Common Pot Growing Problems and How to Fix Them
Pot, just like any other plant, certainly has some challenges when growing. However, the failure to get good yields or quality leaves rarely is to blame on the plant itself, but rather the grower’s ability to create the right conditions and identify and solve problems before they threaten the life of the plants.
It is inevitable that some problems will arise, but as a grower, you must develop a sharp acumen of identifying them in good time and remediating them before they threaten the survival of the plant. With that said, here are some common pot growing problems and the probable solutions to fixing them before things get out of hand.
Overfeeding the Plants
Novice pot growers often assume that more is better when it comes to nutrients, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Overfeeding plants can cause nutrient burns, which hinders growth and can, in extreme cases, lead to crop losses. It’s important to follow the instructions on fertilizers and plant foods, including the feeding schedules. If growers are using non-organic products, they should start their applications low and slow. Start well below the recommended levels suggested on the packaging and should observe their plants daily to check their responses.
The primary difference between organic products like compost, manure, and natural soil amendments and non-organic products like chemical fertilizers and plant foods is that while organic products are released slowly into the soil, non-organic products make all the nutrients available to the plant at once. This can cause your California Dream or California Orange plants to uptake too many nutrients. The results can be even more devastating than underfeeding the plants, so aim for a Goldilocks scenario of offering just the right amount.
Overwatering the Plants
Pot plants need water to grow and thrive. As with nutrients, though, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Overwatering can harm the plant’s roots, leading to problems with root dieback that can result in severe crop losses. To avoid this problem, growers need to make sure the soil doesn’t get over-saturated.
The best way to avoid oversaturation is to water only as needed. Stick a finger into the soil to make sure the top inch is dry before watering and look for signs that the soil is drying out such as wilting. A little of wilting due to insufficient water won’t kill the plants but drowning the roots absolutely will.
Once growers get a feel for how often their plants need to be watered and how much water they should apply, they can start coming up with a schedule. As the plants get bigger, they’ll need more water. Once the water has been added, it can’t be removed, though, so proceed with caution when switching to a more frequent or deeper watering schedule.
Nothing is as disheartening in the growth of marijuana plant as watching the buds begin to rot. This is a serious weed problem and a very challenging one for many growers. Just as the name suggests, the buds will simply start to rot and eventually fall off, thus making the entire process of growing the marijuana a total waste of time, money, and resources.
Some of the reasons responsible for this problem include poor air circulation, growing the plants in cold temperatures, supplying too much water to the plant or failing to remove the rotten buds in good time. The ideal way to avoid this problem, therefore, is to simply watch out for these causative factors and ensure that all the conditions are optimal.
Incorrect Water pH
Whether growers are using conventional soil-based systems or hydroponic setups, they’ll need to make sure the water they give their plants has the right pH level. Ideally, it should have a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. If the pH levels fall too far out of this range, growers will start to notice nutrient deficiencies. That’s because an excessively acidic or basic growing environment will prevent nutrient uptake.
The cheapest way to ensure that the water pH is within the correct range is to check it frequently using pH testing strips. Once they identify the problem, growers can add products like pH Up or pH Down as needed to maintain optimal levels. Growers with some extra money to spare can also take extra precautions, like purchasing filters designed to maintain specific pH levels.
Using the Wrong Soil
Not all soil is created equal, especially when it comes to growing pot. Marijuana plants need soil that is light, airy, and well-draining so that roots can grow unhindered. Consider mixing perlite into heavy soils to improve drainage and airflow.
The soil should also contain plenty of nutrients and should be free of contaminants. Unless they know what they’re doing, that means growers shouldn’t reuse old soil. Reusing old soil requires soil testing to ensure that it isn’t harboring pests, damaging fungi, diseases, or dangerous chemicals and amendments to replenish the nutrients before the growing season starts. For novice growers, it’s better to buy new soil specifically formulated for marijuana grows.
Boron deficiency is not of a bigger problem nowadays, but still it is a serious problem affecting marijuana growers around the world. Boron deficiency can lead to great undernourishment, leading to lack of vibrancy in growth and poor quality yields. The main culprit for this deficiency is normally inadequate soil pH and this is extremely detrimental to the life of any plant.
If you want to know that the marijuana plant is lacking boron, you will notice weak or slow growth in the upper parts of the leaves. The leaves will be smaller in size, have twisted growth or they will just appear unhealthy generally. You may even think that the plant is lacking in calcium.
If boron deficiency is not checked in good time, other problems which may end up killing the plant may arise. Since it is known that boron deficiency is caused by low soil pH, the ideal solution is to simply check and rectify the pH levels of the soil. It may be a good idea to also consider using other types of soils which are rich in all the necessary nutrients needed for the healthy growth of pot.
