Signs and Symptoms of Under-Watering Cannabis Plants and How to Fix It

The cultivation of cannabis plants can be a daunting task, particularly for new growers who may not be familiar with the nuances involved in caring for these plants. One common issue that arises in growing cannabis is under-watering, where the plant does not receive an adequate amount of water. This can have negative effects on the plant’s growth and overall health. In this article, we will explore the signs and symptoms of under-watering cannabis plants, how to identify the problem, and steps that can be taken to address it. So, if you have been perplexed by your under-watered cannabis plants, keep reading to learn more.

Signs and Symptoms of Under-Watering Cannabis Plants


Signs And Symptoms Of Under-Watering Cannabis Plants
As a cannabis grower, it can be frustrating to watch your plants wither and die due to under-watering. However, it can be difficult to determine whether your plants are suffering from this particular issue. Dry soil and pot, leaves drooping and curling, and yellowing and wilting of leaves are all signs that your cannabis plants may be under-watered. By learning to recognize these symptoms, you can take the necessary steps to revive your plants and prevent further damage.

Dry Soil and Pot

One of the signs that your cannabis plant is under-watered is dry soil and pot. Dryness in the soil is usually the first indication that there isn’t enough water for the plant. The soil will become hard and compact, and the surface of the soil will usually pull away from the sides of the pot. This can make it difficult for the plant to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

To check for dryness, stick your finger a few inches into the soil. If it feels completely dry, it’s time to water the plant. In addition to the soil, the pot itself may also feel dry to the touch. This is because the water in the soil evaporates, and the pot absorbs some of the moisture as well. A dry pot and soil can also lead to mineral buildup, which can affect the health of the plant.

To fix this problem, it’s important to water your plant properly and consistently. Using the proper amount of water is key to keeping the soil and pot hydrated. However, it’s also important to ensure that the water is draining properly, so that you don’t end up with an over-watered plant.

Leaves Drooping and Curling

When a cannabis plant is under-watered, one of the most common signs is drooping and curling of the leaves. This can be confusing for beginners who may mistake it for a sign of over-watering. However, it is important to understand that under-watering can cause irreversible damage to the plant if not addressed promptly.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves are a clear indication that the plant is not getting enough water. The lack of water causes the leaves to lose their turgidity, making them look wilted and lifeless. The drooping usually starts at the tips of the leaves and gradually spreads to the entire leaf.

Curling Leaves

Curling of the leaves is another sign of under-watering. The leaves curl inwards, and the edges may become crispy and turn brown. This happens because the plant tries to conserve water by reducing the surface area of the leaves that are exposed to the air. The curling may be more evident in younger leaves since they are more fragile and sensitive to changes in the environment.

To further understand the signs of drooping and curling leaves, refer to the following table:

Leaf Symptom Description
Drooping Leaves The tips of the leaves start drooping and gradually spreads to the entire leaf. The leaves lose their turgidity, making them look wilted and lifeless.
Curling Leaves The leaves curl inwards, and the edges may become crispy and turn brown. This happens because the plant tries to conserve water by reducing the surface area of the leaves exposed to air.

If you notice these symptoms on your cannabis plant, it is essential to take action immediately to prevent irreversible damage to the plant.

Yellowing and Wilting of Leaves

One of the most apparent signs of under-watering in cannabis plants is the yellowing and wilting of leaves. Leaves that are not getting enough water will first turn yellow and then brown, and eventually wilt and die. This happens because the plant is not receiving the nutrients it needs from the soil, as water is essential for the absorption of nutrients by the roots.

Here are some other symptoms that you may notice if your cannabis plant is under-watered:

Symptom Description
Dry soil The soil is dry when touched and does not hold together well.
Pot is light The pot feels light when lifted, indicating a lack of water.
Leaves drooping and curling The leaves appear limp and shriveled, as if they are being folded inward or downward.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cannabis plant, it is important to take action quickly to ensure the plant’s health and survival. Continuing to neglect the plant’s water needs can lead to irreversible damage or even death.

To address the issue of under-watering, there are a few steps you can take. First, assess the severity of the problem by checking the soil and pot weight, as well as examining the leaves. Determine how long the plant has been without water and whether it needs immediate attention.

Once you have determined that the plant is under-watered, the first step is to water the plant. Be sure to provide adequate drainage to avoid overwatering, which can also damage the plant. Adjust your watering schedule as needed to ensure that your cannabis plant is getting the proper amount of water it needs to thrive.

By being proactive and taking steps to address under-watering, you can help your cannabis plant stay healthy and produce a bountiful harvest.

Identifying Under-Watering Problems

Identifying Under-Watering Problems
When your cannabis plant is suffering from under-watering, it can be difficult to identify the issue as the signs and symptoms can be similar to other plant health problems. However, by carefully examining both the soil and the plant itself, you can begin to determine whether under-watering is the root cause. In this next section, we will delve into some helpful tips for identifying under-watering problems in your cannabis plants. So, let’s ready our magnifying glass and get started.

