Best Nutrients for Autoflowers: What to Use and When
Last updated Sep 09, 2021
Just like Animals, plants also require nutrients to grow, germinate, and develop immunity against diseases. However, some nutrients are needed in large amounts, while plants require trace amounts of some nutrients. The primary focus here is the best nutrients that Autoflowers require.
To know the Best nutrients for Autoflowers, you have to understand the specific requirements of Autoflowers. These changes at different levels of their growth, as Autoflowers require different nutrients at various stages of development. But just like any other plant, the essential nutrients like carbon and hydrogen, which they get from air and water, are necessary. Also, macronutrients are vital for their development. At the germination or the first week, the best things for autoflowers are airy soil and light. To ensure that the best and essential nutrients required by the Autoflowers aren’t a lockout, it is advisable to have a pH tester used to check the acidity and alkalinity level of the soil. If the soil’s pH level is high or low, it will lock out the essential and best nutrients available in the plant's ground; hence, it will be deprived of the nutrients for growth. Seven is neutral on the pH scale, below seven is acidic, while from 7 to 14 is alkaline. Autoflowers thrive best from between the pH should not exceed 6.5 this range is slightly acidic.
You are probably wondering why the nutrients required by Autoflower are different from other conventional plants. Here is why Autoflower is a strain of cannabis that many growers are interested in because of its faster life cycle. They grow from seed to harvest within 7-10 weeks compared to the photoperiodic strains. Autoflowers originate from the genetic combination of Ruderalis, “ruderalis” is a term used in botany for plants that can grow regardless of the environment. They will be able to withstand the harsh conditions of any environment they are in. This explains why Autoflowers are easy to grow and also their hardy nature. They require low maintenance, and they are the ideal strains for beginners because they allow sufficient room for errors compare to photoperiod strains. Though their yield is not as high as photoperiod, the brevity makes up for the work. Due to all these, their cultivation is different from the photoperiod strains. For instance, most growers of Autoflowers don’t change their light schedule to enter the flowering stage because it is one of their unique properties. They don’t require a change in light schedule. In the early seedling stage, the photoperiod strains require high organic nutrition when preparing the soil mix in the case of autoflowers. It doesn’t need many nutrients. It prefers sunlight, and airy soil and relative humidity of about 70-90% and air temperature 22-25 degrees Celsius play a vital role in attaining optimal germination. Despite all these, Autoflowers can still benefit from optimized nutrients to achieve maximum yield, the need to know the best nutrients for autoflowers.
Types of Nutrient for Autoflowers
The types of nutrients here depend on the source of the nutrients, as you may have known that there are numerous sources of nutrients for plants. The soil contains natural nutrients present for plants growth, but these nutrients are mostly helped with added nutrients. The natural nutrients present in the soil are referred to as inorganic nutrients. In contrast, organic nutrients are mostly the added nutrients to help autoflower attain the optimum nutrients required for germination.
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Organic nutrients for Autoflowers
Organic nutrients for autoflowers mean manipulating the plant’s environment to attain the best results needed. Soil is the most critical factor in growing autoflowers, and the soil is the primary environment that needs to be manipulated for growing autoflowers to attain the best result. As organic nutrients can’t be taken directly by the plants, the microorganisms need to process them in the soil. Organic soil mix is required in the organic farming of auto flowers. The soil mix of autoflower must not be heavy. It must be able to hold a high capacity of water and air. Most importantly, the soil mix must be free from diseases that can affect the plant. Here are some helpful soil mix recipes. The primary and most important formula in the organic combination of autoflowers is the mix of mycorrhizae that will turn the raw organics into what plants can consume and vermicompost mature compost, perlite. The importance of organic cultivation of autoflowers is that you won’t worry about the nutrients lockout in the soil or overfeeding the autoflower. The tiny living things in the widespread ground are called microbes, such as mycorrhizae, which will do the breaking work and give you the optimum yield.
Inorganic nutrients for Autoflowers
Unlike the organic ones, the inorganic nutrients are not developed from living or biological—they are in minerals. The inorganic plant nutrients such as nitrogen that plants require for their growth are found in the soil. The soil component such as soil size and pH plays a vital part in determining the inorganic nutrients available for plants. However, these inorganic nutrients are not always sufficient for the plant to grow. Most times, the addition of fertilizer is required.
Macro and Micronutrients
Nutrients required by autoflowers to grow and germinate can be divided into two categories macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients for Autoflowers
These are nutrients that are needed in large amounts by autoflowers. The elements of macronutrients are; potassium, calcium, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and magnesium. Each of these elements plays a significant role in the development and germination of Autoflowers. Let us discuss in detail the role of each of these elements in Autoflowers.
