Feeding your cannabis plants the correct amount is crucial to growing healthy buds. If you give your plants too many nutrients, this causes them to lockout other essential nutrients. However, if too few nutrients are provided to your cannabis plants, they will not thrive.
Growing cannabis plants can be a very fickle process to learn. Many new growers assume that the more nutrients they feed their plants, the better they will perform, which is not always the case. Continue reading to learn about how many nutrients you need to feed your plants, why, and how to get the correct amount of cannabis nutrients.
Cannabis Macro and Micronutrients
The three main nutrients for weed you need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While other nutrients also play an important role, these are macronutrients which means that they play the biggest role in your cannabis plants’ development. Therefore, your cannabis plant needs more of these nutrients than any other nutrients in your nutrient ratio.
These nutrients are crucial to cannabis growth, so you need to find plant fertilizer and soil rich in these nutrients. If you do not provide your cannabis plants with enough phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, your cannabis plants will die. Therefore, pay attention to the numbers on your fertilizer packages and ensure that the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratios are high.
Fortunately, many plants require these nutrients to drive, so finding fertilizer and soil appropriate for cannabis plants will be easy. These nutrients are often called NPK in the fertilizer industry, which stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on the periodic table.
However, the big three macronutrients are not the only nutrients you need to worry about when growing cannabis. Micronutrients also play a massive role in the growth of cannabis and can cause your cannabis plant to thrive when handled right or deteriorate when not handled properly.
Not all Marijuana Fertilizers are Made Equal
Although cannabis growth is more common than ever, and it’s easier than ever to find cannabis fertilizer, not every soil will be right for your cannabis plants. Knowing what to look for when you pick cannabis fertilizer can mean the difference between your cannabis plant’s life or death. There are several factors to look for when you pick your cannabis fertilizer.
When buying fertilizer for your cannabis plants, you first need to distinguish the difference between hydro and soil nutrients. Hydro nutrients will not work on soil cannabis plants and vice versa. Therefore, if you use the wrong type of fertilizer on your plants, they will get the wrong amount of nutrients and cannot reach the final stages of growth.
It would help if you also looked at the nutrient ratios on the fertilizer packages. The nutrient ratio is a huge factor when buying fertilizer for cannabis plants. So keep a close eye on your cannabis plants to decide which nutrient ratio cannabis fertilizer will work the best for your situation.
Look for natural ingredients in your fertilizers. The more natural the ingredients you have in your cannabis fertilizers, the better the nutrients will perform for your cannabis plants. Artificial ingredients will not yield the best cannabis plants.
Watch out for supplements that are added to your cannabis fertilizers. Adding too much of a nutrient that is not NPK can cause damage to your cannabis plants. The macro and micro-nutrients you provide cannabis plants will make a much larger difference than any supplements you add to the plant.
Nutrition for Seedlings, Vegging, and Flowering Weed Plants
Your cannabis plant will have different nutritional needs as it gets larger. So you may be wondering: how often should I give my plants nutrients? The following are guidelines to determine the nutrition your cannabis plant will need throughout its stages of life.
- Nutrition and Cannabis Seedlings
This is the point in your cannabis plant’s life where you will have to worry the least about nutrients. The main thing you need to worry about for cannabis seedlings is keeping them in the right environment. During the plant’s seedling stage, you must keep its seeds and a warm and humid spot. Keeping your cannabis plant in too chilly of an environment will not allow your seedling to sprout.
All the nutrients for cannabis plants that your seedling needs will come from the seed. At this point, you will not need to provide any additional nutrients to your cannabis plant.
- Nutrition and VEGETATIVE CANNABIS PLANTS
Most people only use a bit of fertilizer during the cannabis plants’ vegetative stage. This method is a good idea because this allows your cannabis plant to get accustomed to your fertilizer slowly. However, adding too much fertilizer can cause your cannabis plant to get nutrient burn early on. The nutrient burn will cause your cannabis plant to lock out other essential nutrients it needs and starve to death.
