Common Causes of Ailing Plants
Signs a plant is faltering include such symptoms as yellowing, spots, curling, wilting, holes, and more. When their distress is recognized early, many sickly plants are readily revived and put on the path to success. Successful growers pay close attention to their plants, examining them daily. Each one of these symptoms is apt to have multiple causes. It is up to the grower to scrutinize their plants and growing environment to determine what might be troubling their plants. The following are all issues within the grower’s control that affect popular strains of medicinal plants every day.
What are the ideal conditions for a medicinal plant?
These are the main variables to look at when growing healthy medicinal plants, which can have the added benefit of reviving a sick plant.
For cuttings and seedlings, 68 – 77℉ (20 – 25℃). For flowering plants, up to 83℉ (approx 28℃) and no lower than 64℉ (approx 18℃, usually night time temperatures) is ideal.
During the vegetative stage, a relative humidity of between 40% and 70% is ideal. During the flowering stage, you will want to reduce the humidity in order to prevent bud rot, so the ideal relative humidity is between 40% and 50%.
For medicinal plants in the vegetative stage, up to 18 hours of light per day at a wattage of around 125 watts is ideal. During the flowering stage, higher wattages are needed, with many people starting at around 400 – 600 watts. The higher the wattage, the higher the yields.
However, a plant that is working extra hard is more susceptible to deficiencies and other problems, and light can create heat as well. This means it is important to keep your plant at a reasonable distance away from your light source as well as to cool the plant down or shade it if the grow room or area is getting stressed from too much light and/or heat.
Soil for medicinal plants should be slightly acidic and have a pH of 6.5. Soil has plenty of nutrients, so you do not need to top it up too much, making it a simple and approachable growing medium. However, due to dirt and the potential of pests, some opt for a medium like coco coir and add their own nutrients. However, you still have to look out for fungus and fungus gnats. Coco coir also makes for an excellent mulch for soil, adding nutrients back into your growing medium.
Keeping pests away from your medicinal crop
We would recommend avoiding pesticides wherever possible, and encourage natural methods of pest control. Ladybugs, frogs, slow worms and other natural predators can get rid of ants, aphids and many other common pests. Strategically-placed adhesives strips can also help treat pests like leaf miners and white flies. Nets and barriers can prevent many birds and mammals from ruining your crops. Scarecrows and other distractions can also help!
Natural and gentler insecticides such as neem oil, spinosad (an insecticide based on chemical compounds found in the bacterial species Saccharopolyspora spinosa), castor oil, garlic- and pepper-infused water, potassium soap, and alcohol-water mixtures will get rid of most bugs that tend to attack medicinal plants, like red spider mites, cochineals and thrips.
Practising crop rotation is generally good practise for the health of your garden, and has the added advantage of ensuring pests don’t colonize particular areas and get used to a food source (i.e. your medicinal plants) being readily available.
One’s first crop’s success is apt to be contingent upon the grower’s observational skills. A grower who takes the time to learn everything possible about healthy plants’ characteristics, what the preferences are of the strain they have chosen to grow, and how to remedy any signs of distress that the plants display is a grower on the road to success. Take the time to plan out all the small details of your crop, from the strains chosen, to its location, ventilation, lighting, and all the rest, be attentive to your plants’ needs as they grow, and it is more than possible that the very first grow will yield an exceptional harvest.
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- ECO Farm ECOX light uses full-spectrum white samsung 301B diodes, 660nm deep red diodes, 730nm IR diodes, 395nm UV diodes, which provides desired needs for plants seedling to harvest growth with full spectrum led grow lights and provides better light-spectrum coverage, maximum PAR output at various distances.
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