January 30, 2023 0 Comments
Cannabis has a long history of cultivation around the world! Growers today are building on thousands of years of knowledge about this amazing plant–here's how it got started!
Blurb: The history of growing cannabis goes back way past the 70's, man. Learn more now!
Not every cannabis grower likes to get precious about their hobby/trade/therapy, but when we say this is a storied tradition going back literally thousands of years, it's no exaggeration!
The hemp plant itself originated on the steppes of Central Asia, present day Western China. But while its cloth and cordage usage date back 4,000 years ago, it would be another 1,500 before actual psychoactive amounts of THC were found.
The altitude of a cemetary in the mountains is thought to have been a factor in the higher concentrations of THC found in the braziers of an ancient funeral, and tinkering to get those levels and its consumers more elevated began!
From there, cannabis use specifically for psychoactive purposes spread to other parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe via Silk Road trading. A pound of beads traded to the right growers could keep merchants and nobility alike lifted for the rest of their lives!
While scholars in the Middle East and peoples along the many trading routes of pre-colonial Africa were using (and banning!) cannabis for its euphoric highs, Western Europe and the freshly colonized Americas were still focused on opiates and alcohol for elevation. Hemp's arrival in the Western Hemisphere was as a cash crop for manufacturing rather than mind expansion.
Cannabis was an important crop in the early days of the United States, at some points required to be grown to further support colonial takeovers. In fact, hemp was such a valuable commodity that it was actually used as currency at one point!
It wasn't until the 1900s that recreational marijuana made its way to the US, via Mexico. The manufactured tensions between disenfranchised people during the Great Depression lead to the demonization of its use in the States, but the cannabis counter culture still took root!
Now, cannabis is grown all over the world for both medical and recreational purposes. The concentrations of beneficial cannabidiols has only gotten higher with breeding and breakthroughs in lighting and nutrition, and with more and more states legalizing its use, it's not going anywhere.
Want to see more folks growing their own? Check out the players in the first ever Grow Strong Cup–a cannabis cultivation competition where you get to judge!
January 29, 2023 0 Comments
When you hear ‘flushing marijuana’, be honest…do you think of getting rid of contraband?
As more states and countries relax their cannabis prohibition laws (and, we expect, in general), that definition is becoming a thing of the past! But legitimate flushing of cannabis is a grower tactic that deserves discussion.
Flushing is a growing strategy that involves completely stopping nutrient feeding two weeks to a month before harvesting, thereby encouraging the plant to use only what nourishment it has already taken in to reach the finish line. The idea here is that nutrients naturally stored in the plant will be fully metabolized, and that more of the plant’s natural components by cellular volume will end up in the end product.
Sometimes additives like lemon juice or Carboflush can be added to water to neutralize nutritious salts in the soil–making sure that the plants don’t continue to absorb what’s already soaked in.
Proponents contend that flushing leads to both better tasting weed, and a higher quality burn with less ash.
In that flushing removes nutrients from the soil? Yes. In a higher quality of smoke? We can’t say.
Old school growers, and their modern mentees swear that flushing is a necessary part of a higher quality high, citing increased smoothness and deeper flavors. However, on the other side, some growers say it isn’t necessary to stop supplementation, and that feeding right up until the first snip is working perfectly for them.
Ultimately, the only way to get close to a conclusion would be to stage a wide-scale blind taste test in adult-use states (no way this is going to be covered by a prescription), with flushed and unflushed weed. As to what neutral organization might fund that, we’re not sure.
But tastes still remain subjective, and so a true answer will have to stay a pipe dream for now.
January 28, 2023 0 Comments
Water’s essential for cannabis growth–plants need water,that's a given. But the quality of that water can turn your yields into either the stuff of dreams or…”a learning experience”. There are ideal conditions of PH, mineral content, and water temperature for cannabis plants that need to be met for maximum health and maximum quantity of flower, so watering plants is deeper than you might think! Pun intended.
Of all these qualities, water temperature tends to be the most overlooked. For soil growers, water usually comes out room temperature from a tap or distilled jug, and it's not often you'll see a hydroponic grower decide to load their tank with crushed ice. But to understand why this point of quality in your H2O can't go completely under the radar, we'll need to take a look at water's effects on your plants beyond what's on the surface.
Physical and chemical reactions are taking place on a cellular level when you water! Understanding what watering actually does for your crops is key to keeping up with what needs to be done on your end–so take this “water is wet” kind of info seriously.
Plants don’t have bones or exoskeletons like animals do. What holds them up structurally are their cell walls– protective membranes that are unique to plants and fungi. These cell walls in cannabis are comparable to water balloons. Given an excess of water, they’ll burst, leading to limp, soggy structures that can’t be restored. Given too little water, they’ll be shriveled until eventually being totally unable to take in any water at all without rupturing.
But at the perfect amount, you’ll have elastic, resilient structures that:
Transpiration is another physical phenomenon that requires proper intake of water and proper water temperature for cannabis plants. Specialized cells on your cannabis' leaves called 'stomata' are the exchange point for oxygen and carbon dioxide, as well as a small amount of water vapor, which becomes a larger (comparatively) amount in cases of mild overwatering. You can think of them as tiny nostrils that line every leaf. For transpiration to take place as needed, each stoma must be adequately pressurized by, you guessed it, water content in its cells. If these cells are too compressed by dryness or blown out by an overabundance of water, the problems with your plants will continue to snowball as interconnected systems begin to go down one after the other. Your weed needs to breathe!
Now that we know what's going on with water and weed on a microscopic level, let's go down even further to the atomic scale.
Although in the wild, ancient and modern day "feral" cannabis derived nutrients from bacteria breaking down dead matter near it, growers like you are raising a refined, higher quality version of that same plant. That means waiting for a mouse to die nearby and go through the cycles of breaking down and being reclaimed isn't your cannabis' only option for nutrient intake. Our way is faster, and less smelly for a reason–Lotus Nutrients uses all water-soluble compounds that all make their way into your weed with ease. The only exceptions are the extracts used for helpful microbe feeding.
Point here is that water functions as an indispensable nutrient-relaying medium for domesticated cannabis, especially when your aim is to grow bigger, stickier buds to harvest.
