Common Cannabis Plant Problems: Seeds, Roots and Stems

Cannabis plant may suffer a certain amount of problems and sicknesses, and this troubleshooting guide we have compiled as a practical advice to diagnose a problem, how to recognize and prevent the possible seed issues, root issues and stem issues. There can be also pH and water related leaf symptoms, but we focus on the very base – hit which one to jump to: roots, stems and seeds. And in the first place you should find the part of the cannabis plant or type of plant material that is showing a symptom that makes you think there is a problem.

Seeds Issues

Jump to: Stem Issues or Root Issues

These are the beginning of life for the cannabis plant, and any problems with such a base of life will result in poor performance throughout the entire grow and finally affect the total yields. This is the common picture of cannabis seed we all know it well.

The Ideal Seed

The ideal seed is a dark green, almost brown, may also have sort-a ornamental stripes or markings, also depending on genetics. A viable seed is plump and firm. Applying slight pressure on the seed should not crush the outer coating.

Brittle Seed

A brittle seed, less brown or too light green, or if you push slightly and it cracks or otherwise break the coating – all these demonstrate that the seed is not yet rite and most probably it will not survive to maturity. Remove such seeds at once. And then while producing the seeds – in case you do not buy ready steady seeds but instead going to do it on your own – it’s recommended to keep them growing until they naturally fall to the ground which is a healthy approach and seeds will be naturally ripe and ready to produce a new healthy cannabis plant in your garden.

Green Seed

The green seed however can be saved, but just there is no actual reason to do so except that it is literally the last seed in this particular genetic collection, or you are a castaway in a small piece of land in the middle of Pacific alone, whatever. To save such seed one should be out into paper towel into dark warm place – right, like you do while germination. So if it goes darker and then finally sprout – plant such seed closer to surface, as soon as it does not have enough nutrients in its stock to make the full way.

10 Top Reasons Why Seeds Do Not Germinate

Too big, too small?
Size does matter, after all
Zu groß, zu klein?
Er könnte etwas größer sein
(from ‘Rammstein’)

1. Too Cold. Cold temperatures can kill seedlings by preventing germination or otherwise result a slow, uneven germination and provoke attacks by soil diseases.

2. Too Hot. Higher temperatures result a dry soil and injury to seeds or seedlings.

3. Too Wet. Excess water prevents oxygen, and also cause soil fungi related diseases.

4. Too Dry. Water is just vital and essential for germination. So maintain the soil moisture and/or the humidity when germinating before putting into soil, by putting plastic wrap or glass covers.

5. Too Deep. If planting cannabis seeds too deep then the sibling shall need more energy to go through while the amount of it is still determined by the capacity of the seed itself, as soon as it is filled with nutrients to supply this emerging stage. Limited “food storage” for a sibling may result a weaker plant in general. Recommended planting depth: ½ in.!

6. Too Shallow. If you plant cannabis seeds too shallow they can dry out too quickly.

7. Too Firm. If your mix of soil is too firm – that may affect the oxygen from getting to seeds and later – the roots, and also affect drainage.

8. Too Loose. Soil that is too loose will result in too much air surrounding seeds, making it harder to absorb moisture and your siblings will most likely dry out.

9. Soil Fungus. Keep it all clean – from your germination container, properly cleaned before you ever start, and then the pot well washed, and all the surrounding. And still any overwatering, lack of ventilation or drainage, may cause appearing of fungus attacking the seeds. Prevention is the best (if not the only) tool against these ones.

10. Non-viable Seeds. By any reason unviable: whether if the seeds have been stored improperly or been damaged, or simply immature seeds (see above) or just lack of luck this time without any visible reason.

Roots Issues

Jump to: Stem Issues or Seeds Issues

Roots are the beginning of the plant. They supply everything to the buds through the whole plant system. You need a strong and healthy root system to be able to pass enough nutrients all way up to support the plant at its maximum growth rate.

As soon as the whole root structure is not much visible it is important to take proper preventative measures to avoid even any possibility that roots ever develop problems.

