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best nutrients for cannabis 2020

Best Hydroponic Nutrients for Weed in 2020

We reviewed hundreds of nutrients available on the market today as of July 2020 and created a simple list to help you pick the best nutrients for your grow.

When it comes to a hydroponic or soil grow, these nutrients are the best in market when it comes to growing your cannabis or weed grow with the most trusted, reliable, and affordable nutrient brands in the market. We also compiled a list of frequently asked questions for cannabis growers to understand the what to look for with nutrients and how the process actually works.

Have a question about any of these nutrients? Ask us in the comments!

Best Cannabis Nutrients For Growing Weed

  • 1 Best Nutrients for Weed: Quick Product Comparison Chart
  • 2 Things To Consider Before Buying
  • 3 Reviews of the Best Hydroponic Nutrients for Growing Weed 2020
    • 3.1 General Hydroponics Flora Grow
    • 3.2 Runner Up: Advanced Nutrients Bloom/a>
    • 3.3 Fox Farm – Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom
    • 3.4 Humboldt’s Secret Base A & B
    • 3.5 Dyna-Gro DYFLO008 Foliage Pro
    • 3.6 Orga Grow Holland
    • 3.7 CANNA Coco A&B
    • 3.8 House & Garden Aqua Flakes A&B
    • 3.9 Botanicare Liquid Karma
    • 3.10 General Hydroponics GH Gardening Flora
  • 4 Frequently Asked Questions
    • 4.1 What Should I Know About Nutrients?
    • 4.2 What Do Cannabis Plants Need To Grow And Thrive?
    • 4.3 What About Micronutrients
    • 4.4 Growing Cannabis Plants Using Hydroponics
    • 4.5 Growing Cannabis Plants In Soil
    • 4.6 Nutrients For Each Stage Of Growth
    • 4.7 Guarding Against Feeding Problems
    • 4.8 Getting The pH Balance Right
    • 4.9 Growing Healthy Plants

Best Hydroponic Nutrients For Weed 2020: Product Comparison Chart

Things to consider before buying

There are a couple of things you absolutely need to consider before choosing the best nutrients for growing weed:

1) Nutrients: It’s imperative when researching nutrients and buying products that you ensure you look at the labels. Almost all nutrients in the market should have a label and should indicate the three core nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK). For example if a bottle indicates the following numbers: 3-1-3, this shows the different levels (Nitrogen, 3), (Phosphorus, 1), and (Potassium, 3). To be “complete”, a hydroponic nutrient needs to go beyond NPKs and have all of the essential elements for plant growth:

  • – Nitrogen (N)
  • – Potassium (K)
  • – Phosphorus (P)
  • – Magnesium (Mg)
  • – Iron (Fe)
  • – Calcium (Ca)
  • – Sulphur (S)
  • – Zinc (Zn)
  • – Chlorine (Cl)
  • – Boron (B)
  • – Manganese (Mn)
  • – Copper (Cu)
  • – Molybdate (Mo)

2) NPK Ratios:

When thinking about starting your grow, you’ll want to understand the amount of nutrients you’ll need to shower your plants with. You’ll find differing opinions everywhere you research, but from our experience as well as the guidance from very well respected growers, the table below is a good illustration of the amount of nutrients you should provide your plants throughout each stage.

Vegetative Stage Flowering Stage
High Nitrogen Low Nitrogen
Medium Phosphorus Medium to High Phosphorus
High Potassium High Potassium

Remember to keep your nutrient ratio balanced – it’s important to understand where phosphorus or potassium is needed for healthy growth, otherwise, you risk your plants dying unexpectedly.

3) Hydroponic or Soil: You’ll want to understand the use cases for nutrients when it comes to hydroponic or soil grows. Hydroponics setups without soil is used by large-scale growers that are primarily indoors. Many of the cannabis/weed related nutrients are sold for hydroponic set ups. One important point to note is that if you are using organic nutrients, it is not recommended to use organic nutrients with hydroponic setups – it can ruin your water/grow with bacteria. All of the liquid nutrients below can be used for hydroponic growing and soil grows. Again – it is perfectly fine to use these hydroponic nutrients in soil and vice versa, these are all perfect for all types of grow when it comes to your cannabis.

