Marijuana seedlings require proper care and attention to ensure healthy growth. One crucial aspect of their care is knowing when to start feeding them. In this article, we will discuss the best time to start feeding your marijuana seedlings and provide you with some valuable tips to ensure their proper nourishment.

Understanding the Seedling Stage

Before we delve into the topic of feeding marijuana seedlings, let's first understand the seedling stage. Inside the seed, all the genetic information necessary for growth is stored. When exposed to warmth and humidity, the seed absorbs water through a process called imbibition. This triggers the growth of the taproot and the emergence of the shoot, which seeks light.

During the early stages of growth, seedlings rely on the nutrients stored within the seed. As the roots develop, they can absorb water through their leaves. Once the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, they are considered to be in the vegetative stage.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is crucial for the healthy development of marijuana seedlings. While the nutrients stored in the seed are sufficient for the initial growth, they eventually deplete, and the seedlings require external nourishment. Providing the right nutrients at the right time will ensure optimal growth and the development of strong, vibrant plants.

Factors to Consider Before Feeding Seedlings

Before you start feeding your marijuana seedlings, there are a few factors you need to consider:

  1. Age of the Seedlings: It is crucial to wait until your seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves before introducing nutrients. This is usually around 2-3 weeks after germination.

  2. Type of Medium: The type of growing medium you use will play a role in determining when to start feeding your seedlings. If you are using a nutrient-rich soil mix, you may need to delay feeding for a longer period.

  3. Nutrient Requirements: Different strains have different nutrient requirements. It is essential to research the specific needs of your strain to ensure you provide the right nutrients at the right time.

Signs Your Seedlings Need Nutrients

While it is important to wait until the appropriate time to start feeding your seedlings, it is equally important to recognize the signs that they require additional nutrients. Here are some signs that your seedlings may need to be fed:

  1. Yellowing Leaves: If you notice yellowing leaves, particularly in the lower part of the plant, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. This is especially true if the yellowing progresses to the upper leaves.

  2. Slow Growth: If your seedlings are growing slower than expected and appear stunted, it may indicate a lack of essential nutrients.

  3. Discoloration or Spots on Leaves: Unusual discoloration or spots on the leaves can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.

  4. Wilting or Drooping: Seedlings that are not getting adequate nutrients may exhibit wilting or drooping leaves.

When to Start Feeding Marijuana Seedlings

The general rule of thumb is to start feeding marijuana seedlings once they have developed 2-3 sets of true leaves. This usually occurs around 2-3 weeks after germination. At this stage, the seedlings have depleted the nutrients stored in the seed, and external nourishment becomes necessary for healthy growth.

Tips for Feeding Marijuana Seedlings

When feeding your marijuana seedlings, it is important to follow these tips to ensure their proper nourishment:

  1. Start with a Light Nutrient Solution: Begin by providing a mild nutrient solution with an NPK ratio suitable for seedlings. A ratio of 4:2:3 is a good starting point.

  2. Gradually Increase Nutrient Strength: As your seedlings grow, gradually increase the strength of the nutrient solution. This allows them to adjust to the increased nutrient levels without overwhelming them.

  3. Monitor pH Levels: Ensure that the pH of your nutrient solution is within the optimal range for your plants. Marijuana seedlings generally prefer a pH range between 5.8 and 6.3.

  4. Observe Your Seedlings: Pay close attention to how your seedlings respond to the nutrient solution. If they show signs of stress or nutrient burn, reduce the nutrient strength or frequency of feeding.

  5. Water Properly: Water your seedlings only when the soil has dried out. Overwatering can lead to nutrient deficiencies and root rot.

  6. Choose the Right Nutrients: There are various nutrient formulations available for marijuana cultivation. Choose a nutrient brand that is specifically designed for seedlings or young plants.

  7. Consider Organic Nutrients: Organic nutrients can provide a more natural and balanced approach to feeding your seedlings. They promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, enhancing nutrient uptake.


Feeding marijuana seedlings at the right time is crucial for their healthy development. Waiting until the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves ensures that they have depleted the nutrients stored in the seed and are ready for external nourishment. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your seedlings receive the proper nutrition they need to thrive. Remember to monitor your seedlings closely and adjust your feeding regimen as necessary. With proper care and attention, your seedlings will grow into strong, vibrant plants ready for the flowering stage.

Stoney Tark

Stoney Tark has been involved with cannabis for over 15 years. During this time, he has become head writer for the long-standing magazine; Soft Secrets, a position he has held for the last ten years, alongside writing for every other main publication.

Author of Stoney Tark’s Top Tips on Growing Cannabis, host of The Roll Models Podcast, breeder and sponsored by SANlight LED. Stoney is well versed in many systems and methods of growing, including, Organics, Hydroponics, Breeding, and Hash production. 

Well known in the public eye for his easy-to-understand and detailed breakdowns of all things related to cannabis. 

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