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Top 10 Heartbreaks You Can Experience When Growing Weed

Written by Marcus Smith Nov 24 2023

Growing cannabis plants is simple if you pay attention to the plant’s nutrition, moisture, and temperature preferences. However, understanding these characteristics of individual plants can take time since they are critical for plant growth and development. Many cannabis farmers face distinct challenges when cultivating the plant. It may be anything, from determining the optimal quantity of watering to determining the appropriate temperature for cannabis cultivation. Here are ten common issues that might occur when you are cultivating cannabis:

1. Unexpected plant death

When cultivating cannabis plants outdoors – or inside – the development stages might be longer. Hence, problems might emerge during these growth periods, leading to the plant’s demise even before the maturing stage begins. Let’s look at the most common reasons for mortality in cannabis plants throughout their growing stage.

Person inspecting a cannabis plant

  • Root rot: Root rot is an illness that can eventually destroy plants. This illness affects roots when they are not in an appropriate environment and when they are more sensitive, particularly when stressed or frightened. Bacteria, algae, and fungus, among others, will attack the roots, transforming them into brown slime. This dark slime cannot absorb nutrients and water and, in most circumstances, cannot be restored.
  • Stem root: Stem rot occurs when the plant’s base remains damp for an extended period. The bottom of the main stem becomes mushy, and the plants collapse as if hacked down with a small ax. Sanitation techniques are advised, such as using clean pots and a sterile medium. Avoid using planting media with a lot of organic content. Cleaning planting tools can assist in reducing disease transmission.
  • Damping-off (sudden seedling death): Damping-off is a frequent disease that affects sprouted seeds, seedlings, and cuttings. Various fungi, including Pythium, Botrytis, and Fusarium, can mostly cause it. Although fungus is the most common cause of damping-off, the illness is usually caused by a combination of conditions.

2. Buds that don’t form

Here are circumstances where your cannabis buds fail to develop:

  • Autoflower plant that does not flower: Autoflowering strains are often ready to harvest quickly. Plant the seed, and it will bloom 3-4 weeks later. Most autoflowering strains are ready to harvest about 2-3 months after germination. However, a plant will occasionally not blossom automatically due to a breeding mistake or a mutation. When this happens, you must treat the plant like a photoperiod strain and give it 12-hour dark periods daily for buds to grow.
  • Male plants: Weed plants can be male or female; only female plants produce buds. Unless you start with feminized seeds, there’s a 50% chance the plant will be male and produce non-potent pollen sacs.
  • Re-vegging: When a blooming cannabis plant reverts to the vegetative stage, this is known as re-vegging. This is usually caused by the plant receiving light during its 12-hour daily dark phase.

3. Harvesting wrong buds

Not all cannabis harvests are abundant and right – sometimes, you can harvest:

  • Buds with bad or no smell: This is one of the most typical problems farmers have with buds after harvest. No or bad smell is mainly caused by genetics or strain type (the smell usually depends on strain) or drying and curing issues. Curing buds in jars for a few weeks often intensifies and enhances the scent. When buds lose their scent after harvesting, it’s usually due to drying in bad conditions (hot, dry, humid, or insufficient air circulation). Trimming buds before drying in low humidity can also help to minimize overall odor.
  • Buds that are harsh to consume (smoke): It is very frustrating to enjoy harsh buds; sometimes, this is caused by when your cannabis plants develop. Some of these issues might be buds developed in a hot environment during the late flowering phase and those that have gotten damaged from the growing lights being too close (light burn).
  • Buds that are not potent: This is usually due to harvesting too early or starting with inferior genetics. Assuming you started with decent genetics, the most common reason for poor potency is harvesting buds too early (before white hairs darken and coil in).

4. Technical failure

Here are some of the most serious technical errors and how you can avoid them in your cannabis grow room:

  • Your grow lights not turning on: Sometimes, you forget to plug in your grow light after inspecting your plants, or your electrical timer fails. There’s also the potential for a bulb to burn out or an LED panel to cease working. Plants do not enjoy staying in the dark for long and begin to turn yellow after a day or two.
  • Faulty pump: Plant roots require oxygenated water to live in hydroponic cultivation. When a pump fails, or a tube is unplugged, your plant roots are deprived of oxygen, and the plants wilt and die. Plant roots can perish due to a lack of oxygen if an air pump fails or is unplugged.
  • Electricity outrage: Weather may be erratic and unpredictable. You may occasionally have an electricity outage, which causes all of your equipment to remain switched off. This can cause indoor settings equipment to stop functioning, leading to a slow-growing rate, low yields, and unhealthy cannabis plants.
  • Malfunctioning exhaust fan: The temperature might rise dramatically if your exhaust fan fails or is unintentionally unplugged. Big grow lights generate a lot of heat, and your plants may suffer from a heatwave if the hot air is not regularly vented out.

