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Sick Plant What the F%*…$?!

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im_sparky
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Limonene
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SOS!

Well my growmies, my closet grow quickly has gone from three nice and thriving plants to some minor troubles, then to a sudden and total train wrecl. I could really use some crowd-sourced support for diagnosis and treatment. I am not sure if we are talking deficiencies (plural) or excesses (plural), and I’m not certain how it happened.

I’ve got three autos at day 22 of flower.  I needed to spend the weekend helping my wife plant a couple hundred native seedlings in our yard, so my indoor grow did not get any attention over the weekend. When I checked last night, I discovered a sudden $hit-show with some dramatic leaf changes. I’ll post photos below.

Environment: 80F, RH=65%, Light= 55DLI on 18/6 schedule, CO2=exhale bag in closet; water=always dechlorinated and pH’d to 6.8 +/- .2

Medium: soil with charged biochar, compost, top-dressed with worm castings, fed beneficials via LAB and mycos via Recharge. Soil pH reads at about 6.5.

Food: main nutrition is Grow-Dots, a time-release formulation for autos that has shown tremendous success (including from Percy members) at 3/4 to 7/8 recommended rate. I have supplemented with molasses at 1T per gallon, and Lactic Acid Bacteria at 1:500, pH’d to 6.6; the soil was also fed Water-soliable Calcium at 1:1000. I’ve supplemented the Grow-Dots with a slight amount of Neptunes’ Harvest organic flower food at 1/12 the recommended rate (yes, VERY slight additional nutrients).

Slight back-story from the last 2-weeks: I started to see signs of what looked like typical Mag deficiency with interveinal chlorosis and slight leaf-tip browning, despite giving magnesium via roots throughout the grow. I applied epsom salt spray at 1/2t per liter, and did not see any improvement. After doing more research and not seeing improvements, I found upper leaves were very thin and curling slightly, an apparent sign of Mag excess, so I flushed each pot with 3X the pot volume with pH’d water, and waited, feeding only water and LAB. They looked better after about a week, so Saturday morning (48 hours ago), I gave them water with the CA and LAB mentioned above, then worked a long weekend in the outdoor garden. When I checked on my plants on Sunday night, this is what I found:

1E0AEF52 3ADA 4167 86DF 5CC4DA272A24
6DA6505B CECE 4E33 A35A 806869979929
FB5B3FB6 5110 401E A202 6BD5306AD333

What the F@#$^ is going on? Looks like both mobile and immobile issues? Widespread leaf damage from excess and/or deficiency?  ANY thoughts would be helpful here.

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Philmebowls
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Linalool
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By the first photo of yours it looks like it’s a phosphorus deficiency.

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im_sparky
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@philmebowls I Thought so too, but thre problem with that is they should have ample P from the Grow-Dots, plus I have been feeding a slight amount of additional flower food.  So, I was thinking it could not be a P deficiency(????)

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Philmebowls
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Linalool
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Are the veins and stems turning purple?

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im_sparky
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Limonene
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Posted by: @philmebowls

Are the veins and stems turning purple?

Yes, but two of the three are Pink and Purple Kush which have shown stem color like that all along.  The Northern Lights is in the back, but she is also now showing red stems. No sign of red veins anywhere. So, interesting you are pointed in that direction as I considered it. I am not sure how that could be with the food they have been getting unless the high DLI and CO2 are making them really use that all up?  I could confirm P deficiency with a soil test, but the soil has to be dry, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

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BubbleHok
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@im_sparky what lights are you using and what's the par like at the canopy? I got similar symptoms on my current grow and the only real difference was intensity of the lights and the fact I brought the pk boost in slightly later than I normally would. I would also be looking at the fact you have boosted the calmag input a fair bit with the Epsom spray and calcium drench but only slightly raised your pk input. With calmag and pk they can work against each other and you sometimes need to be increasing the pk more than you would think to balance out the calmag locking it out. 

One other thing I will point out is that even though you have acted and started to remedy the problem that caused the issues, the plant will still continue to show damage and it will eventually eat those effected leaves, they will always get worse. The one thing you want to be watching is your new growth, I know this is hard in flower and ca  be heartbreaking to watch what was seemingly a healthy plant fall apart around the buds but let's be honest your not growing leaves your growing buds. What does the newest growth appear to be doing, is it showing signs of stress or is it growing along fine without much issue? 

