Plants take up nutrients through their rooting system from the medium they are grown in. This medium can be of natural origin, such as peat or coco, or can be artificial, such as rock wool or clay pebbles.
Some plant species, such as many orchids and other epiphytes (plants that grow non-parasitically on other plants) take up nutrients through their leaves. They mainly use their rooting system for holding onto the branches or other structures on which they are grown.
Nutrients can be divided into macro elements and micro (trace) elements. Macro elements include:
These elements are taken up by plants in relatively large quantities. The first three are known as primary nutrients N, P, and K. The next three are secondary elements Ca, Mg, and S. Minor or trace elements are used in smaller quantities. Trace elements include (amongst others):
In spite of being consumed in tiny amounts, this last group of nutrients is still vital for a plant’s metabolism and health. Carbon (C), Oxygen (O), and Hydrogen (H), not listed here, are nutrients as well, but obtained from the environment.
Even if all nutrients are available to a plant in optimum quantities, the actual uptake depends on the plants’ health and metabolic rate. This is an important distinction. It is here where a metabolism boosting product can play a key role. In addition to a balanced fertilization regime, a booster can help in optimizing a plants’ performance and allow it grow to its full potential.
Over the last decade a number of boost style products have evolved worldwide that claim to do just that: speed up the plants metabolism and improve its nutrient uptake. The actual content of these products vary widely, which means that not every booster is of the same quality. Many don’t even speed up the plants metabolism process but are just Phosphorous-like fertilizers that were given the name booster.
So, what makes a good booster product? CANNA feels it is a product, preferably natural, that elicits a response from the plant where the metabolism increases overall and achieves secondary benefits such as:
Certainly over-loading Phosphorous is not an option. However, plant extracts, crude, dried or fermented, have been documented to provide a significant range of influence in certain aspects of plant growth, development and even plant health. These plant extracts are the building blocks of true boosters.
A metabolism booster also achieves secondary benefits such as a heightened immune response, faster finishing and increased quality
How it affects these areas is answered in part by the typical composition of a (fermented) plant extract. While not supplying enough nutrients to be a stand-alone fertilizer, it does contain relatively high amounts of micro-nutrients. Also, it is is rich in plant-derived substances like vitamins, carbohydrates and amino acids. All these items come together to affect the growth and development of a plant, at low doses, and in a purely natural way. They supplement the fertilization of fruit and vegetable crops through soil or leaf application.
CANNABOOST was launched by CANNA in 2007 after an extensive research project to develop a better plant growth booster than anything available on the market. The resulting product is a liquid metabolism elicitor with high energy content, and without any added plant growth regulators.
Some of the active ingredients of CANNABOOST are derived as by-products from the production of bio ethanol and yeast, through the fermentation of molasses from sugar cane or sugar beet and palm. These by-products are called carbohydrates.
It is important to note that there are many forms of carbohydrates, the general term for sugars. It means simply that it is a hydrate of Carbon (Carbon with a water molecule attached).
There are many forms of sugar. The basic molecule is a single saccharide (monosaccharide). Basic monosaccharides include glucose and fructose. When these two monosaccharides link they become a disaccharide (sucrose or table sugar). Both mono- and disaccharide carbohydrates are termed sugars and are edible sweet substances.
They are also the basic building blocks for everything structural in a plant cell and serve as an energy source for processes inside the cell. These saccharides can link together with themselves to form a polysaccharide polymer, for example cellulose is a long chain structural polymer polysaccharide that is linked together in such a way as to form permanent bonds making it a durable molecule. Starch is the same molecules linked in a different way to form a long chain storage polymer that is easily broken down.
When there is a limited number of these saccharides put together, usually three to ten, and linked to other molecules such as amino acids and proteins, they form polymers and are known as oligosaccharides (meaning “a few”). They are not sugar but carbohydrate based polymers. These tend to serve as ways cells recognize each other, a simple example in humans is blood groups where oligosaccharides take A, B, or O forms in the blood cell’s walls.
A microscopic picture of plant cells
In CANNABOOST, the oligosaccharide polymer is one of the important elements, with the specific group of oligosaccharides of interest coming from the breakdown of the plant cell as well as the fermenting microorganism cells into specific length and form carbohydrates.
