Morning glory yellow leaves

Problems With Morning Glories: Morning Glory Vine Diseases

Morning glories are perennials with funnel shaped, fragrant flowers that grow from a vine and come in many bright colors such as blue, pink, purple and white. These beautiful flowers open at the first sunlight and last throughout the day. These typically hardy vines, however, can sometimes suffer problems.

Morning Glory Problems

Problems with morning glories can vary but may include environmental issues and fungal diseases of morning glory.

Environmental problems with morning glories

When the leaves of a morning glory turn yellow, it is usually a sign that something is not right with your plant. Insufficient sunlight can be a cause of yellowing leaves, as morning glories require full sun to flourish. To remedy this, you can transplant your morning glory to a sunnier spot in the garden or trim any plants that are blocking the sun.

Another cause of yellow leaves is either under watering or over watering. Once your morning glory has been watered, let the soil dry before re-watering.

Morning glories do well in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-10, be sure that you are in one of these zones for best results.

Morning glory vine diseases

A fungal disease called rust is another culprit of yellowing leaves. To diagnose whether your plant has rust or not, look closely at the leaves. There will be powdery pustules on the backside of the leaf. They are what cause the leaf to turn yellow or even orange. To prevent this from happening, do not overhead water your morning glory and remove any infected leaves.

Canker is a disease that causes the stem of the morning glory to be sunken-in and brown. It wilts the ends of the leaves and then spreads onto the stem. It is a fungus that, if not taken care of, will affect the whole plant. If you suspect that your morning glory has this fungus, cut away the infected vine and dispose of it.

Problems with Morning Glory Pests

Morning glories can be infested with pests too such as the cotton aphid, the leaf miner, and the leafcutter. The cotton aphid likes to attack the plant in the morning. This insect ranges in color from yellow to black, and you can find them in masses on your leaves. The leaf miner does just that, it mines or bores holes into the leaves. A green caterpillar called the leafcutter severs the stalks of the leaves and causes them to wilt. This pest likes to do his damage at night.

The best way to rid your morning glory of these pests is by using an organic pest control and keeping your plant as healthy and happy as possible.

Yellow Leaves on a Morning Glory

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Morning glories are vine plants that will grow to heights of 7 feet or more depending on if the vine is growing on a fence or trellis. Plants normally grow with little care, but there may come a time when the morning glory leaves start to turn yellow. If this happens, it can be the result of one or more problems pertaining to dry or wet conditions, sunlight and temperatures.

Water

Plants that are too dry or wet develop yellowing leaves. Morning glories grow vigorously without any additional water if the area receives at least 1 inch of water per week. During dry spells that last for longer than one week, water the plants with 1 inch of water. If the location where the plants are growing has standing water, the plant roots will start to rot, causing the leaves to yellow.

Sunlight

Morning glories need sunlight in the morning and afternoon to grow and flower. If the plants don’t receive enough sunlight, the leaves will start to yellow and die. Before planting the seeds, you need to choose a location with at least six hours of sun, which includes the morning sun.

Temperatures

It is not uncommon for leaves to turn yellow on morning glory plants as the temperatures cool down at night. Although not all the leaves will turn yellow at the same time, temperatures will affect how the leaves green up or turn yellow and die. If the leaves are turning yellow in September or later, it has to do with the temperatures that plant has at night. A light frost will cause the leaves to turn yellow, but some leaves will stay green longer.

Fertilizer

Morning glories don’t require any fertilizer to grow and flower, but if you do add fertilizer, it is done when the plant starts growing. Fertilizing after the plant starts to mature can cause the leaves to turn yellow because of overfertilizing. These plants will grow in any type of soil as long as it has good drainage.

Learn About Morning Glories

Black Rot: This bacterial disease thrives in warm and humid conditions and attacks the leaves. Yellow-orange V shaped lesions occur on the edges of the leaves and eventually dry out and the leaves fall off. Burpee Recommends: Rotate crops with plants in a different family. Avoid overhead watering. Provide adequate air circulation, do not overcrowd plants. Do not work around plants when they are wet. Control weeds where the disease can overwinter.

