Why Are My Cannabis Leaves Twisting Sideways and Curling?

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Marijuana leaves twisting or curling sideways is one of the many issues that a cannabis grower might face. And, like many other cannabis deficiencies, it is challenging to identify why your marijuana plant is doing that.

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    The goal of This Article

    In cannabis, like with almost everything in life, you cannot fix a problem until you know the reason. As a result, the goal of this post is to help you determine why your marijuana plant leaves might be twisting or curling sideways. Then after you find the reason for the deformed leaves, you’ll be better able to fix it.

    This article will not be in-depth in telling you how to fix this problem. It will, though, when available, refer you to Ganja Shark’s articles and/or refer you to other resources.

    First, Things, First-Is it a Problem?

    It may not look pretty, but sideways twisted cannabis leaves might not be a problem. The reason for the distorted leaves might be because of several issues that do not affect your bud’s quality. For example, it could be something as simple as plant genetics. So, do not assume that weird-looking leaves mean that something is automatically wrong.

    So, before anything, you must first determine whether there is actually a problem happening. Below are signs that might indicate that you are not having a problem.

    Vegetative Growth Stage

    If your leaves are otherwise delicate during the vegetative growth phase, i.e., correct color, no yellow at the leaves tips, etc., you likely do not have a problem.

    Flowering Growth Stage

    If the leaves and buds look healthy, there is likely not a problem despite it having twisted leaves there.

    When There Is A Problem With Twisting or Curling Leaves

    Twisted leaves are almost always be accompanied by other issues like yellow spots or discolored leaf tips. Also, as one gardener’s twisted leaves might be another man’s curling leaves, it can be hard to distinguish whether your leaves are twisting or curling.

    I would not worry too much about this though, because as long as there is a problem, the only thing that matters is fixing that problem and getting your plants back on the right track. Therefore, curling and twisting will be considered the same for this article.

    Multiple Reasons For Your Cannabis Plant Having Twisty Leaves

    One issue with gardening, and frankly in life in general, is that specific problems might be caused by several issues, making it difficult to pinpoint the reason for problems like twisty leaves and leaf curl.

    This article’s goal is to help you get on the right path in finding out why your cannabis plant has twisty, curly and leaves that look like crap.

    Main Reasons for Your Cannabis Leaves Twisting SideWays

    Below are a few common reasons why your leaves might curl or twist sideways:

    • Nutrient Problems -This includes everything from a nutrient deficiency to a nutrient burn.
    • Plant Diseases-I.E., Root Rot
    • PH -Water or soil PH, at the wrong levels, can make it or break when it comes to cannabis cultivation.
    • Over or Underwattering– Something as simple as giving your plants too little or too much water can be devastating.
    • Pests -Pests such as fungus gnats and broad mites can all cause your plant leaves to twist outwards.

    Plant Diseases

    Diseases like cannabis root rot can cause curled, droopy, and overall sickly leaves. Click here for an overview of identifying and curing plant diseases.

    Nutrient Problems

    A cannabis nutrient deficiency is caused by either a nutrient lockout, nutrient deficiency, or a nutrient burn. Each of these will be examined further below.

    Nutrient Lock Out

    Nutrient lockout happens when plants are unable to absorb the nutrients from their growing medium.

    How Can You Detect Nutrient Lockout

    Plants affected with nutrient lockout will be:

    Sickly Looking -They have an overall weak and limp appearance.

    Discolored Leaves-Instead of green, the leaves will be yellow-like or curling.

    Stunted Growth– Your plants aren’t growing as they should be.

    Why Does Nutrient Lockout Happen?

    Discovering why you have nutrient lockout can be a bit tricky as there are several reasons.

    Too Many Nutrients

    It seems counterintuitive. But, giving your plants too many nutrients can cause a nutrient lock. This will most likely happen when you overdo it with fast-acting synthetic fertilizers that are loaded with salt.

    Soil PH (Soil Acidity Level)

    The wrong PH might cause a nutrient lockout. So, it should go without saying that cannabis growers should frequently check the soil PH. If your soil PH is below 5.5 or above 7 the issue is likely nutrient lockout.

    On the other hand, If the PH is at 5.5 to 7 or between, you might be overwatering your plants. Additionally, if the PH is at 5.5 to 7 or between, “NUTRIENT BURN” may be occurring.

