March 13, 2017

Identifying Marijuana Leaf Issues

March 13, 2017
Marijuana leaf problems could be caused by a number of factors.

The cultivation of marijuana has been taking place in the United States for many decades. There is a lot of misinformation out there, but the best thing to do is to give cultivation a try if it’s a passion of some kind. When standing in that grow room, there is an amazing euphoric feeling one gets along with a deeper appreciation for mother nature that hopefully everyone gets to experience once. Granted it can be a tedious process that requires a lot of patience and persistence from start to finish.

Using a building as an analogy, growing is quite similar. It requires a solid foundation before anything else, especially when dealing with marijuana plant problems. Without the proper base, one can spin their wheels trying to identify cannabis plant problems. For example, when dealing with issues like marijuana leaf problems, it can feel like you’re jumping into the deep end with hungry, man-eating sharks waiting below. In some cases the water was chummed before, so you can imagine how high your anxiety level is at this point. Some growers will go through this feeling when things go wrong or if they are just dealing with something new. Let’s properly prepare you to avoid some of these marijuana issues from ever happening. The main focus of discussion here is identifying common Marijuna leaf issues. 

Leaf damage identification is vital, and here is a list of things that any marijuana grower should know before actual cultivation occurs: 

  1. Geography and location (temperature) 
  2. Genetics (about the plant)
  3. Growing medium/media (depends on the other 4 factors)
  4. Nutrient regimen  (depends on 1 and 2 if equipment is accessible)
  5. Equipment (depends on 1, but also 2 and 4)

Now imagine taking this simple list of those five (5) items and applying it to a 200 acre property or a 50,000 square feet indoor grow space. Then Imagine opening a can of worms there like spider mites, which is something that can be identified through leaf conditions as well, but that’s for a different time. 

Going back to explaining the building analogy, roots are a plant’s foundation. Much like the one (1) ton beams or concrete walls that are placed in a building for structural support. When damaged everything starts to crumble: cracks in walls, broken glass, etc. The outer shell shows more damage than internally. This is why leaf damage identification early on can help prevent the downward spiral effect of that Dr. Who strain of yours. Visually inspecting the marjiuana plants and addressing the issues at the foundational level will bring you good fortune. 

What Causes Pot Leaves to Curl Up? 

There are three main possibilities if no external factors are playing a role. The ailing of your plant could be due to pH imbalance, moisture/improper watering methods, or lastly, nutrient deficiency. Marijauna leaf discoloration will shortly follow these systemic wrongs until corrected by the grower.

The leaves are the plant part farthest away from the vital root system needed to keep the plant alive. When the plant goes into survival mode, leaves are the first parts showing visible changes to the naked eye. 

How To Diagnose Plant Problems: How Do You Identify Nutrient Deficiency In Plants?

Other than knowing those five key elements like the back of your hand, checking the soil and flushing the marijuana plants with pH balanced water can help one initially identify nutrient deficiency. The big telltale sign of trouble is discoloration of the leaves. When the leaves start turning or dying, they will change in color from yellow to orange, or even brown. Like I mentioned above, it’s a grueling process from start to finish. Observing the process is the standard to a master grower; this is why cultivators go into their grow rooms daily to provide proper pot plant maintenance. Despite this constant, tedious work, tending to the plants is a therapeutic experience.

The grower is enjoying his or her time there, but also observing and monitoring the moisture level in the soil and what the leaves are doing; the subtle changes will always provide you with insight of how your plants are living.  Using temperature control modulators and equipment for checking pH level are all vital tools.

Before that, being able to properly eliminate and rule out the small stuff is how one would perfect their ability to do a plant problems diagnosis to verify that it’s a plant nutrient deficiency symptom. Make sure it’s not an overwatering or underwatering problem so you can quickly move towards nutrient deficiency. This is why growers check their soil and will always consider their method of feeding: top-down, bottom-up, or a hydroponic grow. This goes back to knowing equipment and systems as well as media. Certain mediums such as Coco Coir can cause drainage problems and make it more difficult for water to be expelled from the root system. 

By checking the soil, one can observe if there seems to be stagnant water sitting in the plant’s soil causing root rot or even if the dehumidifiers are too high and the fan direction is wrong, which causes the opposite  effect of drying out the soil. From my experience, hydroponically grown plants do not have the same issues when done correctly. 

The first two items on the above list are the next part of the process of elimination: genetics and geography. Each strain of the cannabis plant requires a variance alternative set-up or process to maximize it’s yield. This means the Nutrient regimen of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sulfur (S), and so on are altered. Growing in Alaska is quite different than growing in California. Missouri has high humidity in the summer (over 70%); therefore, the grower will have to compensate for these things. This is why location is a factor (indoor and outdoor). Variable Control is key and the more you understand these things the better off as a grower you will be. 

What Causes Leaf Damage?

Leaf damage can have a wide range of causes. Temperature can cause issues with your soil and can cause damage to your roots, which affects your plant’s leaves. Lighting can cause damage; if the UV lights are too intense or narrowly focused, the plant struggles. This is the same with underlighting – if you ever had multiple strains in a room, they will fight each other for sunlight and attempt to block the other plants from growing. Again, observe and ask yourself, what are my plant leaves telling me?

If you are noticing the leaves curling up and the soil is overly moist, this could mean you have root rot, or a parasitic fungus attacking the healthy root of the plant. 

How Do You Treat Nutrient Deficiency in Plants?

Depending on the problem, you want to observe, act, and reflect introspectively. For example, let’s say the growth of the plant has slowed down and the plant is looking worse for wear. Leaves are becoming yellow, dry, and will eventually turn brown. You know you haven’t been maintaining the proper pH balance. You immediately fix that issue by flushing the medium with 6.0 pH water. You also add 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom salts to about 4L of water. Observational response plant therapy is what this is. 

Can Damaged Leaves Heal? 

Yes, damaged leaves can heal, but fixing the problem and performing pot maintenance would be better. The leaves don’t necessarily revive and they are almost a lost cause; however, defoliating or removing them once the issue is under control will only cause the plant to heal and grow from those areas (dependent on the plant life cycle and growth stage).

Additional Reading on Cannabis Cultivation

From reviews of certain top strains of cannabis to the latest online news regarding the legalization of marijuana, at The Weed Blog we are committed to relaying valuable information to you. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out these other top tier articles regarding cannabis cultivation!

What Beginners Should Consider When Starting A Marijuana Grow

What Is The Best PH Level For Marijuana Plants?

Growing Your Own Marijuana Is Very Rewarding, Which Is Why More And More People Are Doing It


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