Plants pale in color, potential pest issue?

I have a couple places that have been a lighter shade of green than the others for a while and I’ve chalked it up to strain variation… But I’m starting to wonder. Another plant has a branch that is beginning to go pale green as well now.

I have noticed some flying critters around the soil on most or all plants and I was wondering if this is a clear case of fungus gnats. I recently fed everyone with worm tea, as well as supplemented ca and mg.

Last night I placed some cut potatoes around the base of each, expecting to see them covered in gnats and larvae - but there was nothing but a little round bug here and there.

15 gal fabric pots, super soil, from seed. They are pretty well rootbound at this point and require daily watering as the temps have been 80-97 for the last month or so. They are about a month into flowering and seem to be stacking buds at a normal rate. I have the pots covered in hay, so it’s possible the topsoil stays too moist between watering.

I do have DE and have tried to apply it, but I think I might remove the hay and give them a proper coating of DE.
Anything else I’m missing?

Here are some shots of the coloration as well as some of the critters im seeing.

Thx in advance!


For some reason the site isn’t letting me tag right now. Maybe you guys can help me tag those that might know?

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Here’s a link to my grow, if it helps for context.

If you can get down to the soil layer to lay a coat of DE that would help.

You can also spray the plant and top soil layer with straight 3% peroxide, or 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Won’t hurt the plants and will kill most pests. I also use Captain Jack’s Deadbug which can be used right up to the day of harvest. Completely safe for pets and people.


Thanks man. I’ll apply de today and have h2o2 en route. Does it seem logical that this is pest? I’m concerned about seeing single branches go pale like that. Any other causes come to mind? Would N deficiency show up like this?

Looks like I can tag now.

@Skydiver @AAA @garrigan62

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Plants look like they need N. If you are in rich soil you likely have a PH issue and lockout of N preventing uptake in some plants. Every plant reacts differently FYI.


I can try watering to runoff this week and see if it’s out of whack. I did give a light feeding of the FF trio bloom nute last night to the worst of the bunch… Otherwise I’ve only been watering ( with the exception of worm tea with calcium acetate and Epsom salts added this week)

Fungus gnats supposedly do show up like n deficiency as well, so that’s why I’m wondering what other symptoms there might be that could tip the scales one way or the other for diagnosis.

Thanks for the input

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Th first pic looks like a spider mite…red one bit hard to tell color in pic.
Red spider mites could be either a plant eater or a predator mite that eats other mites etc.
Keep an eye on the plants leaves underside for them as well as them crawling up the stems and branches using a magnifying device.

The little fly could be a fungus gnat.
I use this put on top of soil to kill the fungus gnat larvae which is what ends up damaging the roots…not the adult flies…they just lay eggs that turn into larvae that eat the roots. Cut a potato in half and place pieces on top of soil and check daily for larvae eating it. Will tell you if you have them in the soil and if that fly was one.

As far as the spider mites if you do have them I have been fighting them for over a month and can assist if needed. I have a topic created
Spider mites my battle plan chronicling my battle with them.

Also if you want to add some quick cheap Nitrogen to the light green plants…piss in a container and dilute that 10:1 with water and feed it to them. It’s free and quick as long as your healthy so will your pee be.

Hope this helps

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Great info. I wondered about that there l little red bug… But I thought it was too big to be a mite. I also am not seeing any webs anywhere. I did put potatoes out last night… Will check when home today but I didn’t see anything this morning.

I have not been seeing any abnormal leaf damage ( save for the occasional webworm bites or leafhoppers). But I haven’t checked with my scope for infestation in a while on the undersides and stalks.

Does the fact that the" interior" leaves, shaded inside the canopy are greener and healthier looking say anything to you? And the fact that a single branch on another is showing this issue… Does that have any significance one way or another?

I’ll piss in my plants later :wink:

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Yeah; perfectly normal. Some fan removal once in flower will help open it up to air and light.


When you are seeing webs from the mites that is a very advanced stage that you don’t want to get to.
Just keep an eye on them. Better to deal with them way before they start spinning webs

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Funny you mention that… The one I’m speaking of had a bunch of big fan leaves go from green to yellow overnight. I’ve been plucking daily. It was a little shocking though this time.b it was super hot yesterday and I think the soil had dried a bit as she was a little droopy, so I was thinking it was related to that when I noticed the yellowing branch

I always thought the interior leaves would be the ones yellowing first, not the exposed foliage

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I have read somewhere about the darker green leaves being from shade as long as it isn’t Nitrogen toxicity.

Take a look here at the mite section. Be aware they will also yellow leaves etc…starts slow and then goes quicker etc. not saying you have them but just in case

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Great thanks for the link. Gonna reevaluate tonight at home, lay down some DE and piss, pluck some leaves and have a :beer:.

Will report back with any microscope findings
Cheers guys

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Just an FYI when it’s hot and you feed your plants; cut back on the amount by 50% so the plant doesn’t uptake too much. Mites can cause yellowing but so can an N deficiency or over watering or PH lockout or who knows?

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It’s maddening, the not knowing! :smiley:

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@Myfriendis410 @Skydiver

Came home and inspected the potatoes but did not see any larvae. I did see, on one of the plant’s potatoes, a bunch of quick, tiny, white bugs running around. They almost look like lice. I looked around the stalks and put some leaves under the scope and found nothing moving.

I then decided to pull back the straw and inspect with the scope. I saw lots of critters in there. The soil was pretty much dry underneath, but the straw is retaining water and hosting these critters. I figure that at this point, water loss thru topsoil is probably negligible, considering the size of these plants… Water loss thru aspiration is probably way higher than that from soil. So on the affected plants, I removed the straw, watered then sprayed/misted neem oil directly on the soil and then on the stalks and lower leaves. I then put down a heavy layer of DE. I didn’t get a chance to check runoff.
I did notice a lot of critters flying out as I disturbed the straw.

And now that I’m looking online, I’m pretty sure I spotted at least a few gnat larvae thru the scope in the wet straw. Clear little worms with black pinheads. Not a lot, but I didn’t spend much time searching.

No feeding or checking runoff pH since it was getting late and I was sweating my ass off in the 93° evening.

If I see a reduction in the gnats by the weekend, I’ll go ahead and do this to the rest.

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@garrigan62 I briefly considered that. I am watering each plant daily at this point. I suppose I could try to break those two out of that schedule and see if they aren’t just a bit less thirsty.

I think I got the pale plant problem figured out.

I checked my notes and realized that the 3 plants that are showing signs of deficiency or, otherwise, paleness were the first three I transplanted into supersoil. I think I was trying to conserve enough soil mix to make it through all 7 plants and may have skimped a little on those first three. I believe i put a layer of the soil at the bottom 1/3 to 1/2, but closer to the 1/3 mark. The remaining plants were given a layer of the soil plus a layer surrounding the walls of the root ball.

So I believe they have just run out of food, or are in the process. So i did a light feeding of foxfarms growbig and tigerbloom, as well as some calcium acetate. The green is starting to come back and its looking generally healthier.

I did also notice that one of the ill plants was starting to show signs of powdery mildew colonization, so I gave it a neem bath. The flies at the roots are way down now too.

I have noticed a webworm here and there, so I may be mixing up some BT this weekend for a nice spray down.


brief version:
plants are greening back up with some supplemental feeding!

thanks for all the help her