Diagnosing issues


I started my first grow 3 weeks ago. I’ve been reading tons of articles/forums and looking through the Grow Bible but I am not sure what is wrong with my young plant. I have attached a photo for reference. It is an indica-dominant white widow strain. I water them every 1-2 days, but have not fed them any nutrients since the beginning because the soil already had NPK in it and I was afraid of giving them nute burn. I used a 2:1:1 NPK Miracle Grow with 30% added perlite for drainage. The grow lights are on 22-24 hours a day and I have a small fan circulating air. Humidity fluctuates around 45-70%. They are dark green and wilty/hanging downward. My research points to Nitrogen toxicity, but I read somewhere they need high levels of Nitrogen in the early phase? I am scared to do a flush and make things worse if I am wrong, so is there anything y’all can suggest for me to help them? My water pH is usually around 6.0-7.0 (if my litmus paper test strips are accurate). They are growing well and the stem is healthy and strong, but it bothers me that they aren’t perky and vibrant green. You almost cannot tell they are cannabis plants because the fan leaves don’t splay out normally. Will they naturally use up the nitrogen and return to normal if that is the issue? Or is my soil pH possibly out of whack? I don’t want to shock or damage them. Any insight is MUCH appreciated!!

I would suspect that the Miracle Grow is the problem. She looks on the edge of nitrogen toxicity and nute burn in general. You probably also have soil pH problems caused by the time-release nutes in MG. There are a few reasons why MG and cannabis don’t get along so well.

  1. The time-release nutes in MG nuke your plant every time you water.
  2. The release of nutes submarines your pH every time you water.
  3. MG retains moisture by design. Cannabis doesn’t like wet feet and prefers wet and dry cycles.

I would transplant into a Fox Farm soil, Black Magic, or one of the other soils designed for cannabis. I wouldn’t go with FF Ocean Forest since your plant needs a break from nutes. Ocean Forest is a pretty hot soil.


Thank you so much!! I am going to repot with the Black Magic then and see how she does. I was trying to allow a short dry cycle at times to rule out water issues, but there was no change in her leaves. The soil must be the issue. I was afraid of that, but couldn’t find anything better than MG at Home Depot. :confused: Will not make that mistake again!

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Yeah, occasionally a grower will get away with using MG. Most of the time we see folks with situations like yours. She should be fine after a transplant when she gets a break from the nutes.

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I cannot find the Black Magic anywhere online, so is there a lower nute version of FF you recommend?

Fox Farm Happy Frog would be a good choice. It’s not too hot, but does have some nutes in it. Happy Frog won’t need nutes until ~4 weeks from your last transplant.