How to grow cannabis using general Hydroponic products and a feeding chart for autoflowers!
- 1. Manufacturer’s recommendations
- 2. The basics of organization
- 3. Base nutrients
- 3. a. Floramicro
- 3. b. Floragro
- 3. c. Florabloom
- 4. Using microbes with general hydroponics
- 5. Beginners feeding schedule ml/l
- 6. Supplements
- 6. a. Rapidstart (roots)
- 6. b. Liquid koolbloom (weight)
- 6. c. Floralicious plus (aroma)
- 6. d. Florakleen (flush)
- 7. Experienced growers feeding schedule ml/l
- 8. Extra supplements
- 8. a. Armorsi (defense)
- 8. b. Diamond nectar (weight)
- 8. c. Florablend (aroma)
- 8. d. Calimagic (vigor)
- 8. e. Floranectar (flavor)
- 8. f. Dry koolbloom (ripening)
- 8. g. Dry koolbloom composition
- 9. Expert grower feeding schedule
- 9. a. Expert grower feeding schedule ml/l (vegetative stage)
- 9. b. Expert grower feeding schedule ml/l (flowering stage)
- 10. Chart for growing autoflowers in soil
- 10. a. Ripen
- 10. b. Bio roots
- 10. c. Bio protect
- 10. d. Bio bloom
- 10. e. Mineral magic
- 10. f. Autoflower feeding schedule for soil (ml/l)
- 11. Should you flush before harvest?
- 12. In conclusion
General Hydroponics has evolved a lot since its beginning more than 40 years ago, since then, they’ve been making their products with one goal in mind: improve and advance the quality of agricultural products and innovate through extensive research.
Based in Santa Rosa, CA, the company has dedicated decades to come up with solutions and system that can help anyone take care of a crop and get the best results possible, due to their effectiveness, their products have become extremely popular in North America and Europe, being of the most used products for hydroponic growers.
So if you’re a hydro grower or grow in a sterile medium such as coco fiber, perlite, rock wool, or clay pellets, read along to learn the contents of General hydroponics nutrients, how to use them, top tips, and our recommended feeding schedule for beginners and more experienced growers!
1. Manufacturer’s Recommendations
First of all, it’s essential you read the following recommendations by General Hydroponics:
- Keep the nutrient solution at (or below) 24°C;
- Allow 5-25% runoff during each watering;
- Keep the pH between 5.5-6.5;
- For better results flush after 1-3 feedings.
- If your water is above 200ppm total or 70ppm calcium, use Flora Hardwater Micro instead of FloraMicro.
- When using both Armor Si and CALiMAGic, add Armor Si to the reservoir first.
- When using Armor Si and/or CALiMAGic, with Flora Series, these products should be added prior to adding FloraMicro.
Have in mind that they do not say it’s obligatory to follow their recommendations but by doing it you may have better results. For the most part, autoflowers are light feeders compared to photoperiods and you can get away with feeding them less. If you want to experiment it is recommended to cut the nutrition in half and see how your plants react. Bottled nutrients are not cheap and we hate to see people lose their money for no reason when the plants would be more than happy with a smaller amount.
2. The Basics of Organization
Before we get too deep into all of the general hydroponics, we want to help you stay organized using all the feeding charts to maximize efficiency. With all of the different bottles and names of nutrients, it can seriously get overwhelming when first using them so it's always important to keep track of everything you grow. The two most important organizational tools you'll need are a calendar and a notebook. We prefer using a dry erase calendar. Monitoring PH, nutrients used, and PPM can be extremely beneficial when trying to identify nutrient issues or plant deficiencies in the future. It is also good practice to keep updates on when equipment is cleaned to always remind you to do the work necessary to keep your grow in tip-top shape.
3. Base Nutrients
General Hydroponic are synthetic nutrients designed to be used in sterile substrates such as coco fiber, rock wool, perlite, clay pellets, or soilless hydroponic setups but can be used in soil depending on the purity of your water source.
General Hydroponics nutrients are designed for hydroponics but can also be used in soil.
If you’re growing in soil don’t worry, we’ll also provide a feeding schedule for soil but first, let’s learn about their products they can be beneficial working with microbes. FloraMicro, FloraGro, and FloraBloom is a 3-part feeding fertilizer and provides the base nutrients, which is most of the minerals needed for plant growth.
