Cannabis Roots: All You Need To Know

The roots are the most important part, without them plants can't absorb water and nutrients, and would simply die.
21 May 2020
5 min read
Cannabis Roots: All You Need To Know

  • 1. What are roots?
  • 2. The growth of roots
  • 3. The structure of roots
  • 4. The functions of roots
  • 5. Cannabis roots during flowering
  • 6. Flushing the roots
  • 7. Main problems with roots: excess and lack of water
  • 8. In conclusion

The root is the first thing you see when germinating your cannabis seeds. They are what the plant uses to absorb water and nutrients to be able to grow and is definitely the most important part of your plant.

1. What Are Roots?

The roots are the most important part of the plant and are the first part of the plant to come in contact with the medium after germination.

Most plants have three types of roots: the taproot, fibrous roots, and adventitious roots. Fibrous roots are the roots that grow into the medium, adventitious roots are those which can grow from the stem towards the medium.


Cannabis Roots: the taproot, fibrous roots, and adventitious roots

Cannabis roots: the taproot, fibrous roots, and adventitious roots.

Cannabis has all three types of roots, the taproot appears when germinating, fibrous roots when it is already developing and adventitious roots when cloning.

2. The Growth Of Roots

The growth of roots occurs mainly during the vegetative stage. Throughout the vegetative stage of a plant, the roots will grow as much as they can and develop a lot of secondary roots and capillaries so that during the flowering stage they can focus on absorbing nutrients and producing big buds.

When the roots are growing it is important to take extra care when watering. The roots are always looking for water in the substrate if the substrate is too wet the roots won’t grow as they don’t need to search for water.


Cannabis Roots: Growth

It is crucial that you maintain the roots happy, the excess or lack of water will result in lower yields.

This is the reason why we have to provide the proper amount of water to our plant, this will guarantee vigorous growth.

Tip: Overwatering is one of the most common errors made when growing autoflowering plants, if you water too much the roots won’t have the need to search for water and won’t grow. This can have affect the final yield.

3. The Structure Of Roots

Roots grow in a way that reminds of a pyramids structure. The main root grows down into the soil while secondary roots grow horizontally to it. These secondary roots grow smaller roots (called capillaries), the roots are responsible for absorbing and transporting water and nutrients for the entire plant.


Cannabis Roots: capillaries

The structure of Cannabis roots: capillaries development

The way roots grow can be affected by the type of medium you’re growing in. If you use a compact medium, the roots will have difficulties growing. This will slow down the roots and will result in slow plant growth.

This is common among new growers, we recommend growing in a mix of coco fiber, perlite and/or soil for best results.

4. The Functions Of Roots

The roots are responsible for a lot of essential functions. One of the main functions of the roots is maintaining the plant firmly anchored to the ground, if the root systems are not developed well, the plant will need support (like a bamboo stick) to prevent it from falling over, especially during flowering.

Another very important function is the absorption of nutrients and water. If the plant didn’t develop the roots well, the plant’s growth and bud production can be severely affected.

5. Cannabis Roots During Flowering

Once the flowering stage has begun, the roots won’t grow like in the vegetative stage. After 2 weeks into the flowering stage, the roots will reduce the rate of growth drastically and focus on absorbing as much nutrient as they can to ensure a good bud production.


Cannabis Roots: Cannabis Roots During Flowering

Cannabis roots during flowering.

At this stage it is crucial that you maintain the roots happy, the excess or lack of water will result in lower yields.

6. Flushing The Roots

Flushing is a vital process to be able to harvest the best quality buds. Flushing usually is done on the last 2 weeks of flowering and consists of watering your plants with plain water to remove any nutrients left in the soil, so all the nutrients that make your flowers taste harsh are removed.


Cannabis Roots: Flushing your Cannabis plants

Flushing your Cannabis plants on the last 2 weeks of flowering is very important as it helps to remove any nutrients left in the soil.

The most important thing is that the leaves turn yellow at the end of the flowering stage, this means the soil is nutrient-free and you performed the flush correctly, resulting in plants with a better smell and a tasty smooth flavor.

7. Main Problems With Roots: Excess And Lack Of Water

The excess of water (known as overwatering) happens when there is a high amount of water (in the medium) during a long period of time.

During this period the root can’t obtain oxygen and start turning into a brown color. When this happens, the roots are unable to absorb nutrients and the plant will drown to death.

If left like this for a few days, the plant will start to become droopy and the leaves will start yellowing. At this stage the plant will most surely die and there’s nothing that can be done to save it because the roots are already too bad to be saved.

Just like in the excess of water, the lack of water (underwatering) will ultimately dry all the roots and the plant will not be able to absorb any more water. Even though the plant can be rehydrated, the roots will already be compromised and most likely won’t be able to recover.

Even if you manage to recover the plant, the roots that died were essential to the plant and the growth and yields will be seriously affected.

8. In Conclusion

Knowing all this information about roots we can agree that we have to be extremely cautious with the roots of our plants. They are what provide the nutrients and water for our plant to survive, any kind of mistreat could have serious consequences.

If you are new to growing cannabis, it is better to start growing strains that are more resilient and can take heavy feeding. We recommend our new Gorilla Cookies Auto.

Gorilla Cookies Auto
5 out of 5
I got 134g off this gal growing in 3 gal pot with 24 hours of light. i'm stoked with the result! Smells like diesel. Was a great grow overall.
Verified customer
Reviewed 24 June 2020

She can take a big feed especially from week 3 and is a good option if you’re new to growing and is having problems with overwatering.

21 May 2020