Reviews of the Best Hydroponic Nutrients for Weed in 2020

Editor’s Choice: General Hydroponics Flora Grow

Average Amazon Review: 4.6 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 903 +

Runner Up: Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow

Average Amazon Review: 4.5 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 260+

Fox Farm FX14049 Liquid Nutrients

Foxfarm offers many different types of soil mixes including a soil conditioner if you are in need. This product is complete with micro-nutrient and macro-nutrient formulations and have a nice blend of natural fertilizers. This product is easily mixed with water for easy growing.

At Productiongrower, we love this product because it’s the perfect one for intro hydro gardeners as well as more experienced ones. It is a convenient 3-pack of the top liquid fertilizer products for hydroponics. It’s easy to use since you use them in sequence all season long. You should start with the Grow Big for abundant green growth and then switch over to the Tiger Bloom when you start to see your first buds grow. Lastly, use the Big Bloom throughout each growing cycle to heal and nourish the root systems.

Average Amazon Review: 4.5 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 726+

Humboldt’s Secret Base – Most Reliable

Average Amazon Review: 4 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 36+

Dyna-Gro DYFLO008 – Low Budget Choice

Average Amazon Review: Not Reviewed Yet

# of Amazon Reviews: Not Reviewed Yet

Orga Grow Holland

Average Amazon Review: 4 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 10+

CANNA Coco

Average Amazon Review: 4 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 52+

House & Garden Aqua Flakes

Average Amazon Review: 4.6 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 7+

Botanicare Liquid Karma – Best Longevity

Average Amazon Review: 4.4 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 110+

General Hydroponics Flora Nectar Sugar Cane

Average Amazon Review: 4.6 stars

# of Amazon Reviews: 121+

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Know About Nutrients?

If you’re growing cannabis for the first time, selecting the right nutrients for your plants can be a challenge. There are lots of options on the market, so how do you make the right decision?

The key to choosing nutrients lies in understanding precisely what cannabis plants requirement and in being aware of how they absorb nutrients and utilize them. When you have this knowledge at your fingertips, you can make a confident decision about which products to buy without wasting your money.

What Do Cannabis Plants Need To Grow And Thrive?

Cannabis plants require a number of collective elements known as “macronutrients”. These include a number of mineral and non-mineral elements. Some come from the water, some from the air and some from the soil in which the plants are grown.

These nutrients come from the soil:

  • – Phosphorus
  • – Nitrogen
  • – Calcium
  • – Potassium
  • – Sulfur
  • – Magnesium

These nutrients come from the water and air:

  • – Oxygen
  • – Hydrogen
  • – Carbon

When you buy fertilizers or nutrient solutions, you’ll see 3 numbers on the packaging. This will show the composition of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen inside the product. The nitrogen content will be listed first, followed by the phosphorus content and finally the potassium content.

What About Micronutrients?

Cannabis plants also require micronutrients. These are required in much smaller amounts. These minerals include:

  • – Zinc
  • – Manganese
  • – Iron
  • – Molybdenum
  • – Cobalt
  • – Chlorine
  • – Boron
  • – Silicon
  • – Copper

Although cannabis plants don’t need a lot of any of these elements, they’re still essential to the plant’s growth and overall health.

Growing Cannabis Plants Using Hydroponics

If you’re going to use hydroponics to grow cannabis, you’ll need specific nutrients for your plants. You won’t be using soil, therefore, you’ll be using a substrate such as coco coir or rockwool. Be aware that lots of cannabis potting soils are soilless blends and therefore, you could be growing your plants hydroponically even when you’re using potting soil.

It’s because of this that most nutrients which are sold for growing cannabis plants are those for hydroponic growing techniques. These are made from concentrated mineral salt. Sometimes they come in powder form but usually, they are liquids.

There are two types of nutrient solution available for hydroponic growing – Bloom solutions which have a high phosphorus level to aid flower development, and Grow solutions which have a high nitrogen level to support vegetative growth.

When you apply hydroponic nutrients, you need to take a lot of care. This is because giving too much to your plants can damage them, or even kill them. Start at around 25% of the recommended level then work up gradually to the full strength.

