The Importance of pH in Late Flowering Cannabis Plants

Cannabis cultivation offers a highly valuable plant with a diverse range of uses, from medicinal to recreational. In this article, we will explore what soil pH is, the ideal pH for cannabis, and how to measure and adjust the pH levels to optimize the growth and flowering of your cannabis plant. Maintaining the right pH is essential for the health and productivity of late-flowering cannabis plants.

Understanding pH and How It Affects Cannabis Plants

pH (potential of Hydrogen) plays a crucial role in the growth and development of cannabis plants, especially in the flowering stage. It affects the availability of nutrients in the soil, and if the pH is too high or too low, the plant won't be able to absorb certain nutrients properly.

Late flowering cannabis plants are those that flower later in the growing season compared to other cannabis strains. These plants typically have a longer vegetation period, which means they require more time to grow and mature before they start producing flowers. This extended growing period also means that they are more susceptible to various growth problems, one of which is pH imbalances.

The pH scale

If you think back to your high school biology class, you may remember that the pH scale is a simple measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a medium. The scale is a logarithmic function, so even small changes in pH values are significant.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. The lower half of the scale (between 0 and 6.5) is considered acidic, while the higher half (between 7.5 and 14) is alkaline. Lemon juice, for example, has a pH level of 2, while soapy water has a pH of about 12. The optimal ph range for a cannabis plant will depend on your growing medium.

The Benefits of Maintaining the Perfect pH

Maintaining the perfect pH levels for cannabis is essential for several reasons. First, the right pH ensures the plant can absorb all the nutrients it needs to grow. If the pH level is too high or too low, certain nutrients can become unavailable to the plant, leading to deficiencies and stunted growth. Its important to know in order to adjust ph values for an optimal page range.

Second, the right pH levels also help to control the growth of harmful microorganisms in the soil. Certain fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens thrive in a slightly acidic environment or alkaline soils, but they can be kept in check by maintaining the best pH levels and using pH adjusters as needed.

What's the ideal pH for cannabis plants?

Maintaining an optimal pH for cannabis is important for both soil growers and hydropic growers alike. The soil pH or the pH of your hydroponic solution can greatly affect the roots of cannabis plants. The root system is responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from the soil, and the pH determines the availability of these nutrients to the plant.

Growing cannabis in soil

Soil pH measures acidity or alkalinity in soil on the pH scale. The soil pH affects the availability of nutrients to plants, and it is essential to maintain the optimal cannabis pH levels for the growth and development of cannabis plants.

Soil best pH range: 6.0–7.0

Growing cannabis hydroponically

If you prefer to grow hydroponic cannabis (soil free) you will be in complete control of nutrient preparation and will need to be much stricter about pH control. That will require regular calibration and checking of your pH meter as well as the requirement to keep a spare pH meter for the inevitable day when the pH meter fails or starts to deliver incorrect readings.

When growing cannabis in hydroponics, it is essential to maintain the ideal slightly acidic pH level of the nutrient solution and growing medium.

Hydroponics and Soilless best pH range: 5.5–6.5

Measuring Cannabis pH Levels

Measuring the pH level of your soil or hydroponic nutrient solution is crucial to the growth and development of cannabis. By measuring pH levels, you can determine if the plant is receiving all the nutrients it needs, or if you need to adjust the pH to optimize growth.

How to test pH levels for cannabis plants?

Although many soil growers don't bother, a pH tester is a crucial piece of kit for the serious marijuana grower. There are several methods to test the pH level of soil or hydroponic solutions. To test soil pH for cannabis, you can use a pH testing kit, pH test drops, or a digital pH meter. Simply follow the instructions provided with your chosen testing method to get a pH reading.

Measuring with pH drops

To measure cannabis pH, simply follow the instructions provided with your pH test drops. Most pH strips turn a specific color depending on the pH. You then compare the color to an index and that gives you the pH value. come with a color chart that allows you to easily determine the cannabis pH level of your soil or hydroponic solution.

Measuring with Digital pH Meters

With a digital pH meter, testing is incredibly simple. You'll calibrate the device, stick it into the fertilizer, runoff, and soil, and come away with an accurate reading instantly. While many old-school growers swear by drops and testing strips, a digital pH meter is a far more effective tool for commercial operators who want to take soil samples from multiple plants in different areas of a grow room quickly.

Using a digital pH meter to test pH is a more accurate way to measure pH levels. Simply follow the instructions provided with your pH meter to get an accurate reading.

soil pH management without meters

Measuring If you don't have a pH kit or pen, you can get a less specific reading of your soil's pH using baking soda and vinegar. Simply collect some soil from your garden in two separate containers. First, add roughly ½ of the soil volume in vinegar to the soil. If it fizzes, you have alkaline soil. If it doesn't, add some water to the soil until it is muddy. Then, add some baking soda. If it fizzes this time, you have acidic soil.

