May 20, 2016 8:25 AM

Cannabis Nutrients: When and How Much to Use

Nourishment is one of the most important factors that influence the growth of your cannabis plants. If weed receives all the necessary nutrients, the harvest will be dense and the buds will be of high quality. The more detailed information about the importance of cannabis nutrients for growing weed can be found in our previous article.

Cannabis Nutrients

Nutrients for Each Life Cycle

The life cycles of marijuana plants can be divided into three stages:

  • germination and rooting;
  • vegetative growth;
  • flowering.

All these stages require different nutrients. Before harvesting, you need to make sure that the plants are healthy and fertilized.

The first period of germination usually takes about a week. If you grow from seeds, then you do not need any additional nutrients. The seeds themselves contain all the necessary components. The tough layers are like breakfast to the plant. You need to start feeding seeds additionally when they classify as seedlings.

However, if you grow from a cutting, you need to clone the plant carefully. When the roots start to appear, it may be considered a seedling.

If you decide to grow your seeds in quality soil, no nutrients will be necessary until a shoot pops through the soil surface.

When the roots that sprout from your starter pots reach 3 inches, you have to transfer them into their main growing medium. The second period of their life is the critical time to give your herbs good nourishment. The transplantation process is not easy for the plants. So, you need to help them cope with the change of environment—feed them with a nutrient mix.

During this period, your plants will require a lot of nutrients, especially nitrogen. Around the third week, follow this nutrients ratio—4-2-3 for nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium.

The third period of the plants' lives is flowering. During this stage, make sure that the plants receive more phosphorus that can provide energy to weed. The flowering period itself requires different ratios. During early flowering, keep NPK at 5-10-7. Later, during mid-flowering, change the ratio to 6-15-10 and then to 4-10-7.

How Long Should You Fertilize Plants?

Unfortunately, there is no common consensus on the question of how long to use nutrients for cannabis plants during flowering. Some growers add nutrients until the end of the period, other growers stop feeding weed weeks before the harvest time. In general, people who grow in soil leave the plants to themselves sooner than those who use the hydro method. The end of flowering is often dedicated to flushing plants, which means giving them plain water. A common practice is to flush the plants during two weeks before the harvest time.

Try not to give the plants too much. Even the best nutrients for cannabis can harm the harvest—an overdose will simply ruin the plant. There is such phenomenon as nutrient burn—and if you burn the plant, it is permanent. But how do you know when to stop? How can you see that the levels of nutrients are too high?

We would recommend starting with small doses of nutrients and increasing them only if you see the signs of underfeeding. If you chose hydroponic growing, then you need to check water's PPM to see whether you need to add more nutrients or not.

Remember to store your fertilizers in the right conditions that will be listed on the package or on the manufacturer's website. If you are not sure about your skills, ask an expert on cannabis community forums.

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