Thursday, 10 May 2012

Marijuana Problems & Symptoms - How to Recognize what's wrong and to fix it (including mites)

#000 One of most common problems is temperature changing from cold to warm, cold nights and warm days.

Some varieties, like equatorial sativas, don't take well to cold weather. If you can keep the roots warmer, the plant will be able to take cooler temps than it otherwise could. Also note that in colder temps, phosphorus gets poorly absorbed and if this happens your plants can show purpling of the leaves and stems, (cannabis has a natural purple color to it's stems, the deep purple is what shows the problem)this is the same example when plants change color in flowering when environment triggers cause the plant to change color, also genes play a role as well.


#1: Too much heat or light

symptoms: The cannabis plant can only withstand a certain amount of heat and light. After a certain point, your plant will start exhibiting signs of stress on the leaves near the sources of light and/or heat. Your leaves will get yellow or brown brown spotting and may appear generally burnt in places. The first two pictures are of heat stress, and the last picture shows a marijuana plant which is showing signs of light burn (too much light).

How to fix it: Find a way to lower the temperature and/or increase the circulation in the grow room or grow area if heat is the problem. If your marijuana plants are just getting too much light, try removing some of the lights or moving your lights further away from the tops of the plants. When learning how to weed, it's best to try to keep things at a comfortable room temperature at all times for optimal growth.

#2: Too much watering

 Symptoms : The plants leaves will start drooping if they've been over-watered or under-watered. If you've overwatered your plant, its leaves will be firm and curled down all the way to the stem of the leaf. You may also notice Chlorosis (Leaf Yellowing). Plants use their roots to get oxygen which is dissolved in water or oxygen in their grow medium. When you overwater a plant, its roots are sitting in stagnant water which no longer has any oxygen left. The reason your plants droop is because basically their roots are starving for oxygen.

How to fix it: The best thing you can do for overwatered plants is give them time without watering, and then start them off slowly until things seem back to normal. You can try to increase the temperature and airflow to help the water evaporate more quickly. You can also use a pencil to gently poke some air holes into the growing medium to provide extra aeration and oxygen to the roots.
For soil grows, you generally only want to water the plant when the soil feels dry if you press a finger in it. You can also use the "lift the pot" method described below (under Underwatering) to decide when to water your plants. For other growing mediums besides soil, your watering method will vary, but if your plants are drooping and you've been feeding them a lot of water, it's a good idea to cut back and see if that helps.

#3: Under-watering

 Symptoms: If your plant is drooping and you're sure you haven't over-watered it, than it might need more water. If you've been under-watering your plant, its leaves will look limp and lifeless.

How To fix it: While it can be good to let your plant dry out a bit after watering, you should always water the plant again before it's leaves start drooping. A good way to tell if a potted plant is ready to be watered is to pick it up and tell if it feels heavy or not. As plants use up all the water in their pot, it will start to get lighter. If you need something for comparison, you can get an extra pot and fill it with your growing medium. Now you can use this extra container for comparison with your potted plants as it represents the 'dry weight' of your growing medium. If you pick up a potted plant and its feels just slightly heavier than your dry pot, then you know it's time to water your plant. After a while you get a feel for how heavy your plants need to be and you may not even need the extra pot anymore.

#4: Nutrient Burn

Symptoms: You may notice the tips of your plants showing signs of nutrient burn. If it only seems to be affecting the tips, then there's no need to worry, but if you start noticing the problem spread to the whole leaf, then you should immediately do something to treat your plant before there's more damage. Nutrient burn can also manifest itself as random spots around the edges of the leaves, or with leaf tips curling downwards.

How to fix it: Flush your system with plain, pH'ed water. Give your plants some time to recover, and start them with a fraction of the nutrients you were giving them before working your way up to more nutrients. Many nutrients come with instructions to feed your plant more nutrients than most plants actually need. It's good business for them if you use more nutrients. However, in my experience it's a good idea to view the feeding charts that come with nutrients as the maximum amount of nutrients and actually start with much less.

#5: Boron Deficiency

Symptoms: Cannabis leaves and roots show abnormal and slowed growth when showing a boron defiency. The first signs of a cannabis boron deficiency is abnormal or thick growth tips. New leaves may display chlorosis (yellowing of leaves). Stems may become rough or hollow. The plant may look like it has a calcium deficiency because boron is needed for the plant to properly use calcium. New growth is affected the most, and may look like it's been burnt or scorched.