5. Your cannabis plants getting damaged or killed

The following can cause your weed plants to become damaged or even killed:

  • Accidents during cannabis supercropping: Supercropping is a method for bending strong stems that might otherwise shatter if bent. Unfortunately, things can go awry, and a stem might be accidentally split. Normally, the damaged ends may be taped together to form a “cast,” and the plant will heal, but a severe split might leave a plant dangling on threads with no choice but to amputate the entire branch.
  • Accidents during other cannabis training: There is a lot of bending and manipulation when it comes to plant training. Even if you attempt to be delicate, you may accidentally split a stem or break off a branch. Here’s a tip to prevent the dreaded split: Leave a little stem behind every time you top to boost the overall strength of your two new weed colas – you don’t want them to split in the middle!
  • Grow light (plus cultivator) falling on the plant: Grow lights are heavy and cumbersome, and you constantly shift them up and down. You can occasionally drop light, and you and the light may fall on the plant. You are recommended to hang lights and carbon filters with rope ratchets so that you can raise and lower them without having to hold them.
  • Pets (dogs and cats) eating your plants: Some cats and dogs like consuming cannabis leaves. They are drawn to the leaves and will break into your grow room to have a taste. Deer and rabbits may also nibble on the leaves of plants cultivated on balconies or outside.

6. Overwatering your plant

Watering is vital for the growth of your cannabis plants, but you must avoid using too much water or watering them too often. Overwatering can cause plants to droop and, in extreme circumstances, kill them. To prevent making this error, use hydroponic media like coco coir. After applying it, use your finger to test the top inch of the medium. It is fine to water if it is dry. A good hydroponic system has adequate drainage.

7. Under-watered plants

Under-watered plants cannot develop because the biological processes required for health cannot occur. Your cannabis leaves start to droop and fall off. Eventually, your cannabis plant will die if it is not watered.

8. Cannabis bugs

Cannabis bugs may be many and diverse, and while not all are completely destructive to the plant, many of them can wreak havoc on our gardens if not handled appropriately. Of course, the plant may survive the infestation, but a significant bug attack will almost always result in weak plants and reduced harvests.

9. Unable to regulate heat

Optimum heat is ideal for your plants that are developing; however, some issues can occur, such as:

  • Heat wave: Although cannabis has earned the moniker “weed” due to its propensity to grow almost anywhere, it does not fare well in high temperatures. Heat has a variety of effects on plants. For example, excessive heat inhibits seed germination, producing problems before the plant even begins to sprout.
  • Your air conditioning going off: Growers utilize air conditioning and ventilation fans to keep their cannabis plants at a steady temperature. However, when your air conditioning goes off, it can cause the same effect as a heat wave! Heat damage can generate foxtails, which are unusual growths on cannabis buds.

10. Molds

Nothing irritates farmers more than mold on cannabis plants. Common cannabis molds not only grow quickly, but they may also spread throughout your entire crop in extreme cases. Fortunately, you may avoid costly cannabis mold outbreaks by taking the necessary steps and developing a cannabis mold treatment strategy.

  • White powdery: White powdery mold, like most other varieties of mold, grows in hot, humid environments with little air circulation. White powdery mildew causes white powder spots on cannabis leaves.
  • Bud Rot (mold growing inside leaf buds): Bud rot is caused by packed cannabis buds blended with excessive humidity and insufficient air circulation. Bud rot is frequently found around the base of the discolored leaves. Cannabis leaves fall out wherever bud rot develops, and the buds seem brown, gray, or rotten up close.

Mold during drying or curing: Mold can grow during the drying or curing process if the air is hot, humid, or stagnant. Most prevalent when buds are in close proximity to one another (for example, while hanging a complete plant or drying multiple buds close together).

Marcus Smith

Marcus is a relative newcomer to the cannabis world. Though it may seem that his youth wouldn’t allow for a wealth of knowledge, this is untrue. Marcus Smith has close relationships with many cannabis breeders and grow owners which have allowed him to sample the best cannabis across the US and beyond while also gaining valuable insight into how different strains grow and develop. About this Author

Marcus Smith

Marcus is a relative newcomer to the cannabis world. Though it may seem that his youth wouldn’t allow for a wealth of knowledge, this is untrue. Marcus Smith has close relationships with many cannabis breeders and grow owners which have allowed him to sample the best cannabis across the US and beyond while also gaining valuable insight into how different strains grow and develop. About this Author

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