Cannabis grown in soil can still benefit from added nutrients for health support. Liquid fertilizers used for hydroponic grows are not essential. Most soil types contain plenty of nitrogen to see your plant through.
Potassium helps the plant as an auxiliary nutrient. It regulates the systems needed to stay healthy and to grow. Potassium ensures firm stems as well as stimulating ATP production needed for energy storage. It is also important for a strong immune system. In addition, potassium plays a part moisture evaporation through the leaves. It ensures proper balance of salt and water concentrations, and it is critical to sustaining a functioning sap flow throughout the plant.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are so-called micronutrients. Your cannabis plants need all three (and more besides) to unleash their full growth potential. Paying attention to micronutrients is important, because plants need different nutrients in different quantities as they pass through the various stages of their life cycle. In this context, ‘NPK’ is a famous grower abbreviation. That’s because together, phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium stimulate root system formation, absorption of other nutrients, and many more crucial processes. Knowing a weed plant’s favourite food allows growers to give them all they need to enjoy a bountiful harvest.
Providing just the right nutrients is a veritable art form. Give too much and you’ll harm your plants, or even kill them. The safest approach is to start out at 25% of the recommended quantity stated on the package, and then to gradually increase to the full dose.
Roughly speaking, NPK ratios of 3:1:1 are best for any cannabis strain throughout the growth stage. Once the plants start to flower, nitrogen percentages should be lowered as potassium and phosphorus levels increase. Early flowering calls for a 1:3:2 ratio; late flowering requires 0:3:3 instead.
Growing weed in soil is completely different from growing on hydroponics. Plants with their feet in the earth benefit from all the available nutrients already contained in the soil. Humus, organic fertilizer, compost, and countless micro-organisms are already working to keep the soil balanced. That means many of the essential nutrients will be available by default. These substances are not soluble, however, so microbes and fungi are needed to convert them into form usable by plants.
Providing your pants with these three essential nutrients is a key part of growing cannabis. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are commonly sold as soil fertilizers named N-P-K. This formula usually states three figures indicating the percentages of each nutrient in the mix. 10-4-4, for instance, means 10% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, and 4% potassium.
Nitrogen is called a primary micronutrient. Not very surprising, as this substance is vital during both the growth and the flowering stages of all plants. Basically, this element is crucial throughout all stages of the life cycle of cannabis plants. Nitrogen is used for production of chlorophyll. This compound gives plants their green colour, as well as being a key component of photosynthesis: the process in which a plant converts sunlight into plant energy supplies.
Growing cannabis can be approached in various ways: in full soil, in pots, or using hydroponics. Growing with hydroponics means raising your plants not in soil, but in a basket or pot filled with a growing medium (like coco fibre, clay pellets, or rockwool, for example). Each growing method requires different nutrient regimes.
The value for nitrogen coming first and potassium coming last.
Known by their chemical symbols N, P, and K, these three nutrients are essential for healthy growth. As cannabis plants move from the vegetative to the flowering stage, the ideal NPK ratio shifts. Meaning growers need to adapt their feeds and fertilisers.
Choosing a product with the correct NPK ratio is vital for cannabis growth. During vegetation, plants need lots of nitrogen to produce all their green parts like leaves and stems. Cannabis plants generally benefit from an NPK ratio of 3:1:1 at this point in their lifecycle, ensuring they receive plenty of nitrogen and just a little of the other two nutrients.
The Importance of NPK for Cannabis
Most fertilisers and plant feeds contain NPK values on their labels. These appear as three numbers denoting the relative concentration of each component. For instance, a ratio of 2:3:8 indicates that a product contains two parts nitrogen to every three parts phosphorous and eight parts potassium. Cannabis growers should be aware that NPK ratios always appear in this order.