Have you noticed those three numbers at the top of fertilizers before? Hopefully yes, they’re important! Those numbers indicate the NPK. Adding nutrients to cannabis shouldn’t be a mystery, so if you’re wondering about the numbers you need to see on nutrients for your grow, read on!
NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The name uses the letters on the Periodic Table to form the acronym, hence why it's not NPP. These are three of the macro nutrients that your cannabis will need in the highest quantities (compared to other macros and micros) in order to grow healthy and produce big buds.
The numbers read as percent by weight of fertilizer. We pulled up a handy breakdown of the math involved, but if, for example, you see a 40lb bag of fertilizer that reads 30-15-15, that means 30% ie, 12lbs is nitrogen, 15% ie, 6 lbs is phosphorus, and 15% ie 6 lbs is potassium.
You might be thinking "Why not just go for the highest numbers possible? Won’t my cannabis grow even more nutrients that way? Isn't that the biggest bang for my buck?"
Short answer? No! It's an understandable misconception, but no. Cannabis can be overloved like any other plant, and giving your cannabis too much of anything can actually be harmful to their health. In the case of nutrients, you'll end up with 'Nute burn'-- damaged plant tissues from overdosing.
It depends on the stage of growth!
For lush, bushy foliage in the vegetative stage, we recommend a potassium heavy 8-4-13.
For big, dense, sticky buds in the flowering stage, more phosphorus and less nitrogen is needed in a 5-10-14 formula.
NPK is just one part of a healthy cannabis grow, however. Your plants will also need other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
The best way to make sure your plants are getting everything they need is to use a high-quality fertilizer that is designed specifically for cannabis. This will give them the perfect NPK ratio, as well as all the other nutrients they need to grow healthy and produce big buds.
Looking for a timetable of nutrients? You're in luck. Check out our ideal feeding schedule here and get your leafy ladies the nourishment they need!
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