When you are feeding heavily, take the time to flush your garden a few times during a grow. Your plants will appreciate the fresh water and a break from feeding, and they will respond magnificently when the nutrients are reintroduced.
Once your plants are experiencing nutrient lockout, you’ll need to act quickly to reverse it and free the nutrients. Otherwise, they will become nutrient deficient and begin to die. To protect your plants, you’ll need to know how to identify nutrient lockout as well as how to correct, or better yet, prevent the issue altogether.
Identifying nutrient lockout can be difficult. Your cannabis plants may look underfed when in fact the problem is being created by overfeeding, pH variations, or other stresses on the plant.
Nutrient lockout is a problem that can be remedied as long as you’re paying close attention in your garden. Keep logs of your feeding schedule, observe your plants daily, and record what you notice before and after feedings. Cannabis plants respond rapidly to changes in their environment, which often makes them easy to care for under the eye of a vigilant, observant gardener.
If nutrient lockout is an issue with your pH, consider using products to control your pH level. Purchase pH buffers to raise or lower the pH level and then flush with this pH-balanced water.
Once you have identified nutrient lockout, the first step is to stop feeding the plants. Next, flush the plants and growing medium accordingly with water. Flooding your pots with fresh, pH-balanced water or running a fresh solution in your hydroponic setup will help to break down and free the salt buildup and clear up the pathway for nutrients to be absorbed by your plants again.
Nutrient lockout will resemble nutrient deficiency; the plants will be weak and flimsy with stunted growth. Any yellowing or curling of the leaves also indicate that the plant is experiencing nutrient lockout.
Once a flush is performed, your system will be completely saturated. The soil needs to dry out before watering again to allow the roots to breathe and avoid developing root rot. After a flush, you may continue to water your garden normally for a few more cycles before introducing nutrients again.
Chemical fertilizers are salt-based, and these high salt concentrations tend to cause nutrient lockout. Look for nutrients with a low salt content or stick to organic nutrients exclusively.
Learn about nutrient lockout in cannabis, including the signs and symptoms, how to fix it, and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
Nutrient lockout is when nutrient elements like magnesium, zinc, iron, and even potassium are present in the root zone, but your plant can’t absorb them. It can happen in all growing mediums, but it’s more likely to occur in soil, coco coir, or rockwool.
Identifying nutrient lockout can be difficult. Your cannabis plants may look underfed when the problem is actually something else.
Salt, much like in humans, dehydrates the plant, preventing it from properly uptaking the good stuff. Using organic fertilizers does not mean that nutrient lockout is impossible, but it surely is less likely.
You can also try a pH-adjusting solution. These also work well with a nutrient lockout situation, but won’t wash away the salt build-up. We recommend flushing as this will work better in the long-run, preventing the reappearance of this problem later on.
If you’ve checked that your nutrient mixture is perfect, the next step is verifying that your pH is also on point. For this, you’ll have to flush your plant’s medium. Take the extra effort to dial down your grow room humidity to 49% on the day you flush. Flushing overwaters the root zone, which can harm the roots. Do this for one lights-on and one lights-off cycle.
When you face a problem with your cannabis plant, it’s always important to learn from the experience. Whether you’re able to solve it or not, knowing how to prevent a lockout in a future scenario is what distinguishes the men from the boy growers.
So, you’ve been feeding your plant with all the necessary nutrients. You engage in proper watering practices and your lights are at an ideal distance from your cannabis plants. If, despite all this, your plant still looks sad and limp with discolouration in the foliage, you might be facing nutrient lockout. This condition has similar visual effects as a nutrient deficiency. Essentially, that is exactly what is happening. The necessary minerals are not being absorbed by your cannabis plant as the root zone is “locking” the nutrients out.
The HI-98107 pHep pH tester provides fast and accurate pH readings. The easy-to-use device is designed for non-technical users, and can help both novice and advanced growers measure water pH.
If you’re planning to change up your nutrient and/or lighting regimen, do it slowly. Don’t ever make drastic changes. This will stress the plant. You’ll end up creating another problem when trying to fix one. Cannabis plants need time to properly adjust to new environments. In nature, a drastic change is unlikely to occur. When moving into vegetation and flowering stages, the lighting transition should take at least a week. Don’t change the nutrient levels when shifting to the flower room as this will slow the plant’s growth at a crucial time.
If not treated in time, this problem could turn into something worse that might kill your plant. Be sure you know how to identify and treat nutrient lockout.