Organic vs Synthetic Nutrients: Which should you use?

Deciding whether to grow cannabis with organic or synthetic nutrients can be a tough decision for a grower to make.

Both organic and synthetic growing methods have their benefits, but they also lack aspects that the other may not.


Growing organic is obviously the more natural way to grow compared to synthetic. Organic fertilizers and nutrients utilize biological components like animal and plant waste to promote a more natural growing environment.

A benefit of organic products is that they have a slower release time of nutrients into the plant, making it harder to overfeed or burn the plants. However, this can also cause problems if there is an issue that shows up late in the growth cycle, and a quick fix is needed to save the plant, as an organic product may not act as quickly.

Organic fertilizers and nutrients are renewable and sustainable, and over time can help create better soil. For outdoor growers, this creates a strong appeal for organic growing methods, as soil can be reused for multiple seasons.

Organics also have a greater chance of staying the soil, avoiding nutrient run-off. When quality of product and attention to natural growth is most important, organics are the way to go, though one can expect a higher price tag for organic products.


Another option for growers who want something more widely available that still produces a strong and complete product, synthetics are perfect for the commercial grower that demands consistency and quality.

Nitrogen, phosphate and potassium are essential for healthy plant growth. Synthetic compounds combine these elements into specific and exact mixes, so a grower can get the exact amount of specific nutrients they need, as opposed to working with and mixing organic products to find the right measurements and mix.

Synthetics are not without their downsides, however. One of the more prevalent cons to synthetics is the production of the nutrients themselves. Producing nitrogen and other compounds can be an expensive process, as well as taxing on the environment.

Additionally, it is much easier to overfeed and burn plants with synthetic nutrients. Compared to organic nutrients that take longer to work, synthetics work much quicker, and a grower used to using organic might use more than they need, damaging the plant.

A good analogy for organic and chemical fertilizers is the comparison between baking and cooking. Organics are like cooking. You can take away, add, and alter the recipe and find a unique delicious meal at the end of the day. Chemical fertilizers are like baking. You know what you have, and if you know what you precisely need you will end up with a beautiful loaf of bread. If you stray from the recipe, however, problems will arise.

A common issue that growers encounter with any added nutrients or fertilizers is not actually with the nutrients, but the soil’s pH. Traditional potting soils are not pH neutral and need to be adjusted in order to function properly. Adding in additional nutrients will alter the pH again, needing more adjustment to maintain proper levels.

Luckily, Growers High Porosity is a pH neutral medium, which means you only need to manage the pH after you add in your nutrients, whether they’re organic or synthetic.