ultimately lead to the slowing down of the development of marijuana buds, which is important during the final stretch of the flowering period. This ensures that your buds will be viable for consumption after they are harvested. And as we said, this gets rid of the bitter tastes from chemicals. 
  • During the other stages of the cannabis plants’ lives, they will also need to be flushed to avoid the risks of burning and nutrient lockout. If your gardens are exposed to too much heat and light, they might dry up and shrivel, causing leaves and branches to die. Flushing the plants will basically give them the water content that they need to continue staying hydrated and go back to  

When To Flush Your Gardens:

Getting the timing down is essential in making sure that your plants will positively respond to the flushing that you will eventually do. There are primarily three main stages of the cannabis plant’s life where they will require you to flush them. Let’s discuss them further:

  • The first time that you will need to get ready for flushing is if you are about to provide them with a fresh dose of nutrients. Before they can absorb any additional compounds in their roots, they will first need to get rid of any existing nutrients that are meant for other stages of the plant’s life! As you know, the nutrient content that you give during the vegetative stages will be quite different from the ones required in the flowering stage. To avoid fluctuating amounts of nutrients that could potentially harm your crops, flushing is necessary to “restart the palette” for feeding.

Avoid Nutrient Lockout Through Flushing

  • In the cases where they do experience fluctuations in the nutrient amounts, they are susceptible to having a nutrient lockout. This is a condition wherein there is an excessive amount of nutrients and salts in the growing medium which hinders the plants from taking in what growers give to them. Other causes of this are extreme stress and/or the improper maintenance of the pH levels in the soil. When this happens, flushing will help get rid of the buildup of salts and nutrients responsible for the nutrient lockout. 
  • Last and probably the most important function of flushing is right before the harvest. Around two weeks before you plan on harvesting your marijuana buds, you will have to stop feeding them with nutrients. Also, pairing this with some flushing will help ensure that the harvest comes with pure and tasty buds! Try observing the pistils and trichomes in your gardens. Once the majority of them display colors that indicate their maturity (amber for pistils and cloudy white for trichomes), you will need to start flushing the plants out.

How To Flush Cannabis Plants:

Flushing cannabis plants is literally just watering them with an amount that would be enough to clear the soils and growing medium of any building nutrients in them. There are three things that you will need to properly flush out your cannabis plants: a pH meter, a TDS meter, and clean, unaltered water. 

The first thing that you will need to do is take your pH meter and measure the pH levels of both your growing medium and the water that you plan on using to flush the plants. The soil will typically have a neutral pH level of around 6.0 to 6.5 so the water that you will be giving your crops must have the same. Simply place the pH meter into the water and adjust accordingly. Next, you can measure the pH levels of the soil by taking the runoff water and sticking the pH meter into it. This, of course, comes after you have watered the plants for flushing.

More On How To Flush:

Flushing will basically be the same as feeding your plants with nutrients dissolved into the water. The only main difference is that the water you are giving will now contain no nutrient solutions. Simply water the soils of your cannabis plants until you see a small puddle forming above the layer. Once this is absorbed by the soil, you will notice the runoff water appears dark and murky.

This is mainly due to the high amounts of TDS (total dissolved solids) in the soil, which measures the compounds found there. Normally, you will observe high amounts of this that can average up to 1500ppm in the TDS meter. All that’s left to do now is continue flushing the cannabis plants until the TDS meter shows a level of 50ppm

Why is Flushing Important?

Flushing cannabis plants is an essential part of keeping them healthy and fresh. Once they start amassing large amounts of excess nutrients, their growth would be severely impacted. This is why, like us humans, these cannabis plants will need some sort of cleansing in their systems. Flushing is the best way to do this and ensure that there are no chemicals that will interfere with the taste and flavors of your buds.

It is relatively simple to learn and will not need any sort of minimum time frame to master! If you are familiar with the process of watering and feeding your plants, then you will have no problem learning how to flush them out. Just remember, it is all about the timing and making sure that the plants do need to be flushed!

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