Fertilizer is applied to the marijuana plant in order to provide it the nutrients required by growth. Our research group analyzed the application rates, effectiveness and resulting productivity in cannabis plants fed bloom booster bud food. The hypothoses of the study states "We expect to find a positive correlation between optimal cannabis fertilizer and growth in the marijuana species".
A fertilizer is a source of nutrients. The nutrients may come from a variety of organic and synthetic sources. In organic farming, natural fertilizers are made of manures, rock powders and organic matter such as mulch, compost and leaves. In commercial agriculture, the fertilizers used are most often derived chemically through biological interactions at the molecular level.
While a range of nutrients are obtained though the environment, such as carbon, in the soil or around the rootzone is where cannabis plants absorb the nutrients it can otherwise not access. Of the aforementioned nutrients, there exists three which are defined as major nutrients.
- Nitrogen - to support new growth, healthy leaves and vigorous structuring
- Phosphorus - to strengthen cell walls, and in-turn provide energy for the flowering process
- Potassium - essential in DNA composition, and aiding in the cannabinoid and terpene development on the plant
Fertilizers designed for the cannabis plant mix the NPK nutrient ratios to match the needs of a growing marijuana plant, at different stages of life, such as the bloom stage. Our research followed the industry standards used to fertilizer marijuana crops in the United States. Recommendations for marijuana growers are listed below:
- The starting 2-week old marijuana plant may need less nutrients than others. A 1 month old marijuana plant requires an increased nitrogen feeding schedule.
- At 2-3 months the cannabis plant tends to benefit from added phosphorus and potassium applications in moderate doses.
- After 3 months of growth for most cannabis strains, the nutrient diet is switched to low nitrogen ratios compared to high phosphorus and potassium ratios.
The reasoning behind such change in nutrient feeding is due to the unique flowering process the cannabis plant has. During the time of bud formation, the marijuana plant slows down in vertical growth, while plumping up in weight, as a result of the natural bloom cycle the plant is undertaking.
Results showed a correlation between the increased growth ability of the studied cannabis plants with the amount of fertilizer applied. Analysis was performed in an outdoor greenhouse using a mix of perlite and vermiculite as the sterile substrate over a period of 4 months.