Your plant is wilting, you notice the leaves turning yellow or forming unsightly spots, or maybe it’s refusing to grow altogether. There are many reasons why cannabis plants can become sick, from issues with watering to pest infestations, inadequate lighting, heat stress, and more.
When your cannabis plants are sick and stressed, it’s important to immediately identify the problem. That’s when the real process of reviving your cannabis begins.
When you have addressed the cause(s) of your plant’s condition, you obviously want to revive it as fast as possible. Here are some things you can do to help plants recover from infestations, illness, and more.
Repotting your plant
Repotting your plant into a new home full of fresh soil or potting mix can bring it back to life. You’ll need to find a new container with ample room for the roots to grow.
Pick a pot that is considerably wider than the old one. A quick trim of the foliage may seem like a step backwards for the plant, but it can be helpful if there is a lot of damage to the roots. This will give the plant a fighting chance because the root system will not have to support a large amount of foliage.
Keep Pests Away
Plant infestations from spider mites, fungus gnats, fruit flies, and other insects are all too common when you grow cannabis. When you have finally gotten rid of the pests, you want to make absolutely sure that they don’t return. Pest infestations can really ravage a plant, so it certainly needs optimal care and time to be revived.
In terms of keeping the pests away, there are natural insecticides like neem oil that can be highly effective. You can even use it as a foliar spray, applying it to your leaves every 2 or 3 weeks. However, be careful during the flowering phase as you do not want the overbearing taste of neem oil on your buds! For fungus gnats, you can also set up yellow sticky traps, which will catch most of them.
Check Temperatures And Humidity
If your plant appears to be dying or suffering hard, it is unlikely that a minor issue is occurring. Most of the time, a rapid descent in the health of your plant signals a fundamental issue or invasion. This can involve problems with environmental conditions, microscopic infestations, and other culprits.
If you’re growing indoors, the first step to reviving your plants is to check the temperature and relative humidity of your tent or grow room. The ideal temperature for cuttings and seedlings is between 20–25ºC. As the plants get older, they can tolerate a bit more, up to 28ºC. Everything above this is excessive and causes stress, which will make it much more difficult for your plants to recover.
Likewise, the humidity levels of your room must be kept within a certain range depending on the phase of growth. An optimal humidity level for flowering plants is 40–50%. Plants in the vegetative growth phase can tolerate a more humid environment, from 40–70%. If the humidity is too high, you need to look into better ventilation for your grow space. A dehumidifier is the best, albeit expensive option here. Your sick plants will have a hard time recovering if their environment is not stable and optimal.
Is Your Dying Plant Lacking Nutrients?
When adding fresh soil to a larger container, provide your plant with essential nutrients by using a high-quality mix. You can also boost performance by adding fertilizer.
A word of warning: Be sure to follow the directions on the bag—don’t overdo it as too much fertilizer can finish off your plant just as easily as forgetting to water it can. Depending on your plant, you might choose to use a slow-process fertilizer variety instead. This may take some time, so be patient.
Lower Your Light Levels
Cultivators normally keep their wattage levels as high as possible to encourage plants to grow faster. More light means the plant is working harder and will likely produce a greater yield. On the other hand, a plant that is working extra hard is more susceptible to deficiencies and other problems. One way to give your sick plant a break is to decrease the light intensity. Move your lights higher up and further away from your plants, or decrease the wattage.
When you grow indoors with your lights on a timer, you can also cut down on the daily light hours your plants receive. When you reduce the light hours for the vegetative phase to only 17 or 16 a day, this will give your plants more time to “rest” and recover.
Should I give my dying plant more water?
It could be possible your plant is being harmed not from you under-watering it, but from you overwatering it. If the soil becomes oversaturated, then the roots may start to rot. The pot may even begin to grow mold or mildew.
Your plants should be fed and watered well during the growing season, but less water is needed when the plant is dormant.
Heat Stress Outdoors
Despite cannabis loves plenty of light and warm temperatures, if you grow outdoors in the summer, heat stress and excessive sun can be a problem, especially for plants recovering from illness. If you have your plants in pots and they look stressed from too much heat, move them to a shadier location. Less heat and direct sun will make it easier for sick plants to get back up to strength.