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Troubleshooting common cannabis plant problems

While cannabis plants are generally resilient, they can have their issues. So, what are the most common cannabis problems you’ll encounter when growing from seed?

Let’s just dive into the questions:

Leaves, curling, drooping, or hanging

Watering any plant correctly is key to their survival and capacity to produce a decent sized crop. This is true with marijuana too.

This is normally an issue newbies will encounter, because experts might install a strict watering system. And this issue of over and under-watering is true for all plants.

The first sign that you’ve under-watered your cannabis plant is when the leaves start to droop and seem like they hanging. Also, growth will slow down. This is an easy fix: by simply watering your plant you will fix this issue within 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s worked if the leaves perk up.

If you’ve over-watered your cannabis plant the leaves will once again curl downwards, except they will be more rigid than the opposite problem. Growth will also slow down dramatically, and if not corrected will eventually lead to root-rot.

This will take longer to fix. You’ll need to ease off watering the plant for a few days. If you’re uncertain when to water again, check the soil around the roots and base of the plant. The soil should be dry within 2cm-5cm before watering it again.

What other troubleshooting questions are common?

Leaves have turned brown and crumble on the edges

While we all want our plants to grow up big and strong, some might become overzealous with the nutrients. Using less nutrients is always better for your plant.

Nutrient burn happens when you’re heavy handed with feeding your plant. What happens is your plant is now feeding too frequently and is taking up too much nutrients. The edges of the leaves will start to turn brown, look crispy, and growth will slow down.

This problem will always begin at the very tips of the leaves. If you plant starts to show signs of this nutrient burn, make sure to hold off on feeding it for a week or two.

You can flush the soil or just let it drain out over time. But how far the burn has travelled will determine your response. If half the leaves are burnt make sure to flush the soil. And if this is only the beginning, just stop feeding.

What are other common troubleshooting questions?

Troubleshooting leaves that are starting to get patchy

If you’re growing your bud indoors, you might put your plant under some light burn stress. This can happen in extremely hot places, but it’s unlikely. Grow lights can cause damage to the leaves if they are positioned too close to the plant.

The leaf will first begin to start turning yellow, then that will spread to other areas of the plant. These leaves will be at the top of the plant.

If you’re burning your leaves, move the lights higher and refer to the manual of your rig for correct distances. Also, they will have their own troubleshooting chapter.

Discolouration all over the leaves

When you notice that the leaves are starting to get a “cross-fade” look it’s most likely a mistake with the pH levels in the water. Cannabis people tend to get caught up in mixing all types of nutrients and new elements.

With the wrong pH level you’ll be forcing your plant into a nutrient lockout, which is essentially a type of shock to the plant, and eventually it’ll stop absorbing nutrients.

This is often the main problem with growers, and should be the first thing you check before looking for nutrient deficiencies. The correct level is around 5.8 – 6.2.

Bright yellow leaves

Nitrogen is one of the main macronutrients for most plants, including cannabis. Read the front of any fertiliser bottle and you will find N-P-K ratios, which are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and (K) Potassium.

When your leaves turn yellow, it is a lack of potassium and nitrogen. If you’ve got bananas you can chop up the peels and add them to¬† your watering jug. Then water the plant with this mixture.

Or you can buy an off the shelf product.

If your leaves are turning dark green and curling over, this is “The Claw”. To fix this you just need to simply provide less nutrients.

Your plant’s leaves will, however, turn yellow when the flowering period starts as the buds need the nitrogen.

Any other common troubleshooting questions?

Troubleshooting white powder

A very common problem for eager indoor growers is powdery mildew. This is a fungi and develops in hot and humid conditions, with little to no airflow around the plant.

If not treated it will spread throughout your grow area and stump growth.

You can purchase off the shelf products to treat this, or increase air flow with a fan.

Another issue with high humidity and low airflow is bud rot. This is when the flower starts to rot and will turn brown and mouldy. Any mould on your flower will make it useless. So, once again, keep an eye on your plant, up airflow and lower the humidity.


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