Today I would like to backtrack a little bit, and as I said in the previous article, take a good look at which stress factors have a negative influence on our plants and how we can keep ourselves from having problems. That way we can make sure that when we germinate a marijuana seed we have the best chances of seeing it develop completely, and above all, ensure that we won’t have any problems with hermaphroditism.
We are going to look at each point in detail in order to really understand the factors that we never think are going to be a problem, but have never stopped being a problem over the years, even with advances in materials.
Finally we’ll look at the difference between hermaphroditism and bananas (as they are called), in order to identify them with total clarity.
Light stress that can be given to the plant in large or small quantities can be produced by factors such as, for example, unwanted or poorly thought out changes in photoperiods. It can also be due to the poor function of programmed timer, allowing for schedule delays or the unwanted turning on of the lights.
In order to assure ourselves that these failures don’t exist in our grow room, we should constantly check that everything is working, and above all the first days of a schedule change.
Another case in which can produce light stress is when there are light interruptions, due to not using the correct light bulb for our equipment or because of failures of the equipment itself (ballast, cabling, or connections).
We should also keep in mind that small points of unwanted light can affect the crop such as, for example, the common LEDs on the programmed timer or the lights that can be found on an apparatus such as an air conditioner. We should be sure to cover all of these tiny points of light that might be reflecting on the plants during the nocturnal period, which could be producing stress for our marijuana plants.
This is one of the greatest mistakes that we can make it we are cultivating cannabis seeds. Cannabis, just like any living being, needs water for its development. The better the water quality, the better our results will be the end of the grow cycle.
We understand water quality to be clean water that is free of micro-organisms. That is why we use reverse osmosis equipment, that works to filter tap water and convert in into water that is free of free salts (E.C. 0.0).
The factors in water stress that we should keep in mind are, for example, lack of water in any phase of growing, and excessive water. We need to think about these issues when we grow cannabis since they can cause stress.
The water temperature that we use is very important and I believe that it is one of the most ignored issues in growing. The ideal temperature is between 20º to 22º C and in either direction outside of that, we are risking stress levels for our plant.
Imagine in winter, if we use water that has been in a tank after passing through our osmosis filter, unless we have a water heater that we can put inside of the tank for a while before watering, we will have problems with cooling down our root system too much, and it will slow down normal growth in our plants. The same case with using water that is too hot. It is always recommendable to avoid exceeding the parameters of recommended water temperature (20º-22ºC).
We are going to talk more about this type of stress—environmental stress. In the majority of cases, it is produced by changes in temperature. We should remember that the adequate levels for environmental temperature in a grow room should hover around (22º-24ºC).
Going over or under this is a failure that is repeated in many grow situations that don’t have air conditioning and heaters in order to adjust temperature all of the time, whether during diurnal or nocturnal cycles. For example, if we have a temperature of 22º with our lamps on, we can see that this temperature drops quickly once the lighted schedule is over.
To ensure that we aren’t making this mistake, we can use a “fan controller”, an apparatus that centralizes all of our ventilators, extractors, intractors and even the heater. Using this tool we can control potency for each one of the previously mentioned pieces of equipment, as well as turn them on or off.
Whether with too high or too low temperatures, we are affecting our plants in some way, which will definitely have an effect on the quality of the crop.
We also recognize pests that threaten our dear marijuana plants as environmental factors, as they are very much related to the temperature and humidity that we have in our grow area. The higher the temperature, the greater the risk of pests such as red spider mites and other mites.
If the relative humidity of our grow area is high, we run the risk of contracting illnesses like mildew or botrytis, and we can even see that at humidity levels around 80% it is impossible to bring our plants to flowering without having some or all of these problems.
We can see that a regimen that is either too high or too low in nutrients can affect our plants at all times. The first thought when cultivating cannabis seeds is that more is better. Throughout the years, we have seen the important of each nutrient being used at the right moment, and the indicated measurement.
One example would be the use of well water which already has an elevated load of salts, and if we add the quantity of fertilizer that the provider indicates we would be raising the salts (Ec) to a level that is not recommendable for the plant and that can stress it out without us realizing.
Soil that is nutrient poor or too hard can also cause plant stress. Considering the fact that the root system of marijuana is delicate, it is recommended that you always use soil that is specifically prepared for marijuana plants, since the pH and Ec are already formulated for the plants.
Other problems that can cause stress
A late harvest can lead to bananas appearing in our flowers, since each variety has its optimal point of maturation, and allowing the plant to flower for more days will not increase the harvest. Instead you will see that the flowers extend themselves pushing the calyxes to form towers.
Changes in the light spectrum that aren’t suitable for each stage in the life cycle can also be a reason why a plant is affected by stress.
Remember that the blue light spectrum helps growth and the orange light spectrum helps with flowering.
The difference between hermaphroditism and “Bananas”
To clearly differentiate the traits of hermaphroditism or bananas we should begin with how they are different.
Bananas are formations that look like two horns, and are normally yellow. We don’t see these bananas affecting our crop, though we can say that they make the flowers uglier and signify that the our grow process hasn’t been 100% optimal.
The traits of hermaphroditism are masculine cannabis flowers that appear in any quantitiy between feminine flowers. We see that the majority of the time they are concentrated on the underside of flowers that appear on the lowest portion of our plants.
These flowers may or may not be fertile, and we can see if a flower has been affected by looking for seeds that have formed inside of it. In any case we can differentiate between isolated flowers (stress) or formation of 50% of flowers from both sexes (hermaphroditism).
Until next week, greetings and thank you to all of our readers.