Hydroponics cannabis growers have two methods of nurturing their plants. They can utilize organic substances or non-organic substances. Like any other species, cannabis utilizes these nutrients through the vascular system located in its roots.
Another rarely mentioned method is foliar feeding. A lot of growers tend to overlook this process, but there are some major benefits to it. You can use foliar feeding during the flowering and vegetative periods. Instead of going through roots, the plant will absorb nutrients through stems and leaves.
Keep in mind there is a good reason why people rarely use it. The procedure is quite complex, and you can easily make mistakes. As a result, your plants might die out within a day. However, if you do it right, the yields will be greater than ever.
What are the main advantages of foliar spray?
By doing foliar spray, your plant can take nutrients much more easily. Furthermore, you can reduce the stress that cannabis experiences during the process. Here are some of the benefits:
- Maximizing nutrient intake
According to a few studies, this procedure can improve crops 5 times.
- Reducing stress
Plant experience enormous stress during growth, which is why some of them become hermaphrodites. This is especially bad for cannabis, as you need female plants for their buds. Foliar feeding can alleviate the problem, ensuring that you get the right sex. Instead of scraping for little substance available, causing them stress, they can easily get them through leaves.
- A better spread of valuable matters
When using a foliar spray, you ensure that chemicals reach every part of the plant. They can nurture all the cells, which will prevent deformities. The main issue when you feed the plant through the ground is that roots absorb the majority of valuable matter. So, cannabis might experience a deficiency in certain areas.
- Reduces tension on the roots
Roots have a crucial role during plant development. The organ can perform several tasks at once, and its main purpose is to absorb valuable matter from the ground and process them. When you utilize foliar spraying, your plants will be able to take more carbohydrates. These chemicals will feed microbes, thus allowing roots to work at maximum efficiency.
- Allows you to avoid the accumulation of minerals
You simply can’t overfeed your plants. There is an optimal quantity for every substance, and they might vary based on the specific phase of development. Spraying ensures that cannabis gets a balanced amount of substances. There will be no accumulation of nutrients or salts within the roots. In a way, leaves will act as roots, allowing the organ to relax and reducing overall plant stress. Among others, foliage spraying is a great way to avoid nutrient lockout.
5 Tips for foliage spraying
Due to the complexity of the process, you will have to take the necessary steps beforehand. Proper education is the first thing you should do. So, here are the 5 best foliar feed cannabis tips.
- Use the method when it’s dark
The first thing you need to know is that this process gives the best results as soon as you turn off the light. At this moment, the leaves will enter the dark period and will start relaxing. There is a 15 minutes window during which they are susceptible to stimuli, and leaves and stems can absorb the most outside substance.
Furthermore, there will be a long enough window for the plant to intake all the nutrients. Cannabis needs to absorb all of the chemicals. The leaves and stems shouldn’t be wet when you turn the lights on.
- Use the right technique
You need to be very conservative when it comes to the quantity of spray. Make sure to be conservative, as your plants need time to absorb the excess substance. When you turn off lights for 15 minutes, they can absorb only so much. Again, when you use too many chemicals, the leaves will remain wet, leading to negative effects. Most people make a mistake during the first attempt, but it can be done with some practice.
The spray bottle should release light mist. Anything more than that would be excessive. When you use fine mist, the substance will also spread better on the leaves. Some bottles can be utilized when upside down or trying to access narrow areas. They can be suitable for people who grow cannabis in tight spaces.
- Foliar feeding can help struggling plants
The method is especially amazing for nutrient deficiency in particular plants. Even if you did everything right, there is a chance that some of the cannabis will lack magnesium, potassium, nitrogen, or some other substance.
You can use foliage spraying alongside other traditional methods. For example, you can spray struggling cannabis every five days to provide some additional nutrients they couldn’t get through roots. What’s even better, you won’t have to change anything with the other plants nor alter the overall regime. Just some extra foliage spraying will do the trick.
- Avoid using this process if it will affect the environment
Perhaps the biggest issue with foliage spraying is that it affects the humidity within a closed space. So, it can cause major issues if you don’t have proper ventilation. Spraying is great during the vegetative development phase, but it will get trickier as cannabis starts flowering.
During this period, the humidity within the growing space will always be high. Adding to it will cause plants to whither. If you have a good hydroponics system, you probably shouldn’t alter anything.
- Avoid foliar sprays that are too concentrated
Of course, there are some major differences between the sprays. A grower should always check the reviews before making the purchase. One of the things you need to pay attention to is concentration. Every product comes with instructions, and there will be recommended dilution rate for every brand.
If this is your first-time foliage spraying, perhaps it’s best to dilute it more than suggested on the label. By doing so, you can rest assured that the chemical will not be too strong.