Droopy leaves on plants

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Your lovely collection of houseplants is starting to look a little limp, and you’re ready to get things perked back up again. Obviously, you’ve thought to give them a drink and that hasn’t solved the problem. So now you need to figure out what to do next. There are a number of possible solutions to drooping houseplants, but you need to know the cause first.

1 – Improve the Water Situation

As we said, you’ve already watered the plants to no avail so the issue isn’t just dry soil. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a water problem. Oddly enough, having too much water can actually lead to the same drooping plants you get with too little water.

When you have too much water, or simply thick soil that doesn’t drain, the roots are smothered and are not able to draw in water properly. Without water inside the plant’s tissues, you start to see that familiar wilting even though the pot isn’t dry.

Repotting a plant into looser soil can be a big help, and possibly try a larger container while you’re at it. Plants that have gotten root-bound can droop because there isn’t enough room left in the pot to hold on to the amount of water it needs.

2 – Check for Bugs

If the water and soil issue doesn’t seem to be the root of the problem, take a closer look at the plants and see if there are any signs of insects. Any of the many sap-sucking insects can be behind your droop, even for indoor houseplants. When too many pests are drinking your plant’s fluids, it leads to the same loss of internal water pressure as you get with too-dry soil.

Take a look for aphids, scale and mealybugs. These are the most common indoor plant pests that can contribute to drooping if you have enough of them. Don’t let their small sizes fool you.

Aphids are small and pale translucent green, not much bigger than a grain of rice. They are often found on the undersides of leaves, which you can easily miss if you don’t think to check. A few sprays of insecticidal soap or a pyrethrin-based repellent can be enough to clear them off. For outside plants, you can use the spray or introduce a population of ladybugs, natural aphid predators.

Scale can be a little tougher to deal with, assuming you even realize you are looking at an insect and not a scab on the stem. They look like somewhat smooth bumps that may have indistinct stripes across the back.

Scale insects aren’t too quick and you can pick them off with pretty good success. Soap sprays aren’t very helpful in this case because their shell protects them. A stronger product like neem oil or rubbing alcohol can be applied directly with a cotton swab.

Lastly, mealybugs are shaped like scale insects but are usually white with a ridged and fuzzy appearance. You can tackle mealybugs in the same way as you would aphids, with a solid spray of insecticide soap. They can be tougher than aphids though, so step up the spraying to 2 or 3 times a day to keep them consistently exposed to it.

For localized clusters of insects, you can also take a more straight-forward approach and snip the stem or leaf off and dispose of it.

With any of these insect infestations, once the bugs are gone, your plants should recover. Giving them some extra sun and regular water will help them perk back up.

To prevent any more insect outbreaks, you can keep a sticky strip or two around your houseplant area to catch any of the flying insects before they lay eggs on your plants.

3 – Provide Support

Sometimes your plant just needs a little help staying upright. When your plant starts to sag over, but the leaves and stems are still very firm, it’s probably just getting too heavy for itself.

A stick or rod firmly stuck into the soil can be a simple solution, though you do run the risk of stabbing through the roots.

Affixing a support outside the pot can be another option that might be better for your plants. Use a soft string or gardening ties to gently boost up the plant and attach it to the stake.

4 – Check for Damage

If you are noticing that just one part of the plant is wilting, examine the stem and see if it has been damaged. It doesn’t necessarily have to be snapped right over to be a problem either. When a stem gets bent, it can still be cracked inside, leading to a lack of proper water circulation farther up the plant.

A drooping situation in just one part of the plant is a strong hint that the stem is the problem. When there is a clear kink in the stem, you can straighten it out and bind up the damaged spot with a bit of cheesecloth.

With a little luck the water will continue to flow within the plant and it can reheal itself. Otherwise, cleanly snip off the broken stem and let the rest of the plant keep growing.

5 – Use Some Shade

Though this does tie back to our earlier comments on watering, it is a different cause for your plants to have a lack of water. Even if you are watering on an appropriate schedule, you can get wilting because your plants are in a location that is hotter or sunnier than they are comfortable with. Plants deal with excess heat by using up more water, leading to drooping if you can’t keep up.

Rather than just watering more, this is a situation where moving a plant to a slightly less intense spot can be the solution. In the meantime, do give it more water to help it thrive as it adjusts to the cooler location.

Fusarium Wilt

After checking on all the potential problems already listed, you may still have no solution to your drooping plant dilemma. Unfortunately, this can mean you have some disease or fungus to worry about, and that might not be something you can fix. In particular, when it comes to wilting, your main culprit is Fusariun.

