For a novice grower like you, choosing the best nutrients for indoor cannabis can be extremely daunting. Thus, you may end up spending more money than you need to. With several choices to choose from, you can quickly get overwhelmed.
But, when you know even a little about the nutritional requirements of nutrients for indoor cannabis and how it absorbs and uses the provided nutrients, you can instantly choose the right products without spending more.
Which Nutrients Does a Marijuana Plant Need?
According to Leafly.com, a marijuana plant needs a major group of elements called macronutrients. Here are the best nutrients for indoor cannabis that your plant should receive on a regular basis:
The Big Three: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium
When cultivating marijuana, there are 3 major indoor cannabis nutrients to consider: the NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. People often call this cannabis nutrients mix as NPK with the “K” for potassium’s elemental symbol.
At various stages in the plant’s life, it will need various levels of every nutrients for indoor weed. For example, in the first growth stage, a marijuana plant thrives with increased amounts of nitrogen. Upon entering the flowering stage, the plant will need more potassium but less nitrogen.
It’s the most crucial best nutrients for indoor weed as it uses nitrogen to produce chlorophyll. A plant that is not getting enough nitrogen is hungry. When you cultivate the marijuana plants in nitrogen-deficient soil, your shrub will become anemic and underwhelming.
Phosphorus is the 2nd key indoor cannabis nutrients that your growing plant needs. Phosphorus promotes strong root development which is crucial to your plant’s general health.
If the soil you use in cultivating cannabis is rich in phosphorus, your plant will thrive faster and produce bigger buds. A plant with insufficient phosphorus will start to grow small leaves, underdeveloped roots, discolored and lower yields.
Potassium is the last of the 3 key soil cannabis nutrients. It’s a crucial element in your plant’s metabolism. Potassium facilitates photosynthesis, aids in amino acid and protein synthesis, and sustains plant health in times of drought.
If a marijuana plant is getting insufficient potassium, it will have drooping and shriveled leaves. Potassium is crucial in the development of new plant structure and leaves.
Thus, a plant that lacks potassium will thrive poorly and generate small and loose buds. But a plant that receives too much potassium prevents the uptake of other key nutrients, causing deficiencies in other areas.
Calcium is critical to your harvest’s good growth. It simplifies the absorption of other soil nutrients, preserves cell formation, and helps in photosynthesis. Thus, calcium deficiency can negatively affect the development of your plant.
Also, thus, nutrient controls the plant hormones and their actions. These hormones are responsible for the germination and growth process. They also stimulate the separation of those enzymes which provides your plant the protection it needs against sudden temperature changes called thermal stress.
Magnesium is also the best nutrients for indoor weed needs. When your plant is magnesium-deficient, the color of its leaves and veins will change from dark green to light green or yellow. It’s among the classic symptoms of marijuana magnesium deficiency.
What are the Ways to Use the Best Nutrients for Indoor Cannabis?
Many marijuana cultivators often more soil cannabis nutrients into their mix, which may give a different result. In usual circumstances, the plant’s chemical components are from the soil, air, and water to thrive naturally.
The Natural Step
Generally, a cannabis grower wonders if he can put more nutrients to get a better result from every plant. Perhaps, he’s willing to spend more money to have advanced nutrients. But there is no assurance to get the best results.
The Simple Method
In cultivating marijuana, you must enjoy the easiest way: to grow your plant in the soil. In doing so, avoid feeding errors because of the defending action that is present between the roots and the chemicals you use. Some cultivators out there put too many nutrients in their plants which lessens their chances to succeed.
The NPK Elements
A cannabis plant needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow. You must give them to your plant at once for faster, proper absorption. Many organic fertilizers contain these three elements but in more complex and natural molecular forms.
Each stage of marijuana plant development and life requires different types of nutrients for indoor weed. When the soil is healthy and rich, you don’t need to add some nutrients throughout the seedling stage.
