Best Marijuana Fertilizers

Picking the perfect marijuana fertilizer is hard.

I personally dread it, and try to minimize using cannabis nutrients by starting with the ideal growing environment and high-quality genetics.

However, there comes a time when every grower needs nutrients, especially when you are just starting out. 

I will help you pick your ideal fertilizer by sharing some of the best out there (in addition to my personal line: Bergman’s Plant Food).

Fertilizer can help produce a healthy, flourishing plant but there are other methods as well.

I’ll explain how to boost with CO2 as well as how to fertilize your plants safely. Knowledge is key, so keep reading to learn how to choose your perfect fertilizer.

If you are thinking about fertilizers, you will need to first decide on one thing: Homemade nutrients or off-the-shelf, professional products?

Of course, you can always make your own nutrients with your preferred mixture, but usually it is much simpler to buy pre-made nutrients. Keep in mind that marijuana plants have a wide assortment of needs.

You can buy my pre-made fertilizers made for marijuana growers of all skills here in our shop.

Marijuana Fertilizer

Buy Marijuana Fertilizer

  • Nutrients from seedling to harvest
  • Enough nutrients for at least 5 plants
  • Discounted combination deal
Standard marijuana Fertilizer Mix
Standard Fertilizer Mix

Professional blends can prevent you from making any unforeseen mistakes with chemical reactions that may happen if you accidentally mix the nutrients the wrong way.

You also won’t have to worry about deciding what to feed your plant and the necessary ratios. They already have all of that taken care of, which is especially helpful for beginners.

There are so many awesome marijuana products created by well-experienced growers worldwide. Why make things hard?

If you still want to DIY, try starting out by making your own soil instead. Learn to make your own soil mixture with the tips from my free marijuana grow bible.

Grow Bible

  • Grow with my Quick Start Guide
  • Discover secrets to Big Yields
  • Avoid common grow mistakes


    WARNING: Stay clear of any fertilizers that are advertised as being “slow release” or “extended.” While these systems may be good for regular plants, they are most likely going to cause an array of issues when growing marijuana.

    using fertilizer for marijuana plants

    No Nutrients Without Water

    Want to know the best way to waste money on fertilizers?…

    …Not water your plants correctly.

    Fertilizers aside, without a proper watering technique, soil plants will never thrive.

    Although plants need water to transport the nutrients from roots to leaves, newbie marijuana growers often make the mistake of watering their plants far too often. This may lead to all sorts of over-watering problems. So, before we discuss fertilizers, let’s talk about watering.

    Here’s how to water plants in soil:

    • Keep at least the first top inch of the soil feeling dry.
    • Mix nutrients in your water.
    • Flush with pure water only once every two weeks.
    • Let about 20% additional water drain through the bottom when you water.

    Be sure you are always adding the proper amount of nutrients, and that you have chosen the right fertilizer for your growing stage.

    Be sure to read my full guide on proper watering marijuana plants if you want to know more.

    What fertilizer Cannabis Plants Need

    What do Cannabis Plants Need?

    Healthy marijuana plants require three elements for firm roots and vibrant flowers with high yields: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). You will often see these values displayed on packaging as NPK.

    Nitrogen is important for leaf growth while phosphorus aids in bud growth.

    Potting soils are already mixed with these three elements which will aid the plant for up to three weeks. But as the plants grow, they will need additional nutrients.

    Once your plant starts developing leaves, you will need to give it a 20% balance of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.

    If you are growing indoors, you’ll want to dilute this formula to one-quarter or one-half strength.

    When marijuana plants are grown indoors, they do not handle full strength dosages well, and it could cause the leaves to droop due to shock.

    You can feed your plant each time you water, although it isn’t completely necessary.

    Twice per week will usually suffice.

    However, outdoor plants naturally get fresh air, and their roots have free range to spread out and grow, so they often do not need as much.

    Cannabis Nutrients help plants thrive

    Nutrients help plants thrive
    Nutrients help plants thrive – Image powered by Leafly.com

    Marijuana plants require nutrients to thrive.

    In many cases, plants can absorb these nutrients from the Earth. In other scenarios, growers need to supplement these nutrients through the use of fertilizers. Therefore, knowing how to utilize nutrients correctly can be integral to the growth of your cannabis plants.

    Many things can act as fertilizers to some degree, but it is often easiest to purchase packaged fertilizers at a local garden center.

    Most fertilizers are sold as hydroponic solutions.

    Some are designed for soil, while others are designed for hydroponic growing. Every option will have nitrogen to aid leaf growth, potassium to facilitate the development of the flower and phosphorus for root growth.

    These are represented by their elemental symbols of N, P, and K respectively.

    In fact, on most commercial fertilizers, you’re going to see an NPK ratio listed on the bag (e.g., 20-20-20).

    This tells you exactly how much of each element is in that particular marijuana fertilizer.

    NPK aren’t the only nutrients found in fertilizers, however.

    There are also micronutrients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and many more. Although these help with specific processes inside the plant, they are not quite as vital as the three core nutrients.

