Contributed by: Lord Of The Strains
Element Name: Nitrogen
What are Macro-/Micro-Nutrients, and what is each responsible for?
Summary of Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the elements most vital to all plant-life. There
are three major and most prominent macronutrients: Nitrogen (“N”),
Phosphorus (“P”), and Potassium (“K”). All fertilizers contain these
three fundamental elements, but in varying amounts, depending on
fertilizer type/brand. The N-P-K ratio of the fertilizer will be listed
on the side of the container/box in the form of three numbers separated
by hyphens (e.g. 20-20-20, etc.); choose a fertilizer that correlates
with your specific needs and stage of plant-growth. TIP: In their
vegetative state, cannabis plants thrive primarily on “N” and “P”; and
in their flowering-stage, “P” and “K” become more essential.
Summary of Micronutrients
Along with the basic macronutrients, plants also require
micronutrients (or Trace-Elements) for sustained health and vigor. Some
of these trace-elements are Calcium (“Ca”), Magnesium (“Mg”), Sulfur
(“S”), Manganese (“Mn”), Boron (“B”), Zinc (“Zn”), and Copper (“Cu”).
They are present in most, if not all, fertilizers, but in generally
lesser portions than the major macronutrients.
Below is a list of the basic macronutrients and
micronutrients/trace-elements, along with the horticultural-benefits
and deficiency-symptoms of each:
Atomic Number: 7
Atomic Mass: 14.00674
Horticultural-Benefit: Nitrogen promotes
photosynthesis, and is directly responsible for the production of
chlorophyll. It stimulates leaf and stem growth, and aids the overall
size and vigor of the plants.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A nitrogen-deficiency can be
recognized by reduced growth-rates and yellowing of the leaves
(starting with the older/lower leaves). Colder soil-temperatures make
nitrogen less-available to plants.
Element Name: Phosphorus
Atomic Number: 15
Atomic Mass: 30.973762
Horticultural-Benefit: Phosphorus aids in the
germination of seeds, and the growth of seedlings and roots. It is also
vital the production of terpene resins, floral clusters, and necessary
sugars and starches. Phosphorus also influences overall vigor.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A phosphorus-deficiency can
be noted by reduced growth-rates and the production of smaller leaves
which wilt/drop quickly. The leaves will be a dull, bluish-green, which
will turn purplish or bronzy, and will have seared edges. Excessive
“P”-levels can initiate a potassium-deficiency.
Element Name: Potassium
Atomic Number: 19
Atomic Mass: 39.0983
Horticultural-Benefit: Potassium is important to
your plants for metabolic changes during flowering, and the production
of floral clusters. It also promotes general plant-vigor,
disease-resistance, and sturdy growth.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A potassium-deficiency will
retard growth-rates, and cause leaf-tips and -edges to become a
scorched-brown color, with curled margins.
Element Name: Calcium
Atomic Number: 20
Atomic Mass: 40.078
Horticultural-Benefit: Calcium is a key ingredient
in cell-walls. It strengthens stems/stalks/branches, and also
contributes to root-development/growth, primarily that of the rot-tips.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A calcium-deficiency can be
recognized by distorted leaves, with hooked tips and curled margins. A
deficiency would also result in under-developed roots, with weak
Element Name: Magnesium
Atomic Number: 12
Atomic Mass: 24.3050
Horticultural-Benefit: Magnesium is significant for
chlorophyll-production and most enzyme reactions. It is responsible for
healthy leaf-structure and -production, as well as sustaining healthy
vein-structure in the leaves.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A magnesium-deficiency will
affect various plant-species differently. The most common symptoms in
cannabis plants are a vivid yellowing of the leaves, followed by leaves
falling without withering, starting with the older/lower leaves.
Excessive “Mg”-levels may initiate a calcium-deficiency.
Element Name: Sulfur
Atomic Number: 16
Atomic Mass: 32.066
Horticultural-Benefit: Sulfur, being an ingredient in plant-protiens, is vital for protein-production, chlorophyll-production and vegetative growth.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A sulfur-deficiency can be
identified by retarded growth-rates, accompanied by small, mutated
leaves which are round in shape and roll upwards. Leaves will become
stiff and brittle, and will fall off. A “S”-deficiency will also cause
flowers on the top of kholas to die.
Element Name: Manganese
Atomic Number: 25
Atomic Mass: 54.93805
Horticultural-Benefit: Manganese is a catalyst for many enzymes, and also aids photosynthesis/ chlorophyll-production.
Deficiency-Symptoms: A manganese-deficiency will
have varying symptoms, depending on plant-species. The most common
symptoms in cannabis plants are a yellowing of chloroplasts while stems
remain relatively green. White or grey specks/spots may develop on the
surfaces of leaves. As is usually the case, older/lower leaves will be
affected first. Excessive “Mn”-levels may cause an
“Fe”(iron)-deficiency, which will exhibit symptoms similar to a
Element Name: Boron
Atomic Number: 5
Atomic Mass: 10.811
Horticultural-Benefit: Boron aids the movement of
necessary sugars, as well as reproduction, and water intake by cells.
It also assists in the production of stems/stalks/branches, and keeps
calcium in a soluble form. Furthermore, “B” contributes to
A boron-deficiency can be recognized by distorted and/or dead growing
tips, hollow stems, and malformed fruits/flowers. Plants suffering from
a “B”-deficiency frequently exhibit scorched, curled leaves, which are
often spotted and discolored; young/vegetative leaves are affected
first. Excessive “B”-levels may cause plants to exhibit symptoms
similar to those of “Mg”-/”K”-deficiencies.
Element Name: Zinc
Atomic Number: 30
Atomic Mass: 65.39
Horticultural-Benefit: Zinc-levels directly affect
plant-size and -maturation , as it is necessary for the production of
plant-proteins. Consequently, “Zn” is vital to the production of leaves
Deficiency-Symptoms: A deficiency of zinc will
result in the yellowing of chloroplasts between leaf-veins, usually
with purplish spots of dead cells on leaf-surfaces; older/lower leaves
are the first to show symptoms. Vegetative-growth is retarded and
deformed, and floral-growth is reduced. Excessive “Zn”-levels can
initiate an “Fe”(iron)-deficiency.
Element Name: Copper
Atomic Number: 29
Atomic Mass: 63.546
Horticultural-Benefit: Copper is responsible for
healthy, vigorous growth, and strengthens stalks/stem/branches. It is
also necessary for the production of plant-proteins, and is crucial for
Deficiency-Symptoms: A copper-deficiency can
cause otherwise green leaves to adopt a bluish hue. Vegetative growth
may fail to unfold, and may be yellow at the tips and edges.