What are Nutrients
Nutrients are food for a plant, they help it to grow and nourish
it throughout its life. The 3 main nutrients are, Nitrogen, Phosphorus
and Potassium, plants will also however require various other trace
elements and metals for good growth. As nutrients are also salts
they need to be applied carefully and as directed on the packet.
Too much salt will make plants ill and eventually kill them.
There are lots of ready made plant nutrients on the market some
aimed at cannabis and some not. In the end there's not that much
difference between them. The more expensive feeds do contain elements
superior to that of regular feeds but their use is not essential.
As long as the nutrients are 'complete' and given in the correct
dosage results should be good.
A complete nutrient solution contains all the nutrients, trace elements,
metals and minerals a plant needs for good growth. Most nutrients
mixes aimed at cannabis growing are complete nutrients and come
in various blends for use with different growing mediums. Hydroponic
feeds have to be complete nutrients as they provide everything for
Nutrients Aimed at Cannabis
There are quite a few benefits to using nutrients aimed at cannabis.
They will usually come with helpful instructions about when and
how to feed and will also have been mixed with cannabis growth in
mind. A general "fed-all" nutrient may be adequate but
using a nutrient designed for the purpose will often make life easier
for you and the plant.
Nutrients have an N.P.K. ratio on the packet. This shows the amount
of Nitrogen (N, The leaf maker), Phosphorus (P, The root maker)
and Potassium (K, The flower maker) the nutrient contains as a percentage.
A complete fertiliser will also contain all the other nutrients
and minerals a plant needs for good growth but may not always list
|| Hydro Feeds
|Canna Terra Vega
|Canna Terra Flores
|Earth Juice Grow
|Earth Juice Bloom
Nutrients Cannabis Likes
Cannabis is a nitrogen lover and whilst in its growing stage it
will need a feed containing extra nitrogen. Once flowering starts
properly however its need for nitrogen lessens and it requires a
feed with extra phosphorus and potassium instead. As cannabis finishes
flowering and matures its need for all nutrients gradually decreases.
This is why a lot of ready made cannabis nutrients come in two or
even three stage formulas.
Growing and Flowering Feeds
Unless instructed otherwise don`t change to a flowering feed as
soon as you change to a flowering light cycle. Plants take time
to respond to light changes and will continue to require the extra
nitrogen missing in most flowering feeds until growth has slowed
and flowering begun. This usually take around 2 or 3 weeks.
Mixing Nutrients Yourself
Leave this to the experts. You can end up with all sorts of problems
mixing nutrients yourself or using two or more incompatible feeds
at the same time. If the nutrient you are using isn`t up to the
job choose another rather than trying to mix it with another to
boost its performance.
Nutrients in the Medium
To easily control the rate and amount of nutrients a plant receives
use bland nutrient free mediums, with or without standard potting
compost mixed in. Then add a soluble complete feed to the plants
water in the recommended amounts. Mixing manure's or slow releasing
elements with a plants medium can lead to trouble unless you are
Thankfully there are now more and more ready made organic feeds
available. Use these if you want to grow organic and have little
or no horticultural experience. Mixing up organic feeds yourself
takes time and knowledge. Getting a good, safe, balanced home-made
mix for plants can take months.
Less is better so start with 1/4 strength feed max. for cuttings
or seedlings. Gradually increase this as the plant grows taking
into account the intensity of light it is receiving. The more intense
the light the more nutrients the plant will require. If you are
using circulating tanks of nutrient solution change them completely
every 2- 4 weeks to ensure a balanced nutrient solution. A change
in feeding will take 3 days to 2 weeks to show through in new growth
so be patient.
Plants being fed as directed with a reputable feed should not suffer
badly with nutrient problems. Therefore if plants begin to look
unwell check elsewhere before blaming or adjusting the nutrient.
Incorrect pH of the medium, nutrient solution or water will restrict
nutrient uptake so test these to see if they are acceptable. (Test
the solution after it has been through the growing medium to get
a better idea of the levels the plant roots are actually dealing
with) Meter users should also make sure their meters are calibrated
correctly. Over-watering is another culprit for sick looking plants.
Let soil dry a little between watering or feeding to allow the roots
to breathe. Overfeeding or nutrient build up in the growing medium
will also make plants sick and is easily done even by experienced
gardeners when using pots. Other things to check for include pests,
disease, fungus, temperature or lack of light.
Signs of Underfeeding
If you are using a complete feed correctly the only deficiency your
plants may still suffer from is nitrogen deficiency. Look for purple
tinges on the leaf stems or main stems and a general paling of the
plant as a whole. Using a complete nutrient high in nitrogen increase
the feed strength or frequency and look for good colour on new growth
as older leaves may never fully recover.
Signs of Overfeeding
Very dark green foliage or leaves that twist, spiral or fold in
on themselves are a sign of overfeeding. If continued plants begin
to wilt and die as they loose water to the salty nutrient. Remedy
by flushing the plants growing medium with lots of plain pH balanced
water. Test the water after it has been through the medium and continue
flushing until TDS levels are acceptable. Begin feeding again only
when healthy new growth appears using a reduced strength or frequency
Whatever nutrient you use you should always stop feeding at least
10 days before harvest. Only give plants pH balanced water from
then on. Doing this will help "flush" the nutrients out
the plant and produce better tasting and better burning buds.