How to fix it: Boron is not absorbed will without enough potassium and nitrogen, or if there isn't enough moisture. You plant may also exhibit signs of a boron deficiency if the pH is too high or low. Flush your system with clean, pH'd water that contains about half the nutrients needed for the plant and watch to make sure that the problem clears up for new growth.

#6: Calcium Deficiency

Symptoms: Signs of a cannabis calcium deficiency can be hard to pin down since calcium deficiencies are often accompanied by magnesium, iron, and other deficiencies. However, some of the major signs of a calcium deficiency are in the leaves which will display dead spots, crinkling, spotting, or small brown spots. Another sign of a cannabis calcium deficiency is new leaves will appear small and distorted with curled tips The insides of the plant and well as the flowers/buds may show signs of decay. Roots may show signs of bacteria and may be dying off or be under developed.

 How to fix it: If the pH of your root zone is off, then your cannabis cannot properly absorb calcium through its roots so the first step is to ensure that you have the correct pH for your growth medium. Learn more about pH and cannabis. Different strains of cannabis tend to have different nutrient problems, but calcium, magnesium, and iron deficiencies often appear together in cannabis. Therefore many growers decide to purchase some sort of Calcium-Magnesium (often called Cal-Mag) supplement for their grow room in case this common deficiency appears. I have listed some available Cal-Mag supplements that I have used along below with some general information about each one. After supplementing with Cal-Mag and correcting the pH, you should expect to see new healthy growth within a week.

#7: Iron Deficiency

 Symptoms:  An iron deficiency manifests itself as yellowing of the leaves although the veins will tend to stay green. It looks similar to a magnesium deficiency, but will only affect younger leaves.

How to fix it: Iron deficiencies are very uncommon as long as the pH is kept below 6.5 (5.7 for hydroponic or rock wool). Too much Phosphorus can also lock up iron. The best thing you can do is check the pH of your system, and then flush the system with clean pH'd water that contains nutrients at half strength to start, then start working your way up to full nutrient strength. It's worthwhile to note that iron has a tendency to react with many other components of fertilizer solutions and can cause other nutrients to be locked up from the plant. When supplementing your plant with iron, it is often necessary to not use fertilizer for that watering. If you are supplementing with iron, make sure you first read the label of both the fertilizer and the iron supplement  you are using to minimize any problems.

Other supplements that have Iron in them are: Iron chelates, Ferric oxide, Ferrous oxide, Ferrous sulfate, all of these are fast absorption. Greensand, Cottonseed Meal is slow absorption, Garden Manure, which is medium absorption. Manure is most common organic iron source to use.

#8: Magnesium Deficiency

Symptoms: The edges of the leaves may become yellow or bright green and may start feeling crispy to the touch. The light green or yellow coloring may also effect the veins of the leaves.

How to fix it: It is very important to maintain a proper pH in order to avoid a magnesium deficiency. Adding more magnesium to a system when there is a pH lock-out will only make the situation worse because the plant will not be able to absorb any magnesium until the pH has been corrected. Flush the system with properly pH'ed water that contains a full set of proper nutrients and see if the new growth starts looking healthier.

Other nutrients that have Manganese in them are: Manganese chelate, Manganese carbonate, Manganese chloride, Manganese dioxide, Manganese oxide, Manganese sulfate, which are all fast absorption. Garden Manure, Greenssand are both good sources of manganese and are medium/ slow absorption.

#9: Zinc Deficiency

Symptoms: Younger leaves start yellowing in between the veins. Leaf tips get discolored and start dying. the leaves will take a unique banded appearance and the plant will stop growing vertically. There will be much less space between new nodes  which will cause all the new leaves to start bunching together. If the plant is budding, it's flowers may start dying.

How to fix it: Flush your system with clean, pH'd water that contains about half the nutrients needed for the plant (including zinc, iron, and manganese). Watch to make sure that the problem starts to clear up on new growth within a couple of days.