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im_sparky
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@bubblehok I have the VS XS2000 and have it set for 55 DLI, but don’t recall the PPFD off the top of my head — I think about 850 but will have to check when they come on. As for your comments about PK vs. Cal/Mag, that makes a lot of sense in my situation. I will be doing a soil test when I get home from work as I need the sample to dry out first.  

Thanks to everyone for taking the time and giving your input!

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BubbleHok
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@im_sparky That's not a bad light tbf, and 850 would be about right for flower, I run higher numbers with autos and only this round i have had any real burn issues, but that's in coco and was fixed with calmag increase but this looks like something else. Failing the ph test I would be looking at the available pk in the soil. Its at least fixable if you can find the outlier, process of elimination usually finds it, looking at every other factor it seems you have all that within range so it would have to be down to something not quite right in the soil. Let us know how the sample goes when you get a look at it Smile

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Macky
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@im_sparky Whats the pH of the medium mate? There may be plenty of food available, but if the pH is off, the plant wont be able to use it.

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im_sparky
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@macky A probe shows 6.5, but I have a soil sample drying out today so I can do a test as soon as I get home from work.

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WoodI2
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@im_sparky, I believe that your locked out, IMO. Your killing them with love, you've added too much. If you were lacking anything you'd have yellow deficient looking leaves, but they are curling, crawling leaves, that shows excess and with yellow and brown spots, that confirms it for me. From my experience when you start getting brown spot from calcium or similar at the growth tips it tells me there's a lock-out issue. Too much PK will lock-out Calcium, which then locks-out Mag. But you are in Super Soil right? and then you added grow dots, the LAB's should be ok but the Water Soluble Calcium and the Epsom salts may have be too much added to the soup. I've been in this position before and there's not much to do except use straight water. That's my 2 cents. Check out the soil with a test and see what you find. 🖐️ 

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im_sparky
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Update:
Maybe I made some progress with a breakthrough today. I did a soil-test, and then red-did it to confirm the results. Here's the run-down:

pH =6.7
Nitrogen: depleted but detectable
Phosphorous: sufficient without surplus
Potassium: non-existent, as in it does not even register.

Signs of Potassium Deficiency: "Typical symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants include brown scorching and curling of leaf tips as well as chlorosis (yellowing) between leaf veins... potassium deficiency symptoms first appear on older (lower) leaves because potassium is a mobile nutrient, meaning that a plant can allocate potassium to younger leaves when it is K deficient." Also,

I fertigated with RAW Potassium and RAW Nitrogen at the recommended rate for cannabis, applied cal/mag, pH'd to 6.5. Watered thoroughly until slightest runoff. mulched with shredded wood to help maintain soil moisture while they are drinking so much.

*IF* this is the right course (time will tell), then just maybe the plants will make it to mature buds. If so, then this is what I think happened (which still needs to be confirmed): I think the high levels of light and CO2 I had earlier caused the plants to run through the Postassium from the Grow-dots, and showed the same symptom as Mg deficiency with chlorosis between the veins. After treating again with Mg and it not improving, it seemed the best approach was to flush and wait, which I did, and then fed only water and beneficials. As it turns out, K is highly soluble in water, so the flush probably washed away what little K was there, and low and behold, ten days later it shows in the leaves suddenly over the weekend.  *IF* this is correct, then the problem seems to originate with the Grow-dots applied at 7/8 the recommended rate was not enough to support the plants that were steaming along at a high growth rate.

Of course, this could all be wrong and perhaps I just crashed the whole grow. Time will tell.

Fingers-crossed that the girls will recover and the grow can be salvaged. If not, I have more seeds.  Hopefully I can get back to a grow diary that shows that plants are actually growing, not dying. If so, here's a link:
https://percysgrowroom.com/forum/auto-flowering-grow-diaries/sparkys-northern-lights-purple-kush-11-pink-kush-130/paged/2/

 

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im_sparky
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Limonene
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I would welcome your thoughts and any input on my approach here given the test results. You might see something I missed or mistakes I’ve made. Any users of Grow-dots — I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, too.  @Woodi2, could there still be a cal/mag lockout issue here and if so, how should I proceed?

