If you are a novice grower you might be asking yourself just how much water is enough for cannabis plants?
While there are no hard and fast rules there are some good pointers that should guide your decision when watering cannabis plants. The watering needs of cannabis plants are affected by factors such as geographical location and the stage of growth of the plants. While a plant in northern Europe might need a liter of water every day, a similar plant in Spain might need three times as much water.
The nature of the soil also determines the watering needs of cannabis plants. Sandy soils are quick to drain out water and will require frequent watering. Clay soils on the other hand have poor drainage and are easy to overwater. Loam soils have the perfect drainage system.
This may all sound confusing, right?
It actually isn’t. Learning how to assess the watering needs of your plants is the best way to determine how much water is needed by your cannabis plants.
As much as cannabis plants require water to survive, they require it in moderation. Just like with everything else in life, too much water is not good for them. Needless to say, too little is not good either. This means that there is a sweet spot as far as watering cannabis plants goes. This three minute read will show you how to strike a balance.
Just How Much Water is Necessary for Cannabis Plants?
Overwatering and under watering cannabis will make the plants sick and may even cause them to die. This does not only apply to water alone but to nutrients, light, and humidity as well.
Many novice cannabis growers make the assumption that watering their cannabis twice daily is all it takes. This is not entirely true. On the contrary, you need to assess how much water is required by your plants at any given time and offer the amount that is needed without underwatering or overwatering them. While too much water will obstruct airflow in the roots, too little will cause the plant to wilt and die.
Marijuana plants require enough water to facilitate the absorption of nutrients from the soil for the process of photosynthesis. This is influenced by the rate of absorption from the soil as well as the rate of transpiration from the leaves. It is estimated that about 95% of water that is taken up from the roots is lost through transpiration. Only 5% is available for growth and metabolism. Because it is difficult to tell the exact amount of water that is required by the plants, you can look out for the symptoms of overwatering and underwatering to guide you to that sweet spot of adequate watering.
Overwatering Your Cannabis Plants
Novices are more likely to fall into the trap of overwatering cannabis in a bid to prevent the plants from drying out. What many don’t know is that too much water is likely to drown the roots and hinder oxygen flow and nutrient uptake. Here are a few signs that will show you that your plants are overwatered:
- Drooping leaves: The leaves will appear curled, firm, and drooping
- Halted growth: Overwatered plants will stop to grow after some time because the roots can no longer take up oxygen from the soil
- Yellowing of leaves: This occurs due to nutrient loss since the roots can no longer absorb nutrients from the soil
The trick is to avoid overwatering and make sure that it does not occur. To do this, you need to water the plants only when the top layer of the soil is dry. Insert your finger half an inch deep into the soil. If it feels moist but not wet it is time to water again. Also, ensure that each plant has sufficient drainage so that the water is not accumulating at the bottom of the container and drowning the roots. The bottom soil should always be moist but not soaked.
Underwatering Your Cannabis Plants
When cannabis plants are underwatered they will wilt and begin to die. This is because there is no water available to transport nutrients that are required for photosynthesis. Here are some signs that will show you that your plants are craving for some water.
- Fragile, brittle, and papery leaves
- Dry and crispy soil
- Stunted growth
As with overwatering, the trick is to ensure that your plants do not get to display symptoms of underwatering. Always check the soil to ensure that it is most at all times; not dry and not wet. Avoid using small pots to grow your plants as this will limit the uptake of water from the soil (narrow root system).
Keep the soil in check at all times; do not wait to see the plants displaying symptoms of overwatering or underwatering.
In summary, cannabis plants require sufficient amount of water to survive and thrive. The amount of water they need varies depending on the climatic conditions, type of soil or growth medium, stage of growth, and the condition of the soil.
As a cannabis grower you need to observe your plants keenly and replenish their supply of water before they strat to display thirst symptoms. It is a fine balance that one needs to strike between overwatering and underwatering cannabis plants. But that is what guides how much water is sufficient for cannabis plants.