How to curb cannabis problems early and keep your plants healthy and productive
While it’s always important to make sure you get your weed seeds from a reputable bank and that they are mature and ready to go, growing a healthy and productive cannabis plant requires more than just decent seeds. Common cannabis problems can plague the novice grower no matter what type of cannabis seeds you’re using. While starting with feminized seeds, or ones that auto flower are a great way to rid yourself of potential problems early on, novice growers can still easily run into problems as the plants mature.
When you’re trying to grow a decent crop yourself, being familiar with the stages of growing weed indoors is super important. Knowing how to light, when to feed, and where to place those fans are all part of not having a dying weed plant on your hands. So here are the ten most common mistakes that you’ll want to nip in the bud (sorry, I’m so sorry) early on.
The 10 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid
1. Wind burn
Putting your fans too close to your plants can actually be to their detriment. While cannabis plants do need a light breeze blowing on them, pretty much at all times, to circulate heat, bring in CO2, and encourage stalk strength- getting that breeze just right can be difficult. If you move your fans too close, or the breeze they create is more of a gale force wind, you can cause them to dry out, or even deform. Wind burn is characterized by twisted or curling leaves along with brown spots.
2. Pests & Mold
Cannabis plants are super susceptible to pests and molds. This is why is really important to use sterile technique and equipment as often as possible within the plants life cycle. While some mold and pests can’t be avoided, it’s important to check your plants early and often for any signs of intruders in your grow space. Keep a close eye on humidity and start treating issues the second you find them using Neem oil, or a dish soap solution.
3. Root rot and overwatering
Yes. Soil grown marijuana requires a TON of water- but not too much. While it’s important that you don’t let your babies dry out, you don’t want their roots to get soggy. One, because it’s hard to get rid of, and two-because it’s gross. A great way to get around this is watering with a plant mister in the early stages of life, and using soil with a good perlite/vermiculite/coco coir mix. This will keep your soil from bricking and provide good drainage. Always make sure that the pots your using have plenty of drainage holes. If they don’t, pop a few in.
4. Light burn
If you put your lights too close to your plants, use the wrong wattage, or prolonged the light exposure, you run the risk of “light burn”. Most weed strains require a specific light schedule depending on what stage of growth they are in. While these cycles will depend greatly on which cannabis seeds you choose to use, they will never require close, hot, prolonged lighting. 400W should do the trick, and try and use broad spectrum bulbs that are placed at least 12-32 inches above your plants. Signs of light burn generally start by “bleaching” or turning the leaves yellow. If you don’t catch on and remedy the issue quick- the leaf tips will begin to brown.
5. Temperature issues
Not too hot, not too cold, but juuuuuust right. Yes, cannabis plants are kind of divas, but they are definitely worth all of the love and time you put into them. During the vegetative stage, plants need to be kept at a toasty 70-85ºF. During the flowering period, they can tolerate cooler temperatures, but only slightly (65-80ºF). If your plants get too cold, they can seize and die overnight. Too hot, and you’ll slow their growth and start to see the leaves “cupping” or curling in on themselves.
6. Nutrient burn
This is probably one of the most common issues novice growers run into. While it’s hard to get your food schedule just perfect, and each strain requires their own specific mix of food, your weed plant will definitely let you know if you’ve given it too much fertilizer. Leaves will turn an abnormally deep shade of green or turn yellow. The leaves will die back if you don’t flush the soil or replant quickly. Leaf tips that bend up at a 90º angle is another good indicator that your plant is a bit too fed.
Getting impatient with growing cycles is generally how growers end up with any one of these common problems. Adding more light, more food, or more water to hurry up your plants growth cycle is bound to have the opposite effect, and you’ll soon have a dead weed plant on your hands. Like they say, all good things take time.
8. Cheap electrical systems
If you’re using cheap lighting, cheap timers, or cheap fans, there’s a good chance you’ll run into problems. While it’s not necessary to shell out the cash for top of the line systems on your first grow, you do need to invest in minimally decent equipment. Otherwise? See above.
9. Overly expensive systems
Chances are, if you can’t grow weed in dirt, you’re definitely not going to be able to grow it in air or water. Spending a ton of money on a Aeroponics set for your first grow kit is a fools errand. Most of the super expensive setups are designed with expert and commercial growers in mind. The dedication to technique and the science behind growing is absolutely mandatory for most expensive kit. So if you don’t know- don’t grow.
Yes, weed plants are finicky. Yes, weed plants require near constant care. Yes, weed plants require vigilance. HOWEVER, this being said, they don’t like to be touched or have too much care. If you’ve read the rest of this article, then you know what you’re getting at. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time, but don’t be a helicopter parent either.