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How Often Should I Water My Cannabis Plants?

Knowing the right time to feed your plants can depend on many variables, so find out more below about what to consider in order to maintain the perfect watering ratio.
3 days ago
6 min read
How Often Should I Water My Cannabis Plants?

Contents:

If you are new to growing Cannabis indoors or outdoors, having a thorough understanding of how frequently you should be watering or how often your plants require it can be quite difficult. There are many factors that play a huge role from the cultivar, the maturity of the plant, grow room temperatures and humidity, the growing substrate integrity to drain as well as retain nutrient solution, the chosen growth cycle and much more. Below we'll explain what you should know when it comes to watering your Cannabis plants. 

1. The Best Way To Water Plants

There is no set way to water Cannabis plants or any type of house plant for that matter, however, each grower has their own set way, based on what is most practical for them. 

Top Feeding Small Amounts Frequently: This is the most basic way to water plants without oversaturating them. Normally a grower will add enough water until the growing medium has become moist. By watering in this instance, the growing medium will always stay well saturated, yet will never be encouraged to dry out and increase air capacity.

Watering Until Runoff: This method is the same as top feeding, however with the intention of pouring in enough water or nutrient solution, and waiting around 30-60 seconds for a slow release of water to emerge from the bottom of your plastic or felt pots. One of the benefits of watering this way is oxygen is pulled through the entire grow medium as water escapes and air displacement occurs.

 

 

 

Bottom Feeding Only: A very simple and foolproof way to water your plants by allowing the roots to suck the water up. This only happens correctly when the growing medium is dry enough, to cause a wicking action that will draw the water upwards to the roots. Many growers swear feeding in this manner is the most advantageous, then again many will debate that the buildup of salts is far greater.

Hydroponic Applications: Regarded as the commercial scale farming model, watering using timed irrigation not only saves physical labor but also ensures the plants are fed the exact same amount, on a consistent basis. Organic growing mediums fed with drip stakes will grow much faster than when hand watering, and is replicated on enormous scales in the agricultural sector.

When growing Cannabis organically, using drip stakes will help your plants to grow much quicker. This is commonly replicated in commercial scale farming of vegetables and is also the most efficient way to water a large scale crop.

2. Plain Water or Nutrient Solution? 

Hydrating a plant is one thing, however, feeding a nutrient solution is different and there are a few things to consider. The root hairs of a Cannabis plant only need to come into contact with a fine film of water to be able to tap in and extract what they need.

Feeding Plain Water Only

This is basically as organic and simple as one can be, as Mother Nature does all the rest. As all of the necessary primary and trace elements can be found in abundance inside an organic living soil, all that is required is to keep the moisture levels adequate for the living microorganisms. Compost also depends on specific temperatures and moisture levels in order for organic matter to break down over time.

Using Nutrient Solution

Most growers who follow a nutrient feeding chart will feed a mix of different nutrients until the final few weeks. During the last part of the flowering cycle is the flushing period where plain water is fed to the plants for two reasons.

Break Down Undissolved Salts

The build-up of nutrient salts that can develop over a 10 week period or more can be quite excessive. Especially if using chemical-based nutrients that are designed for hydroponic systems. Water is the source of life and is also a solvent in its own way, meaning the final 14 days will help wash away the remaining salts increasing the flavor and quality of the ash.

Using Up The Reserve Nutrients

Even though it may seem a drastic change to switch from a maximum nutrient solution, it is necessary to starve the plant forcing it to use up all of the reserved nutrients. This is when Cannabis plants will begin to exhibit rapid deficiencies and is a sign the nutrients are being used up.

3. Over Saturating The Grow Medium

There is nothing worse than having the best intention, but unfortunately over watering your plants. In the event your growing medium is inadequate regarding drainage and wicking capacity, then the drying process can be very slow causing many issues to occur.

- Transpiration that occurs through the leaves will need to compensate for the excessive amount of water around the roots. As plants find a way of transporting water through foliage or the root zone, by over saturating you are jeopardizing the integrity of the plant’s growth, causing stunted growth.

 

 

- Wilting of the fan leaves is a clear indication you have over-saturated your root zone, and the plants are not happy. Even though underwatering shows the same trait, do not feed more water and allow your growing medium to air out until the pot is light to pick up.

- A cold and wet root zone will cause anaerobic bacteria to infect your garden and kill your plants. It is extremely important to keep your root zone oxygen-rich and one reason why felt pots are so popular. 

- Cannabis plants will fail to uptake certain much-needed nutrients if the water levels are too great. The results will be a lockout in nutrients and line of deficiencies to begin occurring one after another.  

4. Top Tips When Watering Your Plants

- An excellent way to calculate the watering ratio is to feel the weight of your growing medium when it is at the lightest with no water. This is the point your plants need to be each time before watering. By doing this you will always know when to water without running the risk of oversaturating. 

Always use a set measurement of water so the plants receive a consistent amount every time. The easiest way to do this is to use a 1 to 5 litre bottle and accurately fill the same amount. 

- If you are hand watering from the top and are not sure if the medium is wet enough, simply insert your entire finger down the side of the pot. Judge how moist or dry your finger feels and this should give you a clear indication of when next to feed.

 

 

- Using irrigation and pump to water your organic Cannabis plants is wonderful and will help you to take that back-breaking work out of the garden, allowing you to replicate commercial scale farming concepts.

- It is better to water plants with room temperature water than cold, as cold water can cause shock and encourage a cold root zone.

- Avoid watering late at night close to lights out, as the plants will not get a chance to use it until lights are on. Humidity levels in the garden can increase and oxygen levels and temperatures around the roots will drop.


5. 3 Best Recommended Heavy Feeders

For all the growers who like to give their ladies the best nutrients on the market, we have picked our 3 biggest feeders to keep you company in the grow room.

Orange Sherbet Auto
Orange Sherbet Auto
Genes
Mostly Sativa
Genetics
Orange Sherbet Auto
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
500-650gr/m2
Height
110-150cm
THC
up to 24%
CBD
Very low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more
 

When it comes to the biggest autoflowering cultivars around, this lady is certainly up there with extra-large yields and a big thirst.

Gorilla Glue Auto
Gorilla Glue Auto
Genes
Sativa/Indica
Genetics
Gorilla Glue autoflowering
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
60-100cm
THC
Very High
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more
 

A rock-solid performer who can take heavy and frequent feeding, and she will grow big fat buds in return.

Original Auto Northern Lights
Original Auto Northern Lights
Genes
Mostly Indica
Genetics
Northern Light Autoflowering
Flowering
9 weeks
Harvest
500-600gr/m2
Height
90-120 cm
THC
Up to 20%
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

Another big feeder who loves a high nutrient ratio, thanks to her indica dominant lineage.


6. In Conclusion

Having a reference when your growing medium is the most lightweight, is a great start point for a beginner grower to work with. Finding the balance of how much your plants are drinking as well as transpiring is a learning curve that can take hands-on experience and require multiple grows under your belt. Once you find the perfect mix, your Cannabis plants will respond in kind and remember less is more sometimes.