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WoodI2
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OK, WTF! I know your trying to find your way in the dark here and it's not easy. Well if all the plants are showing the same problem basically then use them to figure it out. Your in smaller containers right? so it could be depleted as far as the super soil, and I don't know about the grow dots. I can't see too much in the last pics, but I'm not seeing any burnt tips so that means they not over fed. But the clawing then makes me think their too wet, possible. Clawing usually comes from excess nutrients, but I've seen it with other growers when the medium is too moist. Light stress and others makes the leave droop, not claw. But with no burnt tips then it not excess.

Have another chart! lol

Screenshot 20211113 225933 LI

Last resort, I would get some Fox Farm nutrients and use it on one. I would give another one more Cal/Mag and the best one I'd give straight water, (molasses, Jadam and tea's), I don't know about this soil stuff!! lol But roll with it and don't forget what you did, I've been here. lol If your last flush was successful then maybe it is depleted. 

My soil tests have been consistent as far as the readings go, but people are telling me that they don't worry about these things, and everything works it's self out. But I don't think that applies when your Upside Down. lol

@Shonuff has used Grow Dots and seems to have good results.   

Let's see what happens... 🖐️ 

 

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im_sparky
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@woodi2 Thanks for your input!

A follow-up for anyonewho might me interested or dealing with similar symptoms:
I am really disappointed with the Grow-Dots performance. After looking back on this, it is clear that the plants have suffered a slight N deficiency as well as a very pronounced K deficiency, with the latter being easily confused or misdiagnosed as a Mg deficiency. It is very frustrating to me in that I have used the Grow-dots specifically to provide adequate nutrition because I am growing in soil in small pots, which limits the ability to provide adequate nutrition. Had the Grow-dots provided the intended nutrition for these autos, I would not have had the domino-effect created here, and the loss of substantial foliage and increased plant stress. I really think that had this gone on another day before finding a solution, I would have lost all the plants

About the diagnosis: I do have clawing and burning at the tips and leaf edges, along with interveinal chlorosis. An expert eye (which I do not have) would have noticed that this started not just on the bottom of the plant, but also at the leaf tips and edges -- which is a characteristic of K deficiency and not Mg. From KIS organics, "If the first symptom is rapid necrosis, dead tissue, along the outer leaf margin you have a K issue. K issues begin as a chlorotic band or speckling specifically along the leaf edge that moves rapidly to necrosis. You rarely notice the chlorotic phase as it will turn to necrosis within a day or two, progressing very quickly but restricted to the margins. Be sure you are eliminating pest and pathogen issues with a scope and or testing."  It is just bad luck that this started to become significant right as I started working outside for the weekend and was not able to check on the grow. Also, an easy diagnostic I should have picked up on is that the plants did not bounce right back after a Mg foliar spray. Instead of realizing this was a different deficiency, I got side-tracked into thinking this was Mg excess.

After a mild application of N and a moderate application of K, the plants showed very noticeable improvement with a big reduction in chlorosis. Over the first 72 hours after nutes were applied, the plants cannibalized the fan leaves with necrosis. I will post pictures later today, I hope. Given that this has happened mid-flower, I just have to hope that the very significant stress this created for them does not cause other problems like pest/disease susceptibility or hermies. 


I Hope Please GIF

 

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@im_sparky, good info man, unfortunately learning can be a bitch sometimes. Glad your getting this figured out and you'll never forget this one. Not being a soil guy, I wasn't much good but thanks for showing me this, I won't forget it either. I certainly would have thought those dots would have provided more nutrients but then I don't know how much you used. Well, I hate to say it but live and learn, and in this biz we learn everyday. Time to move forward, good work!! 👍

It's hard to always give everyone the correct answer, but I'll try and help you find it. 

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im_sparky
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@woodi2 You have always been immensely helpful and willing to share your experience, and that is very much appreciated.

Yes, this one has been a bitch because it struck right as the they were looking fantastic and growing like crazy.  On the Grow-dots, I used 7/8 recommended amount and also supplemented with liquid organic flower feed at about 1/10 rate.  I never had run-off. There was just not enough K for the plants mid-flower, and that is a problem with the fertilizer -- it was a very big problem for me, that's for sure.

 

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