While nutrient burn can occur during any stage of your cannabis plant’s lifespan, the vegetative stage is especially susceptible to this problem. Your cannabis plant is extremely fragile during this particular stage of life.
Some growers still choose to add a lot of fertilizer during this stage, but it does come with the risk of causing your cannabis plant to get nutrient burn. However, many growers see this method as the best way to promote your cannabis plant’s growth early on. Suppose your cannabis plant does not get nutrient burn when applying this much fertilizer. In that case, you will notice significantly more growth from your cannabis plant due to the additional nutrients. Taking this risk is up to your discretion.
- Nutrition and FLOWERING CANNABIS PLANTS
During the flowering stage of your cannabis plant’s life, you will want to increase potassium levels and decrease nitrogen levels. The flowering stage relies especially on potassium because potassium will promote the growth of your flowers. As their flowering process progresses, you can increase your nutrient solution weekly. However, during the flowering stage, ensure that your potassium levels are higher than your nitrogen and phosphorus levels.
Adding too much nitrogen and too much phosphorus during this stage while not providing enough potassium will reduce the positive final stage results you seek from your cannabis plant.
During the first stage of flowering, your nutrient ratio for NPK should be 5:7:10
During the second stage of flowering, your nutrient ratio for NPK should be 6:10:15
During the third stage of flowering, your nutrient ratio for NPK should be 4:7:10
During the final stage of flowering, your nutrient ratio should include flushing your cannabis plant with pH-balanced water.
Cannabis Nutrient Schedule: How Often Should I Give My Plants Nutrients?
The frequency you feed your cannabis plants depends on the feed charts provided by the fertilizer brand you choose. Different fertilizers have different nutrient ratios and require different nutrient schedules. Understanding how to read that feed chart your fertilizer company provides is the best way to keep your cannabis plants healthy.
Your growing cycle will take between 12 and 13 weeks. The frequency you feed your plants will depend on your plant life stage, your fertilizer’s nutrient makeup, and how your plants are doing. However, most fertilizers must be applied to your cannabis plants once a week.
You should get an EC meter if you’re concerned about your cannabis plants’ nutrient schedule. Your EC meter will help you determine how well your cannabis plant absorbs nutrients. Checking your plant soil before and after feeding times of a fantastic way to track your cannabis plant nutrient absorption over time.
Understanding how many nutrients your cannabis plant consumes will help you adjust feeding times if necessary.
How to Make Nutrients for Weed
A nutrient mistake is the most stressful part of making your nutrients for weed plants. However, if you follow the proper guidelines when making your cannabis plant nutrients is easy.
First, you’re going to need warm water. Warm water will help your roots absorb these nutrients more.
Have an EC meter ready to measure the nutrients in your fertilizer. Then, add your nutrients for cannabis plants according to your fertilizer instructions and mix them up.
Use your EC meter to read your nutrients.
Adjust the pH of your plant nutrients after your read if necessary.
Use your EC meter to measure the excess water and ensure that your cannabis plant is consuming its nutrients.
The Importance of Water temperature, PH, and PPM When Growing Cannabis
Using warm water well feeding your plants is an excellent way to ensure that your cannabis plants eat up the nutrients better than they would with cold or room temperature water. However, using hot water on your cannabis plants can cause damage. Therefore, you should keep the water you use to feed your cannabis plants between 19 and 20 degrees Celsius for optimal results.
The pH of the water used to feed your plants can drastically affect your plant’s ability to absorb its nutrients. Therefore, it would be best to have a monitor present to test the pH of your water before you try to feed your plants.
PPM is the measurement tool you will use for measuring the nutrients in your cannabis food to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding your plants.
Tips for Better Grow
Feeding your cannabis plants can be stressful, so here are some tips to help you out with that situation.
- Embrace chelation
Chelation Will assist with breaking through the pore barrier of your cannabis plant. The way that chelation works is that it helps your cannabis plant absorb iron and zinc along with other nutrients easier.
