In this guide we will cover how to diagnose a calcium deficiency correctly, and how to fix the problem. Many growers will rush to assume a cannabis plant problem is calcium deficiency. Don’t rush, make sure you’re right in your diagnosis, so you can treat the plant for the issues it is having.
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Symptoms of a calcium deficiency will first show with orange/ brown spots appearing on the leaf margins. This will be seen on the bottom half of the plant first, but will move around in extreme cases. Leaves will also twist and curl at the bottom of the plant.
- 1: Your medium does not have enough calcium in it that is available to your plant.
- 2: The PH of your medium is off, and needs restoring so Calcium is within the correct range.
- Garden lime
- Powdered bones
- Crushed eggshells
- Fish meal
Bury some high calcium food, around a foot under your seedling or young plant before planting. A couple of fish heads will work great. This will give the plant the food it needs when the roots grow big enough to reach it. It also will have been broken down by the microbes, so it’s available to your plant when it is needed.
When growing cannabis in hydroponic setups like DWC or coco, you are more likely to experience a calcium deficiency. This is because calcium will be best absorbed by your plant when the medium is at 6.0 – 6.2 ph. The optimum pH used in hydroponics, is 5.8, so sometimes, calcium can be slightly out of range.
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The way you fix calcium deficiency will depend on what medium you’re growing in, but these problems are easily fixable! With any deficiency, it can be one of two things, either:
Calcium deficiency in a cannabis plant will affect the uptake of nutrients. Diagnose a cannabis plant problem, and get help in our cannabis growers forum
- The youngest leaves of the plant are the first to be visibly affected
- The growth of the upper part of the plant is slowed down
- The root system is also affected, what reduces nutrient uptake
- As the deficiency progresses, the youngest leaves turn yellowish and become deformed
- Bud development is seriously reduced
Calcium is an element easily found in the soil, so due its high availability for the plants we usually don’t find imbalances of this component except in very acidic soils.
Calcium is an element that is directly related to the transpiration of plants. This transpiration control comes, in essence, from the roots and the stomata, which are located on the leaves. It can happen that the stomata are closed by an excess of heat, causing a superficial burn which could be confused with a symptom of calcium deficiency.
As we have already mentioned, if you are using osmosis water for watering your plants you should add calcium and magnesium before adding fertilisers to the nutrient solution. Since osmosis water doesn’t contain any nutrients, your initial EC value will always be 0.0.
It should also be noted that, with a deficiency of this element, plants are always more susceptible to heat stress given that calcium contributes in the protein creation, which make plants more resistant to high temperatures.
Example of the condition of a plant with calcium deficiency
Deficiencies can normally be more present in hydroponic crops due to the use of inert substrates (coco-coir, clay pebbles, rock wool, mapito. ) or when we don’t use substrate, as is the case of aeroponic systems.
First symptoms of Ca deficiency
- Calcium is necessary for the growth of the cell walls of the root system
- It ‘s an immobile element
- It enhances the decomposition process of organic matter, improving nutrient uptake by the plant
- It acts as bridge between humus and nutrients
In this post we show you how to identify calcium deficiency in your plants. This nutrient imbalance is difficult to detect, so you must pay close atte