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How to Identify Cannabis Growing Problems and Fix Them

Knowing how to identify cannabis growing problems and how to fix them is a prerequisite to successful growing of weed. Without this vital knowledge, all your attempts to grow crops the right way will be futile and you will never reap the benefits and the pleasure of growing your own weed without some kind of headache coming up that gets you stumped. To help you get a grip on your marijuana growing, below are some of the problem categories you are likely to encounter and how you can fix them in good time:

Cannabis Growing Problems and Their Remedies

Weeds grow anywhere that their seeds scatter in the wind and land. As a result, beginner marijuana growers often assume growing this plant takes little time and effort on their part. The name alone suggests this plant should grow anywhere. However, this isn’t always the case, especially when you are aiming to top out on quality.

Men and women desiring a high yielding harvest together with resinous buds find they need to tend to the crop regularly. Problems may arise with the crop, and growers need to watch for those to catch them early and fix the problem. Before they can do this, indoor and outdoor seed growers must determine what the problem is. What are some common problems seen in marijuana crops, how can they be identified, and what needs to be done to fix them?

Cannabis Growing: Nutrient problems

A deficiency in any of the essential nutrients is sufficient to sign the death sentence for your CBD Kush or Grapefruit Kush plant. The good news, however, is that most of the deficiency can be detected in good time and the lacking nutrient added before it hurts the plant past the point of recovery. Here are some of the common nutrient deficiencies:

Phosphorus Deficiency

Plants with a phosphorus deficiency show many signs of the disease. Look at the lower leaves and those that are older. If they are yellow, dark green, blue or shiny, a phosphorus deficiency is the cause. Thick leaves that feel stiff or those with brown, purple, or bronze splotches on the leaves suffer from a phosphorus deficiency. Pay attention to the leaf stems when checking the plants. If any have turned red or purple, your plants lack sufficient quantities of this nutrient.

Treating a phosphorus deficiency requires nothing more than providing the plants with more of this essential nutrient. Plants need extra phosphorus during the flowering stage, so provide enough to meet this need. Choose nutrient blends created for the flowering stage or those with an N-P-K ratio of 6-15-10.

Magnesium Deficiency

Marijuana growers must recognize a magnesium deficiency, as this condition commonly affects marijuana plants. The leaves turn yellow before fading, but the veins of any leaves affected by the disease remain green.

Provide plants with ample magnesium to prevent this disease. Magnesium serves as a mobile nutrient or one that travels around the plant. Cannabis needs it to mobilize phosphorus. Magnesium comes in a variety of sources, including garden or dolomite lime, magnesium sulfate, worm castings, and Epsom salts. Choose one of the products to use on the plants and prevent a magnesium deficiency.

Zinc Deficiency

Cannabis plants need zinc along with magnesium. Again, growers determine their plants lack enough zinc simply by looking at the leaves. The leaf tips turn bright yellow when they don’t have enough of this nutrient. In addition, the blades crumple while forming gnarly looking, twisted leaves that clump together.

Plants must possess the right pH balance to use zinc properly. Providing more or less zinc won’t help until you have adjusted the pH balance, as the plant cannot absorb the zinc until the pH reaches the correct level. Adjust the pH balance and provide the plant with additional zinc. Excellent zinc sources include chelated zinc, zinc sulfate, and zinc oxide. A micro mix of iron, manganese, and zinc also serves as an excellent source of this nutrient.

Boron deficiency

To detect boron deficiency, you will notice slow growth on the upper most parts of the leaves. Boron deficiency is mostly caused by low soil pH or over-fertilizing the plant. Simply ensure that these things don’t happen and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about boron deficiency. Because boron is also used to provide structural support to the plant and rigidity to the cell walls, deficient plants will also appear wilted.

As Boron is common in even your average tap water, fixing a deficiency may be as simple as adjusting the soil’s pH. See even if Boron is present in your nutrient mix, the transporter enzymes that help it enter the plant’s roots simply will not function until the pH is within a range of 6.0-6.5.

