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sulphur deficiency cannabis

Sulfur Deficiency

Problem: A sulfur deficiency is relatively rare and will manifest itself as all-over chlorosis (yellowing of leaves), usually starting with the newer leaves and at first may look like a nitrogen deficiency.

The parts underneath the leaves may take on a pinkish red or orange color. The buds on a flowering plant may start dying off. Unlike most other deficiencies that cause yellowing of the leaves, a sulfur deficiency will start at the back of the leaf and move it’s way forward as opposed to starting at the tips.

Solution: Check and correct your pH to make sure that your sulfur isn’t being locked out. Sulfur moves slowly through the plant so it may take a few days after you fix the problem before you start noticing an improvement in your plant.

Plant Symptoms

  • Bronze or brown patches
  • Brown or slimy roots
  • Brown or yellow leaf tips/edges
  • Buds dying
  • Buds look odd
  • Bugs are visible
  • Curling or clawing leaves
  • Dark leaves
  • Drooping plant
  • Holes in leaves
  • Mold or powder
  • Pink or purple on leaves
  • Red stems
  • Shiny or smooth leaves
  • Spots or markings
  • Twisted growth
  • Webbing
  • Wilting leaves
  • Yellow between leaf veins
  • Yellow leaves

This page is part of our Plant Doctor series. You can use our tool to filter by symptom and help diagnose your plant.

Problem: A cannabis sulfur deficiency causes yellowing of leaves, usually starting with the newer leaves. At first it may look like a nitrogen deficiency.

Deficiencies and excesses in Cannabis

Nutrient imbalance in marijuana plants?

In this post we will focus on the macro and micro-nutrients necessary for the development of cannabis plants. These elements are available in the nutrients, so the chosen type of fertiliser and its correct use will lead us to a crop without deficiencies or excesses, thanks to a properly planned and balanced feeding.

There are different factors to take into account, so we’ll try to explain them in a simple way so that all growers can dispel all the possible doubts which may arise relating to the nutrition of their cannabis plants.

What is a deficiency?

Deficiencies are often – although not as a general rule – a lack or inadequate supply of some nutritional element in a precise moment of the plant’s life.

To avoid deficiencies plants must be fed with a complete fertiliser, specially designed for cannabis farming. PH level must be controlled, stabilised and adjusted depending on the type of crop, either in hydroponic or soil crops, and for both potted and in-ground plants.

What is an excess?

Excesses of nutrients are salt accumulations in the metabolism of the plants in a particular stage of their life. To avoid excesses when growing cannabis, we will have to use constant and balanced feeding adapted to each type of culture, substrate and genetics. Each phenotype has its own needs, and to know them ensures best results and avoids nutritional issues.

Table of deficiencies and excesses

Macro-elements or Macro-nutrients

Nitrogen:

Nitrogen is the most required macro-element by marijuana plants throughout their life cycle. A nitrogen deficiency can be easily detected when we observe chlorosis between the veins of the older, lower leafs. If the deficiency isn’t treated, the plant will suffer a massive defoliation and the growth will be seriously compromised.

An excess of nitrogen can be detected by the colour and shape of the leafs of the plants. These become dark green and can adopt a claw-like form, curling down.

Phosphorus:

Phosphorus is necessary at all life stages of the cannabis plant. The lack of this nutrient is detected in the leafs, which become blue-green and develop brown spots, along with slow growth. The veins and stems turn purple and the leaves curl downwards developing necrotic areas.

An excess of phosphorus usually causes a nutrient lockout which, in turn, causes deficiencies of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.

Potassium:

Potassium develops the role of protector against diseases, actively participating in the cellular development along with many other functions. With a lack of potassium, plants are more prone to get all kinds of diseases.

The leaves turn dark green, spots appear and they end up dying. An excess of potassium in plants acts by locking out other elements, resulting in a deficiency of magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron.

