What nutrients does my cannabis plant need? This is usually one of the first questions new indoor growers ask. And it makes sense, as the single most important thing that you will need to know is how to nourish your crops properly. When you make sure that your plants are getting all the proper nutrients that they need to flourish, the result will be an abundant yield from a healthy, happy plant.
The best way to ensure you have the most fruitful plants possible is to make sure you make a list of everything that you’ll need to set up your operation. This includes room equipment, cannabis feeding charts and schedules, core nutrients, supplements, and other environmental must-haves.
What Is A Cannabis Feeding Chart?
These charts are designed explicitly by nutrient and supplement manufacturers to help you understand what you need to have the healthiest and most fruitful yield possible.
Cannabis feeding charts are particularly helpful if you’re growing multiple different strains at once. Since each type of plant has its own set of needs, a chart of this nature really helps you keep tabs on which plant needs what and when they need it. Since closely monitoring your plants and their progress is essential to having a good harvest.
Additionally, cannabis plant nutrients will vary based on the point in the growth cycle in which they are at. If you’re a novice grower, feeding charts can provide valuable information to help you gain a deeper understanding of when and how to feed your plants.
As you get more familiar with the process, you can modify feeding charts based on strain type, water quality, temperature, and many other factors. You may even be able to eventually create your own custom feeding chart to fit your individual needs.
The purpose of a cannabis feeding chart is to help you create an active feeding schedule for your garden. These are especially helpful if you’re growing a hydroponic garden because you have complete control over the nutrients that your plants take in. If you focus on having the correct volume of nutrients in your grow, you’ll get to reap the substantial benefits when harvest time comes.
How to Read a Cannabis Feeding Chart
Feeding charts use select language to illustrate how best to take care of your plants. Generally, these charts break information down into a grid with two axes. The first axis on the left-hand side provides information about the nutrients to use. The other axis, which runs along the top of the grid, breaks down specific points in the growth cycle of cannabis plants.
If you want to take advantage of what a feeding chart has to offer, you must first understand how it functions. The nutrient axis of a feeding chart provides reference information for a ratio of nutrients to gallons of water. For instance, a feeding chart might call for 2mL of nutrients per gallon of water.
If you’re making a nutrient solution for 20 gallons of water, you’ll need 40 mL of cannabis plant nutrients to make the right solution.
In addition to paying close attention to the ratio of nutrients to water, you should also invest in a parts per million (PPM) reader. PPM readers accurately display the concentration of cannabis plant nutrients in any given mixture. This takes the guesswork out of feeding your plants and, in turn, will yield a better crop with less frustration on your part.
Adjusting the Chart
Growing cannabis plants is an art form. There are many moving parts, and each garden setup is one of a kind. Since there are so many different factors that go into how well your plants grow, there will be times when your feeding chart needs to be adjusted.
The first step to adjusting a feeding chart is trying it out in your garden. Take notes of how well your plants respond to the concentration of cannabis plant nutrients and the frequency at which you are tending to them. If you see your garden start to fail, slightly adjust your routine until you find the right fit for you and your plants.
Two essential things you will need to note when adjusting a feeding chart are nutrient lockout and nutrient deficiency. Both of these factors can prove to be detrimental to a growth setup when not identified and solved in a timely manner.
A nutrient lockout occurs when plants have an overload of cannabis plant nutrients. When it comes to growing cannabis, too much of anything is always a bad thing. A buildup of cannabis plant nutrients blocks up the growing medium, making it impossible for a plant to absorb anything you feed it.
When a plant doesn’t get enough of a given nutrient, the result is a nutrient deficiency. Whether you have a nutrient lockout or deficiency, the result is the same. If you pay close attention and keep a log of how your plant responds to feeds, you’ll be able to determine what nutrients it’s lacking. Then, you can also adjust your feeding chart accordingly so that you can prevent it from reoccurring.
How Do I Make a Feeding Schedule for Cannabis?
A feeding chart is also an excellent tool for you to use to make a feeding schedule for your cannabis plants. The easiest way to create and maintain a feeding schedule for your plants is to refer to the top axis of the chart. This axis will give you all the information you need to begin creating your feeding schedule.
Perfecting your feeding schedule requires you to keep track of how your plant responds to the program a feeding chart provides. Keep a journal close by each time you tend to your plants so that you can record how they react to the frequency in which you feed them. As you continue to care for your garden, use your notes to modify your ritual until you reach the perfect happy medium for your growth setup.
What Nutrients Do I Need to Grow Cannabis?
Cannabis plant nutrients are extremely important to the growing success of any garden. If you want to ensure your plants are getting the right nutrients, read up on which options will help you yield the best results possible. The best place to start is with macronutrients: nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P). Secondary and micronutrients also play a significant role in how successful your grow is.
The first significant macronutrient is nitrogen. This part of the essential cannabis plant nutrients is responsible for producing two things: chlorophyll and amino acids, which aid in photosynthesis. If you don’t give your plants enough nitrogen, the deficiency will manifest itself by making your leaves turn pale yellow and eventually droop, meaning the plant is dying. This nutrient should be present in the highest concentration during a plant’s vegetative state.
Potassium strengthens your cannabis plants, allowing them to absorb more water, fight debilitating diseases, and also helps them to grow faster. If your plant has a potassium deficiency, the yellowing of the leaves is also present, but it will be distinguishable from a nitrogen deficiency. This is because the yellowing will appear around the edges of the leaves, rather than across the entire leaf.
Phosphorus is the final macronutrient that is essential to a flourishing cannabis garden. Its job is to regulate a cannabis plant’s metabolism. When your plants don’t have sufficient phosphorus, they will not be able to absorb any nutrients you give them efficiently. As a result, cannabis plants will be more susceptible to pathogens. You can identify a phosphorus deficiency by looking for discoloration of your leaves, which will turn a green or reddish-purple color.
