Signs of Under-Watering Cannabis

As a cannabis grower, you’re always trying to achieve the perfect balance to maximize your yield. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what your plants need. One common issue that growers face is under-watering their cannabis, which can have detrimental effects on the health and growth of your plants. In this article, we’ll highlight the signs of under-watering your cannabis and provide tips on how to identify and address the issue. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, understanding the symptoms of under-watering can be the key to a successful cannabis harvest.

Signs of Under-Watering Cannabis


Signs Of Under-Watering Cannabis
One of the biggest concerns of cannabis growers is maintaining the proper moisture levels in their plants. Under-watering cannabis can be just as damaging as over-watering, and it’s important for growers to know how to identify the signs of under-watering. Without adequate hydration, cannabis plants can experience a range of problems that can jeopardize their growth and yield. In this section, we’ll explore the various signs that indicate a cannabis plant is not receiving enough water, so you can take action before it’s too late.

1. Wilting Leaves and Drooping Stems

One of the most noticeable signs of under-watering in cannabis plants is wilting leaves and drooping stems. When a cannabis plant is lacking in water, it will start to lose turgor pressure, which is what gives the leaves and stems their rigidity.

Here are some ways to identify if your cannabis plant is suffering from wilting leaves and drooping stems due to under-watering:

  • Leaves that are drooping or curling: When a cannabis plant is under-watered, its leaves will start to droop or curl inwards in an attempt to conserve water.
  • Stems that are drooping or leaning to one side: A lack of water in the soil can cause the stems of the cannabis plant to droop or lean to one side, as they cannot maintain their upright position.
  • Leaves that are turning yellow or brown: As the plant starts to wilt, the leaves may start to turn yellow or brown, as the lack of water is causing the plant’s cells to die.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to the plant. Under-watering can quickly lead to severe stress or even death of the cannabis plant.

In the next section of this article, we’ll discuss some ways to identify if your cannabis plant is under-watered and steps you can take to address the issue.

2. Dry and Crisp Leaves

Dry and crisp leaves is another sign of under-watering in cannabis plants. It is essential to understand that dehydration of the leaves can lead to their drying and becoming crispy, ultimately causing harm to the plant. Here are some characteristics you would notice on the leaves if they are dry or crisp:

  • Brittle texture: When you touch the leaves, they feel brittle, which means that the tissues have been completely dehydrated.
  • Curled up leaves: The leaves start to curl up, making them firm and crispy. This is again an indication that the plant is thirsty and needs a proper watering schedule to recover from under-watering.
  • Brown tips and edges: Another sign you can notice is the brown tips and edges of the leaves, caused due to dehydration or lack of moisture. It can gradually spread throughout the entire leaf, leading to plant death, if not paid attention to.
  • Leaf drop: If the dehydration of cannabis plants is not treated on time, the leaves will start dropping off the plant, and eventually, it will die.

It is essential to identify these signs and take necessary actions to avoid under-watering the cannabis plants. In the next section, we will discuss how to identify under-watered cannabis plants.

3. Yellowing Leaves

One of the common signs of under-watered cannabis plants is yellowing leaves. This can be caused by a lack of nutrients due to dry soil, as well as the plant’s inability to absorb nutrients without water. When the leaves turn yellow, it indicates that there is a problem with the plant’s ability to photosynthesize properly.

To better understand this issue, it’s important to consider the role of nutrients in plant growth. Nutrients help to maintain the overall health of the plant, making it stronger and better able to resist stress. When a cannabis plant is under-watered, however, it lacks nutrients because the roots are unable to absorb them. This can lead to yellowing leaves because the plant is unable to produce enough chlorophyll – the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis – which results in the yellowing of leaves.

So, if you notice that your cannabis plant’s leaves have turned yellow, it’s a sign that you need to take action to address the problem as soon as possible. To help you better diagnose this issue, refer to the table below which summarizes the symptoms, causes and solutions of this problem.

Symptoms: Yellowing of leaves, starting from the bottom of the plant
Causes: Dry soil due to under-watering
Solutions: Water the plant more frequently and monitor soil moisture levels, ensure adequate drainage, increase humidity levels around the plant, ensure proper nutrient balance

Remember, yellowing leaves can be an early sign of under-watering, but they can also be a sign of a range of other problems such as nutrient deficiency, pests, diseases, or overwatering. It’s essential to carefully evaluate your plant’s condition and take appropriate steps to address any issues.

4. Slow Growth and Small Leaves

When cannabis plants are not receiving enough water, they may display slow growth and have small leaves. This is because water is an essential component for photosynthesis, the process by which plants create energy. When there’s not enough water for the plant, it cannot carry out photosynthesis efficiently, leading to stunted growth and smaller leaves.

In addition to this, under-watered cannabis plants will often have leaves that feel dry to the touch, crumble easily or have very brittle stems. These signs indicate that the plant is not getting enough hydration, and if left unaddressed, can ultimately lead to the plant’s demise.

If you notice your cannabis plant exhibiting these signs, it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible. Over time, an under-watered cannabis plant will become less and less productive, and you may end up with a plant that produces no usable flower at all.