Without the right water temperature, PH, and PPM, these nutrients won't absorb as designed, leaving your future yields compromised at best, your plants dead at worst. And what makes up the water is just as important as what's in it!
Water is made of two parts Hydrogen, one part Oxygen. And both of these elements are as much macronutrients as Nitrogen and Potassium!
You've never seen either element on a nutrient ingredient list, including ours for a few reasons. Oxides, which you'll know as any chemical name ending in 'ide' like potassium chloride, are chemical compounds that easily dissolve in water thanks to bonding with oxygen. So technically you do see oxygen in your list, just not by itself. Getting this gas into pure dry form is no easy feat, and with hydrogen…our chemical engineers weren't too keen on trying too hard to split it into anything else.
The biggest reason however? You give your plants these elements whenever you water! Extra aeration can be provided to sickly roots by further diluting drugstore hydrogen peroxide (H202) into water, but by and large, your plants won't need any more Hydrogen or Oxygen than is in their water rations.
Oxygen is an essential part of respiration–how plants produce oxygen in a breathable form for us by breaking down carbon dioxide. Like transpiration, this process also takes place through the stomata, but rather than moving water around and out, respiration is a necessary part of metabolizing glucose in addition to releasing the byproduct of the Carbon plants need. Carbon is a third macronutrient that tends not to get counted as it flows freely in the air as CO2, and growing plants in the total vacuum of space is not what most cannabis cultivators have in mind.
Hydrogen as a macronutrient is another building block element. The chains of amino acids that drive cell growth are spurred on by hydrogen ions (multiple atoms bonded together) 'donating' their electrons to other compounds. This exchange prompts an entire nanoscopic assembly line that turns glucose and nutrients into new cells!
Cannabis can be finicky about water temperature, more so than we'd like to think! Most people know not to pour whatever's leftover from a boiled tea kettle over their grow (we hope), but pouring in water fresh from the filter in the fridge, or straight out of a forgotten car bottle on a sunny spring day can also be ill-advised!
When watering cannabis grown in soil, your ideal temperature is between 65 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that's higher in temperature, like your pasta rinse, or that excess from the summer bird bath, will be lower in oxygen. Roots will struggle more to take in what they need and pass it along. Additionally, the environment that this lower oxygen creates, as well as the added warmth, will increase the growth of microbes–not all of which are 420 friendly. If you're growing inside in a tent, repeatedly adding higher temperature water will raise both temperature and humidity inside, making growth and transpiration more difficult, so keeping it room temp or just a bit below is ideal.
If cold water's so great, why isn't iced water better? Simple! Your cannabis is not a member of the Polar Bear Club! If the water you add is too much colder than the ideal range, your roots will be shocked. Just like a cold human, they'll contract their tissues and shut down for a bit. Too much of this will lead to stress, and even nutrient lockout!
For plants living in water full time, the best temperature shifts down slightly to 63-68 degrees. Because the roots are constantly saturated, it's better to have a cooler temperature work with your aeration system to keep everything oxygenated and unslimey. Hydroponic chronic is subject to the same microbes and stresses with too-hot and too-cold water as soil is–though the larger volume of water means that temperature changes need to be taken seriously.
A water heater (like the kind you'd see in an aquarium) or an external water chilling system may be necessary depending on where you're located, and what kind of structure your hydroponics are inside.
It's not advisable to add very hot water or ice to your hydroponics to adjust the temperature due to the possibility of shock. If your system needs an immediate change, sub in PH tested water closer to the right temperature after bailing some of the original water out.
While it's important to invest in a thermometer for your hydroponic grows, your soil can be a little more relaxed. Most people instinctively recognize the range of temperatures soil favors just by touch–cool, like a pool, but not refreshingly cold like a refrigerated beverage. So long as you neither shiver, nor want to shower in it, you'll probably be fine, but if you want to make absolutely certain–a thermometer, bucket, and lifting with your legs will be easy additions to your watering routine.
Want more info on watering? Watch this space, and check out our YouTube channel for FAQ's and interviews!
January 27, 2023 0 Comments
Growing your cannabis in the open? Congratulations on being in an area where you can! But there's more to it than throwing your seeds in the yard and crossing your fingers. Let's break down what you'll need for your weed!
Yes! But also, no.
Weed can and does grow outside–like any plant. However, we've come a long way since the herb was discovered in ancient Asia. Breeding strains for different qualities and testing/remaking cannabis nutrients over the years has led to unprecedented heights (pun intended) in the weed world that never would have been reached without intentional human intervention and decades of research.
Compare the yields and potency of any given ditchweed to properly cultivated cannabis. The quality is miles apart, and with good reason–good weed has needs!
To grow weed outdoors, you'll need...
Absent a quality grow light, the sun is the best thing for your grow! Cannabis grows best in high light areas, needing a minimum of six hours direct sun daily.
You can maximize the amount of light your whole plant gets with outside trellising or gently training your cannabis to expand horizontally.
Cannabis is a hardy plant, but without a good foundation to put roots in, it's a labor in lost cause! If your yard's soil is all sand, or packed clay, you've got two options. You can rent a backhoe and dig a space for your plants–advisable if you're going for quantity, or you can grow from large pots. Either way, you'll need a nutritious soil that drains well to plant your pot in.
As your cannabis plants grow, they'll start to use up the nutrients in the soil. That's why it's important to fertilize them throughout their life cycle. A good rule of thumb is to start with a soil that already has some nutrients in it. That way, you'll know that your young cannabis is getting what it needs from the start without becoming overloaded and susceptible to nutrient burn. You can add organic matter to your soil, like compost or manure, to give it a natural boost. However, as your plants continue to mature, you can boost their growth with extra nourishment.
Cannabis needs different nutrients at different stages of its life, so it's important to choose a fertilizer that's specifically designed for growing weed during its vegetative stage and its flowering stage. That way, you can be sure that your plants are getting everything they need to grow big and strong and sticky!
If the rain rained and the sun shone on a reliable schedule, planting crops would be a hundred times more easy. But the reality is that sometimes cloud juice just won't be enough for your grow! You'll have to make sure to PH test what comes out of your hose at every watering, and make necessary adjustments if your tap isn't running up to par (most people's aren't). Test your water each time (before adding any nutrients), and make sure you're getting a PH reading between 5.5 and 5.8. Water that's too acidic or basic can cause nutrient lockout, and starve your harvest before it even begins, so set aside the time to test no matter what!
