What do the different nutrients mean to Cannabis?
- Plants need lots of N during vegging, but it's easy to overdo it. Added too much? Flush the soil with plain water. Soluble nitrogen (especially nitrate) is the form that's the most quickly available to the roots, while insoluble N (like urea) first needs to be broken down by microbes in the soil before the roots can absorb it. Avoid excessive ammonium nitrogen, which can interfere with other nutrients. Too much N delays flowering. Plants should be allowed to become N-deficient late in flowering for best flavor.
- Mg-deficiency is pretty common since marijuana uses lots of it and many fertilizers don't have enough of it. Mg-deficiency is easily fixed with ? teaspoon/gallon of Epsom salts (first powdered and dissolved in some hot water) or foliar feed at ? teaspoon/quart. When mixing up soil, use 2 teaspoon dolomite lime per gallon of soil for Mg. Mg can get locked-up by too much Ca, Cl or ammonium nitrogen. Don't overdo Mg or you'll lock up other nutrients.
- Too much sodium (Na) displaces K, causing a K deficiency. Sources of high salinity are: baking soda (sodium bicarbonate "pH-up"), too much manure, and the use of water-softening filters (which should not be used). If the problem is Na, flush the soil. K can get locked up from too much Ca or ammonium nitrogen, and possibly cold weather.
- Some deficiency during flowering is normal, but too much shouldn't be tolerated. Red petioles and stems are a normal, genetic characteristic for many varieties, plus it can also be a co-symptom of N, K, and Mg-deficiencies, so red stems are not a foolproof sign of P-deficiency. Too much P can lead to iron deficiency.
- Fe is unavailable to plants when the pH of the water or soil is too high. If deficient, lower the pH to about 6.5 (for rockwool, about 5.7), and check that you're not adding too much P, which can lock up Fe. Use iron that's chelated for maximum availability. Read your fertilizer's ingredients - chelated iron might read something like "iron EDTA". To much Fe without adding enough P can cause a P-deficiency.
- Mn gets locked out when the pH is too high, and when there's too much iron. Use chelated Mn.
- Also gets locked out due to high pH. Zn, Fe, and Mn deficiencies often occur together, and are usually from a high pH. Don't overdo the micro-nutrients-lower the pH if that's the problem so the nutrients become available. Foliar feed if the plant looks real bad. Use chelated zinc.