Manganese Deficiency in Cannabis Plants
Multiple nutrients are necessary for healthy marijuana growth. If your plants are deficient in any of the prime nutrients, the quality of bud is going to suffer. Manganese is a trace mineral and is often found in iron. You must be able to recognize the signs of manganese deficiency and know how to combat it, for healthy marijuana plant growth.
Manganese Is an Essential Mineral for Marijuana
Manganese is an essential mineral that helps with dissolving enzymes, chlorophyll production, and the photosynthesis process. Without this crucial mineral, your marijuana plants are going to start suffering. It is essential to know the warning signs to look for, so you will know when intervention is required.
Symptoms of a Manganese Deficiency
If you pay careful attention to your marijuana plants, it will become clear if there are nutritional deficiencies. Being able to notice the signs of manganese deficiency is critical because it will allow you to take the necessary measures to protect the health of your crops. If you see any of the following, manganese deficiency is likely a problem.
Changes in leaf color:
- New leaves start turning yellow
- The veins of the leaves remain bright green, despite the yellowing
- Pale coloration in the leaves
- Brown spots that spread and destroy the entire leaf
- Speckled, patchy patterns of leaf damage and darkening
- Lower leaves start to yellow
- New leaf damage occurs quickly
- Older growth begins to experience damage
- Yellowing between the green veins on the leaves
- Decreased leaf growth
- Strange growth patterns
Marijuana plants that are lacking manganese will also experience a very slow growth rate. You will notice the growth of the plant seems stunted, and despite proper watering, the plant is simply not thriving.
Should you notice any of these signs, your plants likely have a manganese deficiency. Problems with manganese can also end up leading to issues with iron.
Unfortunately, manganese deficiencies can cause great destruction very quickly. If growers do not pay careful attention to their plants and notice the yellowing and other changes, their entire crop could be wiped out in a short amount of time.
Preventing a Manganese Deficiency
It is always easier to prevent a manganese deficiency than trying to correct it once it occurs. Two of the main culprits for manganese problems are a high pH and too much iron.
Maintaining the Right pH Level
Your marijuana plants are going to be able to consume manganese at a much better rate if the soil pH remains between 6.0 and 7.0. Many growers are successfully able to prevent manganese deficiencies by using hydroponic systems to grow their marijuana. For the right level of manganese consumption with a hydroponic system, you will want to keep the pH between 5.5 and 5.8. The closer you can get to a 5.8 pH, the better the absorption rate will be for your plants.
Maintaining the Right Iron Level
Iron and manganese are two critical nutrients cannabis plants need. Unfortunately, the two compete for absorption. If one is too high, the other level will typically drop dramatically. The symptoms of iron toxicity include the following.
- Bronzing of the leaves
- Speckled dark places on the leaves
If you see either of these signs, it means there is too much iron, which has likely caused the manganese levels to drop drastically. You will see the leaf discoloration begin to occur because the plant is attempting to fight the free radicals that are being created due to the abnormally high iron levels.
One of the most common reasons for iron levels becoming too high is the use of a chelated iron and adding it directly to the soil of marijuana plants. It is easier to control nutrient levels in hydroponic systems, which is why so many growers prefer growing in water.
Know the Difference
It is essential to understand that it is quite easy to mistake manganese deficiency for an iron deficiency. If you mistakenly believe your plants just need iron and start supplementing, the manganese deficiency will worsen.
In a true manganese deficiency, the leaves will start to turn yellow, but the areas near the veins will always remain a vibrant green. If you see this contrast in colors, it is important to start supplementing right away, but do not overdo it, or the problems will worsen.
If you have a hydroponic system, you should immediately flush the system with pure pH water and necessary nutrients. There is no need to go overboard and put tons of nutrients into your system. Flushing with high-quality water will help to remove any excess of nutrients and start the water system back at a neutral pH so you can start over in making changes.
Check on Your Soil and Water Conditions Often
Marijuana plants are hearty plants, but they do require the right nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Once the damage has been done to a cannabis plant, the affected leaves are likely not going to recover. To check and see if the changes you are making are working, check new areas of growth.
If the new growth is coming in bright green, without any brown specks, this means the marijuana plant is likely finally receiving the right level of manganese. You must check the marijuana plants a couple of times a week. Keep a check on the pH level of the soil, or water if you are growing in a hydroponic system. With routine examinations, you will be able to discover minor manganese and other nutritional deficiencies before they begin to cause significant damage to the plants.
Solutions for a Manganese Deficiency
You must act quickly when manganese deficiencies strike so complete damage does not occur. Quick action can reverse minor damage that has happened with manganese insufficiency. Waiting too long will likely lead to the destruction of the plant.
Fixing any nutritional deficiency means supplementing with the needed vitamins and minerals. To fix the problem of a manganese deficiency, you are going to need to purchase the highest quality of fertilizer and use foliar feeding methods to deliver the manganese right where it is required.
You will likely wonder why a grower would want to place fertilizer on the leaves of their plants when this goes against the basics of farming. Foliar feeding needs to be carried out during times of great nutrient deficiency.
The reason you want to use foliar feeding methods is that they offer a quick boost of nutrients to your cannabis plants when they need it most. Foliar feedings should only be used as necessary and should never replace root feedings.
The basic premise of foliar feeding involves spraying a nutrient fertilizer directly on the plant’s leaves. You will want to make sure to choose a highly water-soluble fertilizer. Water-soluble means it will break down in water and be easily dispersed where the plant needs it.
To understand how foliar feeding will help with a manganese deficiency, you must realize there are microscopic openings in the cells that make up the leaves. These openings form between the stomata, and they allow nutrients to enter the cellular walls.
Foliar Feeding at the Right Time
Knowing when to feed is just as important as knowing what to use for the fertilizer. The stomata will not open in temperatures less than eighty or when it is dark. If you are growing outdoors, the best time for foliar feeding is in the morning, as the sun starts heating the plants. Feeding in the morning will allow the stomata to soak up the nutrients and will then give the sun time to evaporate the excess moisture, so it does not cause a problem.
If you are feeding indoor marijuana plants, make sure to feed them once the lights come on. Do not foliar feed in the dark, because the moisture will simply roll off the leaves and will never be absorbed by the stomata.
The reason foliar feeding is so successful with manganese deficiencies is that the stomata can instantly soak up the necessary nutrients. The results begin to show quickly as the plants take in the water-soluble vitamins and minerals and immediately start to use them for healing.
You should use caution when foliar feeding during the flowering stage. You do not want to have the water mix with the plant resin.
Growing marijuana is not overly complicated, but it does take careful monitoring of vitamins and minerals. Your plants will begin to yellow and exhibit brown specks when the manganese levels have drastically fallen.
You should not panic if the manganese levels do drop. If you act correctly and in time, the damaged areas will be replaced with healthy leaf growth.
Routine checks of your plants can reveal signs of manganese problems before significant damages occur so you can act appropriately. With the proper level of manganese, marijuana plants will thrive, remaining a bright green color and taking in all the necessary nutrients for good health. Check your plants regularly for the best results.