Understanding cannabis nutrients and when to give them to your plants can mean the difference between a successful grow or a failed one. Many new cultivators believe all you need to do is provide water and sunlight to ensure a plentiful harvest.
This is sadly not the case, as cannabis nutrients play a pivotal role in the development of your crop. Join us as we explain what these minerals are and why it’s important to fertilize your marijuana seeds. You’ll also learn when to apply cannabis nutrients to boost yields.
What are cannabis nutrients?
Cannabis nutrients, also referred to as fertilizers, play a crucial part in the development of marijuana plants. These minerals act as food for your weed crops, providing them with all the essential vitamins to grow strong and healthy.
A plant absorbs these cannabis nutrients through its roots and then transports these minerals to different parts to assist with vital processes. Some of these elements are mobile, meaning they can move around assisting new and old growth.
Immobile cannabis nutrients, on the other hand, travel from the roots to new growth, where they remain until they’re used up. This is an important distinction to make as it can often help you identify the type of deficiency your plant is suffering from.
You’ll also need to understand the difference between macro vs. micronutrients. This is far easier than it sounds, so don’t panic. Macro cannabis nutrients are elements that your marijuana plant needs in large quantities, such as nitrogen and potassium.
In comparison, your cannabis plants only require small amounts of micronutrients to stay healthy. Some examples of these elements are boron, zinc, and sulfur. Even though plants demand low levels, growing cannabis without these nutrients would spell disaster.
Why is fertilizer important for cannabis plants?
The use of synthetic or organic cannabis nutrients will ensure your plants grow healthy and strong. These elements promote the development of the leaves, roots, and flowers. Without them, you run the risk of deficiencies and stunted growth, which leads to poor yields.
Providing the best nutrients for cannabis will help your plants reach their full potential. Not only will you end up with a large harvest, but the quality of your buds is also increased. This means better flavor, fragrance, and higher potency.
Which elements do cannabis plants need?
To guarantee your marijuana grows into the magnificent buds you hoped for, you need to ensure it receives the best cannabis nutrients you can find. Below is a list of all the elements your plant should have at its disposal.
- Nitrogen: Considered as one of the most important cannabis nutrients, it plays a massive role in the development of your plant. It’s directly responsible for the production of chlorophyll, an essential green pigment in leaves that turns sunlight into energy.
- Potassium: This macronutrient helps your marijuana breathe, exchanging CO2 for oxygen. It’s also required for the storage of glucose which your plant needs for energy while it grows.
- Phosphorus: Primarily focusing on bud production, this element helps strengthen the roots, allowing the plant to absorb other essential cannabis nutrients. Without it, you run the risk of your crops not flowering at all.
- Calcium: Just like this mineral strengthens your bones; it reinforces the cell walls of the plant. That way, your crop can fight off any bacteria that may threaten its survival. Without it, the leaves will lose their shape, and the weed plant will struggle to develop.
- Magnesium: This element works in conjunction with other cannabis nutrients like nitrogen to convert sunlight into glucose. It’s also responsible for your plant’s metabolism, which helps it use its stored energy effectively.
- Sulfur: Although needed in small amounts, sulfur is necessary to produce amino acids and vitamins. It allows your plant to fight off diseases and assists with the production of chlorophyll alongside nitrogen.
- Boron: This mineral is present in quality soils and assists with cell division. Although your plant only needs small quantities of this type of cannabis nutrients, you’ll need to add it if you’re using a soilless medium.
- Manganese: Again, your plant only needs small traces of this element, but its presence is required for root growth. It aids your weed by protecting it against harmful microbes that live in the soil.
- Zinc: This metallic element is responsible for producing sugars and hormones with the plant. Zinc is also crucial for stem growth and the formation of cell membranes. The only time there’s a deficiency of this type of cannabis nutrients is in a dry climate.
- Molybdenum: While it’s required in small doses, this mobile nutrient plays a role in the plant’s ability to produce enzymes. More specifically, it helps turn nitrates into amino acids.
- Copper: Not all cannabis nutrients assist with growth. Copper is a perfect example of an element that’s required to help your plant utilize other vitamins and minerals. It’s also needed to break down carbohydrates.
- Iron: Like copper, iron allows your weed plant to use nitrogen and sulfur effectively. It also plays a role in photosynthesis by aiding in the production of chlorophyll. Without this element, your crop would struggle to metabolize essential energy.
Cannabis nutrients guide: how and when should you fertilize cannabis plants?
Much like any other living organism, marijuana plants need different levels of cannabis growing nutrients throughout its life. You can add these essential minerals by using a quality fertilizer at least once a week alongside clean, balanced water.
