Common Signs of Cannabis Plant Stress (and how to fix it)
There are some common signs of cannabis plant stress a grower will notice when the plant’s normal functioning is affected. Stress can be a severe problem in cannabis plants and can lead to stunted and wilted plants and even genetic abnormalities leading to low yields. Growers need to understand these signs and the causes as well as how to remedy the situation.
Downward curling leaves
Downward curling leaves are a sign of over-hydration. The leaves get limp and saggy when they are overwatered. Overwatering depletes the soil of oxygen, suffocating the plant, causing stunted growth. It also attracts pests like spider mites and fungus gnats. Farmers should always check the moisture level of the soil. Light and airy soil is the best type of soil to grow marijuana. When growing potted plants, growers should consider using fabric pots to ease drainage. Defoliation or pruning also improves airflow around the soil so that it dries faster.
Wilted and dry leaves
Growers should look out for wilted and dry leaves when checking for common signs of cannabis plant stress. Dehydration makes the leaves wilt and dry. The stems also droop. Lack of adequate water makes it hard for the plant to make its food and die. Farmers should ensure the plants are watered regularly. They can lift the grow tray to see if it is dry and needs water. In outdoor grow areas where the weather is hot and dry, watering early in the morning and evening reduces evaporation.
Yellow or brown leaf tips
When cannabis plants are exposed to too much heat and light, the leaves may turn brown or yellow. The leaves can also curl up or down and appear burnt. A cannabis plant will show stress when it is grown outdoors in hot weather. Low humidity in indoor grow areas or placing the grow light near the plants can also cause heat stress. Heat stress at the flowering stage is the most damaging as it destroys the most valuable leaves and causing the buds to grow airy with foxtails. Too hot conditions cause new buds to grow on top of the buds.
To avoid this, growers should constantly monitor the temperature in growing areas. Indoors, growers can increase air circulation by improving the ventilation system, like investing in a small fan. They should also move the grow lights far from the plants. Outdoors, growers can try keeping the roots cool by insulating them from the sun. Growers can also increase shade to reduce heat.
Wilting, Off-color Leaves that break off easily.
Nutrient deficiency causes leaves to change color and break off easily. The deficiency of macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium causes leaves at the plant’s base to discolor, curl, and droop. The deficiency of micronutrients such as calcium, zinc, and manganese causes spotting, curling, and sickly new leaves. Growers can easily misdiagnose pH issues as nutrient deficiencies, so they should first check the growing media’s pH. To solve nutrient deficiencies in cannabis plants, growers provide the plants with a combination of essential nutrients.
Cannabis Plant Stress signs: Bud rot or mold
One of the common signs of cannabis plant stress is the rotting of the buds. Bud rot is a mold found of buds or colas. The larger flowers are more likely to develop bud rot than tiny buds. This problem is caused by too much moisture and a lack of air circulation. The solution to this problem is ensuring proper air circulation and avoiding excess humidity. Growers can also prune the bushy plants as they could harbor microclimate for mold.
Hermaphroditic plants is a Major Indication of Cannabis Plant Stress
Hermaphroditism is when a plant develops both male and female characteristics. It can be disastrous for cannabis growers as it results in buds full of seeds. The possible causes for hermaphroditism are stressful conditions such as interruptions of the dark period during the flowering stage, over-pruning, late harvest, inconsistencies in temperature, and overuse of pesticides and fungicides. To prevent marijuana plants from becoming hermaphrodites, growers should maintain the ideal growing environment at all growth stages with the proper amount of nutrients, temperature light, air circulation, etc.
Brown slimy roots with a foul smell
Brown, slimy roots, which sometimes are accompanied by a foul smell, are a sign of root rot. In soil or coco setups, root rot is caused by stagnant water, often resulting from overwatering. Stagnant water creates a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. In hydroponic setups, root rot is caused by light leaks, heat, lack of water oxygen levels, and decomposing matter in the reservoir, all of which provide a breeding ground for root rotting bacteria and fungi. The root will struggle to take up nutrients, causing the plant to develop white or yellow leaves, sag, and wilt.
Growers can administer beneficial bacteria to the plants’ roots to fight pathogens. In soil setups, growers can transplant into fresh soil that is well aerated and well-drained. In hydroponic setups, growers should clean and disinfect the grow, create a new method with adequate oxygen, and correct any heat issues and light leaks.
Bottom Line on Cannabis Plant Stress
Growers can get back their healthy marijuana plants by identifying the plant stress, diagnosing it, and finding ways to fix it. Growers should also use seeds with solid genetics to grow their plants and ensure that they maintain optimal pH, light, nutrients, temperature, and water.