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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Anthocyanin in the Buds, Why your Weed is Purple?

Purple color of weed come from Anthocyanin pigment, a universal plant colorant responsible for the red, purple, and blue; evident in many fruits, vegetable, grains, flowers. Anthocyanin suggests the vast list of health benefits; and many medicine theories (traditional ones from all around the world and the official science too) use Anthocyanin historically to treat conditions such as liver disorders, diarrhoea, kidney problems, infections, it provides the reduction of blood pressure, it improves the eyesight, suppresses the development of cancer cells; and it even cures the common cold. Many shall agree it’s extremely easy to imagine raspberry (which contains the hell amount of anthocyanin) as a medicine, in a form of some grandma’s anti-cold raspberry recipe. And besides the healing it is used as a natural colour in food/health/cosmetic industries.

This is Weed with Purple / Purplish Marijuana Buds - See?

And right here below there’s the very nice close-up from @chewberto420, you can see that all the purple (or red) colour is Anthocyanin, it approaches into cannabis trichomes:

Anthocyanin in cannabis trichomes
Anthocyanin in cannabis trichomes (source: @chewberto420)

Being a phenolic compound, Anthocyanin may also behave as the pro-oxidant, means: it plays against cancer, diabetes, urinal and cardio issues. Yet it is not well known by now about how exactly it works, whether by itself alone or being a component of a more complicated sequence, but it however works as it’s said and it makes your body stronger for sure. So! Eat berries! They are yummies, and you can cook them along with cannabis into delicious cannabis desserts, find the hot edible recipes here by this link: The Cookbook App by Chef420

How To Make The Weed Purple

Exposure to cold

Exactly the thing happening when summer turns into fall when all plants change leaves to yellow and red: all plants produce Anthocyanin when the temperatures drop.

Basically from any stress plants produce Anthocyanin, and the cold is one of such stresses. The science does not know for sure by far, but this may serve as some sort of explanation why it helps against health issues, right because plant just do the same when synthesize the anthocyanin in itself, and it works to suppress a stress, illness or cold or a wrong nutrition. Exposure of the cannabis plant to colder temperatures shall make buds more purple, the “how long” and “how cold” can be a more tricky technology, but the basic idea is to expose the plant to the cold.

Genetics

Genetic food engineering uses anthocyanin as a visual marker, as soon as this is a quite forgiving genetic material easy to deal with (sources say so, I don’t know))). And then it may be yet another reason for purple buds – the genetically determined amount of anthocyanin in a certain strain.

Anthocyanin Color from PH

Anthocyanin is very sensible to the PH level (and this is another stress for the plant too), and the colourful compound is degraded to none in an environment with a higher PH. It changes it colour as soon as PH level changes, it can be red in acidic (pH < 7), purple in neutral (pH = 7), yellow with greenish in alkaline (pH > 7). Can serve as the natural PH indicator either.

Do experiments! Keep notes of what you’re doing!


This is how you get the amount of Purple into the trichomes of your weed. And here the following is about what else to do with it:

Where Else?

Except of in the Cannabis flowers, especially those showing a lot of the purple colour, a whole lot of Anthocyanin can be also found in these:

Anthocyanin except of cannabis flowers can be discovered in Red Cabbage (Cyan Cabbage)

Anthocyanin except of cannabis flowers can be discovered in Raspberry and Blackberry

Anthocyanin except of cannabis flowers can be discovered in Grapes

Except the cannabis plant buds, anthocyanin can be found in the red oranges

Pretty everything as long as it is a fruit, or a vegetable or a flower and have the vast and the obvious cyan / purple component in the color (in terms of CMYK or RGB idea of describing the colour), alike to all the images above. Anthocyanin carriers can be Red Cabbage, Cauliflower, Raspberries, Blueberries, Grapes (especial like those on the pictures with a lot of cyan component of the overall color dominating), red oranges also called blood oranges, cherry, eggplant, black peas, blackcurrant, etc, etc.

More of a totally crazy Scientific stuff about anthocyanin can be found here, in the US National Library of Medicine, for example: Anthocyanin and Human Health, An In Vitro Investigative Approach

And this one we’d recommend for further reading, little bit easier and smaller in size: Anthocyanins, More Than Nature’s Colours – and we used it as a source of knowledge too, it is curious having a number of interesting facts. Hope you’ll enjoy the reading of the whole thing, yet for me personally it happened to be too far scientific.

Cooking Weed and Berries together?

Why not! Having the said you only imagine that a cheesecake which is hardly infused with both – blueberry and marijuana must be an ultimate weapon, a BFG perfect weapon against many health issues, I can see that now (ha!ha!ha!)

A Tall Ship Loaded with Weed? Hah! This is the THC-Infused Cheesecake runs high over the waves, hehehehe

Download the Cookbook app here: The Weed Edible Recipes by Chef420