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Nutrients You Need for Healthy Cannabis Growth!

Cannabis has prospered and thrived in nature, untreated by human hands, since 2800 BC when its first documented cultivation cases can be traced back to Western China. In the intervening years, since the popularization of cannabis on a widespread scale, cultivation has become both familiar and common with home growers popping up worldwide.

The current cannabis revolution has led many growers to try their hands at crafting beautiful plants from the comfort of home. For individuals looking to enjoy healthy cannabis growth at home, they’ll need to pay close attention to the proper nutritional needs of their plants.

Today, we are going to take a close look at the most important nutrients for proper, healthy, and expedient cannabis cultivation.

Plant Health and You: Understanding Your NPK.

When it comes to the cultivation of cannabis, the plant thrives best when its nutritional needs are met at every level. Many different elements can come into the equation when cultivating a plant, but for our purposes, we are going to be focusing on the primary nutrients and compounds that will make your plant thrive.

Aside from water and sunlight, you’ll want to make sure that you are properly supplying your plant with the following nutrients. These nutrients can be mixed into a water-soluble mixture, they can be added to your soil, or they can be added directly to the reservoir of a hydroponic-based cultivation system.


One of the leading nutrients in successful cannabis cultivation is that of nitrogen. Nitrogen is crucial to cannabis growth because it directly impacts the production of chlorophyll and the process of photosynthesis, two incredibly important actions for the health and vitality of your plant.

The body of your plant itself is made up of nitrogen, so this will be one of the easiest nutrient deficiencies to identify should it become an issue. Regularly amending your soil or water-based growing system with nitrogen can help your plant to both feed and grow itself.

Signs of Deficiency

  • Mature leaves begin to brighten in color, turning yellow.
  • Yellowing throughout the plant coupled with brown spots on leaves.
  • Leaves begin to curl and fall from the plant.

Pro Tip: Growers can find natural sources of nitrogen by opting for supplements like bat guano, worm castings, and even fish meal.


Found within every living plant cell, phosphorus is incredibly vital to the growth of your cannabis and the functionality of its biological response systems. Phosphorus is essential to photosynthesis, nutritional uptake, and a healthy metabolism.

Despite the importance of phosphorus to your plant’s health and vitality, this nutrient isn’t always so readily available. Phosphorus is mined and acquired through phosphate mines limited to just a few countries in the world. With increasing demand and decreasing yield, phosphorus can be difficult to acquire in some instances.

Signs of Deficiency

  • Darkened leaf colors.
  • Slower than normal growth rates.
  • In extreme instances, a lack of phosphorus can put a halt to upward and outward plant growth.
  • Leaves can end up a darkened bronze color.

Pro Tip: Growers can acquire natural phosphorus through bone meal, high phosphorus bat guano, and fish bone meal.


Potassium is the third important macronutrient that we wanted to underscore today, right alongside Nitrogen and Phosphorus for the formulation of your NPK. Potassium is limited within the plant tissue but it does interact with proteins and amino acids, particularly during times of stress and even drought.

Potassium works by improving the structure and strength of the root system while increasing the density and volume of your plant’s buds. With proper levels of potassium during the flowering stage, growers can enjoy a large and vibrant yield.

Signs of Deficiency

  • Dark green leaves with brown and rusty tips.
  • Leaf burn is caused by dehydration and the curling of young leaves.
  • Weakened plants become more at risk of pests and disease.
  • The bottom layer of leaves could be dying.

Pro Tip: Growers looking to supply their plants with additional potassium can do so by amending their systems with greensand, wood ash, sulfate of potash, or compost.


Considered one of the essential macronutrients for the cannabis plant, calcium is required for every phase of growth as it aids nutritional processing, allowing other nutrients to become absorbed easily. Calcium will additionally strengthen the cell walls of the plant while benefiting its overall health, allowing the plant to bounce back from potential diseases, pests, and stresses.

Signs of Deficiency

  • Slow plant growth.
  • Flowering production slows down.
  • Root tips begin to wither and die.
  • Necrotic blotches on leaves become a dark green color.

Pro Tip: While it is easy to find calcium in your soil, you can amend your hydroponic grow set-ups with eggshells, gypsum, and lime to improve your calcium levels.


The second most important macronutrient we will highlight today is magnesium. Magnesium directly impacts the leaves and the ability of your plant to absorb light. If your cannabis plant cannot properly absorb light while creating sugars and carbohydrates, the plant itself will begin to fail.

Signs of Deficiency

  • Only notable after 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Yellow leaves feature brown rust spots.
  • Diminished harvest after a slowed flowering period.
  • Plants will look sick and leaves will begin to curl up before dying and falling.

Pro Tip: You can amend your soil or hydroponic growing systems with dolomite lime and Epsom salt to improve the levels of magnesium in your soil.


When to Feed Your Cannabis Plants Nutrients!

You want to give your cannabis plants everything that they need to thrive, but it can be tough to figure out the right schedule for feeding your plants nutrients. Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about giving your plants the exact nutrients they need to grow and thrive. 

What Do Cannabis Plants Need?

We all know the basics of what plants need to grow–light, carbon dioxide, and water–but plants sometimes also need a supplement of nutrients in addition to what their roots are able to pull from the soil. 

When growing cannabis, you’ll need to consider the specific needs of your plants to decide what nutrients are necessary for optimal growth. You’ll also need to consider the size of your plants, as well as their age. 