Tight-packed Roots Curling Around the Edge of the Pot

That one is a very common scenario especially in the conditions of limited grow space – like a pot, for example, or any other container. The very beginner grower mistake at the same time, and quite predictable too. Also keep in mind that the roots take less advantage of the container’s horizontal space. Just give them more space.

Root Stunting

Root Stunting – when roots become chunky and in the laterals especially, and the whole system may discolor to brown or grey. Root stunting is often a result of calcium deficiency, acidity, aluminum toxicity, and boron deficiency or copper toxicity.

Loose and Weak Roots

Generally speaking roots grow well in a space with a carefully maintained pH and lots of oxygen. And weak thin roots can be an early message that you need more oxygenation. Poor drainage or tight soils can be reasons – check them first.

Smelly Roots

Sounds disgusting to me. Okay, this is lack of oxygen making the condition in which roots start rotting. I would not try saving a rotten plant, yet it can be saved in some occasions, and let us consider this is the worst root problem to avoid.

Stems Issues

Jump to: Seeds Issues or Root Issues

Stems transport all nutrients from the soil through the roots into the leaves and buds. Nice strong thick stems demonstrate the health of the whole system and result good frosty harvest in the end.

Leaning Branches

This is also related tot he next issue with weak and long – and both are about strength in the stems and branches, but just different reason. Except lacking the light the reason may be in lack of wind, and the plant cannot simply train the strength. Give more wind and your cannabis girl shall become more sporty and well fitness’ed then )

Thin and Tall and Looking Weak

The most common for this is lack of light. When getting insufficient amount of light the plants start stretch into direction of poor light source. In the early emerging stage of the plant just dig it down deeper when transplanting. Adding an extra fan to increase the airflow is also a solution – it may strengthen the stems because they’ll resist stronger wind. And in any case – add more light if such possible.

Broken Stem

This is not the end of the world yet don’t panic. Tape the broken stem together with the undamaged stem or stronger branch with a string. Using some additional supporting pole is also a good idea. Give it a lot of time to recover before giving load back onto the damaged part.

If it was a cat or a dog who damaged the cannabis plant, then think twice then, as soon as cats and dogs are also the carriers for germs of all sorts ann varieties, that can bring even more harm to your cannabis plant.

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The List Of Mistakes That Beginner Growers Make

You may go for for a trouble free experiment, simply put a marijuana seed of a professional quality (it’s just better to pass through beginner’s wrong-doings with a GOOD seed rather than some totally random one), so put it into a regular box with a regular soil, place it to rest onto the same shelf where the others of the house plants spend their lives. You will gain the wonderful feeling of growing something and see your first mistakes. Maybe you will even see the flowers, and at minimum you should finally get a very easy and a totally free plant holding 5-10 joints, good enough but made of leaves or maybe even some sort of buds, with just minimum effort for making it happen. I’d even suggest cooking it instead of smoking, a good fun and the efficient way, not to say a yummi way.

Not bad for doing almost nothing, mostly watching with admiration the full cycle: how the cannabis seed grows into a plant, to become a marijuana one day.

Alternatively, you wish a serious home cultivation of high-end marijuana for yourself and for your fellow buds. Consider some minimal investment of reasonable money or effort: seed as we mentioned, and some minimal gear: soil, electricity, lightning, building a box or buying a box, ventilation, fertilizers. And patience.

The mistakes that beginners really make when starting to grow marijuana at home for the first time

1). Soil Is Very Important

You’ve just excavated a jar of soil from your neighbour’s garden, and now you are confident this is it. The answer is still “No”. The random soil may not be enough for cannabis; the acidity may have a too high or too low pH level. Also “the soil from the garden” in most cases is too dense for cannabis; loose and crumbly is always much, much better for cannabis plant to grow good. Not to mention the insects and parasites teeming in the garden soil (Imagine?)

The only acceptable solution is: if you want to grow cannabis at home, if you maybe want to enjoy it with less trouble and maximum fun (like any other hobby, right?) then buy a pack of prepared soil and you will be generously rewarded.

The recommended level of acidity for cannabis (pH) is 5.7-6.2 for hydroponic and up to 7.0 for outdoor, along with a not high NPK where the Nitrogen dominates to allow more so-called green mass to grow.

