Indoor Growing Issues? Here’s How to Identify Problems with Your Marijuana...
It sounds simple, growing a little plant. A little light, a bit of water…that’s all plants need, after all. Finding a guide to marijuana isn’t difficult either when the internet is right in our pockets. All it takes to grow a healthy and vibrant cannabis plant is following directions, right?
Not quite. There’s always unique challenges to growing any specific plant and environmental factors that are difficult to account for. Marijuana plants are temperamental – especially so if you’re attempting to grow them indoors. You can follow all the rules to growing that you read online, but chances are that you’ll still run into a unique issue with your plant.
So how do you fix it? How do you avoid the major problems that will damage the flowering production of your plant? The key is learning to diagnose these issues early on.
It’s all about the leaves
One of the easiest ways to spot developing issues with your plant is by looking at the leaves. Unfortunately, discolored leaves are a common symptom for a myriad of issues. To properly diagnose which is affecting your plant, you have to get specific.
Are just the tips of the leaves turning brown? Is the discoloration near the veins? Where are the leaves on the plant being affected? Are they drooping?
By answering these questions, you can give yourself a narrower group of issues to troubleshoot for. For example:
- Leaves turning brown – Brown leaves can point to a lack (or even an overabundance) of watering, too much light, or mineral deficiencies. The culprit will usually depend on where the browning is located.
- Yellowing of leaves – Usually a sign of either a nutritional deficiency or light burn. The quickest way to troubleshoot for this is decreasing the intensity of light near the plant. Move lights further away and see if that improves the condition.
- Leaves begin to droop – There are certain nutrient deficiencies that can lead to leaves drooping, but it can also be something like root rot developing. You’ll want to check how moist the soil is before doing anything else.
- Leave capping and pointing upwards – This is usually a sign of heat stress to the plant. You’ll want to lower the temperature by introducing some form of ventilation to remove heated air.
Identify what’s wrong and then ask yourself if there’s any other information you might be overlooking. Did the problem start with older leaves on the plant? Newer ones? Is it located on just one side of the plant?
When it comes to mineral deficiencies, many of the symptoms overlap. For example, iron and nitrogen deficiencies both cause leaves to yellow and potentially fall off. But an iron deficiency starts with newer leaves while a nitrogen deficiency begins with older leaves. You’ll have to notice these sorts of things to help your plant recover.
Your plant’s stressed out
A stressed plant doesn’t grow and it certainly won’t impress when it’s time for flower – and that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it? The causes for plant stress are actually pretty similar to what could stress a person: A lack of a consistent day/night cycle, nutrients, or consistent environment. These sorts of stress do not always produce obvious symptoms, but they can severely hinder your harvest.
The most important one to get right is the day/night cycle of your plant. If your plant is not getting enough light, it will enter its flowering stage prematurely. And if it’s in the flowering stage, too much light can confuse the plant and ruin your harvest completely.
The amount and types of nutrients your plant needs will change depending on what stage of growth the plant is in. A flowering plant needs much more potassium than a plant in its vegetative state. If you don’t take this into consideration, you’ll hurt your harvest without any signs that you’ve done anything wrong.
The key here is to be educated beforehand and disciplined with the most important factors for your plant. If your plant is in its vegetative stage, it needs 18 hours or more of light a day. Even more, it needs those hours uninterrupted.
When it’s time to flower, it needs only 12 hours of light – and more importantly, it needs 12 hours of complete darkness. If you hinder the dark phase for the plant, you might see a plant that begins to hermaphrodite and produce pollen sacs. And that’s a kiss of death if you wanted any meaningful harvest.
To eliminate problems, your best weapon is knowledge. Get yourself educated on the light cycle of a marijuana plant and learn what sorts of nutrients are most important for each stage of its growth. Focus on strictly following that cycle and keeping the environment around the plant comfortable. And if you do that and keep your eyes peeled for early signs of problem, you should be enjoying a great harvest in no time at all.
Author Bio:Alex Briggs is a contributing author for420growing.com. He regularly produces content for a variety of cannabis blogs.