Cannabis cultivation is a rewarding, fun pastime. Every so often, though, nature and bad luck can disrupt growing activities. Though we cannot cure everything, the knowledge in this guide will help you identify and avoid some of the most common problems found in marijuana grow ops across America, from Oregon to Ohio.
Nutrient and pH Imbalances
Imbalances and fluctuations in soil or feed pH can be disastrous for cannabis seed growers. However, this problem is one of the easiest to point out and to resolve. Hydro and coco growing media should be at a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Soil is a bit more forgiving, and because it acts as a buffer, it can have a pH of up to 7.5. Each strain has a fertilizer preference and a pH sweet spot, and only hands-on experience and time will help you find it.
As the plants grow, imbalances from the usage of poor-quality nutrients and over-feeding can spell trouble. When cannabis plants have wilted, discolored, and burned leaves, it is typically due to nutrient lockout or nutrient burn. In either case, the pH is unbalanced, and a pure water flush may help solve the problem.
After a flush, you will have to evaluate multiple factors when identifying and treating the problem. Testing water runoff with a pH tester will offer some clues, as will a visual inspection of the plants. Using pH-balanced nutrients is an easy and efficient way to prevent these problems in the future.
Overwatering and Underwatering
Sickly, droopy plants may suffer from under- or overwatering. In both cases, the plants’ roots are suffering, and their growth will stop. Until countermeasures are implemented, plants will deteriorate and become more vulnerable to disease and pest infestation. It is possible to determine the nature of the problem by evaluating the growth medium and evaluating the plants’ watering schedule.
When growing in standalone containers, the easiest way to gauge the need for water is to lift the pot. If the pot feels light, the plant may need water; if it feels waterlogged, it is okay to wait. Hydroponics setups are more susceptible to under- and overwatering. Be sure timers are properly set and keep an eye on water pH and plant behavior. Underwatered plants are droopy, with yellow sagging leaves and a dry growth medium. Though overwatered plants may look similar, the medium will be wet, and the roots may give off a foul odor.
Of all the problems in this guide, over- and underwatering are the easiest to correct. Try to adhere to a feeding and watering schedule and monitor water runoff and plant behavior when setting up a wet/dry cycle.
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