What Marijuana Plants Need

Have you been thinking about growing marijuana plants, but hesitated because it seemed hard? Growing a weed plant is easy; it’s growing a healthy one that’s the challenge.

You can’t learn how to grow the best weed plant from a single article, but you can learn some of the basics. I’m going to teach you what weed plants need to produce the best harvest. 

Basic facts about marijuana plants

Two of the most confusing aspects of growing marijuana is knowing what weed plants need and how much of it to give them. In fact, most growers fail at this many times before they eventually grow healthy plants. Truth is, it takes a lot of time and effort to yield optimal results.

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    However, when you learn the fundamentals, you’ll reach that point much faster. 

    Weed plants have needs 

    Generally speaking, cannabis plants grow fast without much help. However, they still benefit from well-balanced nourishment.

    The proper nutrients can strengthen the plant, increases their resistance to diseases, and accelerate their growth. They also help weed plants produce high yields of those potent buds we enjoy.

    In other words, a weed plant flourishes when it has everything it needs to thrive. But what are those “things”? 

    If you are a first-time grower, you need to know the answer to this question. These “things” are important because they aren’t just required for growth; they decide how successful your plant can be.

    A lack or excess of any of them can cause your plants to stress. From experience, I can tell you, a stressed-out plant is a lot harder to grow. 

    6 Things healthy marijuana plants need

    Knowing what your plants need is the first step to growing healthy weed plants. Thankfully, these needs can be easily placed into six categories. Once you learn these six ‘things,’ you can provide them in proper amounts.

    Adequate Water

    Water is the foundation of life. As we know, all living things depend on this element for nourishment. This is especially true in marijuana plants as water plays a variety of crucial roles for sustainability. For example, water is what gives a weed plant its vigor and flexibility. It also regulates the plant’s internal temperature.

    Adequate Water
    Adequate Water – Image by Leafly.com

    It should be no surprise that a weed plant will suffer when it gets too much or too little of this element. 

    Looking for some watering tips? Check out our ultimate guide on watering your marijuana plants!

    I cannot overemphasize the importance of proper watering.

    • Overwater: the roots can choke as they struggle to get oxygen. 
    • Underwater: the plants become thirsty and unable to regulate their temperature.

    So, before you start growing, learn the correct way to water your weed plants to avoid newbie mistakes. The good news is watering problems are often easy to fix. 

    Correct Temperature and Humidity

    The right temperature and humidity play a huge role in the growth of healthy cannabis plants. During the germination period, you want a gentle, stable heat. As the plant grows into maturity, the ideal temperature floats between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Correct Temperature and Humidity
    Correct Temperature and Humidity

    In hot temperatures, weed plants can lose a significant amount of moisture, which can lead to stress. In contrast, very low temperatures can cause the plant to stop absorbing and circulating vital nutrients. The same goes for humidity. That’s why one of the best ways to grow healthy weed plants is to simply monitor temperature and humidity levels.

    If all of this seems daunting, don’t let it scare you. A weed plant can grow in any environment. This entire article is about producing the best possible results.

    If you are concerned about providing the optimal temperature and humidity for your plants, you can start with strains that are most likely to survive less than optimal levels.  In the wild, weed plants naturally adapt to their environment. As a result, some strains can withstand ‘extreme’ temperatures better than others. 

    Marijuana strains for extreme environments

    blue cheese strain

    Buy Blue Cheese seeds

    • 80% Indica 20% Sativa
    • THC levels up to 19%
    • Fast-flowering grow in- and outdoors
    • Delivers a strong indica effect
    • Feminized seeds for guaranteed bud
    purple haze

    Buy Purple Haze seeds

    • 30% Indica 70% Sativa
    • THC levels up to 20%
    • Great yield & easy to grow
    • High energy long-lasting buzz
    • Feminized seeds for guaranteed bud

    Good Soil

    Before you start growing marijuana, you need to find the best possible soil. If you start off with the wrong soil, you can end up with weak and sick plants. Look for the potting soil with the following traits.

    Balanced pH Level

    The right pH value in the soil helps the roots absorb more nutrients. For marijuana plants, the ideal acid-basic balance is anywhere that is close to 7. But even the best soil can exhibit imbalances in the pH level once it is overcrowded with nutrients. Therefore, growers must be vigilant in regularly checking pH levels to ensure the soil is optimal for the roots.

    Good Drainage

    When choosing the right soil, we should also consider how well it drains water. As we know, the roots will have a hard time taking in oxygen when there’s too much water. But at the same time, we don’t want soil that is so loose that water easily runs through it, leaving little for the plant to drink. 

    Good Soil

    That’s why you want to stay away from clay and sand-based soils. A potting mix with perlite can help with drainage.

    The Proper Amount of Nutrients

    Nutrients are crucial for a marijuana plants’ production of big, dense buds. On top of that, a lack of these elements slows down growth and makes plants susceptible to pests, molds, and diseases. On the other hand, an excess can alter the pH level of the soil or causes nutrient build-up that prevents root absorption.

