It Happens To Every Grower!

by Nebula Haze & Sirius Fourside

As the buds from my last harvest slowly finish curing, I like to reflect on the grow I just finished as well as my past grows.

There are many lessons for growers to learn and I've learned a lot of them the hard way! But today, I want to share one of the most important lessons I've learned in my time growing cannabis:

Don’t be ashamed when you run into problems!

This sick cannabis plant has yellow leaves from being overwatered and/or was given the wrong pH

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.

~Richard Bach

No matter your age, background or level of intelligence, as humans we continue to learn every day. And the truth is that every grower – no matter how naturally skilled – will run into problems at some point, some big and some small.

Remember, cannabis plants are living breathing things with their own needs. It's only natural that their needs vary from plant to plant; these differences between plants can cause problems for growers, especially when combined with other unexpected events. 

Those 'unexpected events' can be something like:

Every serious grower will encounter at least one of these problems at some point:

  • Mold, Mildew or Bugs

  • Nutrient deficiencies

  • pH issues

  • Unexpected pollination (seeded buds) from a hermie (male parts appearing on female plants) or an unrealized male plant

  • Grow area and environmental problems

    • Indoors: Electricity may go out, a piece of equipment fails

    • Outdoors: Bad weather or temperature will damage your plants

  • Having to move or drastically change your growing operation

Remember, what makes a great grower is the ability to bounce back from problems and learn from them. Every cannabis grower is going to run into problems, it’s how you deal with them that separates the average grower from the spectacular.

We're no exception to this rule by any means; we've run into more than our fair share of problems over the years! If you want some proof, just check out this gallery of problems we personally experienced…as in, these pictures show OUR plant problems!

Root RotLearn how to get rid of root rot

A closer look at root rot in cannabis in a hydroponic DWC setup


Seed sprouted but just didn't grow – was trailing behind the other seedlings – it happens…

This cannabis seedling sprouted, but never grew much bigger than this

Learn how to prevent the most common germination problems


Stunted Growth – These plants are all the same age (note the two tiny seedlings on the right side – you may need to click for a closeup to even see them!). Yet even though the seeds were all germinated at the same time in the same environment, the "Super Lemon Haze" seeds on the right just never got past the seedling stage, even though the "Full Moon" seeds on the left were exploding with growth. In this case, the problem was that the Super Lemon Haze seeds were old, but sometimes you won't be able to figure out why seemingly healthy plants aren't growing!

All these plants are the same age!


From one of my first grows, leaves are nutrient burntLearn about nutrient burn

Burnt brown tips of cannabis leaves means nute burn - this plant is in the flowering stage, which is when nute burn becomes more serious


These buds were toasted by a too-close LED. When using an LED, make sure to know how far away it should be from your plants! It's not just a matter of heat; most LED manufacturers suggest you keep LED grow lights at least 16-18" away from the tops of your plants to prevent bleaching and light burn. Learn more about growing with LEDs.

These buds were toasted by a too-close LED


White Powdery Mildew (white flour-like dust appears on leaves in spots) – Learn how to get rid of it!

WPM up close - a closeup of a spot of white powdery mold on a cannabis leaf


Hermies – Hermies are plants with both male and female traits, which can result in seedy buds (Learn more here)

This is a 'banana'; a sign that the plant has hermie traits


This plant had nutrient deficiencies everywhere – Learn how to fix your nutrient problem!

Cannabis plant has copper nutrient deficiencies on all its leaves


Plain and simple neglect! This is a plant that didn't get the attention it needed and suffered from heat, light bleaching, pH problems and more!

This plant has been neglected to the extreme

Despite all the problems we’ve run into over the years….

We still harvest more bud than we can use, even after we make a bunch into hash and capsules!

Learn how to make your own Dry Ice Hash or Cannabis Capsules!

I hope we can help inspire you to push on when you encounter problems, and most importantly, give up on yourself!


Here are some additional resources to help you deal with problems when they show up:

And here are a few other resources to help you beyond the defensive:

Some other big lessons I've learned:

  • Take time to really look at your plants every day

    • Doing a simple check on your plants will make a world of difference. Quite a bit can happen in a couple of days if you're not paying attention.

  • React quickly to problems:

    • Don’t wait until 'this afternoon or tomorrow' to address problems unless you actually have to. I know I’ve let laziness get the best of me a time or two and I've regretted it every time.

  • Not every problem has an obvious solution:

    • Sometimes there will be certain plants that have a problem that you just can’t figure out. Sometimes you’ll realize what the problem was later after you’ve gained more knowledge and experience, but some problems will always remain a mystery…and that’s okay!

  • Other people may know things you don't:

    • You might be surprised how often we're learning new things from growers we meet or people who write in to the website.

  • Always keep learning!

    • Whether you just got started or have been growing for 30 years, there’s always more to learn about growing. If running this site has taught us anything, it's that there is a TON we don't know.




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With over 700 pages of pictures, tutorials and advanced insider tips, this incredible resource will teach you the simple patterns followed by all cannabis plants, so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your plants happy.

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Jump to…

See a complete LED cannabis grow journal with a 9.3 oz harvest!

Learn about different grow lights

How long does it take to grow cannabis?

Supercropping: Simple Secret to Bigger Yields



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