Choosing Your Soil

Starting with the right soil is a smart way to help your cannabis plants get off to a healthy start. Research the type of soil that’s best for your cannabis plant strain, but don’t be surprised if you find that you need to make some changes along the way. 

If you decide that you need to switch your plants over to a new soil, it’s smart to wait until it’s time to transplant. This can help your plant adjust, as the old soil will still be attached to the roots, allowing the roots to ease into their new home. 

If your plants are struggling with drainage and you want to add some new components to the soil, you may want to think about adding perlite (so that it makes up about 30% of the soil) and vermiculite (so that it makes up about 10% of the soil), as these can help improve drainage and help your plants get the oxygen that they need to grow. 

Learn About Your TDS

Your TDS stands for total dissolved solids, and as you begin to research how to feed your cannabis plants, you’ll likely come across this term often. Your TDS can give you an idea of how many nutrients and minerals are in your watering solution, but won’t tell you the actual makeup of the nutrients. While TDS can be a helpful number to help you see whether you’re headed in the right direction, you won’t want to rely on TDS alone to give you an idea of whether your plants are getting all that they need. 

The Ideal Feeding Schedule for Cannabis Plants

While following a feeding schedule for your cannabis plants is smart, you’ll also need to keep an eye on them to determine whether your schedule needs adjustment. It can take some time to get to know your plants and figure out exactly what they need to thrive. 

Weeks One and Two

When you’re ready to transplant your seedlings into a larger home, that means you’ve entered the vegetative stage. During this stage of growth, it’s smart to use store-bought soil to ensure that your plants are getting off to the right start. 

You’ll want to choose soil that has solid water drainage and retention properties, and you’ll also want to keep an eye on the pH level of the soil you choose. You’ll want to shoot to maintain a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 for optimal growth. 

Instead of choosing a soil mix that’s heavily fertilized, you’ll want to manually add nutrients so that you stay in control of giving your plants what they need. In this stage, you’ll want to focus on giving your seedlings the light they need to begin to grow. 

During weeks one and two, keep your plants about three and a half feet away from your grow lamps. You’ll also want to only use half of your lamps during this phase, while still giving your plants about 18 hours of light per day. During the second week of the vegetative phase, it will be time to use a fertilizer high in nitrogen to ensure that your plants are getting enough of the crucial growth nutrient. 

Weeks Three and Four

During the third week of growth, your plants will begin to enter the flowering stage. At the start of week three, it will be time to change your light schedule to 12 hours on, 12 hours off, while using half of the lights. You’ll want to move your plants a bit closer to the lights, about a foot and a half away. Your plants are still heavily in the growing phase at this point, so you’ll want to continue to provide them with the nutrient mix that helped them get through weeks one and two. 

You’ll also want to begin giving your plants more water during this phase. Keep the humidity in the room around 60%. During week four, you’ll notice that your plants go through a major growth spurt, and you’ll want to ensure that they stay at least a foot and a half away from your grow lights, even as they begin to expand. 

When week four comes to an end, you’ll want to rinse the soil with water at a pH of 6.5. 

Weeks Five and Six

As you move into the fifth week of growth, you’ll begin to see flower development. At this point, you’ll need to make the switch to a high-phosphorus fertilizer to support growth. In the sixth week of growth, your’ll continue with the high-phosphorus fertilizer, and you’ll also want to ensure that you keep an eye out for any bugs on your plants. 

Weeks Seven and Eight

During this phase, you’ll notice that buds begin to grow. You’ll want to flush your soil with water (with a pH of 6.5) at the end of week seven. At the end of week eight, it’s smart to boost the potassium levels of your soil by using a fortified fertilizer. Adding more potassium will help your plant’s buds begin to ripen. 

At this point, in addition to keeping an eye out for bugs, you’ll also need to watch for mold. 

Weeks Nine and Ten

At this point, you’re getting ready to harvest, and you’ll need to switch up how you’re feeding your plants in order to make sure they’re ready. At the start of week nine, flush the soil, and then feed your plants their nutrient mix at a lower concentration than normal. You may find that the leaves on your plant are starting to die, but fear not–this is normal and to be expected. A few days prior to harvest, stop fertilizer altogether, and just provide your plants with clean water. 

Remember, keep an eye on your plants to learn what they need, and depend on their cues more than a schedule to figure out how to keep them growing healthy and strong. 


What Is the SOG Growing Method?

Cannabis has never been more popular or broadly accepted in mainstream society than it is today. The rise of home cultivation techniques, largely spurred on by the hydroponic growing movement of the ’80s, would normalize the cultivation of marijuana under the guidance of home growers. With marijuana now legal in a broad swathe of North America, for both medicinal and recreational use, more people than ever are interested in growing their cannabis.

One of the most popular marijuana growing techniques is the Sea of Green (“SOG”) method. A simple technique that focuses on cultivating many smaller plants within a limited space, the Sea of Green growing technique offers a mix of function and convenience.

Lets explore the Sea of Green growing technique to better understand its advantages, processes, and potential outcomes.

What is the Sea of Green Growing Technique?

Often abbreviated “SOG”, the Sea of Green growing method forces cannabis to flower at a relatively young age. The ultimate goal of this low-stress growing technique is to induce a large number of small plants to flower within a relatively limited space, offering a sea of green in your grow room. This technique revolves around cannabis plants remaining in the vegetative state for just two weeks, bringing about a much earlier harvest. 

Once perfected, growers can utilize the Sea of Green growing method to bring about a harvest every 45 days, thus making it ideal for commercial and home growers alike.

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