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Can You Revive a Dead or Sick Cannabis Plant?

How to Resuscitate Sick and Suffering Cannabis Plants

“Can this cannabis plant be saved?” is a question any person ever to grow a cannabis plant has wondered at some point in their growing experience. Cannabis crops, whether one Blueberry Kush plant or a thousand, have particular vulnerabilities that need to be recognized and protected. Plants have a variety of needs. They have specialized requirements in terms of soil, air, light, water, and nutrients. However, even in the best of cannabis operations, things sometimes go wrong. Keep reading so that you’ll be able to identify and correct the various problems apt to occur in your cannabis crops before fatal damage occurs.

Healthy Plants

Growers need to learn as much as they can about what makes happy marijuana plants before they start with a new crop. This is the best way for them to maximize their time, money, and effort spent. It is imperative to recognize a healthy plant’s characteristics from the outset, as every problem encountered is a deviation from this norm. Pay close attention to your operation’s details, and you’ll catch any issues right as they occur.

Not all cannabis types have the same growing habit. Sativa plants will always be taller, with large fans and the most fingers. Indica plants are shorter, with fewer and fatter leaves. Ruderalis has small, slender fingers and average growth habit. Familiarize yourself at the outset with images of healthy plants of the strain you’ve chosen to grow, and you’ll recognize at a glance when your crop is thriving.

Healthy plants look like happy plants. They are green and uniform, and they thrive and grow without complications. Happy plants have branches that fan out perpendicularly from the stem and tilt up towards their light source. Each new set of leaves on a thriving plant has an increased number of fingers. Indica plants are typically darker green, but the lighter Sativa is still green and vibrant when healthy. The emergence of new leaves and vibrant color are more indicative of health than plant height.

Healthy plants have a few living requirements, that once understood and met, tend to be easy to implement, maintain, and repeat. They dislike heavy, clay-based soils and prefer rich, nutritious, well-drained earth. If grown in pots or buckets, they are happy as long as the grower meets their needs for oxygen, water, and nutrients. Marijuana and hemp grow well in hydroponic operations, so soil, strictly speaking, isn’t necessary. Plants require adequate air flowing around them as well as a steady supply of CO2.

Common Causes of Ailing Plants

Signs a plant is faltering include such symptoms as yellowing, spots, curling, wilting, holes, and more. When their distress is recognized early, many sickly plants are readily revived and put on the path to success. Successful growers pay close attention to their plants, examining them daily. Each one of these symptoms is apt to have multiple causes. It is up to the grower to scrutinize their plants and growing environment to determine what might be troubling their plants. The following are all issues within the grower’s control that affect popular strains of marijuana every day.

Problems with Watering

Water that is too alkaline or acidic may produce less than adequate results. Regularly test your water’s pH, adjusting it as necessary so that the pH is as close to neutral as possible. Depending upon how far along they are in their development, overwatering may cause plants to yellow, wilt, and could destroy their root systems if not adequately drained. Water on a regular schedule and use an appropriate means by which to water. Be gentle with seedlings. Use a mister to dampen the plants and the soil they are in, rather than a heavy spray that may knock them down and disturb their roots. The best way to tell if your plant needs watering is to feel if the soil is dry.

Nutrient Imbalances

Yellowing leaves on a previously thriving plant often indicate a nitrogen deficiency. Plants typically start yellowing towards the bottom of the plant and gradually work their way upward. Too many nutrients cause leaf burn, which is identified by the brown and bronze tips on the plant’s leaves. If the nutrients are not adjusted, this browning and twisting will continue to grow, inward towards the plant. Nutrient burn is almost always the result of using chemical fertilizers instead of organic. Chemical nutrients are accessible for the plant to absorb, but it is also easy for the plant to consume too many nutrients.


It is easy to overplant a grow room when plants are small. It seems impossible to imagine them filling the space. Plant no more than your area holds when fully developed, as air must circulate freely around each plant for them to receive sufficient CO2 and also, to keep it from developing mildew and disease. The fastest way to lose an entire crop is to encourage common problems by overcrowding the crop.

Root Issues

Plants with root problems will eventually fail to thrive, and their leaves turn yellow and even fall from the plant. Most root concerns stem from plants either being root bound, which happens when the plant outgrows its pot and its roots have nowhere else to go. They fill their container completely and thereby stunt the plant’s growth. Another widespread problem is inadequate drainage. Plants whose roots don’t drain are plants ripe for failure. It is essential that every plant have a well-drained and appropriately sized pot that is appropriate for the plant’s size.


Plants that are too hot or too cold will have leaves that curl up in protest. It is easy to tell when the plant is too hot because it will be the leaves closest to the heat source that will curl first. Plants that get shocked with cold are apt to curl and twist all over.


Pests are invaders such as aphids, ants, spider mites, caterpillars, and even vermin, in some cases. It may be necessary to check plants using a magnifying glass and an intense light as some pests are relatively small and are difficult to spot. Be sure to look on the underside of the Blue Haze or Auto Super Skunk plants’ leaves and the soil’s surface, as these are places pests like to hide. Remove any insects found with commercial pest control sprays or neem oil. Soapy water sometimes does the trick as well.


Nobody ever neglects their valuable cannabis plants on purpose, but sometimes life intervenes, things happen, and the plants don’t get their needs back. It’s a sad thing to come into a room filled with dead and dying plants. The dominant form of neglect comes from not enough water. It may be necessary to take your dead and dying plants and soak them in a bucket of water for an hour before gently repotting them. If the plants are not too far gone, they will recover by the next day. If you are so fortunate to recover a plant this far gone, treat it gently in the weeks to come as most plants don’t survive a second drought.

Product Quality Depends on Care

Most people seeking information on the Internet about growing cannabis are growing at home for personal use. Essentially, they wish to produce their crop of CBD Critical Mass or Critical Haze and to control every aspect of its growth. Cannabis, both CBD and THC varieties, offers numerous health benefits and frequently enables users to forego pharmaceutical drugs.

These individuals must learn best practices for growing cannabis if they are to produce a premium crop. The quality of care and attention that plants receive during their growing period reflects in their product quality. Competent home growers enjoy a fruitful and productive hobby while producing a quality consumable product. Some even go so far as to create their own favorite medicinal or recreational strains.

All over America, people one would never expect are quietly growing small amounts of medicine in their basements, spare rooms, and attics, for no other purpose than that they’ve figured out something that works for their particular problem. Marijuana aids and even cures a host of physical and psychological concerns such as anxiety, depression, nausea, ADD, chronic pain, PTSD, and more. They find real and lasting relief from this miraculous product they have learned to produce. All this is well and good, but those new to growing cannabis need to realize that their efforts are apt to be wasted unless they learn to read and interpret what their plants are trying to tell them.

In conclusion

One’s first crop’s success is apt to be contingent upon the grower’s observational skills. A grower who takes the time to learn everything possible about healthy plants’ characteristics, what the preferences are of the strain they have chosen to grow, and how to remedy any signs of distress that the plants display is a grower on the road to success. Take the time to plan out all the small details of your crop, from the strains chosen, to its location, ventilation, lighting, and all the rest, be attentive to your plants’ needs as they grow, and it is more than possible that the very first grow will yield an exceptional harvest.