As a cannabis grower, curling down of your plants’ leaves is reason enough to be worried. Although some may say this is normal in the cannabis cultivation process, it is a sign that something is wrong.
In this article, we’ll try to identify some of the reasons why your plants’ leaves may curl down or even up.
Pull that chair and take your vape. Let’s educate one another. First things first …
What Is Leaf Curling?
Curling of leaves, which at times is referred to as clawing, refers to a condition in which leaves of cannabis plants curl down.
Many reasons can make trees’ leaves to behave that way. We are about to talk about the various reasons why cannabis leaves can claw or curl down.
It is important to note that unless it is handled in time, the situation can hamper cannabis growth and subsequently your harvest a great deal.
What Causes Your Cannabis Leaves To Curl Down?
As mentioned, there are various reasons why your cannabis leaves are curling down. If you don’t tame the situation in time, there will be devastating results. In this section, I’ll discuss the leading causes of your leaves curling down.
Later, I’ll address the possible solutions to the problems that caused curling down of leaves.
- Toxic Nitrogen Levels
Excess nitrogen in the soil, which then is absorbed into the plant’s system is likely to cause leaves curling down. When you add manure or fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, chances are the plant’s system will be overwhelmed.
In the end, the plant produces dense green plants, which may appear appealing at first. However, in the end, the leaves start to curl at the tips. Slowly, this process may proceed until the whole leave curls down completely.
- Overwatering Your Crops
Water is vital in any cultivation process. However, too much water all the time is not a good thing for some plants like cannabis.
One of the worst things too much can do to your plants is to weaken root formation. The formation of roots needs water, but a lot of it is likely to derail the formation because the roots will rot and the plant withers in the end.
Waterlogged medium is a terrible thing to cannabis because it tends to saturate the essential nutrients instead of reaching the plant.
As mentioned already, excessive water is a suitable catalyst of Pythium, a parasitic condition associated with root rot.
- Too Much Fertilizer
Like water, fertilizer is essential for the growth of your cannabis plants. However, overfertilization is not suitable for cannabis. As mentioned earlier, too much fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and other essential nutrients will eventually kill your plants.
It is mostly not advisable to apply a lot of fertilizer on your young plants because they haven’t formed a healthy defense system to manage various forms of stress.
Excess nitrogen is not the only concern when fertilizing your crops. If you avoid over-applying nitrogen early to your plants but apply excess potassium or phosphorous during the plants’ flowering period, you will also catalyze curling.
Apart from curling, the leaves are likely to start scorching at the tips. In the end, your plants may even contract chlorosis, a common condition associated with over-fertilizing crops.
- Wind Burn
Another common cause of curling is excessive wind. Yes, too much wind blowing on the way of your crops is likely to cause clawing. Although you can’t do much about this situation if you are cultivating your crops outside, you may be able to enact a few measures when and if you grow your cannabis indoors.
- Bad Soil
This is another cause you many have limited control over. Thick and muddy soil is not a suitable medium for cultivating weed. Plants that are cultivated in poor or bad soil will grow weak.
One of the signs of a week and the unhealthy crop is curled leaves. In this situation, no matter the efforts such as watering, reducing watering or adding fertilizer may not work.
- Hot Temperatures
Whether you are cultivating your weed indoors or outdoors, scorching temperatures will affect your plants’ leaves. Heat stress itself can cause constant clawing of leaves.
- Cold Temperatures
If you thought that hot temperatures are the only problem and that cold temperature are best, you are wrong. Apart from your leaves curling down, low temperatures are likely to cause leaf discoloration.
If unattended, the leaves will eventually fall off, and the tree will remain without leaves with no prospect of forming new leaves if the temperatures continue to remain cold.
- Sun or Lightburn
Just like scorching temperatures, too much direct sunlight can cause leave damage. Even when grown indoors, direct light can affect the leaves, especially if the light is too close to the leaves.
