[UPDATE] Leaves not looking normal...interesting changes

Hi all,

I posted this about a week ago - Leaves not looking normal. Any ideas what might be causing it? - #2 by QtPatooty

Didn’t get a huge amount of replies, but have seen some changes so thought I’d update. Pics at the bottom.

Before I get started:
train; Type, Bag seed, or NA: White widow, autos, from ilgm

Age from sprout: pics of first post: 2 weeks. Pics from this post 3 weeks
Age from flower: NA

Soil in pots, Hydroponic, or Coco?: Soil in pots. 2 x pots in regular potting mix bought from store. 3 x pots in mix of potting mix and homemade compost. Mixes are 1/3, 2/3 and 1/4 compost to potting mix

How often do I water and how do I determine when to water: As they’re young and in large pots, I water when I think they need it - usually about once every 1 - 2 days. I just wet a small circle around the base of the seedlings - using about 1 - 2 cups of tap water

PH of runoff or solution in reservoir?: NA. I haven’t got a PH meter, and there are not stores with a good meter. I bought a soil test kit though - Ph of straight potting mix looks to be about 6.5 - 7. Ph of the compost / potting mix mixes looks to be higher 7.5 - 8

What is strength of nutrient mix? EC, or TDS.: I started giving them nutes very young, but after they showed the signs of sickness (mangled leaves), I stopped and just used straight tap water.

Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor

Room size: NA

Light system, size, height from plants: NA

Temps; Day, Night: Day: 25c max

Humidity; Day, Night: 12c min

Ventilation system; Yes, No, Size: NA

AC, Humidifier, De-humidifier: NA

Co2; Yes, No: No

Any other info you think is pertinent: As you can see from the pics, the compost + potting mix plants are growing much more vigorously than the straight potting mix plants. The new growth doesn’t look to be deformed like the older growth. Little bit of pest damage on some leaves, so have sprayed with pyrethrum.

So I decided to run a bit of an experiment with the last 6 seeds I had - I sprouted 5 in jiffy pots, and 1 in home made compost. The compost was too heavy, and that one sprouted but couldn’t push through and died.

Decided to continue the experiment with the seedlings, and planted 3 in a mix of compost and potting mix, and the other 2 in just straight potting mix. Once fan leaves appeared, I gave them all N nutes. Well, the fan leaves of all the compost + potting mix plants started to show deformities. The one in the weakest compost mix (1/4 compost) was the least affected.

I immediately stopped with the nutes and haven’t started again yet.

I also picked up a soil testing kit, as I just don’t have access to a good digital meter. The composted soils are in the 7 - 8 range. The compost itself looks to be real high - like 10.

But the interesting thing is that all of the composted mix plants are growing really well. The straight soil mix plants are going ok, but significantly smaller / slower.

I’ve done a lot of reading around ph this week, and there are a lot of folks out there that say soils, especially organic soils, do a good job of regulating ph themselves. Love to know what people think here. The experiment seems to have been a success so far - identical seeds, germinated at identical times, in identical environments, planted into compost or no compost. Compost doing great, no compost doing ok. Not ground-breaking stuff I know - but it doesn’t seem like the higher ph has had any adverse impact.

I know that soil testing kits aren’t always super accurate, so it could be that I’m just getting wrong readings.

I didn’t want the no compost plants to miss out on the fun, so I have added a thin layer of compost as mulch to all pots. Will see what happens.

The tap water in my area gets tested by the water corporation, and the mean reading this year is 7.5.

Any thoughts anyone has will be greatly appreciated.

1 Like

Hi - thanks for posting the support ticket! You need to get a pH meter and a ppm meter. A cheap set pack is about $25, more expensive (and more accurate and durable) meters are also available. If you do not adjust your pH, your plants may struggle.

Do not add more nutes for the time being. Your plant soil probably has some good stuff in it already to sustain growth for the time being, plus you’ve already nuted it.

The pH of soil needs to be around 6.5, The water you are adding to water (with or without nutes) also needs to be around 6.3 to 6.7 when it goes into the soil.

12C temp at night is on the cool side. You may want to consider bringing them in at night until they are a bit bigger and stronger.

Take a look at the guide section, also download the grow bible. It’s not an overwhelming read and there’s tons of good pointers. I also don’t know much about pre-mixed soil - there are experts that will weigh in. Good luck.






Your ph is out of wack and you should know exactly what it is
Get a ph meter as suggested above
Ph is something you can control once you have the proper tools
Drops and probe style meters are not good for our application