Growing Cannabis Plants In Soil

When you grow cannabis plants in regular soil, you will need specific nutrients. Soil is different from hydroponic soilless blends because it contains organic non-inert matter such as manure, worm castings, compost and humus. These contain a lot of micronutrients and macronutrients. Lots of these substances’ nutrient value is insoluble, however, and therefore have to be processed by fungi and microbes living in the soil in order to be useful to the cannabis plant. It is less common to see non-organic nutrients for growing cannabis plants in soil since they build up rapidly in soil, causing damage to the soil-life and preventing nutrients and water from being taken into the roots. On the other hand, organic nutrients and fertilizers for cannabis plants are more commonly seen. These contain fewer nutrients which are immediately soluble together with elements which have benefits for organisms naturally in the soil. Therefore, if you’re going to grow your plants in soil, using organic nutrients and fertilizers is always advised.

There are a number of affordable organic fertilizers which you can use. These include fish and blood meal which offers plenty of nitrogen, bat guano and bone meal which supplies phosphorus, kelp meal and wood ash to supply potassium, Epsom salts which supply sulfur and magnesium, and dolomite lime which supplies magnesium and calcium. You can buy the majority of these in a garden center. All you need to do is mix them into your soil before you pot your plants. When you do this properly, watering will be all that’s required, along with adding carbohydrates occasionally. Some soil blends can also be bought which contain the ideal mix of those ingredients for greater convenience.

Nutrients For Each Stage Of Growth

Every stage of the life of your cannabis plants requires nutrients which are slightly different.

During its seedling stage, your plant probably won’t need any extra nutrients if you’re growing in soil as long as that soil is rich. If you’re growing using an artificial medium, you might want to use seedling nutrition and root boosters.

In the vegetative phase, your plants will require high levels of potassium and nitrogen as well as a moderate amount of phosphorus.

When your plants reach their flowering stage, you’ll need to reduce the nitrogen levels drastically, but increase the amount of phosphorus and maintain the potassium level. When you choose a Bloom fertilizer, the nutrients will be perfectly balanced for this stage of growth.

Guarding Against Feeding Problems

When you’re growing cannabis, caution is always recommended. If you use too many nutrients, you could damage your plants. Only add nutrients to the water every alternate watering and half the doses if you’re in any doubt.

If you notice any changes in your plant’s color or appearance, your plant is experiencing a feeding problem. Nutrient imbalances are signaled by yellowing and drooping leaves, leaves with irregular dimensions or shapes, burnt edges and brown spots.

If you adjust the nutrient balance and still experience a problem try flushing pure water through the soil for several days before starting again with a half dose of nutrient mix.

Getting The pH Balance Right

If the pH level is wrong, the plants can’t get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive, even if you add the right mix of nutrients to your water. Therefore, monitoring your pH levels is vital.

Growing Healthy Plants

When you’re growing cannabis plants for the first time, erring on the side of caution is always important. However, follow this advice and you should find that, as long as you use the right nutrients for the medium you are using, your plants meet all your expectations.

Updated: July 16, 2020 Written by Max Anderson

We reviewed hundreds of nutrients available on the market today as of July 2020 and created a simple list to help you pick the best nutrients for your grow. When it comes to a hydroponic or soil grow, these nutrients are the best in market when it comes to growing your cannabis or weed grow with the most trusted, reliable, and affordable nutrient brands in the market.

Which Nutrients Are Best For Growing Cannabis?

Table of Contents

What’s the difference between nutrients?

If you’ve decided to start growing cannabis for the first time, trying to figure out the best nutrients for your setup can be very confusing. There are many nutrient companies, and each company creates multiple lines of nutrients and supplements for different purposes.

The abundance of cannabis nutrient options can be overwhelming

As a cannabis grower, your goal is to give your plants the right amount of nutrients at the right time. There are two main life stages for cannabis plants (vegetative stage and flowering stage). Each stage has different nutrient requirements. Luckily, many nutrient companies make great products even though they’re all using different formulas and techniques. Here’s how they differ:

  • Nutrient Ratios – Each brand has different nutrient ratios they believe are optimal for each stage of growth.
  • Ingredients – There are many different combinations of chemical and organic compounds that can add up to the same nutrient ratios. Each compound reacts differently with each other. This means you can see two nutrient bottles with the exact same NPK ratios on the bottle, but they will provide somewhat different levels of nutrients to your plants. The ingredients determine whether nutrients are considered organic or synthetic.
  • Designed for Soil or Hydro – It’s really important to match your growing medium with your nutrients. “Soil” nutrients are different from “Hydroponic” nutrients so make sure you’re getting the right kind! Coco coir is generally considered a type of hydroponics when it comes to nutrients, though there are also nutrients specifically designed for coco coir. Typically, hydroponic nutrients contain everything a plant needs to grow and can be used in any grow medium.

