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Feed Charts For Hydroponics

by Neal Brown . Updated: November 7, 2021

Hydroponic Cannabis Feeding Schedule

Cannabis plants are highly (pun intended) resilient. As implied by the nickname “weed”, they’ll grow without nutrients—even producing buds here and there. However, if you want to maximize hydroponic yields and get the green, sticky buds you see in magazine photos, you’ll need to use nutrients at the right times.

Under- or over-feeding will affect yields and can, in some cases, kill your precious plants. That’s why it’s so important to know how often to nourish your hydroponic crop. We’ll cover that—and a few other subjects—in this comprehensive guide.

Feeding Cannabis Plants: How Often Should It Happen?

Even when using American seeds of consistently high quality, every cannabis crop is different. That’s why there’s no universal answer to that question. The schedule provided by the nutrient blend’s manufacturer is a great place to start, though you’ll need to watch the plants closely and adjust dosages as needed. In most cases, growers shouldn’t precisely follow the dosage recommendation on the bag or box.

Nutrient manufacturers stand to profit if your supply is exhausted sooner—and for that reason, the recommended dosage is typically higher than needed. We suggest starting with about half the listed amount and moving upward from there. As for the frequency with which feedings should occur, hydroponic cannabis nutrient schedules are given on a weekly basis. While some growers feed once per week, others spread it out over several feedings.

Reading the Feed Chart

As mentioned earlier, most nutrient brands offer feed charts as a convenience. Proper interpretation of these charts is key to giving your plants the right nourishment at the right time. Feed charts usually set out 12- to 13-week growing cycles. One axis of the chart will list the cycle’s weeks and photoperiods, while the other may include the type and dosage of nutrients the plants should receive during each week of their life cycle.

Nutrients are typically given once per week, and most brands will offer a feed-to-water ratio in gallons or liters. Some charts also give PPM (parts per million) ranges for their nutrient solutions. If that’s the case, we suggest buying a PPM meter and measuring the solution before feeding. Once the plants have been fed, check the water’s PPM to ensure that they’re absorbing the right nutrients.

Feeding During the Vegetative Stage

The hydroponic system should be up and running for at least 24 hours before any seedlings are introduced. It’s important to monitor the water temperature closely; keep it at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re having trouble keeping the water warm enough, use an aquarium heater.

For water that’s too warm, just add a bit of cold water. Be sure to check the grow room’s temperature and humidity every day, or every other day at minimum. Because the vegetative phase is so crucial to the health, root growth, and vitality of cannabis plants, it’s important to ensure that they get plenty of nitrogen.

Feeding During Vegetation Stage


When To Feed Your Hydro Plants


Detecting and Resolving Nutrition Problems