When growing cannabis, growers will tend to focus on the parts of the plant they can see. But beneath the soil, there is the root system, which is just as important to a plant’s overall health. Keeping Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots will make sure your plant is healthy, and well fed.
Roots absorb water and nutrients and also hold the plant firm in the medium. If a plants roots are unhealthy, your plant will not be able to eat correctly, and will suffer from numerous nutritional issues.
Here is a simple guide on how to keep healthy roots through our your cannabis grow.
If you have any questions about problems you might be having with your cannabis plant roots, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum
Cannabis Plant Seedlings
When you first germinate cannabis seeds, you will see a tap root protrude from the shell of the seed. You have to take great care when transplanting a seedling into its medium as the taproot can easily break.
The roots of a seedling prefer warmer temperatures than those of a mature plant. The Growth of the roots will be fastest if you can keep the root zone temperature between 24 to 27°C. If root zone temperatures exceed 27°C the roots can dry out too quickly. Or they will be prone to diseases like root rot.
There are some mistakes new growers will make with seedlings that will affect the root growth of healthy cannabis plant roots. Overwatering is one of them, as seedlings do not yet have the ability to absorb much water. Watering too much will stop the roots from breathing, and may also cause bad bacteria to grow in the medium due to lack of air.
Underwateing can also become a problem since seedling roots are still young, and the isn’t a lot of root mass. If the medium dries out too much, the roots will die and not recover.
Feeding young seedlings.
When a cannabis seed first germinates, there is food stores inside the seed to get the root out and into the medium. It will find more food there. A cannabis seedling will not need a lot of food, and if you’re growing in soils, it is best not to feed your plant at least the first 2 weeks of its life cycle.
If you are growing cannabis with cuttings, you will need to make roots grow on them before they can really start to eat and grow. By dipping the cut end of the clone, in a rooting compound, new healthy cannabis plant roots will grow.
Using these hormones can greatly improve the success rate of cuttings and increase the speed at which healthy cannabis plant roots develop.
As plants mature, their roots begin to grow “radially”. This means they branch out from the taproot, much like the way the plant grows above the ground. Rootlets (tiny root hairs that draw in water and nutrients) begin to grow. Root tips continue to stretch, as they search for more water and nutrients.
Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots in Soil
As a plant grow bigger, the temperature of the root zone should be reduce a little. Roots growing in soil will grow best at temperatures between 18 and 24°C. If the soil is any colder, it will slow down the process within the roots and the plant will absorb less water and nutrients. On the other hand, soil that is any warmer than 24°C will have little oxygen present in the root zone, effectively drowning the plant.
Growing cannabis in pots will require the gardener to pay attention to the size of the root ball. Once the container has become too small for roots, it is time to “transplant” the plant into a larger pot.
Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots in Hydroponics
Keep the root zone of a hydroponically grown plant at around 18°C. Water in this range can hold a lot of oxygen. If the water goes above 24 °C, the plant will not be able to absorb the oxygen in the water, and it will stop eating, or even drown. You can control the temps in hydro in many ways.
Controlling res temps in hydro
To control reservoir temperatures, and keep Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots, insulate or cover the reservoir with something reflective like mylar or white plastic. Use the white plastic to reflect the light and heat upwards and away from the res. Doing this will keep the temps down, and also help prevent algae and bacteria from forming in the reservoir.
Bacteria and algae will compete with your plants for oxygen and nutrients and can lead to root infections, and nutritional problems. You can also reduce the fluctuations in res temps by using only one airstone. The more equipment you add to the water, the more heat will be passed into it. Use one, adequately size airstone per plant, or res.
You can also use a reservoir chiller to control high reservoir temperatures. If reservoir temperatures are a constant issue for you, then investing in one of these will make a huge difference in your plants health.
The root mass can block up pumps or filters. If left unnoticed this can cause a damage to your equipment and more importantly, your crop. Strip clean all of your pumps after each grow and remove any roots and debris. Keep them clean and they will be reliable for a long time.
Beneficial Bacteria for Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots
There are some products designed to improve root development. “Bennies” ( beneficial bacteria) can also be used whilst growing cannabis to improve the overall health of the root zone.
