Why plants need Nitrogen

Liz Filmer
06 Aug 2021

The growth and development of a Cannabis plant's leaves, roots and fruits depend on the availability of essential nutrients like Nitrogen.

 The "N" in your NPK, Nitrogen, is the nutrient required by the Cannabis plant in the most considerable amounts. It is a fundamental component of many plant structures along with their internal and external metabolic processes.
It is needed for growth, reproduction and creating amino acids. 

Plant uptake happens in the form of water-based ammonium and nitrates that are easily absorbed by the roots. Nitrate nitrogen is the most common form used in plant fertilisers. It is quickly taken up by the plant and has good soil retention. Cannabis Plants need varying amounts of Nitrogen throughout their lifecycle. This is why you should always use the suitable nutrient feed for the right stage of the lifecycle, whether Propagation, Veg or Flower.

An essential element of plant proteins, Nitrogen assists in stimulating growth, promoting fruit development and assisting with the growth and development of plant tissues and cells. Nitrogen is also found in the nucleic acid that forms DNA and helps transfer traits and characteristics to new plants.

Nitrogen is an essential ingredient in chlorophyll, the green chemical required for photosynthesis. Plants that receive Nitrogen in more significant amounts will experience higher rates of photosynthesis and have bigger, faster and more robust growth and development. Nitrogen also maintains and optimises your root system. 

Deficiencies of Nitrogen can be caused by underfeeding or by Nitrogen leaching out of the medium. If the pH of your medium is rising too high, this can prevent your plant's roots from taking up what it needs. 
Potassium, zinc, manganese and chloride can all block Nitrogen if present in too high a concentration. 

A nitrogen deficiency can also occur if the plant's root system is damaged, diseased or exposed to low temperatures in your growing medium.

To identify a deficiency, look for pale green or yellowing leaves. Poor growth of the plant and fruits is another symptom. Plants with nitrogen deficiency will also be more susceptible to disease and pest infestation.

Growing in a hydroponic system or Coco can reduce the possibility of a nitrogen deficiency. If you do get one, then you should increase your nutrient feed-in strength 1ml at a time until your leaves turn a rich green again. You can use a nitrogen booster or a foliar feed, which will correct the problem faster.

Nitrogen is needed in large quantities of around 10-60g per kg of plant mass. It assists with plant health in so many ways that it is, without doubt, the most essential component required for supporting plant growth. A fundamental element for all life, neither plant nor animal would exist without it. 

Liz Filmer