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why do cannabis leaves turn yellow

Yellow Cannabis Leaves

It’s better to read this marijuana blog and not need it than to not read it and come undone in the grow room. Sometimes things go wrong in the cannabis garden. Even the best marijuana growers can run into trouble occasionally and yellow leaves are usually the first warning sign.

No grower wants to see yellow leaves. Withering plants in the grow op are a miserable sight. Unfortunately not every cannabis crop grows trouble free. This can be due to incalculable reasons. It can be anything from grower errors to invasive microorganisms. Of course, we cannot provide you with a surefire silver bullet solution for every potential cannabis plant malady. We’re cannabis writers, not clairvoyants.

But we certainly can help you. Specifically to correctly identify most of the common causes for yellow leaves. Moreover, we have included helpful tips to treat ailing plants. Plus simple pro tips and tricks. Any home grower can implement our advice to avoid cannabis plants’ leaves turning yellow. Now let’s get into the specifics.

Contents:

ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS

The very first step is accurate diagnosis. What is the cause of the yellow leaves spoiling your cannabis plants? Chlorosis in ordinary decent grower terms means loss of chlorophyll. In order to effectively apply treatment, you must know what you’re dealing with. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t panic. The leaves on your cannabis plants are like biological solar panels. They are essential to photosynthesis. Removing all the yellow leaves is not recommended surgery, especially for young plants. Correct identification of the source of the problem and swift remedial action can restore marijuana.

Senescence is when plants will naturally yellow off and die. During the final weeks of flowering do not be alarmed. Leaf drop and yellowing always increases. Flushing plants with pure water or a flushing solution at the end of bloom will also rid the medium of residual nutrients and often causes leaves to yellow.

COMMON CAUSES OF YELLOW LEAVES

The following is not a definitive list of the causes for chlorosis. It is such a common symptom, that sick plants display, we could write a book, but not today. That being said, we have focused on the most common causes for yellow leaves based on first hand pro grower experiences. If you are presently troubleshooting for a solution to chlorosis, read the next few sections carefully. Your crop could be riding on it.

THE MOST COMMON GROWER ERRORS

UNDER/OVERWATERING

Cannabis plants will only thrive with an effective wet-dry cycle. This means you must water the right amount at the right time, with every watering. So what’s the best way to tell if your marijuana is thirsty? Lift up the containers when they are dry. Then again after watering, so you will know the difference.

Perhaps it’s not possible to easily lift plants? Then you can purchase a humidity meter to insert into the pot. Hydro growers need to ensure pumps, air stones, reservoirs and timers are set up correctly from the start of the grow. Check twice, and then check again.

Treatment: Monitor the plant’s post feeding behaviour closely. Use one of the measures above to more accurately gauge when to water to prevent recurrence. Too much water can lead to root rot. Too little water will stunt growth. Keep a grow diary if you must and try to get into a routine as the grow progresses.

PH AND NUTRIENT LOCKOUT

Soil growers have the advantage of cultivating in a medium, that acts as a buffer for roots. Hydroponics and coco are not quite as forgiving to pH imbalances. Even soil growers need to at least come close to getting the ideal pH of 6.0-7.0 and maintain it, otherwise plants will suffer. 5.5 to 6.5 pH is generally agreed upon as the recommended range for hydro and coco. Yellow leaves can be a warning sign, that you don’t have your nutes dialled in and the pH is off.

Essentially when the pH of your nutrient solution strays above or below the particular sweet spot for your substrate, it prevents complete absorption of all the elements of the solution. Roots are starved of certain nutrients and micronutrients as the incorrect pH causes a lockout.

Treatment: Invest in a pH pen or cannabis fertilisers with pH-perfect solutions, that can auto adjust a wider pH range. Flush plants with pure water and then resume feeding with a light dialled in solution to suit your growing medium. Also, make sure that the base nutrients you use contain all of the essential microelements or you will have to add extra bottles of supplements to the budget.

OVER/UNDERFERTILISATION

Again, plants need just the right nutrients at the right time. Read the dosage instructions on the label of every bottle of fertiliser before adding to water. Furthermore, we highly recommend you consult the website of the brand of nutrients you are using as most feature custom charts and feeding schedules.

Treatment: As you might have guessed, begin treatment with a flush of pure water. Then follow up with the manufacturers recommended dose at the particular growth/flowering stage. A good rule of thumb is to increase doses incrementally and monitor plant behaviour before further increasing the strength of the solution.

Treatment: As you might have guessed, begin treatment with a flush of pure water. Then follow up with the manufacturers recommended dose at the particular growth/flowering stage. A good rule of thumb is to increase doses incrementally and monitor plant behaviour before further increasing the strength of the solution.