When you're growing green gold, everybody wants a piece. You'll find yourself dealing with insect pests like various caterpillars and aphids. You may also have to contend with macroscopic annoyances like rabbits, deer, and feral cats! All of these pests will chew on, poop in, and ruin your grow if you don't take preventative and curative measures such as insecticidal bacteria and plant-friendly bitterants.
Unfortunately, you may also have to deal with the human element. Both unscrupulous pot proponents and anti-health activists may take an interest in your garden's progress. Keep your grow lower than your fence is high, and on a need-to-know basis only just in case, and be sure to set up cameras, motion sensitive lights, and quality gate locks to keep your grow safe.
It's not uncommon to see outdoor growers camp in their own yards during the flower stage, but if that's not the answer for you, the important thing is to keep as many tabs on your grow as you can!
Growing weed outdoors is a great way to enjoy the sun and fresh air while you cultivate your own personal cannabis crop. While it has its own unique challenges, it's a more cost-conscious practice than indoor growing, provided you're committed to keeping your ladies well monitored and well fed. With the right of planning and effort, you can grow weed that's just as good, if not better, than what you'd find at your local dispensary!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start growing!
January 26, 2023 0 Comments
What goes into making hydroponic nutrients go from just okay to totally indispensable? We can tell you! The best hydroponic nutrients for marijuana's specific needs aren't found in your average general store for a reason (no, not just that one).
Generalizations aren't even that great where decorative houseplants are concerned. What feeds an orchid will kill a sundew. So a plant as totally unique as cannabis needs nutrients made with as much ingenuity as specificity. Learn what goes into our nutrients, why we chose the compounds we have, and how your hydroponic setup will thrive when living on Lotus Nutrients!
Hydroponic growing presents more challenges than soil growing from the getgo–with every advantage being a double-edged sword when in unobservant hands.
Cannabis grown hydroponically will grow faster…but it needs more nutrients to do so, since it lives in pure water.
Cannabis grown in soil is more prone to hosting harmful microbes…but helpful microbes also thrive in soil the way they can't in unnourished water.
Cannabis in a hydroponic set up will take in nutrients more readily…but overfeeding and burn are more likely because of the faster uptake when people amend their feeding schedules past what we recommend.
So how can such different mediums benefit from the same nutrients? Simple. Unlike other mere plant food, we designed our supplements starting from the needs of the specific crop, not the medium it's grown in. Because our nutrients are completely water-soluble, a grower who's committed to thorough mixing, PH testing their water properly, and trimming a hefty harvest for weeks on end can enjoy the results of our nutrients no matter whether they're in soil, inside, or in space! And that's due to our medium-agnostic level of attention to one plant in particular.
For hydroponic growers, we're not here to be the best for "plants". Leafy greens like lettuce are wonderful when grown via hydro, but we're not here to scattershot our way to excellence by covering multiple crops. We're here to be the best hydroponic nutrients for marijuanas, ganjas, and cannabises! Hemps too. Why not.
Lotus Nutrients, like all the gear in Grow Strong Industries family, is headed by North California cannabis growers, who've been growing since before pot prohibition was so much as a scribble on a legislative post-it note.
The methods, tech, science, and potency of cannabis have all been refined, while legality, types of strains, and acceptance have all been expanded. It's only by deep involvement and personal investment in these changes that Lotus Nutrients could be made with the expertise you need to nourish your grow past the expected and into the extraordinary.
Why'd we pass the job of mixing the nutrients on to you? Are we yet another company eating out of the hands of Big Spatula? The answer is much more simple: we chose not to make you pay for water. No matter how concentrated that plant tea is, the main ingredient by volume will always be water, and we figured hydroponic growers probably have a good amount of that on hand. Liquid nutrients aren't just less concentrated, they're heavier to ship as a result of that pre-dilution. Our nutrients are the texture of moist sand, to help you save money while you raise your green girls to the best they can be.
Just because there's a lot of science behind growing the strongest, stickiest bud doesn't mean your grow space has to have a different jar of nutrients for every day of the month. We formulated the best hydroponic nutrients for marijuanas of any strain with simplicity in mind. When you put the cannabis first, and trust growers to observe their cannabis' condition and adjust their environment accordingly, there's no need to think up a different nutrient for 30 different possible situations.
We have three formulas that correspond to growth stages, and two fixers for chemical stresses, and that's it.
When you start from the best, there's no need for excess iteration.
It's not the size of your grow that matters, it's what you do with it! That's why we decided against half liter bottles across the board. Whether you have a single bucket in a lockable closet, or a 10x10 personal pot room, we keep the right sizes for you at the ready so that there's no need to swing between fumbling giant jars and trying to stock up on sample sizes. We go up from 16 oz to 256 oz–five sizes that double in weight as you move to the next–so that you always have the right amount for a sea of green, a small-and-mighty oasis, and everything in between.
If you want to get technical, bone meal is a great source of calcium for plants grown for their flowers! But if you want to get more technical (we always do), the calcium it imparts works wonders for roses, chili peppers, and plants that like their soil on the acidic side. That's why we made our nutrients with most readily absorbed forms of the minerals plants need, making the compounds we chose the best hydroponic nutrients for marijuanas' wellbeing–autoflowers and standard strains alike!
Our Carboflush formula was made for correcting nutrient lockout, and for old-school growers who flush their cannabis a couple weeks before harvesting. This handy helper neutralizes and strips minerals from mediums–but it's not just a magic eraser. We added humic acid and glucose to help feed the helpful microbes still living in your hydro-setup. This helps plants in corrective flushes bounce back faster, and aids cannabis being flushed for taste in staying less stressed as it kicks towards that finish line.
The CalMag formula adds two important macronutrients to grows recovering from lockout or deficiencies from inferior plant food. We use the easily dissolved, easily absorbed Calcium SulfATE and Magnesium SulfATE in this additive, and those scientific suffixes are important! Anything ending in -ate is an ionic compound of three elements or more, when one of them is oxygen. It's this airy element that lends these essential alkaline metals the ability to easily dissolve, and distribute themselves properly rather than clumping, clogging, and compromising the water flow.
