How often should you add nutes during cannabis flowering, anyway? Cannabis is an interesting plant because it has two distinct life stages: vegetative and flowering.
To produce buds, cannabis plants need a specific mixture of nutrients called “nutrients for flowering.” While the nutrient requirements vary depending on the strain of cannabis, most growers add these nutrients during the flowering stage.
But how often should you add nutrients during the cannabis flowering stage? And what are some symptoms of nutrient deficiencies? This guide will answer those questions and more.
Understanding Cannabis Macro and Micronutrients
To understand how often to feed your plants during flowering, it’s important first to understand the difference between macro and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are nutrients that plants need in large quantities, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These nutrients are typically listed on fertilizer labels as N-P-K values.
Micronutrients are nutrients that plants need in small quantities, such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and iron.
Cannabis plants need both macro- and micronutrients to grow and thrive. However, they tend to need more macronutrients during the vegetative stage and more micronutrients during the flowering stage.
Understanding a Feeding Chart
Most cannabis growers use a feeding chart to determine how much and how often to feed their plants. Feeding charts are available from many online retailers, as well as from some hydroponic stores.
A feeding chart consists of three columns: one for the week of vegetative growth, one for the week of flowering, and one for the number of days between feedings. To use a feeding chart, you’ll need to know the strain of cannabis you’re growing, the size of your grow space, the type of growing medium you’re using, and the stage of growth.
For example, a young plant will need less food than an adult plant. A plant that is in the first week of flowering will need more food than a plant that is in the second week of flowering. With this information, you can find the recommended feeding schedule for your plants.
Growing Stages of Cannabis Plant
Cannabis plants grow in two distinct stages, the vegetative stage and the flowering stage.
The vegetative stage is when plants are growing leaves and stems. This is the stage when growers typically “veg” their plants, or allow them to grow without inducing flowering.
The flowering stage is when plants produce buds. To induce flowering, growers typically change the light cycle from 18 hours of light to 12 hours of light.
The length of the vegetative and flowering stages varies depending on the strain of cannabis. Some strains have a shorter vegetative stage and longer flowering stage, while others have a longer vegetative stage and shorter flowering stage.
The important thing to remember is that cannabis plants need different nutrients at different stages of growth
Nutrient Burns Explained
One of the most common problems growers face is nutrient burn. Nutrient burn is when the leaves of a plant turn brown or yellow and curl up at the edges. It’s typically caused by overfeeding or by using too concentrated nutrients.
To avoid nutrient burn, it’s important to understand the difference between water-soluble and fertilizer-soluble nutrients.
Water-soluble nutrients are nutrients that dissolve in water. They can be easily taken up by plants and are less likely to cause a nutrient burn.
Fertilizer-soluble nutrients are nutrients that do not dissolve in water. They can be more difficult for plants to take up, and they are more likely to cause a nutrient burn.
When using fertilizer-soluble nutrients, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and start with a lower concentration of nutrients. You can always increase the concentration if needed, but it’s difficult to undo a nutrient burn.
Nutrient Deficiency Outlined
Plants can also suffer from nutrient deficiency, which is when they do not have enough of a certain nutrient. The most common nutrient deficiencies in cannabis are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Nitrogen deficiency is characterized by yellowing leaves. A nitrogen deficiency can stunt the growth of a plant.
Phosphorus deficiency is characterized by purple or red leaves. Cannabis plants need phosphorus for flowering, so a phosphorus deficiency can prevent a plant from flowering.
Finally, a potassium deficiency is characterized by brown or yellow leaves. A potassium deficiency can make a plant more susceptible to pests and diseases.
To fix a nutrient deficiency, you must amend the soil or add nutrients to the water.
Closing in on Nutrients During Flowering
As your cannabis plants enter the flowering stage, they will begin to produce buds. This is an energy-intensive process, and your plants will need more nutrients to support it. You may need to increase the frequency of your feedings during the flowering stage, or you may need to increase the concentration of nutrients in your solution. Start with a lower concentration and increase as needed.
As always, pay close attention to your plants and look for signs of nutrient deficiency or burn. If you see these signs, adjust your feeding schedule accordingly.