Everyone has experienced stress at some point in their lives, and knows of the negative results it can have. Stress can cause an increase in our heart rate, our blood pressure, and even cause ailments such as shortness of breath or headaches. But while stress isn’t good for us, it can be devastating to marijuana plants, causing lower growth or yields, turning plants male (and therefore not producing those gorgeous buds), and even death.

What causes stress in marijuana plants?

There are a number of things that can cause stress in marijuana plants including:

  • Over and under-watering. Too much water and your plant will develop hard leaves that tend to curl. Underwater the plant and the leaves will start to look wilted and dry. Either way, both cause stress to the plant.
  • Nutrients. Just like you can give too much or too little water, you can do the same with nutrients. Newer plants need more nutrients than older plants and if the plant is experiencing nutrient-related stress, the leaves will start to look like a burnt brown or yellow, growth may slow, and leaves might start falling off. Nutrient stress can also throw off the pH balance in the soil or growing medium, so it’s essential to check the pH level regularly.
  •  Light stress. Marijuana plants need 18 or more hours of sunlight a day when they are

young, and then 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark when they’re older and in the flowering stage. If this light does not remain consistent throughout the plant’s growth, or if light is provided during the dark cycle, stress can occur in the plant even if there are no symptoms.

Cannabis leaves turning yellow.

Physical stress. When your plant is stressed physically, such as when a branch breaks off or leaves tear, it can cause stress to your plants. This is also the type of stress that’s likely to make you the most stressed, but if your plant is otherwise healthy, this is actually not a worrisome type of stress as healthy plants can rebound from it pretty quickly

Root stress. Root stress is related to water stress, nutrient stress, and pH stress because all of these things are absorbed through the roots and an imbalance in any of them can greatly damage the roots. Keep all of these elements consistent and accessible to the roots and the roots shouldn’t experience stress.

Environmental stress. Just like your environment can make you uncomfortable if it’s too hot, too cold, or too muggy, the same can happen to your plant and cause them stress if there are any environmental extremes. The chances are that if you’re comfortable in your plants’ grow area, so are your plants. Keep the temperature at a comfortable level, and make sure the environment overall is kept at a consistent humidity and that there’s always good circulation for your plants.

Stress is never good for marijuana plants, and can quickly kill them. However, constantly maintaining the amount of water, nutrients, and light that the plants receive will keep stress at bay so you grow only happy, healthy plants.