Modified on: 20/09/2022
How to choose the proper nutrients for your autoflowering plants and how to use them for lush growth
Like all plants, auto-flowering hemp varieties need nutrients to grow. Therefore, knowing how to choose the suitable composition of fertiliser and how to dose it in the right quantities is essential for the best results.
Anyone who has ever tried growing (legal plants, of course) will know what I am talking about. It doesn’t matter what kind of plant it is, tomato, vine or perhaps some beautiful flower such as a rose: in any case, just watering the soil once in a while is not enough to get a good harvest.
If you want to show that you have a green thumb, you should also carefully choose the ideal fertiliser.
If you are intrigued by everything to do with growing hemp and are interested in learning more about choosing the proper nutrients to get the best out of your autoflowering seeds, read this article (written for information purposes only). You will find out which is the perfect fertiliser for each autoflowering plant life cycle stage.
Why do hemp plants need nutrients?
Plants generate the energy they need to grow through the process of photosynthesis. They need light, carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients to activate this. Without these, photosynthesis could proceed at a significantly reduced rate, slowing down the growth and development of the plant and reducing the final yield.
Nutrients can be classified as macro and micro:
- The former include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). The ideal ratio of N, P and K for the growth of the specimen varies according to several factors, including size, genetics and speed of development;
- The latter include various minerals such as calcium, copper, sulphur, iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese. The latter include various minerals such as calcium, copper, sulphur, iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese. They are absorbed in smaller quantities than the former but are still important in plant growth.
How nutrients should be given to encourage the flourishing growth of autoflowering plants
Before explaining what doses and proportions nutrients should be given to growing plants from autoflowering seeds, it is worth clarifying one point: the dosages suggested by hemp fertiliser companies are designed for photoperiodic varieties. On the other hand, auto-flowering plants need considerably fewer nutrients than the latter.
With autoflowering specimens, it is best to avoid following the instructions given with the fertilisers to the letter and use a lower dosage than recommended.
Now back to us, here is how to feed nutrients during each phase of cultivation:
- sprouting: at this stage, the plants do not need to be fertilised; on the contrary, newborn sprouts are particularly vulnerable to burns from overdosing. For the first two weeks, you only need to give them water;
- The vegetative phase lasts 2 to 4 weeks, during which time it is advisable to give a fertiliser with an N:P: K ratio of 3:1:1 or 10:5:5. Compared to the recommended doses, the quantity should be reduced to 1/4 or, even better, 1/8. If symptoms of nutrient deficiency occur, the dose can be increased gradually, and the response of the seedling should be monitored;
- pre-flowering: this is a period of accelerated growth lasting 10 days before the actual flowering. Given the short period in which the autoflowering plant is in its vegetative state, making the most of this window is vital. At this stage, you should increase your nitrogen intake by increasing the total amount of nutrients to half of what is recommended for photoperiodic specimens. It will maximise growth and increase the final yield;
- flowering: During this phase, the plant needs more potassium and, above all, phosphorus. For this reason, the N:P:K ratio should be adjusted to 5:15:10. As for the amount of fertiliser, start with 1/4 of the recommended dosage and gradually increase it to half;
- flushing: The uptake of nutrients during the growth cycle can cause plants to accumulate too much of them, altering the taste of the inflorescences. To avoid this, it is suggested that you stop the fertiliser application 2 weeks before harvest by rinsing the substrate thoroughly.
Read also: Outdoor autoflowering seeds
You now know all the secrets to choose the ideal fertiliser for growing autoflowering.
As you have read, the dosage and proportion of nutrients need to be adjusted according to the life stage of the plant to be sure of getting the best results, and in this article, we have explained the advice of experts in the field in detail.
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