Secondary Nutrients

Magnesium:

Magnesium is a secondary nutrient essential for marijuana plants, which is used in large quantities during all phases of the plant life. Deficiencies of this nutrient are usual in soils with a PH value lower than 7.0. Magnesium is the central atom of the chlorophyll molecule, and it is also responsible for enhancing both the absorption of other nutrients and the creation of carbohydrates and sugars.

A magnesium deficiency is initially detected on the oldest, lower leafs, causing chlorosis between their veins, which turn dark green. As the deficiency advances, more and more young leafs are affected by dark spots and chlorosis. If the deficiency isn’t treated, the leaves will curve upwards and, in few days, a massive defoliation will affect the plant.

Sulphur:

Sulphur is essential for the production of hormones and vitamins, it’s part of the amino acids and is directly involved in the flavour. A sulphur deficiency causes the oldest leaves to develop a lime-green, yellowish colour. As the deficiency progresses, the leaves turn yellow while keeping their veins green, the petioles turn purple and the stems woody.

Most times, a deficiency of this trace element is usually preceded by a nutrient lockout caused by an excess of calcium or a PH level too high. The solution to this problem is to keep the PH between 5.5 and 6.0 by adding sulphur in ore form for a quick assimilation. If a sulphur excess is produced, we should flush the roots.

Calcium:

Calcium is a very important element for cannabis plants, since they need almost the same amount of macro nutrients than calcium throughout their life. It’s essential for the creation and growth of the cells. A Calcium deficiency causes slow plant growth, weak stems and dark green leafs. To treat this deficiency, add some nutrient rich in calcium to the nutrient solution until the deficiency disappears.

An excess of calcium affects negatively to the overall growth of the plant, locking out other elements like potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. In hydroponic systems, an excess of calcium combined with sulphur causes precipitation in the form of plaster, which remains at the bottom of the tank and clogs the irrigation tubes. In this case, we should change the nutrient solution and carefully check Ca levels.

The most relevant micro-nutrients

Micro-nutrients are nutritive elements which act as catalysts in the metabolic processes of the plants, also in the use of other elements. For a correct use of these nutrients, they should be present in small quantities dissolved in fertilisers.

Zinc:

Deficiencies of zinc will surely appear when growing marijuana with an excessively alkaline substrate. It acts as catalyst of various auxins, enzymes and is also essential for the growth of the stems. A zinc deficiency is also usually caused by a PH level higher than 7.0, producing chlorosis between the veins of the youngest leaves, which grow thinner, twisted and finally dry out. During bloom, the development of new buds and leaves stops until this problem is solved.

To treat zinc deficiencies we must feed the plant with micro-elements that contain zinc in chelated form to ensure rapid absorption and recovery of the plant.

Advanced Fe deficiency

Iron:

Iron is a necessary nutritive element for plants since it’s directly related to the use of energy by sugars. It’s easy to find iron deficiencies in plants grown in alkaline soils. This deficiency tends to be present in soils with a PH level above 6.5. Early symptoms can be observed in the youngest leaves, which turn yellowish while keeping green veins. If the deficiency continues, the plant will suffer serious defoliation.

An iron deficiency can be preceded by a nutrient lockout caused by an excess of copper. Other elements like zinc or manganese can cause a null absorption of iron by the plants, which will in turn cause several deficiencies. To solve an iron deficiency, avoid watering with fertilisers that contain high concentrations of Mn, Zn and Co, and also reduce the PH level of the nutrient solution to 6.0-6.5.

Other micro-nutrients:

Boron: A boron deficiency causes the borders of the leafs to dry and brown, while the shoots are twisted. In the case of an over-fertilisation, the leaves suffer necrosis, causing a severe defoliation on the plant.

Chlorine: A deficiency of this element is rare when using tap water. The leaves take a very characteristic bronzed colour. The symptoms are the same in the case of an excess of chlorine.

PH table and nutrient assimilation

Copper: This element is actively involved in the metabolism of the plant and in the creation of carbohydrates, also helping in the production of sugars and proteins. In the case of a deficiency, this must be treated by watering with a mineral fertiliser rich in copper.

