The nutrient cannabis required for plant development is found normally in the environment. Nevertheless, if you want to assist your plants to grow quicker and generate an improved result, you should feed them fertilizer (concentrated nutrients). Cannabis plants require three significant macronutrients to thrive and produce high-quality buds; nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The amount of each is determined by the stage of plant life. Novice growers frequently add a ton of supplements and nutrients for cannabis to achieve the yield results that professionals achieve, but this is easy to mess up and can be harmful to your plant if not done correctly. Here you’ll find everything you require to understand when, how, and how much to feed your cannabis plants and to answer the question, “how often should I give my plants nutrients.”
Importance of soil to cannabis plants
Like its natural environment, this medium is simpler and easier to use. Indoors, you’ll most likely need to start with a garden supply store and then add cannabis nutrients as your plants grow. Composting your soil is another alternative. After completing the preliminary setup, maintenance is relatively simple: make sure you water your cannabis plants, provide cannabis nutrients, and control the pH. Conversely, any additional costs will almost certainly be for replacing broken containers. Bugs and pests can also live in the soil. To prevent setbacks later, you must be extra cautious in detecting issues early. Before growing the next bundle of plants, you may need to substitute the soil. Even though some of these possible concerns, soil mediums are unbeatable – particularly when paired with an excellent cannabis nutrient schedule. It is still the most organic substrate to use, allowing your plants to grow and flourish to their maximum capabilities.
Different types of cannabis fertilizers
There are numerous brands of cannabis nutrients on the market, and they can vary greatly. Cannabis fertilizers typically differ in the four areas listed below:
- Nutrient ratio: Each brand has a different nutrient cannabis ratio that they believe is optimal.
- Components: Different fertilizer brands can achieve the same nutrient cannabis ratios with entirely different ingredients, varying from the most chemical (or “artificial”) to the most organic.
- Soil or hydro: Soil nutrients differ significantly from hydro or soilless nutrient solutions. Use only fertilizers that are specifically designed for your growing medium.
- Supplements: Many fertilizer companies also sell “supplements.” These products typically have low NPK ratios and instead include other nutrients designed to boost specific growth aspects. Some supplements, for example, contain molasses.
Evaluating the appropriate nutrient cannabis proportion
Incorporating minerals and micronutrients into the soil allows fast growth and elevated yields. However, success is determined by how much you add. Cannabis will suffer from crippled growth and poor flowering if it receives insufficient nutrients. Conversely, too many nutrients for cannabis will cause similar issues. Cannabis plants require a lot of nitrogen, particularly during the vegetative stage. They also necessitate phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur simultaneously.
Moreover, micronutrients – minerals used in small amounts such as zinc, iron, manganese, molybdenum, chlorine, cobalt, and others – must be provided. To determine the correct quantity of cannabis nutrients in your watering solution, measure the TDS or EC. A simple handheld TDS or ECS meter will be enough.
- TDS (Total dissolved solids) are measured in parts per million (ppm). It calculates the total amount of minerals dissolved in water. However, it will not tell you what category of minerals is evident.
- EC (Electrical conductivity) is the ability of dissolved solids to conduct electricity and is evaluated in milliSiemens or microSiemens.
The best cannabis nutrient schedule for soil medium
Cannabis nutrients differ based on its life stage. It takes a few experiments to find the ideal cannabis nutrient schedule. The cannabis nutrient schedule for plants provided below should help you get started.
Nutrients for the seedling phase
Your plants do not require extra nutrients during the seedling stage since they are still getting their energy from the seed. Before you give them fertilizer, wait until they have exhausted that source.
You won’t have to feed your seedlings until they’re about 3–4 weeks old, when they’ll have formed 3–4 true leaves and will be in the vegetative growth stage.
Nutrients for the vegetative phase
Your crops will require high levels of nitrogen and potassium and medium levels of phosphorus during the vegetative stage of cannabis growth. Consider the ratios of nutrient cannabis brands when shopping around. Some producers prefer to start their plants with a light 2:1:2 fertilizers (NPK ratio) for one week, just as their seedlings enter their vegetative growth phase. This step can be an excellent way to introduce your plants to fertilizer while avoiding nutrient burn. Conversely, some farmers see excellent results by promptly beginning their plants on 4:2:3 fertilizers to jump-start growth. If you use high-quality soil for your grow, you may be able to skip the first few weeks of feeding while the plant absorbs the nutrients from the soil. Otherwise, start feeding your cannabis plant nutrients once it has opened its initial bunch of serrated leaves.