It’s not that likely if your plants are inside, but definitely consider this for your outdoors garden when you see new drooping. Especially if you also have tomatoes growing in the yard.

Fusarium is a fungus that lives in the soil and will attack the roots of many common garden plants. While it doesn’t actually do any damage to the plants, the fungus draws water before the plant roots do, leading to the drooping symptoms.

There is no treatment for Fusarium, and all you can do is pull up the plants and get rid of them. Cover up the soil in that spot with black plastic and let the heat of the sun kill off the spores for the rest of the season.

With all of these possibilities out there, it can take a little investigating and patience to figure out why your plants are drooping. Hopefully, the solution will present itself and you can go back to enjoying your gardening and healthy houseplants.

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34shares How to Fix Drooping Plants (In 5 Easy Steps) was last modified: October 8th, 2019 by The Practical Planter


by Nebula Haze

Problem: After watering, your plants start drooping. Usually the droopy leaves will feel firm and appear curled down (the whole leaf will be curled, not just the tips, which is often a sign of nitrogen toxicity). With overwatered cannabis plants, you may also notice Chlorosis (leaf yellowing that is similar to a nitrogen deficiency).

Overwatered cannabis plants are droopy with leaves that curl down. As a result of overwatering, leaves often turn yellow or show other signs of nutrient deficiencies (especially when it comes to younger plants and seedlings!)

Overwatering does not always mean you’ve been giving the plant too much water. It can also mean that you’ve been giving the plant water too often, or growing plants in a growing medium that holds onto water without enough air, or doesn’t have good drainage out the bottom.

How Often Do I Water My Cannabis Plants?

Cannabis plants use their roots to get oxygen, almost like they’re breathing. Oxygen is dissolved in water, and there’s also air pockets in their grow medium to provide a source of oxygen. When you water your plants too often, the roots end up sitting in stagnant water. The reason your plants droop is because basically their roots are starving for oxygen.

This sick marijuana seedling has several symptoms including droopiness and leaves with brown spots that appear to be a nutrient deficiency. Surprisingly, the true cause of both problems actually is the thick, wet, muddy soil.

The main sign of a cannabis plant being overwatered are the droopy leaves, though other symptoms often appear around the same time!

Overwatered Marijuana Plants

  • Drooping / Curling is the first sign of overwaterd marijuana plants
  • Plants start drooping soon after watering
  • Leaves are firm and curled down all the way from the stem to the leaf
  • Will eventually lead to leaf yellowing and other signs of nutrient problems if not corrected

The drooping cannabis plant below did not have drainage holes (water could not drain out the bottom of the pot). After watering the plant which appeared healthy the night before, the grower came back to this drooping plant the next day – this case of overwatering was caused by too much water being held near the roots due to lack of drainage:

Solution: The best thing you can do for overwatered plants is give them time between waterings, and then start off watering slowly until things seem back to normal. Make sure that water is able to drain easily out the bottom of potted cannabis plants. Be extra careful with small plants in big containers.

How to Water Cannabis Properly

  1. Wait until the top of the growing medium is dry about an inch deep (up to your first knuckle).

  2. Add water until you see some at least 20% extra runoff water drain out the bottom of your pot. Go back to step 1.

  3. If top of growing medium stays wet for a long time, you may need to give your plants less water at a time, or improve your drainage.

  4. The goal is to be watering your plants every 2-3 days. If it needs longer to dry out, you should be giving less water at a time. If it’s drying out too quickly it should get more water at a time (or may need to move to a bigger pot).

Learn how to water your marijuana plants perfectly every time

Some growers also use the “lift the pot” method to decide when to water your plants (basically wait until your pot feels “light” since the plants have used up all the water). It’s up to you to decide what’s easier for you.

If your plant medium seems to stay wet for a long time (more than 4-5 days or so), you may need better drainage. This also can happen when growers put tiny plants in a pot that’s way too big.

How to Water Cannabis Seedlings in a Too-Big Container

This cannabis plant has green healthy leaves, but as a result of overwatering it’s stunted and small even though its more than a month old.

Make sure that water drains freely from the bottom of your container (it’s recommended that you provide enough water to get at least 20% extra runoff every time you water your plants as long as your plants are drinking well).

You should see water coming out the bottom within a minute or two after watering. Then don’t water your plants again until the soil is dry up to your first knuckle.

If your plants are already overwatered, you can try to increase the temperature and airflow to help the water evaporate more quickly. You can also use a pencil to gently poke some air holes into the growing medium to provide extra aeration and oxygen to the roots.

