The role of oxygen in the grow stages of cannabis plants is crucial. A sufficient oxygen concentration enhances water and nutrient intake, boosts health, and stimulates growth. Most novice growers, however, are ignorant of its favorable effects. In this post, we’ll look at how oxygen affects your plants’ health and how oxygen deficiency might harm them. You will learn about the appropriate oxygen level for your plant’s roots, as well as how to maintain and increase it.
Do plants need oxygen?
Plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis. Because it is common knowledge that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, plants also require oxygen to survive. Plants absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the air and combine it with water received via their roots during photosynthesis. They use sunlight energy to convert these elements into carbohydrates and oxygen, releasing additional oxygen into the atmosphere. As a result, the planet’s forests are vital suppliers of oxygen in the atmosphere and contribute to keeping CO2 levels low.
Why is air circulation essential?
The key to effective indoor growth is constant air exchange. The three things to be concerned about are:
- Stomas that are clean.
- Air circulation is excellent.
- Consistent air exchange.
Remember that even distribution throughout the entire room is required. Otherwise, you will have patches with stagnant air. It is a balancing act since you have to ensure that the air isn’t too wet or dry. We advocate avoiding air since hot air tends to congregate in upper regions, while cooler air tends to move downhill. As a result, the crop grows more slowly and is more susceptible to pest infestation and mold growth.
Understanding dissolved oxygen
Growing healthy cannabis plants does not necessitate the addition of extra oxygen to the water. However, if you want to grow healthier, bigger and more profitable plants, you should seriously consider it. The oxygen saturation level in water is measured as dissolved oxygen (DO). It is typically a percentage, milligrams per liter (mg/L), or parts per million (ppm). Dissolved oxygen is the first line of protection against the undesirable anaerobic bacteria that cause root rot. It also encourages rapid root growth by increasing the density of fine root hairs responsible for water intake. Water consumption alone uses a significant amount of plant energy in oxygen. The most convenient technique for home gardeners to evaluate DO is a meter. Nevertheless, it is a pricey tool, and understanding its readings may be difficult. It is an excellent investment if you want to increase your yield by checking the DO of the water.
As well as oxygen, plants need light as a basic food source – check out this post on DLI for cannabis.
How much oxygen do cannabis plants require?
Cannabis plants growing on soil typically acquire all of the oxygen they require from the atmosphere. The air we breathe contains roughly 21% oxygen, which is more than enough for plants. Outdoors, constant air circulation ensures enough supply of oxygen. On the other hand, indoor cultivators must engage in a ventilation system. Use passive intake vents or electric intake blowers to pull fresh air into the grow chamber. Furthermore, cannabis research indicates that any health and production benefits in cannabis hit a peak at a DO range of 40 – 45 ppm or 90% saturation in the root zone. To get the proper amount to the roots, you must start with a much higher concentration in a treatment.
Boost oxygen for your cannabis plants
For starters, grow room automation is a great way to make your cannabis growing more efficient. However, there are more factors to consider. The aforementioned technique will also help to grow cannabis cheaper.
Sustain the appropriate temperature
The level of dissolved oxygen that water can store is temperature-dependent. The solubility of oxygen reduces as temperature rises. Warm water requires less oxygen to reach saturation. Once the water is completely saturated, it cannot accept more oxygen molecules. When subjected to temperatures below 60 °C, the roots of your cannabis plant will reduce metabolic activity. Between 62 and 66°C is the so-called sweet spot. Allow the root zone temperature to get above 75°C to avoid root rot in cannabis. At 68°C, fully oxygenated water could have a DO content of up to 9 ppm. At 86°C, the same water had a DO content of only 7.5 ppm. Thus, it makes more sense to supply your plants with room temperature water.
Make use of Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid chemical substance composed of hydrogen and oxygen, similar to water. However, unlike water (H2O), it contains an extra oxygen atom, giving rise to the formula H2O2. It’s a typical household product that functions as a moderate antibacterial and disinfectant. Most cultivators add hydrogen peroxide to their water-nutrient mixtures to increase the oxygen content. At low quantities, hydrogen peroxide is non-irritating and non-toxic. It is available at pharmacies as a 3% solution or at garden supply stores as a 10% solution. Make your water-nutrient mixture as usual, then add the H2O2. The required dilution ratios are as follows:
- Add 20 ounces of H2O2 per gallon of watering solution for 3% H2O2.
- Add 6 ounces of H2O2 per gallon of watering solution to achieve 10% H2O2.
You can use the infused oxygen solution to hydrate cannabis plants cultivated in soil or hydroponic systems. Because of its antiseptic properties, H2O2 will also eliminate any bacteria or algae in the water.
Maintain water in constant motion
Oxygen is a molecule that can linger in water for an extended period, but when it starts to dissipate, anaerobic bacteria thrive. Water can absorb fresh oxygen from the surrounding air thanks to turbulence. It also exposes the water to more air at the reservoir’s surface, which raises the DO level. Creating a waterfall or vortex is the easiest way to add DO to a hydro setup. You install those features not just for beauty but also to prevent the water from stagnating. As a result, your plants will develop more vigorously in an oxygen-rich atmosphere.
Your crop should generally grow without the requirement for higher dissolved oxygen levels in the water. However, skilled growers understand that boosting the dissolved oxygen in the water they feed to their plants has a significant effect. While spending a lot of money on dissolved oxygen-increasing equipment or a meter to read the level may not seem like a good idea, it is a sensible investment if you intend to grow commercially. When your roots are watered with a high concentration of dissolved oxygen, they will feel rejuvenated and energized. As a result, the cannabis grows faster and healthier, and production increases.
Find out how long does it take to grow cannabis for further knowledge.