Posted by Custom Hydro on 9/9/2023 to
The Benefits of Supplemental and Corrective Foliar Feeding for Your Cannabis Plants
Foliar feeding is an essential part of maintaining healthy cannabis plants. By providing supplemental and corrective nutrition, foliar feeding can help increase the yield and quality of your cannabis plants. In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of supplemental and corrective foliar feeding and how it can help you get the most out of your cannabis plants.
Understanding Supplemental and Corrective Foliar Feeding
Understanding supplemental and corrective foliar feeding is crucial for maintaining the health and vitality of your cannabis plants. Supplemental foliar feeding involves providing additional nutrients to support plant growth and development, while corrective foliar feeding aims to address nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.
Supplemental foliar feeding can be beneficial when your plants need an extra boost of nutrients during specific growth stages, such as flowering or fruiting. This method allows for quick absorption of nutrients through the foliage, bypassing the root system and ensuring faster results.
On the other hand, corrective foliar feeding is used when your plants exhibit nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. By applying a targeted nutrient solution directly to the foliage, you can rapidly address these issues and promote healthy plant growth.
It's important to note that foliar feeding should never replace a comprehensive fertilization program or healthy soil conditions. Instead, it should be used as a supplemental tool to enhance plant health and performance. When applying foliar sprays, it's essential to choose the right nutrients and use a surfactant to ensure proper contact with the foliage.
The Benefits of Foliar Feeding Cannabis Plants
Foliar feeding can provide a multitude of benefits for your cannabis plants, helping you achieve optimal growth and maximize yield. One of the main advantages of foliar feeding is its ability to quickly deliver nutrients directly to the foliage, bypassing the root system. This means that your plants can receive an immediate boost of essential nutrients, promoting faster growth and development.
Another benefit of foliar feeding is its ability to address nutrient deficiencies or imbalances. By applying a targeted nutrient solution directly to the leaves, you can effectively correct any deficiencies or imbalances and restore your plants to optimal health. This can lead to improved overall plant vigor, increased resistance to pests and diseases, and better quality harvests.
When to Use Supplemental Foliar Feeding
Supplemental foliar feeding can be a valuable tool in your cultivation practices. Knowing when to use it can help you optimize plant health and maximize yield. There are several key times when supplemental foliar feeding can benefit your cannabis plants.
One optimal time for supplemental foliar feeding is during periods of high stress or nutrient demand. This could include times of extreme temperature fluctuations, drought conditions, or rapid growth spurts. By providing additional nutrients through foliar feeding, you can support your plants' growth and help them withstand stressful conditions.
Additionally, if you notice any signs of nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in your plants, supplemental foliar feeding can help address these issues quickly. Symptoms such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth may indicate that your plants are lacking certain nutrients. By applying targeted nutrient solutions directly to the foliage, you can address these deficiencies and promote healthy plant growth.
When to Use Corrective Foliar Feeding
Corrective foliar feeding is an important tool to have in your arsenal as a professional horticulturalist. Knowing when to use it can help you address nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in your cannabis plants and ensure optimal plant health. There are several key situations where corrective foliar feeding can be beneficial.
One instance is when you notice specific symptoms of nutrient deficiencies, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. These signs indicate that your plants are lacking certain essential nutrients. By applying a targeted nutrient solution directly to the foliage, you can quickly address these deficiencies and promote healthy plant growth.
Choosing the Right Nutrients for Foliar Feeding
Choosing the right nutrients for foliar feeding is crucial for the health and success of your cannabis plants. It's important to select nutrient solutions that are completely soluble for foliar application and tailored to the specific needs of your plants.
When choosing nutrients, consider the stage of growth your plants are in and the specific nutrients they require. For example, during the flowering stage, your plants will benefit from higher levels of phosphorus and potassium to support flower development. Look for nutrient solutions that have a balanced NPK ratio and contain micronutrients essential for cannabis growth, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Additionally, consider the quality and source of the nutrients. Look for nutrient solutions from reputable brands that use high-quality ingredients and have been tested and proven to deliver results. It's also important to consider the point of deliquescence of the fertilizer, as this will affect their absorption and effectiveness after the spray solution has dried on the leaves.
Lastly, it's a good idea to consult with other professional horticulturalists or cannabis cultivators to get recommendations on the best nutrients for foliar feeding. Their experience and knowledge can be invaluable in selecting the right nutrients for your cannabis plants. Browse our selection of fertilizer materials particularly well suited for foliar feeding.
How to Properly Apply Foliar Feeding
Proper application of foliar feeding is essential to ensure that your cannabis plants receive the maximum benefit from this technique. Here are some key steps to follow when applying foliar feeding to your plants.
First, choose the right time of day to apply the foliar spray. Early morning or late afternoon is ideal, as the temperatures are cooler and the leaves are less likely to burn. Avoid applying foliar sprays during the hottest part of the day to prevent evaporation and potential damage to the leaves. If growing indoors it is good practice to dim the lights and turn the fans down.
