Earth is full of life and contains millions of microorganisms. Some of these tiny critters pose a threat to your cannabis plant. But others actually create alliances with the roots and boost the growth, vitality and yield of your plants. Different types of bacteria, fungi and nematodes patrol the rhizosphere. This is the slippery layer of soil that surrounds the roots of the cannabis plant. Although we often associate these microbes with decomposition and decline, many of them actually actively promote growth. Easy Roots Rhizobacter (4) View Weed plants are intelligent by nature. Even though they appear static to the human eye, in reality they are in constant motion and have a great deal of control over their environment. The plant actually “grows” microbes in the soil. By releasing sugars into the rhizosphere, it attracts beneficial species of fungi and bacteria. In exchange for these tasty carbohydrates, the microbes mine the soil for nutrients. In the process, they release growth-promoting plant hormones. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are soil microbes that help improve cultivation. In this article, you’ll learn how to use these tiny critters in the rhizosphere to achieve the greatest harvests possible.
What are plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR)?
Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria is a term that encompasses different types of soil bacteria that improve the health of cannabis plants. The term “rhizo” refers to “roots,” where these species like to reside. What draws PGPR to the roots? Compared to most of the soil, the rhizosphere is a rich source of nutrients. Microorganisms naturally like to migrate here. The cannabis plants release sugar molecules, also called exudates, to attract beneficial microbes. Species of PGPR are divided into two main groups: symbiotic species and free-living species. Symbiotic species live in plant tissues. There they exchange useful chemicals directly with plant cells. Some species live in the space between plant cells, while others invade the cells. Still others go a step further by merging their biology with the plant. They thus form unique structures made of both plant and bacterial parts. Free-living rhizobacteria, on the other hand, are found on the outside of the roots. Here they work to increase yield and protect plants from the stresses of flooding and disease. Free-living species colonize the outside of a cannabis plant’s roots. They form parts of communities that cover between 15 and 40% of the root surface. Here they cling to the root hairs and the gaps between cells. In the presence of sufficient nutrients, they cover the entire root surface and form a thick layer of bacteria.
What are the benefits of rhizobacteria for cannabis cultivation?
Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria stimulate cannabis plants in several ways. They assist in improving fertilization and stimulate root growth. In addition, they minimize stress and help clean the soil. Rhizobacteria assist cannabis plants to defend themselves against diseases and help in the battle for nutrients.
How do rhizobacteria promote cannabis growth?
Growers can use PGPR to promote the growth of their plants. You can, of course, use different nutrients, training techniques and lights to increase yields. Similarly, influencing the rhizosphere yields similar results. Some of the main ways that rhizobacteria promote plant growth include:
- Growth hormones: PGPR produce various plant hormones that stimulate plant growth. These molecules stimulate plant development by promoting cell division and cell growth.
- Nutrient uptake: rhizobacteria enhance the ability of cannabis plants to absorb nutrients. The plant relies on a fine balance of macro- and micronutrients to stimulate growth and photosynthesis and enable other metabolic processes.
- Security: these helpful microorganisms also ensure optimal plant growth through their “security” services. They prevent diseases from affecting the roots. Thus, they put an end to any attack that might slow down growth and jeopardize yield.
- Quality of the buds: the sought-after molecules in cannabis buds are cannabinoids and terpenes. Rhizobacteria influence the movement of nutrients and control some stress. This leads to enhanced production of these compounds and better holistic and recreational quality of cannabis buds.
How do rhizobacteria protect your cannabis plants?
Although they are beneficial to your cannabis plants, PGPR hinder the growth of other plant species. They compete against other microorganisms for complete control of resources. This helps cannabis plants stay healthy and strong. Besides repelling living organisms, they also strengthen your plants against the elements and adverse weather conditions. Rhizobacteria do a great job of keeping your cannabis plant healthy. This is because the plant provides them with a stable source of food and shelter. In return, they offer protection against various threats. PGPR protect your cannabis plant in the following ways:
- Creation of antibiotics: not all bacteria in the rhizosphere work well with cannabis. Many species pose a threat to the roots, which is perhaps the most essential part in the anatomy of the entire plant. By making antibiotic compounds, PGPR kill the bad guys.
- They prepare plants for battle: rhizobacteria produce their own pathogen-killing molecules. In addition, they encourage plants to produce their own molecules. By inducing a state of systemic resistance, they signal your cannabis plant to produce its own metabolites designed to fight pathogens and parasites.
- Environmental protection: cannabis plants produce the best results in a stable environment. Sudden increases in temperature, droughts or excess water, can have a negative impact on your cannabis plant. This leads to damage or stunted growth. Rhizobacteria increase the tolerance and resilience of plants. Thus, they can deal with these threats much better.
- Powdery mildew: many growers struggle with this fungal disease, leading to infected buds. PGPR protect against this devastating fungus.
How and when to use rhizobacteria?
Growers can protect their crops and improve yields by using PGPR to inoculate their plants. More and more farmers around the world are using rhizobacteria as an organic fertilizer to replace conventional pesticides and fertilizers. You can use these beneficial microorganisms at different stages of the growth cycle. Adding rhizobacteria suitable for cannabis plants to the seeds will give your seedlings the best start. Simply add about 1g of rhizobacteria to the hole in which you plant your seed. Have you already started growing and want to benefit from these microorganisms? Then use the same product and soak the soil to enrich the root system. Mix 1g of rhizobacteria thoroughly with 1 liter of water. Apply this formula once every 21 days to promote beneficial life in the rhizosphere. You can also include rhizobacteria in your strategy for repotting. In doing so, you’ll help your plants recover from stress faster. Sprinkle 1g in the hole before you introduce your plant to its new place.