Marijuana Growth Supplements

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What additives are available? What’s the point?

Hi there and welcome (back) to Free the Tree!
In today’s article we’re going to cover the different Growth Supplements for Marijuana plants. Most of these additives can be given to your marijuana plant via Foliar Feeding, drenching the medium or by dipping the roots into the solution.

Growth Supplements & Additives

There are many additives or growth supplements that have hit the market over the years. Generally, these additives contain a cocktail of some of the elements that we’re going to cover today.
Most of these additives came from the greenhouse industry or were developed for organic growers. Many of these additives do what they say and work quickly, however when growing a short, 8 to 10 week crop, some of these products may not have the time to work properly, especially if they’re added near the end of the flowering stage;, make sure you check out how long it takes the nutrients to be available to the plant.

The following list will give you an idea of what specific additives are and how they are used.

Abscisic Acid (ABA)

Abscisic Acid is a naturally occurring hormone that assists plants in adapting to environmental stresses like drought or cold temperatures. During winter, ABA converts leaves into stiff bud scales which cover the meristem, protecting it from cold damage or dehydration. In case of an early spring, ABA will also prolong dormancy, preventing premature sprouts which could be damaged by frost.

Used in the garden, ABA may help plants resist drought and unseasonable conditions and improve productivity, strength and performance.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Vitamin C is though to build tighter, heavier buds and act as an antioxidant? It’s often combined with fructose, molasses or sugar and added to the nutrient solution during the last 2 weeks before harvest.
Some botanist believe that although vitamin C is very important in fighting the free radical bi-products of photosynthesis, plants make their own vitamin C and are unlikely to recognize any benefit from its addition to the nutrient mix.


Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring plant hormone associated with the Willow. It’s effective in preventing pathogens by speeding up the natural “systemic acquired resistance (SAR)” thereby reducing the need for pesticides. Salicylic acid (SA) will block abscisic acid (ABA) allowing the plant to return to normal after a period of stress – Something to consider if ABA is being used to strengthen plants.

Aspirin can be used as a spray, a soak or added to compost and rooting compounds. A 1:10 000 solution used as a spray will stimulate the SAR response and the effects will last weeks to months. “Willow water” also makes a popular rooting bath.


Auxins represent a group of plant hormones that regulate growth and phototropism. They’re associated with elongation of plant cells causing the branches to grow vertically while inhibiting lateral buds.

“Pinching off” branch tips will reduce the auxin level and encourage bushy lateral growth as well as inducing new root formation. Synthetic auxins are more stable and last longer than the natural solutions; they can be used as an herbicide against broad leaf weeds like dandelions, but are most often used to encourage root growth and promote flowering.


Bacteria such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizo-bacteria are extremely beneficial in organic gardenong. The presence of these organisms in the growing meddium produces stronger, healthier plants that require less chemical intervention.

Actino-Iron is a commercial soil additive that contains the Streptomyces lydicus microbe. Applied to the soil, the bacterium grows around the root system, protecting it from hamful pathogens while producing anti-gungals. Actino-Iron also contains fulvic acid and iron which feed the plant?.
For perennials, the effects last one growing season, for annuals; the life of the plant.

B-9 Folic Acid

There is little literature on the effects of B-9 on plants. It appears o serve in energy transfer within the plant and inhibits the enzymes that makes gibberellic acid resulting in a bushier dwarf-type plant without pruning.
B-9 can be applied as a spray or as a soil drench


Cellulase is a group of enzymes that act in the root zone to break down organic material which may rot and cause disease. Dead materials are converted into glucose and returned to the substrate to be absorbed by the plant.
It can be used in water gardens to clean up organic sludge.


Colchicine is an alkaloid prepared from the dried corns and seeds of Colchicum autumnale, the autumn crocus that also produces saffron. This pale, yellow powder is water soluble.

Colchicine is a very dangerous and poisonous compound that can be used to induce polyploid mutations in cannabis.
Clandestine breeders started polyploid strains with colchicines, but none of the strains showed any outstanding characteristics and cannabinoid levels were unaffected.

Rather than explain how to use Colchicine it’s best to advice not to use it; it’s very toxic and doesn’t seem to produce any real positive effects.


