Growing cannabis can be tedious at times, but the reward always makes up for it. One thing that cultivators must keep up with is watering their plants. Watering a cannabis plant, as with most plants on this planet, is essential to the growth of the plant, and without it, your plant(s) will die. However, with cannabis specifically, there are certain techniques to give it proper water and nutrients.
Over-watering, and even under-watering, can both be harmful to your plant(s) and could even be fatal for them. How can you know when enough is enough for the plant? This post will dive into many tips on watering your cannabis plants to ensure that they grow up happy and healthy, and full of beautiful buds!
These tips below on watering are for the use of regular soil in your cannabis plants. If you are using something else (such as super soil), you may need to follow some different, but similar, guidelines for watering.
When To Water
Before you begin watering your plants, you need to know when is the best time to do so. Watering when your plant is not ready for it can be harmful to your cannabis.
A good rule of (green) thumb is to water your plants when the top of the soil becomes dry, about an inch down. Stick your finger into the soil to your knuckle. If the soil is all dry, you need to add water. If damp, your plant can wait for water.
Some cultivators believe in using a different method: picking up the pot that the plant is in and deciding on its weight. If the pot is light, then add water. We believe that poking your finger in the soil is a better, more accurate method for measurement, but the choice is yours.
During the early stages of your plant’s growth, you will need to water it around every 2-3 days. If it takes longer than this for your plant to dry, then extend the period in which you water until it grows bigger. As the plant grows, you will need to move the plant into a bigger pot for better growth. The bigger pot will hold much more water, so be mindful of that. Water is more or less according to the dryness of the soil.
How To Water
Once you determine that your plant is ready for water, you need to know exactly how to add in some. Adding too much or not enough can be bad, so knowing the right amount will result in big, healthy buds from your cannabis plants!
For small, young plants, pour about one gallon of water into their soil. Bigger plants will need around 5 gallons of water. If the plant is much smaller than the pot it is in, give it less water than the size of the pot recommends. Then, add more and more as the plant grows bigger.
A good indicator of the right amount of water is the amount of runoff water that pours from the bottom of the pot. Give your plant about 10-20% of extra runoff water to pour from the drainage of the pot. This is especially important if you are regularly adding nutrients to your plants. The runoff water prevents nutrient build-up from occurring, which can damage your plant.
Too much runoff water, on the other hand, and the water will simply take the nutrients away from the plant and through the drainage. Remember: 10-20% runoff water only. Wait about 5-10 minutes for the runoff water to set in, then clean it out so that the drainage is clear. If the runoff water takes much longer than this to appear, you may have a drainage issue in your soil.
A good way to collect runoff is to place a tray under the pot so that the water does not make a mess. Slightly tilt the tray once underneath the plant so that the water all goes to one side, making the cleanup much easier. Wet vacuums work well for doing this.
Need some plant trays to put under your pots? Check out Reefer Post’s top pick for great trays that work:
If You Don’t…
So what happens if you do not properly water your plants? What happens if you over-water? What about underwater? And if you do not water them at all? While some of these questions may be self-explanatory, let’s explore what really would go down with your plants.
What happens if you were to add not enough water, but too much nutrients? In that case, you would have nutrient build-up, which can be very harmful to plants. Do you take daily vitamins? If so, imagine taking 2-5 times the amount that you normally ingest. You might end up feeling sick, depending on how much you overdose. Either way, it’s not a good thing, and the same thing goes for your plants.
Now let’s talk more about drainage. How your plant’s pot drains is very important. Drainage prevents nutrient build-up, cleanses the soil, and allows for good filtration in your plant’s roots. In the early stages of growth, if your plant takes longer than 3-4 days to dry you may have a drainage issue. The best way to detect a drainage issue is by regularly watering your plant and noticing whether or not runoff water can pass through.
As a seedling, the plant will need very little water, but will still need some. As it grows, the plant will need more and more, so make sure you increase the amount you are giving it. However, you do not want to over-water. Doing this will simply drown your plant. The plant’s roots also need oxygen, and over-watering will cause the plant to lack that.
You can notice a plant that is over or under-watered if it is experiencing “drooping”. This is when a plant looks as if it is falling and slowly dying (which it is). The leaves will become crispy and yellow, and the plant’s bright green will begin to fade. The plant will eventually die if drooping is not fixed soon.
Those are some good tips for watering your cannabis plants. Hopefully, this cleared up the basics of watering, and now you no longer need to worry about drowning or starving your precious plants. You can go about creating a routine for watering, which seems to work well for most growers. Thanks for reading!
FAQ: Tips On Watering Your Cannabis Plants
A1. When watering your cannabis plants, it is best to use filtered water. Filtered water removes chlorine and other chemicals that can be harmful to your plants, as well as prevent the buildup of salts and minerals in the soil.
A2. The frequency of watering should depend on the stage of growth that your cannabis plants are in. During the vegetative stage, water every two to three days, and in the flowering stage, water every five to seven days.
A3. Plants that need water may begin to droop and take on a dull, yellowish hue. The leaves may also start to curl inwards. By evaluating the plants regularly, you can determine when they need to be watered.