Veins Browning, turning into Major Devastation. Please Help.

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by DeepThought42, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. DeepThought42

    DeepThought42 Registered

    I've been having a serious problem for over 3 months now. I have tried to find a post from someone who has had a similar-looking problem, or who can analyze what's wrong. But I haven't seen anything that matches my problem, or any remedy that has worked so far. I'd really appreciate an analysis. Thanks.

    I'm now growing mostly Purple Bid Bud, with just a couple NYC Diesels and Sour Diesels. I grow indoors in soil. The soil is 50% perlite, 40% Fox Farm Ocean Forest, 10% Coco Coir (I add 2 cups of dolomite per bag of coco, to steady the pH). I've used Bcuzz Coco, or a local brand called Royal Gold. I only buy coco that advertises itself as thoroughly washed.

    I have no problems with my plants while they are in my veg room, but in case you want veg details . . . I clone, then transplant a rooted clone into a half-gallon pot, and then -- when ready -- into a 5 gallon pot. I wait until the vegged plants are between 15" - 20" high and are bushy, before moving them into the flowering room. It usually takes 2 months (from the day of cutting the clone) before I feel they are ready. As I said, I have seen very little evidence of my problems in the veg room -- even with my moms in there who are over 5 months old. My plants in the veg room look healthy and beautiful. The Temp there is ~ 75F, and they are on a 18/6 light cycle.

    When I move a plant into the flower room I put 2 plants per 32 gallon K-mart tub. I have CO2 tanks in my flower room, and the CAP ppm meter keeps the level at 1800 ppm for the 12 hours of light. The light-time Temp stays between 83F - 90F, dark-time Temp stays ~ 71F. I monitor the soil with both my finger and a moisture meter, waiting to water until things start drying. With big tubs like mine, the soil dries very slowly, and doesn't need watering for ~ 4 days or more. At that point the plants haven't wilted at all, but because I love my babies I can see they are subtly asking for a drink; if I would wait one more day then wilting would begin to be apparent.

    I have plants in my flowering room at all stages -- every 2 weeks I harvest; the tubs are then cleaned, filled with soil and new vegged plants are transplanted in the next day. The flowering room stays at 50% - 55% RH. I have enough air-cooled Sun hoods with Hortilux bulbs to supply 60W of light per square foot.

    I was using GHBB nutrients, but the Kush I was growing at that time experienced some nutrient problems so I switched to as simple a nutrient as I could -- MetaNaturals. Yea, yea, I know -- most hip people are way past using that now, but my friends are old-timers and use MetaNaturals religiously, so basically I couldn't get advice from them unless I used MetaNaturals because they tend to blame *everything* on the new "fancy nutrients." I used MetaNaturals during my first year of growing and had no problems at all -- it's comfortable for me. So MetaNaturals is what I'm using now. At the first sign of my leaf problems in the flower room, I cut back to pure water, or 1/4 or 1/3 strength MetaNaturals nutrients so I can avoid over-nute problems, or lock-outs with salts.

    My soil is pH tested every time before any water or nutrients are added, and it stays in the range 6.4 - 6.7 pH. I try for a pH of 6.5 - 6.7, so soil pH does not seem to be a problem. I calibrate my pH-meter each week with a 7.0 buffered solution.

    My water has a hardness of 140 mg/L, with Calcium 44 mg/L. I never touch my babies with any water or nutrient without first pH'ing it. The city water varies from day-to-day in the range 7.2 - 7.8 pH. Before giving to plants I use pH Down to bring the water (or water/nute mixture) to ~ 6.9 -- always trying to nudge the soil to the "ideal" range of 6.5 - 6.7 pH.

    I constructed my tubs to drain immediately, so the plants are never sitting in soggy soil.


    It's a very consistent pattern. I transplant the vegged plants into the flower room, and they go berserk with happiness. They explode with vigorous new healthy growth. I carefully watch their color, giving them Nitrogen (as well as other nutrients) enough to keep them a nice green without seeing the tell-tale signs of over-fertilization in their tips. The first couple weeks goes great.

    Then a very subtle problem begins. Please look at the leaf featured in the center of {pic 1} See the veins beginning to turn a bit yellow, and a few brown spots appearing? At this stage it may *seem* to be inconsequential, but wait to you see what it leads too.

    As the plants begin to develop buds, the veins in the fan leaves then start turning brown, and the brown spots start growing larger -- see {pic 2}. The plants are still growing vigorously, and starting to develop buds normally, but more and more leaves are displaying this problem. The bud-leaves *never* display this problem, it only occurs on mid to lower fan leaves. So I am concluding from this that it is a mobile nutrient problem. Right???

    It then continues its inevitable progression, with more pronounced brown veins, more brown splotches, and increasingly large necrotic areas on the leaves. See {pics 3 - 7}. Sometimes the leaves die by curling up, sometimes down. See {pics 8}.

    This is *not* the chlorophyl fade-out that one expects in late flowering -- this process is killing many leaves before I'm even 3 or 4 weeks into flowering. On the most affected plants, over 3/4ths of their mid and lower fan leaves are eventually destroyed. This is not a minor problem.

