To grow your cannabis plants — as with all plants — need a decent space for its roots, constant water access, nutrients, and oxygen.
Not sure what medium would work best for your cannabis plant?
This article offers a detailed guide to select an ideal grow medium for your cannabis plant.
Types of Growing Medium for Cannabis
Coco coir, vermiculite, Rock wool, and perlite are all commendable soilless mediums for your marijuana plants.
Soilless methods allow you treat your plants as with the soil options — except that you’d have to deliver the needed nutrients hydroponically – by watering.
This option offers quicker and higher yields. Besides, bugs and molds are hardly ever a thing with soil-less mediums.
Hydroponics refers to a cannabis grow medium where plant roots float in water. Deep Water Culture (Fondly DWC) is most common among hydroponic methods.
Bubbleponics, a popular variant, is widely recommended for larger plants.
Other varieties, like Aeroponics, may be unsuitable for large and nutrient-gulping plants like marijuana.
Trying out hydroponics can be a lot tricky and complicated, even for some old-timers. However, records of first-timers’ successes abound.
If you know your way around hydroponics, it may turn out to be the best growth than any other grow option.
Coconut Fiber / Coir
This grow medium involves the use of treated fiber obtained from coconut husks. While some come in powdery form, some maintain their natural fiber-ish form. This medium offers a non-toxic grow technique ideal for hydroponics.
One perk of coconut fiber medium over soil is its relatively faster effect, influenced by its impressive aeration capacity. This feature makes the plant grow faster, with healthy roots and high Trichoderma content. Trichoderma boosts microbial span, and, in turn, fortifies plants immunity.
However, you need routine watering, as coir dries up quickly and cause severe damage to your plants. You also need to regulate your pH and EC levels at each watering.
Here’s another thoughtful grow option. Rockwool is a product of basalt – volcanic rock. The material is heated to become liquid and then molded with machines.
With about 7 pH level, you may need to regulate the pH before use. This involves soaking the rock in a formula with 0.5 to 0.6 EC and 5.5 pH for 24 hours. You may cultivate your seeds thereafter.
Rockwool and coir require similar EC and pH adjustments. So, again, this method may not be ideal without hydroponic experience.
That said, rock wool, as with coir, comes with high aeration capacity and, in turn, offers impressively fast growth. For optimal results, ensure you water careful enough to provide a drying/moistening balance.
Recycle Medium for Multiple Uses and Save Money
After a successful grow phase erroneously, many farmers go all over the process again on their next planting.
The good news is, cannabis grow mediums are reusable. This will help you save money
Here are helpful tips for reusing your grow mediums
Rock wool, for example tricky and not advisable for reuse.
Reusing a grow medium typically costs more time and effort than beginning all over. Cleaning, sanitizing, and adjustment of your grow medium can be time-involving. Here are reuse tips to remember for the different mediums:
Reusing “Soil” Medium
To eliminate salt and residual nutrients between grow cycles, your soil needs cleaning and sanitizing.
- To begin, flush the soil with water repeatedly, two to three times. Nutrient flush will come handy
- If you experienced any pest concerns, rinse with hot water and antifungal
- Leave the soil in the sun.
- Allow the soil to stay for, at least, ten days before reuse.
- Amend your soil with worm casting, compost, and peat moss before reuse.
Reusing Coco Coir
Like soil, coco coir needs to go through some processes before reuse.
- First, take out excess plant matter
- Rinse with distilled water to flush out residual salt and dead roots
- Where necessary, sterilize with hydrogen peroxide (this is recommended for contamination risk)
- Add new coir to the processed reuse to increase its volume and, in turn, shelf life.
Notably, not all mediums are ideal for reuse. If you had a problem with soil-borne disease, you might want to get rid of your old medium and start all over. This will help avoid infection risk.