Marijuana Homemade Fertilizers, Easy and Simple
Natural home-made fertilizers
Cannabis, like any other plant, may also need extra help for better growth.
There are natural fertilizers that you can make yourself in a simple way.
Most plants can use a fertilizer or organic substrates to help them grow healthy, vigorous and full of vitality. Natural fertilizers have been used for centuries and have served to obtain abundant, disease-free crops with spectacular growth as they provide the plant with all the minerals and organic compounds it needs to grow healthy and strong.
Here we show you some of the best known and best results give for the crop of our beloved plant. 😉
However, if you prefer to use fertilizers available on the market, remember that in our “Fertilizers and Stimulants” section you can find them at the best price.
Coffee grounds, excellent fertilizer for the growth phase.
A fertilizer for the growth phase
The use of coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer has long been well known, and it is also one of the most commonly used homemade marijuana fertilizers.
Coffee grounds are acidic and favour the development of acetic bacteria in the substrate, containing about 2% nitrogen and other organic nutrients.
A good way to prepare a good cannabis fertilizer is to add the coffee grounds to your composting tank or composter, or to mix with the substrate at a proportion of 2 grams of coffee grounds for each liter of soil approximately, but you must control the pH well since they can make the substrate too acidic, try to keep it between 6 and 6.5 so that there are no problems. If you mix the coffee grounds with other homemade fertilizers, try not to exceed 20% in order not to decompensate.
Another way to use coffee is to dilute the coffee ground from the coffee machine in one liter of water, and let the mixture stand for 24 hours. After this time we already have a good dose of fertilizer for our plants. In this case, we do not use the sediment directly as fertilizer, but the mother water (water in contact with the unsoluble coffe ground) derived from the digestion of the sediment (sedimented coffee).
Wood ash, very effective in preventing pests.
Fertilizer for the final flowering phase
Always using wood from broadleaves trees; it’s another good natural fertilizer for marijuana. We can get the wood ashes from a barbecue made with logs or from a chimney in which we use only wood. The result of the wood combustion is a substance rich in potassium and phosphorus (10% in the form of potassium oxide), so we have a mineral fertilizer suitable for the final flowering phase, used individually or combined with some resin enhancer.
One way to prepare ash for fertilization is to collect it shortly after the wood has burned and store it in a dry place. It is best to apply it mixed with other organic substrates since it is almost exclusively mineral residue. A good mixture can contain from 1 to 2 grams of ash for each liter of substrate at most, which will provide food for your plants and are also very effective in preventing pests. Don’t overdo it by adding ashes because they raise the PH of the substrate and can make it very alkaline.
And now you may irrigate your cannabis plants in flowering phase with the nutrient solution. Another of the most useful homemade fertilizers for your collection.
Banana tea provides amino acids assimilated by the plant
Full cycle flowering fertilizer
This fruit is known for being one of the most potassium-rich natural products. Potassium is a key element, which is used in all stages of cannabis plant development, and is also one of the three main macronutrients component of NPK (you can see it on the label), which we can all see in regular commercial fertilizers.
Potassium helps the plant assimilate sugars, starches and carbohydrates in general, which is why it is so essential for the plant’s flowering, as it helps to increase energy reserves and the construction of complex carbohydrates that give structure to leaves, stems and buds.
Potassium is also essential because it is associated with the biosynthesis of proteins related to terpenes, the absorption of water by the roots and the regulation of the stomata cell guards for its opening and closing.
In addition to this essential element, banana tea also provides amino acids assimilated by the plant so that we can say that it is an organic-mineral fertilizer.
This tea is applied during the last six weeks of flowering. With this you will get up to 20% more fattening in your buds. It is a kind of PK that we use to make the flowers gain weight, density and hardness, since the dry skins of the bananas basically contain these elements:
- Phosphorus…………………… 3.25%
- Potassium…………………… 45%
A good fertilizer for marijuana, without a doubt, one of the best.
Nettle tea is a product that provides insect repellent plant active ingredients.
Fertilizer of foliar application and preventive insecticide
Nettle tea (urtica urens) rather than a fertilizer is a product that provides active plant principles of repellent activity on insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mites, but can also be considered fertilizer because of its high content in organic nitrogen and mineral components.
Its application is mainly foliar, although it can also be used in irrigation, and it is very easy to prepare since we only have to follow the same steps as in the banana tea preparation.
