For first-time growers, cultivating cannabis can be a rewarding experience that can yield long-term benefits. Water, fertilizers, humidity, temperature, light, and proper maintenance are all essential for cannabis plants to thrive and produce healthy buds. So, how do you begin cultivating cannabis plants for the first time?
If you’re a novice cultivator, here is a quick guide to growing cannabis plants for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Propagate Cannabis Seeds
For premium-quality dried cannabis buds to be displayed on the shelves of a medical or recreational cannabis dispensary, cannabis plants must go through several phases of development before they are ready to be harvested and cured for use.
Propagating cannabis seeds is a great way to start in the cannabis industry. A good marijuana seed breeder or dispensary can help you find an easy-to-cultivate cannabis variety.
The most frequent method for germinating cannabis seeds indoors is with paper towels. Here’s how:
- Place cannabis seeds on a paper towel, spray them with water, and store them inside a dark plastic container.
- Place the container with the seeds on a paper towel in a warm place and open it every few hours to spray it with water until the seeds open. Ensure the paper towel stays moist to germinate seeds successfully.
- Once the first white or tap root appears, transfer the sprouting seeds to the soil, peat, or coco coir in a small cup, or plug.
Water Cannabis Plants Properly
Many first-time growers tend to overwater cannabis plants, which can cause more harm than good. When the soil is excessively wet, your plants can’t utilize oxygen properly. Remember that cannabis plants need a wet and dry cycle for the roots to grow and spread deep into the soil.
In general, watering cannabis plants should be:
- Every 4 to 7 days during the germination stage (3-10 days).
- Every 3 to 7 days during the seedling stage (2-3 weeks).
- Every 2 to 4 days during the vegetative phase (3-16 weeks).
- Every 2 to 3 days in the flowering stage (8-11 weeks).
Check soil moisture using the soil penetration method to tell if your cannabis plants need water. Stick your finger, a chopstick, or any wooden stick 1 to 2 inches into the soil. Water your cannabis plants if the soil feels dry. If it’s wet, refrain from watering.
Another way to check if your cannabis plants need watering is to pick up the pot to determine its weight. After watering, lift the pots to get a baseline evaluation.
Fertilize Cannabis Plants Properly
Cannabis plants also need nutrients or fertilizer to give you a generous yield. Here’s a quick guide to fertilizing cannabis plants properly at different growth stages:
- Seedling Stage
Cannabis plants can survive for a time without fertilizer. During this stage, only apply minimal or zero fertilizer.
- Vegetative Stage
Cannabis plants need a base nutrient, low in potassium and phosphorus and high in nitrogen.
- Flowering Stage
At the early flowering stage, cannabis plants need extra magnesium and calcium to make them sturdy and robust. During this flowering stage, use more potassium than nitrogen; if the plants are huge, use less nitrogen. When the sepals or calyx form in the fifth week of the bloom stage, ensure your plants receive enough phosphorus to give them extra strength.
It’s crucial to flush with clean water during the ninth week of the flowering period to remove any remaining fertilizer from crops that are ready for harvest.
- Regularly Monitor Cannabis Plants
Here are the things you need to monitor when regularly growing cannabis plants:
- Soil pH Level
Cannabis plants need slightly acidic soil to grow and survive, so regularly monitor and test the soil’s pH to ensure it’s within the 5.5 to 6.5 range. You can also use a pH test strip for this purpose. To maintain the soil’s optimal pH levels, test it every two days. Adjust the pH as necessary, such as adding fine-ground limestone into the soil to make it less acidic.
You must supply adequate lighting if you plan to grow marijuana indoors. For cannabis seedlings, a daily amount of 16 hours of light is required.
The blue spectrum light accelerates the production of robust, healthy leaves from cannabis. On the other hand, as plants transition into their flowering stage, red spectrum light encourages budding. It would be best to purchase LED grow lights that let you separately adjust the white, blue, and red lighting levels.
Growing cannabis for the first time can be enjoyable and productive if you know the basics. Be patient, dedicate enough time, and monitor your cannabis plants as they grow from propagation, seedling, and vegetative stages to flowering and harvesting. As for you, continue to hone your knowledge and skills in cannabis cultivation by trying new and more advanced methods as you master the essential ones.