    Timing is important

    Timing is important

    Different fertilizers work better at different times in the plant’s life cycle.

    At the very beginning of the sprouting stage, you probably won’t need any strong fertilizers and can probably just get away with using peat plugs or potting soil. In fact, you shouldn’t need to add nutrients until you reach the vegetative stage.

    During the vegetative stage, plants need an added boost of nutrient content to ensure that they are growing and producing at the right rates.

    For plants that are in a vegetative state, it’s essential to use a marijuana fertilizer that has an even NPK distribution of 20-20-20. This will provide them with an equal amount of each of the three core nutrients.

    During flowering, you are going to want to change the fertilizer just a bit. Cannabis thrives when it has a lot of nitrogen, and it uses extra nitrogen during the vegetative stage.

    This need for nitrogen reduces during the flowering stage, and extra potassium and phosphorus become necessary.

    At this point, the plant would do better with an NPK ratio of 10-30-10. The phosphorus helps with the production of buds and flowers to ensure an optimal yield.

    The cannabis plant gradually stops needing all nutrients as flowering ends, and it matures.

    The important thing to remember is that nutrients act like multivitamins for marijuana.

    In fact, you could say that the plants “eat” the nutrients to thrive.

    Without proper nourishment from fertilizer or the soil, a plant will not produce the desired outcome. You will see the effects of a lack of proper nutrient intake.

    Plant leaves will start to show burnt tips, and the amount of growth will appear to cease.

    If you want the best crop, it is important to ensure your plants are getting the proper nutrients starting with the macronutrients.

    Macronutrients & Micronutrients:

    • Nitrogen (N) – Increases vegetative growth.
    • Phosphorus (P) – Helps nutrient uptake and photosynthesis.
    • Potassium (K) – Builds resistance and energy.

    Secondary nutrients:

    • Magnesium (Mag) – Improves light absorption.
    • Calcium (Ca) – Increases cellular growth.
    • Sulphur (S) – Boosts hormone and vitamin production
    • Zinc (Zn) – Aids in chlorophyll production.
    • Iron (Fe) –  Produces enzymes, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll.
    • Manganese (Mn) – Involved in chlorophyll regulation.
    • Chlorine (Cl) – Helps cellular division and foliage growth.
    • Copper (Cu) – Stabilizes root development.
    • Cobalt (Co) – Boosts nitrogen absorption.
    • Silicon (Si) – Balances iron and magnesium levels.
    • Molybdenum (Mo) – Transforms nitrate into ammonium.
    • Boron (B) – Boosts calcium absorption.



    The Macro Nutrients

    The most vital elements for every plant on Earth are the so-called Macronutrients. Topping the list are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

    They are an inseparable part of all kinds of marijuana fertilizers; however, the amount of each nutrient varies according to the type of fertilizer.

    Different types of plants require different ratios of these nutrients. Keep in mind; the cannabis plant has needs that are similar to a tomato.

    Each element has different atomic characteristics – leading to a particular effect on a marijuana plant. Understanding each of these elements can help growers safely address deficiencies in their plants.

    Nitrogen

    Nitrogen as a marijuana fertilizer

    To begin with, Nitrogen, has the symbol ‘’N’’ in the periodic table, an atomic number of 7 and an atomic mass of approximately 14. It helps with photosynthesis and is responsible for chlorophyll production.

    Photosynthesis is impossible without the existence of chlorophyll, and this is why Nitrogen’s role is so important in the life of marijuana plants.

    Stimulating the growth of leaves and stems while also increasing the plant’s size and vigor are also effects of Nitrogen.

    Nevertheless, when there is a deficiency of N, the growth rates are reduced, and the leaves become yellow faster.

    The older leaves are the first to suffer, as are the lower leaves of the cannabis plant. Cold soil temperatures can also cause a nitrogen deficiency.

    Phosphorus

    Phosphorus nutrient & fertilizer

    The second element is Phosphorus or P on the periodic table with an atomic number of 15. It has an approximate atomic mass of 31.

    The primary benefit of this element includes promoting seed germination, as well as seedling and root growth.

    Phosphorus is an essential element for the development of the terpene resins and floral clusters. It also participates in the formation of sugars and starches.

    The overall vigor of the marijuana plant depends on Phosphorus.

    Therefore, a Phosphorus deficiency is signified by a reduction of the rate of growth and the quick drying of smaller leaves.

    They become purplish, and their edges are seared. What’s more, the excessive levels of Phosphorus can also cause Potassium-deficiency.

    Potassium

    Potassium

    The last crucial macro element is Potassium or K on the Periodic table of elements. Its atomic number is 19, and it has an atomic mass of approximately 39.

    Potassium is vital for healthy plant metabolism during the flowering period, and it helps in the formation of the clusters of marijuana flowers.

    Potassium keeps the plant vigorous, healthy and growing. Its deficiency can cause reduction if growth rates and problems with the leaves. It can cause them to have tips and edges which are brown in color with curled margins.



    The Micro Nutrients

    The basic Macro Nutrients are not enough for a marijuana plant to grow normally. Micronutrients also have critical functions, such as maintaining vigor and health.