- Try foliar feeding
This feeding method uses a fine mist spray to help prevent nutrient cannabis deficiencies and pests from invading your cannabis plants. This feeding method can also help you increase the micronutrients in your cannabis plants.
- Always flush
Flush your cannabis plants with pH-neutral water the week before harvesting. Flushing is an essential part of the process for growers who want to ensure that their cannabis is smooth when smoked. If you neglect to flush your cannabis plants the week before you harvest them, the nutrients present in your cannabis plant will be noticeable when smoked and caused an unpleasant experience.
Nutrients for Weed: Common Mistakes
The following are things you need to avoid when growing cannabis plants. Nutrients are inconsistent, and too much of one or too little can hurt your cannabis plants.
- PH IMBALANCE
A balanced pH is essential for ensuring that your cannabis plant absorbs all nutrients. When your pH balance is incorrect, it will cause a nutrient lockout, which will cause your cannabis plant to starve to death. Fortunately, there are many tools you can use to measure the pH of your cannabis plant before you feed it to ensure that you don’t cause a nutrient cannabis lockout.
- NUTRIENT BURN
The most common cause of the nutrient burn is overfeeding and nutrient buildup in the soil or water. Many growers are under the misconception that more nutrients are always better. However, too many nutrients will cause nutrient burn, which will cause your plants to die.
Hanging on to a PPM and EC monitor is the best way to avoid nutrient burn. This can help you track the number of nutrients in your growing medium and how many nutrients are absorbed into your cannabis plant.
- NUTRIENT LOCKOUT
The most common cause of nutrient lockout is imbalanced pH water and too much nutrient buildup around the roots of the cannabis plant. A nutrient lockout will cause nutrient deficiencies and eventually cause your plant to starve to death if not diagnosed and treated immediately.
Chemical fertilizers are especially known to cause overfeeding in cannabis plants. This is because chemical fertilizers have a high concentration of nutrients, making it very easy to overfeed. Once you notice overfeeding, you can treat it by doing a root flush and adjusting your cannabis plant’s nutrient schedule.
- NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY
Nutrient deficiency happens when nutrients are locked out or your cannabis plants are underfed. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the fertilizer you provide your cannabis plants has all the nutrients it needs to thrive.
If you start to notice discoloration in your cannabis plants, this can be a strong indicator that your cannabis plants are experiencing a nutrient deficiency. You must adjust your fertilizer to accommodate your nutrient issues.
Chemical vs. Organic Fertilizers For Marijuana
Using organic fertilizers for your cannabis plants is a fantastic way to ensure that your cannabis plants absorb nutrients at an appropriate pace. Using chemical fertilizers can cause nutrient burn, among many other feeding problems for your cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are sensitive, so chemical fertilizers can easily damage them.
Some growers prefer chemical fertilizers because they absorb much quicker than organic fertilizers. And this is ideal in situations where you’re growing commercial cannabis or your cannabis is experiencing a nutrient deficiency already. However, for most cannabis growers, organic fertilizer is the way to go.
People also use chemical fertilizers because they’re easier to get a hold of than organic fertilizers. Using chemical fertilizers, some people also find it easier to control their nutrient ratios and their cannabis plants. Organic fertilizers absorb slower in plants, which can help prevent overfeeding and are better for the environment. However, it’s not always easy to find organic fertilizers, and if you’re careful, a chemical fertilizer will work fine for your cannabis plants.
Why, How, And When To Feed Your Plants (FAQ):
When should you feed a plant?
Feeding is typically done in the spring or summer, which is when the plant is actively developing. Even if a plant blooms in winter, it is unlikely that it will require fertilizer during the winter months.
How often should you feed during flowering?
You can feed your plants anywhere from once to twice a week, gradually increasing the nutrients you provide them; nevertheless, you should pay close attention to how your plants respond to every session.
Should I use nutrients every time I water?
How often should I feed my plants?
Cannabis gardens need only be fertilized once a month with quick-release fertilizer or once a season with a slow-release fertilizer. When caring for plants, some growers use plant food that dissolves in water every two weeks.