Plants need certain essential elements to produce their food, flourish, and yield. Cannabis plants are no exception. One such important element that cannabis needs to thrive and yield properly is carbon dioxide (CO2).
When you’re growing indoors, you can run short of this supply, forcing growers to device means to add CO2 to their grow rooms. Dry ice is one of the ways growers avails C02 to their plants.
Thus, dry ice is frozen CO2 that you can buy from supplies shops. It isn’t as commonly used as other ways of making C02 like fermentation because it is labor-intensive.
Can You Use Dry Ice To Feed Plants?
You can feed your plant dry ice to supplement C02 in your grow room. Feeding the plants C02 improves yield since it uses light and CO2 to create sugar that spurs its growth. Dry ice is an organic way to supplement the much-needed resource, C02, in enclosed growing spaces.
Dry ice is a clever way to supplement CO2 in your grow room and improve your yield. The problem why it is mostly not practical is its too expensive, labor-intensive, and lacks control.
Besides drilling a small hole to release the gas slower, you have no other way to control the saturation of CO2 in the grow room. It also means, once you begin to release the gas, there’s no stopping, and that can waste your CO2 as it can go beyond 1500 ppm, and it will still be releasing the gas.
If you opt to break the ice stone into myriad tiny blocks and sprinkle them on strategic positions within the tent, they will melt faster, which might force you to add the blocks repeatedly to saturate the grow environment for long.
When you don’t have the valve to control its release, dry ice becomes out of reach of most growers. Exorbitantly expensive for small grow rooms.
Most growers who supplement CO2 in their grow rooms use the tank method or buy burners. These are way cheaper and give them control of the whole process.
When supplementing CO2, it’s better to saturate the grow room, then let the plants consume it before adding more. This calls for an automated system that releases the C02 until 1500 ppm then stops.
RELATED READ: Does CO2 Speed Up Flowering?
Sometimes you stumble on golden nuggets on grow forums. Other times you find step-by-step guides in these forums. On rare occasions, you find both from one response. Here is a short guide on how to make CO2 with yeast and sugar while still giving you total control of the process:
Note: CO2 is denser is than air. Thus you should apply it atop the plants so that it falls on them like snow. If you discard them on the ground, a lot is lost without saturating the plants.
Pros Of Using Dry Ice To Feed Your Cannabis Plants
The concept of adding CO2 is to hasten the plant’s processes. When you supplement CO2, you’re creating a safe range to increase other plant food production factors, like lights and humidity.
In fact, if you increase C02 saturation without adjusting the lights and nutrients to deal with the new levels of CO2 in the grow tent, they won’t affect your plants.
Though there are other methods of supplementing CO2, here are reasons why others still use dry ice in their grow rooms;
- Ease of use— Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It is a ready product; thus, you won’t have to deal with manufacturing CO2 yourself. Someone else has done that! What most growers do is simply break it into small chunks and discard at various points in the grow room, or suspend it above the grow lights and let it rain down on the plants. Easy peasy!
- Small initial cost— Dry ice is cheap when beginning because you won’t need to fiddle with controls. All you have to do is purchase dry ice and let it melt in your grow room. You can begin using dry ice for under $5.
- Dry ice doesn’t release heat in the grow room— Dry ice doesn’t emit heat, unlike other CO2 injection methods that raise the temperature of the grow room. Dry ice will make your plants feel cooler.
Cons Of Using Dry Ice For Your Cannabis
Most growers who want to supplement CO2 to enhance their plant’s growth and yield avoid using dry for the following reasons;
It is expensive— A pound of dry ice costs between $2-$4 (depending on where you shop) and will melt away quickly when the lights are adjusted for optimal plant performance. It means you’ll have to reapply every other hour to keep the supply steady, making it expensive. Think of using 10 pounds of dry ice for 24 hours stretch; that’s unrealistically expensive for a small grow.
It’s involving— Using dry ice involves a lot of topping up to do, and you have to do it repeatedly because dry ice melts faster.
Can’t be stored for long— Unless you invest in proper dry ice storage, you will be forced to use the blocks immediately, forcing you to be going for new blocks of dry ice every time you need to use them.
You have no control— The problem with dry ice is that you can only control the size of the opening through which the gas passes, but you can’t regulate the concentration of CO2 in the air.
Risk of frostbite— Dry ice can burn your fingers if you handle it carelessly. Always wear gloves, preferably leather, when touching dry ice.
In conclusion, you can use dry ice in your grow room to feed your plants enough CO2. Supplementing CO2 helps your plants grow faster and fatten buds. Having higher concentrations in the grow room also reduces THC wastage because it inhibits the oxidation of THC that forms on early trichomes.
However, using dry ice as a long-term means to feed your plants CO2 isn’t sensible because it gets expensive. But for a small grow space, and when you only want to give the plants the ‘bomb’ a day or twice a week, then it’s practical.