Ensure that your pots are big enough to provide enough space for the growing roots and moisture for the soil. If you want to use a potent fertilizer, be sure you limit every dose you give.
Giving too many nutrients is as dangerous as giving fewer nutrients to your cannabis plant. Nutrient burn is a big issue, so learning how to feed your cannabis plant is very important.
What is Nutrient Burn?
Experienced growers sometimes call it the “novices lament.” Nutrient burn is the result of overfeeding your plant and mixing the nutrients too powerfully.
Causes of Nutrient Burn
- Mixing too much soil nutrients than the suggested amounts throughout the growing phase.
- Overwatering. A cannabis plant needs a dry period, so it can work appropriately and access carbon and oxygen.
- Using a bloom booster regularly or in extremely high concentration.
- Using growth stimulants regularly which may cause dwarfism or burning as a result of too much nutrient uptake.
How to Identify Nutrient Burn?
Nitrogen is a predominant compound that exists in marijuana nutrients, particularly throughout the vegetative stage. Nitrogen toxicity will occur after some more serious symptoms. The following are the signs of nutrient formation which will appear before burning occurs:
- Extremely dark green leaves
- Bright day-glow green tips
- Bent leaf tips
- Deep magenta, red, or purple branches and stalks
- Yellow calyx tips
Other signs of cannabis nutrients burn include the yellow and burnt tips of the leaves. Tiny, burnt ends are common, so you should not worry about them. When the yellowing of the tips of leaves intensifies or advances, you should do something about it now.
How to Resolve Nutrient Burn?
If you suspect nutrient burn, remove the damaged leaves and other parts of your plant. Break off those damaged leaves. Look for the calyx clusters on the branches and cut the whole Florette.
Dead leaves and flowers will rot. Quickly cleanse your growing medium using clean and pH balanced water. If you have been growing your plant with a reservoir, gauge the contents with an EC/pH meter and change with clean and freshwater.
Before you go back to the usual feeding time, use a specialized plant tonic to make the plant healthier once again. The root biosphere and the green portions of your plants will be in danger. Energize your plant with a mix of fulvic and humic acids, silver nitrate, vitamins, minerals, and other essential elements to restore your damaged plant to health.
When you go back to regular nursing, use ¾ strength to prevent nutrient burning. This way, your plant will quickly recover, regaining its vigor, health, and vitality.
Don’t forget to adjust the growing time to let the plant regain those times it lost for being ill. Add extra time to its vegetation photoperiod because it’s safe for a cannabis plant. If nutrient burning occurred during the flowering phase or if your plant is an autoflowering strain, don’t force the plant to yield more.
How to Prevent Nutrient Burn?
Prevention is the best action if you encounter nutrient burn. It is best to adopt good habits which will help you prevent making the same mistakes again. Make sure you use the right nutrients at the right dose and right timing.
Also, it is best to use just ¾ of the suggested dose on the product packaging. At times, manufacturers’ suggestions can go wrong, which makes errors more possible to happen.
Don’t forget to use an EC/pH meter. This tool will help you check the nutrient strength from time to time, whether you mix the nutrients by hand or in a hydro reservoir.
Also, make sure you flush your hydroponic system, growing medium, or soil to prevent the nutrients from building up within the roots. When you measure the nutrients, always use a good measuring device with a set capacity. When the blend is 10ml/liter, you can use a 10ml kitchen-form measuring spoon. Avoid human error as much as possible.
Growing cannabis in organic soil is beneficial. One of its benefits is that organic soil gives a buffer area of organisms present in the roots. A cannabis plant that grew in the soil is more resilient to various stressors like overfeeding.
Healthy organic soil doesn’t need nutrients for the whole growing cycle, which prevents nutrient burn. Nutrient burn is a cumulative issue or an overnight nightmare, depending on how much excess nutrients you gave to your plant.
Early detection and problem-solving will save your plant and its yield. avoid freaking out when your plant gets burnt. Instead, follow the tips provided above to regain your plant’s vitality and health.