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Grow Q&A: Why Are The Leaves Wilting On My Pot Plant?

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Dear Dan,
I’m growing in soil indoors and it’s about the 5th week of flowering. Suddenly, the leaves started to wilt and curl on all my plants and look like claws hanging down downwards. They’re also turning yellow and growth is at a standstill. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it? 
– Mitch in Michigan 

Dear Mitch,

That’s not much information for a true diagnosis, but it sounds to me like you are over-watering your plants. Keeping a plant’s roots too soaked will cause leaves to wilt and sag in the way you describe. Over-watering can also result in the yellowing you report, as it inherently creates deficiencies due to the fact that nutrients, such as nitrogen, leach out making them unavailable to roots.

The simple solution is to water your plants less often. Try letting your medium become almost dry between feedings and learn to gauge when they need more by picking up the container and judging by the weight. They are heaviest right after watering and should feel much lighter when they need more fluids. Check the pH of the water you add as well. If it’s too high or low, it can cause nutrient lockout no matter how much water you’re using.

Sometimes sticking to routines such as watering every other day can get growers into trouble. Instead, learn to anticipate your plants needs and act accordingly. Poke a finger into the top of the soil. If it’s moist, let it be. If dry, apply water or nutrient solution. A simple and cheap moisture meter can also take all the guesswork out of the equation.

Don’t miss our previous Grow Q&A: My Pot Plants Are Hermaphrodites! Now What?

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