As many other living beings, cannabis plants need a specific amount of nutrients, vitamins, and other essential compounds to grow properly and to harvest enormous yields.
If there is a lack of any of these nutrients, either macro or micronutrients, the health of our cannabis plant may be at risk, resulting in a stress that may lead to a wrongful death. Hopefully, we can prevent this situation as we are still on time to provide our plants with the specific nutrients they need. But to do so, we must know which one it is.
How to identify a nutrient deficiency
Something that growers should always take into account is the way their plants communicate with them through colors or their special way to grow. Thus, a plant can grow slowlier or smaller than others, its leaves can turn into different “unhealthy”, even pale colors. And, of course, they can suffer from different diseases as they may have low defenses due to this nutrient deficiency. Any “rare” sign must be examined in order to avoid unnecessary stress which may affect our plants’ performance and their final yield.
Common nutrients lack
Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient, and so are phosphorus and potassium, the three primary nutrients that plants need for growing. Therefore, it is important to make sure that our plants get the proper amount of nutrients in order to not to suffer from nutrient deficiency.
A clear sign to identify a nitrogen deficiency in our cannabis yield is the gradually yellowing growth of older leaves, as well as the size of the plants, which remains small. In order to solve the lack of this essential nutrient, we can use Green Explosion by Top Crop, a fertilizer rich in both nitrogen and potassium.
When plants have a lack of phosphorus, young leaves may turn dark green with reddish, purplish veins, especially on the underside. In the same way, the older leaves also become purple, and even wither.
In summary, the development of the leaf is affected, which can curl, grow smaller than normal, or drop prematurely among many other symptoms. However, in order to prevent this deficiency, you can use a powerful flowering stimulant like Bud Ignitor by Advanced Nutrients, rich in phosphorus and potassium.
Potassium is another essential macronutrient responsible for the synthesis and transportation of sugars and carbohydrates. When our plant is not getting enough potassium, the leaves start to curl and turn brown and yellow, especially on the tips and edges.
Monster Bloom by Grotek is an additive rich in potassium and phosphorus used to increase the weight and consistency in your buds, as well as contributing to the internal processes of your plants such as reinforcing their cell walls.
A lack of calcium often may cause the leaves to curl and develop yellow, brown spots. Also, the health of the roots can become compromised, causing the tips to die slowly.
All of this can be solved by adding some calcium into the irrigation water through a natural fertilizer like Dolomita THC, an extra boost of slow-absorbed calcium and magnesium to help cannabis plants stay healthy and strong.
Similar to nitrogen or calcium, a lack of magnesium can be detected by the yellowing of the leaves which eventually turn brown and die. Besides, there is a presence of rust colored spots that show up.
Epsonite THC is a product that comes in a powder format and that provides your plants with both magnesium and sulfur, so your crop can stay healthy, green and productive.
A deficiency of sulfur may turn the leaves of our plants from a lime-green color to yellow, as well as the veins. On the other hand, the flowers have a weak, slow growth, and the stems often turn woody. Lastly, the tips of the leaves can be burnt, showing a dark color.
Although you can use the previous product to treat the lack of sulfur, there is another complete substrate that you can use without needing to add additional fertilizers. All Mix by Boom Nutrients provides all the necessary nutrients that your plants need to grow vigorously.
Tips to keep your cannabis plants healthy
- Maintain a slightly acidic pH level in the soil (6-6.8)
- Make sure the irrigation water has a neutral pH
- Keep a relative humidity level of around 50%
- Use perlite to ensure a proper aeration
- Use liquid fertilizers rich in the specific nutrient your plant needs
- Avoid overwatering, not overfertilizing your plants
- Monitor the progress and see your plants’ evolution
- Make sure your plants are receiving the right amounts of light
- Keep a constant temperature of around 80 ºF (26 ºC)
Nutrient deficiencies in cannabis plants can happen for different reasons. In this article, we’ve talked about the most important nutrients and some visual signs that may help us to identify which nutrients do they need and how to properly provide them with these essential compounds.