Cytokinins are plant hormones derivative of the purine adenine, the most common cytokinin being Zeatin. They’re synthesized in the roots in order to promote cell division, chloroplast development, leaf development and leaf senescence.

As an additive, cytokinins are most often derived from the Seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum.
Added to the soil, or sprayed on the plant, cytokinins help the plant make more efficient use of existing nutrients and water even in drought conditions. The result is a healthier plant and increased yield.

Care must be given to application of cytokinins along with other plant hormones since many commercial formulas contain cocktail which include hormones like auxins and cytokinins which work one against the other.

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Enzymes are biological protein catalysts that were first crystallized and isolated in 1926; they accelerate the rates of reactions but do not change themselves as a result of this action.
Enzymes are added to fertilizers and growth additives to accelerate biological activity and speed nutrient uptake by roots. Most enzymatic reactions happen within a temperature range of 30-40°C (85-105°F) and each enzyme has an optimal range of pH for activity. Most enzymes react with only a small group of chemical compounds that are closely related.

More than 1500 different enzymes have been identified, grouped in 6 main families.

Ethylene Gas

Ethylene gas is a growth regulator hormone that activates the aging and ripening of flowers as well as preventing the development of buds and retarding plant growth. It’s most often used by vegetable growers who force ripening of produce heading to market. In gardening, it may be used to trigger flowering in plants.

Flower Saver Plus

Flower Saver Plus is a commercial product that contains the Mycorrhizae fungus which enters into a symbiotic relationship with the plant by attaching itself to the root system.
Mycorrhizae threads enter into root tisse then grow out into the substrate reaching more water and nutrients than the plant could find on its own. In return, the Mycorrhizae receives a protected environment and the sugars they need to thrive.

Use of Mycorrhizae improves root depth, speeds up maturation and helps create resistance to drought and diseases. Larger, more robust root systems, also improve the soil structure promoting better air and water movement.
If you use Flower Saver Plus, it should be used at planting time either as a root bath or worked into the top 2 to 4 inches of the soil.
Look for a product that has at least 50 to 100 spores per square foot.

Warning: Seek medical attention if ingested and you should avoid breathing the dust or spray.

Fulvic Acid

Fulvic Acid is a naturally occurring organic substance resulting from the microbial action on decomposing plants.
Absorbed into a plant, fulvic acid will remain in the tissues and serve as a powerful antioxidant as well as providing nutrients and acting as a bio-stimulant.
It’s also known to be a excellent source of nutrition for Mycorrhizae.
Growers can create fulvic acid by composting or purchasing the product from retailer. It’s available in forms suitable for hydroponics or soil mediums.


Gibberellic Acid (GA) is a natural plant growth hormone which acts with auxins to break dormancy, stimulate seed germination and grow long stems.
GA can be purchased as a commercial product like Mega-Grow and is used to extend the grow season and force larger blooms.

For best effect, use GA in complement with fertilizer and mixed into the water supply. Results can be seen in as little as a few weeks.

According to the material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), GA is very hazardous to humans so be very careful!
It’s not very recommended to be used by humans.

Humic Acid

Humic Acid are carbons formed by the decomposition of organic substances, primarily that of vegetation. Applied to substate, it encourages the creation of strong tissue growth and helps in nutrient transport.

When applied, plants grow thicker foliage and are more resistant to drought and disease.
Poor soils can be improved by humic acid which enhances the water-holding capability and aeration in sandy soils, it also frees up nutrients stuck in clay soils.

Humic acids are extracted from humic substances found in soil. Colors range from yellow (fulvic acid) to brown (humic acid) and black (humin).
Fulvic acid is the fraction of humic substances that is water soluble under all pH conditions. It stays in solution after humic acid dissipates due to acidification.
Humin is the fraction of the soil organic matter that is not dissolved when the soil is treated with dilute alkali.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide (H²O²) is similar to water but carries an extra, unstable, oxygen molecule which can bread down into a reactive atom and either attach itself to another oxygen atom or attack an organic molecule.

