Why Do Indoor Plants Need Nutrients?

A blonde black woman gets close to her potted plants with closed eyes and a serene expression

There’s a reason grow tents are taking off in popularity. Growing indoors isn’t just therapeutic and potentially profitable–it can be much more reliable and controllable than growing outdoors.

Nobody wants to replicate the hail, locusts, and flooding of the outside inside, but there are still certain conditions plants grown in the ground can access naturally that you will have to provide alternatives for.

Plants grown in tents, especially biologically unique ones like hemp, need more than just light and water to have their metabolic needs met–they need nutrients!


Why do plants need extra nutrients?


A blonde man in a ponytail tends to several indoor plants
Photo by Vadim Kaipov

Light and water work to create essential sugars and strong cell walls for plants, but your medicinal garden needs just a bit more. Think of the sugars produced by photosynthesis the same way as you do the sugars you intake–they’re good, and necessary, but they’re not the only requirement for proper nutrition.

Macronutrients (calcium, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, and potassium) and micronutrients (boron, nickel, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chlorine, and iron) provide the building blocks of plant cells, enzyme production, and metabolic function.

You may see some life without introducing these elements, but a plant won’t thrive for long without them!

Stunted plant development means all the plant’s energy is being put towards just plain not dying. In the wild, this stasis would mean waiting for an animal to die nearby, or for nearby leaves to fall and rot–but (fortunately) that won’t be the reality in your indoor grow tent. That means no strong root development, no flowering stage, and no harvest!

Do plants grown in soil still need nutrients?


An assembly of multiple potted plants indoors including ferns, lillies, philodendrons, monstera, and rubber plants
Photo by Vaidim Kaipov



You may think that only hydroponic or coco coir-grown plants need added minerals, but that’s a total myth!

Even if you start out with the most compost-filled, worm castings covered, nutritionally whole soil you can find? Your plants are literally absorbing the macros and micros they need from it. And with nothing new decaying or depositing waste in the soil, eventually that dirt will be dead!

The alternative to supplementing the soil would be to periodically uproot your plant and put it in entirely new fertile dirt every few months, throwing out the old, or adding it to compost to start absorbing materials anew. With the levels of plant stress and people stress this presents? Mixing and feeding nutrients is a much better option.


What kind of nutrients should I use on my plants?


A blonde black woman gets close to her potted plants with closed eyes and a serene expression
Photo by Gaining Visuals

The plant world is incredibly diverse! What properly nourishes a medicinal hemp plant would kill a predatory sundew, and vice versa. Do your research on the family of plants you’re growing, and try to find an easy system of combined nutrients, rather than fussing over individual elements.

Want more info?


Professional grower and COO of Grow Strong Industries, Nick Schweitzer has tips and tricks on our YouTube channel now! Watch, learn, and tell us what you want to see next!

Nick Schweitzer, a bearded white man in a Grow Strong Industries cap, speaks to the camera

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