LIGHT BURNS AND DEFICIENCIES

Indoor cannabis plants grown under artificial lights must be perfectly positioned and lamps must be in just the right distance above the canopy for best results. When lamps and reflectors are too close to the flowering tops, buds and leaves will be yellow and brown as the light is too intense. This is very much a top down problem.

In contrast, too little light is usually a problem, that is most evident from the bottom up. Light deficiency causes shaded leaves or leaves too far below the light penetration capability of the lamp to yellow and drop off.

Treatment: Make sure to hang your grow lights as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust as plants progress and use a tape measure for precision. These days there are so many new grow light technologies on the market with their own nuances, you really must stick with the manufacturer’s guidelines to position the light in the sweet spot.

Treatment: Make sure to hang your grow lights as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust as plants progress and use a tape measure for precision. These days there are so many new grow light technologies on the market with their own nuances, you really must stick with the manufacturer’s guidelines to position the light in the sweet spot.

FORCES OF NATURE

COLD WEATHER

Temperatures below 10°C will cause the leaves of the majority of cannabis leaves to yellow. Some will even take on purple and bluish tones. Sure, this is a fantastic bonus in the final phase of bloom with some strains, but to be avoided early in the grow.

Treatment: Indoors simply turn up the heat or add more lights to the grow op and turn a negative into a bumper harvest. Outdoor growers might need to take plants inside at nighttime or at least invest in a basic DIY greenhouse.

Treatment: Indoors simply turn up the heat or add more lights to the grow op and turn a negative into a bumper harvest. Outdoor growers might need to take plants inside at nighttime or at least invest in a basic DIY greenhouse.

HEAT WAVES

Heat waves can cause cannabis plants leaves to yellow and dry out indoors and outdoors. Temperatures above 28°C prevent cannabis plants from efficiently photosynthesising and cause buds to form more loosely and airy.

Treatment: Indoor growers need to turn up the air conditioning and ensure intake and outtake fans are powerful enough for the size of the grow room. Again, we strongly advise consulting the fan manufacturer’s website for performance specifications. Outdoors the best growers can do is construct a simple shade and hope the heatwave is short-lived.

Treatment: Indoor growers need to turn up the air conditioning and ensure intake and outtake fans are powerful enough for the size of the grow room. Again, we strongly advise consulting the fan manufacturer’s website for performance specifications. Outdoors the best growers can do is construct a simple shade and hope the heatwave is short-lived.

PESTS AND PLAGUES

Bugs and nasty microorganisms can easily hitch a ride on your clothes, clones gifted from a pal or on a household pet and invade your grow op. Outdoors quadrupedal furry pests of all shapes and sizes must also be taken into consideration and regarded as hostiles.

Treatment: The cannabis growing area must be sealed off from intruders in so far as practicable indoors or outdoors. Naturally an outdoor grow is impossible to 100% quarantine, so you do what you can. Grow in a quiet sunny spot and use chicken wire to protect plants from nibblers like deer and rabbits.

Treatment: The cannabis growing area must be sealed off from intruders in so far as practicable indoors or outdoors. Naturally an outdoor grow is impossible to 100% quarantine, so you do what you can. Grow in a quiet sunny spot and use chicken wire to protect plants from nibblers like deer and rabbits.

Indoors you have far greater capacity to seal off the grow op. By using a grow tent, restricting entry strictly to you the grower exclusively and keeping basic hygienic practices, you should be able to keep your marijuana lush green and healthy.

The HI-98107 pHep pH tester provides fast and accurate pH readings. The easy-to-use device is designed for non-technical users, and can help both novice and advanced growers measure water pH.

HI-98107 pHep pH tester provides fast and accurate pH readings. The easy-to-use device is designed for non-technical users, and can help both novice and advanced growers measure water pH.

Are you seeing yellow leaves in your cannabis garden but can’t figure out the cause? This blog just might save your marijuana.

Yellow Leaves on Cannabis Plants: Tips to Fix Common Grow Issues

Wednesday January 29, 2020

Y ou’ve taken great care of your cannabis plants; you water them, feed them nutrient-rich foods, provide the ideal light cycle for their different developmental phases, and prune them just enough to promote light exposure and optimum growth. You’ve done everything right and yet your marijuana plants just don’t look as lively as they should. Specifically, your cannabis plants are showing signs of stress through yellow leaves. Despite all the love and attention you’ve given them, they just aren’t growing into the bountiful beauties you had hoped.

Fear not fellow cannabis cultivators! Just because your cannabis leaves are turning yellow does not mean they are done-for. In fact, there are steps you can take right now to correct yellow cannabis leaves and prevent it from occurring again. But first, let’s discuss why cannabis leaves turn yellow in the first place

Why Cannabis Leaves Turn Yellow

The most common reason plant leaves turn yellow is because of stress. Whether due to inadequate watering, excessive heat, or pest infestations, yellow leaves are a sign of sickly cannabis plants and must therefore be addressed as soon as possible. To understand the science behind this, we must first look at the contents of a typical leaf and its relationship to the plant’s overall health.