#10: Potassium Deficiency

Symptoms: Older leaves turn yellow then start getting dark, scorched lesions around the edges of the leaves. Plants may stretch and stems may become weak. The symptoms are very similar to an iron deficiency except the tips of the leaves curl as the edges burn and die. The last picture below has some more information about the potassium requirements of your marijuana plant.

How to fix it: Potassium isn't absorbed properly when there is too much calcium or nitrogen in the system. Check the pH of your water, and flush your whole system with water that contains half the normal amount of nutrients and see if your plant starts showing signs of improvement.

As well: wood ashes, can make your ph go up a bit
Now if you added to much chemical nutrients and or organics, (which is hard to burn your plants when using organics) you need to flush the soil with plain water. You need to use 2 times as much water as the size of the pot, for example: If you have a 5 gallon pot and need to flush it, you need to use 10 gallons of water to rinse out the soil good enough to get rid of excessive nutrients.

#11: Phosphorus Deficiency

Symptoms: Phosphorus aids in root growth and overall health of the plant and is especially essential when the plant is in flowering. Cannabis loves phosphorus and it is very unlikely that cannabis gets too much phosphorus. A plant which is deficient in phosphorus will have slow, stunted growth. If there is a major deficiency, the leaves may exhibit dark gray or purplish splotches. The last picture below is an info-graphic with more information about phosphorus and your marijuana plant.

How to fix it: Check the pH and flush system. An excess of Fe and Zn may cause a phosphorus deficiency. If you've tried everything else, then you may try adding a bit more phosphorus to your feeding schedule and see if that helps clear up the problem. Cannabis plants love phosphorus, and therefore it is unlikely that you will give your cannabis too much phosphorus.

#12: Sulfur Deficiency 

Symptoms: A sulfur deficiency will manifest itself as all-over chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) starting with the oldest leaves and may look like a nitrogen deficiency at first. The parts that are underneath the leaves may take on a distinctive pinkish red or orange color. The buds on a flowering plant may start dying off. Unlike other deficiencies that cause chlorosis, a sulfur deficiency will start at the back of the leaf and move it's way forward as opposed to started at the tips. Leaves become stiff and brittle and will eventually fall off.

How to fix it: 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.

#13 Copper (Cu) 

Copper deficiency plants shows a lack of growth, growth tips die back, green leaves will show a bluish hue and plants may have a hard time showing maturity in vegging stages. Copper deficient plants causes irregular growth and wilting in the newer growths. The Leaves at top will wilt easily along with bleaching (chlorosis) and necrotic areas in the leaves. Leaves on the top of the plant may show veinal chlorosis.(bleaching of the veins)
Growth and yield will be diminished along with spots on the leaves that are necrotic.

To much copper in the system will cause the plant to die, as if it was a poison.Near death the plant will induce iron deficiencies and the root system will decay along with abnormal size of the roots, along with little side branching. Some new growths may not open up, along with becoming thin pale green to a bluish hue. Parts affected by copper deficiency are: new shoots, young leaves, and or the whole plant.

Copper plays a big role in producing healthy plants, stems, branches and new growths, as well as for the plants reproduction and maturity.
It also assists in carbohydrate metabolism and oxygen reduction.

How to fix it:
One way to treat a copper deficiency is by foliar feeding with Copper Sulphate, Cu sulfate, Cu chelates, Those 3 can also be used in soil. Any Chemical/Organic nutrients that have copper in them will fix a copper deficiency. (Only mixing at ½ strength when using chemical nutrients or it will cause nutrient burn!)
Other nutrients that have copper in them are: Granular, Garden Manure, Greensand.

Now if you added to much chemical nutrients and or organics, (which is hard to burn your plants when using organics) you need to flush the soil with plain water. You need to use 2 times as much water as the size of the pot, for example: If you have a 5 gallon pot and need to flush it, you need to use 10 gallons of water to rinse out the soil good enough to get rid of excessive nutrients. Damaged leaves will NOT recover.

============================BUGs LIFE===================================


1# Spider mites:

Spider mites are by far the worst pest to have, because they are the hardest to kill and can literally kill any plant. They are by far more active in warmer climates than cold ones, they also suck sup from the leaves leaving tiny white spots on the leaves from where they suck on. The damage they do is just like thrips, but with spider mites they pierce the surface of the leaves and can show tiny holes or white speckling damage, unlike with thirps they eat the surface of the chlorophyll. You can tell when you have infestation of spider mites , because you will have distorted growth, shortened internodes and petioles.

