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5 Surprising Signs of Overwatering-Part I

One of the most common problems that cannabis growers run into is overwatering their plants. Overwatering doesn’t mean you’re a bad grower. Growers over-water because they love their plants and want to give them everything. Unfortunately, sometimes we give them a little too much of a good thing. But don’t worry, your overwatering questions get answered today!

Drooping or wilting is the main symptom of overwatering. Plants droop when they have “wet feet” for too long. Yet overwatering can also cause a variety of other symptoms including yellowing, nutrient deficiencies, leaf spots, brown edges, curling, and more. The droopiness from overwatering is actually the result of a lack of oxygen at the roots, not from too much water. That’s why hydroponic plants can grow with roots directly in water as long as bubbles are constantly adding oxygen.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to pump oxygen into a waterlogged grow medium. Without any pockets of air to provide oxygen, roots start “drowning” when the soil or coco is totally drenched. This can result in a surprising number of different symptoms in addition to drooping because it completely disrupts water and nutrient flow through the plant. Although most plants get a bit droopy during their “night” period, leaves perk up at the beginning of the plant’s “day”. If your plant seems droopy right after lights come on, you know that you have a problem.

Besides droopiness, the symptoms from overwatering are often confused for other problems. This can be frustrating because you may be chasing solutions to other issues when the only answer is simply to water plants less often or less at a time. Sometimes overwatered plant is slightly droopy, but the more visible symptom is the yellowing on top leaves. The symptoms look a bit like bleaching from the grow light being too close or a potassium deficiency. It can be easy to ignore the drooping and focus on the other symptoms, but in this case, all the symptoms are actually the result of overwatering in a thick grow medium. Watering this plant less often with less water at a time solved the issue. After that, the plant started growing normally.

Overwatering is hands-down the most common reason grower’s plants run into problems, even if the symptoms seem unrelated. The following list will help you figure out whether your plant may be affected. If you see the following warning signs in combination with droopiness, there’s a strong chance you’re dealing with an overwatering problem. If these symptoms always seem to get worse soon after watering, you can feel almost certain that you’ve discovered the root of your problem…

5 Surprising Signs of Overwatering

1.) Brown Leaf Edges

When we first started growing cannabis we heard this symptom was nutrient burn  (too many nutrients), but since then we’ve learned nutrient burn typically only affects the tips of leaves as opposed to all the edges. We’ve also heard this is a calcium deficiency, but that looks more like brown patches or burns on the leaves themselves. We’ve peresonally found that spots on the serrated edges of leaves are often related to root problems or issues with water movement through the plant. Most commonly overwatering.

Overwatering can cause brown spots on the serrated edges of leaves, these brown leaf edges appeared after the plant was heavily watered. How can you tell the difference between brown leaf edges from overwatering vs nutrient burn? The burnt spots appear on different parts of the leaf.

To be continued…

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