Autoflower cannabis plants require nutrients throughout its growth cycle like other living things. These nutrients allow the plants to build its plant structure and produce high-inducing buds.
What is the kind of nutrients do regular autoflower seeds in Canada need? How can you apply these nutrients to your plants? Let us answer that question with our guide on autoflower plant nutrients.
Table of Contents
Three Important Nutrients to Autoflower Plants
Among the many nutrients that plants utilize throughout their lifecycle, three of these are the most important ones. These nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).
Nitrogen is essential for the plant’s vegetative phase. This nutrient is important for the foliage development of the plant. In regards to the short vegetative phase of autoflower plants, nitrogen is essential to preventing stunted growth.
Phosphorous is a useful nutrient for both your plant’s vegetative and flowering stage. This nutrient allows your plants to develop and build its root structure. Your autoflower plants also need the nutrient for developing its flower and in producing seeds.
Potassium is another important nutrient throughout the plant’s lifecycle. It is responsible for many of the plant’s biological functions and maintenance of its health. Potassium also helps in improving the bud production.
Other Essential Nutrients
Apart from the three nutrients listed above, plants make use of others macronutrients for its health maintenance and other functions. One example is calcium, which is needed for building the cell walls within the plant. Magnesium is important for the plant’s photosynthesis function since the nutrient is part of the chlorophyll. Sulfur offers the same benefits as phosphorous
Plants also utilize several micronutrients for its health. For example, boron makes it easy for the autoflower plants to utilize nutrients and produce carbohydrates. Another is chloride that helps with the plant’s metabolism.
Nutrient Requirements for Vegetative and Flowering Phase
Autoflower plants have different nutrient requirements for each of the two important phases of their lifecycle. Your autoflower cannabis plants need more nitrogen during the vegetative phase and less phosphorous as well as potassium. On the other hand, the plants require more phosphorous and potassium than nitrogen.
Giving your autoflowering cannabis plants the wrong nutrient dosage during one of the two important phases may lead to undesirable effects. For example, an excessive amount of nitrogen during the flowering stage will force the plant to continue its structure growth. This makes them focus less on producing buds.
A good rule of thumb to follow with the N-P-K nutrient ratio is 10-5-5 respectively when deciding which fertilizer to feed your autoflower plants during the vegetative phase. For the flowering phase, a ratio of 5-15-10 is suitable. The three nutrients make up a small percentage of the fertilizers content. The remaining content is the other macro and micronutrients.
We are not including the germination and seedling stage of the plants. Nearly all regular autoflower seeds in Canada and other parts of the world do not need a dose of nitrogen while germinating. In the case of seedlings, too much nutrient can be harmful to its health.
Providing Nutrients to Autoflowering Plants
One of the practical means of providing your plant with nutrients is through fertilizers. You can find ones that are formulated for the vegetative phase as well as one for the flowering phase. This method gives you control over how many nutrients to give your autoflowering plants at specific times.
The problem with giving your plant fertilizer is the risk of overfeeding them. It is important to note that autoflower plants do not need to feed on too many nutrients as regular cannabis plants. This is due to their short nature and fast growth cycle. Giving them fertilizers may lead to nutrient toxicity.
Another method is to create compost and mix it with the plant’s growing medium. Compost consists of various organic ingredients that break down over time and releases its nutrients to the soil at specific times. This method lessens the risk of nutrient toxicity since you do not need to feed the plant during its vegetative phase.
When using compost, you need to keep watch for any nutrient deficiencies during the flowering stage. The soil may not have a sufficient amount of phosphorous and potassium that your autoflowering plant needs to produce its buds. If you spot any deficiencies, you can amend this by giving your plants the appropriate nutrient feed.
Take note that the two methods above are for soil mediums. If you plan on using a hydroponic garden to cultivate autoflowering plants, you need to utilize liquid nutrient supplements. These supplements are mixed with the garden’s reservoirs or tanks where your plants draw water.
Soil PH and its Effect on Nutrient Intake
The pH value of the soil can affect the rate of nutrient intake among your plant. When the value is lower than seven, the soil is more acidic. Soil with a pH value of more than seven is alkaline. An ideal range for autoflowering cannabis plant is around 6.5 to 7.5.
If your soil becomes alkaline, phosphate ions may turn calcium and magnesium into compounds that are insoluble. Acidic soils will make the same ions react with iron and aluminum.
A good way to fix alkaline soil is to add some acid to the mix such as organic mulch and sphagnum peat. For acidic mulch, powdered or ground lime can increase its pH value.
You now know the important nutrients to your autoflowering plants. Remember that it is much safer for your plants to experience nutrient deficiencies than nutrient toxicity. The former problem is easier to fix than the latter.
With everything you learn with utilizing plant nutrients, you are well equipped to create a batch of marijuana for friends, relatives, and yourself. Weed has always been beneficial for everyone than another kind of substances. As Billy Bob Thornton would say: “I have yet to hear about anyone smoking weed and going berserk.?”