    This problem does not seem to be strain specific. Two Sour Diesels I am growing are suffering from the same problem, see {pic. 9}.


    Some plants go the whole flowering cycle and are only slightly affected by this -- for example, see {pic 10} for a Purple Big Bud that I'll be harvesting in a week -- it has only had its leaves begin "the problem" in the last two weeks, when I would have expected leaves to get ragged anyway. This plant will be having a normal yield. Altogether, around 25% of the plants seem fairly unaffected by "the problem", while ~ 40% of the plants are being devastated. Purple Big Bud is supposed to yield ~ 2lbs/kW, even for fairly unskilled people like me, whereas in my greatly-affected plants are down to .9lb/kW or less.

    The really odd thing about this is that in a given tub one plant will seem to be quite healthy, while its partner, sitting in the *same* tub, is greatly suffering. The soil at the position of each plant tests to be identical. Moreover when I mix soil before flowering, I am *extremely* conscientious to avoid creating "hot spots" -- I mix and re-mix until the soil is very consistent. The fact that it not universally happening to all the plants, suggests to me that if this is a nutrition deficiency then it must be right "on the cusp" of causation -- tiny variations in something are cascading plants into a disease or healthy state.

    I've just been growing Purple Big Bud for 3 months, so I don't know if bottom-leaf-die-off is a property of this strain or whether it is part of the problem, but these plants are having a *huge" underleaf die-off. I'm used to seeing lower fan leaves starved for lights eventually fade out, but a hand-full of lower fan leaves are getting chlorotic and falling off each of these plants daily. See {pic 11}. This is all despite my massively "back-brush" (cutting off all but the best ~ 10 colas) so as to allow light and air penetration; I've tried intense and mellow back-brushing with no change in this die-off pattern.


    From staring at the pictures in Cervantes, I thought this most resembled a Potassium deficiency. I began feeding substantial amounts (1 Tablespoon/Gallon) of Earth Juice's "Meta K" to selective plants for a couple weeks, but didn't notice any difference. Then I tried foliar feeding with a seaweed that purports to contain micronutrients and Potassium; I still didn't notice any difference. This K-deficiency issue greatly puzzles me, because my leaves look more like descriptions I've seen of K deficiency than anything else, but I haven't been able to stop the problem by feeding with K.

    Then I thought that perhaps it was a pH issue (even though I test both soil and water every time I water or feed, and I am baffled how adjacent planta can have the same soil and the same pH, yet one is healthy while its neighbor is suffering). At any rate, I tried flushing with large quantities of water, then dilutely feeding. I didn't notice any difference.

    It doesn't look like a Nitrogen issue to me, nonetheless I tried giving selective plants more or less N. It didn't do anything to stop the problem.

    The leaves don't look Phosphorus-deprived to me, nor is growth at all stunted, so I don't think it's P.

    This also does not resemble a Magnesium problem to me, since the veins are yellow-then-brown. Whereas in a Mg deficiency the veins stay green while the inter-veinal regions become chlorotic. Nonetheless a friend I brought over to look at it said that perhaps it was a weird variant of a Mg-deficiency. So I foliar fed with Epsom salts, and watered with Epsom salts. I didn't notice any difference.

    So I am really, really baffled. What do you think?????

    I was only allowed 5 attachments, so two more messages containing the rest of my pics follow.

    In appreciation,

    Attached Files:

  2. DeepThought42

    DeepThought42 Registered

    My pics 6 - 10

    Thanks for working on this. Here's pics 6 - 10

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    • Like Like x 1
  3. DeepThought42

    DeepThought42 Registered

    Last pic

    Thanks again. Here's pic 11

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  4. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

    Looks like a Ca prob to me.
  5. killerweed420

    killerweed420 Registered+

    I'm no expert but these look like my big buds at the end of there growth cycle after about 10 weeks of flowering. Is it just the normal life cycle happening? They look like they ready to be flushed and harvested in about 2 weeks.
  6. DeepThought42

    DeepThought42 Registered


    rhizome wrote:
    "Looks like a Ca prob to me."

    rhizome, have you read of CA problems showing up as veins browning, and then spreading from there? If so, can you direct me where? What about my photo reminds you of a CA problem? Too much CA or too little? What sort of thing do you think might have caused this?


    killerweed420 wrote:
    "I'm no expert but these look like my big buds at the end of there growth cycle after about 10 weeks of flowering. Is it just the normal life cycle happening? They look like they ready to be flushed and harvested in about 2weeks."

    killerweed420, maybe you are referring to my pic 10. Yes, that is one of my Purple Big Buds that was *not* wrecked by this problem -- I was trying to show that it didn't ruin all my plants, and I agree that one photo shows a normal life cycle thing.
    But what I'm puzzled about is the ~40% of the plants that lose ~ 3/4th's of their leaves to this onslaught, and who's yield is less than one-half of their unaffected companions. They are not going through a normal cycle of life because I can see how bad they are doing compared to other same-age Purple Big Bud plants in the room.

    Any thoughts?