Lotus Nutrients Grow and Bloom are nutrients that ramp up the building of vegetation and the building of buds respectively. And you might notice something about the metals in our ingredient list. Chelated zinc. Chelated copper. Chelated iron and manganese. What does that mean? It's what makes these nutrients perfect for hydroponic setups and maximum absorption. The phosphate salts (not salt as in table salt, salts as in chemical salts) that nourish plants have a bad habit of reacting with these metals, turning them into solids, and keeping them from being taken up by the roots, even though the particles can't be seen! We use chelated elements because this bonding process keeps this natural reaction from occuring! That means it's all bio-available, and in a form your cannabis can actually consume, rather than just contact.
Both of these formulas also include a soluble kelp extract–to keep beneficial microbes happy and well fed as your cannabis grows! Sea weed? Can we ever!
Lotus Nutrients Boost is a final stage pot-pumper-upper that makes stickier buds that surpass expected potency levels for any strain. We included soy protein hydrolysate to be uptaken with the nitrogen that helps amino acids metabolize into the trichomes of every grower's wildest dreams!
Our chemistry speaks for itself, but so does our team! We're all growers, from the top of the company down to our California-based customer service team, and we keep our culture and services open and helpful to all growers no matter their experience level.
Robotics are fine where they're needed. But grower to grower? Our humanity sets us apart just as much as our mad marijuana science.
Ready to grow like never before?
Get started with an order today.
January 25, 2023 0 Comments
Knowing that overdoing it on nutrients is possible, nutrient lockout almost sounds like a good thing! The plants 'realize' their medium is too saturated for them to absorb anything, so they just stop intake altogether!
But this is dangerous. Eventually, your cannabis will starve itself, and the tissue that dies during this stage won't come back.
To make matters worse, new growers, or anyone growing without resources on an unfamiliar strain, may misread the symptoms of cannabis nutrient lockout as a lack of nutrition, and continue to contribute to the problem!
Imagine what it might look like if cannabis could get scared. Nutrient lockout causes leaves to go pale, shriveled, and limp–not unlike underwatering. Important distinctions is finger-testing the soil and remembering your watering schedule. Watered three days out of the last week? Growing hydroponically? The issue is probably something else then, and that else is lockout.
Does all the talk of chemicals make you a little antsy? It shouldn't! Everything you grow with is made of chemical compounds, right down to the dihydrogen monoxide you pour from your watering can. And these issues aren't isolated to users of nutrient isolates! 100% organic growers can still have problems with overfeeding their grows. The nitrogen found in manure and urine (don't knock it, it makes lemons bigger and better) can still have a detrimental effect on plants when improperly diluted, or mixed with less active soil.
Fortunately, even though tissue damage cannot be reversed, a little extra care can let your cannabis recover and grow back. Now that you know when to stop giving cannabis nutrients, you can move on to how to refine your grow's recovery! Let's talk how to flush marijuana.
Far from being flushing contraband (you'll just clog the toilet anyway, don't bother), flushing marijuana is typically considered to just be watering with only water, and halting feeding. Though sometimes flushing is done with the intention of improving the taste and smokability of a harvest close to the end of the flowering period, it can also used to course correct in situations where overfeeding has lead to cannabis damage. It won't bring anything back, so prevention is always the best recourse, but it will allow the plants to recuperate and get back on track!
To flush soil, all you need do is…water! When there's an excess of cannabis nutrients built up, you can water in such a way that you cause runoff–making sure that there's so much in each watering that you get water draining off from the bottom of the pots. Not only will this physically and chemically run the nutrients out of your plant, you'll also be able to measure when the nutrient load has normalized!
Flushing hydroponics is a little more labor intensive, but carries the advantage of fairly immediate effects! Drain your nutrient-laden water, clean your hoses, grow medium, and filters and replace it with clean, PH tested water. Plants will return to their old selves fairly shortly, and nutrients can be reintroduced after healthy growth is established.
PS, you can save on fertilization treatments outdoors by tossing it all on a growing tree or hardy bushes. Just be mindful that you aren't disposing of overly nourished water in a garden full of leafy, soft-stemmed plants that will ALSO be subject to nutrient burn.
PPM, stands for Parts Per Million: a ratio of molecules of solid compounds (the elements that make up nutrients for cannabis in this case) to parts of water. You'll measure either your soil runoff or the water in your hydroponics tank with what's called a TDS meter (standing for total dissolved solids. Just fill a cup with water, dunk the meter in, and you'll have a number!
For measuring runoff from soil, you can lift your pots into a small stool, or anything that can hold its full weight elevated off the ground to catch runoff in a glass, or even a trashbag. Just remember to keep it safe and lift with your legs (preferably BEFORE you water). If that's out of the question altogether, you can sponge water out of the drip pan in your grow tent into a glass!
Ideal PPM, just like red:blue spectrum ratio in your grow lights, will vary depending what stage of growth your cannabis is in.
Flowering cannabis needs a PPM of 1000-1100.
Veg stage cannabis needs a PPM of 800-900.
Newly cloned cannabis and cannabis seedlings need a PPM of 500-600.
Flushing to correct for overfeeding is very much a hurry up and wait process. There's not much you can do to encourage roots to filter water any faster than they already do (though we hear talking to your plants always helps). However, there is a way to help neutralize the extra chemicals in your medium.
Lotus Nutrients CarboFlush works to aid flushing in two ways. Firstly, this mix cancels out the minerals in nutrients on a chemical level. Remember 8th grade chemistry? This basic formula helps render the acidic salts inert, and keeps your grow from continuing its uptake of the nutrients before they're physically flushed out! The second prong of this formula works with the tiniest of your cannabis' little helpers. Helpful microbes in the soil are also affected by overfeeding cannabis, so CarboFlush includes a little food for them to help get their populations back up to normal, and aiding your pot in its growth, and you in your future harvesting!
Now that you know when to stop giving cannabis nutrients, there's another side of the coin to discuss. Many symptoms of excess nutrition in cannabis can look like other grow issues! Tie in the fact that different strains can show different appearances like natural darkness, paleness, and even healthy yellow edges, and you have a recipe for disaster if you're not making sure you're well-versed!