Used in horticulture, hydrogen peroxide provides a host of benefits by cleansing water of harmful substances such as spores, dead organic material and disease-causing organisms while preventing new infections from occurring. It removes the methane and organic sulfates often found in well water as well as removing chlorine from tap water.

Hydrogen Peroxide is especially useful in hydroponics, where overwatering can be a problem. It prevents oxygen depletion in the water around the roots, leading to better root growth. A solution of hydrogen peroxide can be used to sterilize seeds resulting in better germination rates.

Hydrogen peroxide is dangerous at high concentrations (35%+) and will damage skin, clothing and most anything it contacts.
Lower concentrations like those found at the drug store (~3%) will still need to be diluted before use, though they are not as toxic to the gardener.

Indole 3 Butyric Acid (IBA)

Indole 3 butyric acid is one of the auxin growth hormones, most often used as an effective rooting hormone. Application of IBA helps generate roots, build a larger root mass and improve plant growth and yield.

Many commercial formulas are available in the form of water-soluble salts.

Cuttings can be dipped or immersed before planting. Roots can also be dipped or sprayed  during transplant; Drenching the soil is another solution before transplant.
Once established, plants should be treated at 3 to 5 week intervals during the growing season.

After harvest, IBA can be used to encourage regeneration of flowers.

Note: IBA is hazardous to humans and animals. It can cause moderate eye injury and is harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

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Isopentytl Adenine (IPA)

Isopentyl Adenine is a naturally occurring cytokinin which is synthetically manufactured as benzylaminopurine (BAP) for use in commercial biostimulants such as Rush Folia XCell Veg and Xcell Bloom.

Xcell Veg acts in the growth stage of the plant by improving the transport of nutrients. Glycine betaine in the solution provides a barrier to environmental stress. The product is used as part of an established feeding program. It can be sprayed on just before lights out or used as a soak in the growing medium.

Xcell Bloom also has anti-stress properties and improves nutrient transport. It stimulates flowering, reduces plant growth time and increases cell division, as well as lateral root growth.

Flowers are larger heavier and have enhanced colors after using IPA


Rhizobium is the name given to a group of bacteria which infect the root of legumes and create nodules that act in symbiosis with the plant. Rhizobia are host-specific and will not work with all crops.

With the proper host however, Rhizobia will improve Nitrogen fixation while simultaneously providing an additional source of Nitrogen. Rhizobium is most effective when added to irrigation, but it can be added to a drip or directly to the soil.

Benefits will depend on proper crop/Rhizobium match and re-inoculation is recommended every 3 to 5 years.


Spray-N-Grow is a brand name vitamin and nutrient solution that includes Barium and Zinc. It’s sprayed on plants to provide micronutrients throught the foliage, a technique said to be more effective than root nutrition.

Plants will grow faster, bloom earlier and more prolifically, have a larger root system, higher vitamin levels, minerals and sugar content.

Because it’s absorbed through the leaves, Spray-N-Grow works quickly. Tender plants will realize benefits faster than woody plants.


Molasses, honey and other sugars are said to increase soil microbials, enhance regrowth and make the plant’s use of nitrogen more effective. It will raise the energy level of the plant and acts as a mild natural fungicide.
Molasses is the “secret ingredient” in many organic fertilizers.

Trichoderma (002/003)

Trichoderma are fungi that colonize in the root zone, crowding out negative fungi and micro-organisms while stimulating root development and resistance to environmental stress. The result is a more vibrant, stronger plant.

Cannabis was the first company in the indoor grow industry to sell a commercial product as a growth promoter which contains trichoderma fungi.

Colorado State University studies indicate that Promot Plus, a product containing Trichoderma, is effective in suppressing pathogenic fungi that cause rot in the seeds, roots and stems.

The product can be applied to seeds, used during transplanting, mixed with liquid fertilizer or via drip irrigation, or even watered in. Canna’s trichderma contains living organisms that will reproduce after application, so a small amount will do a lit (it’s non-toxic and environment friendly.)


Zeatin is one of the cytokinin growth hormones. Upon germination, zeatin moves from the endosperm to the root tip where it stimulates mitosis.

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Until next time, Be safe and grow easy!

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