Organic vs Synthetic Nutrients for Cannabis

Organic vs Synthetic nutrients can be a sticky topic for growers. Find out what the difference is and if it really matters to you?
 
When growing your own cannabis, you will be faced with what appears to be the simple choice of using organic or synthetic nutrients. This is a bit of a controversial choice often clouded in confusion. Amongst the colourful shelves of brands and bottles there lies a deep debate. Which nutrients are "better"?
Organic vs Synthetic Nutrients for Cannabis

Organic vs Synthetic nutrients can be a sticky topic for growers. Find out what the difference is and if it really matters to you?
 
When growing your own cannabis, you will be faced with what appears to be the simple choice of using organic or synthetic nutrients. This is a bit of a controversial choice often clouded in confusion. Amongst the colourful shelves of brands and bottles there lies a deep debate. Which nutrients are "better"?

Cannabis nutrients are typically divided into two stages of nutrition: vegetative and flowering. Vegetative (aka Grow) nutrients are used at the beginning of the life cycle and then Flowering (aka Bloom) nutrients are used towards the end. Vegetative nutrients are usually high in Nitrogen, Calcium and micro-elements. Flowering nutrients are higher in Phosphorous, Potassium and Sulphur. In the first stages of growth the aim is to provide your plant with a strong healthy root system. You may want to use "root boosters" and growth hormones to ensure your plant has a strong immune system. When flowering your cannabis plant, the goal is to provide as much Phosphorous and Potassium for large solid flowers. Balance is key as too much of one nutrient can affect the uptake of others. Similarly, cannabis still requires all elements in the flowering stage with Nitrogen and micro-elements being a smaller portion of their entire diet.

Organic vs Synthetic nutrients, what's the difference?

Organic and synthetic nutrients differ in chemical composition. Organics require bacteria and fungi in the substrate to process the nutrition into plant available form. These products are derived from natural sources, and they feed the micro-life in the soil rather than the plant itself. This means they may not necessarily contain any mineral content and will not feed the plant directly. Organic nutrients can be added without any pH adjustment.  Synthetics are nutrients that feed the plant directly and require no in between processors. Synthetic nutrients therefore need to be delivered at the correct pH for the plant to absorb them. 

The pros and cons

Synthetic nutrients are often touted as producing superior yields. While organic nutrient growers boast of better taste and flavour. And while both can be used to achieve the result you desire; it will be up to you to work out the best solution for your grow. The cost of nutrients can vary greatly, as well as the potential expense of additional equipment. When using synthetic nutrients, you will need to purchase a pH meter and EC meter to ensure ideal feeding. They will probably also require a 3 part mixing guide for best results.

When using organic nutrients, you will ideally need to purchase a substrate with mineral and organic content. These are essential building blocks and can significantly influence your plants' performance. Access to both types of nutrients is easy and while specific organic nutrients may be more difficult to find, with a little ingenuity many organic solutions can be produced on your own. More about that later.

What nutrients for which growers

The most important part of choosing your nutrients is matching your substrate to your preferred nutrition. Traditionally the use of synthetic nutrients has been reserved for hydroponic growers and organic nutrients for soil growers but this is not a steadfast rule. While many organic nutrients are not compatible with hydroponic methods of growing, synthetic nutrients can be used in soil growing. Many growers have adopted a hybrid style of growing and use synthetic nutrients alongside organic nutrients to try and make the most of both.

Are nutrient additives essential

Some of the best nutrients you can use will be additives. They do not necessarily feed your plant directly but may aid in other processes such as immunity, strength, efficiency and possibly potency. Notable products include bacterial and fungi additives such as EM Pro-soil and Explo-grow. These products contain beneficial bacteria and fungi that will aid in nutrient uptake as well as increase your plants' immune system. Both products can be used with organic and synthetic nutrients. As actual nutrients go, Phosphorous and Potassium boosters are often used in the flowering stage. Products such as  Atami "Bloombastic" and Greenhouse Seed Co "PK booster" have shown to be effective at delivering high amounts of flowering friendly food for those monster crops.

WeeDIY nutrients

Of course, for those who prefer to do things themselves, there are many options to explore. One very popular method being used by many is what is known as "KNF' or "Korean Natural Farming". The idea being that all nutritional inputs for your plant are developed for and by yourself. This includes fermenting different ingredients, brewing up concoctions of microbes and using your own compost. While this may seem tedious for some, others prefer this style and it ensures you learn sustainable gardening while reaping the rewards of your efforts. Worm farms are an excellent place to start for beginner nutrient makers.

Organic vs Synthetic Nutrients, what's the verdict?

