Despite cannabis being a weed and being able to grow like one, plants grown specifically for harvesting and consumption require much more delicate treatment. Mindful systems and methodology for grow strategy is crucial.
Lights, temperature, and humidity could enable the plant to reach its fullest vegetation potential, or they could stress the whole crop, resulting in plants flipping gender, pollinating, or otherwise putting energy into anything besides the bud production. Healthy plants will exhibit traits the savvy grower can check and keep an eye on.
Plants need water to grow, so it’s easy to see how the most common problem in a new grow is overwatering. When the soil is too damp, the plant is at risk of root rot and other illnesses. Make sure that the soil never dries out completely though.
Each fan leaf is made of several blades or fingers. Most cannabis plants will have mature fan leaves with 9-11 fingers per fan, but some strains never grow more than 7. Each new leaf on baby plants will have more fingers than the leaf prior, from 3 to 5 to 7 etc.
Different strains show different colors, ranging from light green to dark purple, even red or orange. Regardless of color, leaves should be consistent throughout. Take careful note of spots or color splotching, as these can be indicators of water/pH issues, nutrient deficiencies, pest infestation, or other. For example, leaf edges will appear singed or burnt if the plant is being given too many nutrients or if the nutrient solution itself has splashed onto the leaves.
Wilted leaves can be an indicator of nutrient deficiencies or underwatering. Overwatered leaves will feel heavy and curl downward. Many growers say that happy plants’ leaves angle upwards towards the light, like a sunflower head.
Visually, a stem will have “stretch marks” from growing quickly; this is totally normal. Plants given this much care will naturally grow quickly, and there isn’t enough elastic in the “skin” to prevent these marks.
These aren’t all the signs to look for in a healthy plant certainly, but they’re a good start. Perhaps try regularly updating a journal to track any and all changes (to temperature, to watering schedule, to nutrients, etc). This way, if you see any problem indicators you can troubleshoot it quickly and help your plant quickly regain full health.