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Soil Nutrients for Each Phase of Cannabis Cultivation

For first-time growers, it can be a challenging task to choose the healthiest nutrients for cannabis plants. Often, growers spend far too much than they have to. There are so many options in terms of marijuana soil nutrients that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

If you know about the different requirements of these plants and how the cannabis plants absorb and use nutrients, it would be a lot easier to choose the right products your plants need without having to go beyond your budget.

Seedling Stage

Just like other living things, cannabis plants go through different stages as they grow. While the plants are in each of these stages, their nutrient requirements are slightly different. If you grow your plant in a high-quality, rich soil, you don’t need to add any more marijuana soil nutrients, especially during the seedling stage.

However, you need to make sure that the pot of your plant is big enough. This will provide adequate humidity for the soil and allow the roots of the plant to grow without restrictions.

But if you’re growing your plant in any kind of artificial medium which doesn’t have any natural nutrients, you can use seedling nutrition and root boosters to promote its growth. The great thing about root boosters is that they contain bacteria, enzymes, and other types of compounds which will support the health, growth, and development of the plant’s roots.

Seedling nutrients, on the other hand, contain a combination of nutrients with the appropriate percentages for seedlings and sprouts. You can get the same nutritional effect by giving your young cannabis plant the proper plant feed while it’s in the vegetative growth stage.

Vegetative Growing Stage

At this stage, cannabis plants require high levels of potassium and nitrogen along with a medium amount of phosphorus. As a rule of thumb, the amount of phosphorus you should feed your plant should only be half of the amount of nitrogen. The levels of potassium may vary from half to a third of the amount of nitrogen.

Flowering Stage

Finally, when your cannabis plant is in the flowering stage, you need to lower the levels of nitrogen fed to your plant drastically. You should also maintain the same potassium levels while increasing the amount of phosphorus. Manufacturers of commercial fertilizers specifically made for cannabis plants produce their products based on these basic growing principles.

When your plant enters the flowering stage, you need to find the appropriate nutrient mix. This means that you would start giving them a different NPK balance. Normally, you can find the NPK content in the different products as indicated on their labels. The manufacturers calculate the proper portions of these main components for your convenience. So all you would have to do is add some water and use the proper dosage.

Apart from the NPK components, cannabis plants also require small amounts of micro and secondary nutrients. You can already find most of these components in high-quality soil mixes. For the others, manufacturers may include them in feed made specifically for cannabis plants aside from the basic NPK. You also have the option to purchase specialist additives, but you would have to be a seasoned grower to avoid overfeeding your plant.


As aforementioned, cannabis plants need a basic group of marijuana soil nutrients known as macronutrients. These include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Other macronutrients marijuana plants need are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. The plants can also derive Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen from the water and air in their surroundings as they grow.

If you check the product labels of nutrient solutions, fertilizers, and other plant growth products, you will see three numbers indicated on the front. These show how much of the main macronutrients (NPK) the product contains. Manufacturers always list them in the N-P-K order so as not to confuse plant growers.

All of the other mineral nutrients cannabis plants need fall into the micronutrient category. Typically, plants only need small quantities of these nutrients. The micronutrients include:

  • Boron
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Silicon
  • Zinc

Although cannabis plants only require minimal amounts of these micronutrients in their growth and development, they’re still crucial. Therefore, you need to make sure that your plants obtain all of the required nutrients if you want them to thrive.

Under Versus Over Feeding

When you’re growing plants, it’s always more advisable to practice caution rather than being too excited or overzealous. This is especially true when you’re growing cannabis plants. A plant which grows with a small amount of additional marijuana soil nutrients┬ámay provide you with better yields compared to a plant which grows in over-fertilized soil.

That’s why it’s recommended to only add the nutrients to the water at every other watering. If you’re not sure about how much nutrients to add, check the product labels. These are the simplest and easiest rules to follow if you’re growing a cannabis plant.

If you notice a change in how your plant looks and its color, this may be an indication of nutrient overdoses or nutrient deficiencies. The symptoms of overfeeding are similar to those caused by a nutrient deficiency. The most common symptoms of a nutrient imbalance show up in the plant’s leaves.

You may see them drooping, turning yellow, having irregular dimensions or shapes, and developing brown spots or burnt edges. You would only see yellowing leaves as an issue in your cannabis plant’s health when it’s in the vegetative growing stage or early in the flowering stage. However, this is a normal thing when you see it toward the end of the flowering stage.

If you discover that your plant suffers from a problem with its nutrition and you don’t know how to fix it, there’s a simple remedy. You can flush the plant’s soil using pure water for a couple of days. Then you can start adding marijuana soil nutrients using only half the dose you used in the past. Also, take off the top part of the soil as this may contain the excess nutrients. Although simple, this is a drastic measure which will give your plant a “clean slate.”

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