Whenever a seedling has droopy leaves, it means that the roots are either not getting enough water (underwatered) or not getting enough oxygen (overwatered). This seedling has been chronically watered too often, preventing the roots from getting enough oxygen. As a result, the seedling has stayed small and mostly stopped growing.

For your individual growing medium and environment, your watering method will vary, but if your plants are drooping and you’ve been feeding them a lot of water, it’s a good idea to cut back and see if that helps.

Sometimes plants will be droopy no matter what you do, and the true cause is the plant is rootbound and needs a bigger container!

If you’re growing hydroponically with your marijuana roots directly in water and you see the signs of overwatering, that means you have a problem at your roots. Either your plants have root rot which is preventing them from getting oxygen at their roots, or you are not dissolving enough oxygen into the water (you can easily increase the dissolved oxygen in your water with a quality air pump and a few air stones).

How to Get Rid of Root Rot in Hydro

Need more help?

If your plant is experiencing “the claw” and not just normal drooping (the ends of leaves are curling like a claw or pointing down like talons), then you may actually have a nitrogen toxicity (too much nitrogen).

These Plants Are NOT Overwaterd, These Leaves Show Signs of “The Claw” which usually indicates a Nitrogen Toxicity
(“The Claw”, tips bent down, curling / clawing, dark green leaves)

Wilted Plant Leaves

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Stop, put down the hose and make sure that wilted plant needs more, not less water before turning on the faucet.

Wilted leaves are the clue many gardeners use to determine when a plant needs watering. But wilting can also be caused by factors other than a lack of water.

Compacted, poorly drained or water logged soils can also cause wilting. Water fills the air pores in the soil, preventing the plants from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Root damage from construction, rodents, fertilizer burn, disease, soil temperature extremes, and girdling roots can also interfere in water uptake.

So be sure to check the soil moisture before watering your plants. If drainage is an issue, correct the cause and improve your plants’ health. Aerate the soil, install a French drain or replace the stressed plant with something suited to the soil moisture conditions.

A bit more information: Your finger is your best moisture meter. Feel the top few inches of soil to check the soil moisture before watering. For more on plant wilt, click here.

Why Is My Weed Drooping – And How Can I Stop It? [Solutions & Fixes]

Almost every grower has encountered, at some point or another, a situation where his/her plant starts to droop. Drooping weed isn’t hard to spot, and you definitely don’t need a Ph.D. to know that something is wrong. The main thing is not to panic!

Drooping weed is curable, but it’s essential to diagnose the problem before it reaches the point of no return. In this quick guide, we’ve gathered the main reasons why weed tends to droop and will also provide you with a few quick hacks to prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Does Cannabis Droop?

Did you know that plants contain even more water than animals? Some of them contain anywhere from 90-95% water! As is the case with animals, water regulates a plant’s temperature and transports nutrients through it. Therefore, if there is a problem with your marijuana plant, the first thing to look at is how it has been watered.

When novice growers see that the leaves of their marijuana plants are drooping, they often assume it is a sign of an under-watered plant. A lack of water can certainly be an issue, and also has a variety of consequences, including:

  1. Reducing the rate of photosynthesis in the plant. This slows the rate of growth and development of the plant.
  2. Stagnation of nutrient delivery, causing nutritional deficiency.
  3. The plant is forced to breathe faster; causing the plant to invest precious energy in breathing, instead of growing.

Lack of water might also cause your leaves to:

  • Droop
  • Become brighter
  • Shrivel suddenly
  • Begin to wither

While many new marijuana growers are overly enthusiastic and water their plants too often, others go in the opposite direction for fear of overwatering their crop! It is imperative that the roots of your plants have access to moisture 24/7 because they are continually losing water through their leaves in a process known as transpiration.

This process is how plants get water up from their roots. When your marijuana plants lose water from their leaves, they begin to pull water up from the ground.

If they can’t get enough water from the roots, a variety of essential plant processes stop functioning. If you allow the roots to dry out, the plant’s shoots will die.

Underwatering is mainly an issue when plants are still seedlings. They are drooping, wilting, and clearly not growing correctly. You will also notice that the growing medium is not moist. Another symptom is when the seedling turns a dark green color and is stunted and twisted. Any new growth looks discolored.

What About Overwatering Cannabis Plants?

Now, if you are thinking; ‘Hmm…I need to water my plant’, then think again, as that is not necessarily the right solution.

Did you know that providing too much water to your plant can also cause your plant to die? Too much water prevents your plant from taking in oxygen. The roots themselves are negatively affected by the moisture. They soften over time and eventually die. Furthermore, your plant will lose its vitality and become vulnerable to pests.

