How To Water Cannabis Seedlings
Giving your plants the proper amount of water is one of the hardest things to master for any cannabis grower—and one that I have personally struggled with when first starting out. It’s a simple deed to perform but takes experience to perfect. Especially during the seedling stage, it is very easy to stunt or kill plants by over or underwatering them. In this article, we’ll discuss how to water cannabis seedlings so your plants can remain healthy and hydrated.
Watering Cannabis Seedlings
To ensure that you correctly water your cannabis seedlings, consider the following:
Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes that growers make, and one that I have been guilty of in the past. In an effort to provide our plants with all the things they need to survive, we often overdo it.
Roots need wet and dry cycles in order to grow and expand deeper into the soil. When you overwater your plants, the water may sit in the medium for several days, starving the plants’ roots of oxygen and becoming a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Because seedlings’ roots are very small and delicate, it can be easy to overwhelm them with water.
Underwatering may not be as common a problem as overwatering, but it’s easy to neglect the garden for a day or two and wind up with thirsty, wilting plants.
If you don’t keep the soil moist, the plant’s roots will dry out, the leaves will lose turgidity, and the plant will eventually die. During the seedling stage, the plants are not yet robust enough to handle extended periods of drought, so it is critical to keep them well-hydrated.
How To Tell If Your Plant Is Overwatered or Underwatered
One of the most vexing problems cannabis growers face is that overwatered and underwatered plants often exhibit similar symptoms. Both over and underwatering can lead to drooping leaves and floppy stems.
The best way to determine if your plant needs water is to pick up the container. If it feels heavy, the plant likely has enough moisture. Conversely, if it feels very lightweight, the plant is probably due for another watering.
Another effective method is to stick your finger into the top layer of soil. The growing medium should feel moist but not too wet or dry.
Other Considerations When Watering Seedlings
Water pH level is essential to regulate when watering your cannabis seedlings. The pH range of your water should fall somewhere between 6.0 and 6.8. Maintaining the correct pH is vital because cannabis plants have a limited window in which they take in nutrients. If the pH level is too high or too low, the plants experience a lockout and cannot take in nutrients even though they are in the soil or water.
Water temperature is an easy factor to overlook but one that can cause detrimental effects on your plants. Because cannabis seedlings are so fragile, they can easily become shocked or stunted when exposed to hot or cold water.
Hot water contains less dissolved oxygen than cooler water, which can lead to an anaerobic environment in the root zone. When the roots are starved for oxygen, diseases such as pythium may occur. In contrast, cold water can reduce the metabolic activity of plants, stunting their growth. So, when watering your seedlings, always make sure to use water that is between 68 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Water Cannabis Seedlings: Final Thoughts
Watering is one of the most basic tasks in gardening, but one that can take years to get right. Because there is no exact science behind watering cannabis plants, it takes a lot of trial and error to understand. Learning how to water cannabis seedlings can undoubtedly be tricky.
But, if you avoid over and underwatering, maintain a consistent pH level, and use room-temperature water, your seedlings will reward you with healthy, vigorous growth and a bountiful harvest.
What are your top tips for watering cannabis seedlings? Please share your knowledge in the comment section below.
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