Cannabis plants are called “weed” for a reason, they are very resilient and it is quite difficult to completely mess them up. However, there are rude mistakes that new growers tend to make. They are not likely to kill the plant, but they will cripple the potential amount you are able to get after the harvest. This article will help you to avoid rookie mistakes and get the best out of your first plant!
Most of the issues arise when new growers overthink and try to give the plant too much love. The most common problem I encountered when my friends did their first projects is overwatering. Typically, they would be worried about the plant not having enough water so much, that eventually, they will overwater it! A funny example of how hyper desire to protect can do more harm than good.
A period of dry soil is as important for Cannabis as the watering itself. Because that is when the roots pull the oxygen from the soil. If it remains wet 24/7, the plant fails to extract the oxygen which leads to a poorly developed root system, and without a strong and dispersed root system that should cover the entire pot, you can forget about impressive yields. It even may get worse, constantly wet soil provides a great environment for rotting and microorganisms, that can kill your plant completely.
An obvious question that must have already crossed your mind. How to determine how much and how frequently to water the plant so that it gets just as much water as it needs? Well, there isn’t exact science on how to measure the amount of water the plant needs. Mostly because Cannabis grows very quickly and therefore the amount required is constantly changing.
Overwatered Cannabis, you can see that the leaves are "heavy"
The skill comes with the experience of reading the visual signs Cannabis gives. An under-watered marijuana plant looks droopy and weak, with yellow or brown leaves; there is no strength in the leaves and they look lifeless. Leaves of an overwatered plant look slightly similar in that they droop, except the leaves will be dark green and the leaf tips will be curled. A rule of thumb that will prevent you from overwatering is rather simple - don’t water the plant unless the soil is dry at least 4-5 centimeters down. You can figure it out simply by sticking your finger in.
Note how often you water plants and write it down in a log. Get your marijuana plants on a watering schedule—as they grow out of the seedling stage, watering every two to three days is ideal.
How to fix overwatering?
In that sense, it is my favorite kind of problem - the one that fixes itself overtime. If you spotted the aforementioned signs of overwatering, just let the soil dry for 4-5 days and Cannabis will get to normal again.
2. NUTRIENT BURN
Similar to overwatering, beginners oftentimes mistakenly think that extra doze of fertilizers may boost growth and eventually provide crazy yields. But respecting the dosing guide written on every fertilizer package is as important as complying with the instruction of drugs that a doctor prescribes.
Overfeeding causes an excess of nutrients that plants can't digest so the nutrients cause root and leaf damage. When there is leaf damage, or burn, it reduces the available surface area for photosynthesis to occur. As a result, your plants will produce less glucose that is required for optimal growth.
An example of nutrient burn
If plants are left unchecked, the nutrient burn can cause leaves to die completely and fall off the plant.
How to fix nutrient burn?
Regardless of crop type, ensure that you are giving your plants the right nutrients depending on where they are in their life cycle. Plants need different nutrients in their vegetative and flowering stages, so feeding them the wrong fertilizer at the wrong time can cause a nutrient burn.
Read fertilizer labels carefully, and learn how to add the correct amount of nutrients. If you hand water your plants and notice nutrient burn, cut the affected foliage and flush your plants with plain water. Flushing removes the excess nutrients from the soil and will help your plants recover.