Whether you are new to growing cannabis or an experienced grower, knowing ahead of time what the most common mistakes are and how to avoid them will improve your plant health and overall yield. Different seed types and strains will have somewhat varying growth patterns and requirements, although, for the most part, most principles remain the same.
Important Considerations When Growing Cannabis
Some of the most important factors to consider when growing cannabis include:
- Genetics – make sure you start with quality seeds
- Germination – don’t ruin your plants before they even sprout
- Soil – proper soil can make or break a growth
- Pots – size does matter
- Watering – avoid overwatering
- Feeding– avoid overfeeding
- Lighting – the right illumination is vital
Genetics: Use Only Quality Seeds from a Reputable Source
Have you ever found a seed in your bag of dank weed and thought it would be a good idea to grow with it? The truth is, even seeds found in bags of potent buds could be duds. You never know what you’ll get, and you have a good chance of getting a dud, a runt, a male, or even a hermaphrodite. Even if you get buds, they may not be the same potency and quality as the bag you found them in. Attempting to grow a plant from random seeds, even from dank buds, gives unpredictable results.
*Avoid wasting your time and being disappointed by starting your grow with only quality seeds sourced from a reputable cannabis seed seed bank to know exactly what you’re growing. Poor genetics will produce poor-quality buds every time. Quality genetics can still produce quality buds, even if you make some mistakes.
Germination: Give Your Seeds a Sprouting Chance
Poor germination can set you up for failure before your seeds even sprout. There are different methods to germinate cannabis seeds, such as germinating in water, in water with a hydrogen peroxide solution, in a paper towel, or directly in soil.
The germination process requires a cool, damp, and dark environment. Exposure to light may cause parts of the seed to harden, which can prevent vegetation. Have your lights ready because you’ll need them as soon as you plant your seedling, but do not expose your seeds to light when germinating.
*When you buy quality seeds from the Seed Cellar, we send a germination guide with every order to give your grow the best start.
Soil: All Dirt is Not Created Equal
Not using the proper soil is one of the most common mistakes new growers can make and can ruin your crop before it even gets off the ground. Some important rules of a successful green thumb include:
- Do not use contaminated soil – this should go without saying, but you may not realize it’s contaminated with pests or fungi until they take hold in your plant. Never use soil from an outdoor garden or your backyard.
- Do not reuse potting soils – always start with fresh and clean soil.
- Make sure your soil includes nutrients – most soil used for cannabis growing comes pre-fertilized, which allows you to start your grow without having to feed nutrients for several weeks. If your soil is not pre-fertilized, you must feed your plants nutrients from the start.
*Use quality cannabis soil that is free from contaminants, light and airy, preferably with a perlite mixture. This allows roots to grow unhindered and provides adequate drainage. Cannabis plants will not grow well in dense soil and could develop root rot.
Pots: Use the Right Size for Your Plants
Size does matter, particularly when potting your cannabis plants. If your pot is too small, it will hinder the growth of your roots and therefore restrict your overall plant growth. If the pot is too large, you risk overwatering, root rot, and fungus. A typical plant may require transplanting at least twice during the growth cycle. If your roots expand and start to circle the pot inside the perimeter, this is considered root bound and will slow down vegetative growth, which will limit your overall yield.
Watering: Overwatering Is Worse Than Occasionally Under-Watering
Overwatering your plants is one of the biggest mistakes new growers make, as they want to make sure their thirsty plants have enough water. This can cause an array of problems, however, and it is much worse than occasionally under-watering your plants. Resilient cannabis plants will always recover from a slightly dry condition. If you are overwatering, your plants will start to appear limp and yellow.
*Water less frequently or give less water at a time to allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. If growing in Coco Coir, you may need to water every couple of days. If the cocoa stays wet for more than three days, give less water at each watering time.
Feeding: More Is Not Necessarily Better
We love our weed plants, and we love to feed and take care of those we love, so why not keep feeding our plants? More is not better when it comes to feeding nutrients to your cannabis plants and overfeeding traditional nutrients may cause nutrient burn, which can even kill your plants.
Nutrient lockout may occur, which happens when too many minerals accumulate in the soil and requires you to flush the soil with water and start over, returning your soil to the proper pH level. Plants that are underfed will start to look droopy, pale, or stunted. If plants are overfed, they will start to turn brown on the edges and get crispy, and may even lose leaves or stems caused by damage.
*It is especially easy to overdo it with Nitrogen, so start slow and adjust nutrients based on each plant’s individual needs.
Lighting: Proper Illumination Is Critical for Cannabis Growth
Cannabis plants need light to create energy and thrive. Photoperiod strains depend on a change in the lifecycle to flip to the flowering stage, whereas autoflowering plants flip automatically without the need to change the light cycle. All plants require quality lighting, however, which plays a huge impact on plant quality and overall yield. All plants may start to stretch too far as they search for light which leaves a lot of space in between nodes. If your plant is stretching too tall or looks pale or spindly, you may have a lighting problem.
*Make sure you know the light cycle for your seed strain, and if growing outdoors, make sure you plant in an area that gets adequate sunlight during the right season. Research grow lights to make sure you get the best one for your growing environment and your crop.
The Seed Cellar is dedicated to providing the highest quality of cannabis seeds available as one of the largest online seed banks. We differ from other seed banks with a brick-and-mortar storefront rooted in Michigan and a friendly, knowledgeable staff ready to help. Check out the wide selection of seeds available from our hand-picked top breeders and get quality seeds delivered in original breeder packaging.