Excesses of copper, even slight ones, are very toxic. The first symptom is iron chlorosis along with overall slow growth of the plants.

Cobalt: It’s difficult to find deficiencies or excesses of cobalt since it is not very important for the development of the plant during its life cycle. When problems of deficiencies or excesses of this element happen, nitrogen will no longer be available for the plants.

Molybdenum: To find deficiencies of this element in cannabis crops is also difficult, since plants need it in very small quantities. When there is a lack of this element, nitrogen uptake is reduced, roots stop their growth and leafs become twisted. An excess of this element, causes plants to show deficiencies of copper and iron.

Silicon: Deficiencies of this mineral in cannabis plants are rare too. A deficiency is detectable by the deformation of new young leaves and an overall decrease of the final weight of the flowers.

This post shows the main deficiencies and excesses of macro and micro-nutrients that can affect our cannabis plants during their cultivation. If you d ]]>

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smell of weed

Hiding The Smell of Smoked or Stored Cannabis

The smell of weed can be exciting when it hits the nostrils. It can also be so difficult to disguise, it could land you in trouble. Here is our guide to keeping the stench from cannabis under control.

Questions & Answers

How to conceal the smell of cannabis.

Contents:

We’re confident you’ll agree with us here: weed smells great—incredible, in fact. The skunky and earthy aroma of the herb provokes a sense of nostalgia and excitement at the same time. It reminds cannabis users of sessions past, and lets them know when a long day has come to an end.

However, not everyone appreciates the obvious smell of weed. Sometimes, smelling like you’ve just hit a bong for breakfast doesn’t go down too well. Whether you’re attending a work meeting, family gathering, or riding public transport, covering up the smell will put your high mind at ease.

Below, we’ll cover the most effective ways to cover up the smell that clings to your body, clothes, car, and even hair after a smoking session. Use these techniques to blaze whenever you see fit, and come out the other end smelling fresh and clean.

RQS Re:stash Jar

How to Hide the Smell of Weed in Your Room

Smoking cannabis in the comfort of your own room trumps almost any other location imaginable. Lying on your bed with a large joint, your favourite music, and some delicious snacks has most smokers teetering on the edge of nirvana.

However, the lingering fear of stinking out your apartment block or getting busted by a neighbour or landlord often prevents cannabis lovers from experiencing complete bliss. Check out how to prevent the smell of weed from taking hold, and how to remove it when it does, below.

Prevent a Weed-Filled Room

As the age-old saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. By stopping the smell of weed from taking hold in the first place, you’ll boost your chances of staying under the radar. The cheap and simple trick of ventilation often suffices!

Ventilate!

Before hitting a bowl or blunt, crack open a window and turn on a fan. Of course, this technique directs the smell of weed outside of your window. But many smokers prefer this outcome compared to weed fumes filling up their hallway.

Proper storage also plays a key role—weed smells even before you smoke it. Keep your stash in an airtight container to stop terpenes from leaking out into your room.

How to Mask the Smell of Weed in Your Room

If you’re smoking exceptionally smelly weed—or it’s simply too cold to open a window—the next port of call involves doing your best to cover up the scent. There are various methods smokers use to cover their tracks, with additional terpenes often serving as the best solution.

Essential Oils

Terpenes are strong enough to underpin the smell of weed, so logic suggests they are strong enough to cover it up! Essential oil diffusers utilise terpenes found in particularly aromatic plants —enter rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender—to make rooms smell as fresh as a daisy. Use these devices to override the signature smell of weed with the aromas of more innocent flowers and plants.

How to Hide the Smell of Weed in Your Home

Most cannabis users start their love affair with cannabis in their college dorms or a room in their childhood home. Eventually—following graduation, promotion, or other avenues—they move out into their very own abode. This big move comes hand in hand with considerably more freedom, such as blazing a bong at breakfast and hitting bowls in the bath (peak pleasure for most stoners).