Additionally, you’ll want to vigorously increase your plants’ nutrients by the mid-vegetative phase (approximately six weeks after germinating cannabis seeds) to allow them to develop sturdy, healthy foliage. By this point, most growers have decided on 10:5:7 fertilizers. These increased nitrogen levels will help your vegging plants produce lush, green foliage and develop many bud sites in preparation for flowering. It’s an excellent notion to start reducing your nitrogen levels and preparing your plants to switch to their bloom booster near the end of the vegetative phase. In the final week of the vegetative stage, most growers apply 7:7:7 fertilizers.
Here are feeding suggestions for the vegetative phase:
- Early vegetative phase: 2:1:2 or 4:2:3
- Mid-vegetative phase: 10:5:7
- Late vegetative phase: 7:7:7
Nutrients for the flowering phase
When your plant reaches the flowering stage, it will require a distinct nutrient ratio that appeals to bud output rather than the root and stem development. Most farmers feed their flowering plants a 5:7:10 fertilizer during the first two weeks of flowering. From here forward, it’s standard practice to keep dialing up the nutrients on all fronts, with potassium concentrations always being higher than the rest. As a result, nitrogen must be significantly reduced for this blossom stage, potassium must remain constant, and phosphorus must dramatically increase.
Phosphorus promotes the development of more bud sites, whereas potassium promotes bud production, resulting in larger, juicer buds. By shifting your nutrient formula to a ‘flowering’ or ‘bloom’ formula, you are modifying the nutrient ratios to profit your plant growth during this stage. When the plant’s buds form, switch to a flowering nutrient formula.
Moreover, most growers will be using a 6:10:15 nutrient solution by mid-flowering. Growers will reduce cannabis nutrients in the final weeks of flowering to ease the way to the pre-harvest flush. By this point, a milder fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 4:7:10 is commonly used. Most growers wonder how often to add nutes during flowering. This differs, but it is usually between a week and three days before harvest. The ideal time varies depending on the cannabis strain, but any time within this range will yield better buds.
Here are feeding suggestions for the vegetative phase:
- Early flowering: 5:7:10
- Mid-flowering: 6:10:15
- Mid–late-flowering: 4:7:10
- Late flowering: pH balanced flush
Using a feeding chart
“How often should I give my plants nutrients,” is what most cannabis cultivators question themselves. Moreover, most fertilizer companies offer feed charts to their customers. Understanding these charts is vital for providing the correct nutrients to your plants at the right time. A feed chart will typically outline a growing cycle of 12–13 weeks. Most notably, your feed chart will specify which nutrients to feed your plants and in what ratios during the various weeks of their life cycle. Nutrients are generally applied once a week, and most fertilizer brands will give you a feed-to-water ratio (either in liters or gallons).
Some feed charts may also include a PPM range for their solutions. If this is the case, purchase a PPM meter and measure your nutrients before feeding for added precision. After you’ve fed your plants, you should always inspect the PPM and conductivity of your soil to make sure they’re absorbing nutrients for cannabis correctly.
The procedure for preparing cannabis plant nutrients
Even so, cannabis nutrients miscalculation can entirely derail your harvest. However, feeding your pot plants can be very simple. Follow these directions:
- Get your water ready. Heat your water to about 22°C if necessary to boost absorption by the roots.
- Mix in your cannabis nutrients per the directions on your fertilizer. To obtain precise readings, use a PPM or EC meter.
- If necessary, use a nitric or phosphoric acid pH down supplement to modify the pH of your feed.
- Once your PPM, pH, and temperature are correct, feed your crops and assess your runoff with a PPM or EC meter to guarantee your plants are correctly absorbing cannabis plant nutrients.
You are pretty well in your direction to growing some great cannabis with the right genetics, just enough nutrients and water, and lots of light. Keep in mind that encounter is undoubtedly the most potent weapon in your arsenal, so keep sharpening your expertise and enjoying the benefits.