Damping Off: This is one of the most common problems when starting plants from seed. The seedling emerges and appears healthy; then it suddenly wilts and dies for no obvious reason. Damping off is caused by a fungus that is active when there is abundant moisture and soils and air temperatures are above 68 degrees F. Typically, this indicates that the soil is too wet or contains high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Burpee Recommends: Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater; avoid over-fertilizing your seedlings; thin out seedlings to avoid overcrowding; make sure the plants are getting good air circulation.

Rust: A number of fungus diseases that rust colored spots on foliage. Burpee Recommends: Practice crop rotation. Remove infected plants. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Stem Canker: Part of the stem looks sunken and turns brown. The stem will wilt. This is caused by a fungus. The canker can open and ooze sap. This fungus can spread to all parts of the plant causing the plant to die. Burpee Recommends: Remove any infected stem as soon as you see symptoms. Rotate crops. Try not to get the stems and leaves wet when watering the plant.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps which feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

Japanese Beetles: Burpee Recommends: Hand pick early in the morning into a bucket of soapy water.

Leafminers: These insects bore just under the leaf surface causing irregular serpentine lines. The larvae are yellow cylindrical maggots and the adults are small black and yellow flies. They do not usually kill plants, but disfigure the foliage. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected foliage. Sanitation is important so be sure to remove all debris at the end of the season.

Ozone: Leaves are bleached between the veins and faded, often turning silver or gray. The excess ozone is causing damage and may cause several leaves to grow. This happens more in plants grown in the city or by roads. Burpee Recommends: Plant ozone tolerant varieties. Choose a plant that is not damaged by ozone.

Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. They may be red, black, brown or yellow. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. There is often webbing visible on the plant. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations.

Sunscald: Leaves are bleached in between veins and faded, often turn white with brown crispy edges. There are no signs of pests and diseases. Plants were usually recently moved. The bright light and heat from the sun break down the chlorophyll which leads to death of the leaf. Burpee Recommends: Some afternoon shade would be helpful, but keep the plants as healthy as possible.

Why are my plants turning yellow?

The yellowing of your plants can also be a good indication of their nutrition. Specifically, if there is an strange pattern to the yellowing, like if the veins on the leaves are green and the tissue is yellow then it is almost always a nutrient problem.

Common sources of nutrient issues are under-fertilizing or over-fertilizing, so it is important to use fertilizer at the labeled rate.

Frequently people tend to use too much fertilizer on their plants to make them grow faster, but what it actually does is create a toxic environment which “burns” the leaves out causing them to turn yellow.

In addition to the problems listed above, other conditions that lead to the yellowing of the leaves include infectious diseases (fungi or bacteria), poor soil, natural aging of the plant and plant destroying pests.

At Ambius, our technicians are trained to make sure that your plants stay fresh and healthy, without any extra work on your part. To find out more about the services that Ambius provides please contact us online.

Nitrogen Deficiency

Problem: A cannabis nitrogen deficiency will cause the older, lower leaves on your plant to turn yellow, wilt away and eventually die. The plant typically appears pale or lime-colored.

The yellow leaves of a nitrogen deficiency may show signs of brown, and they will usually become soft and sort of “fold” in, before possibly turning crispy but ultimately falling off on their own.

Example of cannabis Nitrogen deficiency – yellow bottom leaves. Almost all plant nutrients contain Nitrogen

Nitrogen-deficient plants often appear pale or lime-colored. The leaves on this marijuana plant don’t have obvious leaf symptoms like spots or markings, but they are pale all over the whole plant. Almost lime green. The light-colored leaves are a sign the plant needs more Nitrogen (and nutrients in general). On the flip side, plants that are receiving too much Nitrogen turn dark.

If the yellowing leaves are at the top of your plant or the yellow leaves are mostly new growth, then you probably don’t have a nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogen deficiencies usually affect the oldest, lowest leaves first, or the entire plant becomes light colored.

Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient, which means it can move throughout the plant as needed. Cannabis needs nitrogen to keep leaves green and make energy from light. All new leaves get plenty of nitrogen to make them green and help with photosynthesis. The leaves that get the most light are the newest, youngest leaves, so the plant “wants” to give those leaves priority for getting light.

If new leaves aren’t getting enough nitrogen, the plant will start to “steal” nitrogen from the older, lower leaves, so that it can give it to newer leaves. This is what causes the yellowing and wilting of a nitrogen deficiency.

