Just like humans, plants also need proper nutrients and the environment to grow. If you miss providing something important, then your plant might not grow or have a big yield. When it comes to cannabis, the major nutrients that the plant needs are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
However, if you are experiencing issues like yellow leaves, the plant has stopped growing, or it has started bending, then you might have to check the sulfur levels of the soil. Sulfur is responsible for the photosynthesis process and other basic nutrients like amino acids, proteins, and chlorophyll in the plant.
In this post, we have discussed everything about sulfur deficiency in cannabis plants, how you can identify it and how to fix this problem yourself.
Not only cannabis but a majority of the plants need sulfur as it acts as a micronutrient to them. However, it is required in much lesser quantity than macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Sulfur is essential for the synthesis of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, including enzymes and structural proteins.
Sulfur also plays a role in the production of chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. Not only this, but sulfur also helps plants in forming other important compounds like vitamins, hormones and oils too. So, if your plant doesn’t get enough sulfur, then it will affect its growth and health as well.
If your plant is suffering from sulfur deficiency, then you might start getting signs of it very early. When you know how to examine the symptoms, then it will help you in fixing it without much damage. Although the signs depend on the type of strain you are growing, the age, climate, the location where the plant is kept, and many more.
There are some common signs that show up in almost every plant out there, so you can be sure of the problem your plant is dealing with. Below we have mentioned some signs of sulfur deficiency in cannabis plants that can help you identify the situation pretty easily.
Yellow Leaves – If the lower leaves of plants have started turning yellow, then it means there’s a deficiency of sulfur in the plant. This yellowing may start as a pale or light yellow colour and progress to a more intense yellow as the deficiency becomes more severe. It is one of the most common ways to figure out sulfur deficiency.
No Growth – Since sulfur plays an important role in the growth and development of plants, if your plant has stopped growing further, then it can also be a reason behind low sulfur levels in the soil. You must keep track of the growth of your cannabis plant, as it will help you understand the actual growth rate.
Reduced Yield – Since the growth of the plant has stopped, it will result in smaller or fewer fruits or flowers. Remember that the yield of the plant can be influenced by the growing area, too, so you will have to identify the real cause behind it by adding a small amount of sulfur to test if the plant’s yield has grown or not.
Poor Root Development – Roots are the ones that transfer all the nutrients and minerals to the plants. If there’s a deficiency of sulfur, then you might experience poor development of the roots as well. Although it is not recommended to dig and check the roots, many planters come with this feature to have a look at the roots without digging.
Slow Maturity – If you have not noticed any of these symptoms, even then, your plant might be facing sulfur deficiency. Pay attention to the plant’s growth and ability to produce flowers and strains. You will notice that there aren’t many flowers blooming, and there are no strains coming out of the stem; that is the case of sulfur deficiency too.
Depending on the type of plant, its age, yield, and many other things, you can start the treatment to bring back the correct amount of sulfur to it. If you are new to growing cannabis plants then we recommend consulting with a professional to be sure of the products you are buying and the methods you are applying to fix the issue.
Below we have mentioned a step-by-step guide that will tell you how to fix the sulfur deficiency in your cannabis plants yourself. Remember that these steps are tried and tested, so anyone can follow them without any issues. Also, you will have to make sure you are using the right products to treat the plants else it will not give you the desired results.
1. First of all, dry the soil, plant, and roots of the plants. Remember that they must not be dried completely but slightly so they don’t have any traces of wetness in them.
2. If you are using any setup, then you will have to flush your plants with ph-balanced water. Doing this will help plants reset the growing medium.
3. Now, use tools or gadgets to bring the ph level of the soil between 6.0 to 6.5. If you are growing hydro or coco coir, then the ph level must be between 5.5 and 5.9.
4. Once the ph level is balanced, you can add supplements like Epsom salts, potassium sulfate, and magnesium sulfates that come with sulfur in them. Also keep watch on magnesium levels also.