Harvesting Too Early
Growing a healthy crop of marijuana requires a lot of patience, and nothing tests a novice grower’s patience like waiting for the crop to be ready. Unless they’re growing pot from autoflowering seeds or clones, growers will have to wait until the end of the season to start pulling down mature buds. Harvesting too early can have a negative impact not just on growers’ yields, but also on the quality and potency of their final products.
Different strains require longer or shorter flowering periods. Most indicas readying themselves for harvest after eight weeks of flowering and most sativas taking closer to ten weeks. To determine the right time to harvest for any particular plant, pay attention to the stigma. When they start to change colors, it’s time for growers who want the best possible crops to pull out a microscope and examine the trichomes.
If the trichomes are still clear, that means the buds aren’t finished developing. When they shift from clear to opaque white, it means the plant is at full maturity and is no longer producing additional THC. If some of the trichomes are turning an amber color, that means the THC is beginning to break down. Even if not all of them have turned white yet, it’s time to harvest the bud. Keep in mind that the top colas often reach maturity before the bottom ones, so buds on the same plant may need to be harvested at different times to maximize the yield.
Starting with Poor Genetics
Those who have never grown marijuana before often assume that they can just take the seeds from whatever buds they have lying around, save them until spring, then throw them in the ground and expect to see good results. This is rarely the case, though. The seeds found in purchased marijuana buds are often males, hermaphrodites, or total duds that won’t even germinate. Even if the seeds do grow well and turn into female plants, they may produce buds that are nothing like the ones they came from.
Starting with poor genetics sets growers up for failure while purchasing seeds from a reputable seed bank makes it easier for those who aren’t familiar with marijuana growing and breeding to get a good start. The seeds purchased from seed banks come from stabilized strains that will produce consistent results. Plus, many strains are available in feminized varieties that will guarantee that all the plants will be female.
Growing indoor seeds? It’s important to ensure that the grow room or tent has adequate ventilation. Stagnant air creates problems with humidity, mold, and mildew and makes it more difficult to keep the plants healthy. Add both inlet fans and outlet fans to the grow room to pull in the fresh air and get rid of stale air and leave them on 24/7. Those worried about attracting too much attention due to noticeable odors can also add air purifiers to their outlets to stop nosy neighbors from getting curious.
In as much as pot need a lot of light for proper growth, too much of it can be harmful to the plant. Light burns normally affect the indoor strains and it will happen when the plants are exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods. This can happen for both high THC strains and CBD medicinal strains, so just pay attention to the warning signs and be prepared with some research before you get started designing your grow space
The problems may also occur when you leave the plants in a controlled environment like a grow tent without regulating the amount of light in the tent. To manage this problem, simply ensure that the plant gets just enough light and never let it exposed to direct sunlight for a long period.
The fact that growing pot for recreational use is now legal in many states doesn’t mean home growers can afford to ignore security completely. Even if they grow less than the legal number of plants, there are still other potentially malicious actors to worry about. Most large scale growers of medical seeds will have elaborate security surveillance to monitor indoor and outdoor activities.
There’s no need to set up the grow room with security good enough to protect a military operation, but don’t be stupid about it. Don’t take photos of your purple kush plants to post online that contain identifying information. Don’t post any photos of the grow space on social media. Don’t talk about the grow with strangers. These should all be obvious precautions that growers should take if they don’t want to wind up dealing with thieves or nosy neighbors, but the excitement of growing pot for the first time can easily overcome even smart growers’ common sense.
Those who live in places with restrictive marijuana laws should be doubly careful. Maybe in a state with more stringent laws, stick to growing outdoor seeds when you have a larger private properly. They should make sure their gardens or grow rooms are not visible from the street or to neighbors and that nobody is likely to stumble upon the grow or to smell it when the harvest is coming up. It’s also important to deal with stems and similar trash appropriately to avoid unnecessary attention. Place all trash that could identify a cannabis grow in a small bag with food waste and put it out on the curb as close as possible to the pickup time.
Lack of Preparation
Growing a good crop of pot requires a lot of work and advanced site preparation. Growers should decide where to put their plants, buy nutrients, establish feeding and watering schedules, and collect all their supplies in advance. Once their kali mist or Critical 2.0 Strain Seeds seeds have germinated, growers will have limited time to figure out all the details of their setups, so it’s best for those who are growing pot for the first time to do their research and preparation before even buying seeds. It’s a great way to avoid unnecessary headaches.
Every grower makes mistakes. While it’s important to learn from those mistakes, it’s better to avoid them, to begin with. Start with high-quality seeds and a well-prepared garden or grow room, learn about proper feeding, watering, and harvesting schedules, ensure that the site is secured, and take the time to research everything in advance. It’s always better for growers to learn from others’ mistakes than their own.