By LeeWEpstein

February 10, 2020


Although cannabis is a herb and can grow like grass, plants grown specifically for harvesting and consumption require much more delicate treatment. Well-thought-out systems and methodology for cultivation strategy are crucial.

Light, temperature, and humidity can allow the plant to reach its full vegetative potential or can stress the crop, causing the plants to sex change, pollinate or put their energy into something other than head production. Healthy plants will display characteristics that the knowledgeable grower can check and monitor.

 Soil & soil growing conditions

Plants need water to grow, so it’s easy to see how the most common problem in a new crop is over-watering. When the soil is too wet, the plant is at risk of root rot and other diseases. But also make sure that the soil never dries out completely.

 Leaf fingers

Each large leaf is composed of several blades or fingers. Most cannabis plants have mature leaves with 9-11 fingers per leaf, but some varieties do not exceed 7 fingers. Each new leaf on baby plants will have more fingers than the previous leaves, from 3 to 5, then 7, etc.

Leaf Color

Different varieties display different colors, ranging from light green to dark purple or even red or orange. Regardless of the color, the leaves should be consistent. Watch out for colored spots or dots as they can be an indication of pH or water problems, nutrient deficiencies, pest infestations, etc. For example, leaf edges may appear scorched or burned if the plant is receiving too much nutrient, or if the nutrient solution has been sprayed on the leaves.

 Leaf strength

Huddled leaves can be an indicator of nutrient deficiency or underwatering. Over-watered leaves will be heavy and curl downwards. Many growers say that the leaves of a healthy plant bend towards the light, like a sunflower.

 Stem appearance

Visually, a stem will have “stretch marks” because of its rapid growth, this is totally normal. Plants that receive so much care will grow naturally fast, and there is not enough elasticity in the “skin” to avoid these marks.

These are not the only signs to look out for in a healthy plant, but it is certainly a good start. Try to keep a regular journal to record any changes (in temperature, watering, nutrients, etc.). That way, if you see an indicator of a problem, you can quickly fix it and help your plants return to full health.

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