The cannabis plant has many archenemies just waiting to sap it of its energy and destroy it. Some of these are natural predators like pests, insects, and mold, while others occur because of mishandling and improper care. Inexperienced growers will more often deal with problems of their own making because they don’t know how to care for cannabis plants properly.
Moreover, they’ll be more vulnerable to outside pests and threats. Not knowing how to deal or prevent the appearance of these threats isn’t allowed here. We’ve compiled a list of the most prevalent threats that cannabis plants often deal with and ways to counter them.
Here we go:
Nutrition problems occur when the plants are underfed or overfed. Underfeeding a plant leads to deficiencies of micronutrients. Cannabis plants need more than just potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen to thrive and produce pretty flowers. Especially during the vegetative stage, cannabis plants need the most attention to nutrition when they’re feeble. If underfed, a plant will have discolored leaves, a smaller yield, and a stunted growth.
You may notice that the dry leaves take on a yellowish or brown color, while the stem becomes purple or red. The leaf tips may be curled up and stretched, as well. If the problem is only because of insufficient nutrition, you can easily fix this. But if the problem rests with pH imbalances, then you’ll need more complex treatment methods.
Overfeeding a plant is called nutrient burn, and it also has to do with pH imbalances and nutrient lockout. Nutrient lockout happens when you use chemical fertilizers for extended periods. The plant can’t extract its nutrients efficiently, and it becomes underdeveloped. PH problems occur when the soil or nutrients that the cannabis tries to absorb have wildly different pH levels. Optimally, the ground must have a pH of 6-7.
Overwatering or underwatering cannabis plants leads to fairly similar symptoms:
- Stunted growth
- Drooped leaves
- A tendency to wither and die
- The appearance of spider mites and various fungi
Check the soil to see whether you have watering issues. Is it crumbly and dry? Then it would help if you watered it some more. If it’s muddy and sludgy, then stop watering it so often. You should always ventilate your plants and defoliate them to ensure that the soil dries faster.
Too much heat or cold
Overheating or underheating cannabis plants is always a problem, according to BudStars.com. During different stages of growth, a cannabis plant needs different temperatures. If it’s too hot, then the leaves will curl up and dry out. After they grow, they will look brownish and decayed. To deal with overheating, use a ventilation system and even an AC system to control the temperature.
Underheating or cold will weaken your plants and slow down the photosynthesis process. Use a thermometer and hygrometer to inspect the temperature and moistness, use fans and heating lights, and vents to keep the air flowing.
A plant’s root is extremely important during its lifecycle. It extracts nutrients, water, and feeds the entire plant. However, the root can get sick, as well. For one, the roots can get entangled when they leave the area of the container they’re in. This can lead to pH imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, nutrient lockout, and more. It would be best if you used bigger containers to prevent this problem from occurring.
The roots can also rot because of overwatering or drainage issues. This creates a suitable environment for bacteria, fungi, and mold to thrive in. Usually, a rotten root smells pretty bad, and it’s quite slimy. Moreover, the root will also send fewer nutrients up to the plant if it’s rotten. To address this problem, inject the roots with good bacteria that eliminate harmful pathogens, mold, and fungi.
Light burns and wind damage
Cannabis plants get burnt if they get too close to the heating lights. That’s why you should gradually lift the lights as the plants grow in height. This only happens if you grow your cannabis indoors. Outdoor cannabis won’t have issues with light burns. However, it does have problems with wind. It can easily shred through leaves and plant fibers. To solve this, you can use plant companions that can defend cannabis from strong winds.
Cannabis molds, viruses, and pests
Last but not least, cannabis plants can go toe to toe with molds, viruses, and pests. The most common molds are Septoria (leaves yellow leaves in its wake), Fusarium (rotten roots), Pythium (rotten roots), Alternaria (purple-brown spotting on the leaves), and Verticillium (wilted leaves, flowers, branches). Most molds occur because of inappropriate nutrition, the extra moisture in the soil, and more.
Viruses like the tobacco mosaic virus negatively impact the cannabis plant’s growth rate, yellowing its leaves and leading to discolored stems. As soon as you spot one of these infected plants, quickly remove it before it infects other plants.
As for pests, you can have fungus gnats (black bugs) that eat the plant’s root. The symptoms are similar to at attack caused by spider mites and aphids. Aphids, in particular, are extremely dangerous to all that is green. You should prune the affected plants, use neem oil, and bring predatory insects to feast on these aphids. Lastly, leaf miners and caterpillars can also harm your cannabis plants. Just eliminate any affected leaves and get rid of the caterpillars!