Lack of nutrition — be it in human beings or in plants — leads to a poorly developed structure. Like other plants, cannabis too requires essential nutrients to grow healthy. In this post, we’ll take a good look at both the macro and micronutrients that your cannabis plant is in dire need of:
All plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) in abundance. Here’s how each of these macro-nutrients affects the plant:
- Nitrogen: Nitrogen promotes the production of chlorophyll and various amino acids, thus it plays a critical role in photosynthesis. If the leaves of your cannabis plant have turned pale yellow, you can fairly assume that your plant is dealing with nitrogen deficiency.
- Phosphorus: A cannabis plant can never be deficient in phosphorus alone. Lack of phosphorus adversely affects the plant’s ability to absorb other nutrients; so, a dearth of phosphorus implies a dearth of other nutrients too. Furthermore, the macronutrient plays a crucial rule in the plant’s metabolism and photosynthesis process. A phosphorus deficiency is usually identified by leaf discoloration from green to a purple-reddish hue.
- Potassium: The presence of adequate potassium ensures that the cannabis plant grows fast, uses water more efficiently and fights disease better. Potassium deficiency is confirmed if you can see yellowish color at the edges of the leaves.
Cannabis plants require the following nutrients, though in lesser quantities:
- Sulfur: Ensures strong roots during the plant’s vegetative state
- Calcium: Like phosphorus, calcium too helps cannabis plant absorb other nutrients
- Magnesium: Helps in the synthesis of chlorophyll
Of course, micronutrients are important, but they aren’t as crucial as NPK. As the name indicates, these nutrients are needed in quite small amounts.
Molybdenum, chlorine, copper, zinc, iron, and manganese are a few micronutrients the deficiency of which may hamper with the growth and overall well-being of the cannabis plant.
While purchasing nutrients from the market, take a close look at the ratio of NPK listed. Remember, the ratio will always be listed in the format- Nitrogen : Phosphorus : Potassium
The ratio 3-1-2 is recommended for cannabis plants during the vegetative state, although people have had success with other ratios as well
Once the plants enter the flowering stage, the levels of phosphorus and potassium are increased while nitrogen is reduced. So, the ideal ratio during this stage is 1-4-5.
Since the secondary nutrients are required in lesser amounts, they are typically easily absorbed from the soil.