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The Osmosis Effect On Marijuana Plants


osmosis marijuanaYou have probably already heard of “reverse osmosis,” which is the process of changing salt water into fresh water.

Osmosis, on the other hand, is the process that retains the tension of the cells, maintains the plant and leaves’ correct positions, allows the buds to remain in ideal condition, and helps take in nutrients. It doesn’t use up any of the plant’s energy.

Definition of osmosis

Osmosis is primarily responsible for preventing marijuana plants from wilting or lying flat on the ground by retaining the cells’ tension. Osmosis applies not only to plants, but also to many other things in our world.

One such example would be the fact that a liquid with dissolved solids draws pure water. You can see this in action with a demonstration involving two containers of water partitioned by a semi-sealed membrane.

Water can move through between the containers, but solutes are unable to pass. Water will always move to the container with a higher concentration of dissolved solids, thus diluting it. This movement doesn’t need any energy to function, and it won’t stop until there is an equilibrium.

Like vacuoles in the cell, every cell has a semi-permeable membrane as its exterior. These membranes let water through, but most solutes are blocked. Vacuoles function as storage for nutrients, sugars, proteins, and more. Water is attracted to the high concentration of the vacuole, thus swelling the cell as far as the cell wall will allow.

The cell wall keeps the cell from popping by providing a counter pressure. This built up pressure and tension allows the plant to stand upright and its leaves to position themselves according to the light.

Osmosis is also integral in the opening and closing of the stomata, through which the plant “breathes.” Download my free marijuana grow bible.

Nutrient absorption by osmosis

Nutrient absorption (and the absorption of the dissolved salts inside the nutrients), which also involves osmosis, takes place in the cannabis plant’s roots. In this case, osmosis causes substances within one liquid to move to another liquid, through the semi-permeable cell membrane. These substances go from the substance with the greater concentration to the lower concentration. This involves movement of ions or osmotic pressure.

Because of this process, the type and amount of substances on either side of the cell membrane have a high level of importance. Let’s simplify things and say that the liquid (located in the plant and in the water outside) contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) ions.

Therefore, the type and quantity of the substances that are located on both sides of the cell wall are important. To keep it simple, let’s assume that the liquid in the plant and in the water just outside contains some N (nitrogen), P (phosphor) and K (potassium) ions.

Assuming the cannabis plant has already used some of the nitrogen ions, the plant’s concentration is less than the concentration of the water outside. Because of the principle of osmosis, new nitrogen ions will be attracted to the inside of the plant from outside. When both sides of the cell wall are in equilibrium (meaning the plant has enough potassium ions), then these ions will stay put. However, sometimes phosphorus could be pulled out of the plant and cause a deficit. This occurs when there are more phosphorous ions inside the plant than in the water outside.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis takes out the dissolved salts in water. This processed can be used in kidney dialysis, in laboratories, and also to partly finish a product that will eventually turn into beer or soda. It can also be applied to growing marijuana plants.

Usually, the ratio of dissolved substances in tap water does not matter for your cannabis plant, even if is present in a high concentration in your area’s tap water (i.e. a large amount of chlorine). Some would like to control exactly what their plant receives, however. If you fit this description, you can begin with demineralized water and add in other nutrients. Keep reading to learn how exactly reverse osmosis works.

A semi-permeable barrier partitions two containers with liquid inside of them. Water flows from the liquid with the higher concentration of solutes to the liquid with a lower concentration. This movement is not unpreventable, however; it can be reversed by putting pressure on the more concentrated liquid. It is possible to figure out how much pressure should be exerted in order to stop the water from passing through the membrane altogether. This pressure can be referred to as osmotic pressure.

If you add even more pressure, you can reverse the flow completely, and water molecules will begin traveling through the membrane and into the less concentrated liquid, thus achieving reverse osmosis.

To put it in terms of “clean” and “dirty water,” your extra pressure on the dirty water makes pure water enter the clean side. This creates even more clean (or demineralized) water, and a liquid or brine with a very high amount of salts in it. Demineralized water has a pH level of 7 and an EC of nearly 0.

