How to Diagnose Your Leaves

In an effort to help you figure out exactly what’s happening with your plants, we break down what it means when their leaves discolor.

Of course, a full, lush bush of cannabis is the goal when you grow your own. But as important as it is to, say, understanding the needs of your marijuana plant, it’s also important to understand that sometimes, your leaves just won’t be as green as you’d hoped.

You can take every precaution, but sometimes, your leaves can just seem a bit… dull. Bright green suggests a healthy plant, just like any household plant. So what does it mean when you see your leaves discolor?

If you are noticing that your cannabis plants aren’t living their best lives in full color, there are a few usual suspects: root rot or related problems, over- or under-watering your plants, a lack of nutrients, or the wrong pH level. So in an effort to help you figure out exactly what’s happening with your plants, let’s break it down, shall we?

Too much or not enough watering

Just like Goldilocks, your plants need water—but not too much or too little! It needs to be juuust right. Unlike feeding your goldfish, you do not need to water your plant every single day. There is a lot more to the watering process and can take some time to finesse this balancing act that requires some experimentation.

Drying out a plant is an obvious no-no, as water is required for your plant to thrive, and too little water can lead to wilting and dying plants. But overwatering can be detrimental, too. In addition to slowing your plant’s growth, it can obstruct oxygen intake.

If you’re new to growing, it may take you a little bit of time to get your watering schedule right, but as a general rule, watering every two to three days is a great start. This is, of course, dependent on where you live and your area’s level of humidity. If your plant dries out after a day, then you’ll know you need to water more often. It’s also less of a concern if you grow in a hydroponic set-up that has automated watering schedules.

Nutrient deficiencies

Like we said before, your plants need to be fed. We put together a nutrient guide because we understand that it can be tricky. There are a number of moving parts to providing your plants with the right types and levels of nutrients. This may be a little less important when your plant is young, since the plants themselves have all the trace elements of the important nutrients thanks to the seeds they grow out of.

When your plants begin the vegging stage (which is when your plants grow roots), though, this is when it’s time to pay attention to your nutrients. Nitrogen deficiencies are one of the most common deficiencies when it comes to growing your own. This may cause yellowing and dying off of your older leaves that exist on the lower part of the plant. This can happen during the younger stages of growth.

But guess what? You can overfeed your plants, too! Overfeeding your plants can result in salt injury, giving your plants a sad, wilty look even though your plants are sufficiently watered. The leaves can brown and curl. Refer to our nutrient guide to learn how to read our nutrient charts and see what your plants will need during its stages of growth.

Proper pH levels

Ah, pH. We’ve covered the importance of this in a previous article, but this cannot be stressed enough. pH, which refers to the acidity or alkalinity of something, can highly affect the health of your plants. The pH scale starts from 0, which refers to something very acidic, to 14, which refers to something very alkaline. Seven is neutral. Generally speaking, cannabis plants prefers a slightly acidic environment, so think five or six in your soil and nutrient solution.

If the pH around the roots of your plants is too acidic or alkaline, it can cause nutrient absorption issues. This means that even though you’re feeding them nutrients, your plant won’t be absorbing said nutrients. Coincidentally, if you’re feeding your plants too many nutrients, this can actually cause pH issues, too, which can then prevent your plants from absorbing nutrients. Funny how that works, huh?

If you’re growing in soil, your pH range should be around 5.8 to 6.8. For hydroponic set-ups, the range is 5.5 to 6.5.

Look, we know that there is a lot to look out for. And it can be very overwhelming, especially for new growers. But this is what BCNL is here for. In addition to providing some of the best indoor growing equipment in the industry, we also offer support from our Grow Specialists, available at your disposal seven days a week.