    These Trace-elements include Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Manganese, Boron, Zinc and Copper. They are included in most marijuana fertilizers but in smaller quantities.

    Calcium

    Calcium fertilizer

    Calcium is one of the major microelements. It bears the symbol ‘’Ca’’ on the Periodic table of elements. Its atomic number is 20, and it has a mass of 40 approximately.

    Calcium is vital because it is a part of the cell walls. It provides strengthening of the stems and branches and helps in the formation of the root and its tip’s growth.

    A deficiency of Calcium causes distortion of the leaves. The leaves’ margins are hooked, and the roots do not finalize their development; their tips are weak.

    Magnesium

    Magnesium marijuana fertilizer

    Magnesium is also an important element. It has the symbol ‘’Mg’’ on the Periodic table, the number 12 and an approximate mass of 24.

    Magnesium stimulates the formation of chlorophyll and most of the reactions with enzymes.

    The structures of the leaves and the veins in them are healthy due to this element. When Mg is deficient, the effect is different in each plant species.

    Cannabis plants, for example, suffer from yellowing of the leaves, the disappearance of leaves, and withering, which starts from the older or lower leaves.

    Excessive levels of Magnesium can cause Calcium deficiency.

    Sulfur

    Sulfur

    Sulfur or ‘’S’’ on the periodic table has the number 16 and an atomic mass of approximately 32.

    It consists in the proteins of marijuana plants and is important for their production. It also participates in the formation of chlorophyll and the growth of the plant.

    The deficiency is presented by slower rates of growth along with smaller deformed leaves that are round and roll upwards.

    Soon they become stiff and die off.

    Manganese

    Manganese

    Manganese (or ‘’Mn’’, atomic number- 25 and an atomic mass of approximately 55) is responsible for the production of enzymes and chlorophyll production vital for the photosynthesis. Its deficiency has various results which depend on the species. On a cannabis plant, chloroplasts become yellow, and the stems are still quite green. On the surface of some leaves, there may be white or grey spots. It also causes Iron deficiency with similar symptoms.

    Boron

    Boron

    Boron (B, Z=5, A=10) helps with the movement of sugars and reproduction as well as water consumption by cells.

    It participates in the formations of stems and stalks and prevents Ca from becoming insoluble. Boron also aids in the production, coloring, and formation of leaves and their structures.

    Its deficiency causes death to the tips and malformations of the marijuana buds. Boron deficiencies also cause Mg and K deficiencies.

    Other Micronutrients

    Your plants are least likely to experience deficiencies of Zinc and Copper, but they are still essential to the health of your marijuana plants.

    Zinc gives the plant strength, by fortifying the stems, branches, stalk, and leaves. A zinc deficiency will look similar to a manganese or iron deficiency.

    Copper deficiencies, on the other hand, appear in younger leaves.

    Healthy leaves can quickly start to curl or wilt and eventually they will die. Without this nutrient, a plant has trouble forming new growth.

    When it has too much, it is unable to process iron properly.



    How to use nutrients

    Using both macro and micronutrients requires attention to details. You’ll need to follow a feeding schedule and only give plants the bare minimum of what they need. Many times that means feeding your plants a lot less than the recommended dosages. A good place to start is ¼ of the recommended amount, and then slowly move up to ½ based on how the plant responds.

    If you give a marijuana plant too many nutrients, it could experience nutrient burn. And, if you start with the full amount, you are very likely to burn your plants. Whereas nutrient burn won’t kill your plants, it will damage them. You will not get the best yield if you burn your plants.



    Nutrients for cannabis grown in soil

    Soil Fertilizers

    When
    choosing nutrients, how you grow is what matters.

    Instead of reinventing the wheel, focus instead on choosing the best system when growing marijuana or what you’d like your grow medium to be.

    Once you have decided in what medium you want to grow your plant, whether in soil, coco coir or hydroponics, make sure to buy products that fit that growing method. Some products are good for growing in more than one medium and some are only for a specific grow medium.

    Need help finding your supplies? Of course, this is my favorite online nutrient store. Bergman’s Plant Food works well for both soil and hydroponic grows.

    Bergman’s Plant Food

    I’ve had my own line of fertilizer produced to perfectly match each phase of the grow. Bergman’s Plant Food is a great product that ensures you have a good mixture of all the required nutrients.

    Bergman’s plant food contains the perfect mixture of the NPK elements.

    One
    of the best things about Bergman’s plant food is that it is easy to use.

    Seedling Plant Food

    Seedling Fertilizer

    These nutrients are perfect for the young plants. They don’t need a lot but just that extra little nudge to grow strong enough to transplant goes a long way. Learn more

    Vegetative Nutrients

    Growtime Fertilizer

    During the vegetative stage you want to give your plants as much nutrients as possible to make it a strong, full plant so that it’s capable of producing fat flowers. Learn more

    Bloom Nutrients

    Flowertime Fertilizer

    During flowering your plants will need a lot of potassium (K) to grow dense, resin heavy buds. These nutes are the perfect blend during the bloom phase. Learn more

    You can add a Plant Booster during the flowering phase to give the plants that extra edge if you like.