Pay attention to a potential lack of calcium or magnesium when watering your plant with demineralized water. You should learn the hardness level of your tap water. It is usually assumed that you’ll water your plants with tap water, and tap water always contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium. It is important to note that reverse osmosis removes these minerals from the water.

Turgor and plasmolysis

The pressure that is exerted on a cell wall when that cell is under tension is called turgor. The cell’s capacity for drawing water from nearby cells or spaces between cells is what causes turgor. As the pressure increases, the cell membrane stretches and expands until it touches the cell wall. The cell wall creates a counter pressure, like a box that has a counter pressure on a balloon inside as it is being blown up.

Plants’ stiffness is caused by turgor. Turgor lowers when cells lose water (i.e. when the osmotic value of the surrounding environment is greater). When turgor gets too low, the cell membrane breaks off from the cell wall (plasmolysis). The cell dies after remaining in plasmolysis for too long.

If you want to start growing, download my free marijuana grow bible and order some marijuana seeds. All top quality marijuana seeds are available in my marijuana seed shop. We ship seeds to the US, CA and many other countries. For any growing related question please visit the marijuana support page.



About Author

Robert Bergman is a master marijuana grower. Robert Bergman is the author of 'Marijuana Plant Care' and 'The Marijuana Grow Bible'.


  1. Mi-Cree-Ni Quash-Mah on

    heres the thing though and this is not an original fact.
    when you stand up to speak the first (insert ethnic pride) always gets the arrows…..was that rosevelt? maybe einstien? anyway
    I do not live under a stone I am stone and I can read and speak as well?
    Robert Begman has done something JC and the boys have not attempted……..he put it together in a book you can download free.
    okay it is a bible meaning you can trust most of what is in it however redundant, it is nice to have a place to confirm what you may already know, like recognizing who your talking with when you start talking about organic farm practices. question one
    1. what kind of hat does the person your speaking with wear?
    2. are the fingernail polished …AND manicured?
    3. hair stylist or hand brushed shaved and trimmed.
    because organic does not mean the same to all growers. what I mean is there is only one source for solar/lunar energy and that my sisters and brothers is the open SKY above you, now how you handle you’re sanitation is a personal choice unless it is mandated by your local ordinances.
    as is what you eat or smoke publicly…….in the privacy of your own home within the state of Oregon at least you have a right to dignity and death. kind of like our national belief in peace and freedom. CANNABIS NO MORE REGULATION THAN HOME GROWN TOMATOES, and no more taxation no more value than the love it takes to grow sweet rich outdoor ORGANIC Medicinal use CANNABIS. families everywhere need to be able to cook and prepare their own foods including Cannabis extracts directly from their gardens. the processes of cold ethanol washes need to be taught by home economics teachers in high school laboratories. STOP THE CORPORATE TAKE OVER OF MEDICINAL FAMILY VALUES please dont become slaves again we have fought so hard children when you were with your elders and the best was always smallest or least available , remember the open hand that feeds the beasts is blessed with seed. the BHO BOYS are corporate whores rendering grease mills from flower anyway they can get it because the beast is greedy and wants to get Higher…..thing is any organic produce can be rendered into FUEL……just like soy beans, but I don’t think I would drink fuel as a habit anymore than drink ethanol as a habit.
    So the corporate take over is flanking our freedom to possess manufacture, and dispense our medicinal Cannabis compounds and extraction by requiring AUTHORIZED LABORATORY TESTING. which limits the family garden access to market the testing is misleading the public ……..Strong proven effective medicinal compounds have been tested with very low measure values same as measure THC and CBD levels supposedly within the compound , and no effective relief. the research is still out on delta 12 compounds the difference is WE USE THE MEDICINE WE DON”T SELL IT

  2. Mi-Cree-Ni Quash-Mah on

    LOL that maybe be true I have never been to class, people write stories about Native American Indians Though about how we do this or we do that…….Thing we don’t do is plagiarizer or steal….. when you draw a picture of what you see does it now belong to you?

  3. Bongstar420 on

    Funny..its very similar to what you would find in the introduction of a phytochemistry book which is also written in English.

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