Marijuana plants require food to grow. The three main components are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These are needed for strong root growth, strong vegetative growth, and for lush, full flowering and high yields.
Most potting soils come with a balanced NPK ratio that will sustain a plant for the first 2-3 weeks. However, as the plant grows taller and wider, supplemental nutrients are required.
In the vegetative stage, a good 20 – 20 – 20 supplement is often adequate to maintain proper growth and development. Most growers dilute this formula to one-half or one-quarter strength, as marijuana does not tolerate full-strength nutrient feedings well. This can be given once or twice a week, although some growers use it at every feeding.
In the flowering stage, a higher ratio of phosphorus is needed to promote and encourage flowering, as these flowers are the bud sites, and the number of flowers affect the end yield. Phosphorus alone, or phosphorus in a higher ratio – 10 – 30 – 10, is often used in this stage.
Secondary foods that the marijuana plants need are calcium, sulphur, and magnesium. These foods ensure that plant photosynthesis is maintained, allowing strong growth and good development.
The trace minerals a plant needs are boron, copper, molybdenum, zinc, iron and manganese. The marijuana plant takes up a minimal amount of these elements, but they are essential to the overall well-being of the plant.
All these nutrients work together to maintain healthy growth and development. Plants will grow poorly or not at all if deprived of any one of these nutrients. If the lack is severe, the plant may go into nutrient lockout, which is the lack of one nutrients blocking the uptake of all the rest, thus causing the plant to die.
Careful, occasional assessment of your plant will determine whether it is healthy and stable, or lacking in any of these nutrients. These problems are easily fixed, but correcting them is very essential to the continued growth and development of your plant.
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