    These fertilizers come in complete sets with a discount as well as a watering and feeding schedules. Take a peek if you will:

    Cannabis Feeding Schedules

    Once the plant is fully grown you will need to start thinking about flowering and harvest time. My free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants.




    Harvest Guide







    • Time your harvest for Perfect Taste
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      Our friends at aPotforPot offer a clever solution for a one-stop grow. Be sure to check them out!

      Fox Farms Trio

      Fox Farms is a top pick for newbie marijuana growers. With it, you can grow any marijuana strain and never need more additives. They have both the hydroponic and soil versions so be sure to get the correct one. This can also be used with coco coir growing as well.

      Fox Farms Trio top pick for newbie growers
      Fox Farms Trio top pick for newbie growers

      There are three bottles, (you may be able to get them as a package), and you’ll need all three. They are called “Grow Big,” “Tiger Bloom,” and “Big Bloom.” Available at this online store.

      This set is really easy to use.

      Just follow the directions on the bottles. Fox Farms is really all you need to get your marijuana to bloom just right.

      Perlite and Vermiculite Marijuana Fertilizers

      For soil growing you can make things nice and easy by buying a smart pot to grow your marijuana in and add a mix of Fox Farms Happy Frog soil with about 30% perlite for starters. Humbolt soil is also a good option.

      If you choose hydroponic growing, add
      perlite or vermiculite in a combination of about 50 percent fertilizer to
      a mixture of water and peat moss.

      Perlite and Vermiculite growing

      Perlite and Vermiculite growing

      Want professional-level soil?

      Always use perlite or vermiculite. They are produced when mica is heated proportionately to 1,400- and 1,800-degrees Fahrenheit. When heated the minerals enlarge and become porous. This creates white pellets that retain air.

      Why do these pellets matter?

      They can also take in almost four times their own weight in water. They are why many commercial solid potting soils do not become tough and lumpy when dry.

      The minerals in them naturally create magnesium, calcium, and potassium and will eventually infuse into the soil.

      This
      is great because the mixture continuously feeds the soil with nutrients.

      After some time, the pellets of both fertilizers become immersed in a mixture of the minerals discharged into the soil. Perlite, vermiculite and other media are available at Growershouse.

      Miracle

      Yes or No to Miracle-Gro?

      If you’ve grown
      anything, you’ve likely heard of Miracle-Gro.

      It’s
      one of the more popular formulas on the market, as well as a household name
      when it comes to plant fertilizers. Just
      about anyone you ask has heard of it and most likely used it for gardening
      “regular plants.”, but it is not the best
      for marijuana growing.

      Why
      should you avoid Miracle-Gro?

      One
      reason it is not recommended is that the solution gives too much nitrogen
      during the flowering stage. As mentioned above, a proper balance of all
      nutrients is essential to growing a
      healthy marijuana plant.

      Miracle-Gro simply doesn’t have the right balance.

      If you use Miracle-Gro, you will be using the same formula for the entire life span. Now in the beginning stages, it may work fine. However, the requirements for a marijuana plant shifts significantly between the seedling stage and when it starts making buds. It should make sense that you would switch your formula, too.

      So, while its reputation would make you think it is a great, easy option, our suggestion is to stay clear of using Miracle-Gro.

      This product is complete without additives and gives complete care to your plants. Use these three bottles to change the ratio between the three bottles to control nutrition for each specific stage of plant growth, as a professional grower would do.

      Dyna-Gro

      So, maybe cost is a concern for you, or you are new to marijuana growing and need a simple solution. In either case, you should check out Grow and Bloom fertilizers by Dyna-Gro.

      Dyna-Gro - Grow and Bloom

      Whether you are growing your marijuana plant in soil, coco coir or hydro, this is an effective solution. Dyna-Gro is available at this link.

      Here’s how to use it:

      Use Grow while the plant is in a vegetative stage. During the flowering stage, use Bloom. After that, just follow the instructions on the bottles! You can use these throughout the entire growing cycle from seedling to harvest time.

      Just fertilizer won’t get you far.

      Be sure to check out my seed store if you’re looking to buy high-quality seeds.




      High-quality marijuana seeds



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      Different Types of Natural Fertilizers

      Of course you can always go the 100% natural way and create your own organic fertilizers. Here are a couple of examples of DIY organic fertilizer:

      Urine as a Marijuana Fertilizer?

      So, we already know that nitrogen is necessary for marijuana growth and development. Well, human urine contains large amounts of nitrogen.

      Yes, your urine is a healthy fertilizer for marijuana!

      Now you don’t want to just go and urinate directly on the plants or even on the ground around it, as this could kill them. Instead, mix a commercial plant food with one full bladder worth of urine per each gallon of water. You will have to use this solution immediately to avoid any toxic ammonia from forming.

      Chicken Manure

      Humans aren’t
      the only good fertilizer makers.

      Chicken manure also is an excellent marijuana fertilizer. Organic slow release chicken manure compost increases yields and promotes healthy plants. Learn about the benefits of ChickenFuel compost.