If you’d rather keep the smell of terpenes out of your house, check out the prevention methods below. If you’re in need of an emergency cover-up, see how to mask the ever-increasing odour.

Prevent Your House from Smelling of Cannabis

Of course, adequate ventilation still applies when smoking in other areas of your house. If you have a favourite spot to blaze, bust open a window and turn on a fan. Ideally, choose a room where guests are less likely to enter, and one with good ventilation.

Head Outside

Alternatively, head out to the garden. If you live in a sunny region, make the most of the vitamin D and sit among your garden plants. If you’re dealing with a cold snap, sheds and outhouses provide great refuge and will prevent you from stinking out your home.

Proper Storage

Also, remember to store your weed wisely to prevent terpenes from leaking when you’re not even smoking. Mason jars and air-tight bags work great at trapping terpenes.

How to Mask the Smell of Weed in Your Home

After blasting your house with terpenes almost every day, your nose will become rather desensitised to just how similar your abode smells to a Dutch coffeeshop. Although far from an issue for you, it can become a cause for concern when guests announce their surprising presence within the hour. But fear not, there are several actions you can take to get your home smelling fresh and smoke-free before they arrive.

Incense Sticks

Light incense sticks and place them in the most affected areas. Much like essential oil diffusers, incense sticks release strong aromatic compounds into the air that are surprisingly good at covering up the odour of weed.

Candles

Aromatic candles also do a good job at masking terpenes in the air. With a huge selection of scents out there, choose whichever hits your nose in the right way.

Odour Eliminators

Although the last resort for hemp-clad weed smokers, chemical formulas do a superb job at covering up the smell of weed. Sprays such as Febreeze and Oust rapidly replace the skunky aroma with a refreshing and effective burst of aromatic molecules.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers work by circulating air through a series of fine filters. Not only can they help to remove smelly terpenes from the air, but they can also trap some of the potentially harmful substances found within second-hand smoke.

How to Hide the Smell of Cannabis in Your Car

Although we advise against driving and smoking weed, cars actually provide a superb smoking location when stationary. Not only will blazing in a vehicle stop your house from smelling, but cars also feature inbuilt ventilation systems and—perhaps more importantly—half-decent sound systems that add a punch to that reggae bass.

Prevent Your Car from Smelling of Weed

Heated seats. Fans. Music. Pretty LEDs. Sometimes it seems like cars were made to be smoked in. If you love blazing in your four-wheeled stallion, check out these means of keeping it smelling fresh.

Blast the Fans

Before hitting the tip of your joint with a lighter, put the fans on. If you really want to avoid a smelly car, putting up with the loud noise will pay off.

Crack the Windows

Ventilation will carry terpenes out of your car, preventing them from seeping into the material of your seats. Open the windows on either side to keep a constant flow of air rushing through your vehicle.

How to Mask the Smell of Weed in Your Car

If you’re in a rush to burn a joint, chances are you forgot about prevention—no worries! Even if your car now smells more like your grow room, use the tips below to address the issue.

Air Fresheners

Nearly every car features the quintessential air freshener dangling from the rear-view mirror. Often relied upon to keep the smell of drive-thru food at bay, they also help to combat the smell of weed.

Coffee!?

Yes. The dominant and equally addictive smell of coffee covers the smell of terpenes effectively. Place a bag of coffee grounds into your car and let them sit for a day before removing them.

Odour Neutralisers

Odour neutralising products don’t just temporarily mask the smell of weed, they physically bind to the aromatic molecules and remove their scent. Place these blocks in your car after a smoke to have it smelling neutral in no time.

Pay for a Deep Clean

Head to the cleaners. A deep interior clean of your car will have it smelling as good as new. A combination of industrial cleaning products and a topping of air freshener will eradicate even the stinkiest of terpene profiles.

How to Remove the Smell of Weed from Your Hair and Body

Terpenes don’t just cling to furniture after a smoke, they also linger on your hair and body. You might not detect the smell of weed on your person after a smoke, but everyone in your office will be hit by a wave of cannabis when you step foot through the door.

