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2021Terry Byas

Why Do Cannabis Leaves Turn Yellow?

Photo credit: the Weed Blog 

Have you ever looked at plants and wondered why the leaves vary in color? I always thought that it could be from the lack of water, maybe the soil was contaminated, maybe a lack of nutrients that the plants needed, possibly root damage, or lack of sunlight. Regarding cannabis, the reason plants/leaves turn yellow is because of Chlorophyll. 

What is Chlorophyll 

Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants/leaves their green color, which is healthy and a sign that your plants are getting natural resources like: water, sunlight, and fertile soil. And it’s important to note that chlorophyll plays a huge role in plant health and human health. 

Humans benefit from chlorophyll because it’s a: vitamin, antioxidant, and has therapeutic properties. As for what chlorophyll does for plants, National Geographic states:

Chlorophyll’s job in a plant is to absorb light—usually sunlight. The energy absorbed from light is transferred to two kinds of energy-storing molecules. Through photosynthesis, the plant uses the stored energy to convert carbon dioxide (absorbed from the air) and water into glucose.”

Glucose is needed because the plant uses that along with the nutrients in the soil, to create new leaves and other parts of the plant.

Why Do Cannabis Leaves Turn Yellow

The reason cannabis leaves turn yellow, is due too much or too little Chlorophyll which is caused by:

  • Too much or too little sunlight
  • Too little or too much water
  • Chemicals in the water
  • Moving the plants from one type of soil to another. 
  • Changes in the temperature            

But in addition to that reason, cannabis leaves turn yellow because of stress. Potguide states that the reasons plants become stressed are:

  • Inadequate watering
  • Excessive heat
  • Pest infestations
  • Overall-  a sign of a sick cannabis plant

Taking Cannabis Leaves from Yellow to Green

There is a way to fix the issue of the leaves turning yellow. The reason for the yellow determines the proper way to treat it. CannaConnection breaks it down: 

  • If due to overwatering: water your plants less.
  • If due to underwatering: water your plants more.
  • If due to heat: monitor the plants closely. Distance your lights away from the tops of your plants.
  • If due to Ph issues: test the soil.
  • If due to lack of nutrients: identify the deficiency and add the required minerals/nutrients.

It’s important to note that the yellow part of the leaves should be removed so the stress doesn’t spread to the rest of the plant.                  

In Conclusion

Yellow leaves should be examined but automatic panic shouldn’t occur. Sometimes, yellow is just a natural part of the plant. The plant can be just fine with some yellow on the leaves because sometimes, growers trigger this. Take it from CannaConnection:

Almost all fan leaves will start to become yellow as harvest time approaches. During this period, growers stop feeding their plants in a process known as flushing. Flushing encourages flowers that produce a much smoother smoke. Yellow leaves are a good sign in this context!

Written by: Terry Byas

Edited by: Veronica Castillo

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