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Cannabis Nutrients: Why, How, And When To Feed Your Plants

Cannabis plants are sensitive to nutrients, and there’s a fine line between properly feeding your plants and burning them with chemicals. Find out everything you need to know about properly feeding cannabis plants in our guide!

A full rundown on why and how to feed your cannabis plants.

  • 1. Understanding cannabis macro and micronutrients
  • 2. Not all cannabis fertilisers are made equal
  • 3. Nutrient requirements for seedlings, vegging, and flowering weed plants
  • 4. How to read a feed chart: How often should I feed my weed plants?
  • 5. How to prepare cannabis nutrients
  • 6. The importance of PPM, pH, and water temperature
  • 7. Tips for better feeding
  • 8. Recognising cannabis nutrient-related problems
  • 9. Organic vs chemical fertiliser for cannabis
  • 10. Wrapping your head around cannabis nutrients
  • 1. Understanding cannabis macro and micronutrients
  • 2. Not all cannabis fertilisers are made equal
  • 3. Nutrient requirements for seedlings, vegging, and flowering weed plants
  • 4. How to read a feed chart: How often should I feed my weed plants?
  • 5. How to prepare cannabis nutrients
  • 6. The importance of PPM, pH, and water temperature
  • 7. Tips for better feeding
  • 8. Recognising cannabis nutrient-related problems
  • 9. Organic vs chemical fertiliser for cannabis
  • 10. Wrapping your head around cannabis nutrients

All the nutrients needed for cannabis plant development are naturally present in the environment. However, to help your plants develop even faster and produce a better end product, you’ll want to feed them with fertiliser—concentrated nutrients.

Below, you’ll find all the information you need to know about when, how, and how much to feed your cannabis plants.

UNDERSTANDING CANNABIS MACRO AND MICRONUTRIENTS

Cannabis plants require three nutrients in large quantities. These macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), and they form the cornerstone of cannabis plant health. As such, these three nutrients usually feature front and centre on fertiliser products in the form of an NPK ratio. The higher the number for each value, the higher the concentration of that particular nutrient.

However, cannabis needs more than just three nutrients to survive and thrive. It also counts on secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur to play vital roles in plant growth:

  • Calcium is important for cell wall development, can help reduce soil salinity, and improves water penetration when used as a soil amendment.
  • Magnesium plays a key role in photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, and also helps with the stabilisation of plant cell walls.
  • Sulfur is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and the production of proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins, and protects plants against disease.

Beyond this, plants also make use of several other nutrients in small quantities (micronutrients) that are nevertheless extremely important. These include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. While these aren’t the main nutrients plants use for food, they still play very important roles in various aspects of plant health.

NOT ALL CANNABIS FERTILISERS ARE MADE EQUAL

There are many different brands of cannabis nutrients on the market, and they can differ considerably.

Typically, cannabis fertilisers will vary in the four following areas:

  • Nutrient ratio: Different brands use different nutrient ratios they consider optimal.
  • Ingredients: Different fertiliser brands can achieve the same nutrient ratios using completely different ingredients, ranging from the most chemical (or “artificial”) to the most natural.
  • Soil or hydro: Soil nutrients are very different from hydro or soilless nutrient solutions. Make sure you only use fertilisers designed for your growing medium.
  • Supplements: Many fertiliser brands also make “supplements”. These products typically contain low NPK ratios and instead feature other nutrients designed to boost certain aspects of growth. Some supplements, for example, are essentially molasses.

In general, we recommend you focus more on meeting your plants’ demands for macro and secondary nutrients before pumping them full of supplements. Going overboard with nutrients can result in chemical interactions or nutrient burn, which can significantly impact the size and quality of your yield.

Once you’ve nailed feeding your plants with these core nutrients, feel free to move on to a more complex feeding schedule to produce bigger, more potent harvests.

Wondering when and how to feed your cannabis plants? Click here for the ultimate guide to cannabis nutrients and how to use them to produce excellent harvests.

When should I fertilize my seedlings?

  • Dec 5, 2007
  • #1
  • SmokeyMacPot
    New Member

    Mixes composed of perlite, vermiculite, and rockwool and other inert media should be treated with a mild application, 300-400ppm, of fertilizer prior to seed introduction to provide available nutrients and buffer the pH.

    Adding Hormex, Superthrive or some other auxin/vitamin based supplement will accelerate early plant development. It is not beneficial to apply additional fertilizer to seedlings in rockwool or other inert media until the first set of true leaves appear, at which point a 1/4 to 1/2 strength application is made.

    Excessively rich organic soil mixes are best avoided until the tender, young plants are well established. As such it is possible to feed young seedlings in soil with a 1/4 to 1/2 strength solution of fetiliser after two to three weeks or after the first set of true leaves appear but only if the soil is not super hot in terms of nutrients.

    Mixes composed of perlite, vermiculite, and rockwool and other inert media should be treated with a mild application, 300-400ppm, of fertilizer prior to…