General Hydroponics FloraMicro belongs to the Flora Series line and provides a constantly updated formula adapted to the latest scientific findings.
|Nitrogen (N)||5.0%||Copper (Cu)||0.01%|
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||1.0%||Iron (Fe)||0.1%|
|Calcium (C)||5.0%||Manganese (Mn)||0.05%|
|Boron (B)||0.01%||Molybdenum (Mo)||0.0008%|
|Cobalt (Co)||0.0005%||Zinc (Zn)||0.015%|
Available in composition for hard or soft water, Flora Micro provides the micro, sub-micronutrients, and some complementary macronutrients needed throughout the growth and flowering process. When using water from a tap it is vital that you purchase a TDS meter that measures the parts per million inside the water. Checking the PPM of the water will get you an accurate reading for the amount of micronutrients which will show you if you need to purchase a RO filter or purchase water from the store.
FloraGro stimulates structural and vegetative growth, strengthening roots, and providing most of the nitrogen, potassium, and secondary minerals in the Flora Series line. So no one gets confused, potash is potassium, potash is an old Dutch word and it means ash from a fire. Ashes from burning wood or other plant material that creates potassium
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||6.0%|
The nutrients provided by the complete Flora Series allow you to perfectly satisfy the changing needs of your plants by varying the mixture and rhythm of their progress so you should use more of it during growth, and less of it during the flowering stage.
FloraBloom provides the phosphorus and potassium inputs your plants need to increase their health and root formation during growth and helps to make the most of their genetic potential during the flowering stage.
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||4.0%|
This product allows you to perfectly satisfy the changing needs of your plants by varying the mixture to the rhythm of their progress so you should use more FloraGro during the vegetative stage and more FloraBloom during the flowering stage.
Growing Cannabis: Organic Vs Synthetic / Inorganic Nutrients
4. Using Microbes With General Hydroponics
Many people believe that since they are growing synthetically they can't use any microbes, this is especially common with the hydroponic community. The truth is everyone can use microbial products to have a great beneficial impact on their plants' health. The common misconception is that the synthetic nutrients will kill the microbes inside the media but this is completely false. While there is a slight possibility that a few microbes will die in the process this won't matter in the end because most microbe products contain thousands and thousands of beneficial microbes.
What microbes do is protect the plant from potential pathogenic bacteria, this is very beneficial during the cloning or early veg stage since the plant is weaker and has less root zone. Microbes in simple words put up a no vacancy sign to all potential harmful pathogens.While being able to protect your plants from pathogens also allows the plants to absorb nutrition more effectively rather than absorbing it all at once. Microbes have a symbiotic relationship with plants and will store nutrition and distribute it to the plant as needed when microbes are added regularly.
5. Beginners Feeding Schedule ml/L
Now that you know what the base products contain and provide to your plants, here’s a feeding chart for beginners growing photoperiodic cannabis.
Remember that this chart should be used as a guideline and it’s designed for growers using soft water in hydro, aero, coco, perlite, clay pellets or rock wool, so if you’re growing autoflowers in soil, read along for the chart you’re looking for.
All the products mentioned above can be used without adding supplements but it’s highly recommended to use the following products if you want your plants to grow faster, healthier, and produce bigger and better buds.
Wondering why? Read along for their contents and the beginner feeding schedule for General Hydroponic products.
RapidStart is a root stimulator that promotes vigorous and healthier roots which results in faster growth, and bigger and better yields. This product can be used in all types of substrates such as pre-amended soil (or soilless mixes), coco, and hydroponic setups. Using mycorrhizal fungi with rapidstart will give you the best success giving the plant optimal nutrition and fungus allowing the rhizosphere to develop properly and quickly.
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||1.0%|
Liquid KoolBloom (Weight)
KoolBloom is available in liquid and dry form, this product should be used from the beginning of the pre-flowering stage up to the last weeks of flower because it contains the compounds needed to increase the flowering sites and improve growth, resulting in denser buds, bigger yields and encouraging bud ripening.
Liquid KoolBloom Composition
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||10.0%|
Floralicious Plus (Aroma)
Floralicious is a growth enhancer and contains nutrient supplements designed to boost growth, this product can be used both in the vegetative and flowering stage and contains exactly what you need to improve plant growth.
Floralicious Plus Composition
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||0.02%|
Sea kelp is used as an all-natural plant growth hormone. Kelp is the fastest growing plant in the world and this is why gardeners use it to give the plants a boost they need to gain more vigor and growth. Using kelp during flower will cause some weird growth patterns like fox tailing so pay attention to the ratios and amounts that are being used based on your growth cycle.
