Watering Your Cannabis Plants: A Complete Guide

Amidst researching and arranging for all the nuances important for the marijuana plant to thrive, new growers often do not pay attention to a crucial factor, water. Any plant needs water to survive, and so does cannabis. But, do you know that a lot of health issues can be caused by wrong watering?

Marijuana plants are 90 percent water. Out of all the resources they need, they consume water the most. Water plays an elementary role in all the biological processes of the plant. Water nourishes all the parts of the plant, from the leaves to the roots, permeating into every cell.

The plant transports water through its circulatory system and turns sunlight and carbon dioxide into food.  Water also helps carry the nutrients to all the parts of the plant and helps in absorbing those nutrients into the root system, providing the pH level is appropriate.

Watering might seem like the easiest thing to do. However, often many growers make mistakes with it. It might take a long time for the new growers to understand how to water the cannabis plant.

Overwatering can lead to growing problems like diseases and nutrient deficiency. Under-watering will also impede the growth process of your cannabis plants.

To grow luscious buds that give off a rich aroma and are super potent, you need to know how and when to water your cannabis babies. A good watering practice will enable you to ensure maximum health for your plant. Are you excited to know more? Let’s go.

1.    Source Of The Water

Before we get into the quantity and timing, let me talk about the quality of water you give to your plants. It makes quite a lot of difference. Filtered or reverse osmosis water is the best when it comes to watering cannabis plants. But reverse osmosis systems might not be easily available. Many growers use tap water for their cannabis babies.

However, tap water must be left out for at least a day for the pH levels to settle. After it settles down, use basic testing strips to gauge the pH level of the water. You can then adjust the level to meet your specific needs by using pH down.

Generally, a pH level of 6.0 to 6.8 is good for the plants growing in soil. Other growing mediums need pH levels between 5.5 and 6.0. Your garden supplier will help you with the pH requirement of the growing medium you are using.

If your plants have passed the seedling phase, add nutrients after adjusting the pH level. If introduced too rapidly, the nutrients tend to shock the plant. To start, use about half to three-quarters of the dosage quantity mentioned in the product label of the nutrient.  After that, gradually add more nutrients till the full dosage capacity is reached.

Exceeding the recommended dose might burn your favorite plants. However, if you are facing a nutrient burn, don’t worry. Quickly flush out the nutrients from the soil before adding more nutrients.

Use room temperature water to avoid shock for the plant.

2.    Watering In The Seedling Stage

Typically 1-3 weeks long, the infant cannabis plants require a highly humid environment (about 70 %) in the seedling stage.  The best way to do this is by wetting the rooting medium and waiting for it to dry in 2-3 days.

If you use small rooting cubes or coco perlite for rooting, you would need very little water. A moist medium is ideal for rooting rather than a medium that is soaked.  A soaked medium might cause the roots to rot. Aim for a beneficial wet-dry cycle.

Tap water works well in this stage as most rooting cubes consist of some amount of fertilizer in them. Growers using hydroponics, however, mostly use mediums like Rockwool that are nutrient-free. In these cases,  you need a very small amount of nutrients in the beginning. It is good to start with 10-20 percent of the nutrient dosage and gradually increase it.

Use an inexpensive spray bottle while misting the cannabis seedlings. Observe the roots. When the rooting cube becomes thorny with white roots, head for a transplant.

3.    Watering In The Vegetative Stage

With the vegetative stage setting in, the cannabis plant begins to grow vigorously and requires more water.

After the seedling stage, it is best to plant the baby plant into its final pot or in a container bigger than the rooting cubes.  You will start getting accustomed to the plant’s habits and begin to understand the required watering schedule. You can understand the watering interval by comparing the weight of the dry and wet soil.

If you are a hydro grower, you need to monitor the plant’s responses with increased attention.

Usually, watering 1-3 times a week is sufficient for a vegetative cannabis plant in soil. However, the container size matters too. A simple and light pure water schedule should work as most good quality potting soil has adequate fertilizers for this vegetative phase.

If you are growing outdoors, check the moisture level in the soil by sticking your fingers into it. If the soil dries up to an inch, watering is needed. Rainfall in your area might take care of the watering needs of your plant.

4.    Watering During Flowering Stage

In the flowering stage, cannabis plants are mature. They must be in the final pots during this stage and require blossoming nutrients mixed into the water.  3-4 times a week, watering should be sufficient at this stage.

Nutrient requirements vary from strain to strain. Some prefer high doses, whereas some like it light. This makes watering a challenge at this stage. Add bloom nutrients if you have been using only pure water along with rooting stimulants.

If you are a hydro grower, you are lucky. You will have a slightly smoother transition in the preliminary flowering stages as you can start adding fertilizers that support blooming and increase till a higher dose depending on the requirements of the strain. Some strains might need to be watered daily in this stage in a hydro system.

Reserve the final 1 or 2 weeks for flushing the plant with pure water.  Double the volume of water typically fed to the plant while you are flushing it. Depending on how your plant responds, you might also choose to flush gradually for two weeks with the usual water quantity.

This is a crucial final stage as flushing removes the nutrient built up over the flowering period. These built-up nutrients can spoil the taste.

Flushing can also be used in any stage to counterbalance over-fertilization.  However, make sure to drain the excess water after flushing. You should never let the plant sit in water puddles.

5.    Common Watering Problems And Their Symptoms

Now, let me share some common symptoms of plants that are not watered appropriately. These symptoms can manifest in the stems, leaves, and also roots.

For hydro growers, too, incorrect watering might damage the root system. Commonly plant problems like drooping or wilting have their key in the root and are caused primarily by incorrect watering.

Some Common Symptoms Of The Leaves Are As Follows:

  • Affected upper leaves and new-plants
  • Affected older growth and lower leaves
  • All leaves are affected
  • Burnt leaf tips
  • Slowed growth
  • Appearance of spots
  • Brown leaves
  • Downward curling leaves.

Some Common Symptoms Of Cannabis Plant Can Be:

  • Delayed growth
  • Wilting of the plant
  • Weakened stems
  • Drooping of the plant

Symptoms Of Affected Root Systems Include:

  • Slowed growth
  • Smelly roots
  • Mushy roots

The plant might take a substantial amount of time to recover from root damage. Damaged roots lose vitality and become susceptible to other issues like pest infestation or other diseases. Eventually, the plant might also die.

To sum it up, watering well can ensure healthy and happy plants. However, you also need to choose your seeds wisely.  You can check out the popular online store Homegrown Cannabis co for some amazing strains.

Here’s wishing you excellent yields. Grow well, thrive well!