This is accomplished through a very long fermentation process where the plant is first rendered into a thick substance with a high saccharide content that also contains many other components including vitamins, proteins, amino acids, and many minerals; this is known as a molasses soluble.
Then the fermentation process begins that reduces the simple sugars into ethanol, which is removed, and the remaining components are converted into what becomes CANNABOOST, a specific mixture of oligo- and polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins, other polymers, and other compounds. The process is a very long term process involving many steps with the correct sets of microorganisms to arrive with exactly the right product over and over again. It is neither an easy nor an inexpensive process.
The oligosaccharin products that make up CANNABOOST act as triggers for the plant cells. They trigger the heightened metabolic processes and have been shown to increase activities including energy production, photosynthesis, metabolite production, gene activation, and so forth. The remaining components in the BOOST serve to enhance and support these activities including providing certain levels of important nutrients. In the end, there is no molasses remaining. It has been rendered into many components through modern natural and organic chemistry. These, together with the trace elements and other remaining components that are contained within CANNABOOST, directly interact with a plant cells’ metabolism process. CANNABOOST is an all natural carbohydrate based product but contains little sugar and zero added plant hormones.
CANNABOOST can be used as a foliar
spray for a more immediate effect
CANNABOOST can be used as a supplement when feeding the plant. When used in combination with any of the CANNA line of liquid fertilizers, the product has a positive effect on root growth and plant development.
The oligosaccharides in CANNABOOST give the plants’ root cells an extra energy shot, allowing a faster uptake of the minerals available to them.The improved mineral uptake in turn, also helps increase flowering and increases the quality of taste and smell.
Taste and smell is usually based on the mix of sugars, acids and minerals contained within the fruit, and the metabolites they form. CANNABOOST will also elicit a strong response in the plant’s immune reactions, photosynthate production, and metabolic rate.
Alternatively, CANNABOOST can be used as a foliar spray, where it is applied to the leaves for an immediate boost of photosynthesis. Due to the amount, type, and source of oligosaccharides in the product, the plant cells in the leaves create additional energy that remains available to produce sugars and carbohydrates, which are then available to provide more abundant flowering and better quality fruit. Although foliar spraying can trigger a more immediate boost, the total amounts needed to obtain the same result as feeding through the root system are higher in the end.
The recommended concentration of the CANNABOOST varies from one application to the other; for a soil or hydroponic application, a dilution of 20 to 40 ml BOOST in 10 liters of water (8-16 ml/ Gal) is to be used as the product is dispersed in the soil or plant medium and will take longer to reach the active root area.
For a foliar application a dilution of 20 ml BOOST in 10 liters of water (8 ml/Gal) is sufficient. A leaf application can be viewed as having a more immediate effect, but the grower will have to use it more frequently to get the same result as a soil or hydroponic application to the root system.
In general, a 20 to 40 ml range gives the optimum results. A further increase in the dosage will flatten out the additional growth levels and very high doses might even harm the plant’s development. It will always be up to the individual grower to determine what dosage works best for their particular crop.
Fig. 1: A trial conducted by CANNA Research on Oriental Lily varieties clearly demonstrated the effect of the CANNABOOST dosage: an optimum in the 20 to 40 ml range (8-16 ml/Gal) and a decreased and even a negative effect with a further increased dosage.
CANNABOOST is specifically developed to give the best results in combination with an optimal fertilizer regime (for example with CANNA nutrients for flowering plants). Equally important to note is that CANNABOOST should be used with PK 13/14 as it supplies the extra levels of Phosphorous and Potassium a plant needs for optimal flower/ fruit development, over a limited and defined period of time. PK 13/14 should still be used when the first flowers appear inline with current feed schedules.
In general, it is not at all wise to mix fertilizer brands. CANNA fertilizers contain all the necessary nutrients a plant needs for optimal growth when used per the feed schedules. Other liquid fertilizers may have a destabilizing effect on the substrate and do not necessarily contain the optimum mix (ratio) of nutrients.