In the previous article in this series on fixing marijuana nutrients deficiencies and excesses, we saw how old school approaches to hydroponics nutrients problems haven’t worked well for marijuana growers.
The article explained that growers might misread cannabis plant problems in three fundamental ways:
* You might see marijuana plant problems caused by grow room environment and other cultivation factors, but the problems look like hydroponics nutrients problems…so the marijuana grower doesn’t look for other causes.
* There might really be nutrients deficiencies or excesses, but marijuana growers believe the problems are caused by hydroponics nutrients, when the nutrients problems could be symptoms of other problems in the marijuana growing situation.
* Marijuana growers try to fix nutrients problems by adding doses of individual elements, such as Epsom salts or Cal-Mag, but doing that often creates more problems.
This article series gives you the most effective tactics for fixing marijuana nutrients problems based on common scientific method (it’s also used by chefs) that involves changing individual conditions and materials, observing outcomes, and making adjustments if needed.
So here are the first steps in the process for fixing (what could be) marijuana nutrients problems:
- First, consult this description of ideal grow room conditions. If your marijuana grow room is out of compliance with these conditions, it can show up as growth and leaf problems that resemble and/or cause nutrients problems.
- Clean and calibrate your pH/ppm meters to make sure they’re accurate. Note: Many hydroponics meters suck. Don’t be surprised if you need a new meter and/or new calibration fluids. Also note: Some parts per million/total dissolved solids (TDS) meters can’t be calibrated. Check with the manufacturer.
- Change your water source. Tap water and well water often cause marijuana plant problems because they contain pollutants, chloramines or other contaminants, but even if you’re running reverse osmosis water, get RO water from somewhere else (some hydroponics grow stores sell RO water).
- Do a utility flush. Use Advanced Nutrients Flawless Finish, which is the highest quality chelated hydroponics flusher for use during crop cycles at just before harvest.
- Mix a new batch of nutrients the same way you did previously, and run it for 2-5 days. If your marijuana plants improve rapidly, you could reasonably “assume” the water you used before was at least part of the problem.
- If changing your water source doesn’t fix the problems, do another utility flush.
- Get a completely different brand of hydroponics base nutrients…the highest quality brand and type of base nutrients you can afford. I recommend Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect Connoisseur or Sensi Bloom for bloom phase, and pH perfect Sensi Grow for veg phase.
- Call Advanced Nutrients tech support and tell them the problems your marijuana plants have been having. Ask how to use their products, especially as regards parts per million and pH, and whether anyone has experienced plant problems like you’re experiencing when using their hydroponics nutrients.
- When mixing the new brand of base nutrients, take an initial pH and ppm reading, and then another reading one hour after you mix the batch…before you run the nutrients into your plants.
- Make sure pH and ppm are in the target range for your root zone media and plant growth stage. If you see a shift of more than .3 pH three hours after mixing, contact the hydroponics nutrients manufacturer. Unstable base nutrients are a pervasive problem in our marijuana growing industry.
- Give your marijuana plants only the base nutrients for five days. Do not use any other nutrients products during this initial test phase with your new base nutrients.
- Measure pH and ppm of your runoff water. Compare runoff water pH and ppm to the pH and ppm you fed your marijuana plants. If there are significant differences between entering nutrients water and runoff water, it’s a sign something isn’t right in your marijuana root zone. (Look for a future article on run-off pH and ppm issues).
- Monitor your marijuana leaves. New growth should be medium green, with no tip burning, yellowing, other discolorations, wilting, or curling. Your marijuana plants should show increased growth rate and health.
The marijuana nutrients troubleshooting steps outlined today are preliminary fundamentals.
You’ll get follow-up steps in the next articles.
Keep careful records as you follow these steps.
By changing one factor at a time (such as changing water source, or brand of hydroponics base nutrients), you gradually confirm or eliminate that factor as being the cause of marijuana problems.
Be patient with yourself and your marijuana plants.
You’re dealing with a complex set of factors—with a lot that can go wrong—when you grow hydroponics marijuana.
The good news is that when you get it right, hydroponics marijuana growing is fun and very profitable.