Florakleen is used to eliminate nutrient build-up and can be used in all substrates during cultivation, and also between crops to clean the systems of accumulated salts which can obstruct irrigation but mainly when flushing in soil, to help preserve the original taste of your plants.
How To Prevent And Treat Nutrient Lockout In Cannabis
7. Experienced Growers Feeding Schedule ml/L
Now that you know what the base products and supplements contain and provide to your plants, here’s a feeding chart for experienced cultivators growing photoperiodics.
Remember that this chart should be used as a guideline and it’s designed for growers using soft water in hydro, aero, coco, perlite, clay pellets, or rock wool, so if you’re growing autoflowers in soil, read along for the chart you’re looking for.
8. Extra Supplements
If you are already using all of the products mentioned above and want to take your harvest to the next level, here are the extra supplements you are looking for.
ArmorSi provides Silica and Potassium, these minerals increase your plant’s strength and stress resistance, which result in bigger yields and also improve structural and foliar growth. Silica allows your plants to withstand more stress of all kinds. When using silica you will notice your plants become much more pliable allowing you to bend and train your plant much easier without breaking branches. Silica also helps protect the plants' rootzone allowing the plant to get much drier than usual without any negative consequences. And finally, it helps prevent pests, when bugs get a taste of a plant with silica they get grossed out making the bug leave the plant and find an easier target. This is a must for growers who want overall healthier plants.
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||4.0%|
|Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)||10.0%|
Diamond Nectar (Weight)
Diamond Nectar is a mix of humic and fulvic acids which facilitate the absorption of nutrients by the roots and a stimulator that promotes rapid and vigorous plant growth.
Diamond Nectar Composition
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||1.0%|
|Low Molecular Humic Acid||0.01%|
This is a product designed to accelerate nutrient absorption through a natural process called chelation, this works by grabbing immobile minerals and transporting them into the roots and plant tissue for faster and bigger growth.
FloraBlend is a mineral blend used to help plants grow a more vigorous root system and a stronger structure, this will provide a more sturdy plant with a visible increase in stems, foliage, mass, and root network.
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||1.0%|
CALiMAGic provides the supplemental calcium, magnesium, and iron your plant’s need to avoid common deficiencies and allow them to thrive without affecting growth and yields.
By using it properly, you can prevent rot, nutrient block, and yellowish leaves which is very common amongst cannabis growers, resulting in an overall stronger plant and preventing micronutrient deficiencies. General hydroponics does a fantastic thing by not putting calcium and magnesium in the same ratios as phosphorus. With some hydroponic nutrient companies, they will have a cal/mag product that is suggested to be used in flower with the original feeding schedule. During the flower cycle, you mainly need two macronutrients: phosphorus and potassium. When using cal/mag and working with high amounts of phosphorus you risk locking out the phosphorus with too much calcium. Regardless of pH or any other factors too much calcium will lock out phosphorus very aggressively leading you to think there is ph lockout. It is always important to diagnose an issue effectively before trying to correct anything; an incorrect diagnosis will lead to more issues down the road.
Different Types of Cannabis Plant Nutrient Deficiencies
FloraNectar contains essential minerals and molasses that benefit the soil and the plants while allowing you to take the aroma and taste of your harvest to the next level by regulating the metabolism processes and achieving a balance between respiration and photosynthesis, resulting in a higher yield and better quality flowers.
|Soluble Potash (K2O)||1.0%|
The sugars inside the floranectar do something amazing to the plant, similar to the boost we get from having a dose of natural healthy sugars. Even though we may not realize it, plants need carbohydrates just as people do but it does more than giving the plant a sugar rush. Plants make sugars from the sun which is the plant's version of energy. What the plants will also do with the sugars they created from the sun is to send them down to the root zone to secrete sugars for the microbes to eat. Microbes love to eat sugars and will multiply the population drastically with additives like molasses and cane sugar. The more microbes you have the more effective nutrient absorption is.
Dry KoolBloom (Ripening)
Apart from the denser flowers provided by the Liquid Koolbloom, Dry KoolBloom enhances the terpenes and cannabinoid production while promoting a faster ripening.
Dry KoolBloom Composition
|Potassium Chloride (KCl)||5-10%|
|Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)||5-10%|
This product is used during the ripening stage (last week of flower) to increase the intensity of the flowering process, resulting in bigger and better flowers.