    Right Amount of Nutrients

    There are two types of nutrients:


    These nutrients provide your plants with their most basic needs. As a result, marijuana plants consume a lot of these to support their rapid growth. The macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Each mineral plays a significant role throughout the life cycle of the plants at different times. So, to get the best results, learn how to adjust and balance their amounts.


    Although not consumed as heavily as the micronutrients, these minerals are also essential to a marijuana plant.  Some examples are calcium, manganese, zinc, copper, and iron. Very few of these minerals are used by the plants; however, a deficiency or excess can be a serious problem.

    Just like temperature and humidity, certain marijuana strains are better able to survive nutrient problems. Here are a few strains to try if this aspect of growing seems challenging. 

    Marijuana strains least likely to suffer from nutrient problems:

    White Widow Autoflower

    Buy White Widow seeds

    • All our autoflowers are feminized
    • 60% Indica 40% Sativa
    • THC levels up to 19%
    • Very easy to grow plants
    • Euphoric high with powerful mental buzz
    Jack Herer marijuana strain

    Buy Jack Herer seeds

    • 40% Indica 60% Sativa
    • THC levels up to 20%
    • Highly resistant to diseases
    • Long-lasting energetic buzz
    • Feminized seeds for guaranteed results

    The Right Amount of Light

    The cannabis plant is relatively self-sufficient because it can make its own food. However, to make that food, weed plants require a good amount of light to convert carbon dioxide into sugars. Therefore, not enough light is detrimental to growth. 

    A weed plant that does not receive enough light will stretch to get closer to its light source. When this happens, you’ll end up with thin plants that have very few leaves.

    proper lighting technique
    Proper Light

    On the other hand, too much light can burn and weaken leaves. The good news is, you can easily control the amount of light that your weed plants receive. If you are growing indoors, simply adjust the distance of the light.

    Outdoors, this could be a little difficult to control, but you can position your plants so that they receive direct sun for optimal exposure.

    Aside from nourishment, light is also crucial for your plant’s transition through its lifecycles. This matters because you need to know when it is time to harvest. 

    Download the Free Harvest Guide for more on harvesting marijuana.

    Harvest Guide

    harvest guide
    • Time your harvest for Perfect Taste
    • Get THC levels for a Perfect High
    • Don’t waste any Precious Bud

      Sufficient Air

      When you are growing weed plants outdoors, you probably aren’t thinking much about airflow. However, indoors, a well-ventilated grow room is a must.

      Ventilation and air flow
      Proper ventilation and air flow

      If healthy plants with huge buds are the goal, then you must ensure there is enough fresh air. As a bonus, this also helps in minimizing the overpowering scent those weed plants will produce.

      Carbon Dioxide

      In addition to airflow, indoor growers must also monitor carbon dioxide levels. Weed plants require carbon dioxide to maintain their overall health. As mentioned above, this element is converted to sugar, which the plants convert to energy.

      Therefore, a good amount of carbon dioxide is essential for them to thrive.

      To get sufficient amounts of this element, most growers install CO2 generators in their grow area. Doing so usually results in larger, higher-yielding buds

      Growing indoors can be challenging for beginner growers, but it’s easier if you start out with the best strains. These strains are great for growing indoors. 

      Marijuana strains best for beginner indoor growers:

      Buy Super Skunk seeds

      • All our autoflowers are feminized
      • 80% Indica 20% Sativa
      • THC levels up to 14%
      • Very easy to grow plants
      • Skunky smell with relaxing full-body high

      Buy Sour Diesel seeds

      • All our autoflowers are feminized
      • 40% Indica 60% Sativa
      • THC levels up to 20%
      • Great for new growers
      • Energy-driven psychedelic high

      Why having a healthy weed plant is important

      When growing anything, you probably want it to be healthy. The main reason is that a healthy plant is easier to grow than other options. However, when growing a weed plant, the need for a healthy environment is even more critical. Chances are, you will be consuming the flowers of your weed plant, and you’d like those to be the absolute best.

      The good news is anyone can successfully grow marijuana. Over time they can become an expert. 

      Growing a healthy weed plant is merely a combination of the right knowledge and practice. Before you start growing, do your research and learn everything that you possibly can.

      Then jump right into it and start applying that knowledge to your plants. 

      With a lot of patience and practice, you and your plants will get better. 
      Make sure to get your seeds before the season starts!
      Check out my marijuana seed shop!


      What are autoflowering plants?

      Autoflowering marijuana plants are weed plants bred to enter the flowering stage without the assistance of light. Not only does this speed up the process of growing marijuana, but it also creates smaller, easier to manage plants. Learn more about autoflowers in this article.  

      Is it easier for beginners to grow outdoors?

      Growing marijuana outdoors has different challenges than growing indoors. For example, you cannot control light, temperature, or humidity and it is harder to keep pests away. However, the costs to grow outdoors is less. Learn more about growing outdoors in this article.  

      Are there nutrient products designed for weed plants?

      Yes, there are! I recommend Bergman’s Plant Food.  However, if you are unable to purchase cannabis-specific nutrients, you can use products that are designed for tomatoes.

      Avatar for Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]


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