Individuals new to gardening often assume caring for cannabis plants requires little effort on their part. Plant some regular weed seeds and let nature do the rest. They believe plants grow anywhere and everywhere, so they should thrive where you plant them. As you can likely imagine where this is going, these types of growers quickly discover this isn’t the case. The quality of what you reap greatly depends on the diligence of what you sow and the energy you put in.
Many factors determine whether a plant will survive and thrive or wither away. While a plant might appear healthy on the surface, roots need care too. Proper potting practices help to ensure the plant develops correctly, and root care guarantees a happy and healthy plant.
The Importance of Healthy Roots
Plants in the wild grow roots to obtain the necessary nutrition from the surrounding soil. Depending on the type of plant, these roots may be shallow and remain within a limited area or they might venture deep into the ground and extend over a wide space. The roots function to anchor the plant in the soil or grow medium and provide a means for the plant to take up water and nutrients. When the roots cannot perform these two functions, they aren’t healthy of helpful, so the plant won’t survive long.
The roots assist in photosynthesis. The plant absorbs sunlight, which combines with water and carbon dioxide to create sugar molecules like glucose. The plant then converts these sugars within the cells into Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP, a form of energy that drives growth and cell division within the plant. What this looks like on the larger scale is a large robust plant with healthy color and strong branches. When photosynthesis cannot take place, the plant struggles to survive and may not make it. The plant will usually give warning signs first like leaf discoloration, wilting, or other plant diseases.
Oxygen Is Essential
Roots also require oxygen to generate ATP. How can a grower ensure the plant can receive the air it needs to breathe? Experts recommend several methods, and outdoor seed growers determine which works best for their particular situation. One way to ensure the purple kush auto or fire og plant receives the necessary oxygen is to use a smart pot.
Smart pots permit oxygen to enter the sides of the container, as the pot is porous. Hard pots interfere with oxygen delivery to the roots, but this isn’t the case with smart pots. Furthermore, smart pots allow for air pruning, which brings about additional root growth and a stronger, healthier plant. Purchase large enough pots (2 gal to 5 gal) so that your plants are never at risk of getting their roots bound.
Monitor Water Intake
Always allow the soil to dry between watering. Only brand new seedlings need to be kelp consistently moist. While it may be tempting to saturate the soil, doing so interferes with the plant’s ability to breathe. Growers need to consider the type of plant, however, as some species and strains require more water than others.
Plants in hydroponic systems need oxygen as well. Make certain the plants get a rest period between floods so they can breathe and take in the necessary oxygen. Another way to ensure the plants get oxygen is to purchase a bubbler that oxygenates the water.
Introduce Organic Soils and Mushrooms to the Growing Area
Mushrooms form symbiotic relationships with their host plants, so seeing them in and around your soil isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plants provide carbon to the mushrooms, which in turn supply the plant with nutrients and water in the root area. This process, known as mycorrhiza, remains extremely important to healthy roots, as it assists in the roots search for nutrition. Furthermore, it helps the plant mine for nutrients that might otherwise be missed, as the plant cannot carry out this task without assistance.
Water-The Basis of Life
Humans survive only three days without water on average. Plants require water as well, although the species of the plant determines its watering needs. If they develop into a larger plant, cheese cannabis seeds may end up requiring more water per plant than your neighboring G13 auto plants simply because they have more leaves and more buds to keep fed and watered. Larger humans will also require more water when excersizing than someone half their weight. When growing in soil or coco, follow these basic guidelines to determine when and how to water an outdoor crop.
Stop watering when the medium becomes moist. Water should never be permitted to overflow or seep over the top. Once the medium is damp, remove the water supply. New growers often use too much water and harm their crops in the process. Don’t make this mistake.
Never set a pot in water and walk away. Doing so causes root rot and increases the plant’s risk of developing a disease. It encourages parasites as well. Allow the pot to sit in a saucer. When water begins to gather in the saucer, drain this water and put the pot back on it.
Install an air pump in a hydroponic system to oxygenate the water. Stagnant water likewise encourages bacteria growth and diseases. This puts the crop in danger, and no grower wants that.
Increase the watering radius as the plant size increases. Make certain to water all parts of the pot evenly. This allows the roots to expand until they reach the pot’s edge.
Overwatering isn’t a concern with plants in hydroponic systems. However, all cannabis plants, grown from premium seeds or from clones, still need equal amounts of water. Monitor the pumps and valves in the system to ensure all plants obtain the nutrients they need for optimal growth.
Maintain the Correct Temperature
Ensure the plants do not get too hot or too cold. Again, this depends on the species, as each plant has its own preferences. However, 77 degrees Fahrenheit tends to be the best temperature for photosynthesis. In an environment heavy on carbon dioxide, raise the thermostat to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the indoor grow room remains consistently hot, increase ventilation in the area or dim the lights. This works in most cases, however if you are growing outdoors you will have to move the plants to an area with more shade to prevent overheating. If planted directly in the soil, some growers will use an umbrella to provide short-term shading without having to dig up their plants and move them
Low temperatures rarely occur in indoor growing areas, unless the plants are placed in a basement. If this does become an issue, reduce the speed of the ventilation. Add a small heating element to the area if changes to the ventilation system don’t provide the desired results.
Provide Adequate Space
Plants need space to grow and thrive. Tangled roots typically appear in cannabis plants that are placed in pots that are too small. When the roots become entangled, the plant strangles itself. Avoid this by tansplanting the plant to a larger pot as it grows and matures. However, take care. A pot that is too big causes problems just as one that is too small does. How do you determine which size pot is appropriate?
Examine the drainage holes. When roots cross over each other, move the plant. Go with a pot two sizes larger because this allows space for the roots to spread out. As a result, they become healthy and robust.
When planting in open soil, allow space between the plants so the roots don’t become intertwined. Growers using a hydroponic system need to take care as well. Leave space between the plants to avoid competition for nutrients or root rot.
Happy roots make for happy plants. Keep this in mind and never overlook this aspect of the plant. Simply because the roots are out of sight does not mean they should be out of mind. Care for them properly to have an abundant harvest and an outstanding crop.