Prevent Your Hair and Body from Stinking of Weed

Preventing the smell of weed from clinging to your body will save you from some awkward moments at work and elsewhere. Use these tips to remain smelling fresh.

Blaze Outdoors

Smoking outdoors will reduce the chance of smelling like bud after a smoke. Increased airflow will move the terpenes away from your body, especially if you face away from the wind.

Change the Route of Administration

While smoking offers a satisfying ritual, it also immensely increases the chances of getting busted. Use your weed to create extracts or edibles! But be warned, edible highs are often much more intense.

How to Mask the Smell of Weed on Your Body and Hair

Once you’re coated in terpenes, your love for weed will be on full display until you utilise one of the options below.

Take a Shower

Smoking at home before you head out means you can jump in the shower first. Use a powerful shampoo and body wash to remove the smell of terpenes from your skin and hair.

Pungent Perfume

If you’re smoking on the go, carry around a bottle of particularly potent perfume in your bag. Apply generously before heading back to the office to cover the smell of clinging smoke.

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Weed From Your Clothes

Not only does weed smoke cling to hair and skin, but it also resides on clothes for relatively long periods. Here are some tricks for keeping that scent to yourself.

Prevent Your Clothes from Smelling of Weed

The key to stopping your clothes from smelling like weed: don’t expose them in the first place. Check out your options below.

Wear an Outer Layer While Smoking

If you’re heading somewhere immediately after a smoke, wearing an outer layer while you light up can take the brunt of the smell. A hoodie or jacket will capture most of the terpenes and intercept them from latching onto the clothes underneath.

Smoke Naked!

Before you leave your house, lay out your clothes ready to go and place them in another room. Kick back, take your time, and enjoy your joint. Once finished, take a stoned stroll into the other room, suit up, and leave the house smelling fresh!

How to Mask the Smell of Weed on Your Clothes

A quick smoke on your lunch break or just before catching the train can leave your clothes smelling very herbal indeed. Cologne works well at keeping body odours at bay, and it also helps to cover up the scent of problematic terpenes. Just make sure to apply more than usual to get rid of the obvious smell.

How to Smoke Weed Without Causing a Smell

For many cannabis users, their first time experiencing weed involved smoking a joint or bong. Many users stand sternly by this means of administration, never wavering in their loyalty. Sure, traditional smoking provides a sense of ritual and community, but there are plenty of options that are much less smelly.

Dabbing

Dabbing involves dropping concentrates onto a red hot nail. Although these preparations contain a lot more cannabinoids, they burn a lot less plant material than a joint. There is some smell produced, but it’s not nearly as “telling” as regular smoke. Dabbing involves using a large rig and a blow torch, but it serves as a great option just before heading out the door.

Vaporizers

Vaporizers expose cannabis flowers and extracts to much lower temperatures than smoking. Through vaporization, these devices target cannabinoids and terpenes without burning them (causing combustion). As well as improving the flavour experience, vaporizers create much less of an odour.

Sploof

If you do insist on smoking, consider using a sploof. Cheap and easy to make, they consist of a toilet roll tube, elastic band, and piece of paper towel. Attach the towel to one end of the tube and exhale smoke into the opposite end. The makeshift device helps to intercept some terpenes and reduce the smell.

What Kills the Smell of Weed?

To recap, here are some of the most effective ways to banish the smell of weed when you need to act fast:

  • Air fresheners
  • Scented candles
  • Incense sticks
  • Essential oils
  • Proper ventilation
  • Store your weed wisely
  • Alternative methods: vaping and dabbing
  • Use a sploof when possible

Cannabis produces a strong, fragrant aroma that can attract unwanted attention, so follow our guide to keeping the smell of weed under control.

The Fragrance of Marijuana Before and After Consumption

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has psychoactive and medicinal properties because of its chemical makeup.

