How CO2 Helps Your Plants’ Metabolism

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Laura Scudder

Often times, newer growers tend to believe that if you put up some lights and feed your plants good nutrients, you will get big yields. While these are factors in plant growth, the reality is that maximizing yields is about fostering photosynthesis and plant metabolism. That means maintaining temperatures, humidity, and adequate carbon dioxide levels. It is a delicate dance between balancing environmental factors, providing rich nutrients and listening to your plants that will ultimately lead to a bountiful harvest. Staying on top of CO2 levels while growing cannabis indoors, when combined with the right cultivation technique, can deliver you truly enviable yields.

Understanding the Basics of Photosynthesis

Anyone can throw together a rudimentary cannabis grow room, however, to get the most out of your garden, you have to understand the basic processes that lead to happy and healthy plants. Photosynthesis is the process by which all plants take in carbon dioxide, sunlight and water and convert them into energy. It is this energy that turns all of your hard work into the dense buds that you will come to harvest later. Increasing yields are all about maximizing the energy that your plant metabolizes from the nutrients you feed, and the environment that you create.

The Benefits of Increasing CO2

Optimal conditions for a cannabis grow are between 75 and 85 degrees, depending on strain, stage and a handful of other factors. Humidity levels should remain around 40-50% during flowering. There is an intimate relationship between temperature and humidity, however, the one thing that often gets left out of this equation is CO2. Carbon dioxide has a direct impact on the rate of metabolism in your cannabis plants. As temperatures rise, in order to keep up with the demand for increased metabolism, there has to be an injection of CO2. Increased CO2 facilitates the process of photosynthesis, and as a result can not only affect plant size, but the quality of cannabinoids contained within.

The Luxury of Indoor Cultivation

Indoors you have the luxury of being able to boost CO2 levels at will. This is one benefit to indoor cultivation. Increased CO2 levels, besides facilitating metabolic process, also aid the plant in fighting adverse environmental conditions. In a manner of speaking, CO2 helps to immunize the plant from things like air and soil contaminants, adverse reactions to physical damage, shifting temperature shock and a host of other potential problems. Carbon dioxide levels will often be the determining factor as to whether or not a plant pulls through in rough conditions.

Finding a Balance

Outdoors, the carbon dioxide levels are about 400 ppm, or parts per million. Plants themselves can handle a much higher concentration. To achieve optimal growth, indoor cannabis grow rooms should maintain a CO2 ppm of around 1200-1500. This means having sufficient light to bring temperatures up enough to balance the increased CO2. Finding the right balance between temperature, humidity and CO2 levels is the key to maximizing your plants’ metabolic processes and achieving the yields of which you once only dreamed.

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