9. Expert Grower Feeding Schedule
Now that you know what the complete line of General Hydroponics products contains and provides to your plants, here’s a feeding chart for experienced cultivators growing photoperiodic cannabis.
Expert Grower Feeding Schedule ml/L (Vegetative stage)
Remember that these amounts may change depending on the strain and growing conditions you're growing in, these tables should be used as a general guideline and you should always pay attention to how your plants react and adjust the nutrient dose according to those signs.
Also, have in mind that this table has been designed for those using soft water, if you're watering with hard water it's recommended to use the Flora Hardwater Micro to avoid having problems along your grow cycle. Less is always more when feeding plants with any type of nutrition. It is significantly easier to add more nutrition next feeding than flush the plant out from over-fertilization.
Expert Grower Feeding Schedule ml/L (Flowering stage)
This chart should be used as a guideline and it’s designed for growers using soft water in hydro, aero, coco, perlite, clay pellets, or rock wool, so if you’re growing autoflowers in soil, read along for the chart you’re looking for.
10. Chart For Growing Autoflowers in Soil
Because soil is and contains organic matter, instead of using all the products mentioned before you’ll have to use the following Bioproducts from General Hydroponics. Growing with general hydroponics is ultimately the easiest way to grow cannabis. Soil is the battery for the plants and when growing with soil compared to hydroponics you are ideally trying to feed the soil and not the plant. Healthy and active soil will allow the plant to thrive with very minimal effort. Soil is also a fantastic buffer for the plants allowing you to water with a much wider ph range without having any ph issues down the road. All around soil growing with general hydroponics nutrition is an extremely safe way to grow your plants and it makes it incredibly fun to learn!
Ripen is a product that provides all the nutrients needed for the last weeks of flowering, the minerals contained encourage plants to ripen faster and use all the nutrients that are still stored in your plants, resulting in better quality flowers and a bigger harvest.
Bio Roots is a natural product designed to stimulate root growth and resistance to fungi on clones and plants in the vegetative stage, this product acts in the root zone, working along the beneficial microorganisms present.
Bio Roots Composition
|Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4)||1-3%|
Bio Protect is a natural concentrate that should be used as a foliar spray to increase your crop’s resistance and defense against bugs. The amino acids and natural essential oils in this product create a layer on the leaves that strengthen your plant’s immune system, allowing your plant to withstand a bug attack and repel the bugs.
Bio Bloom is a stimulant made from natural ingredients that improve growth and beneficial microorganisms activity in the root zone.
Bio Bloom Composition
|Fruit Oil||Up to 1%||Sodium Alginate||Up to 3%|
|Humatic Acids||Up to 1%||Seaweed||Up to 10%|
|Pectinate||Up to 1%||Organic Matter||Up to 84%|
Thus improving nutrient absorption and transportation which results in larger leaves, bigger flowers, and an increased yield while boosting the immune system.
Cannabis Roots: All You Need To Know
Mineral Magic from General Hydroponics contains Montmorillonite as the main ingredient and it’s a powdered additive formulated with natural silicate and marine organic extracts, a very important complement for the correct development of the plants in any culture medium, resulting in higher resistance against harmful fungi and stronger branches and stems.
Autoflower Feeding Schedule for Soil (ml/L)
Now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for, if you were looking to use your General Hydroponics fertilizers with autos in soil, here’s a chart especially designed for autoflowering cannabis.
Just remember that this feeding schedule is a guideline because all strains are different so you may have to adjust the amounts if your plant is showing symptoms of nutrient deficiencies or are not growing as they should. If you decide to grow with soil it is recommended to put 15% worm castings inside the pot you will be growing in. Worm castings are a great sore of microbes and they will work incredibly well with the general hydroponics line.
If you are growing photos in soil you can still use this table, but you'll have to double the dose of all products used in the autoflower feeding chart.
11. Should You Flush Before Harvest?
So you have now been taught how to grow with general hydroponics but the most important step comes at the harvesting stage. Almost all cannabis growers you talk to will say flushing is the most important thing when it comes to harvesting. This isn't necessarily true as new studies coming out have proven that on a blind taste test cannabis consumers preferred the flower that had not been flushed before harvest. When the cannabis flowers were tested for mineral content it showed no difference compared to the ones that were flushed for seven, ten, and fourteen days which proves unflushed flowers were safe to consume. Now, this isn't to say that you should never flush your plants because odds are that you've been doing it for years with great success. If you are someone who likes to get rid of all the chlorophyll in your plants before harvest then you should do what you like. This could be a fun experiment you can do in your home grow using general hydroponics to see which plant you prefer to smoke, you might be surprised!