It has a strong and characteristic smell, there are even brands of biocides/fertilizers that commercialize this kind of preparations or fertilizers for cannabis like Agrobeta or General Hydroponics, even labeled as deficiency correctors. You can find it under the name of Nettle Purine, and its composition is based mainly on Nitrogen and Iron:
It’s a great product that enters us into organic farming as good natural fertilizers that they are.
Brewer’s yeast, rich in minerals, amino acids and proteins
Brewer’s yeast has normally been promoted as an excellent food for human use, but due to its wealth of minerals, amino acids and proteins it has been proposed as an excellent organic-mineral fertilizer, qualified also as a good natural fertilizer for plants.
How to use it to make organic compost for marijuana plants?
The preparation that we can make to fertilize consists of a small spoonful of beer yeast dissolved in a liter of water, we will obtain another good fertilizer, in this case for flowering of cannabis, since it is very rich in phosphorus and potassium. Prepare only the mixture that you are going to use in that moment, calculate the amount of water that you need to water, add a spoonful of beer yeast for each liter of water (teaspoon) stir well the mixture and water slowly until you see that it begins to drain water by the bottom of the flowerpots.
Due to its high content of other minerals and organic compounds we can consider this fertilizer as a multipurpose one for the whole plant cycle.
If you use it you will notice the difference!
Egg shell, calcium deficiency correcting fertilizer
Calcium deficiency correcting fertilizer
An excellent calcium corrector that we can use in our preparations with cannabis fertilizers are the homemade fertilizers based on eggshells. This type of fertilizer is used to offer an extra contribution of calcium to our cannabis plant, but in addition it is source of other elements, check out what a good distribution it has by each 100 grams of eggshell:
- Calcium ……………….. 380mg
- Magnesium …………. 375mg
- Phosphorus ……………. 99,3mg
- Potassium ……………. 41,6mg
- Iron ……………….. 0,5mg
It is prepared by crushing in a mortar or grinding 6 egg shells (try to leave the internal white membrane that remains stuck in the shell to take advantage of all the nutrients) and once they are reduced to their minimum expression they have to be boiled. To do this we put a pot with 2 liters of water on the fire, we add the crushed shells and a spoonful of Epson Salts, about 15 grams, and when the water starts to boil we wait 5 minutes while we stir the mixture.
After that time we remove the pot from the fire and cover it with a cloth for about 24 hours so that all the nutrients are released and remain in the water. Later we filter the water with the help of a kitchen strainer, and we already have prepared our homemade egg-shell based fertilizer for our cannabis plants, which can be applied directly, although it is advisable to always adjust the PH.
The ideal option is to use it as soon as possible, as it happens with all the homemade fertilizers, but if you keep it in a dark, fresh and dry place it can last up to 3 months.
Calcium deficiency is not very common in marijuana, since it is a very common component in irrigation water that is not distilled or osmotized, but bear in mind that the marijuana plant requires almost as much calcium as nitrogen, and that is why many commercial brands of fertilizers for hydroponics incorporate it in their formulas.
Mix the resulting nutrient solution with some fertilizer rich in nitrogen for the growth phase, or phosphorus and potassium for the flowering phase, although you can use it as calcium corrector directly as long as you take into account the pH value.
Animal faeces, one of the most universal fertilizers for marijuana
Full cycle fertilizer
Although it may not seem too pleasant, animal faeces are one of the most universal fertilizers for marijuana. It is a high-quality organic fertilizer. In order to use this type of homemade fertilizer for plants, it is necessary to collect the dried animal faeces from species such as sheep, goat, horse, rabbit, and cow, some bird species are also suitable, including the famous Guano, which is obtained from bats.
Before using this type of fertilizer you should know that some have to be composted for two months or more before adding it to your garden substrate, since the composting process kills the undergrowth seeds and transforms the nutrients into more useful forms for the plant. I explain below the differences between different types of home fertilizers made from manure and their doses:
- Cow manure: In conventional agriculture they do not wait for it to ferment, but they apply it far from the plants so as not to burn them, although it is not a very strong fertilizer. It is also used to heat the soil in cold areas, and is normally mixed at a rate of 1 to 5 kilos per m2 of soil.
- Rabbit manure: In this case it is essential to expose the rabbit faeces to the sun for several months as it is quite acidic and strong when fresh. In this case it is mixed between 100 and 400 grams per m2, you know that it is better to run a little short than to overdo it.