Some of the steps you can take to revitalize an under-watered cannabis plant include:

  • Checking the soil for dryness
  • Lifting the pot to gauge its weight
  • Examining the leaves for signs of dehydration

By paying attention to the signs and symptoms of under-watered cannabis, you can help your plant thrive and produce a healthy crop.

How to Identify Under-Watered Cannabis

How To Identify Under-Watered Cannabis
Now that you understand the signs of under-watering in your cannabis plants, it’s important to know how to properly identify when your plants are experiencing this issue. Whether you’re a seasoned grower or a beginner, it can be difficult to determine the cause of wilting or yellowing leaves, as there are many factors that can contribute to these symptoms. However, by utilizing a few key methods, you can accurately diagnose under-watering in your cannabis plants and take steps to resolve the issue. Let’s explore some of the ways you can identify if your cannabis plants are suffering from under-watering.

1. Check the Soil

One way to identify under-watered cannabis is by examining the soil. It is important to understand that under-watering and overwatering can have similar symptoms, so it is crucial to also check other indicators before taking action.

Step 1: Before watering, check the soil moisture level by sticking a finger about an inch deep into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it may be a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.

Step 2: Another method to check soil hydration is by using a moisture meter. These devices can provide a more accurate reading of the soil moisture levels and are useful in determining whether or not the plant needs watering.

Step 3: Look for cracks on the soil’s surface. If the soil is too dry, it may contract and crack. This is a clear sign that the plant needs more water.

Step 4: Pay attention to the weight of the pot. If the pot feels light, it may indicate that the plant needs watering.


|Step 1|Checking the soil moisture level by sticking a finger about an inch deep into the soil|
|Step 2|Using a moisture meter to accurately read soil moisture levels|
|Step 3|Looking for cracks on the soil’s surface|
|Step 4|Paying attention to the weight of the pot|

2. Lift the Pot

Another way to check if your cannabis plants are under-watered is by lifting the pot. This can help you identify if the soil has become too dry or the roots are not receiving enough water. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Find a moment when you haven’t watered your plant in a day or two.
  2. Pick up the pot with both hands, one hand on each side.
  3. Notice the weight of the pot. If it feels light, it is likely that the soil is dry and the plant needs water.
  4. If the pot feels heavy, it is likely the soil still has moisture and the plant does not need water yet.

It’s important to note that the weight of the pot will depend on the size of the pot and the amount of soil and water. But, if you have a general idea of how heavy the pot should be when properly watered, it can give you a good indication of whether or not your plant is under-watered.

Soil that is too dry can affect the health of the plant, leading to slow growth and small leaves. If you notice these symptoms, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.

3. Check the Leaves

To identify under-watered cannabis, it is important to closely examine the leaves of the plant. Checking the leaves is crucial, as they are often the first indicators that a plant is not getting enough water.

One of the most common signs of under-watering is dry and crisp leaves. The leaves may even be brittle to the touch and break easily. Another sign to look out for is yellowing leaves. The leaves will turn yellow from the tips down toward the stem, and in severe cases, the leaves may even fall off the plant.

In addition to yellowing leaves, under-watered cannabis plants may also display slow growth and small leaves. Without enough water, the plant will not be able to grow to its full potential, and the leaves may be stunted in size.

On the other hand, if the soil is too wet, the leaves may become soft and droopy. This can be easily confused with over-watering, so it is important to check the soil moisture and rule that out as a possibility.

To check the leaves for signs of under-watering, closely inspect the foliage for any of these indicators. It is important to act quickly if any signs are detected, as under-watering can quickly lead to irreversible damage to the plant.

Addressing Under-Watering

Now that you have identified the signs of under-watering in your cannabis plants, it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible. Neglecting to do so can result in stunted growth or even the death of your beloved plant. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to restore your plant’s health and prevent further damage. In this next section, we’ll cover some effective strategies for addressing under-watering and ensuring your cannabis plant thrives. So, let’s dive in and explore the solutions to this issue!

1. Watering Properly

Proper watering is crucial for the growth and health of your cannabis plant. To ensure that your plant is getting the correct amount of water, follow these tips:

  • Water deeply: When you do water your plant, make sure the water reaches the roots of the plant. Watering deeply encourages healthy root growth and helps the plant to better absorb nutrients.
  • Water less frequently: Instead of watering your plant every day, try watering it every few days. This allows the soil to dry out slightly before the next watering, which helps prevent over-watering.
  • Use the right amount of water: The amount of water your plant needs will depend on its size, stage of growth, and environment. As a general rule, you should water your plant until water begins to drain from the bottom of the pot, but avoid leaving it sitting in standing water.
  • Consider the temperature and humidity: Hot and dry environments will cause your plant to lose water more quickly, so you may need to water more frequently. Conversely, if your environment is cool and humid, your plant may require less water.
  • Check the soil moisture: Use your finger to check the moisture level of the soil. If it feels dry an inch down, then it’s time to water. If it still feels damp, wait a day or two before checking again.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you are watering your cannabis plant properly and preventing under-watering. Remember, consistent and proper watering will lead to healthy growth and ultimately a successful harvest.