Soil is important for cannabis plants, everything comes from soil or through soil, learn more about soil for your weed:

Read more – Easy tricks to improve the cannabis soil you use for growing

Read more – Organic Fertilizers For Cannabis + How To Spend $0.00

2). Choosing A Seed

Here is another story, easy to imagine: You’ve got nice pot from some friends and you’ve found – Wow! It’s a Seed! – in it. And this has totally altered your mind … to start a growing career out from this exact seed! Please do not do this. Because you (maybe) have no idea what kind of plant it is. All the growing from this anonymous seed will be flooded with surprises and your hard efforts may end up with a really low quality weed.

Besides, there is another problem, that the seed definitely means a hermaphrodite plant. Because professional growers only grow female plants for certain reasons. The offspring of your anonymous plant will also have a lot of chance of being a hermaphrodite too and this may also mean low quality weed.

Read more: Growing Marijuana From Seeds vs. Growing From Clones

Read more: Sativa vs Indica — Making The Right Choice (CBD Matters!)

Choose a proper cannabis strain by its features for hassle free growing. You may have specific conditions (how much time you have, what your nearest grow shop may supply etc., etc.) So choose a seed for these personal conditions from professional seed-banks. Purchasing a clone may also be a good move! After-all, think how much you are already spending on equipment, lights, the electricity, soil – do not save on a seed, it’s simply illogical.

3). Acidity And pH Level

Watch the acidity level in water that you use for watering. In chemistry, pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. It is approximately the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the molar concentration, measured in units of moles per litre, of hydrogen ions.

For cannabis the pH level (acidity) may be 5.7-6.2 for hydroponic and up to 7.0 for outdoor.

Here is the hint: First of all – buy a pH-Meter. One for aquarium purposes may be used, but – as always – the one especially designed for growing is just better. If you can invest then it’s better to do it. Let’s just compare the pH Meter for a marijuana grower to a radar for a sailor: We all agree that it is positively possible to go safely to the right destination having no radar, even more – once humanity was missing this wonderful invention … In other words: Buy a pH Meter.

4). Too Much Care

It’s easy to imagine from a Mom providing too much care that it starts to be already harmful. We’d recommend avoiding this sort of relationship between you and your Cannabis Plant. First of all it is a Plant, not a mammal, not a bug. Plants are slow! Do not fuss too much with it. Take a puff, relax, watch =))

The seed may grow up to 10 days. No need to dig it out twice a week (some people really do!!), unless you have a recommendation on your pack of seeds that the specific strain is potentially risky in this stage. Think about before buying cannabis seeds for the first time.

Don’t be too much Mom for your weed

There is also over-care with watering, as the cannabis itself by its general nature is quite a dry-resistant plant and it does not really require too much water. Check the top inch of the soil with the finger – do not water until it’s moist. Of course you may use another electronic tool for measuring moisture, but the finger works just fine.

Long story short: Always give it time. Don’t be too much of a Mom for your weed :=D

5). Cutting Leaves

You’ve heard about what it’s for and how to cut leaves. You’ve heard that it dramatically increases your future harvest. Yes, this is a problem, many high-end professional growers do not recommend absolute beginners use scissors from the first try. Excluding maybe the very obvious cases.

6). Give Space

While choosing the proper moment to switch from vegetating stage to flowering it is extremely important not to forget that the cannabis plant still continues growing up, having only a different speed. Leave space.

Read more: How To Use Grow Tents For The Highest Marijuana Yields Indoor

Read more: Common Cannabis Plant Problems: Seeds, Roots and Stems

7). Harvest Time

There are few methods to catch the right moment for harvesting, even quite high-tech ones – with the use of microscope, for example. You will probably find extra in this article: When To Cut A Bud. You may also use our e-mail below the page for any questions regarding the topic of growing. Now we are just going to share a simple beginner’s tip that may be somewhat of a ‘guarantee’: 60% of trichomes are amber, and 40% still remain milky white.

Other useful links:

Common Cannabis Plant Problems: Seeds, Roots and Stems

Auto Flower Feminized Seeds Explained

How To Use Grow Tents For Weed Highest Yields Indoor