      Wood Ashes

      Let’s say you live in an area where the soil is too acidic for marijuana growing. You can use plain wood ashes to help restore the proper pH. Just mix a shovelful of wood ashes per 5-gallon bucket of water to the soil. If that is not an option, you can also try lime (available at most garden stores) for the same results.

      Composting

      Composting

      Composting is inexpensive and relatively simple, as it uses things you would normally just throw away anyway. It creates the environment similar to a nice, fertile soil so your cannabis plants can grow healthily. You can include anything from plant clippings to fruits and vegetables to animal manure. It should not include animal fat or meat, however, as it simply will attract maggots and parasites. You also shouldn’t include manure from your cat or dog, and consider not using pine needles because they lower the pH and don’t break down as quickly as other compostable items.

      You should break down all of your compost ingredients into small pieces in order to accelerate the breakdown of your compost mixture. There are plenty of different ways to go about it, and there are plenty of reasons for doing it in a new way.

      There are several important factors you always need to remember. For instance, it is a good idea to layer your compost pile, and you should always make sure that air is able to flow through it. The last thing you want is a compost pile that has very little or no air circulation. Just like with any soil or fertilizer, you should also be testing the pH level of your compost pile to make sure it remains balanced. If it is too acidic or alkaline, you can simply put in some lime or bonemeal to adjust the balance in both ways.

      Unless you live on a farm, you probably will need a long amount of time to collect enough diverse organic matter to form a useful compost pile. Allow a few months to gain enough items to form a usable mixture. The result is worth it, however, as your mixture will be much more fertile than most of the available store-bought items you can find.

      Organic Composting

      Organic Composting

      The most often encountered reason for growing cannabis organically is that there is almost a zero chance that you will burn the marijuana plants. Too much chemical fertilizer can be a bad thing, since it is highly concentrated and may leave salts behind in the soil. The roots rapidly absorb the chemical fertilizers and, like someone who eats too quickly will experience a negative reaction. This could include the death of your marijuana plants.

      Usually what happens is that too much of one nutrient prevents the uptake of others, leaving your plant deficient and dying: When fed organic substances, marijuana plants will only take in the nutrients they need, leaving the rest in the soil. The remaining nutrients are broken down slowly, which ensures a steady supply.

      The major drawback to organic cannabis growing is the knowledge needed and the preparation that may be necessary to deliver the nutrients to the marijuana plants. Composting takes time and should be started months in advance. It requires a space in which to accomplish this, preferably far away from people since it can carry quite an odor. Also, depending on your security needs, it may be impossible to get the composted soil to the grow site, since where you compost and where you grow cannabis may be very far apart. In cases like these it is best to add individual organic matter to the existing site and bring that soil up to par.

      The idea behind composting is that organic matter decays with the help of bacteria created in the decomposition process into a brown, loose blend called humus. This is the same process that natural soil uses, though in nature it takes much longer. You accelerate this process through composting because the mixture of things added increases the presence and activity of bacteria and microorganisms. In good, fertile soil there are untold millions of microorganisms in every gram, as well as earthworms, which are attracted to good soil and improve it by living within it.

      Make your own compost

      Make Your Own Compost

      Even if you are using chemicals to grow your marijuana plants, you probably will still need to include some organic compost additives at some point. Below you will find a list of the various types of organic additives, and what they can do to help you with the specific elements your soil and fertilizers are missing. You need these to make your own compost.

      There are plenty of other available additives as well, but this is a basic list that will help you make it through most seasons. Read carefully, for some of the items on the list include valuable information, such as the exact ratios of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous that they contain, plus which season they are the most useful in.

      This additive includes a very concentrated amount of nitrogen. It is one of the most popular additives used for the cannabis vegetative growth period. Buy blood meal here

      Bone meal is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter-house waste products. Buy bone meal here

      Chicken Compost

      Even chicken manure makes a great fertilizers. Organic slow release chicken manure compost increases yields and promotes healthy plants. If you do not have a chicken at hand, DankoDirt makes great organic fertilizer. Learn about the benefits of ChickenFuel compost.

      As repulsive as it sounds, fish emulsion is a mixture that includes decomposed fish. It is the most effective when applied to young cannabis plants, due to the fact that it is not as harsh as some other fertilizers, and its nutrient content is fairly balanced. Buy fish emulsion here

      A utility fertilizer that can be useful in any situation, worm casters are extremely balanced in their nutrient content. In addition to nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, they also have micronutrients that provide a general nutritious value to the soil, helping it to remain nutrient-rich and healthy. Buy worm castings here

      Make your own compost - Worm castings

      Kelp meal contains many micronutrients and it is most effective when combined with a basic soil or compost mix. Cannabis plants love it. Buy kelp meal here

      No two types of manure are the same since different animals produce waste that has different fertilizing properties. In general, your best bet is to use either rabbit, cow, chicken, horse or bat manure. They are all great additives for compost – don’t put them directly in your plants’ soil, however.