- Horse manure: It is necessary to leave it in the sun until it stops smelling, although it must be said that it is not very rich in nutrients. It can be added with a proportion similar to that of a cow, that is, from 1 to 5 kilos/m2, but the ideal is to apply it together with other fertilizers.
- Sheep or goat manure: It is the best because of the distribution of nutrients it contains, and it is much more powerful than cow or horse manure, so generally less quantity is needed, but you can add from 500 grams to 2 kilos/m2.
- Chicken manure: It is very acidic, even more so than rabbit manure, and it is not very rich in nutrients, except for the Calcium, which it contains in quantity, something that must be taken into account, since it should not be applied to basic or calcareous soils. The recommended dose is from 50 to 300 grams/m2 of soil.
Lentils or bean tea
Lentils or bean tea, root stimulants rich in auxins
Root stimulants rich in auxins
Auxins represent a very important group of phytohormones that regulate plant growth and phototropism (movement of leaves and stems in search of light), causing the branches to grow vertically by elongation of plant cells.
Auxins have been traditionally used in gel form for root development in cuttings and seedlings, as is the case of Clonex, one of the best known marijuana products, and although it is true that the Auxins work very well in synthetic form, we can also find them in nutrient solutions formed by organic products such as seaweeds, and teas made of seeds rich in auxins, as happens with certain species of beans and other vegetables.
This is one of the best homemade root stimulators that you can make yourself, you only need 100 grams of lentils or beans, 2 saucepans or casseroles, 2 cloths, water and 1 strainer, and the preparation is very simple, I explain it to you in 7 steps so you can understand it better:
- Put the 100 grams of lentils in a saucepan, add 1 liter of water and let it rest for 4 hours
- Place the strainer over the empty bucket and pour the water without the lentils, which we left in the bucket without water, and cover each bucket with a cloth.
- About 24 hours later we remove the clothes and mix the water with the lentils again, wait 15 minutes and repeat step 2.
- 1 day later we mix again the water with the lentils for another 15 minutes, and we have to keep doing this until the lentils germinate and their roots are at least 1 cm.
- Once the lentils have germinated and have a root, they must be crushed and left mixed with water for at least 1 hour to release all the hormones.
- We filter the water one last time and we have our special stimulator for the rooting phase, homemade and cheap.
You can use it directly in watering, and what you have left over remember to store it in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 3 months.
Another eco-friendly homemade cannabis fertilizer at your fingertips!!
And, if after reading all these ideas you don’t dare to make any of them, you will always have to go to your trustable grow shop and purchase a high quality manufactured fertilizer. In PEV Grow Shop we offer you fertilizers with specialization in hydroponic growing, showing a deep-rooted culture in nature and ecology.
One of the most complete fertilizer packs you can find at PEV Grow is the Canna Fertilizer Kit, with which you will have all the nutrients your plants need. This kit has 6 fertilizers that you can use depending on the phase of your plant is either growth or flowering.
Canna Fertilizer Kit
In any case, any brand that you choose, don’t forget to consult the fertilizer schedule charts that the manufacturer recommends, in order to optimize the results of your marijuana crop, either in yield, psychoactivity, aroma and flavor.
With this Canna Fertilizer Kit you will have all the food your plants need to cover the full crop cycle, and of course at the best price on your Grow Shop trusted.
Canna Fertilizer Kit is composed of:
– TERRA VEGA (1 Liter)
– CANNA BOOST (250 ml.)
– RHIZOTONIC (250 ml.)
– CANNAZYM (250 ml.)
– PK 13/14 (1 Liter)
– TERRA FLORES (1 Liter)
We hope you liked this post.
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Find out how to make your own fertilizers for marijuana ✅ Create your homemade fertilizers with organic products ⭐ 100% NATURAL!
Which Nutrients Are Best For Growing Cannabis?
Table of Contents
What’s the difference between nutrients?
If you’ve decided to start growing cannabis for the first time, trying to figure out the best nutrients for your setup can be very confusing. There are many nutrient companies, and each company creates multiple lines of nutrients and supplements for different purposes.