2. Fix Soil Problems

One of the reasons why cannabis plants may be under-watered is because of soil problems. In order to address this issue, it is important to identify the specific soil problem in question. The following table outlines some common soil problems and ways to fix them:

Soil Problem Solution
Compacted Soil Loosen the soil by digging or aerating. This will help water penetrate the soil more easily and reach the roots.
Poor Drainage Improve drainage by adding perlite, sand or vermiculite. This will allow the excess water to flow out of the soil easily and prevent root rot.
Low Nutrient Levels Add compost or fertilizer to the soil to increase nutrient levels. This will help the plant grow healthy and strong.
High Salinity Flush the soil with plain water to remove excess salts. This will prevent salt build-up, which can damage the roots and prevent water absorption.

By addressing soil problems, you can help prevent under-watering and ensure that your cannabis plants are healthy and thriving. It is important to regularly check the soil and address any issues as soon as they arise to prevent further damage. In addition to fixing soil problems, it is also important to properly water your plants and provide them with the appropriate nutrients for optimal growth.

3. Add Nutrients

Adding nutrients to under-watered cannabis plants can help to restore their health and promote growth. However, it is important to be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause further damage to the plants. Here are some key steps to follow when adding nutrients:

  • Choose the Right Nutrients: Look for a balanced fertilizer specifically designed for cannabis plants. The fertilizer should contain a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as essential micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron.
  • Follow the Instructions: Consult the instructions on the fertilizer packaging to determine how much to use and how often to apply it. Over-fertilizing can cause nutrient burn and other problems, so be sure to stick to the recommended dosage.
  • Apply the Nutrients Correctly: There are different ways to apply fertilizer, including mixing it into the soil or adding it to the water you use to water your plants. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging to ensure that you are applying it correctly.
  • Monitor the Plants: Keep an eye on your plants after adding nutrients to make sure they are responding well. If you notice any further signs of nutrient deficiency or over-fertilization, adjust your watering and fertilizing practices accordingly.

By taking these steps and adding the right nutrients in the right amounts, you can help your under-watered cannabis plants to bounce back and thrive.


After reading this article, it should be clear that under-watering cannabis can cause significant harm to the plant, affecting its growth and yield. It’s important for growers to learn how to identify the signs of under-watering and take appropriate measures to address the problem.

The most common signs of under-watered cannabis include wilting leaves and drooping stems, dry and crisp leaves, yellowing leaves, slow growth, and small leaves. If you suspect that your plant is under-watered, you can check the soil, lift the pot to feel its weight, and examine the leaves to confirm your suspicion.

To address under-watering, you need to develop a watering schedule that works for your plant, fix any soil issues, and add nutrients as needed. With proper care, your cannabis plants can thrive and produce a good yield. Remember that cannabis needs water to transport nutrients and grow, so it’s crucial to keep the soil moist without over-watering.

In conclusion, under-watering is a common issue that many cannabis growers face. Being able to recognize the signs of under-watered cannabis and address the problem is key to successful cultivation. By following the tips in this article, you can keep your plants healthy and flourishing. Remember to monitor your plants closely and adjust your watering practices as needed to ensure the best possible results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is under-watering?

Under-watering is when a plant doesn’t receive enough water to survive and thrive.

What are the signs of under-watering cannabis?

Signs of under-watering cannabis include wilting leaves and drooping stems, dry and crisp leaves, yellowing leaves, and slow growth with small leaves.

What causes under-watering?

Under-watering can be caused by infrequent watering, not enough water in each watering, poor soil quality, or issues with drainage.

How can you check if your cannabis plant is under-watered?

You can check if your cannabis plant is under-watered by examining the soil, lifting the pot to check the weight, and looking for signs of wilting, dryness, and yellowing in the leaves.

How often do I need to water my cannabis plants?

The frequency of watering cannabis plants depends on the growing medium and the size of the plant. Generally, when the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water.

Can over-watering cause similar symptoms to under-watering?

Yes, over-watering can cause similar symptoms to under-watering, such as wilting leaves and slow growth. This is because over-watering can lead to root rot, which prevents the plant’s roots from absorbing water and nutrients effectively.

Why is it important to address under-watering as soon as possible?

It’s important to address under-watering as soon as possible because it can lead to stunted growth, reduced yield, and even death of the plant.

What is the best way to water cannabis plants?

The best way to water cannabis plants is to water deeply and allow excess water to drain out of the pot. Make sure the soil is evenly moist, not soaked or dry.

What should I do if I’ve been under-watering my cannabis plant?

If you’ve been under-watering your cannabis plant, start by watering it deeply and consistently, allowing excess water to drain away. Check the soil for dryness regularly and adjust watering frequency as needed.

Can adding too much fertilizer cause under-watering?

Yes, adding too much fertilizer can cause under-watering by increasing the plant’s water needs and drying out the soil more quickly. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage and frequency of fertilizer application.


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