Healthy Roots For Cannabis Plants

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Healthy Roots For Cannabis Plants

Cannabis cultivation success is dependent upon a healthy cannabis root zone. Our easy to follow tips will help you to promote healthy roots for your cannabis plants. Trust us, you will thank us come harvest time.

When it comes to cannabis cultivation it really is a case of “as above so below”. Regardless of the cultivation medium or the particular brand of fertiliser used, the healthiest most productive cannabis plants have one thing in common - an excellent root zone.

Big buds are grown from the roots up. With our easy to digest guide you too can cultivate cannabis plants with healthy roots, that tip the scales come harvest time.


Roots are the vital organs of cannabis plants. Virtually every part of the cannabis plant above ground can be cut away and the plant can still be reinvigorated, perhaps not restored to its former glory, but something can always be salvaged. Removing the root zone is fatal 100% of the time.

The roots anchor a cannabis plant to the medium, this is especially important when cultivating outdoors. Apart from providing stability, the primary role of the root system is to feed the plant. Cannabis of course responds well to foliar feeding, however, this should always be considered as a secondary method of feeding.

Spraying the leaves of cannabis plants can be hazardous when cultivating indoors under HID lighting, too much surface moisture on leaves can lead to a light burn and/or leaf mould. Many growers restrict foliar applications to the treatment of pests like spidermites and avoid use altogether in the absence of pests.

Through the root zone is the natural way cannabis plants obtain nutritients. Similar to a pump system, once the leaves and the stem dry out, the plant will use suction to draw nutrition in via the roots and transport it up internally in the xylem and phloem.

Or in layman's terms, the roots work like a straw, drinking up feed. This nutrition works its way through the stalk into the plants “circulatory system” in branches and leaves.

Healthy Roots


Healthy cannabis roots are the secret to unlocking the maximum potential of your cannabis plants. Much fuss is made of the latest bloom enhancer products and various plant training techniques. Master growers have already learned, that a large vigorous root zone allows for greater nutrient uptake and more robust plants.

Roots are the foundation that the grower must build upon. The entire grow will run a lot smoother indoors or outdoors when the grower invests time and attention in the root zone. Transplanting, cloning and the application of pruning for yield, all are contingent on a healthy root zone.

Seedlings with thick, white, healthy roots will thrive in vegetative growth. Topping plants is a stress and resilient plants recover and respond better to pruning techniques.

Mother plants must have healthy roots otherwise taking cuttings will just be an invitation to pathogens. Taking care of the roots will reward the grower with handsome dividends.


Keeping the growing environment clean goes a long way towards keeping roots and cannabis plants in general healthy. Unhygienic conditions are the ideal incubator for a whole host of microbial nasties, that wreak havoc on cannabis crops, if given half a chance.

Prevention is the best course of action to avoid having to deal with the horrible problems pests, disease and moulds can cause in your grow show.

Making sure pots/containers, trimming scissors, clone scalpel, and the Grow tent or grow room are spotless is the first step and can be accomplished with a little elbow grease and household cleaning products. Once everything is clean, keep it that way and continue to clean as you grow.

Excessive watering is often the cause of root rot for novice soil growers, don’t guesstimate, lift those plants up and judge watering by weight.

You will quickly get familiar with the wet and dry weight of your pots and containers, so let this be your guide. And don’t get sloppy, never leave your pots sitting in a pool of runoff water, empty the tray after every watering. Root rot is easy to detect with its characteristic foul rotten smell.

Hydroponic systems are more vulnerable to cannabis plants developing root problems by their very nature. Closer attention must be paid to the pH of the water to ensure it remains in the optimal pH range of 5.5-6.5.

Soil acts as a buffer and can be more forgiving to imperfect pH levels, plus quality soils include beneficial fungus like trichoderma. Hydro growers will have to supplement this also.

Don’t allow your plants to become rootbound. Dwarfed and stunted plants can be easily avoided by using large containers from the beginning or timely transplanting. A good gauge is to equate every litre of growing medium to one week of cannabis plant growth.

Aeration of the medium is another key factor. Whatever medium you choose, make sure it drains well and allows for good air flow to the roots.

The roots really do need to breathe. Air-pots are a great solution and can be utilised by both soil/coco growers and hydro growers. Although more expensive than traditional plastic containers, they are very effective at keeping the root zone healthy. Plus, air-pots are really easy to maintain an effective wet/dry cycle too.

Air pumps must also be closely monitored by hydro cultivators.


Pythium or root rot as mentioned above is probably the greatest threat to your cannabis plant's roots. This pathogen is particularly dangerous, because unlike pests like root aphids, gnats and flies, you cannot rid your plants easily of it, even with treatment.

There are a variety of off-the-shelf solutions you can purchase in your local grow store to obliterate even the worst pest infestations. Unfortunately pythium is tricky to treat and usually requires expensive specialist products.

Cultivating a healthy root zone requires feeding the beneficial microorganisms and perhaps even strengthening their numbers by deploying extra reserves.

Mycorrhizae are friendly fungi, that form a symbiotic relationship with cannabis plant roots rather than attacking them. Sprinkling a few grams of these beneficial fungi into the growing medium can work wonders.

Of course there are a wide range of root boosters and liquid microbial supplements on the market these days to promote healthy roots and some investment is always advisable.

However, an effective economic solution is to add some organic molasses to your feeding regime. The beneficial microbes in your plants root zone will reward you for the sweet molasses tea come harvest time.