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When to Start Using Fertilizers with Cannabis

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In this article we’re going to talk about when to start using fertilizers with cannabis. People always ask us when they should start using fertilizers on their plants, but honestly it depends on your grow method, the strain and the phase that the plant is in.

Depending on the phase your grow is in your plants are going to need certain nutrients in higher proportions; they need more Nitrogen in growth, and phosphorus and potassium for the flowering period. Cannabis plants absorb large quantities of these nutrients as well as others, so if they don’t get them through irrigation then they’ll probably end up showing deficiencies through stains on the leaves.

To start using nitrogen during the growth phase you’ll need to wait for your little plant to grow the roots out enough so that it becomes slightly stronger. It won’t need much more than some humidity to germinate and grow during the first few days, but once it begins growing aster then you’ll need to start using a growth fertilizer.

You should begin off with small dosages; if your product says 4ml/L for adult plants then you need to start off with 1ml/L, and only begin using it once the leaves on your plant have three points. Once those leaves appear you can start using your growth fertilizer in the irrigation water. Once the plant begins growing more then you should raise the dosage until you reach the maximum milliliters allowed, and always use it with every second watering.

For the rest of the grow, regardless of what products you use, you will need to use them on every second watering or else you’ll burn out the roots. If you notice the plant getting yellow then you can use fertilizers twice in a row, but if it gets a dense dark green color then you’ll need to lay off on the fertilizers for a couple of waterings.

Once the female flowers begin showing then you’ll need to begin using flowering fertilizers. Just like in the growth period, you’ll need to start off little by little until you reach the maximum milliliters stated by the fertilizer manufacturer, alternating between pure water and fertilizers.

Each brand has a different range of products, so depending on the brand you go with you’ll need to use more or less products for both growth and flowering, although in this article we’re just talking about WHEN to use them.

If you buy a product with root stimulants in it then you should use it during the first two growth weeks and for two weeks after every time you transplant. If you have a flowering stimulant then you’ll need to use it once you flip the lights to 12 until the first flowers start appearing.

If your chosen range of liquids has a fattener with a high PK you’ll need to use it during the last phase of the flowering period, the fattening period.

Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy

Today we're going to talk about when to start using fertilizers with cannabis; depending on the phase your plant is in it will need certain nutrients.

Cannabis Nutrients: Why, How, And When To Feed Your Plants

Cannabis plants are sensitive to nutrients, and there’s a fine line between properly feeding your plants and burning them with chemicals. Find out everything you need to know about properly feeding cannabis plants in our guide!

A full rundown on why and how to feed your cannabis plants.

  • 1. Understanding cannabis macro and micronutrients
  • 2. Not all cannabis fertilisers are made equal
  • 3. Nutrient requirements for seedlings, vegging, and flowering weed plants
  • 4. How to read a feed chart: How often should I feed my weed plants?
  • 5. How to prepare cannabis nutrients
  • 6. The importance of PPM, pH, and water temperature
  • 7. Tips for better feeding
  • 8. Recognising cannabis nutrient-related problems
  • 9. Organic vs chemical fertiliser for cannabis
  • 10. Wrapping your head around cannabis nutrients
  • 1. Understanding cannabis macro and micronutrients
  • 2. Not all cannabis fertilisers are made equal
  • 3. Nutrient requirements for seedlings, vegging, and flowering weed plants
  • 4. How to read a feed chart: How often should I feed my weed plants?
  • 5. How to prepare cannabis nutrients
  • 6. The importance of PPM, pH, and water temperature
  • 7. Tips for better feeding
  • 8. Recognising cannabis nutrient-related problems
  • 9. Organic vs chemical fertiliser for cannabis
  • 10. Wrapping your head around cannabis nutrients

All the nutrients needed for cannabis plant development are naturally present in the environment. However, to help your plants develop even faster and produce a better end product, you’ll want to feed them with fertiliser—concentrated nutrients.

Below, you’ll find all the information you need to know about when, how, and how much to feed your cannabis plants.

UNDERSTANDING CANNABIS MACRO AND MICRONUTRIENTS

Cannabis plants require three nutrients in large quantities. These macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), and they form the cornerstone of cannabis plant health. As such, these three nutrients usually feature front and centre on fertiliser products in the form of an NPK ratio. The higher the number for each value, the higher the concentration of that particular nutrient.

However, cannabis needs more than just three nutrients to survive and thrive. It also counts on secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur to play vital roles in plant growth:

  • Calcium is important for cell wall development, can help reduce soil salinity, and improves water penetration when used as a soil amendment.
  • Magnesium plays a key role in photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, and also helps with the stabilisation of plant cell walls.
  • Sulfur is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and the production of proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins, and protects plants against disease.

Beyond this, plants also make use of several other nutrients in small quantities (micronutrients) that are nevertheless extremely important. These include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. While these aren’t the main nutrients plants use for food, they still play very important roles in various aspects of plant health.

NOT ALL CANNABIS FERTILISERS ARE MADE EQUAL

There are many different brands of cannabis nutrients on the market, and they can differ considerably.

Typically, cannabis fertilisers will vary in the four following areas:

  • Nutrient ratio: Different brands use different nutrient ratios they consider optimal.
  • Ingredients: Different fertiliser brands can achieve the same nutrient ratios using completely different ingredients, ranging from the most chemical (or “artificial”) to the most natural.
  • Soil or hydro: Soil nutrients are very different from hydro or soilless nutrient solutions. Make sure you only use fertilisers designed for your growing medium.
  • Supplements: Many fertiliser brands also make “supplements”. These products typically contain low NPK ratios and instead feature other nutrients designed to boost certain aspects of growth. Some supplements, for example, are essentially molasses.

In general, we recommend you focus more on meeting your plants’ demands for macro and secondary nutrients before pumping them full of supplements. Going overboard with nutrients can result in chemical interactions or nutrient burn, which can significantly impact the size and quality of your yield.

Once you’ve nailed feeding your plants with these core nutrients, feel free to move on to a more complex feeding schedule to produce bigger, more potent harvests.

Wondering when and how to feed your cannabis plants? Click here for the ultimate guide to cannabis nutrients and how to use them to produce excellent harvests.