Understanding pH and How It Affects Cannabis Plants

January 28, 2021 0 Comments

If you want to achieve high yields by providing optimal conditions for plant development, it is important to not only give the best nutrients for hydroponic cannabis but also to regularly check the pH level of your medium. Proper care involves not only regular watering and feeding but also controlling the acidity of the environment. It is determined by the activity of positive hydrogen ions. It is enough to know that the pH indicator reflects the ratio of alkaline and acidic impurities in a liquid. There is a scale from 1 to 14, where 7.0 is neutral. From 1 to 6.9 units – the liquid is considered acidic, from 7.1 to 14 – alkaline.

Hemp can absorb nutrients if the acidity of the substrate or nutrient solution is optimal. Both low and high acidity leads to a lack of certain minerals:

  • Low pH – most nutrients cannot dissolve, precipitates of calcium, iron, and phosphate compounds appear;
  • High pH – it can lead to a deficiency of microelements for the grown crop because the solubility of elements decreases. The ideal concentration of alkalinity will depend on the type of fertilizer used. All alkalinity is neutralized when the pH of the water reaches 4.5.

Optimal pH for Indoor Cultivation

Indoors, marijuana is most commonly grown hydroponically. The normal values for it are 5.5-6.5. You should not keep the acidity at the same level. Here, fluctuations within the permissible values are very important for the absorption of all macro and microelements. 

If the pH is kept above 6.0, the hemp will suffer from a manganese deficiency. If you stop the acidity at 5.5, then the plant will receive less magnesium and calcium. Periodic swings to one side and the other make the elements available to cannabis. When growing cannabis on organic substrates, the values should be between about 5.8 and 6.7.

Indoor pH Adjustment Rules

Substrates are very sensitive to correction. Therefore, a slight deviation from the norm is not dangerous if the plants are watered with a nutrient solution with the correct pH. In cases of large deviations from the permissible values, it is worth using special solutions to regulate them. 

It is important to constantly monitor the acid-base balance when applying liquid fertilizers. Some of them can significantly change the values:

  • Apply fertilizers, stimulants, or other medications as required;
  • Stir the nutrient solution thoroughly;
  • Measure the acidity with a pH meter;
  • Adjust if necessary by adding pH Up or pH Down;
  • The solution is ready for watering or tank filling in a hydroponic system.

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