Essential Cannabis Nutrients
Essential Cannabis Nutrients for Growing
Cannabis is the buzzword today, and almost everywhere we look, we discover an exciting fact about the plant.
The medicinal benefits of cannabis, along with the economic and social benefits legalisation, has encouraged many states to decriminalise the plant.
Some states have also taken the step to legalise the plant and drafted laws that dictate cannabis cultivation and sale.
The peaking interest towards this plant directly reflects on the tremendous market boom visible in various regions.
New brands are launching in the arena, and many industries are looking for ways to infuse cannabis into their product ranges to offer users cannabis in various forms.
Apart from dispensaries, where the sale of cannabis products happens today, the products will come to stores, supermarkets following federal legalisation.
The market opportunity for cannabis is escalating at unexpected rates, which means the scope for exploring cannabis cultivation could never be more beneficial than at the moment.
The first steps to cannabis cultivation
The emergence of technology has changed the landscape of agriculture in the past few years. Cannabis is no exception to this trend.
Initial cannabis cultivation entirely depended on natural seeds that produced female and male plants in varying ratios.
Also, these seeds require controlled photo-period exposure for maturity and harvest.
One should start with the basics of when to harvest cannabis. By knowing this, it would be beneficial to apply certain strategies to get the most from their harvest.
Technology helped create feminised seeds that eliminate the male counterparts of the harvest and produce a 100% female harvest.
It ensures the total yield is usable, as male plants are not useful for consumption.
The next variety that emerged is the auto-flowering seeds that almost eliminate the need for any suitable conditions for growth.
The yield is 100% female, and the maturity period is defined, meaning it requires no control over the photo-period. These seeds give multiple yields in a year and make the plant suitable for harvest in almost every region.
The Nuances of Cannabis Nutrients
There are various types of cannabis farming currently happening across the world. In outdoor farming set up, the soil is the medium, and it plays a vital role in connecting the necessary nutrients to the plant, for proper growth and health.
With hydroponic setups, the different mediums and solutions used take-up this responsibility.
In all these cases, a critical point to pay heed to is the type of nutrients to supply to the plant.
Knowledge about which nutrients are necessary for the cannabis plant and how they influence the health and yield can help you choose the right supplements for your farm.
Here are the essential nutrients list for growing the best budget buds:
The nutrient base – NPK
N – Nitrogen
Nitrogen is the primary nutrient responsible for the growth and development of a plant. It is a constituent of chlorophyll component in the plant that helps turn sunlight into energy for growth. It plays a vital role during the vegetative stage of a plant’s life. Nitrogen also forms the building block of the plant, which is the protein, and other essential components such as nucleic acid, DNA, and RNA. In the absence or deficiency of nitrogen, the plant will not be capable of multiplying its cells for growth and development.
K – Potassium
Potassium holds the responsibility of controlling and regulating the various systems in the plant that help in growth. This nutrient controls the opening and closing of stomata that regulates the exchange of oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide. It has a critical role in regulation and energy storage within the plant after photosynthesis in the form of glucose. If insufficient, the plant will die or dry out soon as it cannot control the exchange of gases with the atmosphere.
It is an essential nutrient for the cannabis plant that determines the quality of buds you yield from the harvest. Phosphorous is responsible for producing healthy buds in the plant. It controls the resin formation and plays a vital role during the photosynthesis process. This nutrient needs to be available in the right quantity, especially before the flowering stage of the plant or both growth and maturity will be significantly affected.
When you look for fertilizers, they often only mention the ratio of the primary components, which is NPK. The ratio determines the percentage of each nutrient in the same order, and this helps us evaluate the level of nutrients we are passing to the plant. But remember, most of these fertilisers also include a profile of other nutrients that play individual roles in ensuring the overall health of the plant.
Mg – Magnesium
This nutrient acts as the central molecule within the chlorophyll that is necessary for the formation of glucose. In the absence of magnesium, the plant loses the ability to synthesise glucose during photosynthesis. The leaves of your plant will start turning yellow, and the yield may not be of value to the user.
S – Sulphur
Sulphur helps in the production of vitamins and hormones within the plant. It is critical in the production of terpenoids that are responsible for the characteristics of the cannabis plant like aroma and flavor. The nutrient is essential to store and process energy for the plant in the absence of which the leaves will start to turn yellow.
Ca – Calcium
Calcium forms the basic structure of the cell walls in the plant. Hence the nutrient plays a vital role in the healthy formation of leaves, buds, and other parts of the plant. Calcium deficiency leads to the formation of weak leaves with curl, and stunted growth that will also influence your yield.
Although required in small quantities, zinc regulates the production of chlorophyll in the plant, which has a major role in energy conversion. It is a plant growth regulator, the absence of which can cause withered growing tips and less budding sites in your plant.
Iron is the nutrient that helps the plant withstand environmental factors such as heat, stress, pests, drought, disease, and other such parameters. Hydroponic formulas use ample of this nutrient to develop resistance to these factors. Iron also helps catalyse the metabolic activities within the plant to enable good growth and yield.
Apart from these important nutrients, your cannabis plant will also need traces of Nickel, Manganese, Copper, Boron, Chlorine, and Molybdenum for proper growth.
Pay attention to the pH
Nutrient deficiencies often occur due to the extreme pH value of the water. Test your water to ensure the pH level lies between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimum growth and yield.
In the case of hydroponic farms, the range needs to between 5.5 to 6.5. Inadequate or excess pH levels lead to a deficiency in the absorption of nutrients by the plant, which will affect its health.
Before adding these nutrients to your plants, manage the pH to achieve the best benefits out of these nutrient supplements.