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Why Your Pot Leaves Are Turning Yellow

Be an informative and thoughtful cannabis grower, and find out why your pot leaves are turning yellow.

By Ami RoachPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

Losing sleep because your cannabis plants are acting up? You my friend, have come to the right place! Listed out below is a stoner-proof method for turning your decrepit plants into beautiful green stalks full of THC. Specifically, this article will describe the various symptoms, causes, and remedies for why your pot leaves are turning yellow. Do not lose focus! Each item on this list is essential for your plants' success. To take your cultivation to the next level, check out these marijuana grow books.

Lack of Light

Back to the basics of middle school science, all leaves undergo the process of photosynthesis to harness and create energy. A simplistic explanation of the process is that leaves take in light and carbon dioxide, then convert the product of that synthesis into plant energy. Without sufficient light, plants will fail to reach their growing potential and eventually turn yellow. The most common symptom of plants not receiving sufficient light is the leaf tips turning yellow. Fluorescent lights must be kept quite close to plants for maximum energy to be transmitted.

Solution:Try increasing the amount of light that your marijuana plants leaves are getting. The fix can be as simple as lowering the existing grow light or investing in stronger fluorescent bulbs. Professional growers will use a more scientific method for determining wattage for their grow bulbs based on square footage, calculating heat, and tailoring needs for specific plant species.

Over or Under-Watering


Plants experiencing either over or under-watering will exhibit noticeable symptoms for new to experienced growers to quickly notice. The most common symptom will be drooping from either action. Over-watering will cause the leaves appear swollen and over-concentrated with water. This is most common with young plants due to their undeveloped root system and will later affect its flowering stage. Under-watering makes the leaves appear papery and brittle from lack of water running through its veins. Continued under-watering will cause the plant to turn yellow and lose leaves to save energy. An important thing to acknowledge is adjusting watering levels to the plant/container ratio. This issue is often overlooked and needs to be personalized to every growers specific needs.

Solution: Decreasing water flow to over-watered and increasing water to under-watered sounds easy in practice, but will take thoughtful consideration from the grower to find the perfect ratio. Make sure to find right sized container and always check the bottom of the plant to see how damp the soil is after watering.

Another topic discussed back in middle school science, knowledge and successful implementation of pH is essential for healthy plants. pH, potential hydrogen, is a measurement on a scale of one to fourteen to determine the acidity of a solution. This relates to the cultivation of marijuana plants due to the ideal levels of acidity needed in the soil to ensure healthy growth. Soil pH should be kept between six and seven, while hydroponic pH should be between 5.5 and 6.2. Marijuana plants are extremely sensitive and will not absorb the necessary nutrients if the soils pH level is outside of the ideal parameters.

Solution: Administer pH tests on a regular basis to ensure that the acidity of the soil is within the optimum range. This is to ensure that the plants can absorb the necessary ingredients. Buy a kit online to add or dilute the pH to desired levels.

Nutrient Deficiency


If all of the other factors—light, pH, and water—can be accounted for, a nutrient deficiency is the likely cause for why your pot leaves are turning yellow. The usual tell tale signs of a plant dealing with a nutrient deficiency are fragile and yellow leaves close to the base of the plant. The yellow plant leaves are most likely caused by a lack of iron, calcium, magnesium, and/or nitrogen deficiency. The most common cause for nutrient deficiency is when plants have been left inside a container for a long time. The plants suck up all the nutrients in the soil and cannot achieve their potential with only water and light to create energy. Plants need their vitamins just like you do!

Solution:If the symptoms of your plants match those above, try watering them with a nutrient solution rich in nitrogen. If tinkering with chemicals and pH levels is outside of your comfort zone, add the plant to a container with new soil that is rich with nutrients.

Listed above are some of the basic guidelines for keeping your cannabis plants looking healthy and dark green. If all this is this too overwhelming or is causing you anxiety, don't worry about why your pot leaves are turning yellow. Leave it to the professionals, buy from a dispensary, or check out these dope marijuana grow kits. Don’t let a stress reliever cause you stress!


About the Creator

Ami Roach

Jewish Barnard graduate, surprise surprise.

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    Ami RoachWritten by Ami Roach

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