Therefore, when you see your weed drooping, you may assume that it is in dire need of water. In fact, adding more could kill your plants! Aside from drooping leaves, other signs of an overwatered marijuana plant include:

  • Firm leaves which are curled down from the stem to the leaf.
  • Eventually, leaves begin to turn yellow.
  • Your plants begin to droop after being watered.

It is important to note that overwatering could mean giving too much water at once or watering your plants too often. You may also be using a growing medium that holds water without enough air, or else there isn’t adequate drainage.

Remember, marijuana plants get oxygen via their roots. The vital oxygen is dissolved in water, and there are pockets of air in a growing medium that provide a vital oxygen source. When you water your plants too frequently, the roots are stuck with stagnant water. At this stage, your marijuana is drooping because its roots are in dire need of oxygen.

Related Article: How to Grow Rainbow Colorful Weed

5 Solutions for Drooping Weed

1. Use a Growing Medium with Excellent Drainage

Choose your growing medium carefully. If water is unable to run to the bottom of the container, it stagnates by the roots which results in overwatered plants. We recommend avoiding clay-based soil because it holds far too much water. Invest in a premium-grade potting mix which includes perlite as this combination provides excellent drainage.

It is also best to begin proceedings with a smaller container to decrease the risk of overwatering your seedlings.

Please ensure that there are ample drainage holes to allow water to reach the bottom of the container. If you find that water moves through the growing medium too slowly, add perlite to boost oxygen and speed up the drainage process.

Check the plant’s tray regularly and don’t allow it to sit in a dish that has collected runoff water. If you use soil with poor drainage, for example, it will resemble mud when watered too often.

2. The Finger/Knuckle Method

Learning how to water your cannabis plants properly is one of the greatest skills you can develop. If your plants are being overwatered, causing the leaves to droop, the best thing you can do is give them more time between waterings.

You can determine whether your plants need more water by placing two fingers (or knuckles) into the soil. Ideally, the top inch of the growing medium will be dry before you start watering again. If the soil is still moist at the top, wait until it dries before adding more water. If the soil is soggy, you have already overwatered your plants and must give them a few days to dry out.

When it is time to water your plants, continue adding water to the growing medium until you see approximately 20% extra runoff water drain out of the bottom of the container. If you find that the first inch stays wet for longer, it is a sign that you either need to give less water or else the drainage needs to be improved. Your goal should be to water your plants every 2 or 3 days.

3. Lift the Pot Method

Another simple way to tell if a potted plant is thirsty is to pick it up. Marijuana plants tend to use all the water in their pots and, over time, become lighter. If you need something for comparison, you can get an extra pot and fill it with growing medium.

Now, you can use this new container to compare as it represents the ‘dry weight’ of your growing medium. If you pick up a potted plant and it only feels marginally heavier than your dry pot, then you know it’s time to get watering.

If the growing medium seems to remain wet for a long time (4+ days), you may need to improve the drainage. It can also become a problem if you put tiny plants in containers that are far too large.

4. Soil Sensor

This is another excellent way to measure the dryness of your soil. You can easily purchase a soil sensor online (Amazon), or in a gardening store. Soil sensors cost around $10-$20. They are pretty accurate, and you don’t have to rely on intuition. Simply prod the sensor into the soil to get a reading.

In case you were wondering, there are two primary soil sensor types used to measure moisture. Volumetric sensors measure the volume of water in the soil. Tensiometric sensors measure the potential soil moisture levels. A tensiometer is sensitive to the properties of soil and estimates how tightly a specific soil type retains water.

If you are an expert in horticulture and have money to spend, you could invest in Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR). It measures soil moisture quickly and accurately. However, it is costly and often needs recalibration. Also, you need a level of skill to interpret the data properly.

Overall, a basic soil sensor is your best bet. It is cheap, effective, and easy to use. More importantly, it could help you identify an issue with your soil before it becomes a real problem.

5. Choose a ‘Dry’ Strain

If all of the above doesn’t work and you’re still struggling, one of these strains could be the ultimate solution. This is also recommended for people that live in hot climates. There are specific strains from Colombia, Jamaica, Cambodia, and Mexico that grow very well in warm climates.

These strains tend to thrive outside and are also perfect for those who cannot provide their plants with an adequate amount of water.

Alternatively, you can look closer to home for strains such as Green Crack and Blue Dream. Both are known for being relatively easy to grow. They don’t need as much water as other commercial strains and can be left alone for more extended periods with less maintenance required.

How to Help a Drooping Plant?