The pH level of your soil and water is another important aspect to take into consideration. If these readings fall outside the ideal range, you run the risk of your crops becoming toxic or damaged. Even if you’re using the best nutrients for cannabis, your plants won’t absorb it.
There are various types of cannabis nutrients containing different ratios of elements. This is to provide the right amount of minerals depending on which growth stage your marijuana plant is in.
To make things simple, we’ve put together a brief cannabis nutrients guide for each stage of your plant’s growth.
As a rule of thumb, you should hold off adding any fertilizer when your cannabis seeds begin to germinate. Your seedlings will have everything they need to sprout roots, a stem, and two leaves.
Once it’s reached the vegging stage, you can begin feeding it cannabis nutrients. You’ll want to use a fertilizer containing a 2:1:2 ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This will give your plants the boost it needs to grow strong branches and plenty of leaves.
After seven weeks, you can increase the ratio of NPK fertilizer to 10:5:7. Continue to apply this solution of minerals until the late stages of vegetation. Just as your plants are about to start flowering, bring this ratio down to 1:1:1.
The flowering stage refers to when your weed plants begin developing those succulent buds. You’ll want to swap over to bloom nutrients for cannabis, as it doesn’t contain nitrogen. Instead, this fertilizer concentrates on phosphorus and potassium only.
As your crops approach the last two weeks of flowering, it’s recommended to stop using cannabis nutrients altogether. Instead, you’ll want to flush your plants. This process involves only feeding your marijuana water.
The reason this is important is that it helps to remove any traces of nutrients left in your marijuana plants. This improves the overall taste, smell, and quality of your harvest.
Best cannabis nutrients
Before you start looking for the best cannabis nutrients, you need to decide what type of growing medium you want to use. It’s also important to figure out whether you want to go organic or synthetic.
Below, we take you through the best cannabis nutrients for soil as well as hydroponic setups. You’ll also find all the info you need to determine whether organic cultivating is right for you and the benefits it offers.
Best cannabis nutrients for soil
One of the most popular forms of marijuana cultivation uses soil. The reason for this is mainly down to convenience and price. Soil is readily available and contains all the essential cannabis nutrients like boron, zinc, and copper.
The best cannabis nutrients for soil come in the form of powders or solids. There are various brands that offer a synthetic version of these minerals. Purchasing a pack of these fertilizers is easier than sourcing an organic option but often costs more.
It’s also convenient as synthetic fertilizers hold all the elements required for a particular stage of growth. If you’d rather give your plants the best organic nutrients for cannabis, you’ll need to add specific ingredients.
A few examples of organic nutrients include:
- Sea kelp: Straight from the ocean, this is a fantastic source of potassium.
- Dolomite lime: Add this to your soil for additional magnesium and calcium.
- Blood meal: Fish and blood meal is an effective way to add quality nitrogen to your grow medium.
- Bat guano: Often found in liquid form, bone meal and bat guano offer an organic source of phosphorus.
- Epsom salts: If you need to introduce more sulfur and magnesium, sprinkle some Epsom salts around your crops.
Best hydroponics nutrients for cannabis
If you plan on cultivating your marijuana indoors using a soilless medium, you’ll need to use the best hydroponics nutrients for cannabis. Fertilizers for this method usually come in liquid form, allowing you to add them to your growing solution quickly.
It’s next to impossible to add organic cannabis nutrients to hydroponics, as they take too long to break down. Instead, you can take the solid materials and use them to create a liquid tea. From this point, you can add your fertilizer solution to your plants.
Remember that you need to add your liquid fertilizer with water. You must mix the right ratio of minerals depending on the amount of liquid you plan on giving to your plants. Get this wrong, and you run the risk of creating a nutrient lock.
Organic cannabis nutrients vs. non-organic
When it comes to choosing between organic and hydroponic nutrients for cannabis, you need to consider the advantages of each one. It also comes down to the type of growing medium you use, as adding organic fertilizer to hydroponics can be tricky.
The best organic nutrients for cannabis helps to improve the overall flavor and fragrance of your buds. On top of that, using this form of fertilizer will create a far more natural ecosystem for your plants.
In comparison, synthetic cannabis nutrients tend to increase the potency of your plants. They also speed up the time it takes for your marijuana to grow and develop buds. The main downside here is that it’s easier to burn your crops since they absorb minerals quicker.
What you put in is what you get out
Cultivating marijuana seeds is an incredibly rewarding activity if you do it right. The more time and effort you put in, the better the results when it comes to harvest time. Using quality cannabis nutrients will ensure your yield is something to be proud of.
Once you’ve decided on the type of method you should use, follow our cannabis nutrients guide for succulent buds every time. Don’t forget to research any additional supplements you’ll need for the specific weed seeds you’re raising. Good luck and happy growing!