One of the most difficult aspects of marijuana growing for beginners can be trying to read plant language. Usually, when plants are struggling they will let us know by displaying it in some way. However, for those who are not used to plant language, a lot of the signs can look very similar. There is little more anxiety-inducing than something definitely being wrong with your plants but having no idea what. In this article we will have a look at all of the signs plants might put across to show that they are unhappy or unwell.
Stopped Growth – If the plants are too hot or too cold growth will come to a halt as temperature massively affects photosynthesis, root development and ability to take in nutrients via the roots. If the plants seem to halt growing that means they aren’t happy with the temperature. The temperature shouldn’t drop below 15 degrees Celsius or rise above 40 degrees Celsius. Luckily it likely isn’t too late to save the babies and if the temperature is corrected the plants should recover well.
Here are a few ways to stop the temperature from being a problem in the first place:
- If growing indoors keep the lights at a good distance from the plants to avoid excessive heat issues.
- If the temperatures are feeling a little low during the dark cycle it can be a good idea to pop a heater in with the plants.
- Keep a thermometer in the grow space to ensure the temperature is staying within the ideal range.
Mould – Excessive humidity in a grow space can cause all sorts of issues for the plants. Humidity primarily causes mould on plants which, if caught in time, can be treated. If the plant leaves or buds start to show wispy cloudlike mould the room is too humid.
In order to avoid or remove humidity ensure that:
- The room is well ventilated and gets plenty of airflow.
- If this isn’t going to be enough then a dehumidifier can be brought into the grow space.
- Watching the temperature and the humidity on a thermometer is always a good idea.
Airy Buds – This can be a common problem that links to a variety of issues throughout growing. If the buds seem loose and airy this could be because they are lacking in nutrients, high temperatures or poor lighting.
This is definitely one of the issues that can’t be fixed after the fact. It needs to be stopped before it starts:
- Ensure the plants get plenty of light, poor lighting is one of the big causes of airy buds.
- Keep a good eye on the temperature and ensure it doesn’t get too high using a thermometer and ventilating the room well.
- Do plenty of research and ensure the plants are getting all the nutrients they could need. There is a wealth of information online discussing the best times to give the plants which nutrients.
Drooping/Tired Leaves – This is a classic sign of plants that have been overwatered. If the plants are drowning or being over hydrated the leaves will begin to droop and curl under at the edges. The plants, in general, will look tired and fed up with weaker stems.
This isn’t too bad if plants start to droop simply leave them alone for a few days and allow them to dry out. Alter the watering routine and ensure the plants aren’t being over mothered.
Wilting Leaves – The leaves withering and wilting is usually a sign of underwatering. If plants don’t get enough water they can literally die of thirst. The leaves will start to die first and so they will start to wilt at the ends and turn yellow. Even small spots of yellow on the leaves is a sign they are thirsty, the whole leaf does not need to go yellow.
Again underwatering is simply an issue with the grower and can be changed immediately. If the leaves wilt just increase watering slightly, don’t go overboard, and they should perk up.
Other Discolouration on Leaves – Unfortunately, cannabis plants are not as simple as the average house plant. Cannabis plants need a complex variety of nutrients, so first let’s look at how we know if they aren’t getting enough.
Nitrogen – If a plant is deficient in nitrogen the lower leaves will start to turn yellow during the vegetative and flowering phase. Some of the lower leaves may also begin to fall off and the yellow may travel up the plant. If it gets to the higher leaves then there is likely a serious lack of nitrogen going to the plants.
Potassium – Again the bottom leaves will start to change but they will turn a tan/brown colour. They may start to get brown spots on the leaves which show the plant is struggling to take in potassium. If left the spots on the leaves will turn a reddish colour and the plant will slow down in growth.
Phosphorus – If the plant is lacking in phosphorus the growth will slow and the oldest leaves may start to show signs of trouble. The leaves will turn a darker green before patches of blue and purple start to show up. The edges of the leaves may start to turn brown and will begin to wilt while other leaves turn yellow.
In order to sort out nutrient issues simply recognise which issue the plant is experiencing and purchase a soluble version of the correct nutrient. This can be introduced into the plant with watering or added to the nutrient solution with hydroponic growing.
Of course, there is a lot more to cover when it comes to growing issues, but these are a few of the most common. Look out for more detailed articles discussing pests, mould and other nutrient deficiencies coming in the future. Try to listen to plants as much as possible, they are usually going to tell us if something is wrong.
Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.
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