Growing weed isn't easy, let's get that right. Cannabis plants are finicky, have precise needs, and sometimes seem to die at the drop of a hat. And it doesn't help that most people who set out to grow weed have never grown a squash, much less such a temperamental plant! You don't see anyone skipping the bunny slope to ski advanced hills, but stoners (with absolutely no gardening experience) still try their luck with growing weed. And with the help of extensive beginners guides, they can often succeed! Knowing the most common problems with growing weed at home can mean the difference between a successful harvest and a disappointing, weedless ending. So study up and hope for the best, because growing weed at home is an investment of time, money, and a lot of love
Common Problems With Growing Weed
- Keeping The Male Plants: One of the most common problems people face with growing weed is when they allow male cannabis plants to pollinate their entire crop, which ruins the harvest. Make sure to identify and keep only females if you want weed plants for more than just seeds or outdoor decor.
- Improper Fertilization: Too much, not enough, at the wrong time – it's easy to mess up fertilizing your weed plant when there's so much to remember. Using nutritional supplements is key when it comes to growing an impressive cannabis plant.
- Bad Lighting: Both indoor and outdoor grows need specific types of lighting. Proper light is essential to the plant since (as we all learned at some point) plants use that light to photosynthesize. No light means no food, which ultimately means a sickly or dead plant.
- Transplanting Incorrectly (Or Not At All): A rough transplant can damage the root system of your cannabis plant, or stunt its growth. Not transplanting is equally bad, as weed plants need room to grow out their roots. Clones should generally not remain in the containers they are bought in.
- Pests: Nothing is more annoying than doing everything right, growing a beautiful weed plant, then having it ruined by pests. With so many types of pesky animals and insects roaming the earth, it's important to learn both the signs of infestation and how to stop it.
- Too Much Trimming: While trimming your weed plant is necessary, over-trimming definitely is not. Removing too many leaves and stalks will stunt the plant's growth and drastically reduce your yield.
- Harvesting At The Wrong Time: Each plant has a Goldilocks spot when it comes to harvesting cannabis properly. If you harvest too early or too late the potency will be negatively affected, which is silly when spotting a perfectly ripe nug is so easy.
How To Avoid These Common Problems With Growing Weed
Avoiding most of the common problems with growing weed is easy: avoid stressing out the plant. Weed requires a calm (one might say chill) environment and gentle treatment. Stress can kill, damage, and possibly even turn a female cannabis plant hermaphroditic. An unstressed plant now means an unstressed cannabis consumer later, so keep calm and remember to:
Only Keep Female Plants
A plant with a gender may seem odd, but if you want to grow good weed it's essential to know the difference between male and female cannabis plants. Since male cannabis plants can ruin an entire female crop with pollination, you really don't want to keep them around. Female cannabis plants grow small white hairs where buds will later form, while males lack this feature. Make sure to keep an eye out for hermaphroditic plants, as they too can ruin an entire crop of weed! Buying clones or feminized seeds can mitigate this problem before it even starts, but you should still be careful to avoid the common mistake of not checking (just to be sure).
Get Your Nutrients Right
Believe it or not, weed plants require more than just water, earth, light, and air to grow: they need nutrients too! Feeding your cannabis plants specific mineral supplements (preferably natural and organic) at specific times in the growth cycle can take an average plant and make it extraordinary. Extra nitrogen helps vegetation and growth, bloom food starts the flowering process, and some people even use molasses for an end-of-season boost! Stop feeding the cannabis plants with supplements one week before harvest and instead use only water. This cleanses the plant's system, removing all traces of nutritional supplements and leaving behind fresh, clean-tasting nugs.
Know Your Lighting
Almost all plants need light to grow, and cannabis is no different. Outdoor weed plants generally grow during the summer and are harvested close to October. This isn't just coincidental — weed plants vegetate when they receive long exposure to light (like during long summer days) and they flower when that light source's duration decreases. Indoor grows need to emulate the natural flow of seasons, slowly shortening the timespan on their lighting systems. Shady obstructions, cloudy days, or anything that can disrupt a weed plant's access to light should be avoided.
Weed plants need room to grow, not just up and out, but down too. A common problem with growing weed is when a plant doesn't have enough room in its pot to grow a strong root system. The upwards growth ends up being stunted, which leads to growing smaller plants and ultimately less weed (which no one wants). Make sure to transplant your plants only once they are strong enough to withstand the trauma, and don't forget to acclimate them to sunlight before the big move. Transplanting is one thing, but transplanting in addition to sudden, unexpected sunlight? That's just harsh.
Keep An Eye Out For Pests
Pests are perhaps the most infuriating of the common problems with growing weed. Spider mites, budworm, and rodents of all sorts are, as far as we can tell, out to get your cannabis plants (with a vengeance). Don't let months of hard work go to waste because of mother nature's less savory creations. Keep an eye out for rotting buds, damaged leaves, and suffocating webs if you want to protect your harvest from unmitigated disaster.
Don't Trim Too Much
Most people trim back their cannabis plants, but it's easy to go too far if you aren't careful. When you remove all those leaves and stems, you're not only stressing out the cannabis plant but making it harder to feed off of sunlight as well. Photosynthesis wasn't just a buzzword from middle school science, and trim-happy growers should be mindful with their clippers.
Harvest At The Right Time
One of the worst mistakes with growing weed is harvesting the crop either too early or too late. Buy yourself a good magnifier, one with an attached light for better visibility, and check your buds frequently. You'll know that your cannabis plants are ready to harvest when the trichomes are milky and just a few are turning amber. And remember that you don't have to harvest your entire crop at once! Remove branches as they mature, and make sure to check each plant individually from top to bottom. It would be a shame to harvest an entire grow at the wrong time just because the tallest plant was ready. This is the last step of a long, hard process — it pays to do it properly.
Conclusion: Growing Weed Is Hard Work!
Never underestimate just how much work goes into growing a good cannabis plant. Ultimately, the worst thing you can do for your cannabis plant is stress it out (even if keeping it happy stresses you out instead). A little proactivity goes a long way in protecting your plants against the most common problems with growing weed. And since anything that can go wrong when growing weed probably will, you should always keep an eye out for potential problems and nip them in the bud!
Remember to check your local laws before starting your own grow. Even if cannabis is legal in your state, it’s not always legal to grow your own!
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