Taking care of your cannabis plants ensures you get the best buds and great quality flowers. If your cannabis plants don’t get the right amount of nutrients, they get stressed and more vulnerable to pathogens, pests, and molds. They may also experience stunted growth, and this will result in poor yields.
Identifying cannabis nutrient deficiencies is easy. The leaves and stems will indicate if the plant needs any nutrients. Some of the symptoms you can expect are discoloration in leaves and stems and curling of the leaves. Here are six ways you can use to ensure your plants get over the nutrient deficiencies stage and thrive fully.
Ensure Your Marijuana Plants Have the Right pH
Cannabis sativa plants can uptake nutrients through their roots only, so the growth medium has the correct pH. Some nutrients won’t be available for the roots to take up if it’s too acidic or alkaline. One factor that leads to pH issues and nutrient lockout is over-fertilizing your plants.
Before you diagnose any nutrient deficiencies in your plant, test the pH of your water. It can vary depending on location, but it should be around 6.0-7.0. Additionally, check the pH of your soil or the growth medium you’re using. The soil should be 5.8 – 6.8. If you’re using a hydroponics system to grow your cannabis, the pH should be around 5.5-6.5. So, if the pH is correct, your plants may not have a nutrient deficiency.
If you suspect that your plants are nutrient deficient due to a pH imbalance, you could try flushing the system with pure pH’d water. This water is the complete opposite of the soil’s pH and balances out any acidity or alkalinity. It will also remove all the nutrient salts that may have inhibited the plant’s ability to take up martinets, such as magnesium and calcium, effectively.
Remedy Nutrient Deficiencies with Supplements, Not Fertilizers
Base fertilizers not only have the key macronutrients essential for plant development, but they also have a variety of micronutrients that your plants need in very small quantities and are very critical. Base fertilizers are more of a holistic feeding program, and it’s challenging to use them when your aim is only to increase a single nutrient without adding more of another critical nutrient.
It’s easier to address any deficiencies with supplements than to raise the base level of the plant nutrients. For instance, calcium deficiencies are more frequent. If you use base fertilizers to raise the level of calcium, you’ll also be bringing in other nutrients such as nitrogen and a whole bunch of micronutrients. You will remedy the calcium deficiency, but you’ll also add unnecessary nutrients that may cause toxicity, which is counter-intuitive. Adding in a calcium supplement makes more sense.
A Combination Of Supplements And Base Fertilizers May Help Sometimes.
Twenty years ago, nutrient programs were complex and often involved fertilizers with more than ten parts. Now, it’s much simpler for growers to grow their cannabis plants’ nutrients. Cannabis plants have different growth stages, and at each stage, the plant needs varied nutrients in different proportions to grow and mature fully. Giving the plants the proper nutrients at the right stage will grow stronger and produce higher yields.
For example, during the seedling stage, the plant will need high phosphorus to allow the roots to set. During its vegetative stage, it will need iron and nitrogen to allow lots of leaves to grow. When it begins to flower, it will require calcium, sulfur, potassium, and less nitrogen for the flowers to set in abundance and be of high quality.
A bespoke base fertilizer program for the cannabis plants at the growth stage is a good start initially. Supplementing throughout the growth process to harvest ensures the highest quality plants at yield.
Check Your Water Supply before Applying Supplements
In most cases, the common deficiencies in cannabis plants are magnesium and calcium. This is because most base fertilizers don’t have enough of either supplement. If you’re irrigating your crop with soft water or using a reverse osmosis system, supplementing calcium and magnesium is highly recommended.
However, for growers using hard water, there won’t be a need to supplement these two nutrients because hard water has tons of magnesium and calcium. If you supplement these nutrients, you’ll most likely be overloading your plants.
6. Use Silicon As An “Insurance Policy.”
Silicon is more of a beneficial nutrient than an essential one. Your plants can grow without it. However, you should consider supplementing your corps with silicon throughout the lifecycle of your plants.
Silicone offers various benefits, such as an improvement in plant vigor and protection of environmental stressors. Applying silicone once is not beneficial to the plant because it’s not translocated within the plants, and new tissues won’t get their many advantages.
Silicon ensures your plants are stronger because it is deposited on the plant’s epidermis. The branches will not break as easily. It acts as an insurance policy in that it gives your plants more time to react if something unfavorable happens.
If you manage to fully resolve all the nutrient deficiency issues of your cannabis plants, you’ll notice the discoloration and yellowing going away almost instantly. You have to ensure the nutrient deficiency issues are not spreading to other plants, which may be caused by competition for the limiting nutrient.