Marijuana can be rolled up in a handmade cigarette (a joint), in a cigar, or in a pipe (a bong). It can be used for pain relief, to treat anxiety, or for recreation.

In many states, the sale and use of marijuana without a prescription is still illegal.

You can usually tell if someone has been smoking marijuana by detecting the scent of piney, slightly skunky grass that smoked cannabis leaves behind.

But figuring out for sure if what you’re smelling is weed can be a little difficult if you aren’t attuned to the scent. Various strains of marijuana can smell different from each other, making it even more complicated.

This article will cover what marijuana smells like in different stages of its use and consumption, as well as some differences between strains.

The strongest factor in the way marijuana smells is the age of the cannabis plant when it’s harvested. Cannabis that’s harvested earlier in its life cycles has a milder, less skunky scent.

It’s also less powerful when you smoke it. Cannabis that grows older before it’s picked and dried will have a stronger odor.

Organic compounds called terpenes are found in all plants, including cannabis. Myrcene (mango), pinene (pine), and limonene (lemon) are terpenes found in some strains of cannabis.

Terpenes change the scent of marijuana. For example, cannabis strains with pinene will smell more like pine.

Marijuana plants smell similar during the growing process and when they’re harvested and dried. They give off a slightly weedy, piney “skunk” scent that gets stronger as the plant grows older.

When cannabis flowers and blooms, the scent becomes powerful.

Indica vs. sativa

For decades, botanists and marijuana connoisseurs claimed that indica and sativa are different species with distinctly different effects on the body. Indica strain smells more acrid, while sativa smells more spicy or sweet.

But it would appear, at least to some experts, that there’s no way to smell the difference between indica and sativa definitively. Part of the reason is that there’s a lot of crossbreeding between these two particular strains.

However, one small study did find that participants who had purchased weed within the prior several months were able to smell the difference between several different strains of marijuana.

Marijuana consumers describe the scent of the plant as earthy, herbal, and woody. Sometimes the plant scent carries notes of lemon, apple, diesel, or plum.

Dried marijuana smells a lot stronger than some other dried plants.

When you’re smoking marijuana, the natural scent of the cannabis scent is amplified by the smoke it creates. Fire, smoke itself, ash, and the smell of rolling paper add additional layers to the scent.

When a person is smoking cannabis, notes of lemongrass, pine, fire, and wood may stand out. The distinct “skunk” smell of marijuana is often reported.

Learn about what gives marijuana its distinctly "skunky," strong odor, and how marijuana smells in plant form, when it's smoked, and more. ]]>

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grow weed in water

How to Grow Marijuana Hydroponically

Last Updated: October 8, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 1,165,414 times.

Whether you call it weed, cannabis, pot, marijuana, or something else, the plant known as Cannabis sativa is actually easy to grow at home when you know what you need to do. Growing hydroponically will provide you with higher yields and a shorter grow time compared to growing in soil, but it can often be difficult for the beginning grower to get started with hydroponics. However, most people think of plants growing in water when they think “hydroponics” but actually your plants will get many of the benefits of hydroponics as long as they’re getting their nutrients directly in their water supply. However because of superior air to water ratio in hydroponics, it remains the industry standard. This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to grow your marijuana in 3-4 months using the (arguably) easiest hydroponic method: hand-watering in a soil-less medium.

How to Grow Marijuana Hydroponically. Whether you call it weed, cannabis, pot, marijuana, or something else, the plant known as Cannabis sativa is actually easy to grow at home when you know what you need to do. Growing hydroponically will…

How To Water Cannabis Plants: A Comprehensive Guide

Your cannabis plants need water in order to thrive. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But did you know that incorrect watering is the most common reason for plant health issues? Learn how and when to water your plants so you can avoid any problems before they have a chance to happen!

Contents:

Watering cannabis plants seems like the easiest thing to do, yet many growers, especially those new to cannabis cultivation, make mistakes with watering. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for all sorts of growing troubles such as nutrient deficiencies and cannabis diseases, although giving your plants too little water can also negatively affect their growth.

