Modern cannabis nutrients perform very well for pretty much everyone. If things do go wrong and your marijuana looks sick, it could be a boron deficiency. Find out the basics about deficiencies in the cannabis plant from the pros at RQS.
- Make sure plants do not dry out too often.
- Don’t over-fertilise! This will cause nutrient lockout.
- Make sure the humidity is above 25%. A humidifier or dehumidifier is always a good idea when growing indoors.
- Always use cannabis-specific nutrients with the necessary cross-section of elements.
- Soil growers should use a comprehensive, well drained soil.
To help prevent a boron deficiency:
Boron is fixed once it is taken up by the plant, so a boron deficiency only occurs in new growth. Nitrogen, calcium and other essential plant nutrients work in concert with boron to ensure plant health. Plants may display a number of deficiency symptoms if there is a lack of boron. For example, grey or brown dry spots may occur that look similar to signs of a calcium deficiency, only the spots are larger. Similarly, purple stems can be a symptom of cold, nitrogen toxicity or boron deficiency. Only with boron, stems become much more soft.
- Apply a mix of 1 teaspoon boric acid to 4 litres of water to the affected plants. Results will be noticeable overnight.
- When plants show positive reactions, flush with clean water or a commercial marijuana tonic and begin normal nutrient routine.
Boron is an essential micronutrient in all plants. It supplies structural integrity for cell walls, helps maintain the plasma membrane and promotes the health of other metabolic pathways. Insoluble boron plays a major role in plant integrity. Soluble boron is more likely the culprit for overdoses; however, soluble boron is the source for insoluble boron used in plant cells.
Boron deficiencies usually occur when a plant is underwatered or subjected to low humidity. Boron deficiencies can mimic calcium deficiencies as both elements rely on each other to maintain overall plant health.
- Inhibits turgor. Plants will lose their lushness. This is easily observed in marijuana as the plant is universally admired for vibrant growth.
- Reduces fertility. Less pollen is produced, which also encourages sterility. Calyxes become underdeveloped and bracts, which are modified leaves, will show symptoms such as small, dead, brown spots.
- Affects vegetative and reproductive growth. Overall growth at all stages can be affected. Vegetation is stunted and growth is slowed. Flower development, both male and female, is severely compromised.
- Can kill the meristems. These are plant tissues which contain undifferentiated cells that are essential for plant growth.
The following are symptoms of boron deficiencies:
Although rare, a boron deficiency can severely compromise your marijuana plants. This is how to identify and treat a boron deficiency in cannabis.
Moving on from the nutrients, we arrive at the issue of the pH levels and growing mediums. If the pH levels are not right, the roots cannot absorb the nutrients they need and thus, a deficiency can occur. Concerning deficiencies, boron seems to be most efficiently absorbed by plant roots at pH levels between 6.0 and 6.5. Even though most growers keep their cannabis plants at pH levels between 6.0 and 7.0, boron seems to be best absorbed below 6.5. In hydro cultures, growers keep their plants at pH levels between 5.5 and 6.5, but at pH levels below 6.2, the plants roots most efficiently absorb boron.
Published : Aug 29, 2017
Categories : Cannabis cultivation
When all the above conditions are met, your plant should be able to recover within a few days to weeks, depending on how serious the damage from the boron deficiency was. The growth that is already abnormal will not recover, but new growth should appear regular again and without abnormalities. If the problem persists, you can always flush your cannabis plants with pH-balanced water and the correct nutrients.
Even though we describe the conditions in which a boron deficiency might occur, a deficiency can also be caused by temporary but stressful conditions and may disappear when the plant’s growing conditions return to normal.
When your plants have the nutrients they need and the correct pH levels to absorb them, there is only the issue of under-watering that is left. Watering the plants more regularly (but not too much) should be an adequate solution. However, if humidity levels stay too low, you could add an air humidifier. The levels should not drop below 25% humidity in your growing space.
A boron deficiency is a relatively rare occasion, but it can lead to stunted growth in leaves as well as the root system. If left untreated, it can really hurt your final harvest.
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The first visible signs of a boron deficiency will likely be slowed or abnormal growth in the upper leaves of your cannabis plants. The tips of new leaves may display twisted growth, wrinkle, curl, or even die off. The abnormal growth is usually accompanied by yellowing of the leaves and the appearance of brown spots.
A boron deficiency has the possibility to harm or reduce your harvest. Since every grower wants to have the biggest yield their plants can possibly produce, spotting deficiencies early can make a huge difference.
Click here to find out how you can spot an early boron deficiency in your cannabis plants and how to solve it before it hurts your harvest.