      Coffee grounds

      These are most useful when you need to change the pH level your soil or compost to be more acidic since coffee grounds have an extremely acidic pH content. The right pH of the soil is very important to grow healthy marijuana plants.

      Coffee grounds

      The answer to coffee grounds, eggshells can make your soil or compost more alkaline. They should be ground down and included in your compost pile.

      Lime is another efficient way of increasing your soil or compost’s pH level. Plenty of organic marijuana growers swear by it when their soil is too acidic. Not everyone loves it, however since its reaction and breakdown time is very slow. Because of how long it takes, you should consider using it only early on in the growing season, or add it to your compost if you think the soil might be too acidic for some reason. Buy lime here

      This additive is a simple and very fast way of increasing the pH level. It also has lots of other health benefits and micronutrients for your soil.

      Hydroponics Fertilizers

      Growing cannabis with the roots planted in water

      Growing cannabis with the roots planted in water

      Not excited
      about soil?

      Some people prefer to grow their marijuana in water. This is what is called “growing your plant hydroponically”. With this method, you will need fertilizers that are designed for hydroponic growing. There is no room for loose particles that could clog your pumps, tube and any other hydroponic equipment you may own.

      Bergman’s Plant Food works perfectly well with your hydro setup, and with the accompanying feeding schedule you can’t go wrong. That being said, here are some great alternatives:

      General Hydroponics Flora Series

      General Hydroponics Flora Serie - Grow, Micro and Bloom

      General Hydroponics Flora Serie – Grow, Micro and Bloom

      This
      highly suggested nutrient system is a great start for both beginners and
      advanced growers. You can also use this in coco coir and soil as well. The awesome part – they sell a “performance pack”
      which includes a pH balance test kit along with all that you need to start
      growing. Find it at this link.

      General Hydroponics FloraDuo

      General Hydroponics FloraDuo - A and B

      General Hydroponics FloraDuo – A and B

      If you want to narrow it down to two bottles instead of three, there is General Hydroponics FloraDuo. This line is great for learning the different stages your plant will go through and what it needs to flourish.

      You’ll start with the first bottle, a high nitrogen formula, then once you are at a certain point in the growing process, you will start using the second bottle. The second bottle has a higher concentration of Phosphorus and Potassium.

      You
      don’t have to bother memorizing proper nutrient proportions, simply follow the instructions.

      Following the feeding schedule is very simple. Keep the pH of your water between 5.5-6.5, and this product is known to breed good results fairly quickly. General Hydro Nutrients are available at this link .

      Future Harvest Nutrients

      Future Harvest, a cannabis-focused nutrient company for over 20 years, brings out a fertilizer line called Holland Secret. It is a complete 3-Part fertilizer with all of the essential elements and trace minerals that a plant needs. It can be used with any grow medium (soil, coco or hydro) in any situation (cuttings, vegetative, flowering). It is perfect for expert or novice growers as there is no need for individual fertilizers, because the three bottles, have a formula for all situations. Growers will experience no deficiencies when using Holland Secret alone.

      Botanicare nutrition

      Botanicare nutrition - Grow and Bloom

      Botanicare nutrition – Grow and Bloom

      Another great system for your hydroponic marijuana growing needs is Botanicare.

      Bloom and Grow can be used for the entire growing experience. However, for the more experienced marijuana grower, these formulas let you play around and make adjustments to the calcium and nitrogen levels.

      Look,
      there’s nothing wrong with custom blends.

      The system was created to be tweaked. Following the instructions exactly may not provide the most desirable results, so if you want to try this system, you need to have the right knowledge and be ready to experiment. Botanicare is available at this link here

      Advanced Nutrients

      Advanced Nutrients - Bloom, Grow and Micro

      Advanced Nutrients – Bloom, Grow and Micro

      The
      Advanced Nutrients line is more on the expensive side, but several growers love it.

      The truth is you really don’t need the expensive products to get the results you want. You will most likely get just as good – if not better – results with the less pricey products mentioned above. While this line certainly is not necessary for satisfactory marijuana growth, it is worth a try if you don’t mind paying a premium for it.

      I’ll
      say it again:

      Advanced
      Nutrients is pricey. However, you can save a little money if you only use what
      you need.

      Here’s a link to a calculator that measures how much Advanced Nutrients you need.

      Find Advanced Nutrients on Amazon: Grow, Micro, Bloom.

      You will find seeds for any type of grow medium in my seedbank.  Be sure to check out the Special Offers section for great deals.



      Coco fertilizers

      Growing in coco coir, or coconut coir can have similar advantages to growing in a hydroponics system. Coir is the fiber that comes from the coconut husk, and it’s used in a variety of products (i.e., doormats) as well as by gardeners.

      Didn’t know you can grow marijuana in coco coir?

      Well, any food that can be grown hydroponically is also good for coco coir growing. You’ll want to use a smart pot.

      Want to learn more? Here’s my full guide on growing in coco coir.

      Growing with coco fertilizers

      Growing with coco fertilizers

      Coco Coir is an easy-to-use growing
      medium, but it requires a specific type of nutrient.