You cannot overlook the importance of potassium in autoflowers, and autoflowers take up large quantities of it, which is why it is part of the macronutrients. One of the roles potassium play in Autoflower is that it serves as a water regulator as it controls the amount of water that leaves and enters the plant. It also regulates the oxygen and carbon dioxide that goes and enters the plant. Potassium also protects the autoflowers against drought as it helps develop their roots. Potassium also helps with the production of food in Autoflowers as it aids the process of photosynthesis because it activates an enzyme that affects adenosine triphosphate production. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) regulates the rate of photosynthesis.
This element is essential to Autoflowers. They require calcium in adequate amounts. It is needed for numerous structural roles like in the membrane and cell wall. Autoflowers take up calcium from the soil solution through their root to the xylem. The symptoms of calcium deficiency in autoflowers include end rot, bitter bit, death of growing points. If there is low calcium in an autoflower, you can correct this by adding a high-quality calcium source to help reduce the deficiencies.
This element is crucial in autoflowers because nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll, and chlorophyll plays a significant role in keeping autoflowers green and healthy. It plays an essential role in photosynthesis, which plants use to produce sugar from water and carbon dioxide with the help of sunlight. The nitrogen present in the soil exists in 3 forms, namely; nitrate, ammonium, and organic compound nitrogen. Out of these three forms of nitrogen are only two that are readily available for autoflowers. The two are ammonium and nitrate. The nitrogen that is not readily available to autoflowers can be converted to readily available form with the help of microbes.
Another element that can not perform the function of phosphorus. It is crucial to the development of autoflowers as it is found in every living cell of autoflowers. It involves in series of activities that take place within autoflowers. For instance, it helps move genetic properties from one generation to another. Phosphorus also assists in moving nutrients with autoflowers. The cumulative phosphorus concentration in plants generally varies from 0.1 to 0.5 percent. When deficiency of phosphorus occurs in plants, it is harder to compare to when lack of potassium or nitrogen happens because plants won’t display obvious symptoms. Due to phosphorus’s high mobility, when a deficiency occurs in plants can easily be transferred from old to young tissue.
Micronutrients for Autoflowers
There are seven critical micronutrients: manganese, copper, iron, chlorine, boron, zinc, and molybdenum. Micronutrients are not required in large amounts like macronutrients. Though they are not needed in large quantities, they are as important as macronutrients as they also have significant roles.
Boron is required in small amounts, yet its deficiency can cause a reduction in the number of flowers per plant. A certain amount of boron is required for cell wall formation.
Though iron is required in a trace amount, it is also needed to form chlorophyll. Autoflowers rely on iron to complete the enzyme function that keeps the plant thriving.
Zinc is a micronutrient that also assists in the production of chlorophyll, and it also activates enzymes that help in the production of a specific protein.
Importance of water in growing Autoflowers
You cannot overlook the importance of water in cultivating any plant, and in this case, autoflowers are not different. Water enables autoflowers in the germination of seeds. It also assists in the procedure of photosynthesis by which plants prepare their food. Water serves as the carrier of nutrients and minerals from the soil to the plants. Water improves the sustenance of the plant structure by giving the proper pressure to the plant tissues. Too much everything can harm the plants, and the same thing is applied to water. Too much water can cause a plant’s roots to rot. Though it is almost impossible for the water to be too much for autoflowers, it is advisable to give a gap between watering to allow the water to dry before another watering. Autoflowers growers should take care that plants have enough drainage to avoid overwatering. The water that You should use while water autoflowers should be from a clean source. This will ensure that the water is free from chemicals that might damage the plants. To also assist the seed, it is advisable to water the soil before planting the seed.
How to fertilize Autoflowers
Autoflowers have a faster life cycle, so planning is necessary when it comes to fertilizing autoflowers. The best time to start applying fertilizers for autoflowers is during the fourth week of their growing stage. In the fourth week, these plants would have started growing leaves, and it is advisable to apply fertilizer after the development of leaves. The fertilizer should contain more phosphorus as it is the essential nutrient required in the flowering stage of autoflowers. As stated earlier, at the seedling stage, autoflowers require airy soil and light more than fertilizers. Knowing the particular strain of the autoflower that you are growing helps determine the procedure you will follow in fertilizing it. To fertilize autoflowers organically, the mixture of perlite, compost, manure should be enough to allow the plant to grow abundantly.
The best nutrients for autoflowers are still the macronutrients that they require in large amounts. Though that doesn’t mean the micronutrients should be absent, trace amounts of micronutrients are enough. If the autoflowers didn’t lack nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N P K), nothing is stopping them from growing and germinating faster like they are known for. But most importantly, growers should know the strain they are cultivating and the requirements of it. The best nutrients you can give autoflowers are airy soil and light at the early or seeding stages. The application of phosphorus or any other nutrients can follow during the flowering stage. Autoflowers are a necessity as they have different applications. Although, they are significantly more critical in the health sector.