Halting nutrients and flushing cannabis too early into its growth cycle can lead to some serious situations. Plants that are nutrient deficient are subject to more harm higher rates of infestation from fungi, harmful microbes, and pests. Viral infections can overtake an entire tent full of malnourished plants before overt symptoms and attempts at isolation even start!
And even with grows that do survive an underwhelming feed schedule, yields on malnourished plants will be small, sparse, and not nearly as potent.
An eagle eye and context clues will tell you whether your grow is truly suffering from an excess of minerals. Always ask yourself a few questions before you Overall, you'll be looking for changes in:
Color: Does your plant present as a typical member of its strain family? Does it look like its clone siblings? Does it look too dark, too light, or too yellow? Are any color changes spreading or isolated? As the plant matures is all of the color changing at once? Or is it starting in any specific area?
Leaf shape: Do your leaves have the right number of 'fingers' for the type of marijuana you're growing? Are they properly broad or thin according to their family? Are they properly fanned out and extended? Are they curling, pinching, or twisting? Is any deformity coming from the tips, stems, or 'palms'?
Leaf texture: Are the leaves crumbling in your hands as you pinch them? Are they soggy and limp? Do they bounce back if you lightly push them in a different direction? Is the connection between the leaf and main branch solid, or do they fall off easily?
Of course nutrition isn't the only thing that can have an effect on everything in this list. However if your water PH, lighting schedule/distance, humidity, and air flow are all ideal…the problem is coming from inside the pot one way or the other.
Keep your eyes open, and your hands washed and ready–and if you're ready to give your cannabis the best in nutrition with easy scheduling, simple formulas, and 7-days-a-week assistance, head to our parent company to shop supplements!
January 24, 2023 0 Comments
Can you ever over-nourish your weed? You wouldn't stop feeding a fish, or watering a rose bush, after all. So figuring out when to stop giving cannabis nutrients might sound like an exercise in plant neglect! Is there ever actually an ideal time to stop? Why is halting nutrients any different than denying access to a grow light? We'll explore why growers decide to stop their nutrient regimen, and the effects it can have for beginner growers, old heads considering something new, and everyone in between.
There aren't many reasons why stopping a nutrient schedule is right for your cannabis. After all, there's no other way for them to obtain the minerals and salts (not salt, salts) that they need. Deficiencies are no joke, and a stressed out, underfed plant will put out puny yields at best, and starve to death at worst! But of the few reasons there are to stop feeding your weed, some of them are monumentally important!
Turns out when it comes to concentrated chemical compounds, you can have too much of a good thing! Unlike us, plants don't have the option to recognize an unhealthy eating pattern and move away from it. So it's important to correctly size your plant, triple-check the feeding schedule, and to dilute dry nutrients properly in order to avoid overfeeding your grow. Without these steps, your cannabis will have too high a concentration of normally helpful elements in its growing medium, and be subject to nutrient burn and nutrient lockout!
Nutrient burn in cannabis plants occurs when your plant has absorbed too many compounds to safely break down and use. You can find the human equivalent in an iron overdose–when there's just too much of it for the body to process, it becomes toxic!
As your plant tries and fails to break down the excess elements, root and leaf tissue will begin to degrade, and wither–leading to the "burn". This breakdown effects overall plant health, impedes ability to feed on light and water, and can affect yields severely as a result. If left totally unchecked, nutrient burn is fatal to cannabis–so being careful not to over love your crops and knowing when to stop giving cannabis nutrients is tantamount!
Nutrient burn starts at the roots, but it will be visible in the leaves as it spreads. Your cannabis, depending on the natural color of the strain, may turn a much darker, more vibrant green at first–leading beginner growers to assume they're doing something very right if they aren't careful! But soon after, starting from the bottom of the plant, leaves will begin to develop twisting, curling, and yellowing at the tips of the leaves that will begin spreading inwards. The yellowing can't be corrected, and those leaves will be lost! It takes energy to grow leaves back (energy that could be saved for growing buds), so minimizing the greenery lost through prevention of overfeeding is key!
January 23, 2023 0 Comments
As you can imagine, calcium deficiency is nothing good. If calmag lockout occurs and this mineral can no longer be absorbed, you can expect a weak, brown-polka dotted, saddened plant that crumples into a pile the longer the deficiency goes unaddressed. As cell walls continue to be built without their support structure, the plant and leaves will become floppier, and unable to properly transpire (the plant equivalent of breathing). Transpiration is how plants exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as water vapor. Without calcium-enriched cell walls holding the cannabis leaves' stomatae open (the plant equivalent of nostrils) properly, that moisture gets backed up and leads to the breakdown of absorbing the carbon from the air–further starving your already undernourished grow!
Because the same conditions that accompany calcium deficiency, like overly acidic soil, can also cause other nutrients to be locked out, you may see different signs in addition to the tell-tale brown spotting of calcium deficiency, but the unexpected blotching is the most noteworthy signal.
Calcium is only semi mobile–the "skeleton" of the plant can't move around after all, so newer growth tends to show these spots first. Look for discoloration on leaves closer to the top of the plant, and address the issue before it spreads!
Magnesium is another alkaline earth metal, atomic number 12, and right above its cousin calcium on the periodic table. It's the eighth most present material in the earth's crust, and is also a shiny gray, easily cut metal that burns with a bright white flame.
Protip, keep your nutrients away from open fires. The brick red of calcium, white of magnesium, green of copper and more may be beautiful, but it's not worth the hazard.
In a banner year for Sir Humphry Davy, magnesium was also isolated in 1808 via running electricity through compounds containing the element. However its healing effects when mixed with water had been noted before as the still-powerful, unchanged for 400 years Epsom Salts we use on small cuts and sore muscles.
Magnesium is the 11th most concentrated element in the human body, and helps us with muscle relaxation–both smooth (like our intestines) and skeletal (everything else that isn't our heart). In cannabis, it allows for the production of chlorophyll–and is directly responsible for how well the plant can photosynthesize.
Cannabis needs more magnesium in its 'diet' in comparison to other leafy plants, at a rate of between 50 and 75 ppm, depending on its growth stage. Epsom salts have been an older, more primitive method of adding magnesium to soil–as they leach in quickly, but as they're incomplete nutrients and a corrective measure only it's ill-advised to use them by themselves to combat nutrient lockout.
