- 27 Comments
In this article we will discuss the following environmental stresses:
The environment produces most of the factors that will determine the health of your cannabis plants. From air quality and humidity to temperature and light, keeping the environment of your plant maximized will decide whether or not you have a strong, healthy plant, and a big yield to go with it.
It takes a lot of work to keep the environment well-balanced, but the end result is worth it for most growers. You’ll need to keep the pH levels, nutrients, and growing seasons in mind when attempting to optimize the environment.
Not only will optimizing the environment get you a bigger yield, it will also be better. What grower doesn’t want to produce the highest quality product possible?
Read this article and learn how to recognize and treat stressed out marijuana plants. Every subject has a link to a more in-depth article.
Dark cycle interruption
Plants are extremely sensitive to changes in light. That’s how they grow, and how they know that seasons are changing. Changes in the intensity and schedule of light exposure will radically affect the growth of the plant.
Outdoors, your plants will get all the sunlight they need for natural seasonal changes, but indoors you need to carefully manage all of the lighting to make sure the plants are growing well. If you’re growing indoors, you can’t rely on the plant to ‘know’ when it should be flowering and maturing. You have to help it more than you would a plant that’s being grown outside.
Before flowering begins, every cannabis plant needs to undergo a period of uninterrupted, total darkness. Every strain is slightly different in this regard, but be absolutely sure that the plant isn’t getting any light during this crucial period, or it won’t flower properly. Read more about dark cycle interruptions.
Humidity and temperature
Cannabis is an unusually hardy plant, and it can survive in a wide variety of conditions, but that doesn’t mean it will thrive in less than optimal conditions. If your grow room is too hot or too humid, it’s quite likely that your plant will become stressed, and they won’t grow to their full potential. If there is too much humidity, you can simply invest in a dehumidifier. It uses electricity, but it will replace the moist air with drier air. All you need to do is empty the reservoir regularly.
When it comes to temperature, cannabis plants like it hot, but there is a point at which it can become too hot. Anything over 80 degrees Fahrenheit is likely to be less than beneficial for most varieties. If your grow room is too hot, you can use air conditioners to help cool it down. Alternatively, you can cycle cool water through the root systems to allow the plant to cool itself. Read more on what do to when your marijuana grow room gets too hot or humid.
Pruning can be beneficial to the overall health of your plant if it’s done right. Farmers frequently prune plants so that they can get a better harvest out of an individual plant. Done properly, pruning will help you maximize your yield, but it is absolutely essential that you know what you’re doing if you start pruning. If you aren’t sure about what to do, you’re much better off not pruning at all.
If you prune your plant excessively, it won’t be able to produce as much energy, and so it won’t produce as many buds in the long run, and those buds that are produced will be smaller. Pruning is usually done with leaves that are already dead, or leaves that are blocking out a lot of light. learn more about when and how to prune marijuana plants.
Airy and loose buds
Airy and loose buds are usually considered to be of lower quality than the tight firm buds that smokers favor. The looseness of the buds can be caused by a wide array of environmental factors, ranging from too little light or nutrients to too much heat.
For most growers, a high temperature is the guilty party. If your grow room is getting you loose buds, consider adding an air conditioner to your setup to help cool the room. You can also experiment with moving the plants around so that your room is better ventilated. If you’re growing outdoors, you can help ameliorate loose buds by using a micro-sprayer system.
If your plants don’t get enough potassium during the flowering process, you can also get loose, airy buds. If you think that might be the case, simply switch to a fertilizer that gives you a higher concentration of potassium. Read more on how to avoid airy and loose marijuana buds.
Clones won’t root
Your primary goal when it comes to cloning cannabis plants is to get those fresh young cuttings to root properly. You can do it manually, but there are some additional helpful tools you can take advantage of as well. For example, sometimes your cuttings won’t root well, but if you just apply a little bit of rooting gel and tweak the environment, they will root nicely.
Many growers also wonder whether or not they can take cuttings from fully mature plants or plants that undergoing flowering. Yes! You can take cuttings from plants at practically any stage of growth after it splits out of its seed. Giving it a little bit of time to grow and root beforehand is usually a good idea, however. As long as you take care of those cuttings, they should grow nicely. Learn how to make clones.
Another problem growers can experience is stretching in their cannabis seedlings and plants. Usually, these long spindly plants stretched out because of a number of environmental factors, often light-related.
Stretched cannabis plants are unable to support proper branches, leaves, and buds. The stems are just too thin. Keep an eye on your plants to make sure this isn’t happening to you! If the stems aren’t developing enough, you can gently bend the stem back and forth. While this might seem counterintuitive, damaging the plant, a little bit will force it to devote some energy to strengthening and re-growing the stem.
You can also solve this issue by adjusting the spectrum of the light you’re using, and making sure that the temperature is hot without being overly hot. Make sure the plants are getting plenty of light, or the plant will stretch out in an attempt to reach the lights. Find out how to deal with stretching marijuana plants.
If your plant is exposed to unusually high or low temperatures, that can stress your plant in a number of different ways. Ideally, you should keep the environment close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will do well near this as long as it isn’t too hot.
The temperature can drop up to 15 degrees during periods of darkness if necessary, but be careful. Temperatures that drop too low end up slowing the growth of the plant significantly. When it comes time to harvest the buds, you’ll notice a decreased yield to go along with the slow growth. Unfortunately, you won’t notice this until it’s too late. So do yourself a favor and make sure that your grow room is hot enough! Keeping a close eye on the environment is key.