Next, prepare the nutrient solution according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure to mix the solution thoroughly to ensure complete dissolution of the nutrients. Include a good non-ionic surfactant, such as Capsil to help the spray solution to spread out flat on the leaf and minimize run-off. This helps guarantee complete coverage and uniform foliar uptake of applied nutrients.
Before applying the foliar spray, ensure that the plants are clean and free from any dust or debris. This will help the nutrients adhere better to the leaves and maximize their absorption.
Using a fine mist sprayer, apply the foliar spray evenly to the leaves, covering both the top and underside of the foliage. Be sure to spray from a distance to prevent excessive moisture buildup on the leaves, which can lead to mold or disease.
Avoid applying foliar sprays during rainy or humid conditions, as this can interfere with absorption and increase the risk of disease.
Lastly, monitor your plants closely after foliar feeding to assess their response. Observe for any signs of improvement or adverse reactions. Adjust your foliar feeding schedule and nutrient concentration as needed based on your plants' response.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Foliar Feeding
When it comes to foliar feeding your cannabis plants, there are a few common mistakes that you'll want to avoid. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can ensure that you're getting the most out of your foliar feeding regimen.
One of the most common mistakes to avoid is using the wrong nutrients or nutrient concentrations. While it is common belief that foliar fertilizer solutions should be lower concentration than rot applied fertilizer solutions. It is not backed by the research on the subject. Higher fertilizer concentration is required for foliar sprays to have an effect on plant health. It's important to choose nutrient solutions that are specifically formulated for foliar application and that are appropriate for the growth stage of your cannabis plants. Using the wrong nutrients or concentrations can lead to ineffective foliar feeding programs.
Lastly, it's crucial to ensure that the leaves are clean and free from dust or debris before applying foliar sprays. Dirty leaves can prevent proper nutrient absorption and can reduce the effectiveness of foliar feeding. Make sure to gently clean the leaves beforehand to maximize the adhesion and absorption of the nutrients.
Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Foliar Feeding
Foliar feeding is an effective way to provide supplemental and corrective nutrition to your cannabis plants, but there are some tips that can help you maximize its effectiveness. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when foliar feeding your plants:
- Timing is crucial: Make sure to apply foliar sprays during the right stage of growth or when your plants are in need of additional nutrients. Applying foliar sprays during periods of high stress or nutrient demand can help your plants withstand challenging conditions and promote healthy growth.
- Choose the right concentration: Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. Using too low of a concentration may not provide enough nutrients to benefit your plants. Finding the right balance is essential for optimal results.
- Ensure even coverage: Use a sprayer designed for applying foliar sprays to plants to ensure that the foliar spray is evenly distributed on both the top and underside of the foliage. This will help maximize nutrient absorption and prevent nutrient deficiencies in certain areas of the plant. Include a quality surfactant.
- Monitor your plants: Keep a close eye on your plants after foliar feeding to assess their response. Look for signs of improvement or any adverse reactions. Adjust your foliar feeding schedule and nutrient concentration as needed based on your plants' response.
- Incorporate foliar feeding into a comprehensive fertilization program: While foliar feeding can provide supplemental and corrective nutrition, it should not replace a comprehensive fertilization program or healthy soil conditions. Make sure to include foliar feeding as part of a well-rounded approach to cannabis plant nutrition.
- For more information see our section on Foliar Feeding in our Brief Guide to Cannabis Fertigation and Foliar Fertilizer Selection.
Calculating Cost Savings with Custom Foliar Formulations
As a professional horticulturalist, you're always looking for ways to save money and maximize yield without compromising quality. One way to achieve this is through the use of custom foliar formulations. By creating your own nutrient solutions tailored to the specific needs of your cannabis plants, you can not only provide the necessary nutrients but also potentially save on costs.
Calculating the cost savings with custom foliar formulations involves several factors. First, you'll need to consider the cost of the ingredients used to create the nutrient solution. By purchasing these ingredients in bulk, you can often get a better price compared to pre-made commercial products.
Next, you'll need to factor in the cost of application. While foliar feeding can save you time and money compared to traditional soil application, it's important to consider the cost of the sprayer and any additional labor involved in the process. However, these costs are often outweighed by the benefits of increased efficiency and faster results.
Lastly, you'll want to calculate the potential yield increase resulting from the use of custom foliar formulations. By providing your plants with the precise nutrients they need, you can optimize their growth and development, leading to higher quality harvests. This increased yield can further contribute to cost savings and overall profitability.
Overall, while there may be some initial investment and calculations involved, the cost savings with custom foliar formulations can be significant. By tailoring your nutrient solutions to the specific needs of your cannabis plants, you can not only save money but also achieve optimal growth and maximize your yield.