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How to Water Cannabis Plants | Hints & Tips

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Many growers around the world have questions regarding how to water cannabis plants. Many different theories are flying around, such as measuring how dry the top of the soil is to know if you need to water. This is absolutely not true! The upper parts of the flowerpot are much more likely to dry out than the lower parts; if you water by how dry the top is you might end up soaking the lower part of the flowerpot and drowning out your plants’ roots before they have enough time to absorb anything being given to them.

How much Water does Cannabis Need?| Quantity

You need to adapt to your plants needs at all times, watering moderately while following your plants’ signs; a plant that has just germinated isn’t going to need the same amount of water as a plant that’s barely a month old.

The first thing you should do before watering is make sure that your plants have absorbed everything from last time; if it’s still moist, you don’t need to water any more. This can be quite the job if you have lots of plants, but if not done right you’ll end up with short plants that don’t grow much, and it some cases they may even begin yellowing and dying off.

How to Water Cannabis Plants Indoors | Step by Step

The first step is germinating cannabis seeds using the Tupperware system designed to germinate marijuana seeds easily, which we’ve explained here. This method practically guarantees germination, and if you use any other type of method to pop your seeds we simply can’t guarantee that you’ll obtain the desired results. Once the seeds have germinated, we like to grow by training the roots to go out in search for water, making them healthy and strong. In order to do so, you’ll need to follow theese steps:

  • Once your seeds have popped their roots out, you need to place them in a small 7x7cm pot about 5/10mm in, with the root facing downward. These pots must be full of substrate and watered first. Do not water again until the sapling has sprung up and until the pot weighs practically nothing.
  • Once the plant has stopped stretching upwards, you’ll need to move it to a 3L flowerpot. Depending on the substrate, you should usually water your new pot using more or less half a liter of water depending on the substrate used. Make sure to lift the flowerpot up every day until it’s as light as possible – this means that it’s almost entirely dry. That’s when you need to start training it.
  • Start off by using about a glass of water per flowerpot. If it’s accumulating after 3 days and your plant isn’t drinking it up, do not water again until the flowerpot is much lighter; even if your other plants are ready to be watered, make sure to work individually with each one. Once it drinks it up, keep up with the glass of water method.
  • Once you start noticing that one glass of water isn’t enough, start using two. If the water accumulates, don’t water until it’s all absorbed; make sure to check each pot individually and act accordingly for the best results. Once your plants stop growing, it’ll be time to transplant them. You should have a plant that has a decent root mass, and can easily deal with transplants to the ground or a 7L flowerpot.
  • When transplanting to 7L we tend to water with 1L, as it dries out easier. I usually water using a little more each day, testing the weight of the flowerpots as I go. Do not water just because it’s dry on the top; most roots are in the bottom of the flowerpot and go downwards; there aren’t many roots that grow upwards towards the drier layers. This is when you should flip to flower indoors. After about a week/10 days in this new flowerpot, training your plants to drink more water, it’ll be pretty hard to hurt their roots; this training method causes them to grow strong and sturdy, drinking pretty much all of the water they’re given.

How to Water Cannabis Plants Outdoors

When growing cannabis outdoors, if you notice that your soil isn’t drying and you keep on watering it, your plants will end up showing symptoms of drought! This is because all of the extra water has soaked the roots and burnt the parts that absorb water, essentially choking the roots to death. In order to help your plants recover from this, you need to let the soil dry out entirely, and then start watering little by little using a product designed for healthy roots; as Hesi’s Root Complex for minerals or Bio-Rhizotonic if you’re using organic nutrients.

The Best Way to Water Weed Plants

An important thing to keep in mind when watering cannabis is the start and end of their life cycle; if you water them too much at the start, you can outright kill your plants off. However, if you water them too much towards the end, you may end up with soaked soil when it’s time to harvest. This means you’ll need to wait, which can also be conducive for fungi and rot. We highly recommend being cautious when watering during these two periods. Always listen to your plants; they’ll let you know when they’re ready to harvest, when they need water and when they have too much water. If you keep watering and expecting them to absorb it all, it’s not going to work out too well for you.

Remember to water sparingly; adjust the pH in your water and your plants should be healthy and strong.

This is a compilation of some of our personal tips and tricks; drop a comment below if you have your own tips or if you have another method to add! We’re always open to hearing new opinions and methods. Make sure to let us know if you follow these tips and if you get the results you were looking for!

Author: Javier Chinesta

Translated by: Ciara Murphy

Find some awesome tips on how to water your cannabis plants here on our blog; real, professional experience from real, professional growers.

