Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is integral to the growth of a plant, therefore, it should be provided by you, the grower, to your plants. However, did you know that you can actually give too much and too little carbon dioxide? The amount of CO2 in the environment of a plant will affect the overall growth which will ultimately affect the yield that it will produce by the end of the cultivation. Needless to say, this information is very crucial especially if you are planning to get the most out of your plant by giving it the best.
So how exactly does the whole thing work? As we all know, Carbon Dioxide is used by the plant during photosynthesis and having too little or too much will affect the photosynthesis process and the plant altogether. In a normal environment, fresh air contains about 370 ppm worth of CO2 and is the standard rate for any plants. However, in a grow room, Carbon Dioxide can be used up very quickly by the plants, especially if the ventilation system does not provide extra CO2 circulation.
So how low should the ppm level of CO2 for it to be dangerous for the plant? Well, to put it simply, you wouldn’t want the ppm level of the plant’s environment to be below 200 ppm. The reason behind this is that if the ppm level is below 200, the growth of the plant will be impaired and limited. To make things worse, if the levels go lower than 100 ppm, the growth of the plant will completely stop. Yikes! As a grower, this is obviously not a good thing and you should strive to not let this happen to your plants.
Okay, now that we know the low level, how high should the CO2 be so that it is considered beneficial for the plant? Again, to put it simply, you will need to pump up the CO2 at about 750 ppm-1500 ppm. If your plants are in this kind of environment, they will definitely thrive and will increase their yield by about 30%-50%! Additionally, their growing time will be hastened by up to 10 days! It’s important to note, however, that any levels above 1500 ppm are wasteful of your resources while having a ppm beyond 5000 is very dangerous for your plants. If you have 5000 ppm or more of CO2 in a system, the stomata of the plants will close which will destroy the photosynthesis process. This will ‘burn’ your plants and will destroy your crops. Be warned!
Now that we know the benefits and the dangers of CO2,the next step is to know how to increase or decrease the levels in a system. To add the CO2 levels in a grow room, Dosers can be used. Dosers are steel (or sometimes aluminum) tanks that contain Carbon Dioxide under pressure. It comes with a valve and a timer which means they can be timed as to when they will release some of the CO2. In general, the Dosers should be turned off at night as the plants are naturally producing them then. An hour after lights on, the Dosers should be constantly turned on and off up to the last hour before lights out. It’s also better to give short bursts of CO2 instead of having a slow and steady rate. A Generator can also be used to increase CO2 levels in an environment especially if the grow room is relatively big. Whenever propane is burned out, it releases a lot of CO2 and water vapor (and heat!). One single generator should be enough to fill in 800 cu. Ft. of growroom! In general, growers use generators during the winter because it gives off extra heat which can be useful for the environment.
Here are some other tips on how to maximize the CO2 in a grow room:
1. Make sure that the room is properly sealed to avoid having a leak. Duct tape can be used to seal any rips or holes that the grow room may have.
2. Having blue light in your grow lights will stimulate the stomata of the plant, making it open wider.
3. Oscillating fans are good to create air movement. Make sure that every part of the grow room is experiencing some sort of air movement as to avoid forming a vapor barrier.
4. Keep temperature at the right level at all times. Warmer temperature hastens the photosynthesis process and the carbon dioxide intake. However, if the air is too hot, the plant will conserve water which is bad for the growth of the plant.
5. Make sure that the relative humidity is around 40%-60%. Anything less will close down the stomata of the plants which decreases the CO2 intake of the plant.
6. Use additives like humic acid to increase the efficiency of the photosynthesis process of the plant.
7. Organic CO2 boosters are also available to be used for that extra CO2 content
Carbon dioxide is really important in the growth of a plant and is sometimes ignored by growers. Now that you know better, make sure that the CO2 content of your grow room is just right to ensure a big yield!