Welcome to, “Letters” to Rev everyone. I basically take a few email/message questions that have something in common, and answer them. Here. Just a little grow advice from yours truly. Today we be talkin’ ‘bout leaves baybee. Specifically, their “problem” expressions (appearances). If you are growing all-natural style, like TLO style (True Living Organics 2nd Edition), these are not really problems at all. Healthy happy plants are super good at fixing themselves—truth.
I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I moved up here to Oregon about 16 or 17 years ago. A few days ago, I finally became a true Oregonian and got us a 4×4 truck. LoL. Ya really needs a truck in Oregon. For sure at least a 4×4 something. I would trip out back in San Diego now man. The traffic alone would be like culture shock. I loves me some Oregon these days. Mellow… Really nice growing environment, especially for indoor gardens, and greenhouses.
I have replaced the photos I was sent with these questions with my own photos, of the exact same issues. These are all very common things. My best grow advice globally for all these “issues” is to do nothing. They don’t really need fixing, when you are growing with all-natural methods. “Fixing” things is actually how you will cause actual serious issues. You savvy? Let the plants and soil life sort it out. It’s what they do.
Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev Q’s…
Cannabis Growing Advice Question #1: Folding Leaves?
FROM: J.B., Newport Beach, CA
“Hi Rev. I’m a huge fan of your TLO style of growing. I messed up on my first batch of soil and forgot the dolomite lime. Everything still turned out pretty well, just had some pH issues, so it could have been better for sure. Can you check out the photo (above) of my plant and tell me if that’s a big problem? I have just transplanted them into their new TLO soil yesterday. I’m going to do like you always say to do, and do nothing. But I am concerned. Help please. Thank you so much. I have 3 different strains growing and only one of them has these folded leaves.”
Howdy J.B. my good man. As you correctly suspect, this is a thing that your plants will get over on their own, and fast. I am pretty certain this leaf expression is a sign of very mild shock. When I say very mild, I mean like the kind of shock you would experience getting into a hot jacuzzi. These folding leaves are one sign of this. Another sign is when single leaf blades sometimes will try and turn upside down.
I’m super glad to hear you are doing nothing J.B. That is exactly what my grow advice would be. Powerful soil mixes, like TLO style mixes, are “hot,” sort of like a jacuzzi, heh heh. So, especially right after a transplant is when you would see these types of expressions. It ends quickly amigo. Within a day or two, max, everything will be looking back to normal. Then, your plants will take off like a bat out of hell.
Cannabis Growing Advice Question #2: Yellowing Lower Leaves?
FROM: Linda, Yuma, AZ
“Rev, can you look at this picture (see photo above) and tell me if my plant is in trouble? I realize this is likely a nitrogen thing, but I need to keep the plant in its current container for at least a couple of weeks still. How can I do this without screwing things up? Thank you in advance Rev. You have helped me and my friends a lot over the years.”
High Linda. Glad to have helped out. Well, it turns out you need very little cannabis growing advice here. I applaud you for not just dosing the plant with some kind of nitrogen in a bottle as your knee-jerk reaction. 75% of growers would have. You are actually most likely all good Linda. Losing some lower leaves is not only, not a big deal, it’s totally normal. You also love some clearance between your soil level and first set of leaves on your plant. This helps out with aeration/air-movement at the bottom of the plant.
If you need to keep this plant in this pot for 30 more days, you could. It wouldn’t be super happy about it, but it would come right back. A transplant will of course solve it immediately. My grow advice here is get yourself a little alfalfa meal, and do a light top dress. Also, using alfalfa with the Micropond style is highly effective. You could top dress with any good bird/bat guano as well, lightly.
Individual plants can be very different as far as tolerances, reactions, likes, and dislikes. Things like those in this article, along with burnt leaf tips, and purple striping, all require no additives to fix. Potassium and phosphorus especially, are both highly destructive to add in liquid form to a living soil. As long as your soil mix is solid, just add water. Good water—wink.
Cannabis Growing Advice Question #3: Yellowing Edges of Leaves?
FROM: John M., San Diego, CA
“I was wondering if you could look at this photo (above) and tell me what I am doing wrong? I am about ½ through flowering and these larger leaves in the middle of my plant look like they are frying. The rest of the plant looks fine and healthy. I use TLO soil, and I have been giving them a mellow (90 PPM) tea once a week. I use castings, kelp meal, molasses, and aquarium water. Thanks Rev. Should I stop the teas? I want these to finish well. Thank you.”
Hey John. Yeah, the first thing I would suggest is, stop using the teas. TLO soil has everything your plants need. Teas inject a lot of available nutrients. It sounds good. It’s actually not. Too much available K (potassium) can cause this. Too much or not enough available Mg (magnesium), or Ca (calcium,) is also suspect. Just keep your water consistent. Between 50 and 70 PPM is great for TLO soil. Your plants will sort this out themselves. That’s good grow advice right there my good man.
In the photo above you see my leaves, like yours, about 3 weeks into flowering. I tried extra-large (longer) spikes of chicken guano (granular) in this plant’s container. So, in this case it’s a pH dive due to the “hot” nature of the guano decomposing. It’s locking some things out, somewhat. Temporarily. And, it will fix itself. More accurately, the microlife in concert with the plant will sort it out. Pouring anything on the soil in liquid form (nutrients) at this point would make things worse. Guaranteed.
Cannabis Growing Advice – Afterword
All of the symptoms above and more, are just flags, of a sort. They show you what is taking place below ground. Purple striping on stems could mean a K issue. It could also be genetic. It could also be cold nights/mornings. Dosing your plants with any liquid nutrient solution, a tea or whatever, is never my grow advice. Not when you are growing all-natural, like TLO style.
Your true strength here, is the soil life. Their consistent happiness. They take about 10 days to get all balanced in your container. Keep them that way, using only consistent, good water, and watch the magic happen. A little patience baybee, that’s what it takes.
Take care all. My heart goes out to all of you tossed into hard ass times from the zombie apocalypse pandemic. Having your own little cannabis garden is very cool, and it doesn’t have to be too spendy. Good venting fans, and lights, maybe a water filter, and your set. Where there’s a will there’s a way. See ya all back here next week at SKUNK. L8r G8rs.
- REvski ????
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.