Because magnesium is so integral to forming chloroplasts, the first thing you'll notice is a fading of the leaf color called chlorosis. Leaves will begin to pale and then yellow around their edges and in between their veins, starting from the oldest bottom leaves and moving upwards. Magnesium is a mobile nutrient, meaning that cannabis can 'pull it' to where a severe deficiency would do the most damage. This pulling doesn't mean any part of your plant is disposable of course–but just like a lizard might shed its tail when it's in danger, your plant is performing hardcore damage control. It's up to you to stay observant so that nothing progresses past the point of no return!
Because calcium and magnesium are such closely related elements, they appear and disappear in the same circumstances. Any environment that causes calcium to be in too high an amount will do the same for magnesium, and anything that causes magnesium to dissapate, like overly acidic soil, will do the same for calcium.
Calmag lockout causes deficiencies in these (and most likely other) nutrients, and leads to a deadly chain of breakdowns as the important metabolic processes are halted in the plants. Corrective measures need to be taken as soon as signs appear!
Fixing nutrient lockout is a multistep process! Because lockout is different from a regular deficiency, simply adding more nutrients to the medium will not be an effective treatment.
Your plants will continue to be locked out, the roots may be burned by an overabundance of nutrients in the soil, causing even more damage, and you'll have wasted otherwise effective nutrients that your stressed plants will need later!
Remember, a locked out grow is like a hungry baby at a buffet. All the necessary nutrients are right there for the taking…but they're not in an accessible form!
In cases where lockout is caused by excessive feeding, a thorough flush is necessary to get the medium reset. With soil, watering to the point of over flow and measuring ppm of the drainage is the way to go, while hydro grows can have their pipes cleaned and their water wholly replaced.
Both mediums can benefit from a flush assistant like Lotus Nutrients Carboflush–which neutralizes overabundant compounds to help speed the process.
It's important to remember that correcting lockout will only restore the plant's ability to retake nutrients. Leaves that have totally yellowed or spotted beyond recognition will not be restored.
And, with calmag lockout, and any other nutrient lockout, flushing may only solve part of the issue!
Inspecting your growing environment to prevent further issues is tantamount to keeping your grow thriving.
To keep calmag lockout from ocurring, or reocurring, you need to make sure your plants aren't stressed.
Nutrient overdose is a common cause. It can be easily solved post-flush by following only the feeding schedule put forward by the manufacturer and no one else. But it's not the only thing to pay attention to!
PH plays a big part in nutrient lockout. A medium that's too acidic or too basic can cause the plant to shut down its nutrient uptake. Test all water that you water with (after adding nutrients when applicable) to make sure it falls within that 5.8-6.2 range.
Check the environment you're growing in as well! If your plants are growing in the kind of peaty soil meant for plants found in bogs, the entire medium will throw off your nutritional balances! Uprooting the plant entirely is obviously a risky process and stressful to you and your cannabis, so make sure you're starting with the right materials from the get go.
Looking for more tips and tricks? You can watch along at our YouTube channel for the answers to frequently asked questions, interviews with our veteran grower cofounders, marijuana mythbusting and more!
You're here for your grow. So are we.
January 22, 2023 0 Comments
Accidents happen. Whether you're a beginner grower, or a cannabis cultivation expert, issues like surprise pollination, root rot, and cal mag lockout can still rear their crop-killing heads. Doing the best for your grow, no matter your level of expertise, will always be a rewarding challenge if you're doing it right, and that's because cannabis has such unique needs!
During the seedling stage, cannabis needs close light to avoid becoming leggy, and can do well with an ordinary white bulb! As it grows through its vegetative stage, you'll need to change that bulb to a blue-heavy one, and move it further away to prevent light burn. Yet later, you want a red-heavy spectrum to encourage bigger, stickier buds with a higher concentration of cannabinoids!
Similarly, your cannabis needs different amounts of light as it grows, if you aren't growing autoflower strains. Every kind of cannabis needs to have intense lighting, but harvests are only possible when their schedule is flipped! Outdoor growers don't have a need to simulate the seasons, as the sun and movement of the Earth do that for them, but indoor growers need to move to a set schedule for each stage of growth to get their buds to bloom at all. 16-24 hours of light in the vegetative stage is standard for most strains, but flipping to flower requires a move to 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of that red-heavy light.
Cannabis is a fast-growing and hardy plant in general, but the ditchweed that grows through all sorts of adverse conditions in some parts is not the same as the plants you wish to harvest for yourself. Non-feral cannabis requires certain levels of humidity, consistent observation to prevent pests, quarantine periods, tool sanitization, air flow for healthy vegetation, and adequate ventilation! There are grow tents and grow cabinets that meet those needs–and some set ups that don't, and every grower has to make that determination.
Nutrition needs also vary in different stages! If you're starting from seed, it's very possible to put seedlings in soil that's "too hot" for them–meaning the overabundance of nitrogen is deleterious to the tiny plants. Meanwhile, that same soil might have nitrogen levels under what a towering flowering plant would need later in life.
Furthermore, no matter what medium you're growing in, hydroponic or soil, a PH level that's too acidic or too basic will also lead to lockout of several nutrients. Cannabis prefers a level between 5.8 and 6.2, and any conditions too far outside of this range will need to be corrected in order to keep your grow not only at its best, but alive in the first place.
Lockout of any nutrient is caused by an inability of the cannabis to uptake those nutrients from its medium and use them effectively. Though lockout causes deficiencies, the biggest difference between these two issues is that a deficiency can be caused by lack of supplementation. Lockout occurs when the nutrients in question are actually present in the medium, but are not being absorbed by the cannabis.
The unique needs we discussed not being met are how lockouts can occur–a stressed plant, like many stressed people, can't eat! Nutrient burn occurs when the opposite happens, and we'll cover that topic in a later blog.
Macronutrients are nutrients that plants need in larger qualities in order to thrive! Human macronutrients are complex nutrients made of multiple compounds like fats, and carbs, but plants like cannabis have the narrower specificities of certain elements made into very simple chemical components.
Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen are technically macronutrients–the biggest any plant needs! But if you remember your eighth grade biology, you'll realize you don't need supplementary nutrients to get these essentials to your grow. They're literally the components of air and water! Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) provide all the supermacros that your cannabis needs–and while there are certainly environments in which your grow wouldn't get as much as they need, no additional supplementation is needed for these elements in particular.