Tips for Watering Your Cannabis Plants

Friday October 5, 2018

C annabis plants are roughly 90 percent water. They transport water through their circulatory system to turn sunlight (photosynthesis) and carbon dioxide (transpiration) into food. Water also helps transport nutrients to the plant and, providing the pH level is sufficient, will help those nutrients absorb into the root system. Needless to say, water is pretty important to a cannabis plant’s health. But, there can be too much of a good thing. Many novice growers tend to overwater their plants in hopes of speeding the growth process (or maybe it’s just because, like every new parent, they’re just really excited to watch their plants grow and want to be involved as much as possible).

Despite the good intention, overwatering cannabis plants can have detrimental consequences. For example, overwatering cannabis can result in “root rot” wherein the root system cannot get a sufficient amount of oxygen. Characteristics of root rot include curled, yellowing leaves and brown roots that may be twisted together as an indication of infection.

Preparing to Water Your Cannabis Plant

It’s important to water your cannabis plant often (but not too often), and it’s important to use the right kind of water, too. So how do you prepare your water for a marijuana plant? You begin by choosing the right planter in the first place.

Bearing in mind that you’ll want to transplant your plant only once (at most) during it’s growth cycle to minimize stress, find a pot that will be large enough to hold a mature plant with ample room for root expansion. The pot should also have drainage holes or at least have the capacity to gain some using a drill or some other hole-poking mechanism. Standard 5-gallon hardware store buckets work well but there are many cannabis-specific grow pots that serve the purpose, as well.

Next, it’s time to prepare your water. Tap water is fine but it should be left out for at least 24 hours to settle pH levels (also, room temperature water is less likely to shock your plant). Once settled, measure the pH level of your water using basic testing strips then adjust the pH level using pH down solution according to your specific needs. Generally, soil requires a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8 whereas other grow mediums require pH levels between 5.5 and 6.0. Check with your garden supplier about your specific grow medium’s pH requirement.

After the pH has been adjusted, it’s time to add nutrients (provided your plants are past the seedling phase). Because nutrients can cause shock to plants if introduced too quickly, we recommend starting with about half to ¾ the recommended “dose” of nutrients according to the product label then slowly adding more until the full “dose” is reached. Do not exceed one full dose of nutrients (according to package instructions) because this could burn your precious plants. If nutrient burn does happen, don’t worry. Just act fast to flush the nutrients out of the soil before dropping the dose down again.

How Frequently to Water Cannabis

Seedlings dry out quickly and therefore need a lot of attention. Depending on the environment, seedlings may need to be watered twice daily but only with a small amount of water each time. Larger plants, on the other hand, should be allowed to dry out slightly – but not too much! This gives the roots a chance to breath and expand as they look for a water source.

It’s important not to let your plants go too long without water. Though some may be able to recover from drought, excessive dry periods could cause flowering plants to turn hermaphroditic.

Generally, larger plants should be watered every 2-3 days in the early morning (or as soon as the lights turn on for indoor grows) to improve nutrient absorption and reduce the chance of mold. Remember that the frequency of a watering schedule will vary by grow medium and environmental conditions. A good rule of thumb to determine if your plant is ready to be watered is to your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle (around 5 cm). If the soil is dry, it’s time to water. If the soil is still wet, hold off for another day.

Watering Your Cannabis Plant

When it’s finally time to water, the technique is pretty simple. Using a watering can for smooth, gentle distribution, pour your nutrient-rich water over the entire surface of the soil or grow medium. Water thoroughly until you see excess water drain from the bottom of your planter. Some suggest allowing roughly 20 percent of the water added to drain off as this helps ensure all nutrients will be evenly distributed throughout the root system.

Two weeks before harvest, flush your plants with pure, ph-balanced, room temperature water to remove any unused nutrients, improve the taste of the bud and reduce harshness of the smoke. To properly flush cannabis, pour a generous amount of clean water (instead of nutrient-enriched water) on the soil, allow it to sit for a few minutes to pick up residual nutrients, then flush with clean water again. Over the course of two weeks, the plant will consume any residual nutrients within the plant itself and wash away residuals in the grow medium.

Like all living things, cannabis plants need water to grow, but the frequency and amount of water they require will vary depending on their size, stage of growth, and grow medium. To help ease confusion regarding the best way to water cannabis plants, just follow our easy watering guide.

Do you have and cannabis watering tips for you readers? Share them in the comments below.

Are you new to growing cannabis? Have you been wondering about the best ways to water your plants? Learn more about some of the best practice for watering marijuana plants to ensure your harvest is bountiful!