People like you and I must have food for our bellies. Autoflower cannabis plants don’t have stomachs that growl, but they do crave sustenance. Thus, you have to feed them. It’s not like they can get their food at the drive-thru.
Related article: What are autoflowering seeds?
What exactly are the autoflower nutrients needed for gainfully growing ganja? We’re going to look at the nutrients that will help your cannabis crop thrive.
After that, we want to focus on when and how to feed your plants. How much do they need, and when should they be scheduled for supper? And, finally, we’ll get into exactly how you feed your girls their grow food.
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. So, please read on. And if reading this just made you hungry, feel free to grab a healthy snack.
Do you need nutrients for autoflowers?
Farming fine weed requires finesse. You have to balance lighting, humidity, temperature, and, yes, food requirements. It isn’t rocket science, but it definitely helps to know what you’re doing.
Related article: Growing Weed Indoors Beginners Guide
You might consider autoflowering shrubs somewhat simpler than photoperiod plants. That’s certainly true when it comes to lighting requirements. But simpler isn’t necessarily effortless.
You should give them the raw materials to make roots, stems, leaves, and nugs. That’s what fertilization is for.
Related article: Autoflower Pot Size Guide
But what, if anything, are the best nutrients for autoflowers? What supplements might help your girls birth abundant buds?
Can you grow autoflowers without nutrients?
Yes, you could conceivably grow without adding anything other than water. However, this is not a good plan, because your yields would be very low, and nobody wants lower yields!
Autoflower plants do have comparatively fewer feeding requirements compared to photoperiods. But that doesn’t mean that there are no nutritional concerns whatsoever. That would be too easy.
What nutrients do autoflowers need?
Generally, plant nutrients are going to consist of a certain combination of chemicals. And those would be? Mainly, your cannabis chow should contain nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). In smaller amounts, you may also see minerals like magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and sulfur (S).
There are additional supplements, but the first ones above are the main ones to look for. They will help you grow big buds. And who doesn’t love nicely-sized nugs?
When buying fertilizers, look for three important letters on the container. N-P-K for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. That labeling makes it easy to know what you're buying.
What are the best nutrients for autoflowering plants?
When you are hungry, a burger and fries may sound good. But a better meal might be a turkey salad because it has less fat, fewer calories, and above is more nutritious.
For your autoflowering plants, it works rather similarly. Not every ‘meal’ works for your plants, and it is vital to make sure you give your weed plants the proper nutrients.
At the very least, you’ll want the first three from the above section. Those would be nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Why these three in particular? Because each plays an important role in growth and development.
For instance, nitrogen is good for providing energy for branches, stems, and leaves to grow. And it gives our lovelies a luscious dark green coloring. Otherwise, those shrubs suffering from nitrogen nutrient deficiency will be droopy and yellow.
Related article: Guide to Cannabis Nutrient Deficiencies - symptoms and solutions
Phosphorus is helpful for promoting root growth. Further, it enables your gals to synthesize proteins and carbohydrates, boosting energy transfer. Without this mineral, marijuana plants may be stunted and dull. Nobody wants that!
Finally, potassium. This particular supplement does a lot. For one thing, it will enhance water transfer within plants. It also increases the sturdiness of stems and leaves. And it will enable your girls to become more disease resistant. So, this one is definitely important.
Okay, so you know what your weed crops will need. We will next address when they need it.
When do you feed Autoflowers?
Generally, people eat three times each day – breakfast, lunch, and supper. As they grow and age, children and teenagers require the most food to grow and get strong. How does it work for your autoflowering bushes?
What works for humans and what works for cannabis aren’t going to be the same. Unless you grow roots and start to sprout nugs. Then you’re going to be really popular with your cannabis comrades.
How often do you need to give autoflower plants nutrients?
To make your life a lot easier, we have set up a handy feeding chart that you can use as a general guideline when you start your next autoflower grow.
Advanced Nutrients Autoflower Feeding Chart
When you first plant magic marijuana seeds, they don’t need additional nutrients. That's because everything necessary is self-contained in the seed. Once they have sprouted and begun to grow, they are going to get hungry.
Early on, you must diligently avoid overfeeding. At first, distilled water is all you need. However, after about a week, you can begin gradually adding enriched food. Slow is definitely the way to go.
