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March 11, 2020 1 min read

Here’s the quick and dirty guide to the difference:

Cannabis needs three main chemical elements to survive, in addition to water, carbon and oxygen. They are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), commonly referred to in horticulture and cultivation as NPK. For all of you that fell asleep in high school chemistry the symbol for Potassium on the Periodic Table of Elements is K. That’s where K comes from. Don’t worry, nobody is going to ask you how many electrons Potassium has. Moving along now … 

N – Nitrogen – this is important for growth and how plants create energy. This occurs in what’s known as the vegetative state.

P – Phosphorus – helps plants take in minerals and nutrients. This contributes to big healthy blooms and flowers.

K – Potassium – helps plants regulate all of the systems and transactions that occur within the plant cell structures.

With that now understood, Grow, or Veg, nutrients are higher in Nitrogen.

Bloom nutrients are higher in Phosphorus.

The three digit ratio on the package of any nutrients will let you know the breakdown of NPK. For example, a Grow package reading “7-4-5” will contain 7% of available Nitrogen, 4% of available Phosphorus and 5% of available Potassium. You would use this mix in the earlier stages of your plant’s lifecycle.

Hope this helps.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please leave us a comment below or shoot us an email at

Nicole Schultz
Nicole Schultz

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