This will keep your plants happy and well fed at every stage of the growth cycle
There’s a reason hydroponics are such a classic choice for cannabis: they’re easy to set up, save space, and without the variability that comes with soil, you can fine-tune your plants’ nutrients for each part of the growing cycle. Also, thanks to the decades of breeders who came before you, there is almost no guesswork – as long as you are able to measure things – so it works for beginners and old-timers alike.
When hydroponic herb became popular in the 1970s, General Hydroponics, now part of the Hawthorne Gardening Company, was right downstairs. In 1976 they launched their three-part Flora series, the OG Cannabis Nutrient System, which growers still swear by today.
With the personal help of General Hydroponics, the clear instructions and the straightforward nutrient system, first-time growers can get all the basics to start their first harvest.
Whether you are just starting out with cannabis growing or are used to growing in soil, hydroponics is the most foolproof way to get a full, healthy harvest. Here’s what you need to know.
What is hydroponics?
The Simple Version: Hydroponics is a way of growing plants using a mixture of water and nutrients instead of soil. While humans have been growing crops without soil for eons, technology has advanced over the past century. It was used to feed troops during World War II, and later it was used to grow lettuce in space.
Hydroponics gradually spread from scientists to gardeners and hobbyists. While many of them only grew vegetables, this has particularly caught on with cannabis growers. Cannabis is a unique plant with very specific light, moisture, and nutrient needs, and hydroponics gave them a level of control they’d never had before. It made it easier than ever to avoid pesticides as well, as many common pests need soil to thrive.
Getting started with a hydroponic cannabis plant
A cannabis plant has two basic stages, although they break down into smaller ones. During the growth phase, priority is given to the development of leaves and stems to create a sturdy, healthy plant. With this strong foundation, you’ll move into the flowering phase and create as many sticky buds as possible. Both processes require different nutrients for maximum yields – for example, cannabis needs the most nitrogen at the end of the growing season – and with hydroponics, it’s incredibly easy to tailor it exactly to the needs of the plant at any time.
Stages of the marijuana plant growth cycle
To start, you can either buy a pre-built hydroponic system or, if you’re economical and practical, build your own. Make sure your plants are getting adequate light, either naturally or from grow lights, and plenty of ventilation. (If you stick with it, you should look for tighter environmental controls, like air conditioning.) Check your water for the correct pH before mixing your nutrients.
General Hydroponics’ Flora range is the easiest way to ensure your plants are well nourished. Your plant receives all the nutrients you need in just three different mixtures – FloraGro®, FloraBloom® and FloraMicro® – which are mixed in different combinations depending on the growth stage of the plant.
General Hydroponics’ simple forage table, based on decades of experience, offers both a simplified four-step nutrient plan and a weekly breakdown to give your crop the right balance for a productive harvest.
The General Hydroponics team are the original hydroponic cannabis experts – and they’ve created an entire library of knowledge to get you started. Beginner articles cover the basics and frequently asked questions. Next-level grow resources provide everything you need to know about your growing environment, keeping your plants healthy, and troubleshooting.
But if all of that is not enough, you can always give them a call. They will bring in a hydroponics wizard to make sure you are set up for success.