Remember, these DIY methods of measuring your soil's pH aren't very accurate, and should only be used as a last resort. Where possible, always use a digital ph pen.

Understanding cannabis pH problems

It is common for the pH levels of soil or hydroponic solutions to fluctuate over time, which is why it is essential to regularly measure and adjust the pH. Adjusting the pH of slightly acidic soil, and getting the correct pH in order to give plants an optimal range takes a bit of diligence and monitoring.

What is pH drift?

pH drift refers to a gradual change in the pH level of the growing medium over time. This can happen due to a variety of factors, such as changes in water quality, temperature, and the addition of nutrients.

How to tell if pH is too low or too high

A pH level that is too low (acidic) can prevent the plant from absorbing important nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This can lead to yellowing leaves and stunted growth and nutrient deficiencies. On the other hand, a pH level that is too high (alkaline) can result in a buildup of toxic elements like sodium and chloride, causing similar symptoms of yellowing, stunted growth, and nutrient deficiencies.

Therefore, it is crucial to regularly test the pH level of the soil or hydroponic growing medium to ensure that it is within the ideal range for your growing method. By monitoring the pH reading levels, you can ensure that the plant is receiving all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth and maximum yields.

How to adjust pH levels when growing cannabis

To adjust pH levels for your cannabis plants, it is essential to measure the pH and determine if it is too high or too low. If the pH level of your soil or hydroponic solution is too high or too low, there are several pH adjusters you can use.

Ways of Adjusting pH When Growing Cannabis

Lowering the pH of your cannabis plants:

  1. pH Down products: These are specifically designed to lower the pH of your growing solution and can be easily found at a grow store or online.
  2. Organic acids: Adding vinegar or lemon juice to your growing solution can help to lower the pH.
  3. Peat moss: Incorporating peat moss into your soil mix can help to naturally lower the pH.
  4. Organic compost: Using organic compost to amend your soil can help to lower the pH.
  5. Worm castings: Incorporating worm castings into your soil mix can also help to naturally lower the pH.
  6. Sulfur: Adding sulfur to your soil can help to lower the pH.
  7. Aluminum sulfate: This can be added to your soil to lower the pH.
  8. Phosphoric acid: this is used to lower the pH and it's ideal for the flowering period thanks to its high phosphorus content, although it can also be used in the growth period.

Raising the pH of your cannabis plants:

  1. pH Up products: These are specifically designed to raise the pH of your growing solution and can be easily found at a grow store or online.
  2. Baking soda: Adding it to your growing solution can help to raise the pH levels.
  3. Lime: Incorporating lime into your soil mix can help to naturally raise the pH.
  4. Dolomite lime: Adding dolomite lime to your soil can also help to raise the pH.
  5. Calcium carbonate: This can be added to your soil to raise the pH.
  6. Potassium hydroxide : this is used to increase the pH in water. Thanks to its high potassium content it can be used in the growth and bloom stage.

It's important to note that adjusting pH for cannabis should be done gradually, rather than making sudden changes. This will help to prevent stress on the plants and reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies or toxicity. Additionally, regular monitoring of pH levels is crucial to ensure that the desired level is being maintained.

Go Organic and Forget About a pH tester

While maintaining the best pH level is crucial for growing cannabis, some growers prefer to go the organic route. In this method, the pH is managed naturally through the use of organic fertilizers and amendments.

Some organic growers find that pH can be gently and steadily adjusted using certain natural methods. pH can be reduced with the addition of compost teas, manure/compost, pine needles (these are slightly acidic). These natural additives may help with beneficial microbial action in the soil too.

Getting pH levels to help your plants thrive.

Outside of the optimum pH you will eventually see mineral deficiencies. Using organic fertilizers like Mr. B's Organic Fertilizer Products can also help to maintain the perfect pH levels for your cannabis plants. Our nutrient-rich products are made from natural ingredients, like bone meal, fish meal, kelp meal, and alfalfa meal, that are rich in essential nutrients and can provide gentle and steady support to your plants. Additionally, using organic fertilizers can help to promote beneficial microbial activity in the soil, which can further improve soil health and the overall growth of your cannabis plants.

Whether you choose to use pH adjusting products or rely on organic fertilizers like Mr. B's, it's important to understand that the key to successful cannabis growth is maintaining balanced pH levels and regularly monitoring your plants to ensure they are receiving all the nutrients they need.

Knowing the best pH for cannabis is one thing. Maintaining it consistently can take some effort and checking.