Marijuana plants will need to survive so like every plant, there are certain foundational requirements that any strain of Whether your setup is indoors or outdoors, your marijuana plants will still require certain amounts of sunlight, water, and nutrients.If you are a new grower, learning what these requirements are and why they exist is essential. If you are an experienced grower, you will probably find it helpful to refresh your memory about why your plants reacted a certain way during your last growing season.
So what are the basic requirements for growing Cannabis, and how do you make sure they are all met? Read on for the following information:
Water – Light – CO2
Cannabis is a remarkably tenacious and swift-growing plant. In fact, it’s been said that if you sit long enough with a plant, just watching, you can actually see it grow with your own eyes. No time-lapse, no video, no YouTube.
However, even though the plant is so independently energetic, there’s a lot of growers and cultivators can do on their own to help aid all of that growth, fostering and nurturing these natural qualities. Making the environment around the plant as hospitable as possible and providing the best possible nourishment will maximize the potential of cultivated cannabis.
All living things have basic requirements for life, and thankfully plants are fairly simple in the things they require. Cannabis is no exception. To make sure your plant can live and thrive in its environment, you need to make sure you are providing proper lighting, enough water, a mild and stable temperature, and a well-sifted substrate for the plant to take root in. Beyond that, you need to make sure you are providing nutrients: hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, as well as a whole host of other macro- and micro- nutrients.
If you are missing any of these key ingredients, you will be cheating your plants (and yourself!). In addition to making sure they’re provided, you also need to be sure that you are providing all of these things in the proper proportions.
The development of your plant is based on the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is how your plant absorbs light and turns carbon dioxide into sugar (energy). This is possible because of the green pigment chlorophyll. The glucose sugars work in conjunction with mineral salts, nutrients, and water pulled up by the roots and allow the plant to perform a variety of different chemical reactions to produce raw materials and develop.
In nature, all of these things are controlled and provided by the environment. Your job as a cultivator and gardener is to imitate and mimic all of these essentials to create the ideal environment for your plant. Done properly, you can create the perfect living situation for your cannabis plant.
The perfect environment
First, if you’re growing indoors, you’re going to need a good source of light. You can’t just use your old living room lamp to replace the life-giving light of the sun. If you’re an indoor grower, consider using a HPS. This will give you a more accurate spectrum of light, which is very important for plants.
Next you need to consider your air. Your plant needs a supply of carbon dioxide and oxygen in order for photosynthesis to work. Fortunately for you, these gasses are already present in our air! However, you will need to make sure that the environment you’re growing your plant in is very well-ventilated. Indoors, you’ll want to invest in some input and output ventilators, as well as a fan.
You want to make sure you are getting a supply of fresh air to your plants at all times. Just like any other living thing, they’ll suffocate without air (although the suffocation will occur a little differently). In particular, low carbon dioxide levels will inhibit the photosynthesis process, and a lot of growers actually add extra CO2 to the air.
If you install all of your ventilation and air flow equipment properly, it will also be significantly easier for you to manage the humidity and temperature of the environment in your grow room. Keep a weather eye on the temperature and humidity: you’ll want a high humidity (50-70%). Air in the room should be between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 25 Celsius) while the substrate should be close to 64 degrees fahrenheit (24 celsius). If you are using a hydroponics system or growing your plants in water, you’ll want the water to be a lukewarm 68 degrees fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). Read more about Temperature and Humidity.
Water is also extremely important to the health of your plant. This means both the humidity of the surrounding environment, and the soil from which the roots will be drawing water to distribute nutrients to the rest of the plant. You have a number of choices for different substrates to grow your plants in (soil, rockwool, etc.) but you’ll want to make sure it’s getting water regardless.
Besides using water in a number of key chemical reactions, your plant will be using water as a vehicle to transport nutrients. If you’re an indoor marijuana grower, you’ll either need to be watering manually or invest in an automatic system to take care of the irrigation for you. Indoor plants especially are likely to require a lot of water, since you’ll probably be maxing them out with lights and nutrients to get the highest quality plant possible. Another note on water: you need to make sure you are using pure water. If the water you’re using has anything toxic or harmful, it could damage your plants, or worse yet, hurt any people who want to use the plant for medicinal purposes!
The substrate is important because it sort of acts as a trap for nutrients and important elements. For example, if you are using soil, you need to make sure that it is well aerated. Good circulation among the roots is very important since that is where your plant will be picking up a lot of things to absorb. Roots need oxygen, regardless of the substrate you use, whether you are using traditional soil or newfangled hydroponics equipment. Plus, proper aerification will minimize the risks of disease, mold and fungus on your marijuana plant.
Feeding your marijuana plants
Next up, you need to be sure you have plenty of nutrients. There are a lot of ways for you to add nutrients to the soil. You can either do it gradually with fertilizers and other additives in the soil itself or add the nutrients directly into the water, which will make your nutrient delivery faster and more accurate.
Essential nutrients for plants are split up into macro- and micro-nutrients, based on how much of the specific nutrient the plant requires to meet its nutritional needs. Macronutrients is a term used by growers to describe the nutrients that cannabis plants need the most. This list includes phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. Micronutrients refer to the remaining nutrients that are necessary for a plant to thrive, but those that only occur in small amounts, especially when compare to the macronutrients. Micronutrients include zinc, copper, iron, boron, manganese, and molybdenum. A good option is the Marijuana Booster. A great product composed of the exact right mix of nutrients to help the plant thrive and double your yield.
You’ll want to measure the pH of your plant substrate, making sure that it falls somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5. This is very important for the speed and efficiency at which different nutrients are absorbed by the plant.