Prevent Wilting In Your Medical Marijuana Crop
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 13073 views
By Lee G. Leissett
Wilting is caused by a lack of moisture in your marijuana plants.
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Almost every medical marijuana grower has, at some point in their growing career, experienced wilting. You don’t need a degree in plant biology to determine that wilting is bad. Taking one look at droopy medical marijuana is enough to see that the plant is in peril. The longer a grower waits to act the more damage will be done to your plant, some of which is irreversible. What is happening when a plant wilts and what are the best methods to ensure this stress never plagues your medical marijuana garden?
Why Your Marijuana Is Wilting
The most common reason a medical marijuana plant wilts is lack of water or drought. As water availability becomes scarce the natural reaction is for the plant to prioritize the little moisture it does have into the most vital areas. The lack of moisture reduces the turgor pressure (osmotic pressure) in the plant. This means that the vacuole, which is normally filled with water and responsible for giving the plant rigidity and support, loses its water and therefore compromises the structural integrity of the plant.
Wilting’s Impact On Cannabis Growth
The largest impact wilting has on plant functions is the reduction of photosynthesis, which decreases growth rates and plant development. When a plant experiences chemical limitations due to the reduction of critical elements needed in photosynthesis (like water) all plant functions are compromised.
There are many physical limitations caused by wilting; for example, the closing of the stomata. Stomates are the plant cells that control movement of water, CO2 and oxygen into and out of the plant. During a drought or time of moisture stress, stomates close to conserve water. This, in turn, closes the pathway for the exchange of water, CO2 and oxygen, and limits the plant’s ability to perform photosynthesis. Because the moisture in these plant cells is vital to their survival, eventually moisture stress will cause their demise and, in turn, destroy the plant itself.
Preventing Marijuana Plant Wilt
The most obvious way to reduce or eliminate moisture-related stress is to ensure your plant always receives adequate moisture. Check moisture levels in soils by either physically lifting the planting container or utilizing a moisture meter. Moisture meters are a great, inexpensive way to check a soil’s moisture level around the root mass of plants that are planted directly into the ground.
Additives that help retain moisture are another great way to ensure adequate moisture levels for your plants. Polymer crystals, diatomite rock and coco coir are all great amendments to any soil mixture and will help retain moisture for a longer period of time. Also, there are many automated watering systems available that can help maintain an efficient irrigation schedule.
Another great defense against drought or moisture-related stress is choosing a variety of medical marijuana that is more resist to drought. Strains that originated in places with hot climates like Columbia, Jamaica, Cambodia or Mexico are generally more resistant to drought and are a good choice for the outdoor grower that may not have access to an abundance of water.
Wilting, like most problems associated with growing medical marijuana, is a problem best caught early or before it is visually apparent. If you do notice any wilting in your plants you should take action immediately. The longer you wait the more damage is being done. Monitoring your moisture levels in your medium with an inexpensive moisture meter can catch drought-related problems before your plants are actually affected. This ensures your plants continue to grow to their potential and that their performance will be heightened instead of hindered by the hot summer sun or HID lighting.
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Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Oct. 30th 2012