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Lesson 1, Topic 1
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3.2 Macro and Micronutrients: Roles and Sources

Cartier April 11, 2023

Cannabis plants require a range of nutrients to grow and develop optimally. These nutrients are classified into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.

Understanding the roles of each nutrient and its sources is essential for advanced cannabis growers seeking to optimize their feeding schedules and address any potential deficiencies.

Macronutrients:

  1. Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen is a critical component of chlorophyll responsible for photosynthesis. It also plays a role in forming amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Nitrogen is essential for vigorous vegetative growth and overall plant health. Nitrogen sources include organic materials like blood meal, fish emulsion, alfalfa meal, and synthetic fertilizers.
  2. Phosphorus (P): Phosphorus is vital for energy transfer within the plant and is a key component of DNA and RNA. It is critical in root development, flowering, and seed production. Phosphorus is necessary during the plant’s life cycle but especially important during the flowering stage. Sources of phosphorus include bone meal, rock phosphate, and synthetic fertilizers.
  3. Potassium (K): Potassium is essential for several physiological processes, including water regulation, enzyme activation, and carbohydrate metabolism. It contributes to the overall strength and resilience of the plant, enhancing its resistance to pests and diseases.
    Potassium is crucial during the flowering stage, as it promotes bud development. Sources of potassium include greensand, wood ash, and synthetic fertilizers.

Micronutrients:

  1. Calcium (Ca): Calcium is vital for cell wall structure and stability, enabling the plant to grow and maintain its shape. It also plays a role in nutrient transport and enzyme activation. Calcium deficiencies can lead to weak stems and slow growth. Sources of calcium include gypsum, dolomite lime, and eggshells.
  2. Magnesium (Mg): Magnesium is a key component of chlorophyll and is crucial for photosynthesis. It also plays a role in enzyme activation and carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium deficiencies can result in yellowing leaves and reduced yields. Sources of magnesium include Epsom salts, dolomite lime, and synthetic fertilizers.
  3. Sulfur (S): Sulfur is essential for synthesizing amino acids and proteins. It also plays a role in producing essential oils and terpenes, which contribute to the flavor and aroma of cannabis. Sulfur deficiencies can lead to slow growth and reduced potency. Sources of sulfur include gypsum, Epsom salts, and synthetic fertilizers.
  4. Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo), and Chlorine (Cl): These micronutrients are required in smaller amounts, but they play essential roles in various plant processes, including enzyme activation, photosynthesis, and disease resistance.

    Deficiencies in micronutrients can result in poor growth and reduced yields. Sources of these micronutrients include organic matter, compost, and synthetic fertilizers.

Understanding the roles and sources of macro and micronutrients is crucial for advanced indoor cannabis growers. By tailoring nutrient feedings to meet the plant’s specific requirements, growers can optimize plant health, maximize yields, and produce high-quality cannabis.

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