Using Nutrients And Fertilizer To Grow Your Marijuana Plants
Your marijuana plants will grow more effectively if you add the right nutrients and fertilizer to the soil.
Your marijuana plants require food to grow properly. The compounds that you put into the soil during the germination, vegetation, and flowering stages can have a significant impact on the vitality of your plants. Use the wrong ingredients, or create an imbalance of the most important compounds, and your plants will suffer (as will the stone or high they deliver). In this guide, we’ll explain the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients. You’ll also discover the impact of common mistakes, such as using too much phosphorous in the soil.
Learn these letters: N, P, and K. They represent the 3 most important nutrients that your marijuana plants need, and stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. They’re considered macronutrients and are described on fertilizer boxes by their concentration. For example, if you see 10 – 30 – 10 on a box of fertilizer, it means there’s 3 times as much phosphorus as the other 2 macronutrients.
You should use a mixture that has 20 – 20 – 20 on the box during the germination stage. When your marijuana plants reach the vegetation stage, begin using a fertilizer that has a slight boost in nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P). A good choice is 30 – 30 – 10. When your cannabis plants start flowering, use a 20 – 30 – 30 blend.
Micronutrients are just as important to your marijuana plants as macronutrients. They include calcium, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, boron, zinc, and copper. Most fertilizer blends have traces of them mixed in. You won’t normally find deficiencies of most of the micronutrients in your marijuana plants. That said, if you notice a yellowing on the tips of your leaves, that indicates a zinc deficiency. If you notice the tissue between the veins on your leaves, that often suggests your plants aren’t getting enough manganese. The most common deficiency you’ll see is that of iron. It manifests as pale shoots during the flowering stage.
The important thing to remember is that you can use additives in your soil to compensate for deficiencies of any micronutrients.
Using Too Much Phosphorus
A lot of novice growers use fertilizers with too high a concentration of phosphorous when their plants reach the flowering stage. It’s a common mistake. The thought process behind it is that the boost in phosphorous will result in larger plants. But, your marijuana plants consume macronutrients in the same way humans consume vitamin C. They take what they need and get rid of the rest. The problem is that too much phosphorous can starve your cannabis plants of iron and some of the other micronutrients. When that happens, you’ll start seeing the signs of deficiencies we’ve described above. Ultimately, you’ll notice your buds aren’t developing properly.
- Use a 20 – 20 – 20 fertilizer blend during the germination stage.
- Use a 30 – 30 – 10 blend during the vegetation stage.
- Use a 20 – 30 – 30 blend during the flowering stage.
- Watch for signs of micronutrient deficiencies. If you notice them, use additives to compensate.
- Measure the pH of your soil periodically. As long as you keep it between 6.0 and 6.8, you’ll prevent most nutrient deficiencies (or excesses).
- The fertilizer blends we’ve recommended in this guide should be used regardless of the strain you’re growing. It doesn’t matter if you’re growing Skunk Special, Shiva Shanti, or Northern Light marijuana seeds. And of course, if you haven’t purchased your seeds yet, you can buy them at Amsterdam Marijuana Seed Shop.
In our next guide, we’ll be exploring the lighting factors you’ll need to be aware of when growing marijuana.