Water is a necessity to all plants and they cannot survive without it. It serves as a vehicle for the nutrients to be delivered throughout the plant. Without water, the plant cannot perform its basic functions such as photosynthesis.
In watering cannabis plants, there are a number of things to consider in order to raise a healthy and strong one. First is to pay close attention to the type of water you are providing the plant. Common misconceptions about sourcing water is that all water is the same and any drinking water is also suitable for the plants. The fact is, water can contain various contaminants which are either safe or not safe for gardening.
So how do you make sure the water is safe for your cannabis plants?
Know the pH (potential hydrogen) and PPM (parts per million) content in your water. pH is used to measure the water’s acidity and alkalinity while PPM is used to measure the presence of dissolved solids in water. Cannabis plants prefer water which have a range of 6 to 7 pH. Water from ponds, streams and lakes may contain various biological contaminants like bacteria and parasites. Tap water may contain chemicals like chlorine and magnesium, and it is considered as ‘hard water’ or water with high ppm due to extra dissolved solids in it.
The best sources for water are:
- Rain water – you can create rain water collecting system.
- Recycled gray water – you can use catching and filtration systems.
- Unfiltered tap water – this can vary depending on the water-treatment protocol in your are, so make sure your tap water has low ppm.
- Bottled water – you can buy bottled distilled water from grocery stores.
- Water filtration systems – these are meant for large-scale weed planters.
The second thing to consider is the frequency of watering your plants. How often should you water your cannabis plants? A Common mistake of some growers is to over-water the plant. There should be a healthy cycle of the roots to be dry and wet.
There are ways to determine if your weed plants need water:
- One way is to check the soil. Stick a finger down the soil up to 2 inches. If it is dry, then it is time to water.
- If the plant is on the pot, you can check the weight of the pot by lifting it to see if it need watering. Compare the weight of the pot when watered and not, to give you a sense of what a dry or light plant feels like.
- You can tell the plant is under-watered if the leaves look brown or yellow, droopy and weak. An over-watered cannabis plant will have dark green leaves with curled leaf tips. It is also important to note that it is better to under-water the plants rather than over-watering them.
- Better timing is also the key to keep your plants always healthy. Take note of the intervals at which you water them. Take note that as the plants grow bigger, they would also need to be watered frequently.
Thirdly, consider the amount of water you provide the plants. The amount would depend on the size of the plant, the temperature outside, the stage of growth, and the overall health of the weed plant. Soak the pot until it runs off through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. The soil should be soaked but water should not sit on the surface. If the soil is too dry, water it 2 to 3 times with 10 minute interval so it will slowly absorb the water incrementally.
Lastly, make sure your plant has the correct container. If the pot is too small for the plant, the roots will not be able to stretch out, an eventually will stunt its growth. You would need to water it more frequently, as the small pot can only hold a small amount of soil and water. Whereas if your pot is too big, the plant roots cannot drink the water at the bottom part of the pot. With water sitting down a long time can promote fungus, root rot and unwanted insects.