It’s true that cannabis plants really do grow like a weed, but in order to thrive, marijuana plants need nutrients. Also referred to as fertilizers, these are utilized by growers to give plants the essential nutrients they need. Using the right fertilizers when growing cannabis can help plants flourish, significantly increasing their health and ensuring optimal yields come harvest.
Before We Get To The Top 5: Why You Should Use Cannabis Fertilizers
If you’re growing weed, it’s safe to say you want to grow the best weed you can. Growing healthy, high-yielding cannabis plants comes down to ensuring that they get the nutrients they need to thrive. Cannabis fertilizers can help tremendously with this.
Cannabis Nutrients 101
For plants to grow as healthy as they possibly can, they need these three major nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). These are usually found on marijuana fertilizer labeling displayed in a numerical sequence that corresponds to the amount of N-P-K the fertilizer contains.
Let’s break down what each nutrient does to get a better understanding of what the benefits of using weed fertilizer really are.
- Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen is considered the most important nutrient aiding in plant growth. This is because it’s a major component of chlorophyll, which is vital for the process of photosynthesis. Nitrogen is also an important component of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that plants need to survive. You, as a grower, want to feed cannabis more Nitrogen during the vegetative stage, when it uptakes the most growth.
- Phosphorous (P): Phosphorus is an essential component of a plant’s DNA and RNA structure, which are linked together by phosphorous bonds. Phosphorous is known to increase root development and stalk and stem strength, improve bud formation and overall crop quality, and help aid in the plant’s development throughout its entire lifecycle. The intake of Phosphorous should be increased during the flowering stage.
- Potassium (K): Potassium also plays a big role in photosynthesis and is vital for both the development and overall health of the plant. Potassium and phosphorous work together to increase the root system’s strength and resistance. Potassium is also essential for growing big, heavy buds, and can help increase the overall weight and density of cannabis flowers. That’s why, along with Phosphorous, your plant’s diet during the flowering stage needs to include lots of Potassium.
Thus, it’s easy to see why using fertilizer is so beneficial for growing healthy marijuana plants heavy with dense, beautiful buds. Without any additional nutrients, your plants will most likely starve and struggle to produce that quality and quantity of the harvest you’re hoping for.
The Top 5 Cannabis Fertilizers For Growing Great Weed
Using the best nutrients for growing weed can help ensure that you’re growing the best weed you can. This is typically the goal of any grower, whether they’ve been growing weed for years or are cultivating cannabis for the very first time.
Giving your marijuana plants the best food you possibly can throughout each stage of their life will aid in healthy root development, robust growth and dense, heavy buds.
Cannabis Roots Guide
Marijuana fertilizers can be separated into two different types: organic and synthetic. Like other fertilizers, you’ll find them available in both liquid and powder form. There are also fertilizers in pellet form. The following are some of the very best nutrients for growing weed that will significantly help your ganja garden grow.
- FoxFarm Liquid Nutrient Trio
FoxFarm is a popular and is an excellent choice for beginner growers. Not only is FoxFarm extremely easy to use, but it also contains everything you’ll need for your grow to flourish. FoxFarm’s Liquid Nutrient Trio is available in both soil and hydroponic varieties, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right one for whatever growing medium you choose to use. It can be used in coco coir grows as well.
FoxFarm Liquid Nutrient Trio comes with three different bottles available in a package deal: Big Bloom, Grow Big and Tiger Bloom. They’re designed to work together through the plant’s life cycle to support hearty growth (Grow Big), multiple blooms (Big Bloom) and an abundance of buds (Tiger Bloom).
- General Hydroponics Flora Grow Bloom Micro Combo
If you’re interested in the best fertilizer for cannabis, check out General Hydroponics Flora Grow Bloom Micro Combo. This top selling trio is designed to be used in hydroponic, soil and coco coir grows. Nutrients come pH balanced, are easy to use, and make a great choice for both newbies and experienced growers.