Check the Soil and Pot Weight

When trying to identify if your cannabis plant is under-watered, it’s essential to check the soil and pot weight. One way to do this is by sticking your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil feels dry, your plant needs watering. Conversely, if the soil feels wet or cool to the touch, your plant probably doesn’t need more water.

Additionally, you can check the weight of the pot. If the pot feels exceptionally light, it’s likely that the plant is dehydrated and in need of water. Conversely, a heavy pot may indicate that you’re overwatering your plant.

  • Insert your finger up to the second knuckle and check the soil moisture level
  • Check the weight of the pot to gauge the water level inside

While checking the soil and pot weight is an essential step in identifying under-watering issues, you should also consider checking the plant’s leaves to get a more comprehensive picture of its hydration levels.

Examine the Leaves

One of the ways to identify if your cannabis plant is under-watered is to examine its leaves. The leaves can give you a lot of clues about the condition of your plant. To do this, you need to observe the leaves closely and look for the following signs:

Signs Description
Drooping leaves If the leaves of your cannabis plant are drooping or wilting, it could be a sign of under-watering. The leaves may appear lifeless and may feel dry to the touch.
Curling leaves An under-watered cannabis plant may have leaves that curl up at the edges. The leaves may also appear brittle or dry, and may feel crispy to the touch.
Yellowing leaves Under-watered cannabis plants may have yellowing leaves. The leaves may appear dull and withered, and may drop off easily.
Dry, crunchy leaves The leaves of an under-watered cannabis plant may feel dry and crunchy. They may also be brittle and crack when bent.

It’s important to note that some of these symptoms can also be a sign of over-watering or other problems. It’s essential to examine the soil and pot weight along with the leaves to correctly diagnose the issue. Identifying the problem early can help prevent further damage to your cannabis plant.

How to Fix an Under-Watered Plant

When you realize that your cannabis plant has been under-watered, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start in fixing the issue. However, with a few simple steps, you can nurse your plant back to health and prevent further damage. Here are some strategies that you can use to replenish your plant’s water supply and restore its vigor. By implementing these essential techniques , you can revive your struggling cannabis plant and help it thrive once again.

Water the Plant

One of the most obvious and immediate solutions to an under-watered cannabis plant is to water it. However, there are some specific steps to consider that will ensure the plant receives the proper amount of water.

Step 1: Determine How Much Water is Needed
Before watering the plant, it’s important to determine how much water it needs. This can be done by checking the soil and pot weight. If the soil is completely dry and the pot feels light, the plant likely needs a good amount of water. Conversely, if the soil is still slightly moist and the pot feels heavy, the plant may not need as much water.

Step 2: Water the Plant Slowly and Evenly
When watering an under-watered cannabis plant, it’s important to do so slowly and evenly. This means pouring the water onto the soil around the base of the plant, as opposed to directly onto the leaves or stem. Be sure to pour slowly to give the soil enough time to absorb the water evenly.

Step 3: Give the Plant Time to Absorb the Water
After watering the plant, it’s important to give it time to absorb the water. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the pot and the amount of water applied. Be patient and avoid watering the plant again too soon, as this can lead to over-watering.

Steps to Watering an Under-Watered Cannabis Plant
Step 1 Determine how much water is needed by checking the soil and pot weight.
Step 2 Water the plant slowly and evenly, pouring water onto the soil around the base of the plant.
Step 3 Give the plant time to absorb the water, typically a few minutes to an hour.

By following these simple steps, under-watering can be quickly addressed and resolved, helping the plant to grow and thrive in optimal conditions.

Provide Adequate Drainage

Adequate drainage is a crucial aspect of preventing under-watering in cannabis plants. Without proper drainage, excess water can collect in the soil and cause the roots to rot, leading to problems such as root rot and fungal growth. Here are some tips for providing adequate drainage:

  • Choose the right size pot: It’s crucial to choose a pot that’s the right size for your plant. A pot that’s too small won’t provide enough drainage, while a pot that’s too large can cause water to collect in the soil. A good rule of thumb is to choose a pot that’s one to two sizes larger than the plant’s root ball.
  • Add drainage holes: If your pot doesn’t have drainage holes, you’ll need to add them. Use a drill or a hammer and nail to create several small holes in the bottom of the pot. This will allow excess water to drain out of the soil.
  • Use a well-draining soil mix: The soil you use plays a critical role in providing adequate drainage. Choose a soil mix that’s designed for cannabis plants and has good drainage properties. You can also add perlite or sand to the soil to improve drainage.
  • Elevate the pot: Elevating the pot can help improve drainage by allowing excess water to drain out more quickly. You can use pot feet or bricks to elevate the pot, or simply place it on a tray with drainage holes.
  • Empty the saucer: If you’re using a tray to catch excess water, be sure to empty it regularly. Leaving water in the tray can lead to problems such as root rot and fungal growth.

