7 Signs Your Cannabis Plant is Sick

7 Signs Your Cannabis Plant is Sick

If you are willing to grow cannabis, you also should be aware of the possibilities of the plant’s death and decay. It allows you to prepare well before you indulge in cultivation.
Cannabis plants are born with the capacity to withstand harsh environmental conditions and even then grow the best yield. It is flexible and grows in any form of soil. But growers should not take these qualities for granted. Attending to your plants throughout their growing process would help you overcome problems like nutrient deficiency, pests’ attacks, stress, diseases, and imbalances in pH level.
There are pros and cons of growing cannabis, both outdoors and indoors. Don’t worry as your plants will indicate the symptoms of what is wrong. You will have sufficient time to take actions and measures to save the plants. Mostly its leaves show the initial signs of disease that you need to recognize on time and work on it immediately. Below are a few of these to help you identify the problems correctly.

  • Nutrient Deficiency and Nutrient Burn

Nutrients, can in two ways effect the cannabis plant. Either you are not feeding enough that causes deficiency, or you are feeding more than necessary that causes burn. Knowing the right quantity can keep your plants in a healthy shape until the harvest time.
Nutrient Burn- Usually, beginners tend to overfeed the plants to get productive yield. Giving them a heavy nutrient mix and frequently will make the roots absorb more than the plant can use. The plant’s leaves will turn brown on the tip and look brittle.
Nutrient Deficiency- The deficiency occurs when the plant doesn’t receive an adequate supply of nutritional elements like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen, and zinc. How to identify? All nutrient deficiency will show a change in the color of the leaves. For instance, for nitrogen deficiency, the lower leaves will turn yellow in the vegetative phase. When the yellowing is spreading fast, and your plant is losing many leaves, it needs nitrogen. Again, in the case of potassium deficiency, the plant will grow taller than the others and extend, causing its stems to become weak. The leaves will turn tan-brown. To avoid these, feed cannabis plants with complete fertilizers available for cannabis farming.

pH Range Fluctuations

Issues also occur when the pH level of water or soil is not in balance. If it fluctuates from high to low and vice versa, the leaves will start showing yellow and light brown spots on the lower leaves then proceed upwards. An incorrect pH level is a leading cause of cannabis plant ailments. A balance also supports the plant’s capacity to absorb nutrients well. That is the reason why if the range is wrong, there are chances for your plants to suffer from nutrient lockout issues. It is a situation where the plants stop absorbing the nutrients, and supplying more fertilizers will only ruin the health. Once you identify the issue, treat it immediately.
Whether it is a hydroponic system or hand water system, keeping a check on the pH scales is utmost necessary to understand the acidity of soil or water. So before summing upon any other issue, check the pH level. Ideally, a neutral range should be around 6-7 for the soil system and 5.5-6.5 for a hydroponic system. It helps to trust authenticated Canada weed dispensary when buying the seeds, as they do not have any adulterations in them. Get a testing strip or pH meter from any good cannabis seeds supplier who also stocks growing supplies. Make sure the soil mixtures you purchase allow you to adjust the levels.

  • Pests and Viruses

These unfriendly creatures come in different sizes and shapes. Pests include spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, leaf miners, and thrips. We will discuss a few below:
Spider mites– These invaders damage the crops that you cannot kill at once. Spider mites have eight legs, but unlike the regular spiders, they do not have the antenna. Their web covers around your leaves and flowers restricting them of growth. Spider mites will eat the chlorophyll that is necessary for the plants’ photosynthesis process. Also, the pace at which it can reproduce is unimaginable. Within a month, spider mites can lay millions of eggs.
Aphids– You will find them on the base of the leaves. Aphids are usually green in color, having long legs and wings. You will need a trichome scope to identify them. Aphids feed on the nutrients and water of the cannabis leaves, which turn them yellow and fade, leading to the death of the entire plant. The harm goes beyond eating the nutrients. Aphids also bring along viruses that can inhibit the growth of your cannabis plants and delay the flowering phase.
Thrips– Similar to aphids, the thrips are small-sized insects that will dig a hole in your plant and suck up all the liquids. You will know it when you notice your leaves and stems turning bronze or silver colored.
Whiteflies– On shaking the plant if you see something like a white moth flying around, that is whiteflies. These are also as devastating as the above. Feeds on cannabis plants, bring viruses even from a very distant place, reduces growth, and spreads diseases.
Be wary of the other threats like cats, dogs, moles, and rats that can destroy your endeavor. You can create fences or chicken wire to stop cats and dogs, but the struggle lies in preventing your crops from small sized ones. They will dig in holes to reach your garden and scavenge for food. Ensure your growing space does not allow any environment to attract these.


After pests, it is the disease that can destroy your crop if you fail to see the signs early. There are different forms of the disease like bud rot, powdery mildew, root rot, and algae.