When you have bad infestation you will see webbing with larva in them. You get spider mites from either store bought soil mostly when your soil is not sterilized. Most brands do not state weather or not they are, chances are if you buy cheap soil, you have a less likely chance of the soil being sterile.Also, bringing outdoor plants indoors, or getting plants from someone else who was infected with spidermites.
Spider mites live on the plant itself and are under the leaves most of the time and are usually are so tiny you can’t see them with the naked eye. In order to get rid of spider mites one of the best ways to start to get rid of them is to use NO-Pest strips.NO-Pest strips work well and should always be used with other methods. Neem oil helps get rid of them as well. Also by raising the humidity in your grow room a lot will kill the spider mites off, by them absorbing to much humidity and will burst.

You can use soap solution like Safer Insecticidal Soap to get rid of most aphid problems.

 Use some tobacco juice and chili pepper powder added to this for mites. (see below how to make tabacco juice)

Pyrethrum should only be used in extreme circumstances directly on plants, It starts to breaks down around a week and is easily washed away with clear water or. If your plants are in flowering and you have spider mites, using safer chemicals is your best bet.

The tobacco and pepper soap solution works well and should be used daily, spraying on the underside and top leaves and later the whole plant. Since spider mites are very residual to common products, you have to find or try any number of ones untill you get rid of them. make absolutly sure you retreat as stated, other wise you will get resistant spidermites and then you have a bigger battle on your hands.Also do not allow pets that go outside alot to be around indoor plants,mites have been known to be carried in from pets to plants.

PLEASE NOTE, below are ways to get rid of spider mites, but no 2 mite infestations are identical, you almost always have to use different products to get rid of them, also make a habit to check for at least a whole month after thinking you got rid of them, that way your chances of the spider mites that became resistant breeding and then having a bigger problem. Make sure you spray your plant down very good and enough and on time.
Here are some more products that may help get rid of spider mites:

Hot Pepper Wax,Safer Yard & Garden Insecticide (which can be used right to the day of harvest),
GNATROL( used in hydro in the water as well as soil),Doc's Neem Pest Soap,Safer Sticky Stakes,
TR-11000 Pyrethrum. Anything that says dicofol on the back. ( should be used in vegging or early flowering)

I really hope all this info will help you to keep your friends in good health.

How To FIX:

Tabacco Juice recipe

Take 3 strong ciggeretes soak them over night in water
Boil it for 2 to 3 miniutes, let it cool off and spray the plants 3 to 4 times a week. You can add safer soap if you like to the mixture.
(make absolutly sure you use gloves/face protection while handling and spraying)
Neem oil works very well too!!

#2 Thrips

Thrips are really tiny, but can be seen by the naked eye. Some may have wings and some may not. Thrips reproduce rapidly, especially in tight places. That is what makes them hard to get rid of when using pesticides. The suck the sap right out of your plant with there piercing mouths, which makes the leaves look like they turned white. You can tell when you have thrips by taking a look at your leaves, the leaves will look as if there chlorophyll have been ripped right off the plant. Plants that are damaged can’t be healed thus making it harder for the plant to absorb light. SO if left untreated the thrips will kill the plants. Damage also can be seen by the greenish black specks of there poop they leave on leaves. Also the plants will show silver patchs from scar tissue. Depending on the severity at first, thrip damage might look like spider mite damage untill it increases in damage and then thrips case is for sure when you see the greenness replace with big parts of white.Thrips also can causes viruses to the plants and any larvae infected will breed more infected pests!. While they suck, the plants release honeydew which can contribute to mold on your plants.

How To FIX:
One good way to repel thrips for those growing outside is to use garlic, this is a good way to keep them away before you get them. The color yellow attracts the thrips and should be advised not to have this color around your grow.. If you already have them using neem oil, and or lady bugs can get rid of them. If the infestation is bad then you need to use biological solution like, pyrethrin-like insecticides.

Other Products include:

Hot Pepper Wax,Safer Yard & Garden Insecticide (which can be used right to the day of harvest),GNATROL( used in hydro in the water as well as soil),Doc's Neem Pest Soap,Safer Sticky Stakes,TR-11000 Pyrethrum.