Important Tips on Cannabis Supplements

  • Don’t confuse supplements for nutrients. If the NPK ratios printed on the front of the bottle are really low (like 0.2-0.2-0.1) it means that this product is some type of supplement. Base nutrients provide all the necessary NPK and micronutrients for healthy growth, so supplements are not necessary for plants to thrive. Some supplements are helpful, but going overboard may cause unwanted reactions or burn your plant. Do you need supplements to grow great weed?
  • Use nutrients and supplements from the same company to minimize unexpected interactions. Combining nutrients and supplements from different companies greatly increases the chance of unhappy plants! It’s also a good idea to only add one new supplement at a time and watch how plants react before adding anything else new or different. If this is your first grow, try to pick just one or two supplements that appeal to you. It’s easy to go overboard. Nutrient companies will happily sell you supplements you don’t actually need.

Now that you understand the basics, are you ready to learn how to figure out the best marijuana nutrients for your setup?

Examples of Good Can nabis Nutrients

Here are several examples of trustworthy nutrient brands that work well for growing cannabis. These nutrients have been extensively tested by real marijuana growers and are known to produce great results!

  • General Hydroponics – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics
  • Fox Farm – Soil & Coco Coir
  • Botanicare – Soil & Hydroponics
  • House & Garden – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics (lately it’s been difficult to find certain H&G products online)
  • Canna Coco – Coco Coir
  • Dyna-Gro – Soil, Coco Coir & Hydroponics

Honorable Mentions – I haven’t tried these nutrient brands yet, but they are popular for growing cannabis

General Hydroponics Flora Trio

General Hydroponics offers a simple duo with one bottle for the vegetative stage, and one bottle for the flowering stage called FloraNova Grow + Bloom. This nutrient system is cheap, simple, and easy with excellent results in soil/coco/hydro. The biggest issue I have with the duo is the liquid is so thick it can be annoying to measure out.

However, their Flora trio is a winner. A tried and true favorite of mine, the Flora trio works very well for growing cannabis. I’ve had great success with it in every grow medium including soil, coco coir, and hydroponics. I used this nutrient system for almost a decade and have always been thrilled with the results. I’ve been testing new nutrient systems so I can report back to our readers like you, but based on my years of success I know you’ll be happy with the Flora trio. Best for…

  • Soil
  • Coco Coir
  • Hydroponics

·Soil or Coco Coir

Follow the instructions on the side of the bottle at half-strength for great results in soil or coco. It’s recommended to also use a Cal-Mag supplement if using filtered water, growing in coco, or using and LED grow light (all tend to increase the Cal-Mag needs of your plant). I prefer the GH version called CaliMagic, and use at 1 tsp/gallon.

·Hydroponics / DWC/ Bubbleponics

Use similarly to soil or coco, just make sure to also get Hydroguard to protect your hydroponic roots from root rot.

Check out a few different grow journals featuring the GH Flora trio

Fox Farm Nutrient Trio

The FF trio is a popular nutrient system for cannabis growers that contains a variety of natural sources for nutrients like earthworm castings and bat guano, which cannabis plants thrive on. Fox Farm nutrients contain too much organic matter for DWC/hydro (increasing the chance of root problems), but all that organic matter is great for plants in a hand-watered environment to enhance smell and flavor of your finished product. Best for…

  • Soil
  • Coco Coir

·Soil version

Very concentrated, less is more. “Grow Big” & “Tiger Bloom” provide most of the major nutrients your cannabis needs, while “Big Bloom” has many micronutrients and beneficial compounds that help nutrient uptake and root health. This trio works extremely well by itself, just follow the feeding schedule (here’s a PDF, here’s a JPG) from Fox Farms at half-strength to start.

Check out a grow journal using the FF trio for Soil!