      Successful coco coil growers remember
      to:

      • keep the pH between 5.5 – 6.5
      • alternate watering with regular water
      • add extra calcium and magnesium

      Even the healthiest plant might suffer from calcium deficiencies and magnesium deficiencies if grown in coco coir. Save yourself some trouble by making sure you use something with a little extra Calcium and Magnesium.  

      It doesn’t matter which calcium and magnesium supplement you get. Most are fairly inexpensive and will work perfectly. General Hydroponics has a supplement by the name of “CaliMagic,” or you can try the one by Botanicare called “Cal-Mag.”

      Canna Coco A + B and Cal-Mag

      Both of those options are very popular with people who prefer coco coir growing.

      But Canna is one of the first marijuana specialized nutrient suppliers from Amsterdam. Products are available worldwide , check this link at Amazon for all Canna products

      Fox Farms Nutrient Trio for Hydroponics

      Fox Farms Nutrient Trio

      Fox Farms Nutrient Trio

      You
      don’t have to get a Coco Coir fertilizer, however. Fox Farm’s system is
      excellent for preventing calcium and magnesium deficiencies, but it never hurts
      to have some Cal-Mag around just in case.

      As
      mentioned earlier in this article, the “Grow Big,”
      “Tiger Bloom” and “Big Bloom” is all you really need. Just don’t overdo it in
      terms of dosage because the trio is already quite strong. Be sure to follow the
      feeding schedule provided by Fox Farms, and
      you will be good to go.

      If you want to purchase one of their supplements, the FF trio comes highly recommended. Fox Farm Trio for hydroponics is available at this link.

      bergmans Plant Food



      Increasing CO2

      Fertilizers
      are not the only way to improve the health of your plant. You can also focus on
      the air.

      Vinegar-baking soda CO2 generator

      Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, so naturally, marijuana flourishes in surroundings that are high in carbon dioxide (CO2).

      Did you know?

      White vinegar is an excellent source for creating carbon dioxide.

      Vinegar CO2 Hack

      Here’s how you create your very own CO2 generator for your plants:

      1. Place baking soda in a 1-liter bowl

      2. Slowly add white vinegar to the bowl. You don’t need to add much.  One drop of white vinegar every two minutes will suffice.

      3. When the vinegar mixes with the baking soda, a chemical response occurs that makes the two substances inactive, creating ample carbon dioxide. This takes place until either the baking soda is expended, or the vinegar is completely gone.

      An indoor grower can use vinegar generators the same way IV drips are used in the hospital. The easiest way to do this is with a bottle filled with vinegar.

      4. Duct-tape the bottle and hang it over some sort of open bowl or container that is filled halfway with baking soda.

      5. Poke a hole in the vinegar bottle cap with a small finishing nail to let it drip its contents from the hole and mix into the baking soda in the bowl underneath it.

      CO2 “bomb”

      However, the drip method may not be ideal for your grow.

      The
      best environment for a vinegar/baking soda drip generator is in a small
      confined space where no air will blow
      away any of the CO2. You also definitely do not want the smell of vinegar to bring
      unwanted attention to your marijuana growing operation.

      A vinegar-soda drip generator also doesn’t work well in the outdoors, where open breezes quickly carry off any CO2 that is generated. This in addition to a steady and unmistakable odor of vinegar that could, if the breeze was favorable, lead thieves or authorities directly to you.

      There is a better way. Make a mini CO2 bomb.

      For
      the CO2 process to be effective, you want
      to create a carbon dioxide filled environment that totally stops any of the CO2 from going out of the space.  There are many ways to do this. To keep it
      simple, you can completely cover your plant with a huge plastic bag draped over the top. It needs to be long enough to
      touch the ground while also not touching the
      tops of the plant either.

      Here is a CO2 generator using a different method:

      YouTube video

      Video by Sensi Weed

      Once
      you’ve created your cover, put some sort of open plastic bottle or container
      with 1-quarter baking soda standing up right underneath it.  It should be under the dome you’ve created. Now,
      from underneath the cover, pour a tablespoon of vinegar into the open bottle.
      Pour just enough that it starts to foam as it creates
      CO2. Then go ahead and leave it under the dome, closing the cover behind you.

      Give it about 15 minutes before adding more vinegar to the rest of the baking soda. Blend everything well.

      Your CO2 bag needs to remain on the plant for at least four hours so that everything is completely submerged in the tissues. You can repeat these steps as often as you feel it needs to be done.

      There is no such thing as giving your marijuana plant too much CO2. When using these bombs, some growers prefer to do it at night time due to the smell it creates.

      Root pH

      Root pH

      The
      best scenario is not needing to use fertilizer
      at all. You can do this by paying attention to your roots.

      How
      do you do that?

      You
      check the pH.

      Effectively managing the pH of your root is vital to protecting your plant from nutrient problems. Before you water your marijuana plants check the pH of the water. For your marijuana to properly absorb the nutrients it receives, the pH has to be right.

      Measuring the pH is easy.

      There are pH test kits available at a decent price that do the work for you. Some of the nutrient systems on the market even provide these kits.

