How do you take care of a hemp plant? Here are the main steps for successful cultivation
Cannabis cultivation is prohibited in most European countries and the UK; only EU-certified legal cannabis may be cultivated with prior authorisation.
For this reason, both many plant connoisseurs and gardening enthusiasts—not being able to experiment with this type of cultivation—are very curious to know how to grow a maria seedling.
Some say that hemp can grow anywhere and without any special care; others say it has specific needs, without which plants cannot survive.
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But, in concrete terms, what should be known?
In this article (for information only), we will discuss the essential aspects experienced cannabis growers consider when treating a marijuana plant.
Let’s get started!
1. Growing marijuana: let’s start at the beginning
Growers of marijuana plants know that it is vital to meet all their needs for them to flourish and flourish. Undoubtedly, you have to start with the right seeds, create the ideal environment and then devise a proper nutrition plan.
Let’s go in order.
As far as seeds are concerned, you should know that today there are many genetics: Sativa hemp, indica hemp and many hybrids.
Some give rise to tall and slender plants, others to lower and wider ones. And not only that…
Cannabis growers who cultivate in small spaces tend to prefer seeds from indica-dominant genetics (usually shorter and less ‘bulky’); those who grow outdoors, on the other hand, often opt for those that produce taller, bulkier plants.
Each hemp variety also has different characteristics in terms of flavour and cannabinoid concentration. Legal hemp, for example, is THC-free, while other genetics have a varying amount of THC—a detail not to be underestimated!
Once the ideal seeds have been chosen, the germination phase can begin.
Some people decide to plant the seeds directly in the ground, and others prefer to germinate them in cotton or paper towels. Both practices are effective but, in either case, the seeds must be kept in the dark, with the proper humidity and temperature.
The germination phase can be considered complete when, after the appearance of the cotyledons, the first true leaves appear.
2. Vegetative phase: light and nutrition to kick-start development
Once the marijuana plants have formed, the photosynthesis process begins: from this point on. Again, the light will play a key role.
Like all other plants, cannabis plants need to be in a bright environment to grow.
In outdoor cultivation, they will receive sunlight; in indoor cultivation, artificial lighting must be installed to ensure their survival.
Depending on the genetics of hemp grown, to stimulate plant growth, you can choose to set a regime of eighteen hours of light and six hours of dark, or twelve and twelve.
Outdoors, on the other hand, cannabis plants begin to develop rapidly when the hours of light increase (in summer and spring).
Concerning nutrition, to take care of marijuana plants, attention must be paid to the type of soil in which they are planted and the fertilisers, which must be specific for the growing season.
Experienced canapiculturists usually prefer friable soil (perfect for root development), periodically enriched with liquid compost and fertilisers containing well-balanced vitamins and minerals.
During the development phase of hemp, it is also essential to carry out constant topping and thin, necessary for foliage formation.
And now we move on to watering. How often do you water a Mary plant?
In open-air plantations, the plants do not have a great need for water when it rains frequently; if rainfall is scarce, the plants should be watered typically, but care should be taken to prevent the soil from becoming soggy.
In indoor cultivation, on the other hand, watering schemes are typically followed. By watering the plants with water at the proper pH regularly, it is possible to nourish them without their roots suffering from excessive moisture or lack of hydration.
3. Flowering: the most exciting moment
As the vegetative phase draws close, the hemp plants begin to flower. Great care must be taken during this period, or all previous work will be lost.
But how do you realise that the flowering phase is beginning?
If you are growing photo-dependent hemp genetics (whether it is legal marijuana or high-THC marijuana is irrelevant), you have to consider that:
- In outdoor cultivation, flowering starts as summer draws to a close and the hours of darkness increase;
- However, indoor cultivation is up to the growers to vary the dark and light cycles to induce this phase.
When growing auto-flowering cannabis plants, on the other hand, at some point during their growth, flowering begins regardless of light variations.
But what changes during flowering?
During this period, the type of irrigation and fertilisation must be modified.
When hemp plants are given the proper care, satisfaction is not slow in coming: many flowers are born, rich in pistils and trichomes.
If you wonder what these are, it’s simple.
Pistils are elements of the flowers that are essential for assessing the level of ripeness of the plant; trichomes, on the other hand, are responsible for the production of resin: the most popular hemp substance, rich in cannabinoids, aromas, and fragrances.
If you continue to feed your cannabis plants as you did in the vegetative phase, you risk compromising their full flowering. Plants may not flower at all, or they may produce only a few poor quality flowers (lacking in pistils and trichomes and with compromised taste and aroma), which is why we need to be so careful!
As we have seen, there is more to caring for marijuana plants than just a bit of water.
Each development period involves different procedures and, for plants to grow successfully, it is essential to know them.
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