    Nutrient Deficiency

    A cannabis nutrient deficiency happens with either macro or micronutrients. Macronutrients are the three nutrients, potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen that plants need the most. Of these three, a potassium deficiency is a significant reason for leaves twisting sideways.

    Micro Nutrients are sometimes classified as secondary nutrients. However, all you need to know is that these nutrients are needed for your plants.

    Potassium Deficiency

    How Do Pottasium Deficient Leaves Look?

    A cannabis leaf with too little potassium has the following signs:

    • Brown

    • Yellow leaf tips

    • Yellow edges

    • Curled stretched leaves

    Nitrogen Deficiency

    A nitrogen-deficient marijuana plant exhibits some of the following symptoms:

    • Early stages– Older leaves toward the plant base will tend to be lighter in color and yellowish.
    • Later Stages-The plant will continue to turn yellow, and the leaf also may feature brown spots. Severe problems will cause leaves to curl and eventually drop.

    Don’t Go Overboard-Too much nitrogen or nitrogen toxicity can also be deadly to your plants.

    Secondary or Micro Nutrient Deficiency

    Secondary nutrients are sometimes mistakenly called micro-nutrients. Frankly, It doesn’t matter how you classify them. It does matter, though if you can discover and remedy a secondary nutrient deficiency. A calcium and magnesium deficiency are the two common secondary nutrient deficiencies that occur.

    Of these three, calcium deficiency and sometimes zinc deficiency are the ones that resemble twisting leaves. A calcium deficient marijuana leaf will have curled leaf tips. With a zinc deficiency, you’ll have deformed leaves that are often accompanied by interveinal chlorosis. (Yellow leaves accompanied with dark green veins)

    Nutrient Burn-Too Much Of a Good Thing

    A Sever Case Of Nutrient Burn

    Nutrient Burn AKA Fertilizer Burn happens when a plant is over-fertilized. It can happen in both soil and hydroponic gardening. It is specifically caused when a plant’s roots take in an unhealthy amount of nutrients from the soil.

    Signs

    Color -Yellow or brown color appearing and moving backward on the leaf’s perimeter.

    Halo-A yellow halo that separates decaying leaf tissue from healthy plant tissue.

    Deformed-The leaf’s edges are curling and/or twisting.

    How To Fix This Problem?

    This article by Leafly is an excellent start in learning how to deal with all cannabis nutrient deficiencies.

    PH Problems (Soil and Coco Coir)

    PH is too high or low can cause all types of cannabis deficiencies and not just twisted cannabis leaves. So, it is imperative to check the soil or other growing mediums PH.

    The following are the recommended PH readings for soil and coco coir plant mediums.

    Soil

    The Hydroponic City FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake

    5.8 to 6.2

    Coco Coir

    The PH level in Coco Coir should be between 5.5 to 6.3. However, the optimum PH level, depending upon the growth stage, should change.

    • Vegetative-5.5 to 5.8
    • Flower-6.0 to 6.3

    Hydroponics-Water

    The ideal water Ph is between 5.8 to 6.0. However, between 5.5 to 6.5 is acceptable.

    How To Raise Or Lower The Growing Medium PH

    The following article should help get you on the right track in fixing any soil PH problems.

    Over or Under Watering Your Plant

    Over and under watering your plants can cause your plants to curl upwards and occasionally twist to the side.

    How Can You Fix It?

    You first should check and see if your moisture is at the correct levels via a moisture meter. You might want to consider a combo soil PH and moisture meter also, like the one below.

    RCYAGO Soil pH Meter & Moisture Meter, 2-in 1 Gardening Tool Kits, 300mm Long Electrode, Suitable for Garden Planting, Lawn Maintenance, Vegetable Production, Indoor and Outdoor Planting

    Over Watering

    First, stop watering until the top few inches of the topsoil are dry. Afterward, start watering again and then check the moisture.

    Under Watering

    For underwatering, you need to, of course, water your plants more. Again, you do this by making sure that the soil moisture level is at the correct levels and then reacting accordingly.

    Pests

    Insect infestation is also a reason for your weed plant having twisted leaves. Three insects that can cause this are broad mites, hemp russet mites, and fungus gnats.

    Mites

    The Dreaded Spider Mite

    They usually appear under a leaf and can barely be seen under the naked eye. Cannabis growers will likely know about the dreaded spider mites. However, many other species of mites can cause havoc in your garden, which are the broad mite and hemp russet mites.

