This is the third in a series of articles on diagnosing and fixing marijuana nutrients deficiencies and excesses, and it’s a good idea to review the previous articles before reading this one.
In the previous articles, we gave you the multi-step template for starting to solve nutrients problems:
- Making sure your marijuana grow room has ideal temperature, humidity, air circulation, and lighting conditions for marijuana plants.
- Using reverse osmosis water.
- Ensuring that pH and PPM meters are accurate.
- Flushing your hydroponics marijuana root zone.
- Using a new brand of base nutrients after finding out from the manufacturer how to use them.
Those preliminary steps use the process of elimination so you work through factors that can cause what appears to be marijuana nutrients deficiencies and excesses.
If you’ve followed those steps and your marijuana plants are showing an increase in growth rate, along with decrease or elimination of leaf problems, your next steps are to start adding in nutrients supplements one at a time, monitoring your marijuana plants to make sure each supplement is properly dosed.
This step is important. Many growers using hydroponics nutrients brands that aren’t properly configured will see problems when they add supplements like bloom boosters on top of base nutrients.
The added phosphorus and potassium of most brands of bloom boosters will create excess, and burn the plants.
The bud shown in the photo accompanying this article is an example of that.
If you’ve followed the preliminary steps and your marijuana plants are still showing leaf problems and/or growth problems, there are a number of factors to consider.
This article focuses on what to do if the preliminary steps have not fixed the problem. Here are some ideas and tactics for you to consider:
- If your marijuana plants are still showing leaf problems that resemble nutrients excess or deficiencies, look back over the past two articles to make sure you’ve carefully eliminated all potential causes.
- This includes examining your grow room conditions, changing your water and base nutrients, ensuring totally accurate pH and ppm metering, making sure there are no pests or diseases, and contacting base nutrients manufacturer’s tech support to get as much troubleshooting from them as possible.
- Continue to feed your plants with whichever base nutrients performed best for you in this crop cycle, but at a reduced parts per million (unless the manufacturer’s tech rep told you otherwise).
- Do two feeds and then a pure water flush in a 1-2-3 schedule for the rest of your marijuana plants’ season.
- Experiment with adjusting pH up or down by .2 increments across the range of 5.5-6.5. Give each adjustment three or more days and see if crop problems are reduced using that pH.
- Provide your plants a vitamin B booster such as Organic B or Thrive Alive. Marijuana plants experiencing nutrients stress often benefit from vitamin B complex.
- Treat your root zone with beneficial microbes, a plant tonic (Ancient Earth), and a root stimulator (such as Roots Excelurator).
- Use a hydroponics enzyme product to clean the root zone, and a seaweed product containing ascophyllum nodosum. These types of products include SensiZym. Nirvana, and BioWeed. Any time you add any supplement to your base nutrients program, use far less than the recommended dose, and only add one supplement at a time so you can monitor the effects.
- Avoid overwatering. Reduce the amount and frequency of watering.
- If you’re in bloom, shorten your light cycle to 11.5 hours so you encourage your marijuana plants to finish faster.
- Leave defective leaves on your marijuana plants as long as possible. In hydroponics nutrients stress situations, leaves function as dumps for excess nutrients, and as sources for stored nutrients.
Marijuana growing doesn’t always work the same way it would as if you were assembling a machine following instructions.
Marijuana plants are living organisms with genetic tendencies and other factors that determine how they grow, what they like to eat, and what conditions work best for them.
If you’ve damaged your marijuana plants with too much or too little nutrition, the damage might be permanent. This means you’ll try your best to keep your marijuana plants alive and as healthy as possible so you can salvage at least some bud from that crop cycle.
After a failed crop cycle, your post-mortem analysis includes examining the root balls to determine root health, look for pests and diseases, see how wet or dry the root media is, look for patterns of root growth, and otherwise evaluate the root systems.
If you followed all the steps in these first three articles and you didn’t fix your crop problems before harvest, it could mean that your plants were too badly damaged to recover.
On the other hand, it could also mean that you continued to make crucial mistakes in your feed program or grow room environment.
Realize that if you start a new marijuana grow season using the same genetics or the same grow room, root zone media, meters, and hydroponics nutrients…you might get the same bad results.
So after you’ve finished a problematic grow, and before you start a new one, consider making major changes in how you grow.
If you had a failure in soil, switch to soilless.
If you had a failure in coco, switch to Pro-Mix or Grodan rockwool.
If you had a failure with two different brands of hydroponics base nutrients, try a third brand.
There will be one more article in this series and perhaps you’re wondering if can anyone give you an easy, complete fix for all marijuana nutrients deficiencies and excesses.
The answer is no, nobody can.
One of the reasons premium marijuana costs so much is that it takes years of experience, learning, and mastery before you discover the marijuana strains, hydroponics nutrients, root zone media, and growing system that produces reliable, fast-growing, healthy marijuana plants and big buds every crop cycle.
By all means do everything you can to fix your marijuana plant problems as fast as you can so you get their leaves, growth rate, and productivity to full health as soon as possible.
But also be patient and understanding: marijuana plants aren’t machines, and sometimes a crop isn’t going to do as well as you wanted it to do.
By using the methods in these articles, you’ve done all you can to fix problems using a scientific method that takes on one factor at a time.