Cannabis Glossary – Nutrients and Plant Health

Welcome to another one of our cannabis glossary pages. This time we delve into critical cannabis concepts focused on nutrient management and plant health. Here, you’ll find straightforward explanations of essential terms, from the building blocks of plant nutrition to the subtleties of water quality and its impact on your grow.

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Calcium and Magnesium (Cal Mag)

These elements are vital for the robust growth of cannabis. Calcium strengthens plant cell walls, aiding in the development of strong stems and leaves, while magnesium is a key component of chlorophyll, crucial for photosynthesis and for the metabolism of carbohydrates. Deficiencies in these nutrients can be quite common and sometimes caused by soil or a pH lockout. They are minor nutrients so you won’t need to add a lot to supplement your nutrient regiment. A jar of Cal Mag powder will last a long time.

Reefertilizer Grow and Bloom nutrients for cannabis in veg and flower

Chelated Fertilizer

Chelated fertilizers have micronutrients, such as iron, manganese, and zinc, that are surrounded by an organic molecule, making them more readily absorbed by a plant’s roots. This helps ensure that plants get the necessary micronutrients quickly, even in less-than-ideal pH conditions.
Unlike organic fertilizers, which derive nutrients from naturally occurring organic matter like plant or animal waste, chelated fertilizers involve a specific chemical process to bond micronutrients with organic molecules, enhancing their availability to plants. This means that chelated fertilizers can be more efficient in providing targeted nutrition to plants, particularly in hydroponic or soilless systems where maintaining precise nutrient levels is key.


This term refers to the yellowing of leaf tissue due to a lack of chlorophyll. Chlorosis often indicates an issue with nutrient intake, commonly a deficiency in nitrogen, iron, magnesium, or zinc, which are vital for green, healthy leaves and overall plant vigor.


Flushing involves watering plants with plain water without nutrients during the final days or weeks before harvest. The process removes lingering nutrients in both the plants and the growing medium, potentially improving the taste and quality of the final harvested cannabis.

cannabis fertilizer burn

Nutrient Burn

This is characterized by the distinct browning or burning of the tips of the plant’s leaves, signaling excessive fertilizer application. If left unaddressed, nutrient burn can progress, leading to greater leaf damage and negatively impacting plant health and yields.

pH and EC Testing

Measuring the pH (potential hydrogen) helps growers maintain a balanced soil environment, while testing EC (electrical conductivity) indicates the concentration of available nutrients in the growing medium. Keeping these values in optimal ranges is crucial for nutrient uptake and overall plant health.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

This water filtration method removes up to 99% of dissolved salts, contaminants, and heavy metals. This results in pure water, allowing growers to avoid unwanted elements in their water supply and control the precise amount of nutrients being delivered to the plants.


Runoff water is the excess water that drains out after watering the plants. By testing the runoff, growers can monitor the pH and nutrient concentration in the root zone to make informed adjustments for maintaining plant health.

Sectorial Chimera

A chimera is a plant with two sets of DNA due to a genetic mutation, leading to distinctly different colors or textures in part of the leaves, stems, or flowers. They are often rare and difficult to reproduce because the genetic variation isn’t carried consistently in seeds or even clones from the plant.

Sectorial Chimera on cannabis leaf

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