The abundance of cannabis nutrient options can be overwhelming
As a cannabis grower, your goal is to give your plants the right amount of nutrients at the right time. There are two main life stages for cannabis plants (vegetative stage and flowering stage). Each stage has different nutrient requirements. Luckily, many nutrient companies make great products even though they’re all using different formulas and techniques. Here’s how they differ:
- Nutrient Ratios – Each brand has different nutrient ratios they believe are optimal for each stage of growth.
- Ingredients – There are many different combinations of chemical and organic compounds that can add up to the same nutrient ratios. Each compound reacts differently with each other. This means you can see two nutrient bottles with the exact same NPK ratios on the bottle, but they will provide somewhat different levels of nutrients to your plants. The ingredients determine whether nutrients are considered organic or synthetic.
- Designed for Soil or Hydro – It’s really important to match your growing medium with your nutrients. “Soil” nutrients are different from “Hydroponic” nutrients so make sure you’re getting the right kind! Coco coir is generally considered a type of hydroponics when it comes to nutrients, though there are also nutrients specifically designed for coco coir. Typically, hydroponic nutrients contain everything a plant needs to grow and can be used in any grow medium.
Important Tips on Cannabis Supplements
- Don’t confuse supplements for nutrients. If the NPK ratios printed on the front of the bottle are really low (like 0.2-0.2-0.1) it means that this product is some type of supplement. Base nutrients provide all the necessary NPK and micronutrients for healthy growth, so supplements are not necessary for plants to thrive. Some supplements are helpful, but going overboard may cause unwanted reactions or burn your plant. Do you need supplements to grow great weed?
- Use nutrients and supplements from the same company to minimize unexpected interactions. Combining nutrients and supplements from different companies greatly increases the chance of unhappy plants! It’s also a good idea to only add one new supplement at a time and watch how plants react before adding anything else new or different. If this is your first grow, try to pick just one or two supplements that appeal to you. It’s easy to go overboard. Nutrient companies will happily sell you supplements you don’t actually need.
Now that you understand the basics, are you ready to learn how to figure out the best marijuana nutrients for your setup?
Examples of Good Can nabis Nutrients
Here are several examples of trustworthy nutrient brands that work well for growing cannabis. These nutrients have been extensively tested by real marijuana growers and are known to produce great results!
- General Hydroponics – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics
- Fox Farm – Soil & Coco Coir
- Botanicare – Soil & Hydroponics
- House & Garden – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics (lately it’s been difficult to find certain H&G products online)
- Canna Coco – Coco Coir
- Dyna-Gro – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics
Honorable Mentions – I haven’t tried these nutrient brands yet, but they are popular for growing cannabis
General Hydroponics Flora Trio
General Hydroponics offers a simple duo with one bottle for the vegetative stage, and one bottle for the flowering stage called FloraNova Grow + Bloom. This nutrient system is cheap, simple, and easy with excellent results in soil/coco/hydro. The biggest issue I have with the duo is the liquid is so thick it can be annoying to measure out.
However, their Flora trio is a winner. A tried and true favorite of mine, the Flora trio works very well for growing cannabis. I’ve had great success with it in every grow medium including soil, coco coir, and hydroponics. I used this nutrient system for almost a decade and have always been thrilled with the results. I’ve been testing new nutrient systems so I can report back to our readers like you, but based on my years of success I know you’ll be happy with the Flora trio. Best for…
- Coco Coir
·Soil or Coco Coir
Follow the instructions on the side of the bottle at half-strength for great results in soil or coco. It’s recommended to also use a Cal-Mag supplement if using filtered water, growing in coco, or using and LED grow light (all tend to increase the Cal-Mag needs of your plant). I prefer the GH version called CaliMagic, and use at 1 tsp/gallon.
·Hydroponics / DWC/ Bubbleponics
Use similarly to soil or coco, just make sure to also get Hydroguard to protect your hydroponic roots from root rot.
Check out a few different grow journals featuring the GH Flora trio
Fox Farm Nutrient Trio
The FF trio is a popular nutrient system for cannabis growers that contains a variety of natural sources for nutrients like earthworm castings and bat guano, which cannabis plants thrive on. Fox Farm nutrients contain too much organic matter for DWC/hydro (increasing the chance of root problems), but all that organic matter is great for plants in a hand-watered environment to enhance smell and flavor of your finished product. Best for…
- Coco Coir
Very concentrated, less is more. “Grow Big” & “Tiger Bloom” provide most of the major nutrients your cannabis needs, while “Big Bloom” has many micronutrients and beneficial compounds that help nutrient uptake and root health. This trio works extremely well by itself, just follow the feeding schedule (here’s a PDF, here’s a JPG) from Fox Farms at half-strength to start.