The Flora Series uses a building block approach, with each bottle containing the primary, secondary and micronutrients that plants need to flourish. Each mixture can be adjusted for the individual needs of your plants throughout each stage of the growing cycle. Flora Grow supports vigorous plant growth during veg, Flora Micro helps with plant growth and flower blooms, and Flora Micro is designed to be used during flowering for improved yields and big, dense buds.
- Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro, and Grow
Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro, & Grow combo is another option for some of the soil, hydroponic or coco coir grows. This trio contains all you need to grow a lush, dense cannabis garden no matter what growing medium you choose.
Each individual one-liter bottle of this is perfectly formulated to give your plants the right ratio of nutrients throughout every stage of their growth. Grow is used to enhance plant growth during the vegetative stage, Micro helps to boost plant growth and increased flower production, and Bloom is designed for producing gorgeous, dense buds.
Each formulation is perfectly pH balanced and designed to adjust pH levels for you, eliminating the need to worry over pH levels during your plant’s lifecycle. Advanced Nutrients also contains a unique chelation that allows more nutrients to reach your plant’s roots, ensuring the healthiest plants possible.
- Biobizz Bio Grow, Bio Bloom, Top Max
Biobizz has been creating plant nutrients for almost 30 years, and their Bio Grow, Bio Bloom, and Top Max triple combo is a top-selling fertilizer for marijuana plants in soil or substrate mixtures. Both new and experienced cannabis growers will appreciate these certified organic nutrients designed for healthy plants and abundant harvests. A complete nutrient schedule is available for download on the Biobizz website, taking the guesswork out of how much and how often plants should be fed.
Bio Grow is a complete that can be used throughout all stages of plant growth, including both veg and flower periods. Once plants begin to flower, growers will benefit from Bio Bloom, an impeccable mix of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, amino acids and enzymes that result in big, potent buds. Top Max works in harmony with Bio Bloom and is designed to be used during the entire flowering period. Using Top Max increases flower size and weight, produces better-tasting buds, and results in more nutrient uptake.
- Botanicare CNS17 Grow / CNS17 Bloom
Botanicare CNS17 Grow and Bloom formulas are a cost-effective solution when looking for the best marijuana nutrients. These highly concentrated formulas come in one-gallon containers, with a price point that’s perfect for budget-minded growers looking for high yields at a low cost.
CNS17 Grow is among the best marijuana nutrientsdesigned to be used during the vegetative stage, resulting in bigger and healthier plants by supporting root development, decreased internodal spacing and stronger, sturdier branches with its ideal nitrogen to potassium ratio. Once plants move into their flowering stage, CNS17 Bloom formula should be introduced to obtain maximum fruiting and flowering. With perfect phosphorous and potassium levels, combined with trace minerals, calcium and sulfates, CNS17 Bloom is perfect for boosting the size of your buds and increasing overall yields come harvest.
Should You Always Use Cannabis Fertilizer?
Given how important fertilizer can be for the health of your plants, is it always necessary to use it?
Honestly, it all depends on the growing medium you’re using.
Some soils come pre-amended with the nutrients your plants need to thrive throughout their lifecycle. If your soil doesn’t have nutrients added to it, you’ll need to use the best marijuana fertilizer you can if you want to grow the best plants you possibly can.
Growing weed hydroponically and in substrate mixtures like coco coir and rockwool will always require fertilizer because plants aren’t getting any nutrients from the soil. Using marijuana fertilizer replaces any nutrients that soil naturally contains, allowing plants to establish healthy roots and grow into strong, healthy plants that produce a bounty of buds.
Next, we’ll take a more in-depth look at using marijuana fertilizer in different types of growing mediums.
Using Cannabis Fertilizer For Growing Weed In Soil
If you’re using soil to grow your plants, it’s not always necessary to use fertilizer to grow quality cannabis, especially if you grow smaller autoflowering varieties. There are several types of soil that come already enriched with the nutrients cannabis needs and therefore require less added fertilization. These ready-to-grow soil types contain a complex assortment of amendments that can make it possible to go without feeding your cannabis plants at all.
