Lesson 1, Topic 1
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3.5 Identifying and Treating Nutrient Deficiencies

Cartier April 11, 2023

Nutrient deficiencies can hinder cannabis plant growth and negatively impact your plants’ overall health and yield. Therefore, it’s essential to identify and treat these deficiencies in a timely manner.
This section will discuss common signs of nutrient deficiencies and the steps to address them.

  1. Identifying nutrient deficiencies: The first step in addressing nutrient deficiencies is accurately identifying which nutrient is lacking. Common signs of nutrient deficiencies include:
    • Nitrogen (N): Yellowing of lower leaves, the entire plant turning pale green.
    • Phosphorus (P): Dark purple or blue-green leaves, especially on the lower and older leaves.
    • Potassium (K): Yellowing of leaf edges and tips, followed by browning and curling.
    • Calcium (Ca): New growth appearing distorted or stunted, with darkened, curled leaf tips.
    • Magnesium (Mg): Interveinal chlorosis (yellowing between veins) on older leaves, starting from the edges and tips.
    • Sulfur (S): Yellowing of new growth, with older leaves remain green.
    • Iron (Fe): Interveinal chlorosis on new growth, with the veins remaining green.
    • Manganese (Mn): Interveinal chlorosis on new growth, with the veins remaining green and necrotic (dead) spots on the leaves.
    • Zinc (Zn): Leaf tips appear yellow or white, with leaves becoming narrower and twisted.
    • Copper (Cu): Leaf tips becoming limp and curled, with possible necrotic spots.
  2. Treating nutrient deficiencies:
    • Confirm the deficiency: Before treating a deficiency, double-check that the issue isn’t caused by other factors such as pests, diseases, or incorrect pH levels.
    • Adjust feeding schedule: Review and adjust your nutrient feeding schedule accordingly, ensuring that the lacking nutrient is provided sufficiently.
    • Use foliar feeding: In some cases, foliar feeding can provide a quicker solution to nutrient deficiencies. Spray a nutrient solution directly onto the leaves, ensuring that it contains the deficient nutrient(s).
    • Flush the growing medium: If the nutrient lockout is suspected (when nutrients are present but unavailable due to an imbalance in the growing medium), flush the growing medium with pH-balanced water to remove excess salts and reset the nutrient balance.
    • Monitor and adjust: Keep a close eye on the affected plants and make additional adjustments as needed. Recovery can take several days to weeks, depending on the severity of the deficiency.

In conclusion, promptly identifying and treating nutrient deficiencies is critical for maintaining healthy cannabis plants and maximizing yields.

By understanding the common signs of nutrient deficiencies and addressing them effectively, you can ensure your plants receive the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and productivity.

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