The flip side is making sure that your grow room doesn’t get too hot. If the temperatures are too hot, the plants can be damaged. You might experience weak stalks and stems, as well as wilting droopy plants. Consider your ventilation in too-hot grow rooms, and possibly adding an air conditioner if you’ve already run out of other options in how to adjust the ventilation in your plant’s environment. Read more about the ideal temperature for marijuana plants.
Hermaphroditism is not a good trait for growers of indoor cannabis. The problem is that if the plants possess both genders, they can pollinate themselves and the other plants around them. One single hermaphrodite plant can pollinate an entire grow room. Unfortunately, pollinated plants produce much lower quality buds, and the smoke is undesirable by most medicinal and recreational users.
While stress can theoretically cause hermaphroditism in cannabis plants, it’s usually predetermined by the plant’s genetics. Remember to avoid any major stresses that can induce the plant to become hermaphrodite.
For example, it’s possible for your plants to grow just fine outdoors, but if you move them indoors, the stress can cause them to produce male flowers and exhibit traits of both plant genders. If this happens, your only option is to quickly try and pick off the male flowers so that the plant doesn’t self-pollinate. You’ll also want to separate it from the rest of your growing operation so there’s no risk of pollination there either. Also, try not to use seeds from hermaphroditic plants, because every subsequent generation will run the risk of self-pollination. Read more about hermaphrodite cannabis plants.
Seeds won’t germinate
Sometimes cannabis growers will have a huge issue at the beginning of their cultivation. The first issue you can have is seeds that just won’t germinate. There are a number of factors that can influence a seed’s inability to germinate.
Usually, a seed should just need water and a warm environment, but if you’re having trouble, you can try soaking the seeds in a heavily diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. This will weaken the seeds outer coating and make it easier for the seedling to pop out. Also, seeds don’t last forever. If your seeds are too old, they might never germinate, and you’ll have to throw them away. Read more about why sometimes cannabis seeds won’t germinate.
Knocked down plant
Cannabis plants are tall and thin, and sometimes they can be knocked over by storms or unusually heavy winds. But remember, cannabis plants are hardy! If your plant gets knocked down, it might still be able to survive.
You should get the plant back into position as soon as possible and repair any of the breaking that might have damaged the stem. Make sure that the plant is firmly rooted and stabilized against any future winds. Stakes can help you support a plant, much like a brace or cast helps support a broken leg. You can use tape to help repair breaks in the stem, as a sort of bandage.
If the roots are ripped out of the soil, you need to make sure you get them covered back up. Roots don’t deal with exposure to light and air, and if the roots aren’t pulling in water and nutrients from the soil, the plant will die. Find out what to do when your cannabis plant was knocked down.
Hard or soft water
Water is the foundation of all life on Earth, and your cannabis plant is no exception. The thing is, water can contain a lot of different elements and minerals. You should test the water you’re giving your plants to make sure it’s not full of anything undesirable.
Tap water can often contain chlorine, sodium, sulfur, and other bad stuff that your cannabis plant really doesn’t need to thrive. Hard water contains any number of dissolved solids, and you should be aware of what you’re giving your plant so that you can fertilize it properly.
If you find out that your water contains undesirable minerals or elements, your best bet is to use filters to purify it. Try to avoid water softeners, as these may fix one problem, but might add other elements you don’t want. Read more on what water to give your marijuana plants.
Outdoor growers of cannabis don’t have the same luxuries as indoor growers. Inevitably, you’ll have to deal with unpredictable weather. Extreme cold, long periods without rain, and periods of heavy rain can all cause issues for your crop. If your plants are cold, they’ll stop growing, and if they stop growing for too long, they can die. Make sure to bring them indoors if the weather becomes inhospitable for a long time.
Excessively rainy or humid weather also causes issues. Foremost, they will leave plants extremely vulnerable to fungus and mold, so try to make sure your plants get dry and warm after periods of cold rain. Of course, storms can also cause direct physical damage to your plants. There’s little you can do about this if you are growing your plants outdoors. Learn how to deal with cold, rainy and humid weather.
Overwatering and underwatering
When and how much to water your plants? This is practically an art. Your plants need change during different stages of development and depending on other environmental factors. You can’t let your plants go for too long without water, but if they don’t get enough, they will wilt and become unhealthy.
Don’t ever wait until the plants start to become limp before you water them. The easiest way to see if the plants are getting enough water is to check the substrate or soil the plant is growing in. It should be moist without being wet or saturated. If the soil is too dry, then water it.
Too much water can also cause issues for your plant. If the roots of the plant don’t get enough oxygen, the plant can drown. Make sure the soil around the roots is properly aerated, and that the plants drain well. Read more about when to water your cannibis plants.
Soil is the frame for your plant. If you’re growing outdoors, you can find a huge variety of different types of soil, depending on your location. Many places don’t have soil that is good to work with for growers, so check on the soil quality near you before starting up your growing operation.
Clay soils have poor drainage, for example, and this can cause your plants to drown from overwatering.
Sandy soils often drain too well, and the plants won’t get enough water or nutrients. Dried-out soil often needs to be treated, mixed up, and moistened for it to work well. All of these different issues can be fixed by adding different soil types into the mix and balancing out the environment. Read more about the best soil for your marijuana plants.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible
The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]