Another interesting fact about flushing is that the cannabis industry is the only agriculture industry that flushes out the nutrition before harvest which is quite interesting why we are held to a different standard than other crops.
How To Flush Your Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
12. In Conclusion
We hope this blog helps everyone that supports Fast Buds and makes your life easier, now that you know how to use General Hydroponics nutrients with all types of cannabis plants and all types of grow setups, it’s time to test a feeding schedule!
If you use General Hydroponics nutrients either in hydro, coco or soil, share your experience with fellow growers, leave a comment in the comment section below!
This post was most recently updated on February 23, 2022.
Change nutrient solution every 7-10 days. If your water is above 200ppm total or 70ppm calcium, use Flora Hardwater Micro instead of FloraMicro. Top off with fresh water between nutrient changes. Keep nutrient solution aerated for best results.
How To Mix a 3-Part Hydroponics Nutrient Solution - YouTube
Week 2: How to Feed Autoflowers - Our Nutrient Schedule - YouTube
Available in FOUR convenient sizes. DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Mix 2.5 ml to 10 ml per gallon of water depending on the plant's growth stage. Note: The proper ratio of each Flora Series nutrient depends on the crop and the stage of growth (look on the label for specific recommendations).
You don't want to use liquid nutrients every time you water—use them every other watering, or two waterings on, one off. It depends on the complexity of your soil and the health of your plants. Too many nutrients will damage your plants. Giving weed plants the proper amount of nutrients requires careful monitoring.
Fertilize your houseplants once a week. Feed the plants in your garden every two to three weeks. Fertilize your landscape plants once a month.
- Step 1) Start With Silica. Related Products. ...
- Step 2) Add your base nutrients. ...
- Step 3) Add your cal-mag. ...
- Step 4) Add any other additives last. ...
- Step 5) Finishing by pHing your nutrient solution.
Cal-Mag deficiencies can be catastrophic to gardens as well as hydroponic systems. But in most instances, Cal-Mag supplements are not essential as both nutrients are very easily available in water and soil. But in exceptional circumstances, supplements are essential.
What's the difference between ppm500 and ppm700 scale? The ppm 700 scale is based on measuring the KCl or potassium chloride content of a solution. The ppm 500 is based on measuring the NaCl or sodium chloride content of a solution. The ppm 500 scale is also referred to as TDS - total dissolved solids.
Nutrients for flowering stage (4+ weeks)
Use an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 or similar. Some autoflower nutrients contain more phosphorus (eg. 5-15-10), and these are suitable as well.
During the vegetative stage, autoflowers will increase their demand for minerals and nutrients. Nitrogen rich nutrients are particularly useful as the plant aims to grow roots, branches and leaves.
Less Nutrients Needed
In general, autoflowering cannabis strains require fewer nutrients than photoperiod plants. This makes the feeding schedule more straightforward and lowers the cost of the grow.
It is best to begin by adding FloraMicro, stirring well, and then adding FloraGro and/or FloraBloom. If both FloraGro and FloraBloom are used, add one, stir well, then add the other.
Either way will work. If you are using a nutrient for the first time and are not familiar with how it is going to affect your pH, you should mix your nutrient first. Let the solution sit for about 15 – 20 minutes and then check the pH and adjust accordingly. Keep track of how much pH Up or Down you add to the solution.
Start out with one milliliter per gallon. Wait 15 To 30 minutes, and test your water again. Frequently you will only need 1 to 2 ml of pH Up/Down per gallon of water. You may need additional pH Up/Down if you have hard water.
A good general rule of thumb is to start plants being watered about 2 to 3 times a day and increase as plants show signs of needing water.
In general, you will need between about 1 to 2 cups of pre-mixed liquid nutrient solution per 16 gallons of water.
What is the shelf life of the Flora Series nutrients? Properly stored (cool environment, out of sunlight, sealed container) they should last indefinitely.
The best time to change your hydroponic water entirely is after you've topped it off enough times to fill it fully. For an average-size hydroponic system, you'll likely need to change your water every two to three weeks.