Cultivating cannabis is fun until the plants begin dying without any reason or rhyme. One of the most common problems that those plants face is nutrient deficiency. It is due to a lack of micronutrients/macronutrients caused by underfeeding or improper pH levels. This article will explain various types of cannabis plant deficiencies that a cannabis plant faces during its lifecycle.
Different Types Of Deficiencies In Cannabis Plants
Growers can avoid nutrient deficiencies by being careful and attentive to the pH level of the nutrient water solution. The reason behind the deficiencies of nutrients is that they do not get absorbed properly. Incorrect pH levels in cannabis plants will lock out the essential nutrients and thus have adverse effects. If the grower is feeding the plants consistently, it is usually because the pH level is too low or high, and the plant fails to absorb them.
A cannabis plant generally communicates with its cultivators. The deficiencies that a cannabis plant faces during its life cycle are below:
A grower can identify a copper deficiency when the leaves have purple or dark blue undertones. The tips and the outer edges of the leaves turn yellow. The buds do not get ripe; the leaves are shiny and grow very slowly. Copper deficiency occurs when the pH levels are not adjusted correctly. Therefore, ensure to check the pH and adjust the levels.
Such a deficiency is hard to identify. Some of the symptoms include the appearance of small brown spots and dead spots on leaves, crinkling, curled tips, deformed leaves, or stunted growth. Iron, magnesium, and calcium deficiencies often take place together. The best way to fight against such deficiency is to flush the plants with neutral pH water and supply the water nutrient solution again. Growers can also supplement the nutrient-water solution with Cal-Mag to prevent calcium and magnesium deficiencies in the future.
When iron deficiency occurs, the new leaves are completely yellow. It is necessary to learn that iron deficiency is almost similar to that magnesium deficiency. In case of iron deficiency, the newest leaves will suffer and turn yellow. When the pH level is very high, iron does not get completely absorbed in the plant. It is rare to notice iron deficiency in a hydroponic location. If you see such deficiency in your cannabis plant, flush the system with pH-neutral water and maintain the pH levels.
The outer edges and veins of the plant become light green-yellowish due to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a crucial nutrient that can move from old leaves to new ones. Magnesium deficiency occurs when the level of pH is too low. The pH sweet spot in hydro is between 5.5 to 5.8, so magnesium deficiency is common. Often the magnesium is available, but the roots cannot absorb it. So adding a magnesium supplement can not help the plants. The best method to get the magnesium absorbed is to increase the pH level to 6 and then lower it to 5.5.
Like magnesium, nitrogen can travel from one leaf to another leaf. Nitrogen plays a crucial role in photosynthesis and thus making the plant green. The newer leaves will be full of nitrogen and green. On the other hand, the older leaves turn brown or yellow, crinkle, and ultimately die. It is usual for the cannabis plant to lose nitrogen in the flowering stage. It is because the plant gets deficient while producing buds.
But growers do not want a lack of nitrogen in the vegetative phase. The best method to prevent such deficiency is to ensure that the nutrients that the growers are providing to the plants have a high nitrogen level. Also, remember that if the pH level is too low, the plant will not be able to absorb the nitrogen.
In phosphorus deficiencies, the leaves get dry with areas of brown discoloration. Purple or red collations occur in the petioles. Also, the leaves may subsequently get a covering of green or dark blue hue. If left untreated, phosphorus deficiencies reduce vertical and horizontal growth significantly. The growers should use medium-rich soil with phosphorus to prevent such deficiency.
Sulfur is an essential nutrient used for vital proteins and enzymes. It is necessary for plant respiration and the breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids. Growers can notice stunted growth and gradual yellowing of leaf veins. Due to sulfur deficiency, the young leaves turn lime green before turning yellow. The leaves can also become brittle and dry.
Potassium is a crucial nutrient utilized by cannabis plants. This macronutrient is necessary for the transportation and synthesis of simple carbohydrates and sugars. Potassium is also helpful in enabling transpiration, cell division, and root growth. Due to potassium deficiency, the leaves get curled, and the leaf edges and tips become brown and yellow. The cannabis plants may get stretched due to potassium deficiency.
Some cultivators flush the soil to deal with issues like overfeeding. But it can interfere with potassium uptake. So, cultivators can use chicken manure as a top dressing for the growing medium to stop potassium deficiency.
The first symptom of boron deficiency is thick growth or abnormal tips. Brown yellow spots start appearing on the leaves. Also, the plant’s upper leaves will have abnormal or slowed growth due to boron deficiency. This nutrient gets absorbed at a lower pH level. Therefore, the plant may not absorb the proper amount if the pH level is very high. The best way to solve boron deficiency is to ensure that the pH level is constant. For hydroponic growth, the ideal pH level is 5.5 to 5.8.
Cannabis plants with adequate fresh air, lighting, & nutrition are a balancing act of cultivation. Knowing what primary nutrients the plants require is essential. Checking E.C. and pH levels will also impact how the plants absorb the nutrients. Also, try to use good organic nutrients from a reputed brand or seller to keep your plants healthy.