Similar to overwatering, beginning growers also have the tendency to give plants too many nutrients. A common misconception is that more nutrients equals bigger plants, so just keep adding more and more!
Look for and remove dead or yellowing leaves, and weak or withering branches. If plants are flowering, look for bud rot and mold.
Remember to only water a plant if the soil is dry 1-2 inches down. Check out our guide on watering for more info.
Overwatering cannabis plants
A weed plant needs the correct balance of nutrients for it to grow properly and be healthy. If anything, err of the side of too little nutrients—it’s a lot harder to correct a plant with too many nutrients than to add more. Keep in mind that organic nutrients are a little more forgiving.
Cannabis plants are resilient. The plant grows successfully all over the globe in many different climates—it’s called “weed” for a reason.
Too many nutrients
Inspect under fan leaves, as that’s where some bugs live—such as spider mites—and check where the stalk comes out of the soil, as some bugs live there too—in particular, root aphids.
But many problems can arise when growing cannabis, both indoors and outdoors. Bad weather, bugs, nutrient deficiencies, improper watering, and many other issues can pop up.
Timing the harvest is an art form in and of itself, though the general rule of thumb is on or around the Fall Equinox. Aside from brown pistils, a close inspection of the trichomes is helpful. Generally, growers look for trichomes that have an amber hue to them. When the plant is ready to harvest you’ll probably also see the fan leaves starting to yellow, curl, and dry out.
Of course, you could always grow your plants in pots or containers. Lots of outdoor growers elect to use pots and other containers, and they offer the added benefit of being able to bring the plants out during the day and inside if nights tend to be cold.
A photoperiod plant will continue to live its best vegetative life until the light-to-dark ratio starts to tip in favor of darkness. When photoperiod plants start getting 12 hours of darkness, they will move into their final phase — and perhaps the most exciting for growers — the flowering stage.
Photo by: Damien Robertson/Weedmaps
Harvesting happens when the plant’s flowers have fattened up but before the very cold weather comes on, typically by mid to late fall.
Plant companions. “Plant beneficial companion plants like marigolds, basil, lemon balm, or lavender. Not only do they invite pollinator insects into your garden, but they also invite beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which will prey on cannabis pests like aphids,” recommended Natalie Cox, a horticulturist and cannabis educator in Canada.
Like any farmer or gardener, cannabis farmers and gardeners typically get their plants in the ground as soon as the weather is warm enough and the days are long enough.
Spring to early summer: seedling stage
Folks in cooler climates often elect to start plants indoors to keep them safe and warm, waiting to plant outdoors until they’re somewhere between 6 inches and a foot tall and strong enough to handle the environment outside. Even in warm climates, many growers like to start their plants indoors to give them a leg up since seedlings are susceptible to pests, disease, and mold.
Speaking of life cycles, let’s talk about the plant’s stages of growth and development. This is where we see the importance of timing once more, since outdoor cannabis growers try to map out the growing season and find the sweet spot for optimal plant development.