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Water in just a circle around the plant until its leaves are up and growing fast. At that point you can start watering more thoroughly 🙂 The following seedling is almost a month old, but it’s been overwatered its whole life. The biggest hint that the roots are at fault is the fat, droopy leaves.

The fact that it’s a small plant in a big container also makes it more likely for plants to develop root problems. The strange yellow and red growth in this picture has been caused by giving the plant too much water, too often. Overwatering can often causes what appears to be nutrient deficencies in young plants! Older plants tend to just droop, but especially seedlings can have really odd reactions to overwatering. The plants below developed root rot in a hydroponic setup. This is usually triggered when the roots can’t get enough oxygen, usually due to high temps or poor oxidation of the water. Notice the strange burnt appears on some of the bottom leaves. The whole plant was drooping, especially towards the bottom. The plant on the right is healthy, and the plant on the left has root rot.

It’s interesting how the symptoms from root problems are often similar, whether the problem is in soil or hydro! No wonder the leaves were having so much trouble on top. Heat – cannabis is more likely to have root problems at higher temperatures Cold – cold roots are unhappy roots – cold shock can cause wilting and other problems Over-watering potted plants – too much watering tends to cause root problems No drainage hole at the bottom of the container – if water can’t get out and water is sitting at the bottom of the pot, the roots can “drown” Muddy or thick soil – if your soil is muddy and thick instead of rich and fluffy, it may mean the soil doesn’t hold enough oxygen to support your roots. Small plant in a big container – When a seedling (or small plant) is in a big container, it often has trouble getting enough oxygen at the roots. Until the plant has grown bigger and started to fill up the container, it’s important to avoid overwatering. It can help to water just a little bit at a time, in a circle around the seedling, until it starts growing faster. Plant has “overgrown” it’s container (become rootbound) – The roots of a rootbound plant have started circling the outside of the container, causing watering and nutrient problems even if you’re doing everything right. When this happens, you may need to transplant to a bigger container to stop the plant from being “choked” by the roots. Big plant in a small container – any time you have a big plant in a small container, even if the plant isn’t root bound, you increase the chance of underwatering since the plant quickly drinks up all the water in the soil! Hydroponics – Root problems are caused when there’s not enough oxygen in the water, usually caused because it’s either too hot or there isn’t enough bubbles/aeration. Certain strains are more prone to root problems than others, but good root practices will allow every plant to thrive! How to Treat Root Problems: Step 1: Identify what may have caused the root problem (refer to list of possible triggers above) Step 2: Address this underlying issue. Happy temps – Make sure your grow area maintains a comfortable room temperature during the day, and is a few degrees cooler at night. Learn more about how temperature affects your cannabis plants. How often should I water my potted cannabis plants? Make sure potted plants have plenty of drainage, and there must be drainage holes at the bottom. If soil or growing medium holds a lot of water, consider mixing in 1/3 to 1/2 extra perlite to “loosen things up” and improve drainage at the roots. Put plants in the right sized container to give the roots the best environment to spread out and grow. You may need to transplant to a bigger container if your plant has gotten too big or its roots are rootbound. Step 3: (Optional) Provide your plant with a beneficial bacteria like Hydroguard to help roots recover quickly (more info about root supplements below). Hydroguard will help fight root rot by creating a colony of good organisms to outcompete the root rot. You May Not Want to Use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) for Root Problems!

H2O2 is temporarily effective at best when it comes to root problems. By it’s nature, even commercial grade H2O2 will be completely gone from a water reservoir after about 24 hours as it reacts with the water to form oxygen (decomposes) until the H2O2 is completely gone.

If H2O2 is added to a water source, it kills most of the bacteria in the water, including any good bacteria, but will not usually be able to kill all bacteria, so some bad bacteria will still be left to repopulate. Because of it’s nature, hydrogen peroxide does absolutely nothing to fix the underlying issue that causes root problems, and it kills any postive bacteria in your soil or water so sometimes it can actually make things worse. I personally recommend using a supplement called Botanicare Hydroguard for root problems because I’ve used it successfully to get rid of a terrible case of Root Rot.

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