At the end of the day, it will be up to you to choose what it is you want to feed to your cannabis plants. The choices are vast, and the results will mostly depend on you. Try as many different styles and methods as you can and figure out which ones suit your preferences. Your best results will come from education, experience and a reliable grow store.  And if you still aren't certain, please contact our grow pros for some top shelf advice.

Here are some of our favourite

Organic VS Synthetic Nutrients for Cannabis

Cal - Mag - Calcium Magnesium Supplement R 80.00
Cal-Mag is a specially designed nutrient to compensate for deficiencies. Calcium and Magnesium (referred to as Cal Mag for plants ) is almost always needed when using pure, distilled, or reverse osmosis water. Tap water almost always has an abundance of Calcium and Magnesium in it. Calcium and Magnesium are the most abundant minerals in tap water. The majority of the PPM, or EC reading, you obtain from a measuring device is Cal-Mag. Available size: 1kgCalcium, an essential part of the plant’s cell wall structure, improves the absorption of other nutrients by the roots and their translocation within the plant. It activates a number of plant growth-regulating enzyme systems, helps convert nitrate-nitrogen into forms needed for protein formation and contributes to improved disease resistance.Magnesium also helps to activate specific enzyme systems. Enzymes are complex substances that build, modify or break down compounds as part of a plant’s normal metabolism. Recommended Cal Mag dosage: 150 PPM / 0.3 E.C per 10L Nutrient content in our Cal-Mag supplement: N 134.8 g/kg NH4-N 9.1 g/kg NO3-N 125.7 g/kg Urea-N 0.0 g/kg P 0.0 g/kg K 0.0 g/kg S 0.0 g/kg Ca 115.3 g/kg Mg 36.4 g/kg Fe 248 mg/kg Mn 131 mg/kg Zn 83 mg/kg Cu 15.5 mg/kg B 80 mg/kg Mo 13 mg/kg
Sold out
Liquid Silicon Plus + from R 85.00
Liquid Silicon+ is a super nutrient which has everything you need in it to grow the healthiest and strongest plants possible. Liquid Silicon Plus+ has a very high alkaline pH, so you must be sure to monitor the pH of your solution when using it. It strengthens the plants cell walls making it resilient to pests and infections. It naturally increases the chlorophyll production in the plant, creating darker green leaves and improve light collection. Increases uptake of available Co2 and utilizes the enhanced metabolic processes to deliver higher yields. Silica has many benefits to offer by building the plant’s capacity to protect itself from pests, disease, and abiotic stress factors. Liquid Silicon Plus contains Potassium Silicate in a plant-available form, designed for agricultural use as a foliar or soil application. Dosage: 10-50ppm/0.5-1.2ml per liter of water Liquid Silicon+ can be used in drench feeds, hydroponic systems, soil, coco, hydroponics substrates, and as a foliar feed.
Guru Mix Nutrient: A from R 80.00
The Guru Mix Nutrient A use is intended for use in the fertilizer, horticultural and agricultural industries. It has a perfect balance of all the nutrients your plants will need from top to bottom in their earlier stages of their life. Dosage: 1g / 1L for a fully grown plant Total Nitrogen Content (N): 52 g/kg Ammonia Nitrogen Content (NH4-N): 22 g/kg Nitrate Nitrogen Content (NO3-N): 29 g/kg Phosphorus Content (P): 50 g/kg Potassium Content (K): 276 g/kg Sulphur Content (SO4-S): 84 g/kg Magnesium Content (Mg): 26 g/kg Iron Content (Fe): 2485 mg/kg Manganese Content (Mn): 514 mg/kg Zinc Content (Zn): 305 mg/kg Copper Content (Cu): 35 mg/kg Boron Content (B): 628 mg/kg Molybdenum Content (Mo): 55 mg/kg
MKP - Bloom Booster from R 80.00
MKP is completely water soluble and a great source of phosphate and potassium for your plants. MKP is nitrogen free fertilizer so it should be used when the nitrogen has already been introduced or in conjunction with a nitrogen rich product. It also helps the plant establish a strong and healthy root structure. It allows both elements to be absorbed easily due to how extremely pure the product is. It's shown great results for starting up of your crops (initiating flowering). Concentration: P = 220g/kg and K = 280g/kg MKP can also be used as a very effective water buffer and contains no ammonia. Mono-potassium phosphate, MKP, is a soluble salt of potassium and the dihydrogen phosphate ion which is used as a fertilizer, a food additive and a fungicide. It is a great source of phosphorus and potassium for your vegetation.