It’s relatively normal for your cannabis plant’s leaves to start turning yellow towards the end of your flowering cycle as the plant becomes nitrogen deficient while creating buds.

However, if your cannabis plant is losing lower leaves fast due to yellowing (if yellowing and dying leaves is “climbing” up the plant from the bottom), especially in the vegetative stage before plant is making buds, you have a problem that you will need to fix as soon as possible.

You don’t want a nitrogen deficiency in the vegetative stage!

If you notice your lower cannabis leaves turning yellow in the vegetative stage or in the beginning part of the flowering stage, your plant may be experiencing a nitrogen deficiency which will need to be treated.

It is not good if your cannabis plant is showing signs of an advanced nitrogen deificiency while still in the vegetative stage. It’s normal to lose a few yellow leaves off the bottom of your plant here and there, especially with very big plants. But if you are losing a significant amount of yellow leaves, and the yellowing seems to be moving up the plant quickly, then you have a problem.

As a grower, you’re interested in how much nitrogen to give your plants at what time. The ratio of nitrogen to other nutrients has a huge effect on growth and bud formation.

Vegetative Stage – higher levels of Nitrogen (pretty much any plant food will do)

Most complete plant foods that you get at a gardening store contain high levels of nitrogen (N). These nutrient system tend to work well in the vegetative stage.

Some examples of cannabis-friendly one-part Vegetative nutrient systems…

  • Dyna-Gro “Foliage Pro”

  • General Hydroponics “FloraNova Grow”

  • Pretty much any complete plant food

Flowering Stage – lower levels of Nitrogen (use “Bloom” or Cactus nutrients)

It’s extra important to find a nutrient system with lower levels of nitrogen for the last part of your plant’s life. Many “Bloom” or “Flowering” style base nutrients are just the ticket.

Some examples of good one-part Flowering nutrient systems…

  • Dyna-Gro “Bloom”

  • General Hydroponics “FloraNova Bloom”

  • If you can’t order online and can’t find a good one-part base Bloom formula locally, you do have other choices. Though not an ideal choice, most Cactus plant foods will contain good nutrient ratios for growing cannabis during the budding stage. So in a pinch, you can use the cactus nutrients that can be found at most gardening stores.

The first cannabis plant pictured below is showing signs of nitrogen deficiency late in flowering; nitrogen deficiency in late flowering is completely normal and even desired. The last picture is an infographic about nitrogen and your marijuana plant.

It’s normal for plants to show signs of a nitrogen deficiency as the plant gets close to harvest. This is actually a good thing! Too much nitrogen can actually prevent proper budding, and can reduce the overall taste and smell of your plant. This is why all “bloom” and flowering nutrient formulas are relatively low in nitrogen.

Don’t worry about yellow leaves close to harvest! It’s normal to see a few Nitrogen-deficient leaves in the flowering stage. Nothing to worry about unless you see the yellowing leaves start climbing up the plant.

So don’t sweat it if you see your cannabis show some signs of nitrogen deficiency late in the flowering stage! Relatively low levels of nitrogen in the late flowering stage help promote proper cannabis bud development and will increase your yields!

Solution: You can find many pre-mixed nutrients from the store which contain nitrogen or you could use nitrate of soda or organic fertilizer which are both good sources of nitrogen. In fact almost all plant nutrients of any kind will include nitrogen. If you haven’t been providing any nutrient to your plants, try supplementing your regular nutrients with a bit more nitrogen and see if the plant starts recovering.

If you’ve already been using nutrients, then you probably don’t have a nitrogen deficiency. If you’re seeing the signs of spreading nitrogen deficiency even a week or two giving nitrogen to your plants through nutrients, then you need to figure out what else is causing the yellowing so you can stop it.

More About Nitrogen and Your Marijuana Plants

Sometimes you can get the signs of a cannabis nitrogen deficiency if the pH at the plant root zone is too low, even if the nitrogen is there. This is because when the pH at the roots is not right, your plant roots can’t properly absorb nutrients. If you aren’t sure about your root pH, learn more about pH & growing cannabis plants here.

