Social distancing is the new normal of our century. As a means to keep this practice going, a lot of cannabis users have started growing their own marijuana. This allows them to have access to cannabis without leaving the safety of their homes or getting in contact with people. But even if you haven’t propagated one yet, it is not too late. Contact your nearest medical marijuana doctor for consultation and you can soon start preparing for a marijuana harvest.
Though growing a cannabis plant is not rocket science but it’s not simple either. Proper conditions are a must or else your plant may develop diseases or even have a stunted growth. Also, based on whether you are growing your plant indoors or outdoors, your plant’s requirements may be different. Even different strains have very different growing conditions. Feeling lost? Don’t worry. Here are a few tips that can help you have a healthy plant at home.
Be Careful About your Seed Selection
Besides getting a medical marijuana grower license, the first step for every cannabis grower is to consider the type of seeds they want. Seed selection has to be done mindfully and with care. Your type of seeds decide if your plant will be healthy or not.
Begin by choosing the type of strain you want to grow. The most common classifications are Indica, Sativa and Hybrids. Each of these require different care tips for proper growth. So make sure that you know about the type of seed you are using.
In addition to strains, cannabis seeds are also classified as females and males. If you wish to have more buds, go for feminized seeds. Male seeds are more useful for breeding. So choose accordingly.
Another important step for seed selection is to check if they are old or low quality. Either scenarios are responsible for stunted growth and poor harvest.
Ensure Proper Light Conditions
Cannabis plants are sensitive to light fluctuations. They need light to grow but a slight change can influence the growth of your plant. So acquaint yourself with the proper light conditions for your plant.
First step is to ensure that the plant gets sufficient light throughout the day. Depending upon your growing space, strain and growth phase, the light schedule would be different. Do not go overboard or below the required amount of light or your plant may develop stress or hormone imbalances.
Light has different spectrums each of which has different effects on cannabis. Your plant will also grow faster if you are able to match the right type of light to the growth phase. So when you are buying your grow lights, pay attention to its color temperature.
Along with light hours, your plant needs to have some time of darkness too. Any interruption during such hours will affect flowering and can even turn the plant hermaphrodite.
Cannabis needs nutrition for growth just like any other plant. But you have to be careful about what you feed and when. There are three stages of cannabis plant growth- Seedling, vegetative and flowering. Each requires a different combination of nutrients. For example, the vegetative state needs a good supply of nitrogen whereas the flowering stage does not. So be thorough with your research before mixing any fertilizer into the soil.
Also remember that if you are feeding your plants with intensive light to grow faster, you must make the appropriate nutrient additions to the soil. If it is not balanced accordingly, you may see signs of stress on your plant.
While nutrient deficiency should be avoided, overfeeding is also not an option. It is usually a case among beginners who assume that more nutrition equals more harvest. It will not give you better yield but will cause nutrient burn and an unhealthy plant. It can easily be avoided by being careful about the feeding cycle.
Maintain Temperature and Humidity
Remember that every phase of a cannabis plant’s growth has different requirements. And this applies to temperature and humidity requirements as well.
You must maintain the temperature around your plant. Too hot and you will have a drooping plant with heat stress. Too cold and your plant may go into a shock and not grow as fast as it should. An ideal temperature for a cannabis plant is supposed to be between 59℉ and 85℉, preferably 77℉. However, it can vary from one plant to another. So stay within this range and observe which temperature fits your plant.
Right amount of humidity is important for cannabis to grow properly. Humidity keeps the correct moisture level in the plants intact. And this prevents plants from drying out. However, high humidity levels are equally damaging to the plant. It raises concern of mold growth like mildew. You must avoid this scenario as it renders the plant useless.
pH is important
One of the most common mistakes that people make while growing marijuana is ignoring the pH level of the growing medium and water. Do not make the mistake of taking pH as a dispensable factor.
Proper pH is responsible for ensuring that all the nutrients that you add in the soil are absorbed by the plant. Cannabis has a really small window of 5.5 and 7.0 for suitable growth that ranges in different growing mediums. It is only in this range that optimal nutrient absorption is possible.
You should also check the pH of the water in your area and nutrient solutions before feeding it to your plants. Several measuring instruments are available in the market that can help determine the pH. Identify the pH and adjust it accordingly with additives that are easily available at any grow store.
Understand the Water Schedule
It is only with time and experience that you will be able to figure out the right water schedule for your plants. But as a beginner, stick to less frequent watering. If the water around the roots is more than required, the roots will not be able to access the oxygen and other nutrients adequately. And may even rot and die. So watering cannabis should not be a daily affair. You should only water your plants when the soil feels dry. Otherwise there are chances of overwatering that has its own set of disadvantages.
Also, make sure that the water quality is good and has the right level of pH.
Growing cannabis or any other plant is not complicated but it does need practice and patience. These tips can help you have a healthy plant but you will need some time to get a hang of it. Once you do, the process will become easy. And then all you have to do is wait for your harvest.