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Overwatering 101

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As you all know I am a newbie, growing medical marijuana for my mom who has lymphoma. Because I am growing for my mom, who is already hesitant to use medical marijuana, I wanted to make sure I grow it properly and obtain a high yield.


Researching medical marijuana cultivation these past few months I have learned there are a lot of factors to being a successful, high yield grower. Specifically, I’ve read a lot about how the balance between too little and too much water plays a major role in the growth and development of your plant. Although both extremes are unhealthy for your plant, over-watering is a more common problem among newbies, primarily because newbies are unaware of the signs an over-saturated plant shows and that too much of a good thing can ultimately be harmful to your plant’s health. 


So in my journey to high yield I thought if I did enough research and took everyone’s advice on the forums I could avoid making the typical newbie mistake of over-watering. This is what I’ve learned so far about over-watering, I hope that you’ll learn something and will also share with me what you know as well.


Too much or too little? That is the question.

Since starting my research I’ve realized that I am more knowledgeable about gardening than I thought I was. I’ve always known that plants need light, water and air to survive, we’ve been taught that since kindergarten when our teachers had us put seeds in a plastic cup and sit it by the window. So when we’re feeding our plants, why not give it what we know it loves? We must remember sometimes too much of a good thing is not good at all and that everything is better in moderation.


When a plant receives too much water it becomes deprived of oxygen due to the stagnant water that blocks fresh oxygen from reaching the plant’s roots. Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for root diseases and plant pathogens. On the other side of the spectrum is under-watering which results in an oxygen deprived plant because it is not supplied with adequate nutrient levels. As you can see, both under watering and over-watering have devastating consequences for your plant and you must find the balance between them.



Signs of an over-watered plant.

Now we know what over-watering is, there are several ways how to identify when your plant has had too much. This involves getting in touch with your “feelings”. Cheesy, I know. But it really is the best way. The first method that I use is to simply feel the soil. If the soil is wet to the touch and saturated more than two inches into the soil then it does not need further watering.


Another method is the lift technique. This method involves lifting the plant and assessing its weight. An over-watered plant will feel heavier than normal. To practice this method successfully you must first learn how heavy your plant should be, which is considered a master-level technique so newbies beware.


Another indicator of an over-watered plant is simply its appearance. If your plant looks droopy, it’s overwatered. Another sign of over-watering is yellowing at the tips of the plant’s leaves, which is called Chlorosis.



How do you salvage your plant after over-watering?

If you happen to over-water your plant, don’t get discouraged because often times you can save your plant. There is still hope in having a successful yield! The most efficient way to heal your plan by giving it time - it’s a waiting game. If you have a proper setup, the excess water in your soil will drain. Like I mentioned in my last blog post I use PRO-MIX HP, a soilless mix that has perlite as an ingredient. The perlite improves aeration in your soil, creating space so that water can easily flow through and drain.


So far, the biggest lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to make mistakes, because that is the best way to learn. What advice do you have for newbies trying to master watering techniques?

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Great post, thanks for your research and education.


My addition to the subject: using coco, drain-to-waste, makes up for a lot of slop in this area, as it naturally maintains a lot of oxygen around the roots. This oxygen supply is refreshed by watering rather than waterlogging the medium. Also, sizing your pots and media appropriately so that you can water daily is of benefit in coco and other soilless mediums.

Yes to what he said.

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Great post and welcome to the site.


I heard so often that growing cannbis is easy.

I know a small bit about growing green things,

never cannabis though. 

I thought it would be a breeze.


Ha!  Oh boy, did I ever learn to not over 'love' (water)

my seedlings... the hard way... as in death to the poor things!

Overwatering brought in the fungus gnats in my case also.


I may even hold some kind of record in the 'seedlings killed' catagory, lol.

Not really a laughing matter when considering the cost of good genetics. 

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