“Great White is the most advanced mycorrhizal product on the market today. The combination of mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria, trichoderma, and plant vitamins will give your plants a strong and developed root system. This will enable your plants to break down and absorb nutrients efficiently and effectively. Also, it will increase water uptake and the overall absorption area of the root system, resulting in a healthier plant.”
“CANNA RHIZOTONIC is a powerful, algae based, vegetative stimulator for plant roots. It contains multiple vitamins and is 100% natural. RHIZOTONIC adds more than 60 microbiological substances that considerably speed up the growth of a balanced root environment.
The various trace elements and vitamins such as B1&B2 stimulate the production of hormones and root growth, thus providing beautiful, strong white roots.
If you dilute RHIZOTONIC (40ml/10 litre), you can use it to soak seeds. RHIZOTONIC softens up the seed skin, making it easier for the seed to burst and germinate.
Enhances overall plant growth and chemical reactions in the plant to ensure a healthier, powerful and stronger plant.
” Breathe new life into your plants with Biosys-the complete microbial solution. Biosys contains a unique blend of microbes and natural plant growth stimulants. Easy and quick to mix and use, nothing immediately improves the health of your root zone quite like Biosys.
Biosys is a concentrated powder that you add to water to make what we call a ‘microbe tea’. It contains some quite complex ingredients that work on a few levels. The microbes in Biosys improve root function, increase nutrient and water availability, help with disease prevention, speed up the breakdown organic matter and improve plant growth.
These organisms include; 8 Species of Endo mycorrhizal fungi 8 Species of Bacillus 2 Species of Nitrogen fixing bacteria 2 Species of Pseudomonas 2 Species of Trichoderma Biosys also contains biological catalysts to allow activation and continued growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi within the root zone – right where you need them.”
Rooting Enzymes for Hydroponics
There are some products available that less living bacteria and fungi but more of the enzymes produced by them. These products do not have a shelf life, and they can be used with hydrogen peroxide. This means they can be applied in hydroponic and aeroponic systems as well as in pots.
The must-have magic formula for healthy roots! Beneficial microbes in the root-zone improves the availability of nutrients and help to protect against root-diseases. Advanced Nutrients VooDoo Juice contains 6 super-strains of beneficial microbe which have been painstakingly and bred to create the best possible environment for the roots of your plants.
Beneficial microbes work with the roots of your plant to provide greater nutrient availability and to help to protect against root-diseases.
Advanced Nutrients Piranha is a blend of beneficial fungi that work in the root-zone to improve the availability of nutrients and help to protect against root-diseases. The beneficial fungi in Advanced Nutrients Piranha Work alongside the microbes in VooDoo Juice and Tarantula for even greater root-mass, root-health and increased nutrient uptake.
Advanced Nutrients Piranha is a concentrated blend of beneficial fungi for use from rooted cutting through to the second week of flowering. Beneficial fungi create a web of mycelium which works with the roots of your plant to provide greater nutrient availability and to help to protect against root-diseases.
Bugs that live in Cannabis Root zones
Some insects infest root zones and feed on and damage roots. The larvae of fungus gnats live in the growing medium and eat tiny root hairs. They appear as thin white worms with a black head about one centimetre long. Adults fungus gnats are small black flies that suck the juices out of leaves. Fungus gnats affect a wide range of plants.
To treat fungus gnats larvae, treat your growing medium with a larvicide. Catch adults with yellow or blue sticky traps. You can also see our Neem oil pesticides guide for a way to kill bugs.
Nematodes are another species that can harm your roots. Pest nematodes are translucent worms less than 2.5 mm long that can cause root knots and injure root tips. If infected, plants will develop distorted leaves and growth will be stunted. Treat by using nematicide or predatory nematodes that will feed on the pest variety.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Cannabis Plant Roots
The root system is so vital to the overall health of your plants. Without a healthy root system, plants will display stunted growth and impaired flower production. You can’t afford to forget about the roots, even though they are below the surface. Healthy roots equals healthy plants. Get those roots as big as you can, more roots equals more shoots.