Experienced or not, growing cannabis can be confusing for several reasons. Trying to choose the best nutrients for your cannabis farm doesn’t make things any easier. Look in the market, and you’ll find one too many nutrient companies all producing different fertilizers. The options are good, but they can also be overwhelming.
To be a successful cannabis grower, you need to know the specific nutrients your plants require for the best yields.
Here are five essential nutrients your plants will need for healthy growth.
The Five Main Cannabis Nutrients
When considering nutrients, they collectively fall into two main categories, namely: macronutrients and micronutrients. Five nutrient elements are required by plants in the right quantities. These are the same nutrients that pure indica like the kush strains need to produce its intense aroma and resinous buds.
Below is a breakdown of these five macronutrients.
Nitrogen plays a crucial role in the development of a plant at the vegetative stage. It forms part of the chlorophyll and helps your plants synthesize energy from sunlight. Hence, your cannabis plants won’t grow properly if they lack this essential nutrient.
Nitrogen also constitutes the amino acids present in plants. These amino acids form the make-up of plant protein, thus helping your plants remain strong and healthy. Aside from these, the ATP responsible for controlling energy use in plants is also made of nitrogen.
If you want bountiful buds, then phosphorus should be available in large supply. It is the nutrient your plants use to assimilate other nutrients. Good absorption and assimilation of plant nutrients enhance the structural integrity of the plant along with its development.
Absent enough phosphorus, you’ll observe under-developed root systems. In some cases, cannabis plants fail to produce flowers. Other signs of phosphorus deficiency at the early stages include plant leaves displaying a purple hue.
Potassium helps the plant perform several functions to maintain healthy growth and production. Mostly, its functioning can be associated with vital processes like osmoregulation in plants. Hence, your cannabis plants can maintain the optimal balance of water and salt concentrate necessary for healthy growth.
But how do plants do this with potassium? The exchange of essential compounds like H2O, CO2, and oxygen occurs through plant pores called stomata. Potassium aids in the regulation of the closing and opening of the stomata. It can also help boost ATP production for the storage of energy through the synthesis of glucose during photosynthesis.
Magnesium availability plays a central role in photosynthesis since your plants cannot create glucose without the magnesium molecules in chlorophyll. Thus, lack of magnesium means your cannabis plants cannot convert sufficient sunlight to energy.
After magnesium helps the production of glucose, it also enables its metabolism. It’s easy to spot magnesium deficient plants because they usually have yellowing leaves and discolored veins.
Plant cells are very different from animal cells. A look under the microscope, and you’ll observe the distinct shape of the plant cell. Calcium is the element responsible for the definite cell structure in plants. It helps keep the cell walls intact. If your plants can’t harness enough calcium, newly developed plant cells won’t form properly. This will result in malfunctioning cells and plants. Typically, you’ll observe this as stunted growth, curly leaves, and rusty spots forming all over your cannabis plants.
Apart from these five essential nutrients, your plants will also need non-mineral elements usually obtained from water and air. There are three such key elements as listed below in no particular order:
Using Cannabis Nutrients Effectively
If you look at the front of the containers of most nutrient products, it’s easy to notice three numbers. These numbers show the exact quantities of the first three essential nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) the product contains. For instance, if you notice “8-2-2” on a product, then it has 8% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, and 2% potassium in weight.
Generally, manufacturers list the symbols of these three elements as N-P-K. Once you know the two main nutrient groups your fertilizer contains, you’ll have to figure out the right amount to add. As you’ll read later, using the incorrect dosage can be disastrous to your cannabis plants. However, it depends on your growing method.
Cannabis Nutrient Deficiencies
Usually, cannabis nutrient deficiency results from too high or low levels of water pH. The optimal pH for soil-grown cannabis plants lies between 6.0 to 7.0. However, if you choose to grow hydroponically in a medium like coco air; this figure reduces to 5.5 to 6.5.
Apart from this, many growers overlook calcium and magnesium when considering essential nutrients for cannabis plants. These two may be the last in the list above. However, they are just as important. You can find products that are Cal-Mag supplements to offer your plants with these two nutrients.
Hydroponics, Soil, or Organic Nutrients
You can grow cannabis using different techniques and methods. Irrespective of which method you choose, there are benefits and drawbacks that you have expected. These affect the nutrient availability for your plants.
If you choose the hydroponics methods, you’ll have to grow without soil, affecting your choice of nutrients products. For hydroponics cannabis cultivation, nutrients need to be water-soluble. You can buy liquid nutrient products in two portions, typically categorized as part A and B. However, improper application of hydroponic nutrients usually results in severe consequences.
The absence of organic matter is the distinctive feature that separates the soil and the hydroponics growing mediums. Though soil has essential nutrients in the form of manure, humus, and compost, nutrients are mostly insoluble. Your plants can only absorb them after microbes and fungi in the soil process them.
Therefore, inorganic fertilizers can readily boost soil fertility both for indoor and outdoor cultivations.
Overall, the best favor you can do your cannabis farm is to choose the products that contain these five essential nutrients. To get the best yield from your farm, you also need to use the highest quality and compatible products that help you get the most from your medium and growing techniques.
This post is written and sponsored by seeds66.com