- Bug/Pest Infestation
Pests or bugs that live inside the cannabis plant can cause your crops severe damage. You cannot see them, but you can see their effect. When they invest in your plants, you will see strange curl son the leaves.
Some of the pests that affect cannabis plants include broad mites, fungus gnats, and hemp russet mites.
Other possible reasons why your cannabis’ leaves are clawing include:
- Root rot (we talked it earlier on overwatering)
- Root problems
Now, let’s dig deeper into what you can do to reduce or even stop leaf clawing.
Things You Can Do To Reduce/Stop Leave Curling
In this section, we will follow the points as listed above as we seek to unearth the various solutions to leave clawing. In other words, we want to provide solutions to the above problems.
- Reduce Nitrogen Levels In Your Crops
As mentioned, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential to your plants. However, too much of these nutrients, especially nitrogen, is catastrophic to your plants.
At any given point, monitor how your plants behave, then apply liberal amounts of nitrogen and its close associates. If anything, follow the guidelines as labeled by the manufacturer of whatever it is you want to apply to your crops. We find that the use of coffee grounds being an ideal source of organic nutrients.
- Do Not Overwater/Underwater Your Crops
Water is essential in the germination, growth, absorption of nutrients, and even the formation of branches, leaves, flowers, and buds. Moderation is the key. Do not water your crops until the ground is covered with water.
Taking too long before you water your crops is also detrimental. The right time for watering you outdoors plants is late in the evening while you can ensure the ground is moist all the time for plants grown indoors.
- Avoid Over-Fertilizing Your Crops
There is no short cut. If you want your plants to have good health, thus stop clawing, follow the manufacturer’s crop feeding chart. These professionals have enough statistics and proven evidence on what crop needs what fertilizer at what point in their growing cycle.
Failure to fertilize your crops ultimately will result in retarded growth and eventual death.
- Enact Barriers
If you are cultivating your cannabis outdoors, then it might prove challenging to control the amount of wind coming to your crops. However, it doesn’t mean you are left without a choice.
You can try to erect barriers around your crops.
Some cultivators have decided to plant trees that have dense branches and leaves around the cannabis plantation. This works for them. Alternatively, if it is a small area, you can erect a fence, which will control the flow of wind.
For those cultivating weed indoors, you don’t have any reason to panic. You are sorted. You only need to ensure the roof of your greenhouse is strong.
- Hot/Cold Temperatures
The temperature has to be conducive for your cannabis crops to flourish. Leaves of weed plants with moderate temperatures are shiny and have a unique, deep green color. Ensure approximately 28 degrees Celsius on your crops.
Remember that if temperatures come below 20 degrees Celsius or go beyond 30 degrees Celsius, your plants’ leaves will not only curl but also wither and collapse completely.
- Plant Your Crops On Good Soil
Good soil for weed cultivations is the one that can be able to hold water for some time but also allow water to percolate. Thick and muddy soil is terrible for cannabis cultivation. Strive to look for a better soil medium where you can grow your plants.
You can know if the soil is right for your weed if water doesn’t lodge for more than 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can practice right crop rotation methods to make your soil more conducive for your cannabis.
- Guard Your Weed Against Sun/Lightburn
Scorching sunlight can affect your crops. You can avoid this by covering your crops during a time when the sun is at its highest. If this is impossible, plant your weed in an area that is partially covered with big trees or buildings that are likely to offer your crops a measure of refuge.
Do not put artificial lighting too close to your plants’ leaves.
- Treat The Soil and The Surrounding
Pests and bugs are a great nightmare to weed farmers. When they infest your weed, chances are you will not harvest a thing. Thankfully, you can avoid this by regularly cleaning the soil, disinfecting it and ensuring there are no pests or bugs.
You can ensure that you spray the area surrounding the weed plantation, which may form a habitat for pests and bugs. Make sure your greenhouse is clean and free from bugs by spraying it regularly.
Curling is a common condition, but it doesn’t have to affect your crops. You have a role to play. The tips mentioned above on how you can control or end it completely are all within your reach. See what measures you can implement and end curling from your weed.