By Robert Bergman
Maximum Efficiency Of Photosynthesis
Marijuana plants need nutrients to survive and continue to create new plant growth. They can get these nutrients through a number of different methods. It really depends on what method you’re using to grow the plants. Hydroponic systems obviously require you to infuse the water with a nutrient solution while growing in the soil allows the plant to take minerals and nutrients from the fertilizer.
There are many different nutrients, all of which play a different role in producing better and healthier plants. The three most common macronutrients that you will deal with are:
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
You’ll notice on any bags of fertilizer or nutrient solutions that these three elements will be featured prominently in the “NPK ratio.” The nutrients that you supply the plant with are drawn up through the roots regardless of whether you’re using a hydroponic or soil-based system. In fact, mineralized water is a good way to provide your plant with nutrients if you aren’t using a fertilizer or soil solution that will do it for you.
The roots take the nutrients and distribute them to areas throughout the plant. The inner-workings of the plant are complex, but marijuana works almost like a pump. It will take the water, minerals, and nutrients and cycle it through every area of the plant. Sugars are constructed that help keep the plant sturdy and healthy. When the water has done its job, it is excreted through small openings in the leaf (called “stomas”). Because the roots had to extract the water and minerals to get it to the plant, they also require a certain amount of sugars. So, the plant itself sends valuable sugar and nutrients down to the roots through blast fibers or phloems.
Most of the internal processes are carried out in the plant’s leaves. They help create much of the carbohydrates and sugars that ensure that the plant will grow and produce high-quality buds. But, not any old mineral concentration will do the trick when you’re talking about nutrients. One of the most prominent nutrients in the plant world is nitrogen. It is responsible for a lot of the processes that go on in the plant itself, making it invaluable for marijuana.
Nitrogen is frequently cycled and recycled into soil and back into organic matter. It’s not only important for organisms in the plant world, it’s also important for virtually every living thing on the planet. In marijuana, it is integral in the creation of amino acids, which are molecules that make up larger proteins. The plant synthesizes proteins and other molecules for use throughout its “body,” and, again, nitrogen is necessary for that to take place. Nitrogen can also be found in chlorophyll, certain enzymes, and the actual DNA of the plant. So, making sure you have a steady helping of nitrogen (especially during vegetative growth) for your marijuana plants is incredibly important.
Although nitrogen is really the “builder” of the plant, you will also need other nutrients like, of course, phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus works with the compounds created through photosynthesis (ATP and NADPH2) to make them more portable. Without phosphorus, photosynthesis would not be able to run its course adequately. But, phosphorus is also indicated in respiration and biomolecule synthesis. Fertilizing the plant with phosphorus is important in the very early stages of the plant’s life and the very late stages. Seeds that have just germinated and small seedlings need to perform as much photosynthesis as possible.
Potassium operates in much the same way as phosphorus. It’s better utilized in the earliest stages of the plant’s life and it facilitates photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, respiration, and the synthesis of proteins. It also helps build strong stems and helps ward off diseases. There are many other nutrients and minerals at work within the plant, and they are all constantly working together with photosynthesis to create healthier and more robust plants. Again, though, the marijuana plant is most fond of nitrogen, and fertilizers that are high in nitrogen should be used during the vegetative state. Also, be sure to avoid over-fertilizing the plants as it can do much more damage than good.