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU WATER CANNABIS?

One issue with watering plants is that it isn’t really an exact science, and many different factors contribute to how much you should administer. As an obvious example, as your plants get bigger, their watering needs will change. But there are other, more complex variables that also determine how much or little you should drench your plants. Let’s discuss some of the most vital:

STAGE OF GROWTH

Cannabis plants have different watering demands depending on their stage of maturity. The specific guidelines we share below apply to mature vegetating and flowering plants. Seedlings and clones require much less water.

In the early stages, avoid watering your plants with a powerful stream that might knock them over and disturb developing roots. Instead, use a light mister to gently moisten the substrate.

Wait for the soil to dry out completely before repeating the procedure. How quickly the soil will dry will depend on your environmental conditions, but this roughly translates to misting once every 2–3 days.

GROWING MEDIUM

The type of growing medium you use largely determines how much water the soil can hold, and drainage plays a huge role in how often/how much you water your plants. Cannabis likes rich yet airy and “fluffy” types of soils that are well-draining. As another consideration, the growing containers themselves must have holes punctured in the bottom to allow the water to escape. More compact soil mixes will hold moisture much longer, so they require less frequent watering as a result. Otherwise, moisture can linger in the soil for some time, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, root rot and fungus, pests, and a whole lot of other problems.

Here is a quick way to check if your water is draining properly: If it takes several minutes for water to drain after drenching the soil, and/or if it takes longer than 3–4 days for your soil to dry out, it’s likely that you have a drainage issue. Even if you don’t see adverse symptoms now, it could definitely lead to more problems down the line. In this case, you can add perlite or something similar to your soil to aerate the mix and improve its drainage ability. Perlite ensures that water doesn’t stay too long in your pot. The key to good soil for cannabis plants, whether store-bought or homemade, is to balance moisture retention with water drainage. This usually means soil that is dark and rich, but amended with perlite and/or other substances to promote a healthy and efficient medium for plants to grow.

SIZE OF CONTAINER

Then of course, the dimensions of your container will also affect the overall balance between moisture retention and drainage. If you have a tiny plant in a huge pot, drenching the whole substrate is going to drown the poor thing before it gets a chance to flourish. Similarly, you might experience the opposite issue with huge root-bound plants stuck in minuscule pots. This is also the reason that growers normally start seedlings in smaller pots, then up-pot them later as the plant grows. A small seedling pot makes it much easier not to overwater the sensitive seedling.

OUTSIDE TEMPS AND LIGHT INTENSITY

Cannabis plants don’t always grow at the same pace. A plant in a cooler environment, for example, will grow much slower than one under balmier conditions. Light intensity plays another big role here. Plants that receive more heat and light are bound to have higher water and nutrient requirements than those with meagre light and chilly temps.

HEALTH OF CANNABIS PLANTS

The general health and vitality of your plants will also determine how much water they require. If growth is slow or stunted, or if a plant is afflicted with diseases or pests, it will likely not need as much water as one that is thriving.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR PLANTS ARE THIRSTY

You now know about the factors that determine how much and how often cannabis plants need water, and how these factors can be different for everyone. So now, how can you tell exactly when you should water?

Here are some signs that your cannabis plants are thirsty:

DROOPING, WEAK PLANTS

If your cannabis plants are very thirsty, they will droop. The whole plant will appear rather sickly and lifeless, so it’s difficult to overlook this sign. One catch here though is that thirsty plants can look very similar to those that are drooping because of overwatering. The difference here is that the leaves of overwatered plants are usually dark green and form a “claw” where they curl and bend downwards, so the whole plant takes on a heavy and waterlogged appearance.

If you’re somewhat experienced, you should be able to tell these conditions apart. Most of the time, it should be obvious if the drooping is from over or under-watering: If the soil is bone-dry and you know you haven’t watered in quite some time, the sickly appearance of your plants is less likely from overwatering.