    Below are a few articles that can help you control these pests.

    Hemp Russet Mites

    Mite Eggs

    A hemp russet mite is smaller than a spider mite, and they live on a plant’s surface and feed on its cellular fluids. So, it is recommended that you purchase a magnifying glass or a jewelry loupe, set at 30X or larger, to see these pests.

    How To Recognize Hemp Russet Mite Damage

    These mites are microscopic. As a result, in the early stages of infestation, it might be too early to see any damage. One common sign though is that the leaf will exhibit a slight leaf curl around its edges.

    Broad Mite

    Broad Mite Damaged Pepper Plant

    A broad mite is not as well known as a spider mite, as it can only be seen via 60X magnification. Otherwise, a broad mite infestation can only be recognized by their eggs.

    How To Recognize Broad Mite Damage

    Damage comes in two stages:

    1. Stippling -Stippling is a fancy term for a grouped-together, tiny, yellow dot pattern, which appears on the undersides of the fan leaf.

    2 . Might Be Too late-If the above damage is either ignored or not discovered, older leaves will change color from yellow to gray, and newer leaves will come out being twisted.

    Fungus Gnats

    The Fungus Gnat

    The fungus gnats are small flies at around two millimeters. These gnats thrive under wet conditions, which means they are likely to appear if you overwater your plants. They do not eat the plant. However, their larvae, which show up in the topsoil, will eventually damage the plant’s roots.

    Signs Of the Fungus Gnat Infestation

    Fungus gnat affected leaves will look sickly and also curl. However, a leaf-infested plant mimics other problems like overwatering, soil PH, and various other nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, the best way to find out if you have a fungus gnat infestation is to examine the topsoil for small, wiggly dots, which are fungus gnat’s larvae.

    How To Eliminate a Mite Infestation

    Here is a good resource for killing the Hemp Russet Mite and broad mite.

    Grow Light Damage

    The improper placement and application of your grow lights also can cause your leaves to twist.

    Final Thoughts

    cannabis grower. One of the main points you should learn from this article is there can be many reasons for the above issues. So, be sure to do your homework before you attempt to remedy these and other issues, and once you’ve found the problem, do not delay trying to fix it.

    Hemp Russet Mites

    A hemp russet mite is smaller than a spider mite. So, it is recommended that you purchase a magnifying glass or a jewelry loupe to see them and set it at 30X or larger. They live on a plant’s surface and feed on its cellular fluids.

    How To Recognize Hemp Russet Mite Damage

    These mites are very small. As a result, in the early stages of infestation, there aren’t any visible signs of plant damage. One common sign that is not consistent is that the leaf will exhibit a slight leaf curl around its edges.

    Broad Mite

    A broad mite is not as well known as a spider mite. However, they can only be seen via 60X magnification. Otherwise, a broad mite infestation can only be recognized by their eggs.

    How To Recognize Broad Mite Damage

    Damage comes in two stages:

    1. Stippling-Stippling is a fancy term for a grouped-together, tiny, yellow dot pattern, which appears on the undersides of the fan leaf.

    2. Might Be Too late-If the above damage is either ignored or not discovered, older leaves will change color from yellow to gray, and newer leaves will come out being twisted.

    How To Eliminate a Mite Infestation

    Here, is a good resource for killing the Hemp Russet Mite, and broad mite.

    Fungus Gnats

    The fungus gnats are small flies at around two millimeters. These gnats thrive under wet conditions, which means they are likely to appear if you overwater your plants. They do not eat the plant. However, their larvae, which show up in the topsoil, will eventually damage the plant’s roots.

    Signs Of the Fungus Gnat Infestation

    Magnified View of Fungus Gnat Larvae

    Fungus gnats affected leaves will look sickly and also curl. However, a leaf-infested plant mimics other problems like overwatering, soil PH, and various other nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, the best way to find out if you are having a fungus gnat problem is to examine the topsoil for small, wiggly dots, which are fungus gnat’s larvae.

    Final Thoughts

    Curling leaves, twisted leaves, yellow-tipped leaves are just a few problems facing a cannabis grower. This article will help you pinpoint the reasons for many of these issues. But, one of the main points you should learn from this article is there can be many reasons for the above issues. So, be sure to do your homework before you attempt to remedy these and other issues, and once you’ve found the problem, do not delay in trying to fix it.

     


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