    Still perplexed,
  7. spongebobsmokepants

    spongebobsmokepants Registered+

    How do I find out what's wrong with my plant?
    To use the Problem-Solver, simply start at #1 below. When you think you've found the problem, read the Nutrients section to learn more about it. Diagnose carefully before making major changes.

    1) If the problem affects only the bottom or middle of the plant go to #2. b) If it affects only the top of the plant or the growing tips, skip to #10. If the problem seems to affect the entire plant equally, skip to #6.

    2) Leaves are a uniform yellow or light green; leaves die & drop; growth is slow. Leaf margins are not curled-up noticeably. >> Nitrogen(N) deficiency. b) If not, go to #3.

    3) Margins of the leaves are turned up, and the tips may be twisted. Leaves are yellowing (and may turn brown), but the veins remain somewhat green. >> Magnesium (Mg) deficiency. b) If not, go to #4.

    4) Leaves are browning or yellowing. Yellow, brown, or necrotic (dead) patches, especially around the edges of the leaf, which may be curled. Plant may be too tall. >> Potassium (K) deficiency. b) If not, keep reading.

    5) Leaves are dark green or red/purple. Stems and petioles may have purple & red on them. Leaves may turn yellow or curl under. Leaf may drop easily. Growth may be slow and leaves may be small. >> Phosphorus(P) deficiency. b) If not, go to #6.

    6) Tips of leaves are yellow, brown, or dead. Plant otherwise looks healthy & green. Stems may be soft >> Over-fertilization (especially N), over-watering, damaged roots, or insufficient soil aeration (use more sand or perlite. Occasionally due to not enough N, P, or K. b) If not, go to #7.

    7) Leaves are curled under like a ram's horn, and are dark green, gray, brown, or gold. >> Over-fertilization (too much N). b) If not, go to #8…

    8) The plant is wilted, even though the soil is moist. >> Over-fertilization, soggy soil, damaged roots, disease; copper deficiency (very unlikely). b) If not, go to #9.

    9) Plants won't flower, even though they get 12 hours of darkness for over 2 weeks. >> The night period is not completely dark. Too much nitrogen. Too much pruning or cloning. b) If not, go to #10...

    10) Leaves are yellow or white, but the veins are mostly green. >> Iron (Fe) deficiency. b) If not, go to #11.

    11) Leaves are light green or yellow beginning at the base, while the leaf margins remain green. Necrotic spots may be between veins. Leaves are not twisted. >> Manganese (Mn) deficiency. b) If not, #12.

    12) Leaves are twisted. Otherwise, pretty much like #11. >> Zinc (Zn) deficiency. b) If not, #13.

    13) Leaves twist, then turn brown or die. >> The lights are too close to the plant. Rarely, a Calcium (Ca) or Boron (B) deficiency. b) If not… You may just have a weak plant.
  8. spongebobsmokepants

    spongebobsmokepants Registered+

    Many hydroponic gardeners see this problem. It's the beginning of nutrient burn. It indicates that the plants have all the nutrients they can possibly use, and there's a slight excess. Back off the concentration of the nutrient solution just a touch, and the problem should disappear. Note that if the plants never get any worse than this leaf (figure 3), then the plants are probably just fine. Figure 4 is definitely an over-fert problem. The high level of nutrients accumulates in the leaves and causes them to dry out and burn up as shown here. You must flush with clear, clean water immediately to allow the roots to recover, and prevent further damage. Now find the cause of the high nutrient levels.

    Figure 3 (left) and Figure 4 (right)

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  9. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

    Coir has some odd calcium uptake properties- It'll bind Ca molecules until it reaches saturation. Coco specific nutes just allow for this in their ratios, or utilize a " buffering agent" that saturates the coir w/ Ca prior to planting.

    Because the media skews the available Ca to Mg ratios, you start seeing odd micro def/toxicity issues.

    Not something I've read- something I've seen, in other gardens using CocoGro. I think that you just have some cultivars which are more sensitive.

    I don't think that you have a general overfert going on- Your leaf tips don't have the characteristic burn.

    Anyway, google " calcium cation coco coir" and " blossom end rot" to get some info/ pics of what I'm talking about.

    Also, it's important to never let coir completely dry out, as this can cause weird lockouts.

    Anyway- my $.02US
  10. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I'm glad you gave the currency so we can determine the 'true' value of those two cents as compared to say someone's tuppence...
  11. DeepThought42

    DeepThought42 Registered

    hey rhizome

    Thanks so much for your post -- I followed your googling suggestions and I learned a great deal that I didn't know before. There are so many details to be learned about caring for this amazing plant.

    Even though Coco is only 10% - 20% of my soil mixture, let's say that coco's properties are indeed causing my problems, e.g. grabbing or releasing Calcium as the pH varies. What can I do to remedy things for the plants that have just started flowering, or that are half-way through flowering? Do you think I should switch to a coco-specific nute program only, even though coco is such a small % of what my plants are sitting in?

    Right now I have plants that are one month, 5 weeks, and 7 weeks from harvest.

    thanks so much,

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