5. If you want, then you can also add manure compost to the soil as they are suitable for all types of plants. The best that works are mushroom composts.
To have healthy marijuana plants, you must pay attention to the amount of sulfur being added to the planters. This amount should be between 50 to 200 parts per million (ppm) in the soil and fertilizer. If the sulfur is slightly higher, it won’t hurt the plants but if it’s over 200 ppm, it can cause problems with other nutrients and even harm the plants. If it’s over 300 ppm, it can cause brown spots on the leaves, which is similar to when there’s too much salt in the soil. The main focus is to have a balanced amount of sulfur for your plants to absorb without going over the limit.
NOTE: It’s important to note that the symptoms you are noticing can also be caused by other factors such as disease, pests, or environmental stress and not only by sulfur deficiency. So, it is important to consult with a specialist or to carry out soil analysis in order to confirm the cause and start the treatment.
Sulfur Toxicity – Toxicity in plants refers to the excessive amount of nutrients in the soil. If you give too many nutrients to the plants, they will start getting stressed, and they might die too. The leaves will start getting discolored and curled and lose their growth. Too much sulfur in the soil will create issues in the absorption of nitrogen and calcium too. It is important to check the color and growth of leaves if you are adding sulfur to them. If the leaves have started turning dark green or brown, then it can be because of an excessive amount of sulfur in the soil. You can flush your plants and growing medium with 4x the pH-balanced water the planter can consume.
Sulfur Deficiency – As we have already said above in this post, sulfur deficiency is related to the condition where a plant has not received an adequate amount of sulfur. There are various reasons behind this problem, but it generally refers to the imbalanced pH levels of the soil. Sometimes it can be because of using improper fertilizers and nutrients too. Although it does not pose a serious risk to the plants, not fixing the problem early can cause major issues in the development and growth of the plant. To remedy the deficiency, the grower can add sulfur to the soil or apply a sulfur-based fertilizer.
Yes, cannabis and almost every plant out there need sulfur to execute the photosynthesis process. It plays a vital role in the development and growth of plants. Both deficiency and toxicity of sulfur will cause issues in the plant. Sulfur also helps plants in making different compounds like vitamins, hormones, and oils.
Related : Cannabis Calcium Deficiency
It is best to spray sulfur-based fertilizer once every 7-14 days, but it’s important to monitor the plants closely for signs of deficiency or toxicity and adjust the frequency of application accordingly. The amount of sulfur added to the plant depends on the age, growth, yield and other factors as well, so the amount is not pre-defined.
When a plant does not have an adequate amount of sulfur, it will have negative effects on its growth and development. You will experience yellow leaves, stunted growth, poor root development, and many other issues. Your plant will have reduced resistance to disease, and there is a high chance that it might die early.
Sulfur can be found in many things and you can use them to give your plants a boost. If you want, then you buy elemental sulfur, which is a natural source of sulfur that can be applied to the soil or used as a foliar spray. Organic sources and compost can also be added to the soil for its good development and growth.
There are different types of sulfur available that can be added to the soil. Some of the most common among them are gypsum, Epsom salt, ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate, sulfur-coated urea, magnesium sulfate, and rock sulfur. You can calculate the pH level of your soil and then apply the right form of sulfur accordingly.
So, this is all about sulfur deficiency in cannabis plants, and we hope you have found this post useful. Since every plant needs different types of nutrients to grow, you should pay very close attention to the soil and fertilizers you are providing to it. The yellowing caused by sulfur deficiency usually starts at the bottom of the plant and spreads to the top so you can identify the problem early.
There are many ways to fix this problem, but we have mentioned the best working methods that are tried and tested. Since sulphur helps plants in growing, you can make a schedule of providing it to the plants at regular intervals. If you know something about this problem, then do share your views with us. Also, keep visiting this page as we keep it updated with the latest information about cannabis sulfur deficiency.