Check out a grow journal using the FF trio for Soil!
Use the “hydro” version of Fox Farms nutrients when growing in coco coir. Two bottles are the same as the soil trio, but the “Grow Big” bottle is formulated slightly differently for a soilless grow. Follow the feeding schedule (here’s a PDF, here’s a JPG) from Fox Farms at half-strength to start. Generally, the Fox Farms nutrient system will prevent Cal-Mag deficiencies, but it’s good to have extra Cal-Mag on hand just in case whenever growing cannabis in coco coir, if using filtered water, or if growing with LED grow lights.
Botanicare is a great company that’s been around for as long as I’ve been growing, and whose supplements I’ve been using for years (specifically, their Hydroguard supplement is the most effective thing I’ve used to prevent root rot in a hydroponic setup). Best for…
·Soil version (Organic)
Use “Grow” in the vegetative stage, and “Bloom” in the flowering stage. Organic. Claims to be usable in hydro, but I’ve only seen growers use it in soil so that’s what I’m recommending it for 🙂
Get the trio: Grow, Bloom, Base (need all 3 bottles for all phases of growth)
The three bottles are all that’s needed to get your plants successfully to harvest time, just follow the feeding schedule from Botanicare [PDF], starting at half the recommended strength. Hydroguard is an important root supplement that will help prevent your plant from getting root rot in a hydroponic reservoir. The KIND series has been highly recommended by several hydro growers I know in real life and they make some very useful supplements.
From a grower: “Botanicare KIND is like the opposite spectrum [of the Botanicare Pure Blend series]. The Base is just Nitrogen and Calcium. Grow and Bloom both have most of the minerals in them, along with things like sea kelp. The Bloom is also 0-6-6. Grow at 2-2-4. So quite literally you can call the shots on Nitrogen and Calcium. That level of control hasn’t been around a great deal in our market. For the savvy grower, this is a pretty nice tool.”
House & Garden – Often difficult to find online!
The House & Garden lineup is an expensive but effective line-up. From a grower: “H&G was started by a top researcher from Canna. They are right outside of Amsterdam and because cannabis is legal there, so both Canna and H&G are able to do R&D using cannabis. I don’t know about Canna, but I know that House and Garden makes all their own nutrients in-house and they work great.”
The biggest downside of House and Garden (besides price) is it’s getting harder to find online. This brand is often best purchased in person at a hydro store. Get a custom nutrient schedule directly from the people at House & Garden via their free online nutrient calculator.
Name of base nutrients for…
- Soil – Soil A + B
- Coco Coir – Coco A + B
- Hydroponics – Aqua Flakes A + B
- Recommended supplements: Roots Excelurator, Algen Extract,Bud XL, and shooting powder
This plant was grown using the House & Garden Line-up (A+B as base nutrients, plus the supplements Roots Excelurator, Algen Extract, Bud XL, and shooting powder)
Canna Coco is a very popular company for pot growers. Their nutrients have been specifically designed to grow cannabis in coco coir (as you may be able to tell from the name).
- Best for Coco Coir
This combo is a crowd favorite – many coco coir growers write in to tell us this is their favorite cannabis nutrient for growing in coco coir. Get a custom nutrient schedule from Canna or use this pre-made one [JPG].
From a grower: “Canna is a Dutch company and one of the best IMO. They make a great product line for growing in coco coir and test their products on real cannabis plants.”
Another grower said, “Canna products are one of the only nutrient lines to be developed primarily for cannabis (and tested on live plants). They’ve been doing so for almost 30 years. Cost is a little higher than competitors but worth every penny.”
A different grower added, “Canna – I have only used their coco line, but it is the highest quality you will find.”
Originally designed for orchids, Dyna-Gro nutrients have proven to work exceptionally well for cannabis plants. If you want professional results without spending a ton of money or having to mix multiple bottles together, this combo give your plants everything they need from seed to harvest. Dyna-Gro nutrients are suitable for any growing medium including soil, coco, or hydro.
- Best for Soil, Coco or Hydroponics
Dyna-Gro Grow + Bloom – Use “Grow” in the vegetative stage and “Bloom” in the flowering stage.