Copper deficiency

A sign of copper deficiency is evidenced by a decreased growth rate, causing your plant to take more time to reach maturity. Along with slower development, your Blueberry OG plant will also give less yields of the desired buds. Because it is a fixed nutrient, old growth of the plant will remain unphased, while new growth at the top of the plant will appear to have some yellowing around the tips and edges of the leaves. In more serious cases, growers may observe a bluish or purplish tint near the veins of the leaves or even a shiny metallic appearance to the leaves surface.

To fix this deficiency, flush out everything using pH balanced water and re-feed in a few days with a mix that has the right micronutrients like Copper in trace amounts. Sometimes you can find fungicides for foliar application that have trace amounts of chelated copper or copper sulfate which can help restore the proper levels.

Iron Deficiency

Because Iron is a central element in the production of chlorophyll, an iron deficiency will definitely be accompanied by a loss of green color in the leaves. Growers facing an iron shortage will first notice leaves at the top of the plant developing a yellow hue. Many other mineral deficiencies lead to yellowing of the leaves starting in the middle of the plant, but iron deficiencies have this recognizable tendency to start with the top, since that is where most of the new growth occurs.  The veins of the leaf will remain a dark green color. If left untreated, the yellowing leaves will progress all the way through the plant, from the top down.

To begin with the strategies to remedy this type of issue, you can flush and re-feed your Lemon Diesel or Mexican Haze plants as with many of the other deficiencies listed above. Another idea is to add different soil amendments to bring the levels back to normal. Elemental sulfur can help provide a solution by restoring soil pH, as iron cannot be absorbed when the pH or your growing medium is off balance.

Nutrient Burn

Plants require food to produce an abundant harvest. Growers might assume extra food boosts the yield, but overfeeding plants does more harm than good. Plant roots take up the excess nitrogen and this leads to nutrient burn. A grower spots this problem, as the leaves turn yellow or appear burned on the edges. Nutrient burn starts at the outer edges of the leaves and moves inward.

Treating nutrient burn requires changing the feeding pattern of the plants. Provide the plants with nothing more than plain water to dilute any remaining nutrients and allow the plants to use them before introducing more. Hydroponic systems require pH balanced water, so use only this water in the system to protect the plants.

Once the plants use up excess nutrients and the problem appears to have stopped, begin adding nutrients again. Do so slowly and monitor the plants for recent signs of nutrient burn. The yellow leaves never recover and will remain yellow, but fresh growth comes in green.

Cannabis Growing: Environmental stresses

Sometimes marijuana may be affected due to certain factors happening around in the environment under which it is grown, regardless of having the perfect balance of nutrients. Here are some of the common environmental stresses to watch out for:

Heat stress

The temperature under which marijuana is grown is very important, and this is especially vital if you will be growing the plant indoors. The correct amount of heat is necessary to allow the plant carry on with its natural processes like photosynthesis and to ensure that there is enough uptake of nutrients. Too much or too little heat will cause stress on the plants and a good indication for this will be withering leaves. Check on the strain planted to know the ideal heat conditions for optimal growth.

Airy and lose buds

When your marijuana is suffering from this problem, you will easily notice the buds as appearing airy and flaccid. The buds will not mature in the right manner and there is the likelihood of them falling off before maturity, leading to the loss of leaves. Once this problem happens, there is no fixing hence the only solution is to stop it from happening. There are quite a number of ways to prevent this and they include: choosing a good strain, growing the marijuana under the right conditions of light and temperature, ensuring the growth medium has all the necessary nutrients, ensuring proper ventilation and humidity and timing the harvesting correctly..



Bud Mold or Rot

Growers who pay attention to their plants can easily spot bud rot. The buds dry out early in the growing process and appear to have a powdery substance on them. Portions of the bud change colors and start drying up. As the disease advances, the entire bud turns dark, splits open, and dusty fungus spores appear. Growers might also notice white mold on the buds, and this mold emerges in a web-like pattern.

