Please Help. Plants Seem Unhealthy

Hello Guys.
This is the first forum I ever joined ever. Please show some love.

My plants are performing poorly for a 3 week grow.

  • What strain: Bag Seed
  • Method: Soil
  • Vessels: Pots
  • PH of Water: 7.6
  • PPM/TDS or EC: NA
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
  • Light system 20/6
  • Temps; Day, Night - no thermometer but its often cool
  • Humidity; can’t measure
  • Ventilation: use a grow room with windows i open for a few hours daily
  • AC, Humidifier, De-humidifier: NA
  • Co2; No

Today, my plants are 3 weeks old. Seeing pictures of other grows at three weeks makes me feel kinda disappointed. I made my first error by over watering in a the solo cup not properly holed and transplanted after a week into present medium. They grow so slowly and some plants have issues. I would appreciate all the help I can get.

Welcome to ilgm

If you could post some pics of the plants under normal lighting that would help.
Catching the overwatering was a good move. It’s probably why they were growing so slowly.

How are you testing pH? Strips, drops, Probe, meter?

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Hello and thank you for your response.

PH was 7.6

@Drinkslinger Thanks for the response. Just realized I could tag you

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That ph seems a bit high for soil 6.5 going in would be apprieate. Also what light are you using?


You certainly aren’t starting small. :open_mouth:

Be sure to add lots of drainage holes around the bottom of the buckets.

Are you just using straight top soil/dirt? Looks like a lot of clay. Typically one adds an aeration product like vermiculite, pumice, or perlite. It’ll keep the soil from hardening up as well as help drain. Believe it or not roots need to breath.

I’d recommend a cannabis friendly soil when you transplant the new seedlings.


please how can i reduce this? I really don’t have access to most tools available Stateside. I use 4 units of 100 watt LED lights as well as 10 units of 16 watt colored bulbs…


Since i couldn’t get confirmed feminized seeds, i started with as many viable seeds i could find.

I purchased a half ton truck of loamy soil to grow. I have no access to marijuana friendly soil except i compound it myself. If someone teaches me I could do it…
Can you teach me?

Pict of lights please.

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Welcome to ILGM, Sandy soils are often very acidic. They can be clay- loam or sandy- loam depending on their predominant composition and cultivation characteristics. Loamy soil does really well with tomatoes :+1:. Loam soils generally contain more nutrients, moisture, and humus than sandy soils, have better drainage and infiltration of water and air than silt and clay-rich soils, and are easier to till than clay soils. For cannabis soil in its best to find a zone between pH 5.8 to 6.5. Soil pH that falls within the slightly acidic range, between 6.0 and 7.0, is considered optimal for most plants and flowers.

I use a loamy soil mix amended with top soil and perlite for my raised beds outdoors.

Your seedlings were placed into really large containers for the first and likely final homes. The issues you’ll see are slow initial growth as the roots have yet to get established and will have a harder time getting that much needed air especially after watering. As Drinkslinger mentioned I think it would be wise to drill a bunch holes on the bottle to allow for irrigation/run off. You also may want to push a little air in that space with an oscillating fan if there isn’t one.

This should be an interesting grow to watch. Unknown seeds, a few dozen plants, all of which could be different genetics, large space, soil values unknown & hard water.

Based on what you said and a general knowledge of that medium you’re going to need to figure out what the ph and ppm of your soil runoff is to dial in the ph of what you give the plants. So Let’s find out. Since you have a bunch of this soil water and Post the results. Would be ideal to know what the ph & ppm you’re putting in and the ph & ppm of the run off.

Also interested in the light setup.


hello and thank you for your reply. i use 4 of these lights

and I have 10 units of 16w led cobs as well

Thank you for your feedback. Your raised beds look great. would be great to tru out, but i have to grow in stealth.

The ph for the runoff is 6.8. is this good enough? I presently use a foliage based nute, but its watered down to half of the recommended dosage. I drilled a lot of holes at the bottom, but will drill holes on the side today as well. I was unaware of how important this is.