Begin with 1/8 strength of the plant food’s recommended supplements. Don’t overdo it, or your burgeoning babies might not make it. That would be both sad and a waste of money and resources.
Feeding at the vegetative stage
Here you want to use a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-5-5 or 20-10-10. It can help to know the nutritional requirements of your particular strain.
But in general, the best nutrients will be 1/4 to 1/2 of the maximum amounts the manufacturer recommends. Their standards are for photoperiod cannabis plants. Your autoflower beauties require far less.
Here is a suggested supper schedule that should keep your girls healthy and happy:
Week 1 – With seedlingsuse pH-adjusted water.An ideal pH level is 5.8 – 6.2 for your little lovelies. Anything less than 7.0 is going to be acidic. Whereas levels over 7.0 are alkaline.
Week 2 – Here begins the vegetative stage. Your fertilizer strength should be 1/8th.
Week 3 – Now you can up the concentration to 1/4th.
Week 4 – Now we’re entering the pre-flowering stage. You can up the fertilizer level to 1/2 of the maximum recommended nutrients.
Week 5 – By now, you may be getting your first buds bursting forth. Yes! Now back off to 1/4 strength.
Week 6 – Okay, we’re at the flowering stage. Your fertilizer and water mix should be at the 1/2 level.
Weeks 7 and 8 – Now switch back to pH-adjusted water until harvest.
There you go insofar as a feeding schedule for your cannabis crop is concerned. Before you start with your next grow, let’s look at how you go about adding plant food to your pot plants.
How do you feed Autoflowers?
Obviously, you don’t just dump fertilizer into your plant soil. Rather, nutritional supplements should be added to your water. Basically, you provide them the nutrients when you give your girls a drink. It’s like Kool-aid plus for pot plants.
Where do you get nutrients for autoflower plants?
Well, if you can buy high-quality weed seeds online, you should also be able to get fertilizer to feed them online. Amazon and eBay have pretty much everything. Just search for ‘plant fertilizer’ or ‘plant grow food’. But make sure they are well-rated and have the three big N-P-K supplements we discussed above. No junk food for your flower garden.
Google is also your friend. A search should bring up a list of websites selling gardening nutritional supplements. You can also search specifically for ‘cannabis plant nutrients’. Or go ahead and input ‘cannabis autoflower nutrients’. Adding your location (country or city) can help pinpoint online stores that deliver to you.
Further, brick-and-mortar gardening supply stores will have suitable supplies for feeding your girls.
How to mix nutrients for autoflowering plants?
The first thing you will need would be supplies. You can’t eat your own food without pans, plates, and utensils. Feeding your girls requires some gear, too.
Here are some essentials:
- A large bucket
- Measuring cups or spoons.
- A large, clean mixing spoon
- EC (electric conductivity) meter
Once you have all of that assembled, it’s time to go ninja.
- Fill a bucket with lukewarm distilled water. Regular tap water isn’t suitable because of contaminants like chlorine.
- Then slowly measure out and add grow food into the water.
- Thoroughly mix everything together with your large spoon.
- Use the EC meter to assess the strength of nutrients in your water. Developing a knack for keeping nutritional levels optimum leads to healthy plant growth. And it can net you abundant buds!
- Maybe you find that your electric conductivity measurements are off. Then you must adjust your feed so that you reach optimum conditions for your girls to grow big, lush, and thrive.
Okay, we’ve covered a lot. If you have any questions, check out our learning center for all kinds of information for weed farmers. Now let’s review what we know before we go.
What have we learned?
You now know what are the best autoflower nutrients to feed your growing and hungry girls. Make sure whatever you buy has nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the big three and are crucial for a healthy and hearty cannabis crop.
We’ve given you an example Advanced Nutrients Autoflower Feeding Chart. That way, you can meet your plants' nutritional needs at each stage of development. You are entirely welcome!
There are plenty of places that sell appropriate nutrients for your plants. And we even told you how you add the best autoflowering nutrients for optimum results.
Now there’s only one thing you need to get started – seeds! We invite you to check out Weedseedsexpress’ selection of quality autoflower seeds. Find a strain that suits you and get started planting! And feed your girls what they need to get big, bushy, and birth beautiful buds.