Bud rot– High humidity, less airflow, spider webs, fungal disease, and overwatering can cause bud rot. Your cannabis plant’s bud initially rots inside which gradually shows in the top when they start turning brown, decay and eventually ruin the entire bud. Giving sufficient airflow and allowing the plants to remain dry can help prevent bud rot. If you are growing indoors, make sure they receive good sunlight and proper ventilation. Cut off the affected buds to safeguard the entire plant from rotting.

Powdery mildew– It is a fungus that can ruin your cannabis yield. Powdery mildew appears like white or grey snowy and feathery mold. These can form above the leaves or beneath and spreads more eating up the whole crop. Once more, the causes can be humidity and low airflow. There are sprays available in the local stores to get rid of the disease. It can eliminate mildew effectively.

Root rot– The name signifies which area of the plant it affects. It is difficult to spot the root rot disease since its happening inside. Those plants that appear exhausted, dry, less growth are probably suffering from root rot. Less oxygen and overwatering can cause the disease. Also, if your plants are experiencing other ailments, the disease can attack easily. Sterilizing the pot can be a solution to the issue.

Algae– It is convenient for algae to consume the nutrients and oxygen from your cannabis crops. Growers misconceive it as harmless and allow them to develop without noticing that it is draining the produce. If you leave them to feast on your plants, it will get the chance to reach to the roots leading their death.

Weather– Such stresses include wind, cold, humid, hot weather situations. And the downside of it is you cannot regulate these natural conditions. Even though cannabis plants have the resistance to grow in not much supportive environment, yet these stresses can restrict its natural growing process and invite certain difficulties. Each stress will have a different set of methods to deal with cannabis growth.
Heat– Outdoors or indoors, if the temperature required for productive growing increases, it will cause heat stress. It affects the photosynthesis process and breaks down the proteins leading to the death of the plant. Factors like external temperature, light, and evaporation contribute to developing the temperature. The ideal temperature should be near to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If that exceeds, the development process will delay giving you less potent produce.
Hermaphrodite– The problem arises when the yield is a blend of both male and female cannabis characteristics. These are hermaphrodites, considered as not very useful for growers as it produces inconsumable buds. But even then these are usable for future growth. The causes can be genetics or environmental stresses. Ensure you can identify hermaphrodites early so that you can do the pruning during their vegetative stage and not when they start flowering.
Lighting– There are specific lighting cycles for cannabis plants. The vegetative state requires 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, while the flowering phase it needs 12 hours light and 12 hours of darkness. Lighting stress occurs in those plants positioned close to the lights. Their leaf starts to burn and turns yellow. When you notice it, raise the lights a few inches higher to maintain distance.

  • Watering Issues

Underwatering and overwatering is a concern while growing cannabis plants that can make them sick. It mostly occurs among beginners as they are learning to grow, and understand their plants. Even if you are giving the plants enough water, it might be losing more through evaporation. When you water less the leaves start to wilt, when you overwater, they will curl downwards and appear to be stiff due to excess of water. For the drooping leaves, pour water immediately and if you are overwatering cut down the frequency. Maintain the balance by keeping in view certain factors like the plant’s size, container’s size, root level, temperature, humidity, and stage of the plant. Also, ensure that the quality of water your plants are receiving is coming from a good source. Filtered, instead of tap water may benefit the growth of the plants. So, instead of purchasing seeds from local dealers online dispensary Canada are the best options to go for as they have the right constituents including sufficient water in it.

  • Viruses

Once your cannabis plants catch a virus, it can turn fatal, destroying all other crops growing along. It affects the chromosome of the plant and to save the other plants throw the affected one.

The Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) – It is one such example that can infect cannabis plants and other commercial crops. The signs include yellowish-green ring-like patches or mosaic that can spread rapidly. The leaves also show creases and curves downwards. As the leaves start dying, the overall health of the plant deteriorates. Usually, the aphids bring this virus during the summer and autumn seasons. It eventually becomes difficult for the plant to regain its natural growing capacity. To prevent, keep the environment clean and sanitize yourself before entering the growing space.

Arabis Mosaic Virus (ArMV) – People also believe that the ArMV virus infects cannabis plants through seeds and nematodes. If you spot irregular spots and marks on the leaves, the chances are these are viruses on your plants. But some growers do not see any symptoms of it.

Some other viruses that can infect your cannabis plants are the Hemp Streak Virus, Tobacco Ringspot Virus, and Cucumber Mosaic Virus. Always remove the affected ones and keep the environment clean to prevent other crops.


These were some common signs that your plant is unwell and needs appropriate care. There is no need to rush or panic in cannabis cultivation. There are different types of Marijuana that one can choose from when considering to grow them at home. It is a smooth process if you understand the precautionary measures well. For beginners, take it slow and gather knowledge from experienced growers before you start.

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