What else would you please suggest?

My raised beds are to prevent the rabbits and squirrels and I grow food out there not cannabis, but thank you.

6.8 isn’t a bad runoff especially for how high the ph you put in. Next time you feed or give it water (wait for your soil to dry out and need a watering 1st) aim for a ph of 6.2-6.3 and check the runoff. Let’s figure out what your PPM’s going in and PPM’s coming out are. My ph pens have this feature. Check to see if your ph pen does as well.

Is my soil dry? Lift your buckets are they heavy? If yes; they don’t need water. You can always check by sticking you finger in the soil to the knuckle. If your finger tips wet or moist you’re okay still and don’t need to water.

If you need to water; id recommend not adding nutes this week (your plant doesn’t need them yet this early) and get that water to 6.2-6.3 (ph down from 7.6). A couple of drops of ph down will drop 7.6 to 6.3. The water even with nutrients should have a ph value of 6.0-6.5. Water your plants and test the run off of each plant Individually. 6.0-6.8 is acceptable ranges for slightly acidic soil.

If your water is high pH like mine is (7.5 out of the faucet) ph down is necessary.

The pics you shared of the plants only one looks really troubled, that could be from the high PH water you provided and or the large pots little plants. The struggles of a little plant in a large container with little air is real. If you look around ILGM you’d see a lot of soil growers are using smart pots or aerated bags after they’ve grown out in a solo cup or something similar. These allow for that air to penetrate the the soil while staying dark and dry out the medium faster in comparison to a solid plastic Buckets. Buckets will work fine too if you get some holes in it. We use what we have. Remember every exit can also be an entry so be mindful of small pests (bugs ect)

Other thoughts or recommendations. It’s really helpful to have a hydrometer to gage your humidity and temps. They’re fairly inexpensive, but I understand keeping the cost down. Air flow, air flow, air flow - If you can, an oscillating fan to push air around is a good idea. It can be on a low setting. The fan shouldn’t be blowing directly on your small plants for extended periods, but all around them or slightly over them would help let those girls grow and stay cool. This will also help those stems grow stronger. During the seedling stage of your plants roots are getting established so your plants can pull most of the moisture they need from the air if a humidifier was available. Also not required, but nice to have.

In the pic you shared it appears you have 41 plants or containers going. In a month or two keeping that stealth should be interesting. I don’t know about you, but I can smell cannabis and the unique smell of cannabis plants growing a little ways away.

Keep the pics coming. I want to see how this grow pans out.

Where did you purchase the lights?

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That spectrum is great for veg, but not so much for flowering.

Are you planning on adding more lighting?

Do you have access to any aeration materials? Vermiculite, pumice, hydrotons, perlite? How about sphagnum peat moss? Coco coir?

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Thanks for the advise. I use a liquid kit to check for ph. Will order a a pen soon.

Are there cannabis friendly ways to reduce the ph of water naturally? I can’t seem to find ph kits anywhere in my axis.

I have an oscillating fan, and i open the windows frequently to let air circulate. I have ordered for a humidifier as well. That should come in a few days. I’d so something about the smell before it becomes too obvious and I am not growing in the city. Should not be a problem. I intend to keep only female plants once the sexes are obvious. That should also reduce the number of plants

The lights were purchased at a local electrical store. Probably imported from China.

Thank you so much for your help :slight_smile:


Thanks! I do intend to increase the number of lights before I flower. I intend to add full spectrum LED grow lights.

I have no immediate access to any of those. But i am sourcing for them now.

Citric acid crystals (like for canning), fresh lemon juice…


Thank you!

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Hello Guys,

Wanted to post an update. Plants seem to be doing quite better than at the time I made this initial post. I also added 4 cfl lights bulbs.

Yesterday I observed the following as captured below. Could these be heat stress?

A general overview of the grow. Some plants are in their 5th week, some in their 3rd, and the solo cups are in their second. I intend to grow these without transplanting.

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