·Coco version

Use the “hydro” version of Fox Farms nutrients when growing in coco coir. Two bottles are the same as the soil trio, but the “Grow Big” bottle is formulated slightly differently for a soilless grow. Follow the feeding schedule (here’s a PDF, here’s a JPG) from Fox Farms at half-strength to start. Generally, the Fox Farms nutrient system will prevent Cal-Mag deficiencies, but it’s good to have extra Cal-Mag on hand just in case whenever growing cannabis in coco coir, if using filtered water, or if growing with LED grow lights.

Botanicare

Botanicare is a great company that’s been around for as long as I’ve been growing, and whose supplements I’ve been using for years (specifically, their Hydroguard supplement is the most effective thing I’ve used to prevent root rot in a hydroponic setup). Best for…

  • Soil
  • Hydroponics

·Soil version (Organic)

Use “Grow” in the vegetative stage, and “Bloom” in the flowering stage. Organic. Claims to be usable in hydro, but I’ve only seen growers use it in soil so that’s what I’m recommending it for 🙂

·Hydroponic version

Get the trio: Grow, Bloom, Base (need all 3 bottles for all phases of growth)

The three bottles are all that’s needed to get your plants successfully to harvest time, just follow the feeding schedule from Botanicare [PDF], starting at half the recommended strength. Hydroguard is an important root supplement that will help prevent your plant from getting root rot in a hydroponic reservoir. The KIND series has been highly recommended by several hydro growers I know in real life and they make some very useful supplements.

From a grower: “Botanicare KIND is like the opposite spectrum [of the Botanicare Pure Blend series]. The Base is just Nitrogen and Calcium. Grow and Bloom both have most of the minerals in them, along with things like sea kelp. The Bloom is also 0-6-6. Grow at 2-2-4. So quite literally you can call the shots on Nitrogen and Calcium. That level of control hasn’t been around a great deal in our market. For the savvy grower, this is a pretty nice tool.”

House & Garden – Often difficult to find online!

The House & Garden lineup is an expensive but effective line-up. From a grower: “H&G was started by a top researcher from Canna. They are right outside of Amsterdam and because cannabis is legal there, so both Canna and H&G are able to do R&D using cannabis. I don’t know about Canna, but I know that House and Garden makes all their own nutrients in-house and they work great.”

The biggest downside of House and Garden (besides price) is it’s getting harder to find online. This brand is often best purchased in person at a hydro store. Get a custom nutrient schedule directly from the people at House & Garden via their free online nutrient calculator.

Name of base nutrients for…

  • Soil – Soil A + B
  • Coco Coir – Coco A + B
  • Hydroponics – Aqua Flakes A + B
  • Recommended supplements: Roots Excelurator, Algen Extract,Bud XL, and shooting powder

This plant was grown using the House & Garden Line-up (A+B as base nutrients, plus the supplements Roots Excelurator, Algen Extract, Bud XL, and shooting powder)

Canna Coco

Canna Coco is a very popular company for pot growers. Their nutrients have been specifically designed to grow cannabis in coco coir (as you may be able to tell from the name).

  • Best for Coco Coir

This combo is a crowd favorite – many coco coir growers write in to tell us this is their favorite cannabis nutrient for growing in coco coir. Get a custom nutrient schedule from Canna or use this pre-made one [JPG].

From a grower: “Canna is a Dutch company and one of the best IMO. They make a great product line for growing in coco coir and test their products on real cannabis plants.”

Another grower said, “Canna products are one of the only nutrient lines to be developed primarily for cannabis (and tested on live plants). They’ve been doing so for almost 30 years. Cost is a little higher than competitors but worth every penny.”

A different grower added, “Canna – I have only used their coco line, but it is the highest quality you will find.”

Dyna-Gro

Originally designed for orchids, Dyna-Gro nutrients have proven to work exceptionally well for cannabis plants. If you want professional results without spending a ton of money or having to mix multiple bottles together, this combo give your plants everything they need from seed to harvest. Dyna-Gro nutrients are suitable for any growing medium including soil, coco, or hydro.

  • Best for Soil, Coco or Hydroponics

Dyna-Gro Grow + Bloom – Use “Grow” in the vegetative stage and “Bloom” in the flowering stage.

Dyna-Gro Grow + Bloom is my recommended nutrient system for newbies. One bottle for veg, one for bloom. Super simple!