The primary macronutrients are Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. You'll recognize these elements from the NPK on most bags of soil and nutrients. They're essential for regulating metabolism, water intake regulation, and root growth respectively, and as the name suggests, they're needed in the largest quantities.
The secondary macronutrients are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. Though they're not afforded primary status, they're far from unimportant! Without these minerals, plants wouldn't be able to form chlorophyll, cell walls, or strong root structures.
One of the biggest issues new cultivators must face is overcoming misconceptions based on non-scientific uses of certain terms in regular life. If there are primary and secondary macronutrients, they must be more important than micronutrients, right? Wrong! The only difference is in the concentrations of each mineral that plants need! Make no mistake, micronutrients are still vital to the health of your cannabis, and the potency of your future harvests. The best nutrients for cannabis will have a healthy balance of all of them!
The micronutrients cannabis needs are:
Boron - another cell wall building element that keeps plants upright and firm.
Iron - maker of chloroplasts– the cells that let your cannabis turn light into food.
Copper - a metal that allows for protein metabolism
Zinc - responsible for the hormone production that signals your cannabis to create certain structures (leaves, buds, and seeds if you're unlucky).
Molybdenum - key in synthesizing amino acids, translating them into what cells need to be constructed. Think of this element as the blueprints as your plants grow!
Manganese - creates reproductive structures–ie the parts of the plants we're here for!
Calcium and Magnesium are macronutrients, therefore there's a need for a higher concentration of these two minerals in the nutrients these plants uptake. But what are they past that?
Calcium is an alkaline earth metal–one of six powdery, silver-colored metals that react strongly with water, melt easily, and are found in abundance naturally in various compounds.
Calcium wasn't isolated as an element until the 1800s, but it was known to many peoples around the world in many forms as the primary element in many regular items. It's present in limestone, pearls, chalk, and areas with naturally hard water, as well as in milk, bones, and cruciferous vegetables.
It's number 20 on the periodic table, the fifth most abundant element in soils all over the world, and was first isolated by Humphry Davy in 1808.
It's just as essential for humans as it is for cannabis–regulating our muscles in motion, playing a part in blood clotting, and making up a good part of our skeletons. Unlike cannabis, an over abundance getting locked out isn't an option for humans–and kidney stones and tonsil stones are also made of calcified material.
What calcium does for cannabis is very similar to its function in our own bodies. Cell walls are the plant equivalent of skeletons–providing structure and firmness. Hormone regulation is its secondary job–but as an immobile nutrient (meaning once it's metabolized in one location, it stays there), its primary job is to be a building block.
Cannabis needs between 150 and 300 ppm of its medium to be an absorption-worthy source of calcium (bone meal won't be absorbed in the less-acidic soil that cannabis needs), and as a macronutrient, this mineral is a non negotiable component for healthy growth through the plant's entire life.
January 21, 2023 0 Comments
January 20, 2023 0 Comments
Lotus nutrients were formulated for use in any medium, but they shine in hydroponic setups! The non-diluted, water-less nutrients come totally dry. That means they're concentrated, and specifically meant to be added to water by growers.
This allows for easier PH adjusting–as there's no water to correct for. This helps prevent nutrient lockout due to water that's too basic or too acidic for your cannabis to thrive. With your ph testing equipment, and a good check of the water before mixing Lotus Nutrients in, you'll be good to grow without the need to continue correcting at several stages.
The dry nature of these nutrients also makes them much more easy to measure! There's no splashing, no meniscus messing with your eyes as you squint over a measuring cup, and less risk of nutrient lockout through overindulging your grow by accident. Measure twice, dissolve once!
Lotus Nutrients aren't the only dry nutrients on the market. But there's an extra step that our Nor-Cal developers took. The texture of our nutrients is like brown sugar–clumpy, but soft and uniform. Other dry nutrients look like different grades of sand mixed together. That texture is great for a trip to the beach, but in hydroponic applications, it's a serious problem. Bigger particles of certain nutrients in the mix means that they don't all dissolve at the same time. That makes it easier to miss a trick when adding to water, and adding burning chunks these usually-helpful nutrients directly to your plants roots. This isn't what's normally meant by "nutrient burn", but it is a serious problem! That's why Lotus Nutrients chose to take the extra step, grind a little harder (literally), and get all the elements evened out before they reach growers' hands.
Nutrient lockout, the halting of absorption of nutrients, and nutrient burn–chemical burns on plant tissue from overapplication of nourishment are both serious issues that can kill cannabis if left unchecked. Even surviving plants can end up with permanent stunting from stress, leading to lower amounts of flower, and lower quality harvests. Lotus Nutrients make it easier to skip this harsh lesson with our plant-first formulas, nutrient calculator, and seven days a week helpline of growers like you!
In addition to being better for your grow, Lotus Nutrients is just plain better for the earth! The concentrated blends ship with more nutrients per ounce than watery mixes, lowering your footprint as you tend your greens!
The Lotus Nutrients line includes one set of nutrients specially formulated to provide ideal nourishment at certain points in your grow's life cycle, one specific macronutrient deficiency addressing supplement, and a nutrient neutralizer. Here's how they work.
Lotus Nutrients Grow is engineered to fire up growth of taller seedlings and clones. This formula strengthens stems, by providing the nourishment that makes thicker xylem and phloem–allowing greater rates of nutrient transfer. It encourages thicker, healthier roots to spread–even though not through soil–which aids in water and nutrient intake. The cell-wall enhancing elements also make the entire plant more resilient to plant-to-plant disease, and put a spring in the leaves and stalks. They'll retain bounce, and elasticity–getting them to grow without brittleness or deflation.
Lotus Nutrients Bloom is nourishment for the flowering stage of cannabis. In this stage, your cannabis is expanding into maturity, and looking to reproduce! So, like any creature going through teen-to-adult transitions, it needs a higher amount of feed, with minerals aimed at facilitating the production of reproductive faculties.When cannabis is undernourished, it's forced to halt its flower stage to attempt to save its own life. Bloom encourages the overall health of your plants while also feeding for tighter internodal spacing and a higher amount of flowering sites–heightening your harvest in quantity. Late bloomers and cramped colas are just the results of crops that aren't being fed with the best hydroponic nutrients for cannabis. Fortunately, that's an easy fix!
