Diagnose Droopy Plants

I have a couple of plants that are drooping and showing signs of nitrogen deficiency or overwatering. I am not watering until the soil is dry up to my first knuckle. The plants are currently on Day 23 since breaking ground. They were planted in Happy Frog Soil. I have two 12,000lm, 6500K LED lights and a blurple LED light that I’m not really sure does much. Temperature is about 75°F.

I watered on day 15 with DI water (pH=6.3). The next day, the plants started to look droopy so I thought it might be over watering. I didn’t water again until day 19 after the top 3/4" of soil had been dry for a full day. On day 19 I watered with tap water & fed with Big Bloom and Grow Big (pH=6.7). I also put the plants outside for the day because it was sunny and 80°F outside. After this day, the plants started to look pretty good. I removed the bottom yellow leaves, and the leaves were fanned out horizontally. So some combination of the water, food, & sunlight helped rejuvenate them. I put them back inside b/c the temperature dropped back below 60°F. They started drooping again over the next 2 days. According to my knuckle test, the soil was dry enough to water yesterday, but I haven’t watered yet.

Everything that I’ve read suggests that this is nitrogen deficiency or over watering. I’ve fed one plant nutes twice, and it is looking the best. This makes me think my problem is nitrogen deficiency, but I haven’t seen anywhere that says nitrogen deficiency causes the leaves to curl down like they are doing. To me the curling is the sign of overwatering. The leaf stems are also starting to get a red/purple tint to them; what is this a sign of? Another option could be inadequate lighting; does bad lighting cause any of these symptoms?
I have put the tallest plant (see pics) outside for the day to see if sunlight alone helps it bounce back. In the pictures, the front plant is the other one that doesn’t look so great, and the one on the back right is the one that has been fed nutes twice. It even has a bit of yellow on the bottom leaves. Let me know what you guys think, thanks!

Medium looks pretty dry to me esp given the size of the plants relative to the size of the pots. That one on the top right looks better than the others and also looks more wet. Are u getting roots out the bottom of these pots?

I don’t see any roots coming out. I’ve been thinking about transplanting, but I was trying to get them in better shape before I moved them.

The easiest fix is putting them in bigger pots. The soil will feed them and it will be harder to over/under water.

Put them in big pots and give a good soaking. Don’t do anything else for about 4 days.

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My plants are also looking a bit yellow and like they are gonna die off any advice??

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I definitely would advise to put them in bigger pots. I’m sure your plants are root bound which is equivalent of the plant choking itself to death. That’s gonna influence nutrient uptake etc which is likely why you’re seeing issues. If you wanna have small plants and wanna flower em out that way I advise getting 2 or 3 gallon fabric pots @Yungcuzz52. If I’m not mistaken its 1 gal for every foot of plant height as a baseline? But smart pots air prune roots. That’s not to say they cant get root bound but u def get more grow time. I’ve finished out plenty of plants in 2 gallons though 3 gallon is kinda the standard. They’re not expensive either.

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Interesting tidbit!

I agree with the others. Need to transplant these girls.

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Thanks. I have 3 gal plastic pots and 5 gal fabric. I was planning to transplant to the 3gal then finish them in the 5 gal. Does that sound like an ok plan?

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As long as they aren’t autos, I personally recommend doing this way. Better root development

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Shouldn’t be an issue for photoperiods. With autoflowers u wanna limit potential for transplant shock so you usually wanna run them in the finishing size pot u just wanna be careful not to overwater if u in soil. I like 3 gal fabrics for everything personally but I’ve had some SOG runs in 2 gal fabrics. Plants get bout 3 feet with no training.

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Okay thanks guys

My plants are now going like down … I guess being droopy is it because I need to change the pots?

@Dankloud
@TheAlchemist
@CMichGrower @djfo77

Def look to transplant. They’re like yo where’s the space at bruh lol the theory is with small pots when your leaves are surpassing the rim of the pot they’re getting close to wanting more space. So…bump em up with a transplant and see how they do. 3 gallon pots are clutch. And I’d go fabric pots if u can.

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