One Last Tip…

When using a complete nutrient system like the ones listed above, always start at half the recommended strength by the manufacturer, and only increase nutrient levels if your plant is getting pale. If you’re giving too low levels of nutrients, the entire plant will start to appear overall pale or lime green. If you have a different nutrient deficiency (diagnose your plant here), chances are it’s caused by incorrect pH, not by too-low levels of nutrients.

It’s a good idea to always start at half the manufacturer’s recommendation ! Most nutrient companies recommend way too much for growing cannabis!

Why not keep adding more and more nutrients? Doesn’t more equal better? No, nutrients are more like a multivitamin than food. After your plant has enough nutrients, adding more gives you diminishing returns, and too much starts causing the following problems.

A cannabis plant turns pale all over (left) when it needs higher levels of nutrients overall. If plant is a healthy green (right), stick to half the recommended dose.

Too high levels of nutrients causes…

  • Nutrient burn – nutrient burn causes tips of leaves and edges of buds to appear burned. It isn’t a huge deal but doesn’t look as pretty, especially if it gets bad enough to spread to your buds.
  • Random nutrient deficiencies and lockout
  • Buds don’t grow as big as they could have in the flowering stage, especially if levels of Nitrogen are too high
  • Leaf discoloration may spread to the sugar leaves on the buds (not a big deal, but not pretty either)

Now that you understand everything you need to know about picking the right nutrient system, check out some supplements!

Learn About Cannabis Supplements:

What’s the Best NPK Ratio for Cannabis Nutrients?

For the best results, your cannabis needs the following nutrient ratios…

Where is this information? Most nutrient bottles display 3 numbers, often called N-P-K, which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium

Why “K” for Potassium? The atomic symbol of Potassium is “K” from Neo-Latin kalium.

In other words, you want to use a “Vegetative” (high Nitrogen) or “general purpose” nutrient formula for the first stage of life known as the vegetative stage. If using high-quality soil, you can skip vegetative nutrients for the first 3-4 weeks while your plant uses up the nutrients in the soil, otherwise, you should start with vegetative nutrients around the time your plant opens its first leaves.

Use a “Bloom” (low Nitrogen) nutrient formula with plenty of P & K for the flowering stage. Start using bloom nutrients when buds start forming to make sure your plant gets plenty of Phosphorus & Potassium, which are crucial to bud development.

Phosphorus tends to increase the number of flowers, while Potassium helps increase the bulk/weight of flowers. Be careful, though because going overboard with either one can burn your plants!

The main thing is to avoid giving too much Nitrogen in the flowering stage, as it can discourage bud development and add an unpleasant taste to buds, which is why a general-purpose plant nutrient isn’t a good choice in the flowering stage.

In a pinch, nutrients for Shultz “cactus” or “succulents” can be used in the flowering stage until you get better nutrients because it contains low amounts of N and plenty of P & K.

Note: Don’t use any type of non-organic time-released nutrients (like fertilizer spikes, or “slow-release” Miracle-Gro soil) because they deliver too much N in the flowering stage and may reduce bud growth.

Cannabis needs plenty of P & K to make buds in the flowering stage!

The Best Cannabis Nutrients Aren’t Enough! Check the pH of your water to plants to prevent nutrient deficiencies

It may surprise you that the most common reason growers get nutrient deficiencies is because the pH is too high or too low. This happens even if the right amounts of nutrients are present because your weed simply cannot absorb the nutrients if the pH isn’t in the correct range.

Optimum cannabis pH for..

Soil: 6.0 – 7.0
Coco Coir: 5.5 – 6.5
Hydroponics: 5.5 – 6.5

Checking the pH will make a huge difference to your grow by keeping plants vibrant and healthy. It only takes a few minutes each time you water your plants! If you get a digital pH pen, it only takes seconds to test your pH!

Organic vs Chemical (Synthetic) Nutrients

This is a common question we get at Grow Weed Easy: Are organic nutrients better than chemical nutrients? It’s not a matter of which one is better, because they’re good at different things.

