When foliar feeding is done correctly, it helps in the growth of cannabis plants. Sometimes, cannabis experts don’t advise doing so but modern breeds of marijuana plants require spraying or regular misting. When a concentrated nutrient solution is sprayed on the leaves of the cannabis plants, the useful nutrients are absorbed.
If you are willing to boost your cannabis plants, foliar feeding is important. With time, you are expected to get a better, good quality, bud-filled harvest. However, foliar feeding isn’t as effective as root feeding mechanism. But, foliar feeding certainly offers a faster way to ensure that your cannabis plants are getting their much-needed nutrients.
Why is foliar feeding essential?
Firstly, we would like to discuss what is foliar feeding. Foliar feeding is a procedure of nurturing the cannabis plants by giving essential nutrients to the leaves directly and not to any other part, like the roots. The leaves of marijuana plants swiftly and readily absorb nutrients. Therefore, with foliar feeding, sick plants can heal faster and thrive again. Foliar feeding is preferred over other methods because the other procedures usually provide nutrients to the roots. Distributing the nutrients to the leaves takes time in that case. But, in the case of foliar feeding, plant leaves get the nutrients directly as they are absorbed by the stomata.
Are you wondering what are stomata? Well, stomata are tiny pores present throughout the surface of the leaves of every plant. They help in the exchange of gases between Oxygen and carbon dioxide. However, stomata are also responsible for the intake of nutrients during the daytime. Spraying foliar on the leaves of cannabis plants is essential because they help in the fast absorption of nutrients. If specific cannabis plants are showing signs of slow growth or lack of macronutrients, you can simply spray foliar on their leaves, instead of spraying the entire garden.
When to foliar feed cannabis plants?
Foliar feeding gives evident results to cannabis plants by fastening their growth and enhancing their quality but only when it’s given when required. Spraying foliar too early or too late isn’t good at all. You must provide foliar feeding when the plants are in their vegetative stage or the initial stage of flowering. Never foliar feed your marijuana plants when they are developing buds.
The period mentioned above must be followed for plants that are showing healthy signs of growth. But, if any plant is lacking in nutrients and that’s evident, you can consider giving foliar feeding right away. Usually, cannabis plants suffer deficiencies in magnesium, calcium, nitrogen, and the deficiency can be fulfilled by giving a quick foliar spray.
Foliar feeding provides your plants with a good balance of the nutrients they require for sustaining. It helps your garden to continue thriving. Regularly spraying foliar can prevent your plants from experiencing nutrient deficiencies and a slow growth rate.
Now, oftentimes people wonder whether or not they should spray foliar at night. Remember that stomata are only open during sunlight. As long as plants get natural sunlight, the pores remain open. So, this restricts the period when you can spray foliar. You can however spray nutrients just before the evening. This is especially advisable when growing cannabis plants indoors. In that case, stomata take about 20 minutes to finally close after the daylight is gone. When you spray just before the evening sets in, the stomata will absorb the nutrients without causing any kind of stress. When keeping your cannabis plants outdoors, one can spray foliar late in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are no longer falling directly on the plants.
Just like spraying at night isn’t advisable, spraying in full sunlight isn’t good as well. When there is bright light indoors, avoid spraying foliar as well. Why? Because the stomata remain partially dilated during the afternoon when the sunlight is the maximum. Therefore, the pores would fail to absorb foliar effectively.
How to foliar feed your home garden?
To foliar feed correctly, one should follow certain rules and procedures. We have enlisted a few things you should keep in mind. They would help you to feed your plants in the right way.
- Create the ideal nutrient solution
If you don’t know how many nutrients you should mix with water, you can consult professional cannabis breeders. Some packages contain information on the percentage of water you should add. Some packages don’t. Therefore, we advise people to start by diluting an extremely little amount of nutrients in the beginning.
If your cannabis plants are still vegging, use 20% of what’s recommended for every gallon. As the plants thrive and continue to grow bigger, you can increase the feeding dosage. Make sure you keep the plants under observation for the first 24 hours. See if there are any unusual signs the next day. If there is any, stop foliar feeding right away.
You shouldn’t spray the entire garden at once. You must feed the solution to one plant and give it time to respond. See whether new leaves are growing stronger and healthier. Also, the wilted leaves are expected to recover with time.
- Remember to spray the underside of the plant
While foliar feeding your cannabis plants, take time to spray the entire plant not just the upper surface of the leaves. Stomata are present on the lower surface as well. Therefore, the underside of the leaves must also be sprayed. If you are wondering why it is needed, there are two reasons. Firstly, a lot of pests like spider mites and aphids gather on the underside of the leaves. Spraying concentrated nutrients in such places would eliminate the pests. Secondly, spraying on the underside and upper side of the leaves enables increased absorption of foliar.
- Watch the humidity level
When you spray a layer of foliar on the leaves the humidity level increases. That’s okay during the vegetative period of the plants. However, excessive spray during the flowering stage isn’t needed. Excessive moisture might be harmful in such times. Therefore, foliar feeding is restricted to the initial stages of flowering. One shouldn’t spray foliar during the mid to late flowering stage.
- Excessive nutrients
People are always advised to prepare a solution that’s half of what’s instructed. It’s always better to provide less nutrition than to provide excess. Young plants need more diluted nutrient solutions. As your plants grow and become healthier, you can increase the concentration of the nutrients, providing your plants are okay. If you are thinking of foliar feeding cannabis seedlings, start with 20% nutrients mixed in 80% water.
Regulating the nutrient strength is important because foliar feeding requires a much lower level of nutrient strength than the other methods of feeding. For instance, feeding by roots requires a comparatively higher concentration of the nutrient. Excessive nutrients can also cause nutrient accumulation which is certainly harmful to the plant.
- Follow the Proper Safety Procedures
There are a few safety instructions that you must follow during the spraying process. There are different types of foliar feeding sprays available. Some are comparatively safer than the rest. But, taking precautions from your end is always advisable.
You would like to protect yourself from harmful substances while spraying and therefore wearing protective equipment is essential. Make sure you wear eye gear, gloves, face mask, and cover your face. Also, check how safe or unsafe the solution is. Lastly, you must always follow what’s being instructed in the packaging.
- Choose a high-quality sprayer
Now, while choosing a suitable sprayer for foliar feeding, you would get plenty of options in the market. There are different types of sprayers with different working mechanisms. Out of all, hand sprayers are the most convenient to be used. These are most preferred if you have limited cannabis plants to nurture in your garden. Or, if you need something for precision work like avoiding spraying the buds, hand sprayers would be useful.
Garden pump sprayers are another type of sprayer you can choose from. These sprayers have varying capacities and can also be carried here and there. Some of these containers even come with spray wands which make them even more versatile and convenient to be used.
Cannabis growers are advised to buy both these two types of sprayers. They can use both of them as and when needed.
By now you must have understood what foliar feeding means. It’s a method of feeding cannabis plants that are looking forward to stimulating the growth of their plants. People prefer to feed through foliar because this method provides nutrients directly to the leaves of the plants, unlike the solutions that are given to roots. Foliar feeding isn’t only essential for boosting the growth of marijuana plants but also to keep them free from insecticides and pests.
If you think that foliar feeding is challenging, it’s not. All you have to do is spray when it’s the right time. Also, you have to check whether or not the nutrient strength is safe. That’s all. Next, you only need to observe the plants for 24 hours. We have listed above a few tips that are sure to help you in foliar feeding your plant. Follow them and enjoy the benefits of foliar feeding!
A rotating team of writers and editors dedicated to providing reliable information for the readers of American Promise. We’re all passionate about cannabis and actively engaged in this “budding” industry.