  1. I'm 8 weeks into flowering, almost ready to harvest. I have developed a Calcium deficiency in flowering and was treating it successfully. I have since stopped adding Cal/Mag as well as nutrients and have been flushing in preparation for harvest. My Cal deficiency has returned with a vengeance. A lot of fan leaves are beginning to brown and die including some closer to buds that have trichomes on them. Should I start adding Cal/Mag again, or just let it go since it's so close to cut time? I don't want it to effect the buds.

    1. Hello

      When it's so close to harvesting , it's normal the leaves to collect damage and to looks tired. But at this stage is better to not start any treatment , just leave the plant to continue as it is. It's always better to avoid adding additional elements due diss-balance which they cause. In many cases when you add 1 element for example Cal , it affects the other like Fe (Iron) and it's never ending circle etc.etc. Best way is always to avoid adding any specific element and to use multiple foods with all necessary balanced elements. So at this stage just leave it and it will survive for sure , do not pay attention to how it looks , but more to what is the result and how strong it will hit you :P


  2. Can you advise what it might look like if the roots are getting too cold?

    1. leaves will drop down , and sooner or later it will die . do you mean that your hydroponic installation is feeding them with cold water ?

  3. hi, my plant has been over six months now. and later it leaves started turning yellow and falling off. it is as if the plant is almost getting worried it will die off soon, dont know what to do pls help.......from west africa nigeria precisely...

    1. Hey , if your plant is grown indoor , 6 months is very long time frame and the life cycle of all leaves is usually 1-2 moths , after that if your plant is already grown up and have enough fruits (heads :) you dont need the leaves , you have to wait till you want to stop the flowering and chop it down , so no your plant will not die if you dont have the leaves , but if its after the middle of the flowering process you should think about chopping it down


  4. Plants been going about five Half monthscan I take the leaves of

  5. Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks.. boron supplements

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  8. Please HELP!! Usually good results when plants come to my clinic. Problem - Bluedream about 4 months old. We thought it got light burn. Tips were shriveled and looked burned and dry. Leave ridges were very pronounced. Top couple of inches almost yellow. Indoor plant,. Treated for nitrogen deficiency, pinched off the dead tips. Treated with 2 separate bleach washes, flushed the plant, treated for magnesium decency, bleach wash. The tips are growing back, pale green. Still have pronounced leaf ridges. Next?

    1. hey Pam , first of all after 4 months all leaves are dying no matter how good you care for your plant its just the way indoor grow works out , outdoor is completely different story and it should not be considered as example to compare with. Think about your plant leaves as batteries , indoor grow is intensive and in most cases forced with different food chemicals regardless bio or not its still forced grow. And each battery have liferange , once the battery is empty it dies , so plant will kill them and then will get rid of all. At last stage of indoor growing plants dont need 90% of their leaves ...its just enough to have little leaves on the "buds" which are enough to collect the energy whole plant needs , in addition do not forget that the whole plant is greend and collects light via each part it have. Its important to not cure deceases you only suspect because you can destroy the whole chemical picture of your plant then then there is no way back. A symptom of leaves at the end of their life is discoloration , drying from top side , going yellow then brow and crispy etc. Usual life of plant leaves is between 35 and y0 days no more again if indoor grow. Feel free to ask me anything you need.

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  10. Marijuana addiction treatment is probably one of the most difficult things anyone has to go through. It's definitely much better to never start smoking marijuana so that there is no need to deal with the treatment later, but even if a person is very addicted, there is still hope for them. Medical Marijuana

    1. People have addictive personalities really, don't they. In my opinion your blanket statement is false or misleading. 'MJ addiction' may have been difficult for you. But most people are not addicted to MJ because it is not addictive like other drugs. If you mix tobacco with MJ then you may be feeling addicted to the tobacco. If someone really feels like they have a canaabis addiction then why don't you try cbd strains to ease it up with very little psychoactive effects.

  11. Different varieties are grown for different purposes. Hemp grown for edible seed, fibre and oil is different from that grown for marijuana which contains high levels of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. I have smoked their weed.

  12. I don't think the third pic from the top is too much light. I think it's a micronutrient issue. I have outdoor that look the same.