Guru Mix Nutrient: B from R 80.00
The Guru Mix Nutrient B is intended for use in the fertilizer, horticultural and agricultural industries. Dosage: 0.8g / 1L for a fully grown plant Calcium: 195g / 1kg (19.5%) Nitrogen: 155g / 1kg (15.5%)
EHG Bloom from R 159.00
EHG (Easy Hydro Grow) 3 part series (Grow, Micro and Bloom) provides the perfect nutrient combination for every stage of your plants’ development. EHG was locally formulated in 2012 and has undergone extensive testing since. The product was only released onto the market in 2014 and has since been making headway with many users in a variety of systems. As a total nutrient solution EHG is suitable for all gardens and an extremely broad selection of crop types. It's available in a 1L, 5L and 25L. N: 9.9g/kg P: 25.3g/kg K: 47.4g/kg Mg: 12.9g/kg SG@ 20°C 1.17 Fertilizer Group 2 Registration number: B 5263 Act 36 of 1947
EHG Micro from R 159.00
EHG (Easy Hydro Grow) 3 part series (Grow, Micro and Bloom) provides the perfect nutrient combination for every stage of your plants’ development. EHG was locally formulated in 2012 and has undergone extensive testing since. The product was only released onto the market in 2014 and has since been making headway with many users in a variety of systems. As a total nutrient solution EHG is suitable for all gardens and an extremely broad selection of crop types. It's available in a 1L, 5L and 25L. N: 50.3g/kg K: 16.7g/kg Ca: 52.7g/kg Zn: 117.7mg/kg Cu: 13mg/kg Mo: 6.5mg/kg Fe: 957mg/kg B: 242mg/kg Mn: 242mg/kg SG@ 20°C 1.23 Fertilizer Group 2 Registration number: B 5266 Act 36 of 1947
EHG Grow from R 159.00
EHG (Easy Hydro Grow) 3 part series (Grow, Micro and Bloom) provides the perfect nutrient combination for every stage of your plants’ development. EHG was locally formulated in 2012 and has undergone extensive testing since. The product was only released onto the market in 2014 and has since been making headway with many users in a variety of systems. As a total nutrient solution EHG is suitable for all gardens and an extremely broad selection of crop types. It's available in a 1L, 5L and 25L. N: 22.5g/kg P: 7.8g/kg K: 40g/kg S: 3.3g/kg Mg: 6.9g/kg SG@ 20°C 1.11 Fertilizer Group 2 Registration number: B 5264 Act 36 of 1947
TNT Bud Juice from R 199.00
Bud Juice's TNT (Total Nutrient Transfer) is a specially formulated smart plant nutrient design to give your grow what it needs when it needs it most. TNT Bud Juice nutrient has been designed specifically for the vegetative cycle of your plants. With TNT Bud Juice being a one-part perfectly balanced biological base plant nutrient, you can be confident in the product having all the base macro and micronutrients required for healthy, vigorous plant growth. Formulated from a blend of organic carriers, with naturally derived nutrients and amino acids. Used as the base feed TNT supplies all the natural base elements including amino, humic and fluvic acids, organic carbon, and trace elements. Essentially for growing indoor and outdoor. Recommended Feeding Schedule: Dilute by mixing with water to the desired concentration measured as ml/1L water. Seedlings Stage 1-2ml/L (Once a week) Vegetative Stage 2-5ml/L (Once a week) Bloom Stage 4-2ml/L (Once a week) Download TNT Bud Juice Feeding Schedule For Best results use with Boom Bloom & Symbionics Nutrient Analysis  4:1:2(14) Macro (g/kg) N (Nitrogen) 80 P (Phosphorus) 20 K (Potassium) 40 Mg (Magnesium) 1 Ca (Calcium) 18 Micro (mg/kg) Fe (Iron) 280 Mn (Manganese) 170 Cu (Copper) 130 Zn (Zinc) 120 B (Boron) 160 Mo (Molybdenum) 135 Other C (Organic Carbon) Humic Acid Fulvic Acid Amino Acids pH: 5.4
EHG Ripener from R 159.00
EHG (Easy Hydro Grow) 3 part series (Grow, Micro and Bloom) provides the perfect nutrient combination for every stage of your plants’ development. EHG was locally formulated in 2012 and has undergone extensive testing since. The product was only released onto the market in 2014 and has since been making headway with many users in a variety of systems. As a total nutrient solution EHG is suitable for all gardens and an extremely broad selection of crop types. It's available in a 1L, 5L and 25L. P: 22,6g/kg K: 38,5g/kg Mg: 14,9g/kg SG@ 20°C 1,15 Fertilizer Group 2 Registration number: B 5265 Act 36 of 1947
Bitcoin Bitcoin Cash DAI Dogecoin Ethereum Litecoin Ozow USDC