Tip: Know that slightly underwatering your plants is always better than overwatering. If you water thirsty, otherwise healthy plants, they should normally recover their appearance in a couple of hours. Occasional underwatering doesn’t usually have harmful consequences. Overwatering, on the other hand, is a silent killer.

YELLOW OR BROWN LEAVES

Along with your thirsty plant wilting and drooping due to a lack of water, it may also display discoloured leaves in shades of yellow and brown. While it is perfectly normal for plants to develop yellow leaves during the final weeks of bloom, a healthy vegetating plant shouldn’t have any/many dry, yellow, or brown foliage.

JUST CHECK THE SOIL!

Take the guesswork out of your watering routine with a simple method. Placing the tip of your finger into the top 5cm of soil provides a good indicator of how dry the upper soil has become. However, it won’t allow you to detect the water content of the middle and bottom of the growing medium.

Weighing your pots instead will give you a clear picture of how much water remains. You can operate based on a general feeling of how your containers feel in your hands when they are dry compared to when they are saturated. Even better, weigh them to know exactly when they’re ready for some more H₂O.

HOW TO WATER YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS

Here is a simple rule: Water less, but water well! Rather than giving your plants a little bit of water often, treat them to a healthy, less frequent soak. But how much water is sufficient?

A good soak means watering the medium to 25–33% of the pot capacity. This amount of water will provide the root system with all it needs, without causing pooling and potential fungal issues.

When watering, aim for the middle of the substrate first. After letting the roots breathe, water the edges of the container too. This approach will encourage the root ball to reach to the edges of the pot, and also shuttle nutrients sitting in the top of the medium down to the root system below.

This method will deliver the correct amount of water, without creating pools in the substrate. Excess water creates a humid environment—a perfect breeding ground for fungal pathogens that lead to root rot.

DON’T LEAVE YOUR PLANTS SITTING IN RUNOFF

Along with your containers featuring holes at the bottom for water to escape from, the containers themselves should be lifted slightly off the ground so that all the water can drain and plants aren’t sitting in stale liquid. Drainage trays can catch this runoff, but should immediately be dumped after collection to avoid creating a breeding ground for bacteria, pests, and mould.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PH WHEN WATERING PLANTS

If you are growing cannabis organically in soil, you shouldn’t need to worry much about the pH level of your water/nutrient solution. But for the majority of cannabis growers who are using common mineral nutrients and grow weed in soil, coco, or hydroponically, the correct pH level of the water is very important.

The reason for this is that cannabis plants have a limited pH window where they are able to take in nutrients. If the pH level of the water is either too high or too low, the plants are unable to take in nutrients even if they are present, a phenomenon known as nutrient lockout.

When you grow in soil, the pH range of your water should be 6.3–6.8. If you grow soilless (e.g. coco) or hydroponically, the pH level needs to be even lower, 5.5–6.1. To test your water pH, use a pH measuring stick or pH measuring drops. If the pH is too high or too low, use some drops of “pH down” or “pH up” to adjust your water to the right level. Most of the time, if you’re using tap water, your pH will likely be too high.

Also, if you’re adding cannabis nutrients to your water, measure the pH after each feed. This will give you accurate data of how you have influenced the soil. It will also let you know if you need to add more nutes, or modify the dose during next feed.

BOTTOM LINE—WATER WELL, BUT NOT TOO OFTEN!

If you know how and when to water your plants, and are aware of any associated issues along the way, you can prevent most common cannabis growing problems. You will raise happy, healthy plants, and can look forward to fantastic yields!

The HI-98107 pHep pH tester provides fast and accurate pH readings. The easy-to-use device is designed for non-technical users, and can help both novice and advanced growers measure water pH.

HI-98107 pHep pH tester provides fast and accurate pH readings. The easy-to-use device is designed for non-technical users, and can help both novice and advanced growers measure water pH.

Click here to find out everything you need to know about how and when to water cannabis plants. Watering may seem easy, but many growers still get it wrong. ]]>