Nitrogen is especially important during the vegetative stage of your cannabis plants. As your plants start flowering, they will need lower amounts of nitrogen.

Nitrogen is one of the 3 nutrients that is included in almost every kind of plant food.

When looking at plant nutrients, you’ll almost always see 3 numbers listed, like 3-12-6 or 5-10-5. These numbers represent the percentage of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) contained in the bottle. Just about all plant life on Earth needs these 3 elements to grow.

The 3 numbers on the front of plant nutrient bottles list the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

The very first number, “3” in the case of the picture to the right, always displays the proportion of nitrogen in this nutrient bottle compared to the other 2 nutrients (Phosphorus and Potassium respectively).

Nitrogen is in all plant nutrient formulations because it’s vital to plant processes.

Note: During the last few weeks before harvest, marijuana plants start pulling all the remaining nitrogen from her leaves as part of the bud-making process. This causes yellowing leaves starting towards the bottom of the plant. This is part of the natural flowering process and you don’t need to fight it. You may notice that marijuana leaves are yellowing in almost all pictures of marijuana plants with big buds that are close to harvest. You tend to get smaller yields from nitrogen-toxic plants with dark green leaves at harvest.

Remember: It’s Normal For Marijuana Leaves To Start Turning Yellow As Harvest Time Approaches

Occassionally a nitrogen toxicity is mistake for a deficiency. Could your plant actually be nitrogen toxic? (pictured below)

This picture shows a Nitrogen Toxicity

There are several different reasons why your pot leaves are turning yellow. A variety of factors cause chlorosis, the technical name for a reduction of chlorophyll that results in yellow leaves. This isn’t a definitive list; however, it’s always important to properly diagnose an issue before attempting to solve it. So here are four reasons your weed leaves are yellowing—and how to deal with them properly for a heavier harvest.

Not Enough Light

During photosynthesis, leaves take in light and carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert it into plant energy. Without enough light, leaves will begin to yellow and eventually slow growth to a standstill. Common incandescent house bulbs are severely insufficient, and fluorescent lights must be kept quite close to plants to be remotely effective.

The Fix: Increase the amount of light the plant is getting. This could mean lowering an existing grow light to the proper level above your plants’ canopy or investing in a stronger lighting unit. I highly recommend using HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting, such as MH (Metal Halide) or HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) lighting for growing pot plants indoors. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and Compact Fluorescents are a decent, if not perfect, alternative if heat or power usage is an issue.

Over or Under-Watering

Marijuana plants like a wet-dry cycle for their roots. Over- and under-watered plants will droop and soon show the telltale signs of chlorosis.

The Fix: Stop watering over-watered plants and increase watering for under-watered ones. Sounds easy, but it’s one of the most common mistakes beginner growers make. Lift your containers if you can to get an idea of what they feel like when soaked and how much less they weigh when dry.

pH Imbalance

pH or potential hydrogen is the measurement on a scale of 1-14 of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil mix or nutrient solution, with 7 being neutral. Soil pH should be kept between 6-7, while hydroponic pH should be 5.5-6.2.

Fluctuations outside these parameters will lead to nutrient lockout, preventing your roots from being able to take in food. Often misdiagnosed as a deficiency of nitrogen or iron, an undetected pH imbalance can compound problems further when more nutes are added. This creates an over-abundance of plant food in your root zone that your plants cannot absorb.

The Fix: Use a pH meter to measure the level of acidity or alkalinity of your soil and nutrient solution. Adjust using pH up or down accordingly. Bear in mind that these solutions come in concentrated form, so add them sparingly to raise or lower pH incrementally.

Nutrient Deficiency

If all other factors are in balance—light, water and pH—then the most likely culprit is a lack of food for your plants. Nitrogen and iron are the most common deficiencies that cause yellowing leaves, but it could be any number of macro or micronutrients as well.

The Fix: Water with a nutrient solution high in nitrogen. Plant food bottles typically display NPK ratio on the labels. N is for nitrogen, P for phosphorus and K for potassium. Choose the nutrient with a higher number at the beginning. They’re labels will say “Grow” or “Vegetative” as opposed to “Bloom” or “Flowering.” If you decide you have a lack of iron, foliar feed with chelated iron. You should see your leaves greening up within a few days.

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