Growing cannabis is one of those things that can either be very scientific or more of an observational process depending on the grower.
Regardless of the approach, you take to growing your autoflower strains, there are three things your plant needs to grow: water, light, and air.
The quality of these items can make a difference between the quality of life for your plant as well as the final yield.
Water, in particular, is how the plant transports nutrients, achieves transpiration, and keeps the roots alive. The type of water you use for your autoflowers is an important step to optimize your plant’s health.
Tap water, reverse osmosis, and distilled water are some popular choices for watering your autoflowers.
Distilled water, in particular, is excellent for your autoflowering cannabis plants for a few reasons. These include:
- Water that has been distilled doesn’t have heavy metals or salt that can impede nutrient absorption.
- Distilled water has an electrical conductivity (EC) of 0 which means you have more control of the nutrition for your plant.
- Reduced chance of bacteria in your water than can cause harmful diseases to rooting plants.
Distilled water vs. tap water
Tap water is the most easily accessible resource for many growers and has been proven to provide good results for plant health and yield. However, tap water also contains up to 300ppm of unwanted salts, minerals, and potentially heavy metals that your plant won’t absorb.
Distilled water has no electrical conductivity at 0ppm, which means that whatever nutrients you give your plant will be absorbed (as long as you have a proper PH of course).
Distilled water is also called soft water as there are no hard minerals or salts. If you’re using soil this is an excellent choice as you won’t have a white, salt deposit that sits on top of the soil after watering for weeks.
Do cannabis plants grow better with distilled water?
Some growers will say that tap water is better for cannabis growing as it contains some of the micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, molybdenum, and boron.
While this approach does make sense, there are other unwanted chemicals in tap water and if you have a proper nutrient regimen for your plant, you won’t see any deficiencies.
On the other hand, distilled and purified water comes free of any electrical conductivity and is more akin to rainwater, which all plants thrive with as it is given by nature.
Inadvertently this makes for a great diagnostic tool if your plant is showing signs of toxicity or deficiency. Either your PH is out of balance, or your nutrient mixture is incorrect.
Tap water makes it harder to figure out if your nutrients are out of balance without a full leaf analysis because you don’t know what is in the water.
Bacteria can also take the form of root rot in your cannabis roots as tap water is above 0ppm, where distilled and purified water bacteria cannot grow unless introduced.
Listen to your plant, it’ll tell you what it likes
It would be good to mention that not all tap water is the same; one area might have a higher EC than another.
While using distilled water will give you consistent results if you are using tap water pay attention to how your plant reacts.
Balancing out the nutrient ratio and PH will fix most problems that you will come across.