Growing your own cannabis plants for the first time can seem overwhelming and rather technical, especially if you don’t have a green thumb. As you learn about the right growing process for your plants, it’s also important to educate yourself about the various nutrients that help them grow most effectively, which can sometimes be confusing. Each nutrient has varying benefits for cannabis plants, and each one should also be administered during the 2 life stages of cannabis, since each stage will require its own nutrients. The primary purpose of using nutrients is to ensure the healthy growth of plants, while minimizing any deficiencies. Strong and healthy plants will reward you with generous and potent yields, while weak plants will barely have any use medicinally nor recreationally.
Before you start using nutrients for your plants, keep in mind that pH levels of the water you use for your plants is also important to prevent deficiencies. In fact, many beginner growers experience nutrient deficiencies because the pH level can either be too high or too low. This can occur even if your plants have the appropriate amount of nutrients, because your cannabis plants will be unable to absorb the nutrients if your pH levels aren’t correct.
The right cannabis pH levels when growing in these environments are:
The most effective and fastest way to find out the pH levels of your plants is by using a digital pH pen, which only takes seconds for you to determine pH levels.
Whether you’re growing tomatoes in your backyard or cannabis, the NPK must always be remembered: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).
Nitrogen helps plants produce proteins that are needed to develop healthy leaves. Too much nitrogen will cause excessive growth although it also has consequences, leading to a less desirable flowering phase. A nitrogen deficiency will also cause stunted growth.
Phosphorus is useful in supplementing cannabis roots with the nutrients that it needs to grow strong. It also aids in the development of the flower, was well as larger seeds. Too much phosphorus will stunt growth and cause bleached or yellow leaves, while a deficiency will end up killing the leaves.
Potassium is crucial for the overall health of your cannabis plants and the development of your crop as a whole. Too much potassium blocks the plant’s uptake of both nitrogen and phosphorus. A potassium deficiency will make your plant more vulnerable to disease and result in poor health.
Should You Use Organic or Chemical Nutrients?
Organic and chemical nutrients each have their own benefits:
- Natural: If you are growing cannabis in living soil, you create an environment for the plant that is as close to their natural state as possible. It will make everything better, especially growing and potency, because your plant will already have everything it needs from nature.
- Improved smell and taste: Many growers prefer organic nutrients because these systems are believed to create the most delicious-smelling and tasting buds especially if you use composted soil that’s been enriched with natural nutrients. What you get is living soil that already has colonies of super beneficial microorganisms, which contribute to better taste and smell.
- Avoid organic nutrients for hydroponic plants: If you are using a hydroponic system, organic nutrients are not recommended because any kind of organic matter will cause unnecessary organisms to grow.
- Faster growth: The nutrients created by chemical solutions are designed to give plants the vitamins they need in the most absorbable way. This leads to faster growth for your cannabis plants, as opposed to organic nutrients which take longer since the nutrients need to be processed in the soil by the colony of microorganisms before they reach your plants.
- Stronger potency: If you’re after potency, certain chemical nutrients may be more beneficial in increasing this although organic nutrients will improve its smell and taste.
- Beneficial for hydroponic growth: Chemical nutrients are recommended for hydroponic systems since it reduces the chances of unwanted matter growing in the water.
There are many kinds of organic and chemical nutrients as well as fertilizers in the market; choosing one should primarily depend on your goal as a grower; yield? Potency? Smell? Taste? These are some of the things you should take into consideration. However, if you’re after purely organic bud, avoid the chemical stuff.