If you are a newbie cannabis grower, you’ll most likely look for information on how to grow weed online. And you’ll most certainly get distracted by all the different options that are available.
Some of you will enthusiastically purchase everything that the other growers suggest, instead of thinking twice. We’ve all been there, throwing money on unnecessary things just because we are so excited at the beginning.
To help you with that, today we’ll focus on nutrients and help you understand their importance in growing weed. After reading this article you’ll be able to figure out exactly what you need, and which nutrients can give you the best results.
Let’s start with the most important thing — the difference between nutrients and supplements.
The plant needs nutrients from the very start of its life. Later on, if you notice that it’s missing something, you will include supplements. In most cases, you won’t even need them.
If you provide your plant the right nutrients, it will grow healthy without any additional “food”.
Main Weed Nutrients
The main elements a cannabis plant needs are macronutrients. They can be mineral and non-mineral. Mineral are derived from the soil, and non-mineral are derived from water and air.
|Mineral macronutrients||Non-mineral macronutrients|
Let’s start with the mineral ones, because that’s what your plant needs the most.
Each mineral nutrient provides certain benefits. While the plant is in development, it needs a lot of nitrogen. This is one of the most essential nutrients since it enables plants to turn heat from the sun into energy.
Without nitrogen, and essentially the energy, the plant wouldn’t be able to develop properly. Apart from that, nitrogen contains amino acids that help cannabis stay strong and multiply.
The next key ingredient is phosphorus. This one has an impact on developing buds, and your plant will need it in later development stages. Without it, cannabis won’t develop roots and therefore it won’t grow and produce flowers.
You will easily notice if your plant is lacking phosphorus. A purple shade will appear on its leaves, which is a clear sign you need to add this nutrient.
This nutrient affects your plant in all stages of development since it regulates the system, allows it to grow unhindered and keeps it healthy.
The way potassium does that is very simple. It regulates the amount of water and salt inside the plant. Without it, the plant would be weak and without energy, which means it wouldn’t be capable of growing.
These three nutrients combined make the most nutritious food for the cannabis plant. If you want to keep it healthy, you will need to use them in the right amounts. Therefore, there is one thing you should always be aware of:
The Proper Ratio
If you look at the bottles of cannabis nutrients, you will realise that most of them are marked with three numbered signs. That is the nutrient ratio inside the bottle.
The ratio is always described in N-P-K order which stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. So, if you see the number 2-1-3, it means that number two is the level of nitrogen, number one is for phosphorus and number three is for potassium.
Each bottle will contain a different ratio, so you have to be careful about that. Different stages of plant development require different percentages of nutrients.
For example, if you have a plant in the vegetative or early flowering stage, you need to find something that has a high level of nitrogen, medium level of phosphorus and high level of potassium.
If, on the other hand, your plant is in a flowering stage, you need to lower the nitrogen, add more phosphorus and keep potassium high.
Nutrients We Recommend
- Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio — These products have very affordable prices, and they certainly don’t lack quality. As the name says, the set includes everything you need for all stages of your plant’s growth. It simplifies the process, so even if this is your first time growing cannabis, you will be able to do it all by yourself. There is one thing to keep in mind; these nutrients are designed for soil.
- The General Organics Go Box — Once more, you will get all you need in one box so you’re all set with nutrients until your plant grows big. There are eight bottles in each pack, and the best thing is, they have a return policy if you are not satisfied. They have an option for both soil and hydroponic nutrients so you can choose according to your needs.
- Technaflora Recipe for Success Starter Kit — This is the ideal solution for beginners. It contains everything you could possibly need, plus the detailed explanation for mixing, growing, etc. There is also a great illustration that will explain to you how to use the nutrients successfully.
What Is the Difference Between All These Products?
The main difference between nutrient bottles you can find in shops is the proportion of ingredients, which we explained above.
Another difference is the ingredients. If you see two bottles that contain the same proportion of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will do the same job. Why is that?
Well, depending on the producer, some of them will add more magnesium and others will add more calcium. You should be looking at the whole ingredient list and not only those three main components.
Keep in mind that the ingredients list is never random. The producers are obligated to list them from highest to the lowest level. That’s how you will know the amount and choose the one that will fit your plants’ needs.
One last thing you need to look at is the compatibility with your growing medium. You need to match it with soil or hydroponic nutrients, so be careful about that one. For example, if you are growing your plant in coco coir or clay pebbles this means you will have to choose hydroponic nutrients that are designed for that.
How to Choose the Best One?
In most cases, manufacturers will mark their products depending on the stage of the plant’s growth to help consumers as much as they can. This means you will undoubtedly recognize which nutrient combination you need, since the bottle will be labeled with “grow,” “bloom,” etc.
So, if you don’t want to buy the whole pack that includes “food” for all stages, it won’t be hard to choose what you need at the moment.
Another advice we’d like to give you is to look for nutrients that come in two separate bottles.
They are more effective when you mix them and not when they are already mixed in one bottle.
You’ll have to be careful about the amount of water you add, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After you mix it a few times, you will learn what the right dosage is.
As you can see, cannabis doesn’t require a lot of attention and nutrients. There are a couple of things you need to learn before you hop on that growing train, but once you master them, you will be able to provide your plant with nothing but the best.
Karen Nielsen April 23, 2020 at 8:12 pm
What about good old organic compost?
Sallyadrian July 6, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Newbie here. How do I tell between growing and flowering?