      Best of all, the process gets easier.

      After you have done it a few times, it will only take you about 5 minutes, and it can be done when you water your plants. Trust me: you want to make a habit of checking the pH if you want to ensure your plant is in its best health at all times.

      Don’t worry about always getting the pH right. It is far more important to monitor it and see that is remains in the proper ranges.

      Below are the proper pH ranges for soil and hydroponic growing.

      • Soil pH: 5.8 – 6.5
      • Hydroponics pH: 5.5 – 6.5

      Read the following guides if you want to perfect pH management:



      When to stop fertilizing

      When to stop fertilizing

      Honestly, there isn’t a definitive answer to when you should stop fertilizing. It really depends on the grower as everyone has a preferred way of doing things. You may choose to fertilize until harvest, or you can refrain from fertilizing days or even weeks prior to the end.

      Generally, you should stop giving nutrients to soil-grown plants earlier than plants grown in hydroponics. A 1-14 days or more flush is common for hydroponic growers.

      It’s
      a good idea to continue using flowering and blooming formulas for the first few
      weeks of the flowering stage. You can choose to start flushing your plants
      about two weeks before harvest. You’ll
      have to use your own good judgment of
      when you think your plants are ready to be flushed.

      Here’s
      the deal, however:

      You
      may not have to use nutrients in the first place.

      Unless
      there are deficiencies such as the yellowing of leaves around the base of the
      plant, then you really do not need to give your plant a ton of nutrients. The
      way the plant tastes is affected by how much nutrients are added to it, so
      overdoing it could cause the taste to be
      off.

      Don’t mistake the normal process as a problem.

      At the end of the flowering period, bottom leaves will turn yellow.

      This is normal – not a lack of nutrients!

      Whatever the suggested amount of nutrients are, it is best to cut that amount in half when you first begin. You will want to increase the dosage as soon as you detect the first sign of malnourishment.

      Remember that a small amount really does go quite far!

      Seeing yellow leaves near the base of the plant is fine so long as it is closer towards the end of the flowering stage. Yellow leaves only need to be addressed in the early stages of the marijuana plants life cycle. Just be certain to make sure there are enough leaves to make it to harvest time.

      Nutrient burn - overfed marijuana plant

      Nutrient burn – overfed marijuana plant

      Overfeeding
      your plant can cause nutrient burns which will never go away. Once the damage
      is done there is nothing you can do about it. Literally,
      all the leaves will be burned forever.

      Nutrient
      burn is a sure sign you have done too much. If in fact, the buds are already developing, overfeeding may lead to burns on the sugar leaves on the plant buds.
      Although the actual buds may be fine,
      this results in the harvested buds looking very rough.

      Slow down on the nutrients as soon as the leaf tips turn brown.

      Again, starting your dosage at half strength is best unless deficiencies are present. All strands are created different, and you just may have a strand that can easily be affected by nutrient burn. Usually, the only people who have to increase their nutrients are the ones with fast-growing plants that use very bright lights.

      If your marijuana is being grown hydroponically, you can measure the PPM (Parts Per Million) of your water, to observe exactly what your plants need. Click here for a great source to learn about PPM.

      If you choose to water your plant by hand, then monitor the PPM of the run-off water at the bottom as well as the water you are pouring into it. By observing the run-off water after you pour your nutrients in, it is easier to notice if there is a difference in the PPM.

      Let’s say you notice the PPM increases – then it is an indicator that you may be providing more than enough nutrients. However, if the PPM decreases, then you should give your plant more food since your plant is absorbing the nutrients to the point that it is not leaving any left over.

      When you
      need to use fertilizer for your marijuana plants, it is important that you
      choose the right one. That’s why learning how to pick nutrients is the first
      step to growing the best marijuana you can possibly grow. If your growing in
      soil, you’re going to have different needs than if you are growing
      hydroponically. You also may be able to improve your plant’s growth by simply
      adding more CO2.

      While it is
      important to remember that fertilizer should not always be your first solution,
      especially if you don’t know how to, you shouldn’t be afraid to add nutrients
      with confidence.

      Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow guide.

      Happy growing!

      Robert

      Robert

      Frequent Nutrient Questions

      Are there other options for natural fertilizers?  

      Yes! Nature provides many options for both nutrients and pesticides when growing marijuana. I’ve only mentioned some of my favorites. Learn more natural alternatives in this article.

      How do worm castings work?

      Worm castings are like chicken manure and urine except they come from earthworms.  In addition to adding nutrients, the earthworms help aerate the soil. Learn more in this article.

      Is there a difference between liquid and dry fertilizers? 

      There is not! Powdered fertilizers are the same except they do not have the added water. If you don’t mind doing some mixing, there is nothing wrong with staying dry.

      How do you know a fertilizer is good for marijuana? 

      Fertilizers have an NPK ratio which represents the macronutrients needed for growth.  Marijuana fertilizer should have an NPK ratio suited for cannabis. Learn more in this article.

      Looking to grab some nutrients? Read some of our happy customer experiences!

      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 lead 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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