Dyna-Gro Grow + Bloom is my recommended nutrient system for newbies. One bottle for veg, one for bloom. Super simple!
One Last Tip…
When using a complete nutrient system like the ones listed above, always start at half the recommended strength by the manufacturer, and only increase nutrient levels if your plant is getting pale. If you’re giving too low levels of nutrients, the entire plant will start to appear overall pale or lime green. If you have a different nutrient deficiency (diagnose your plant here), chances are it’s caused by incorrect pH, not by too-low levels of nutrients.
It’s a good idea to always start at half the manufacturer’s recommendation ! Most nutrient companies recommend way too much for growing cannabis!
Why not keep adding more and more nutrients? Doesn’t more equal better? No, nutrients are more like a multivitamin than food. After your plant has enough nutrients, adding more gives you diminishing returns, and too much starts causing the following problems.
A cannabis plant turns pale all over (left) when it needs higher levels of nutrients overall. If plant is a healthy green (right), stick to half the recommended dose.
Too high levels of nutrients causes…
- Nutrient burn – nutrient burn causes tips of leaves and edges of buds to appear burned. It isn’t a huge deal but doesn’t look as pretty, especially if it gets bad enough to spread to your buds.
- Random nutrient deficiencies and lockout
- Buds don’t grow as big as they could have in the flowering stage, especially if levels of Nitrogen are too high
- Leaf discoloration may spread to the sugar leaves on the buds (not a big deal, but not pretty either)
Now that you understand everything you need to know about picking the right nutrient system, check out some supplements!
Learn About Cannabis Supplements:
What’s the Best NPK Ratio for Cannabis Nutrients?
For the best results, your cannabis needs the following nutrient ratios…
Where is this information? Most nutrient bottles display 3 numbers, often called N-P-K, which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium
Why “K” for Potassium? The atomic symbol of Potassium is “K” from Neo-Latin kalium.
In other words, you want to use a “Vegetative” (high Nitrogen) or “general purpose” nutrient formula for the first stage of life known as the vegetative stage. If using high-quality soil, you can skip vegetative nutrients for the first 3-4 weeks while your plant uses up the nutrients in the soil, otherwise, you should start with vegetative nutrients around the time your plant opens its first leaves.
Use a “Bloom” (low Nitrogen) nutrient formula with plenty of P & K for the flowering stage. Start using bloom nutrients when buds start forming to make sure your plant gets plenty of Phosphorus & Potassium, which are crucial to bud development.
Phosphorus tends to increase the number of flowers, while Potassium helps increase the bulk/weight of flowers. Be careful, though because going overboard with either one can burn your plants!
The main thing is to avoid giving too much Nitrogen in the flowering stage, as it can discourage bud development and add an unpleasant taste to buds, which is why a general-purpose plant nutrient isn’t a good choice in the flowering stage.
In a pinch, nutrients for Shultz “cactus” or “succulents” can be used in the flowering stage until you get better nutrients because it contains low amounts of N and plenty of P & K.
Note: Don’t use any type of non-organic time-released nutrients (like fertilizer spikes, or “slow-release” Miracle-Gro soil) because they deliver too much N in the flowering stage and may reduce bud growth.
Cannabis needs plenty of P & K to make buds in the flowering stage!
The Best Cannabis Nutrients Aren’t Enough! Check the pH of your water to plants to prevent nutrient deficiencies
It may surprise you that the most common reason growers get nutrient deficiencies is because the pH is too high or too low. This happens even if the right amounts of nutrients are present because your weed simply cannot absorb the nutrients if the pH isn’t in the correct range.
Optimum cannabis pH for..
Soil: 6.0 – 7.0
Coco Coir: 5.5 – 6.5
Hydroponics: 5.5 – 6.5
Checking the pH will make a huge difference to your grow by keeping plants vibrant and healthy. It only takes a few minutes each time you water your plants! If you get a digital pH pen, it only takes seconds to test your pH!
Organic vs Chemical (Synthetic) Nutrients
This is a common question we get at Grow Weed Easy: Are organic nutrients better than chemical nutrients? It’s not a matter of which one is better, because they’re good at different things.
- Bud Smell & Taste – Many growers believe organically grown cannabis will create the most fragrant and “smoothest” buds. Some of the best benefits to smell and taste seem to come from using composted soil that’s been amended with nutrients from natural sources. This creates a living soil with colonies of beneficial microorganisms and is often associated with a bolder taste and smell in buds. However, watering your plants with liquid nutrients that just happen to be organic tends to get results similar to synthetic or mineral-based nutrients. It seems to be the soil that makes the difference when it comes to organic growing.
