Adding Calcium & Magnesium to your Grow

By The Guru

Every time I recommend to someone that they add this or that nutrient supplement or additive to their routine I always hear the same thing. Why do I need another bottle? Don’t the one or two bottles of nutrients I already use have everything in it a plant needs? Many people expect one $20 bottle to do everything and give them the best results for the least amount of work or cost. But most heavy flowering plants require greater amounts of calcium and magnesium than what is currently found in many nutrients. Calcium is one of the most important ingredients to a plant’s overall health, and magnesium is the primary element responsible for chlorophyll production. Many growers overlook these two key ingredients because they fail to realize that a heavy fruiting plant may need a little more calcium and magnesium than normal.

Calcium is not mobile in the plant so it is important to make sure there is an adequate supply available to the plant’s roots at all times. It can only be supplied and distributed throughout the plant through the xylem sap. Basically, this means the plant can not pull calcium from the older leaves of the plant if it runs out of calcium. Calcium plays an important role in building strong stem walls and allows a plant to grow to its full potential. It also helps promote hormonal signals between cells. These signals are responsible for communicating within the plant itself when it needs to produce roots, leaves, and fruit. The better the communication between these cells, the healthier and more vigorous your plant will grow while also building stronger cell walls. Proper amounts of calcium also help fight diseases and mildews.

Signs of calcium deficiency will usually show first in the older leaves just above the lower most leaves. Older leaves can show a distortion in growth, which will twist and curl in most plants. Later developments of calcium deficiencies are most often described as rust colored spots on the leaves, or yellow and brown spots surrounded by a brown rust colored outline around it. Within a week or two from the first signs on the older leaves, the spots will start to occur. And in another week or two the older leaves will be showing more and more rust colored spots. With a lack of calcium, the plant is not at its maximum potential. This will also greatly affect yields and quality.

Many factors can cause a calcium deficiency including incorrect fertilizer and excessive amounts of ammonium, potassium, magnesium, and or sodium in the root zone. Sometimes you may put a calcium additive into your feeding cycle, but the plants still have deficiencies. The wrong balance of these elements can cause nutrient lockout, which means the plant cannot uptake all of the nutrients it has been given. And some plants just need more than what’s already available in your nutrient.

Magnesium is another factor of vital importance to a plant’s overall health. It is responsible for chlorophyll production, which equates to the source of a plant’s energy. Having the right amount of magnesium in the nutrient mix being fed to the plants is critical. Chlorophyll is the whole basis of the plant being able to produce, so it should not be overlooked. Chlorophyll is also partially responsible for the flavors and aromas in the produce after harvesting.

Remember, nutrients come in all different grades and qualities. Using the highest quality products available is critical. Cutting Edge Solutions makes an OMRI Certified calcium supplement called Plant AMP, and organic magnesium called Mag-Amped, which are two of the highest quality supplements available. They are available at one or two hydro stores in San Diego, including IGShydro. If you haven’t been using supplements, and are not getting your harvests up to full potential, then you might want to check these products out. They are two very overlooked key ingredients among many growers. If done properly, you should notice some healthier plants, thicker stalks and stems, and an overall larger yield!

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