The main thing to remember is that drooping (or wilting) leaves mean that your plant has a deficiency. Unfortunately, a deficiency can come from several areas. On the plus side, in the vast majority of cases, drooping leaves are a sign of a plant that has been overwatered or underwatered, or else it is a sign that your plant is either getting too many or not enough nutrients (and issues with watering are often linked with nutrient problems).

When you choose a growing medium with good drainage, you eliminate many potential crises from the get-go. You can check the moisture content of the growing medium by using your fingers or by checking the weight of the pot. A more accurate method is to invest a few bucks in a soil sensor which takes the guesswork out of things.

Watering your plants correctly to avoid drooping leaves begins by getting your timing right. It is best to water first thing in the morning. Saturate your growing medium until you see around 20% of the water dripping out of the bottom of the container. That is enough water for the day.

Don’t water the plant again until the first inch of the growing medium is dry. If your plants are drooping, let the medium dry out completely, and use a skewer to poke holes around the medium to aerate. Be careful not to damage the roots! Poke around the edges of the medium to about two inches down. You can create small holes by moving the stick in a circular motion.

Get another thin stick; this is your support. Place it close to the plant’s base and rest it, or else you can tie it to the plant’s main stem. Check to see that the branches and main stem of the plant are not weak and thin. If they are, it may be a sign that they are starting to stretch for light. In any case, place your plant directly beneath the light source, and ensure it gets at least 18 hours of light per day.

Drooping leaves in the early stages of the growth cycle will probably set you back a few weeks. Wait the extra time to begin flowering, and you can still benefit from a vigorous healthy plant that offers a significant yield.

Related Article: Growing 1 Marijuana Plant (Just For Fun!); Part I

4 Signs You are Overwatering Your Plants

Overwatering your plants is a surprisingly common issue and a few small adjustments can help you improve your landscape. Once identified, overwatered plants can still be rescued and thrive in your landscape. To help you, we created a list of four signs to recognize when determining if there is too much water in your landscape.

  1. The tip of this plant’s leaf is brown, but it feels soft and limp due to overwatering.

    Roots are Critical to Plant Life
    Roots are the primary source for your plants water, food, and intake of oxygen. While the roots of a plant take up water, they also need air to breathe. Overwatering, in simple terms, drowns your plant. Healthy soil allows for oxygen to exist in the space between particles of soil. If there is too much water or the soil is constantly wet, there is not enough air pockets. This results in a limited oxygen supply and plants are not able to breathe.

  2. Leaves Turn Brown and Wilt
    When plants have too little water, leaves turn brown and wilt. This also occurs when plants have too much water. The biggest difference between the two is that too little water will result in your plant’s leaves feeling dry and crispy to the touch while too much water results in soft and limp leaves.

  3. Water Pressure Begins to Build
    Water pressure begins to build in the cells of plant leaves when the roots absorb more water than they can use. Cells will eventually die and burst, forming blisters and areas that look like lesions. Once these blisters erupt, tan, brown, or white wart-like growths begin to form in their place. You will also notice indentations forming directly above the growths on the top sides of the leaves.

  4. Stunted Slow Growth
    Stunted slow growth accompanied by yellowing leaves is also a symptom. Leaves falling off often accompanies this symptom. If your plants have yellowing leaves and old leaves, as well as new leaves that are falling at the same accelerated rate, you are overwatering.

Check your soil regularly. Don’t be afraid to push your finger about an inch or two down in to the soil to check the moisture. If the soil feels moist and you observe some of the signs above, it’s an excellent indication that you need to reduce your watering. Many stores also sell accurate moisture meters. Simply insert them in the root ball and it will tell you how much water is in the soil. This simple, inexpensive tool can take much of the guess work out of watering your landscape.

By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Does wilting mean watering? That depends. When you see plants with droopy leaves – look at the time of day.

Lots of plants, such as hydrangeas, will lower their leaves in the heat of the day, to shade the back of their leaves from the sun. The back of the leaf is where the pores are that evaporate moisture, so drooping reduces a leaf’s exposure so it can hold more moisture. So, if you see wilting, check later on to see if the leaves perk up by evening or the next morning – hydrangeas often do that, and then you know they’re OK for another day. On the other hand, if your plant is wilting first thing in the morning, it hasn’t rained in weeks, or you just planted it this year, then you’re probably right to get out the hose.

To be sure, poke a finger a few inches down into the soil to see if it’s dry. If it is, put the hose next to the base of the plant on a slow trickle for an hour or two, so the water can slowly seep deeply into the soil. Watering deeply helps roots grow down to find moisture – and those deeper roots will help make your shrub more drought-resistant in the future.

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