Growing cannabis is a balancing act in the sense that you have to have all of the plant’s fundamental needs met within a range for all the growth processes to work in harmony.
Aside from that, there are various minerals and nutrients that support the chemical processes that take advantage of things such as transpiration or photosynthesis.
What happens when you throw one of those things out of balance?
Growers like to push the boundaries of what plants can handle, finding new ways to optimize a phenotype for better buds. Some have even tried just growing with the basic light, air, and water, omitting nutrients from the mix and seeing if the plant will still thrive.
Can you grow successful autoflowering cannabis plants with just plain water?
No, you cannot grow autoflowers with just water if you want it to survive and grow properly. However, if you grow your autoflowers in any sort of super soil then plain water would work just fine as the soil will provide the necessary nutrients.
While plenty of water is important to grow your autoflowering cannabis plants, it doesn’t hold all of the nutrients that your plant needs to build a large root system for its future in the flowering stage.
Can you grow autoflowering cannabis plants without using nutrients?
Your cannabis plant needs nutrients, regardless of the approach to watering. With no nutrients, your plant won’t be able to fight off disease, repair itself, or grow large buds.
Tap water, which is the most widely used for watering, contains small amounts of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium, plus a few others; however, it’s missing a lot of the macronutrients that your plant requires to grow.
The only way around using plain water is to build a strong microbiome foundation in your soil. This will provide the nutrients your plant needs and you can just feed it straight water.
This is what’s known as super soil and it’s used a lot in organic growing. Otherwise, you will have to add synthetic nutrients to supplement your plant health.
Don’t forget about the PH of the water
The PH (Potential of Hydrogen) is important as it dictates how acidic or alkaline your water is.
Ensuring your PH stays in the range of 5.9-6.4 is vital to make sure your autos aren’t locked out from absorbing nutrients.
If your PH is under 5.5 it may be too acidic for your plant and can start to kill off the roots.
Too alkaline? You’ll start to see nutrient lockout and have to adjust your PH down.
Remember, it’s all about that balance
If you are going to grow your autoflowering cannabis plants with plain water just be sure that your plant can get enough nutrition so that it can grow without any issues.
Otherwise, you will see a slow deterioration and potential loss of your autoflowers.