By providing adequate drainage, you can help prevent under-watering and ensure that your cannabis plants stay healthy and strong. Remember to choose the right size pot, add drainage holes, use a well-draining soil mix, elevate the pot, and empty the saucer regularly to help your plant thrive.

Adjust Watering Schedule

Adjusting the watering schedule is critical if you want to keep your cannabis plant healthy and well-hydrated. Here are some steps to help you adjust your watering schedule.

1. Observe the plant: Once you have watered the plant, observe how it responds. If the plant looks healthy and the soil is not too moist, it is a sign that the watering schedule is perfect. If the plant looks weak or the soil is too dry, you need to change the watering schedule.

2. Increase watering: If you find that the plant is not getting enough water, increase the frequency of watering. However, be careful not to overwater the plant as this can cause other problems. Instead, water the plant slowly and thoroughly, allowing the soil to soak up the water. Make sure that the water is not pooling and the pot has good drainage to avoid root rot.

3. Decrease watering: If you find that the plant is getting too much water or suffering from overwatering, decrease the frequency of watering. This will allow the soil to dry out a bit, which can help prevent root rot. However, be careful not to wait too long between watering sessions as the plant needs to be hydrated to grow properly.

4. Consider the environment: The frequency of watering also depends on the environment. If the temperature is high or the humidity is low, your plant will need more water. In contrast, during cold weather or high humidity, the plant may need less water.

By adjusting the watering schedule, you can ensure that your cannabis plant is receiving the right amount of water needed for healthy growth. Remember to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and check the plant regularly to avoid any under or overwatering problems.


In conclusion, under-watering cannabis plants can have detrimental effects on their growth and development. It is important to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms of under-watering in order to address the issue and prevent further damage to the plant.

Checking the soil and pot weight is crucial to identify if the plant is under-watered. If the soil is dry and the pot feels light, it is a clear indication that the plant needs to be watered.

Drooping and curling leaves, yellowing and wilting are also prominent signs of under-watering that should not be ignored. These symptoms can cause long-lasting damage to the plant, and even lead to death in severe cases.

To fix an under-watered plant, it is essential to give the plant an adequate amount of water. However, it is also important to provide adequate drainage and adjust the watering schedule to prevent over-watering in the future.

By following the steps outlined in this article, growers can ensure that their cannabis plants are healthy and thriving. With proper care and attention, under-watering can be easily identified and resolved, leading to beautiful and vibrant growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Under-Watering Cannabis Cause Permanent Damage?

Yes, if under-watering persists for an extended period of time, it can lead to irreversible damage or even death of the plant.

Can Over-Watering Cannabis Have Similar Symptoms to Under-Watering?

Yes, over-watering can cause similar symptoms such as drooping and yellowing of the leaves. It is important to properly identify the issue to implement the correct solution.

What is the Ideal Frequency for Watering Cannabis Plants?

The watering frequency depends on various factors such as the size of the plant, the soil type, and the surrounding environment. However, in general, it is recommended to water cannabis plants every 2-3 days.

Can I Water My Cannabis Plants with Tap Water?

Yes, tap water can be used to water cannabis plants, but it is important to check if it contains high levels of chlorine or other chemicals that can harm the plant. Consider using a filter or letting the water sit for 24 hours before use.

What is the Best Time of Day to Water Cannabis Plants?

The best time to water cannabis plants is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperature is cooler. Avoid watering during midday when the sun is at its strongest as it can damage the leaves.

Can I Water My Cannabis Plants with Ice Cubes?

No, using ice cubes to water cannabis plants can shock the roots and slow down the growth process. Always use room temperature water to water your plants.

Can I Use Fertilizer to Fix Under-Watered Cannabis Plants?

No, it is not recommended to use fertilizers on under-watered plants as it can further stress the plant and cause more damage. Watering and providing proper drainage are the best solutions.

Can I Use Humidifiers to Prevent Under-Watering?

Humidifiers can help maintain moisture levels in the environment, but they do not fix the issue of under-watering. Proper watering and drainage are still necessary.

Can Under-Watering Cannabis Plants Attract Pests?

Yes, under-watered plants are more susceptible to pest infestations as they are weaker and cannot defend themselves properly. Keep your plants healthy and well-watered to prevent pest problems.

Can I Salvage an Over-Watered Cannabis Plant?

Yes, it is possible to salvage an over-watered plant by adjusting the watering schedule and providing proper drainage. However, it is important to act quickly as prolonged over-watering can lead to irreversible damage.


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