Leaves are made up of plant cells. Plant cells are made up of organelles called chloroplasts. These chloroplasts contain pigments that absorb different wavelengths of light. Though most of these pigments are green chlorophyll, other pigments are also involved. Most notable are the yellow and orange carotenoids that hide under the dominant chlorophyll.

The roll of chlorophyll is to absorb sunlight and transform it into energy via a process called photosynthesis. When plants have ample access to resources, chlorophyll thrives. When plants are stressed, however, the chlorophyll begins to degrade revealing the yellow carotenoids below.

Note that carotenoids cannot directly transform light into energy via the photosynthetic pathway and must pass it onto chlorophyll to finish the job. Therefore, while a minor yellowing leaves will not stop photosynthesis, excessive or unaddressed yellowing can either stunt plant growth or kill the whole thing entirely.

Diagnosing and Curing Yellow Cannabis Leaves

If your marijuana leaves are turning yellow, don’t panic! This is just your plants’ way of telling you something is wrong. It is up to you to determine what that is so you can treat the problem without making it worse.

The first thing you should do when cannabis leaves start to turn yellow is to measure the pH of your grow medium (soil, water, rice hulls, expanded clay, etc.). That’s because an improper pH balance – whether too high or too low – can actually block nutrient absorption.

Watering Problems

After measuring and adjusting pH, take a look at your watering schedule. The most common cause of yellow leaves is either over- or under-watering. Plants that are over-watered will have leaves that seem swollen and droopy while under-watered plants (though much less common) will be thin and frail. Poor drainage can also contribute to overwatering so always grow your cannabis in pots with drain holes.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If the yellowing occurs primarily at the base of the plant, the issue is likely a nutrient deficiency. The most common nutrient deficiency in cannabis is nitrogen, though note that excessive nitrogen can also cause yellowing (plus curled, claw-like leaves). If the problem is caused by a deficiency, slowly increase the concentration of your cannabis-specific fertilizer until new growth appears. If the yellowing is caused by excessive nutrients, flush the root system with pure water then add a half-dose of your fertilizer instead. Magnesium deficiency, characterized by a yellowing around the leave’s green veins, is most commonly caused by an improper pH balance. Use magnesium supplements to correct this issue

Iron deficiency can also cause yellow leaves, though this occurs on new growth only (old leaves remain bright green). Iron deficiencies are also caused by improper pH and can be remedied with iron-fortified fertilizers. When iron is given to deficient plants, the leaves should start to turn green beginning along the edges until the whole leaf is bright green.

Light Burn

If you notice yellowing toward the top of the plant (specifically, nearest the light source), your plants are likely suffering from light burn. Light burn can happen in temperature-controlled environments as easily as those in high-heat if the leaves get too close to the lights. We liken this to getting a sunburn on the ski slopes.

The best way to correct light burn is to move you plant away from your light source, usually between eight and 20 inches depending on the watt and lighting type.

Excessive Temperatures

Temperatures outside of the ideal range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit also risk discoloration and curl leaves. These oddities are most common in leaves toward the top of the plant and can easily be remedied with a fan (if too hot) or root insulation (if too cold). We also recommend growing plants off a cold cement or tile floor; use a milk crate or stool to raise them off the ground when necessary.

Pests

If your yellow leaves come with spots or bite marks, they’re probably infested with pests. Though you can often see the infestation, this is not always the case – a tell-tail sign (aside from the remnants of the buffet) is a plant that lacks vigor in addition to other symptoms associated with things like overwatering or poor air circulation.

Unfortunately, pests are perhaps the hardest condition to correct, so it’s best to avoid try and avoid them all together. To start, never bring plants or clones from an outside grow into your sanitary grow space and try to avoid entering your grow space directly from the outdoors. Always wash hands, cover your hair and avoid letting pets anywhere near your grow space.

Fungus gnats, which live in wet soil and feed off roots, are the most common pest in cannabis gardens. The best way to rid your garden of fungus gnats is to restrict watering until absolutely necessary (this prevents the gnats from laying eggs in the soil). A general best practice is to only water your plants when the top inch of soil is dry.

Growing your own marijuana is very rewarding, but it can be really nerve wracking, too, especially when those bright green leaves start turning a worrisome yellow. If your cannabis leaves are turning yellow, use these steps to stop the yellowing before it’s too late.

What do you do to fix yellow cannabis leaves? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Does your cannabis grow have plants with yellow leaves? Yellowing marijuana leaves can indicate a variety of common ailments. Keep reading to learn more about cannabis plant health and tips to overcome yellow leaves.