Identifying and Treating Common Cannabis Ailments
Growing marijuana is a tricky process. Many things can go wrong. Too much or too little heat, water or fertilizer, fluctuations in pH, issues with ozone exposure, mildew, mites, mold, viruses and nutrient deficiencies can all cost a grower his prized bud Thankfully, most of these have an easy solution.
The easiest problem to solve is heat stress. This problem is characterized by yellowing browning of the leaves closest to the light source. It often starts in a thin line around the edge of the leaf. The spots that are closest to the heat source often look burned.
This can occur in a couple different ways. Most commonly, it occurs when a plant it placed too close to the heat lamp. Less commonly, it occurs outdoors when temperatures are dry and hot especially when inadequate water is given.
The solution to this problem is to reduce heat. In outdoor plants, simply provide more water and consider increasing shade. With indoor plants, it can be more complicated. Adding a small fan blowing across the tops of the plants is often the easiest solution. Also, adjusting the placement of the heat lamp can effectively eliminate this problem. Venting out the hot air using an exhaust fan is also important to prevent and treat heat stress.
While plants are recovering, consider adding seaweed extract to help replenish lost nutrients. Some growers feel that this can also prevent heat stress to begin with. Babying these plants is also imperative.
Another common problem, especially among new growers, is nutrient burn. Most often, this occurs when too much hydroponic solution is applied. The roots take in more of the nutrients than the plant can use. It can also occur when plants are grown in fresh compost manure or other mediums that are too high in nutrients.
In a hydroponic system, this problem can be solved by lowering the nutrient level in the solution. That can be done in one of two ways. The first way is to slowly dilute the solution by adding plain, pH regulated water. The second way is to mix up a new, more dilute solution and completely change it out. It is best, however, to go slow with hydroponic plants.
In hand water system, this is an easier fix. The system should be flushed with a large quantity of pH regulated water. Then, if you are adding nutrients, stop. If not, wait until the nutrients are used up. Old leaves will not recover but new leaves will now be affected.
pH Regulation Problems
If the pH of either the soil or hydroponic solution jumps between high and low, the plant will begin to show tan, yellow or light brown spots on the middle or lower leaves. This is caused by the stress to the plant. If untreated, it will spread to the entire plant.
The good news is that, when identified early, this is an easily treated ailment. the first step to treating it is determine the pH of the medium. In hydroponics, simply test the water. In hand watering systems, test the water going in and the water going out then average them to get a ball park number.
The next step is to slowly adjust the pH to the correct number. Add all nutrients then test and correct the water using a pH kit. For soil grown systems, this should between 6.2 and 7.0. For hydroponic systems, it should be between 5.5 and 6.5. Never adjust more than half a point per day.
Marijuana plants need a specific amount of water to grow well. Too much causes root rot. Too little causes other concerns. Regardless of the concern, swift action must be taken to save the plant.
Root rot tends to present first with wilting. Other early signs of root rot include drooping, brown spots and rapidly dying roots. The most telling sign, however, is smelly, slimy brown roots.
Root rot is a difficult problem to solve. In fact, many people suggest throwing out the plant and starting over. There is, however, a product known as Aquasheild that has been successful in treating this condition. When recovering, new, white roots will begin to grow.
Under-watering also presents first with wilting or drooping. In addition, the growth medium will be bone dry. To solve this problem, water the plant.
Most other problems that occur on the leaves are nutrient-based. Changing color, shape or texture in the leaves or in the new growth can signify problems with the nutrient balance. A variety of photo guides are available online to help determine the nutrient that is being over- or under- utilized. Then, simply adjust that nutrient.
Pests, Mold and Viruses
Problems with the actual bud are typically related to one of many pests that can affect the marijuana crop. These organisms can be divided into three categories. These include pests, mold and viruses.
Pests, including aphids, mites, whiteflies and thrips. Most of these can be solved by spraying the plant with a solution of pesticide and water. Early detection is key, however, in getting these chemicals on in time to prevent damage.
Mold is another big concern. Two types of mold are most common. The first, known as white powdery mold, is easily cleaned off with plain water if it is detected early. The other, known as grey mold or bud rot, is incurable. Infected buds must be removed. To prevent mold issues, keep humidity low.
The last, and most serious, type of pest is known as a virus. Viruses affect the DNA of the plant. They can cause mottling, streaking, blotching or bud necrosis. Once a virus has infected the plant, it must be thrown out to prevent other plants from being affected.
Hopefully, this guide helps you to identify and treat the common ailments that can affect your cannabis. If you need more help, please contact us via the website.