- More Natural – Especially when growing in a living soil, you’re creating a home for your roots that is as close to nature as possible (only better because you’re making sure your plant gets everything it needs!)
- Not for Hydroponics – Organic nutrients are not the best choice for hydroponic systems because any organic matter can cause unwanted stuff to grow in your reservoir. It’s possible to grow organic hydro but let me just say this: as of yet, I’ve never seen organic hydroponics go well for someone, though I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong 😉
Recommended Organic Nutrients
There used to be a ton of organic soil nutrients in bottles (like the now-discontinued GO Box) but many options have disappeared as growers switch to using amended compost for their organic nutrient needs. Why? The organic nutrients in bottles get similar results to mineral nutrients. The biggest difference in organic growing seems to come from using actual compost and/or amended soil.
- Nature’s Living Soil (super concentrated organic compost nutrient mix) – amend bottom 1/3 of your plant container with this special organic amendment, and plants will be able to slowly use the nutrients “on-demand”. Even if your plants are already growing in soil, you can sprinkle a little of this on top of your soil and water to deliver organic nutrients. Note: smells strongly of manure!
- Dr. Earth Organic Nutrients – dry nutrients
- Vegetative Stage: Homegrown Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer (better) or All-Purpose Fertilizer (good)
- Flowering Stage: Flower Girl Bud & Bloom Fertilizer
- Roots Organics Terp Tea Fertilizer Set (Grow & Bloom) – This dry formula is mixed with aerated water and brewed for 24 hours to create a “tea” for your plants. Can also be used as a top dressing.
Best supplement ingredients for organic growing
- Sea kelp – a source of K, helps plants resist heat and stress
- Leonardite – full of humic acids for happy roots, resist stress
- Protein hydrolysate (contained in many supplements) – helps plants produce big roots and be more resistant towards water stress
- Potassium Sulfate (also called “Sulfate of Potash”) – the sulfur and potassium promote smells and bud development in the flowering stage
My favorite organic supplement contains all of the above: Floralicious Plus
How to Adjust pH in an Organic Soil Grow (regular PH Up and PH Down can harm the natural balance of the soil)
Organic cannabis growing is rewarding!
Chemical Nutrients (including synthetic and mineral-based nutrients)
- Possibly Increased Potency – While organic nutrients may increase the smell and taste of buds, chemical nutrients tend to increase the potency.
- Faster Growth and Bigger Yields – Synthetic nutrients provide nutrients to plants in the most easy-to-absorb forms possible. This results in somewhat faster growth and improved yields since the nutrients don’t need to be broken down in the soil by a colony of microorganisms before they become available to your plant.
- Only Choice for Hydro – These are the best cannabis nutrients for hydroponic systems because they are less likely to cause stuff to grow in the water reservoir. However, chemical nutrients can also be a great choice for soil or coco because of the increased potency and faster growth!
- Easier to Get Nutrient Burn – Although you can give cannabis plants nutrient burn with organic nutrients, it’s much easier to give them nutrient burn with chemical nutrients. This is due to the easily absorbable nature of these nutrients. Synthetic nutrients get taken up by your roots whether the plant needs them or not.
The General Hydroponics Flora trio is a synthetic nutrient that’s so effective it was used by NASA to grow plants in space!
Don’t want to use nutrients at all? Learn how to compost your own super soil (or buy super soil pre-made online)! Super soil compost contains all the nutrients your plant will need from seed to harvest so you just need to add water. As an added bonus, with composted super soil you rarely need to worry about maintaining your pH. Instead, the composting process develops a colony of microorganisms in your soil that will automatically take care of the pH for your plants to an extent (like in nature), while slowly providing nutrients on demand.
Super soil compost has been amended so no additional nutrients are needed. Just add water!
Can I create my own nutrient system?
Creating a nutrient system is more complicated than just adding “Nitrogen,” “Phosphorus” and “Potassium” plus all the various micro-nutrients in certain ratios. There several different chemical compounds that provide each of these nutrients and they’re not all equal.
What's the "best" cannabis nutrient system? There are literally thousands of choices! Learn what to look for and get examples of great marijuana nutrients.