Upon spotting the signs of bud rot, remove any affected buds. This disease spreads and any affected buds left will harm other plants in the grow space. Never allow the infected buds to touch other plants and wash the hands after handling the diseased buds to prevent spreading.

You should also improve the ventilation system in the grow space, as inadequate air circulation plays a role in bud rot. Additionally, monitor humidity levels in the grow space continuously using a simple device, especially during the flowering phase. Buds that remain wet become most susceptible to bud rot, so growers must prevent dampness and wetness.


Beginner growers often provide their plants with too much water. While plants need water to grow, the roots require oxygen to breathe. Excessive amounts of water prevent them from getting the oxygen needed to carry out this task. Plants receiving too much water wilt and their leaves droop and turn yellow. If the problem is ongoing, the plant will eventually stop growing and die.

When it appears the plants are receiving too much water, stop providing any water until the plants dry out. Once they are dry, lift the container with the plant and see how much it weighs. Determining the weight of the container when the plant is dry and then again when well watered makes it easy to tell when the soil is dry just by lifting the container.

Check the plants for root rot. When plants receive too much water for an extended period, the roots will be more likely to rot. Once a grower knows the water needs of the plant and the correct amount of water is being supplied, the plant should thrive again. If it doesn’t grow, look for root rot. With this condition, the roots become slimy and brown. Sadly, this usually means the plant needs to be discarded, as plants rarely recover from this disease. However, there are special products a grower may want to try, as many gardeners have had outstanding success with using them to encourage new root growth.

Fungus Gnats

Check the soil when examining plants for signs of disease. Fungus gnats crawl around the soil, and these tiny black bugs make a faint buzzing noise. While the plants continue to look healthy, growers must pay attention to the gnats, as they suggest mold and moisture are a problem. Eliminate the gnats before the fungus spreads to neighboring plants.

Allow the soil to dry between waterings to remove the gnats. They require moisture to survive, and gardeners remove this water source by letting the top inch of soil dry before watering again. If the gnats find a moisture source, they burrow into the soil before feeding on the roots of the plants.

A fan helps to dry the soil, so have one present and operating in the grow space. Circulating air helps keep this soil dry and prevents pest infestations. Pest treatments, such as Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria, also help eliminate these invaders.

Male Plants or Hermies

Male plants harm a crop and need prompt removal. Examine the plants when they reach four to six weeks of age in terms of their growth. Look at the pre-flowers to determine the sex of the plant. Female plants feature white filamentous pistils, while males come with a banana sitting over two sacs. Hermaphrodites include both. Monitor the plants throughout the flowering stage, as male pollen sacs appear at any time in this stage.

Remove males and hermies to prevent pollination of the female plants. A failure to do so leads to seeds in the bud. The best way to avoid introducing males into a grow space is to buy feminized plants. Hermies remain harder to control when it comes to their creation, but growers find certain steps help to reduce this risk.

Provide consistent light schedules throughout the flowering phase and reduce the temperature by ten to 20 degrees at night. Never allow daytime temperatures to go above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchase seeds from a reputable seed bank, and monitor plants throughout the growth cycle to catch problems early and fix them.

Constant monitoring and prompt action by the grower increases the odds of a healthy crop. Stress remains the biggest threat to marijuana plants, so monitor the grow room temperature and humidity while providing adequate ventilation. Furthermore, provide the correct amount of both food and water.

The most important thing growers can do to protect their plants involves paying attention to them. Plants provide plenty of signs when they are struggling, and it’s up to the grower to notice the signs and make the necessary corrections. Do so quickly, as problems caught early are easier to correct.

Growing marijuana remains a task many enjoy. Careful monitoring assists in producing a bumper crop. Look for the common growing problems mentioned above in your crop, so you can produce a harvest that fulfills your needs.