zinc deficiency in cannabis

Zinc deficiency in cannabis

Zinc (Zn) is a micro nutrient as well as an immobile element. Your plant doesn’t need much of this nutrient but it does play an important role in your plants size and maturity. The procuction of leaves, stalks, and branches is also needing Zinc(Zn) as well. It also plays an important role in many enzymes in addition to the growth hormone Auxin. It also is there for working with the chlorophyll and helps your plant handle long droughts helping your plants absorb moisture.

Deficiencies can be seen by the bleach spots between the veins which appear in the beginning on the older leaves and then goes on to the immmature leaves. Zinc(Zn) not being a mobile element will show its deficiency on the newer growth.

The PH levels of your plants to keep this element from being locked out is in soil at more than 4.7 and less than 9.5. In hydro and soiless it is 4.25 or less and 8.5 and above to keep this element locked out.

This can be treated by adding organic fertilizer containing Zinc(Zn) or by burying galvanized nails in the soil.

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In San Luis Obispo at the Healthy Harvest store they recommend getting one of their fine micro-nutrient products which have small amounts of all the micros your plant could need including Sulfur(S). In particular they like the CNS17 from Botanicare. It works out real nice that as long as your plants aren’t flowering it works as an excellent foliar feed so the results will show up much quicker. You can also use this as an additive to your water which works good too.

zinc nutrients in marijuana

Zinc Deficiency in Cannabis Plants

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In this week’s article on plant diseases and maladies, we’re focusing on zinc deficiency. Zinc is one of several essential micronutrients used by many plants, including cannabis. Without this nutrient, cannabis plants fail to thrive. But how do you determine whether zinc deficiency is the specific issue you’re facing with your plants?

Zinc Deficiency in Cannabis Plants

One of the main uses for the micronutrient zinc in plants is forming chlorophyll, which is the compound used in the plant to combine carbon dioxide, water and sunlight into simple sugars that the plant then uses for growth and energy storage. It’s what gives cannabis plants their vibrant green color. A deficiency of zinc prevents this process from taking place. But what are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?

Zinc is a bit of a special case in terms of mobility. Though generally classed as an immobile micronutrient, which means it cannot be moved around within the plant’s structure, it does have some amount of mobility in cases of strong plant nutritional stress. The signs of deficiency may first show up in the older leaves, as the nutrient is moved to younger, more vibrant growth at the top of the plant, or along the entire plant.

At that time, you’ll begin to see signs of interveinal chlorosis, or yellowing between the plant veins. As the deficiency continues, you’ll begin to see other signs. Chlorosis will usually begin to appear in the upper leaves and may even begin to form brown spots as the lower leaves begin to show signs of necrosis by turning brown or purple. The plant’s overall growth will become stunted, with the leaves curling or distorting, due to a shortage of the plant hormone auxin, which requires zinc.

Why do zinc deficiencies happen in cannabis? Alkaline soil can bind up the zinc in the soil. Overwatering can leach this important micronutrient out of the soil, while sandy soils may not be able to hold it for your plants to begin with. Not providing a well-rounded micronutrient fertilizer may be part of the issue. Watering from a reverse-osmosis water treatment system removes the zinc from the water, allowing the soil to become depleted. Finally, problems with the roots, such as rot or insect infestation can cause zinc deficiencies.

To treat these issues, you’ll need to take a few steps. To start, take a soil sample for testing at your county extension office, run by your state’s land-grant university. This gives you a good overview of not only the zinc deficiencies, but also any other nutritional deficiencies in the soil, soil pH and similar information that will help you produce better crops. The test will typically take a few days, so in the meantime, provide a foliar spray to the leaves, starting with the newest leaves which will typically be the most zinc deficient. This will help your plants start to recover while you wait on the test results. Using standard tap water provides zinc as it’s been used to prevent plumbing corrosion for decades.

Once you receive the test results, take a good look. If your soil is sandy, turn in compost or organic matter, even letting it sit at the soil’s surface if it’s too late in the plant growth to turn in. If the soil pH is too high, you can add lime in quantities listed on the results. Try adding a chelated micronutrient supplement to the soil throughout the growing season.

By staying on top of the nutritional needs of your cannabis plants, you’ll be able to ensure a strong harvest of healthy, vibrant plants. Be sure to check out next week’s article and learn what other issues to avoid in your crops.

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In this week's article on plant diseases and maladies, we're focusing on zinc deficiency. Zinc is one of several essential micronutrients used by many plants, including cannabis.