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We’ve assembled an in-depth grower’s guide on the best marijuana nutrients to buy. If you’re a first-time grower, this blog post breaks down the role nutrients play during the plant’s life stages and which ones are necessary during a specific growth phase.
We’ll teach you what nutrients to buy for soil-based organic or hydroponic growing environments and which brands to trust.
Macro and Micronutrients
Marijuana plants depend on a set of essential elements in varying amounts. Nutrients needed in large amounts are called macronutrients, while micronutrients are needed in small amounts. Feeding your plant the right amount of nutrients at the right time prevents any deficiencies.
Nitrogen is a critical macronutrient during the growing stage, especially the vegetative stage. Nitrogen enables chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy, build proteins, and produce nucleic acid used by plant cells to replicate.
Phosphorus is another essential macronutrient that can help during the root formation to absorb all the necessary nutrients. Healthy roots are the foundation of strong cannabis stems, bud formation, and yield.
Potassium is known to aid in a plant’s water absorption. Potassium regulates the opening of the stomata, which are responsible for taking in CO2 and expelling water and oxygen. Potassium also helps produce ATP to make energy in the form of glucose for your plant.
If you’re shopping for cannabis nutrient products, you’ll notice every bottle features three numbered signs such as 2-1-6, 5-0-1, 0-5-4, and so on. These numbers are the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, in that order.
It’s important to buy the right NPK ratio for different stages of plant growth. During the vegetative stage, cannabis plants require a higher level of nitrogen. During the flowering phase, marijuana plants will require an increase in phosphorus.
Magnesium is a vital micronutrient needed to help in the absorption of sunlight and the production of glucose needed for energy. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to yellow leaves, stem discoloration, and more.
Calcium is another important micronutrient needed to support a plant’s cell walls. Calcium also aids in photosynthesis and the absorption of other nutrients.
Hydroponic set-ups forgo the use of soil mediums in favor of other substrates like coco coir, rockwool, clay pebbles, or a blend of all. The best marijuana hydroponic nutrients are made specifically for this growing environment.
When buying hydroponic nutrients, make sure the minerals are chelated, which helps in the plant’s absorption of minerals. Bloom solutions contain high phosphorus levels needed to produce top shelf buds. Grow solutions have high nitrogen levels for vegetative growth.
Organic Nutrients For Soil
Soil mediums can be composed of organic material such as compost, worm castings, fish meal, and other natural nutrient sources. Organic fertilizers and nutrients for marijuana create a living soil full of helpful microorganisms. Buy pre-mixed organic marijuana nutrients or make your own nutrient solution.
Cannabis Nutrient Brands
Cannabis nutrients are meant to produce large and potent buds with a pungent aroma and burst of flavors. Marijuana nutrient companies produce nutrient products with different formulas, ingredients, and uses.
Here are a few examples of trusted marijuana nutrient brands:
- General Hydroponics
- Fox Farm
- House & Garden
- General Organics
- Advanced Nutrients
- Humboldt’s Secret
- Roots Organics
- Happy Frog
Monitor pH and EC
Invest in a combination meter to monitor the pH and electrical conductivity (EC) of your grow on a weekly or biweekly status. Monitoring the pH levels in the water source and runoff can unlock your plant’s nutritional absorption potential.
If the pH is too low, micronutrients such as iron and manganese can accumulate in the plant creating toxicity. If the pH is too high, plants can become micronutrient-deficient in boron, iron, and manganese.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Symptoms
When your cannabis plant is not receiving the appropriate amount of nutrients during the right time, it could lead to stress and increase the plant’s vulnerability to pests and mold. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to stunted growth and lower yields.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause marijuana nutrient burn that turns leaves yellow, curling leaves, purple stems, and overall weaker plants. For a full breakdown of the different types of nutritional deficiencies that can affect your plant, check out our blog post on cannabis nutrient disorders.
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Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.