How to Best Amend your Cannabis pH Values
For cannabis, correct pH values are uniquely important and correspond directly to the plant’s nutritional demands. When growing marijuana, the cannabis plant thrives at a pH between 5.5-6.5. Different mediums affect pH retention over time, which causes a lot of confusion generally. Each plant’s nutritional bell curve documents the cellular uptake ratios of different elements (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, etc.). Once pH values become ideal and match your plant’s unique needs, nutrient uptake is maximized.
Further compounding the confusion is the issue that the curve can shift slightly. It will vary amongst different breeds, sizes, and phenotypes of the cannabis marijuana plant spectrum and because of this shifting. It should be assumed that pH values must be isolated during testing, so that correct feedback is obtained.
Generally, when testing pH acceptance of your cannabis plants, the grower decides to work on one particular strain at a time. Many growers have the initial inclination to attempt growing many strains at a time. This feat is achieved best over time, with considerable testing of each strain of marijuana.
The pH testing can be done in many different fashions, however, we recommend one of the best which is the electronic pH probe. In our studies, we have concluded that the Bluelab pH equipment is superior to many of the other products. Bluelab can offer assurance that its equipment is generally reliable. Since I specifically mentioned Bluelab in this article, I would like to clarify that the device we use regularly is not the cheaper pen style and rather the brain with the 4″ extended detachable submersible probe.
Inconsistent readings may indicate that the device could be malfunctioning. If a pH tester skips around more than a couple of points in either direction it should be cleaned and examined for correctness. With cannabis, pH fluctuations can cause serious damage and slow plant growth dramatically. This is why we recommend using accurate reliable equipment right from the beginning. If you have a choice and money is no object use multiple devices for enhanced redundancy. It is generally true that two ph testers are better than one!
Store your equipment properly.
Your pH meter functions by passing a mild electric charge through the semi-permeable membrane of a living organism and measuring the resulting electron loss, keeping your pH equipment clean is a necessity. This means that storage of your equipment should be your primary goal once you open that pH meter. It would be a shame, as this will no doubt affect the overall longevity, and ultimately hurt your cannabis crop.
Once your device begins to fail only an experienced grower usually understands the process and initial warning signs. Reduce the chances of failure by incorporating the redundancy of having multiple pH meters in your grow room setup.
Adjusting for correct pH after adding nutrients
Once you have selected ideal pH equipment you can begin mixing your nutrient solution. This is best done one chemical at a time. It is extremely important that you mix each chemical with water in an aqueous fashion, using the water to dilute your mix. Mixing nutrients into water should absolutely be performed one chemical at a time since this causes the least unwanted chemical reactions.
Do not pour all the nutrients together into a bucket and add water at the end! Do not create a bucket of water and add all nutrients at the same time and then stir! You should take enough time to mix each chemical thoroughly before moving on to the next nutrient, or you will create unnecessary chemical bonds that will affect plant growth. Take into careful consideration: why do nutrient manufacturers separate Part A from Part B? It is for this exact reason!
Adjusting for correct pH
When using acid or base to hydroponically control your nutrient solution pH, attempt to only use one or the other. Do not overuse either, because this will cause you to mix acid and base in the same nutrient solution, causing undesirable long-term effects. There is one main undesirable effect that always occurs when you use acid and base together to balance pH, and this is that your solution becomes permanently less stable. The most noticeable result of this instability will be more frequent fluctuations.
Always attempt to use only the proper amount of either pH up or pH down to achieve your pH level, as this will eliminate the issue altogether. Also for this reason you must always pH your solution as the last step.
- Thoroughly mix each chemical by diluting into water and stirring individually
- Moderate pH value
- Test electrical conductivity and oxidation
Once you have achieved cannabis pH paradise, remember to regularly test your nutrient solution. Forgetting to do this can cause errors regularly, and pH swings will damage a healthy root zone.