Organic Nutrients

  • Bud Smell & Taste – Many growers believe organically grown cannabis will create the most fragrant and “smoothest” buds. Some of the best benefits to smell and taste seem to come from using composted soil that’s been amended with nutrients from natural sources. This creates a living soil with colonies of beneficial microorganisms and is often associated with a bolder taste and smell in buds. However, watering your plants with liquid nutrients that just happen to be organic tends to get results similar to synthetic or mineral-based nutrients. It seems to be the soil that makes the difference when it comes to organic growing.
  • More Natural – Especially when growing in a living soil, you’re creating a home for your roots that is as close to nature as possible (only better because you’re making sure your plant gets everything it needs!)
  • Not for Hydroponics – Organic nutrients are not the best choice for hydroponic systems because any organic matter can cause unwanted stuff to grow in your reservoir. It’s possible to grow organic hydro but let me just say this: as of yet, I’ve never seen organic hydroponics go well for someone, though I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong 😉

Recommended Organic Nutrients

There used to be a ton of organic soil nutrients in bottles (like the now-discontinued GO Box) but many options have disappeared as growers switch to using amended compost for their organic nutrient needs. Why? The organic nutrients in bottles get similar results to mineral nutrients. The biggest difference in organic growing seems to come from using actual compost and/or amended soil.

  • Nature’s Living Soil (super concentrated organic compost nutrient mix) – amend bottom 1/3 of your plant container with this special organic amendment, and plants will be able to slowly use the nutrients “on-demand”. Even if your plants are already growing in soil, you can sprinkle a little of this on top of your soil and water to deliver organic nutrients. Note: smells strongly of manure!
  • Dr. Earth Organic Nutrients – dry nutrients
    • Vegetative Stage: Homegrown Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer (better) or All-Purpose Fertilizer (good)
    • Flowering Stage: Flower Girl Bud & Bloom Fertilizer
  • Roots Organics Terp Tea Fertilizer Set (Grow & Bloom) – This dry formula is mixed with aerated water and brewed for 24 hours to create a “tea” for your plants. Can also be used as a top dressing.

Best supplement ingredients for organic growing

  • Sea kelp – a source of K, helps plants resist heat and stress
  • Leonardite – full of humic acids for happy roots, resist stress
  • Protein hydrolysate (contained in many supplements) – helps plants produce big roots and be more resistant towards water stress
  • Potassium Sulfate (also called “Sulfate of Potash”) – the sulfur and potassium promote smells and bud development in the flowering stage

My favorite organic supplement contains all of the above: Floralicious Plus

How to Adjust pH in an Organic Soil Grow (regular PH Up and PH Down can harm the natural balance of the soil)

Organic cannabis growing is rewarding!

Chemical Nutrients (including synthetic and mineral-based nutrients)

  • Possibly Increased Potency – While organic nutrients may increase the smell and taste of buds, chemical nutrients tend to increase the potency.
  • Faster Growth and Bigger Yields – Synthetic nutrients provide nutrients to plants in the most easy-to-absorb forms possible. This results in somewhat faster growth and improved yields since the nutrients don’t need to be broken down in the soil by a colony of microorganisms before they become available to your plant.
  • Only Choice for Hydro – These are the best cannabis nutrients for hydroponic systems because they are less likely to cause stuff to grow in the water reservoir. However, chemical nutrients can also be a great choice for soil or coco because of the increased potency and faster growth!
  • Easier to Get Nutrient Burn – Although you can give cannabis plants nutrient burn with organic nutrients, it’s much easier to give them nutrient burn with chemical nutrients. This is due to the easily absorbable nature of these nutrients. Synthetic nutrients get taken up by your roots whether the plant needs them or not.

The General Hydroponics Flora trio is a synthetic nutrient that’s so effective it was used by NASA to grow plants in space!

Don’t want to use nutrients at all? Learn how to compost your own super soil (or buy super soil pre-made online)! Super soil compost contains all the nutrients your plant will need from seed to harvest so you just need to add water. As an added bonus, with composted super soil you rarely need to worry about maintaining your pH. Instead, the composting process develops a colony of microorganisms in your soil that will automatically take care of the pH for your plants to an extent (like in nature), while slowly providing nutrients on demand.

Super soil compost has been amended so no additional nutrients are needed. Just add water!

Can I create my own nutrient system?

Creating a nutrient system is more complicated than just adding “Nitrogen,” “Phosphorus” and “Potassium” plus all the various micro-nutrients in certain ratios. There several different chemical compounds that provide each of these nutrients and they’re not all equal.

What's the "best" cannabis nutrient system? There are literally thousands of choices! Learn what to look for and get examples of great marijuana nutrients.