Phosphorus and potassium are most important in the flowering stage of a weed plant’s life cycle. Increase the concentration of these nutrients during this stage of your growth plan for the best results.
Many novice cannabis growers are familiar with potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. What you may not know is there are a few secondary nutrients that are equally as important. These cannabis plant nutrients are sulfur, magnesium, and calcium.
- Sulfur helps cannabis plants develop strong roots. It also aids in your plant’s development of chlorophyll and other plant proteins. This secondary nutrient is useful during a plant’s vegetative state.
- Magnesium also further enables plants to produce chlorophyll. As a result, plants are able to photosynthesize efficiently, which encourages the growth of strong and healthy plants.
- Calcium’s role is to support a plant’s ability to absorb other essential nutrients. It also facilitates photosynthesis and helps with maintaining proper cell structure within cannabis plants.
Although micronutrients are necessary only in tiny increments, they are equally as important as both macronutrients and secondary nutrients. However, you won’t usually need to use them unless you notice an apparent deficiency, because most soils already contain a suitable amount of these cannabis plant nutrients to protect and aid your garden.
- Manganese aids in protein creation, chlorophyll production, and breaking down enzymes.
- Zinc makes leaves, stalks, and branches stronger. Additionally, it helps plants create enzymes and auxin (a growth hormone).
- Like manganese, Molybdenum also enables plants to use nitrates for protein production.
- Boron plays a role in several vital parts of plant production. These include absorbing calcium, germinating pollen, producing seeds and proteins, forming plant structures, and maturing.
- Cobalt is responsible for gross plant growth, CO2 absorption, and the expansion of leaf disks.
- Silicon facilitates plant growth, which can mean a bigger harvest for you at the end of your cycle.
- Copper is essential to flower formation.
Do I Also Need Supplements to Grow Good Weed?
The most important things to a weed garden are the environment and nutrients that you use. Once you perfect these two aspects of your growth setup, you will be able to reap substantial rewards when it comes time to harvest your crop.
Some people prefer to use supplements like boosters and powders to further enhance their gardens. The thing about supplements is they aren’t always needed. Most of the time, they will make no difference at all. In some scenarios, they can even hurt more than they help. For these reasons, it is crucial that you use extreme caution when adding supplements into the mix in your garden.
The best rule of thumb to use when growing new marijuana plants is to focus on your environment and to keep an eye out for vitamin deficiencies. Supplements have not been shown to make a dramatic difference in the quality and quantity of a grow, so you are much better off keeping it simple and honing all your focus in on these two aspects, instead.
What Nutrients Do I Need to Grow Cannabis Hydroponically?
Growing weed hydroponically means that water is used as a growth medium rather than soil. The cannabis plants are suspended within a reservoir and are monitored closely throughout their growth cycles. This method of growing allows ideal for indoor growth setups because it allows complete control over what nutrients your plants get.
Since you don’t have to account for any nutrients present in the soil, it can also simplify the growing process, as long as you’re familiar with the nutrients that plants need to thrive. Along with a perfectly balanced N-P-K concentration, you can use a number of products that are specifically targeted at strengthening hydroponic plants and maximizing harvests that they produce.
Many of the cannabis plant nutrients for hydroponic plants on the market today are sold pre-mixed. This eliminates the need for you to carefully formulate fertilizer concoctions and also dramatically reduces your chances of nutrient deficiencies. These types of nutrients usually come in a liquid form and are specifically designed to target one or more aspects of a successful plant, such as bud size or density of flowers.
Hydroponic cannabis plant nutrients can also come in a powder form. These nutrients are ideal for gardeners on a budget because they’re usually much more cost-effective than their liquid counterparts. Even though they’re offered at a lower price point, you won’t have to sacrifice the quality of the supplement-they almost always perform just as well as liquid forms do.
What Are the Best Organic Cannabis Nutrients?
Marijuana plants don’t need human-made chemical concoctions to thrive and survive. In fact, you can yield a beautiful garden that you can be proud of using only organic nutrients. The key is to know which ones to use and in what concentration in order to achieve the best result possible.
Luckily, the three most important components (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are naturally occurring in the world around us. This means that if you’re cultivating an organic grow, focusing on your N-P-K ration will work wonders for getting your garden where you want it to be.
Another organic element in any organic cannabis set up is your growing medium. Since hydroponic setups require the use of chemical ingredients, you won’t be able to cultivate using that type of installation. Focus on using soils that are rich in micronutrients. This will help you avoid deficiencies and leads to a more fruitful and successful end result.
Some of the best organic setups use living soil as their growth medium. Living soil is rich in microorganisms and microfauna such as bacteria and nematodes. These microscopic creatures help to break down nutrients in the soil, which makes it easier for your plants to absorb them and lowers your risk of a nutrient lockout.
How to Get the Most from Cannabis Nutrients
If you hope to get the most from your cannabis plant nutrients, the most important thing you should focus on is paying attention. Keeping close tabs on your plants means that you will detect issues early, which could potentially save a dying plant from complete destruction.
Monitoring your grow cycles closely also helps you learn all the ins and outs of weed gardening. Since practice is the best teacher, focusing on documenting everything and committing good and bad practices to memory will make you a better cultivator at the end of the day. There’s no shame in killing your first marijuana plant, either – just make sure you write a long list of things NOT to do so that you don’t have the same outcome in the future.
Lastly, you should never stop making tweaks and changes in your feeding schedules and growth charts. If you find something that isn’t working, change it up! Strain type, growth stage, environment, climate, and the season will all affect your plants in some form or fashion. What worked in the summer might not have the same results in the winter, so being ready to make modifications where they are needed will make a massive difference in your outcome.