Lotus Nutrients Boost is the flavor enhancer of the original three-step family. Closer to the edge of the flowering stage, your cannabis is no longer focused on quantity of buds. At some point, about four weeks in, all the nodes you're going to see for the season will be present and accounted for! But that doesn't mean your plant is all done developing your future harvest–which in turn means adding nutrients to the hydroponic setup isn't complete! As the cannabis buds develop the trichomes that give us the therapeutic effects we know and love during this latest stage. Cannabidiol, THC, CBG, and terpenes don't emerge without these sticky structures–and a combination of minerals that nourishes these combinations of proteins is essential!
But that's not the only way Boost affects a grow.
This formula also encourages bigger, denser growth during the transition from Bloom! Once the nodes are healthy, in place, and the process of flowering has begun in earnest, Boost helps these structures grow to their thickest and largest–giving the trichomes it also nourishes more surface area to spread their wellness!
Flushing, whether mid grow for a 'reset' of the growing medium, or close to harvest as a preference, means getting the nutrients in your medium out of it so that your plants can feed on just water and light.With hydroponics, unlike soil, there is no 'just water and wait' option to flushing. Either all the water in the system needs to be replaced, or you can let the science behind Lotus Nutrients do what it does. Carboflsh uses compounds that truly neutralize the minerals present in your water system–making hydroponic flushes complete!
Calcium and Magnesium are two of the highest quantity macronutrients your cannabis needs to feed properly! They're found and lost in the same conditions, so if you've been using subpar plant food in your grow, and the yellowing leaves are telling you to step it up–Lotus Nutrients CalMag is here to step in.
These 'hard' minerals are by definition deficient in soft water–and if you're seeing brown splotches on your leaves, or entire leaves yellowing, a cal/mag deficiency is the likely issue. Lotus Nutrients CalMag is totally soluble, so when administered according to schedule, it won't cake your hoses, or burn your plants. It's just a step to get them back to growing as they should and beyond!
Are you ready to nourish your grow with the best on the market? Lotus Nutrients is here for you. We carry all sizes, even samples, for the discerning grower, and our NorCal based team of experienced cannabis cultivators is here for you 7 days a week to answer questions and give any advice!
Give your weed what it needs!
January 19, 2023 0 Comments
Growing cannabis hydroponically means keeping things much more grounded, ironically. But it's a fact that you still need to keep nourishment flowing around those roots! H2O can't do it all, so you're tasked with finding the best hydroponic nutrients for cannabis. There's no getting around the need to feed your weed, and fortunately for you and the steadily increasing number of home growers, Lotus Nutrients makes exactly what you need, and makes it simple.
Let's travel through how.
Using soil as a medium might be considered the beginner's approach to growing cannabis, but even the most dedicated hydro-enthusiasts have to admit it does have the edge in a few areas.
Soil can contain (and sustain if added post-facto) helpful microbes like:
These vicious yet tiny predators go after harmful root eating larvae with extreme prejudice.
Bacteria that can photosynthesize falls into the category of cyanobacteria. Helpful species in this kingdom like the rhizobium family fix essential macronutrient Nitrogen into the soil to be taken up by the plants in it.
Not all fungal growth in soil is bad! Crop-killers, like the root-rot causing fusarium family, can be consumed by allies like trichoderma, and even cannibalized by other species of fusarium. Yet other fungi like green muscardine can even kill and consume root eating beetle larvae.
Yet more microbes decay the organic matter that makes up soil in its entirety–sucking in what used to be plant matter and breaking it down into more essential macronutrients like Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and Sulfur.
This continual breaking down is what gives plants grown in soil natural leverage. Hydroponics represent a breakthrough in cannabis growth, but their natural place is in soil. Soil easily anchors roots without the potential pitfalls of improperly applied LECA or rockwool.
It's this simplicity that keeps even advanced growers sticking with soil to begin with. It's portable, cheaper to set up, and easy to get going.
But you’re growing hydroponic chronic for a reason. Despite the initial costs and learning curve, once you master your bubbles and buckets, you avoid the pitfalls of soil like:
Soil is more natural, as proponents say, but what's natural and what's easiest for human harvest don't always go hand in hand. That's why cannabis has hundreds of strains after all. And those thicker-than-your-wrists stalks that you see in big outdoor grows take time! Hydroponic cannabis, and the strains most amenable to it trade tree like all-over growth for speed from seed to harvest.
Helpful microbes can come in soil…but so can harmful ones. Aspergillus and fusarium (black mold and one cause of root rot) live in soil and spread through contaminated tools, unsanitized pots, and even unwashed hands! Getting a handle on these is a huge hassle for soil growers–and though hydroponic growing doesn't mean there's no need to quarantine new plants or sterilize tools, it is undoubtedly easier to conduct control methods with watery media.
Whether you're just starting out or have been growing exclusively with hydro for years, you may not be fully aware of all the pros to this method of growing!
Hydroponic setups allow for bigger yields in a couple of different ways. Firstly the soil-less system allows the best hydroponic nutrients for cannabis full access to the absorbent roots! That means absolutely no nutrients lost to microbes within the soil, or carried down and out through gravity if a little too much water runs through pot drainage. With hydro, your grow gets literally every ounce of the nutrients you give it, and that means you get 100% of the growth that those nutrients help to impart.
Without any need for the recommended five gallon pots for each plant, growing hydroponically allows for more plants per space–also leading to bigger yields by quantity. Once your clones are started, from a mother or by order, the possibilities for giant harvests grow!
Conservation of water is also key in hydroponics. No water is lost through drainage, nor the same kind of evaporation that takes place in soil–and even though a lot of water is required up front, only the most negligent of growers will ever see the quantities in their setup dip below an inch.
Faster growth than in soil is also expected, again due to the direct contact of nutrients with roots, and lack of competition for absorption.
Awareness of just how much hydroponics can do for a grower is key to full understanding and ongoing respect for this method. Keeping these pros front-of-mind can build your morale through maintenance, learning curves (yes even for experts), and trim jail. But how does Lotus Nutrients make the most of these advantages to embody the best hydroponic nutrients for cannabis?