The Top 5 Cannabis Nutrients for Maximum Growth and Yield

Do you want to get optimal yields from your feminized cannabis seeds? Then pay attention to their nutritional requirements. Your cannabis needs different nutrients to facilitate healthy growth and a bumper harvest. 

Failing to understand your plants’ nutritional needs is one of the biggest mistakes novice growers make. Consequently, they waste precious time, effort, and cash on their plants. This article sheds more light on this subject. It discusses the essential five macro and micronutrients your cannabis requires to grow and glow. Keep reading to learn more. 

Essential Vs. Nonessential and Mobile Vs. Immobile Nutrients 

We can categorize the nutrients your best cannabis seeds need under two umbrellas: essential vs. nonessential and mobile vs. immobile. An essential cannabis nutrient meets specific criteria. It must be directly involved in cannabis’ nutrients and necessary for its life cycle. The nutrient must be so crucial that the plant dies or can’t perform one or more primary functions without it. Additionally, no nutrient can or should replace an essential one.

Cannabis needs three vital nutrients dubbed “NPK.” These nutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). The NPK combination provides your plants with the essentials, just as fat and carbohydrates are to animals. Additionally, cannabis can absorb carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen, and oxygen from the air and water. 

Additionally, these nutrients can be mobile or immobile. Mobile nutrients move around plants when necessary because they are prioritized for new growth. Their deficiencies are first detected in old leaf growth.

Inversely, immobile nutrients are more difficult to move around plants. Their deficiencies tend to be first detected in new growth because they can’t access these nutrients.

Top Five Macro and Micro Nutrients for Maximum Cannabis Growth

So, what are the top five nutrients to pay attention to when you buy cannabis seeds for cultivation? This section examines these nutrients, plus their deficiency symptoms. 


This mobile nutrient is one of the most common among cannabis growers. Despite nitrogen’s invaluable significance, its deficiency is still common in cannabis. Nitrogen is crucial in most plant functions, including amino acid production and photosynthesis. While your cannabis needs this nutrient throughout its development cycle, your plants require it more during their vegetative phase. 

You can fix nitrogen deficiencies by applying fertilizers with the correct NPK ratio. You may also give quick treatments like bat guano and urine. Otherwise, any delay could negatively affect your overall yield. 

So, how can you detect a nitrogen deficiency? Here are the symptoms to look for in your plants.

  • Their older mature leaves become lighter in color and start yellowing, especially near the plant’s bottom.
  • Complete yellowing and discoloration affect the entire plant and brown spots at the leaf margins.
  • Leaves start curling and dropping.
  • Your plants flower earlier, exhibit fewer bud sites and yield less potent cannabis.


Phosphorous is another mobile nutrient your plants need for essential processes like photosynthesis. It also helps release stored energy in carbohydrates. However, most cannabis plants rarely exhibit a phosphorous deficiency when the water pH or growing medium is above 7.0. 

You should stem any phosphorous deficiency early on to avoid potentially devastating effects. Upon maturity, affected plants experience stunted growth, poor yields, and slow resin production. You must use fertilizers with high phosphorus amounts or bloom fertilizers.

A cannabis plant lacking phosphorous manifests these symptoms. 

  • Slowed growth.
  • Dark leaf colors.
  • Uncontrolled deficiency halts upward and outward growth. 
  • Dead spots appear on petioles, and the plants’ leaves start curling and dropping.
  • Leaves can also turn dark bronze.


Potassium is the last of the three mobile nutrients your plants require. It promotes sugar and carbohydrate movement and production. The nutrient also facilitates cell division, water uptake, root growth, and transportation. Essentially, zero potassium means no cannabis growth. 

While the nutrient is vital, its deficiency is still common. You can fix this lacking using water-soluble fertilizers rich in potassium. A plant starved of potassium manifests the following signs. 

  • A plant’s bottom leaves die even when it seems to grow tall and vigorous.
  • Abnormally green leaves with rusty brown tips.
  • Dehydration.
  • Leaf burn.
  • Curled young leaves.
  • Weak plants are vulnerable to pest attacks and diseases.


This immobile or micronutrient increases your plants’ structural strength and rigidity. It’s also necessary for enzyme creation and use. The nutrient sends signals to plant walls to conduct growth activities. Your plants need calcium for overall growth. Additionally, calcium facilitates sugar and nitrogen flow throughout plants. 

Cannabis is grown outdoors rarely experiences calcium deficiency unless you cultivate it alongside other plants. Where shortages occur, you can deal with them using calcium-rich substances like lime. A plant with insufficient calcium has the following symptoms.

  • Retarded growth.
  • Young leaves turn abnormally green.
  • The flower production rate slows significantly.
  • Plant roots tip wither and die, reducing your cannabis’ overall yield.
  • Huge necrotic blotches on leaves that have turned dark green.


This micronutrient is an essential chlorophyll molecule part, without which cannabis can’t survive. The secondary nutrient facilitates chlorophyll production in your cannabis plants. Magnesium also activates enzymes, complex substances that impact compounds connected to your cannabis’s metabolism. Cannabis plants need and use magnesium in very high quantities.

Cannabis grew in outdoor settings rarely experience a magnesium deficiency. However, it’s common when growing your plants on soilless media or indoors. You should infuse plants with magnesium immediately if you notice deficiency symptoms. However, carefully distinguish between iron and magnesium shortage before administering any solution. Otherwise, you could end up over-fertilizing your plants.

A cannabis plant suffering from magnesium deficiency shows different symptoms. This lacking doesn’t show until 3 to 6 weeks after its start. When a deficiency occurs, you will start noticing the following signs: 

  • Older leaves’ veins become yellow, with rust spots.
  • Eventually, symptoms affect the entire plant, producing more prominent visible marks in the interveinal regions, along with their tips and margins.
  • The plants look sick.
  • Leaves start curling up, dying, and falling off.
  • The symptoms speed up during flowering, causing reduced yields.
The Top 5 Cannabis Nutrients for Maximum Growth and Yield

Closing Remarks 

Nutrients are essential for your cannabis’ healthy growth and overall yields at the season’s end. Your plants require different primary and secondary nutrients to achieve the above goal. Our discussion explored the five top micro and macronutrients your cannabis plantation needs, their deficiency symptoms, plus solutions. 

We hope you will use this invaluable information to improve your future growing processes. Don’t hesitate to check our website about cannabis –, for more information on cannabis seeds for sale and more.

Tia Moskalenko is an avid cannabis author at AskGrowers specializing in interviews and has interviewed more than 100 cannabis brand executives. She has worked in different industries, although cannabis arrested her attention. Tia invests her time and energy in promoting the cannabis industry.