bluesky organics soil nutrients

Soil Nutrients for Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide

Cannabis, like all plants, has certain nutritional needs. Some people think dirt is just dirt, but we know better. The soil you grow your cannabis in will determine the health, growth rate, and yield of your plant, more than any other factor. Here’s our explanation of each nutrient crucial to growing cannabis.

The Big 3

When growing cannabis, there are three main nutrients to keep in mind: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This combination of nutrients is often referred to as N-P-K, with K standing for the elemental symbol for potassium. At different stages in a plant’s life, it will need different levels of each nutrient. For instance, in the initial growth period, cannabis plants thrive with high levels of nitrogen. By the time the plant enters the flowering phase, it needs much less nitrogen, but more potassium. Read below for a quick summary on the ‘big 3’ nutrients.


Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for any plant. Critical in the production of chlorophyll, a plant with too little nitrogen quite literally starves. If your cannabis is growing in nitrogen-deficient soil, you’re going to grow anemic, underwhelming plants.


An image of powdered red phosphorus

Phosphorus is the second main nutrient required to grow cannabis. It encourages strong root growth, which is essential to the overall health of the plant. A plant grown in soil with the right level of phosphorus will grow more quickly and produce larger flowers. Plants without enough phosphorus will begin to grow undersized leaves, suffer from underdeveloped roots, become discoloured, and produce lower yields.


An image of a potassium crystal

Potassium is the last of the ‘big 3’ soil nutrients. It is an important element in the metabolism of the cannabis plant. It facilitates photosynthesis, assists in the synthesis of proteins and amino acids, and maintains plant health during periods of drought. A plant deficient in potassium will have shrivelled, drooping leaves. As potassium is so important in the growth of new leaves and plant structure, a potassium deficient plant will grow poorly and produce small, loose buds. Conversely, plants with too much potassium can prevent the uptake of other crucial nutrients, causing deficiencies in other areas.

Trace nutrients

An image of copper. Copper is a trace element for cannabis growth

There are many other nutrients critical to cannabis plant health, including copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and calcium. All of these nutrients play roles in the healthy development of the plant, but are found in such trace amounts compared to the ‘big 3’ that they’re grouped together as ‘trace’ or ‘micro’ nutrients. This does not undermine their importance, however. An ideal soil for cannabis growing needs all these nutrients in perfect balance.

Ensuring cannabis nutrition

The BlueSky Grow system is designed to ensure the perfect ratio of all these nutrients is delivered at each stage of cannabis growth. Following our guide, you can be certain that your cannabis will grow optimally, producing healthy vegetation and high yields of aromatic, potent flowers.


Disclaimer: All information provided here is intended to aid in the production of medicinal cannabis and hemp products only. BlueSky does not condone or support the illegal production or consumption of cannabis. All information is provided ‘as is’ and without guarantee. For more information, or to leave comments or concerns, contact our Master Grower at 1-866-866-4330.