Using soil that hasn’t been amended is a bit different, and you’ll need to use a cannabis fertilizer to ensure plants grow healthy and strong. Loam soil (a mixture of clay, sand and silt) is one of the most ideal soils for growing cannabis, as it drains well, has good water retention, retains nutrients, has an almost neutral pH level and contains high oxygen levels. However, it has little to no nutrients on its own, so it will need to be additionally enriched.
Growing in soil requires using the correct fertilizer for various stages of marijuana plant growth. For example, different fertilizers will be needed for seedlings, vegetative growth, and the flowering period respectively. Seedlings can also be fed cannabis fertilizer intended for vegetative growth, but keep in mind that you should use only a quarter of the amount recommended for mature plants.
Using Cannabis Nutrients For Hydroponics
No soil means no nutrients. Seeing that plants are grown without soil in hydroponic setups, these types of grows will always require fertilizer. In hydroponic grows, cannabis fertilizer replaces nutrients that soil would typically provide. When done right, hydroponic setups are known for producing great weed because plants are given perfectly measured servings of the nutrients they need to thrive.
When growing weed in hydroponic setups, you’ll need to use marijuana plant food that’s designed specifically for hydroponic grows - for the best results, aim for the best hydroponic fertilizer for cannabis - check our top 5 again for fool-proof options.
Some fertilizers can be used in soil and hydroponic setups, while others are designed specifically for hydro grows. If you plan on growing hydroponically, make sure you get a fertilizer that you’re sure is compatible with a hydroponic system.
When choosing the best nutrients for growing weed, be sure to always look for the NPK ratio on the nutrient label. In hydroponic marijuana fertilizers, the minerals added to your fertilizer should also be chelated, which means they’re protected by an organic molecule that makes them less sensitive to pH changes. This allows for a wider pH range and proper nutrient absorption.
Using Fertilizers For Other Soil-Less Media Used To Grow Marijuana
Growing cannabis isn’t just limited to soil and hydroponic systems. Other alternatives to growing weed include soil-less media like rockwool and coco coir.
Rockwool has been a staple in successful cannabis setups for years. This soft, wool-like substance is spun from basalt rock and just so happens to contain the perfect properties cannabis roots need to thrive. Rockwool is a type of hydroponic setup that will always require cannabis fertilizer, as it doesn’t contain any nutrients on its own. When the correct ratio of fertilizer is given to plants grown in rockwool, however, growers can expect huge yields come harvest.
Coco coir has become another popular alternative to growing weed in recent years, great for both indoor and outdoor grows. Made from the recycled natural fiber of coconuts, coco coir is comparable to soil that doesn’t have any nutrients added to it. It can be used on its own but is typically blended with soil because it drains better and allows more oxygen to the plant’s roots. Coco coir fertilizer is any hydroponic cannabis nutrient mix - it tends to lead to better results than the best cannabis nutrients for soil. Keep in mind that nutrient levels could need special consideration when growing in coco coir.
Growing in Coco Coir
Fertilizers And Nutrients For Weed Plants: The Final Word
When you need to use nutrients for your weed plants, it’s important to use the best marijuana fertilizer you possibly can. You won’t always need it, but when you do, choosing the best cannabis nutrients for soil or hydroponic setups is a crucial aspect of any cannabis grow.
If you’re new to using nutrients for growing weed, be sure to monitor your plants closely and start lower than the suggested feeding dose. You can then slowly increase the amount until you notice your plants beginning to really thrive. Using too much fertilizer can cause nutrient burn, while using too little can stunt plant growth. Knowing when to stop fertilizing weed is also important - usually, it’s a good practice to stop a couple weeks prior to harvest. However, always check producers’ recommendations for instructions.
In the end, using nutrients for growing weed is an integral part of the process that allows plants to thrive throughout each stage of their lifecycle and produce big, heavy buds of which any grower can be proud.