Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Optimization of N, P, K for Soilless Production of Cannabis sativa in the Flowering Stage Using Response Surface Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 22 August 2021 / Approved: 24 August 2021 / Online: 24 August 2021 (08:40:44 CEST)

How to cite: Bevan, L.; Jones, M.; Zheng, Y. Optimization of N, P, K for Soilless Production of Cannabis sativa in the Flowering Stage Using Response Surface Analysis. Preprints 2021, 2021080460 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0460.v1). Bevan, L.; Jones, M.; Zheng, Y. Optimization of N, P, K for Soilless Production of Cannabis sativa in the Flowering Stage Using Response Surface Analysis. Preprints 2021, 2021080460 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0460.v1).

Abstract

Following legalization, cannabis has quickly become an important horticultural crop in Canada and increasingly so in other parts of the world. However, due to previous legal restrictions on cannabis research there are limited scientific data on the relationship between nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) supply (collectively: NPK) and the crop yield and quality. This study examined the response of a high delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabis sativa cultivar grown in deep-water culture with different nutrient solution treatments varying in their concentrations (mg L-1) of N (70, 120, 180, 250, 290), P (20, 40, 60, 80, 100) and K (60, 120, 200, 280, 340) according to a central composite design. Results demonstrated that inflorescence yield responded quadratically to N and P, with the optimal concentrations predicted to be 194 and 59 mg L-1, respectively. Inflorescence yield did not respond to K in the tested range. These results can provide guidance to cultivators when formulating nutrient solutions for soilless cannabis production and demonstrates the utility of surface response design for efficient multi-nutrient optimization.

Keywords

Cannabis; cannabinoids; nutrients; nitrogen (N); phosphorus (P); potassium (K); yield; response surface methodology

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