In the development of a marijuana plant there are countless aspects that a good grower You have to attend with attention, dedication and on many occasions with some intuition. And it is that there are many factors that influence the evolution of a marijuana crop. Some you see them, like the earth, water or light, and others are simply present, like the air.
What your plants breathe is also part of their diet. Remember that they need carbon dioxide to successfully complete the photosynthesis process and that this process depends, among other things, on the generation of essential sugars for their development or the distribution of the nutrients necessary for their growth.
Now, if we already know that without an adequate level of CO2 the growth of plants cannot occur, what will happen if through some system we manage to increase these levels of carbon dioxide in our indoor plantations? Discover the benefits of CO2 in growing marijuana and learn how to use it properly.
Creating an atmosphere in your indoor grow
Millions of years ago, the Earth’s atmosphere was much richer in carbon dioxide than it is today. It is precisely for this reason that prehistoric plants reached gigantic sizes, since they were genetically prepared to develop in those environments with a high concentration of CO2 and also carry out photosynthesis in a monstrous way.
There are no longer such exaggeratedly vigorous plants, but in their genetics all of them retain that property of having a relatively high resistance to carbon dioxide, and an example of this is marijuana. Think that under normal circumstances CO2 concentration in today’s atmosphere is about 400 parts per million (ppm). Well, a cannabis plant could grow under optimal conditions in an atmosphere of up to 2,000 ppm.
Does this mean that in our grow tent we have to create these conditions to obtain a monstrous harvest like prehistoric plants? Let’s not exaggerate, as soon as we talk about size, our eyes go wide. It is not necessary to force an atmosphere with such a high concentration of CO2 in our cultivation to stimulate the growth of marijuana plants, but it is true that with a few tweaks we can make increase crop yield by up to 30%. The main secret? Never skip these 3 steps:
- Renew the CO2 level in the crop indoor.
- Never allow the levels to drop below 300 ppm (in which case photosynthesis would stagnate and with it the development of your plants).
- As far as possible, keep CO2 levels more or less constant.
Installation of a CO2 generator
When you install a carbon dioxide generator in your grow room, you have three things to keep in mind. On the one hand we need a medium to supply us with CO2. If you are going to install a professional generator at home, you will usually have to resort to the carbon dioxide bottles that are used in restaurants or the propane gas bottles. Refillable CO2 cylinders already prepared for this purpose are also sold.
Sure, when you come across that things seem to get a bit dangerous. That is why it is important that you never lose sight of the other two important issues in this matter of the supply of CO2 to marijuana cultivation. The second important aspect is that of always use a CO2 controller which will be in charge of opening and closing automatically to maintain stable levels of carbon dioxide: it will open when the concentration level is below the desired ppm and it will close when it exceeds them. Additionally, and if the controller does not carry it (which is not the most common), it is advisable to have a ppm meter since this is vitally important not only for your crop but also for you.
As you already know, carbon dioxide is present in the air that you normally breathe but at certain levels and during a certain exposure time it can be toxic. To make correct use of the CO2 generator in your grow tent, keep in mind that above 2,000 ppm there is no growth advantage for your plants and, what’s more, they could start to become stressed and yellow. Ideally, keep the level between 1,200 and 1,600 and do it progressively and never in the night cycle, which is when they need to rest. By the way, in the rest of the house the CO2 level should be kept around 300 ppm. Keep in mind that a 45-minute exposure to levels above 600 ppm is already becoming toxic and its consequences are notable (nausea, dizziness, vertigo … and even death, if the concentration of carbon dioxide were much higher).
To increase the metabolism of plants, CO2 not only has to be present in the environment but it has to reach all of them and also be renewed. Outdoors this occurs naturally, but it is not so in an enclosed space. And we come to the third important aspect in the use of CO2 in a marijuana crop: air management. The first thing you have to know is that carbon dioxide weighs more than oxygen, so it will stay down, where plants can do little with it. The quickest and easiest thing is to raise it by means of fans running not too strong. And the second thing is that the air in an indoor crop must be renewed because if it does not remain stale, there is no photosynthesis and development stagnates. Solution? Use extraction systems that, of course, will have to be programmed to work when the CO2 output is not programmed.
One last note for the use of this system: it is supplied solely and exclusively during flowering, between days 21 and 51, and in segments of approximately 15 minutes during each hour of light.