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5 Common Reasons Why Your Cannabis Plant is failing to Grow

Introduction Marijuana traces its origin back to the Causcusus region of Eastern Europe, as well as India and Iran. But over time, the plant has s


Marijuana traces its origin back to the Causcusus region of Eastern Europe, as well as India and Iran. But over time, the plant has spread to various other areas around the world. When the first pieces of evidence on the potential curative properties of weed were officially documented, interest in cultivating the plant grew even further. 

In some jurisdictions, the law still prohibits the private cultivation of marijuana. But even in areas where weed can be freely cultivated, there aren’t always success stories from growers. Cannabis is supposed to be a resilient plant, one that will grow and thrive in the most unforgiving conditions. In fact, that trait is what lends it the name ‘weed.’ 

But why don’t your marijuana plants flourish as successfully as they should? This post will highlight some of the common reasons why your cannabis plants could be failing to thrive properly. 

  1. Using Bad Genetics

No matter how profound your growing skills are, attempting to grow weed from seeds with poor genetic traits is the first step in setting yourself up for failure. 

Selecting seeds with poor genetic characteristics is akin to giving birth to a child who is predisposed to a host of chronic conditions. Even if you put the child on a life support machine, it will only be a matter of time before those hereditary diseases begin wreaking havoc on the child’s already compromised immunity. 

As a marijuana grower, you should exercise due diligence when shopping for marijuana seeds, and ensure you only buy from a reputable cannabis store. Even then, be sure to ask the seller to offer you some form of guarantee on the genetic composition of their seeds. In most cases, bad genetics will result in inferior yields. And if you’re very unlucky, the plants may not even thrive beyond a few months of planting them, which underscores the importance of researching the genetics of the seeds before purchasing them.

  1. Unsuitable Climate

As we’ve already discussed, marijuana can thrive in any climatic condition, right? Well, there’s always an exception to every rule. Identifying the right climatic conditions for your cannabis plants will go a long way in enhancing their chances of flourishing. 

In this respect, climate doesn’t entail the broader concepts of the word, such as tropical, temperate, or equatorial. You may decide to grow your marijuana indoors, outdoors, or even in a greenhouse, but if that microclimate isn’t ideal for your cannabis plants, then you’ll be looking at epic failure, so research on the suitable temperature and humidity conditions. For specific medical strains and seeds it’s recommended that one does a thorough research beforehand. 

Too chilly conditions can result in stunted growth or kill your plants altogether. Similarly, too hot temperatures will cause heat stress, and if you don’t correct the situation, your plants will eventually die. A healthy temperature range is anywhere around 75°F. Also, keep humidity relatively higher for seedlings (approximately 60%), then gradually reduce it as the plants grow (generally bottoming out to 40%). To control undue surges or drops in humidity, use intake and outtake fans, opening the greenhouse walls, or utilizing dehumidifiers.

Potted weed plants

2. Incorrect pH Levels

The power of Hydrogen or pH refers to the extent to which a substance is acidic or alkaline. Marijuana plants flourish in soil conditions that aren’t too acidic or too basic. Therefore, the first step in establishing the right pH for the soil is checking the pH value of the water that you use. 

Experts recommend water with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0. If you go outside of this range, your plants will experience difficulties absorbing nutrients from the soil. The plants might eventually wind up nutrient-deficient. 

Professional growers prefer water filters as these enable them to monitor the pH value of the water before adding it to their plants. Alternatively, you could add certain additives to your water to raise or lower its pH value. However, always opt for weaker acids or weaker alkalis, such as citric acid and ammonium hydroxide, respectively. Strong acids and strong alkalis may throw the pH value of the water off-balance and are only ideal where the soil is too acidic or too basic.

Dried cannabis leaves

Photo Credit: Unsplash

3. Using Standard Garden Soil

Choosing a standard garden soil is one of the rookie mistakes most marijuana growers make. Nutrient-deficient soils will cause your seedlings to die off even if you had selected seeds of rich genetic makeup. 

The first step in correcting this mistake is researching thoroughly on the kind of nutrients your marijuana plants will need throughout their life, then buying the right type of soil.  This is especially crucial during the germination and early growth stages. For instance, photoperiodic strains, or cultivars that flower after changes in the light cycle, generally require higher nutrients. For such plants, insist on soil that’s rich in the three essential minerals, namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, simply known as N-P-K. 

On the other hand, auto-flowering plants don’t require intensive nourishment. A nutrient mix comprising of three parts peat moss, two parts perlite, and one part vermiculite will do just fine for such plants. Besides the nutrients, also ensure the soil boasts a light but rich texture, to allow for easy spreading of the roots.

Bottled marijuana leaves

Photo Credit: Unsplash

4. Overfeeding The Plants

We all desire for our cannabis plants to grow fast, but stuffing them could turn out to be counterproductive. Just like humans, plants don’t respond favorably to overfeeding. Not only will overfeeding cause your plants to die, but you’ll also destroy your entire garden. 

During the initial stages of germination, observe how your cannabis plants respond to organic nutrients. These are nutrients that come from manure, compost, and other plant matter in the ground. Organic nutrients often release slowly into the soil; hence it’s difficult for plants to take them up in excess. The contrary is non-organic nutrients that release quickly into the soil and are therefore immediately taken up by the plants. If you’re nourishing your marijuana garden with non-organic nutrients, go slow on it as a little too more than the recommended dosage could see your plants burn and wither off. 

The convention is to start slow and watch how the plants respond before increasing the quantities for either organic or non-organic nutrients. Overfeeding also goes hand in hand with overwatering, which suffocates and kills roots.

There go some of the common rookie mistakes when cultivating cannabis. Remember that avoiding these mistakes is the first step in priming your plants for a bumpy harvest.