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The cannabis industry in the United States is skyrocketing, with the legal industry estimated to grow to $22 billion in the next two years alone. As a result, cannabis cultivation methods are constantly evolving in order for cannabis growers to produce high-quality, effective, and safe products.
One such method involves cannabis foliar spray. Foliar spray is a type solution that provides plants with natural nutrients, insecticides & fungicides, moisture, and other benefits that is sprayed directly onto the leaves of the plants.
However, cannabis foliar spraying does have its downsides; the use of foliar spray needs to be well understood before applying it to any plants.
Here are the pros and cons of cannabis foliar spray for the growth and cultivation of cannabis plants:
Pro: Reduce Damage from Mites, Fungus, and Pests
As with most types of agricultural plants, there are a number of pests, fungi, and even viruses that can harm the plant’s growth & output of either marijuana or hemp flower (learn the difference between hemp vs marijuana here).
According to the Cannabis Business Times, aphids and mites are two of the most common cannabis pests, both of which can be targeted via foliar spraying.
Foliar spray can contain natural anti-pest & anti-fungal agents to reduce the damage caused by these pests. These compounds are natural, meaning that most foliar sprays can be used in organic grows & farms.
If growers are looking to target those insects, mites, fungus, and other pests on cannabis plants, they can use foliar spray made from potassium soap (also called insecticidal soap). Potassium soap contains a specific type of potassium combined with fatty acids that cause the insects’ & pests’ cell membranes to malfunction, killing them on contact.
And, according to the University of Connecticut’s Garden Education Center, “Insecticidal soaps are biodegradable, do not persist in the environment, and they do not contain any organic solvents. Many formulations of insecticidal soap can be used on various food crops up to the day of harvest.”
Many sprays also contain completely natural neem oil that is considered a natural insecticide that also has anti-fungal properties.
Con: Mold & Fungus Growth
One of the biggest problems with spraying is that if you spray too much, too often, or in an environment that’s quite humid, the spray can collect on the leaves and lead to mold and/or fungus growth.
Growers can avoid fungal and mold growth on cannabis & hemp flower by spraying only when the plant isn’t flowering.
Focus the spray on the leaves of the plant, as it’s the leaves’ pores that absorb the spray. Spraying the flower directly often leads to mold growth, ruining the buds.
Pro: Improve Plant Nutrient Supply
Soil nutrient uptake can be slow and harder to tailor to each plant & environment. Spraying is a great way to supply plants with specific nutrients faster and more efficiently than adding nutrients through the soil.
Spraying also allows growers to tailor the solution to the needs of each plant and each environment.
It’s also easier to control nutrient levels via consistent spraying compared to soil & dirt fertilizer nutrients.
It’s hard to predict how much of the nutrients are absorbed by the plants through the soil. This can lead to harmful nutrient build-up & soil depletion that can harm both the plants and the soil’s microorganisms that plants depend upon for survival. Spraying allows for easier control of this without compromising the soil’s nutrient levels.
Con: Leaf & Plant Burn Damage
If growers spray their plants outside in an area that is very bright & sunny, the droplets of liquid can intensify the sunlight, causing leaves to burn. This can damage the entire plant, reducing its output and potentially killing the plant.
Another thing growers need to be careful of is “nutrient burn” or “fertilizer burn”. Foliar spray often contains natural plant fertilizers continuing nutrients & compounds to help the plantar grow.
However, if the concentration is too high or the plant reacts badly to the fertilizer, this can cause long-lasting damage.
Pro: It’s Natural
What Is Cannabis Foliar Spray? Unlike many fertilizers and other types of pesticides & insecticides, many cannabis foliar sprays are made with completely natural ingredients. This allows organic growers to protect their plants without using harmful chemicals and compounds.
These sprays are usually safe for the environment, which can’t be said for many types of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that have been linked to health problems, environmental damage, and more.
Con: Absorption Issues
While there are many benefits of supplying plants with nutrients via spraying, sometimes the plants don’t absorb the spray completely. This depends on a wide range of variables including the plant type, that particular plant’s absorption rate, temperature, climate, humidity levels, and more.
Growers should test their plants with different methods to see which will work best for their grow, plants, and climate.
What Is Cannabis Foliar Spray?: Bottom Line
Cannabis foliar spray and spraying methods can be a great way to help cannabis plants grow and thrive quickly and efficiently without the use of harmful or harsh chemicals.
To learn more about the best organic growing methods, check out our website where we explain the steps Cannessentials takes to produce some of the highest quality organic & sustainable hemp CBD products on the market.What Is Cannabis Foliar Spray