Organic or Synthetic Nutrients?

Man And Woman Holding Cannabis Plants

In this myth-busting blog we answer the age-old question, “Should I grow with organic or synthetic nutrients?”


First of all, let’s remember that organic doesn’t necessarily mean safe. The simple definition of organic is “consisting of or derived from living matter.” Organic fertilizers can contain: manure, compost, bat guano, feather meal, and fish meal, all of which are chemically unrefined. If you grow with organic fertilizers, it is important to ensure your inputs are clean and free of heavy metals.


Next, let’s establish that synthetic doesn’t mean unsafe. Pharmaceutical grade minerals are deemed synthetic because they are refined. These high-quality minerals have been processed to reduce or eliminate toxic heavy metals and industrial contaminants.


Now that we have those two points clarified, let’s dig deeper. Often, organic fertilizers are slow release. Organic fertilizers are broken down by soil organisms over time to reveal their plant-available nutrients. Full nutrient availability may take years after application.


Cannabis, in a hydroponic environment, requires rapid nutrition. Media like coco coir and rockwool do not contain any plant-available nutrients; these substrates require complete fertilizers that provide the full spectrum of macro and micronutrients.  So, if you’re growing with soilless media, you probablyneed the high-level nutrient availability found in synthetic mineral-based fertilizer.


Organic fertilizers are a great choice for soil. Since soil already contains some of the nutrients that plants need, the addition of organic fertilizers might be just the right boost your plants require to flourish. The Journal of Agronomy published a study revealing that soils treated with organic fertilizers contained more biological organisms than untreated soils or soils treated with inorganic fertilizers.


Here’s our conclusion:plants don’t care about organic or synthetic.Plants do not know the difference between organic and inorganic inputs. Plants only use nutrients that are available in their inorganic, ionic form. You can grow healthy and happy plants organically or through the use of synthetic fertilizers.


We’ve found that organic fertilizers work best in soil. And inorganic fertilizers do well in both hydroponic environments and soil. Once you understand the safety and efficacy requirements of your cultivation operation, you can match the right product to your goal.