Yo, what’s good my fellow growers? It’s ya boy Dan here with some knowledge on how to prevent and treat nutrient lockout in your cannabis plants. Ain’t nobody wanna see their plants lookin’ all sad and limp, right? So let’s dive into what nutrient lockout is and how to identify it.
Basically, nutrient lockout is when your plant can’t absorb the necessary minerals even though they’re present in the root zone. This can happen in all growing mediums, but it’s more likely to occur in soil, coco coir, or rockwool. This can be due to oversaturation of chemical fertilizers with high salt content or an excess of one nutrient that actually locks others out. Another common issue is having the wrong pH value in the growing medium, which can be either too acidic or alkaline.
Identifying nutrient lockout can be tricky since it looks similar to a nutrient deficiency. Your plant may appear underfed or have discolouration in the foliage. But if you’re worried about your plants and checking on them daily, you’ll be able to identify a nutrient lockout when it happens. Your plants will look weak, growth will be stagnant, and you’ll see yellowing in the leaves. If left untreated, this yellow will turn brown and the leaves will curl up and look burnt.
Now that you know what it is and how to identify it, let’s talk about how to treat it. One of the first things you should do is check if you’re dosing your nutrients properly. Make sure you’re using the right quantities and the correct combination of nutrients. If that’s all good, then verify that your pH is on point. You’ll need to flush your plant’s medium with fresh, pH-balanced water. For hydroponic systems, running a fresh solution through your setup will suffice. This excess water running through your medium will help break down the salt build-up, easing the nutrient uptake. Once this process is complete, give your plant its appropriate share of nutrients and water solution. Just make sure you allow the soil to dry out first so the root zone can breathe.
But hold up, homies! Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent nutrient lockout from happening again, we recommend routine flushes at least once when moving into the flowering stage and again halfway through the flowering cycle. Keep in mind that plants that have been pruned will require fewer nutrients since there’s less mass for the plant to feed. If you’re planning to change up your nutrient and/or lighting regimen, do it slowly and don’t make drastic changes that stress out the plant.
Finally, using quality supplements and organic fertilizers is key. Salt-based fertilizers motivate accumulation in the root zone which dehydrates the plant and prevents proper uptake of nutrients. Using organic fertilizers doesn’t mean nutrient lockout is impossible, but it’s less likely.
So there you have it, folks! Nutrient lockout ain’t no joke but now you know how to prevent and treat it. Stay calm and happy growing!