Effects of Under-Watering Cannabis Plants

As cannabis enthusiasts, we all want our plants to grow healthy and strong. However, no matter how attentive we are to our plants, there is always a risk of under-watering. This is a perplexing issue that can affect any cannabis grower, regardless of their level of expertise. Under-watering can cause various problems for the plant, leading to stunted growth, weak yields, and even irreversible damage. In this article, we will explore the effects of under-watering on cannabis plants, the symptoms to look out for, and how to revive an under-watered plant. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent under-watering, so as to ensure your plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this important topic.

What Happens When Cannabis Plants Lack Water


What Happens When Cannabis Plants Lack Water
Water is essential for the growth and development of cannabis plants. Without an adequate supply of water, the plants gradually become weak and vulnerable to diseases and pests. However, what happens when cannabis plants lack water is more than just wilting leaves and a droopy stem. The effects can be devastating and can result in stunted growth or even death. In this section, we will explore the various consequences of under-watering cannabis plants, the telltale signs of dehydration, and essential tips on how to rescue an under-watered plant. So, let’s dive in and discover the consequences of water deprivation in cannabis plants. Don’t forget to check out our article on signs of under-watering.

Effects on Growth and Yield

When cannabis plants are under-watered, they can suffer from a variety of negative effects that can impact their overall growth and yield. Some of these effects are:

  • Stunted Growth: Without proper water intake, cannabis plants will struggle to grow and mature at a normal pace. They may remain small and underdeveloped, which can ultimately impact their yield.
  • Poor Quality: As the plant struggles to grow, it may produce lower quality buds that are smaller, less potent, and contain fewer trichomes.
  • Reduced Yield: Under-watered cannabis plants will likely produce a smaller yield compared to those that receive adequate hydration. This can be especially problematic for growers who rely on large harvests.
  • Lower THC Content: The lack of water can impact the potency of the plant’s THC content, resulting in less potent buds that won’t deliver the desired effects.
  • Vulnerability to Pests and Diseases: Dehydration can weaken the plant, making it more vulnerable to pests and diseases that can further impact its overall health and yield.

The effects of under-watering can have a significant impact on a cannabis plant’s growth and yield. It is important for growers to understand the symptoms of dehydration and take steps to avoid it in order to produce a healthy, high-quality harvest.

Symptoms of Dehydration

When cannabis plants are under-watered, they show several symptoms of dehydration. The lack of water leads to the inability of plants to take up essential nutrients and minerals from the soil. Below are some common signs that your cannabis plants may be suffering from dehydration:

Symptom Description
Wilting Leaves One of the most common symptoms of under-watering is the wilting of leaves. As the plant loses water, the leaves start to droop and become limp.
Discolored Leaves Under-watered cannabis plants often show signs of discoloration. The leaves may become yellow, brown or some other unusual color, indicating a lack of essential nutrients and minerals.
Dry Soil The soil around an under-watered cannabis plant is often dry to the touch. If you notice the soil has not been moistened for several days, it may be time to water your plants.
Slow Growth Plants that are under-watered tend to grow very slowly. If you notice your plant is not growing as quickly as usual, it may be a sign that it needs more water.
Crunchy Leaves As the plant dehydrates, the leaves start to become crispy and dry. If you touch the leaves and they make a crunchy sound, it’s a clear sign that the plant needs water.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action to prevent any further damage to your plants. In the next section, we will discuss how to revive an under-watered plant.

How to Revive an Under-Watered Plant

When you realize that your cannabis plants are under-watered, it’s important to take immediate action to revive them. Here are some steps that you can take to bring your plants back to life:

  • Water the plant: The first step is to give the plant a good watering. Make sure that you water the plant slowly and evenly so that the soil can absorb the moisture properly. Don’t just pour water onto the surface of the soil as it will run off the sides of the pot and won’t reach the roots.
  • Check the drainage: Check the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot to make sure they are clear. If they are blocked, you’ll need to remove the excess water and then clear the holes to allow for proper drainage.
  • Adjust the environment: Move the plant to a location where it can get the proper amount of light and humidity. Make sure that the temperature is within the ideal range for cannabis plants.
  • Prune the plant: If the plant has suffered significant damage due to under-watering, you may need to prune it to remove any dead or damaged leaves. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on new growth.
  • Nutrient boost: Consider giving your plant a nutrient boost to help it recover from under-watering. Look for a high-quality fertilizer that is specifically designed for cannabis plants.
  • Monitor: Keep a close eye on your plant and monitor its progress. Make sure that the soil stays moist but not waterlogged, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. In some cases, you may need to water your plant more frequently to prevent under-watering from happening again.

Reviving an under-watered cannabis plant requires some effort and attention, but it’s definitely possible to bring your plant back to health with the right care.

How to Prevent Under-Watering

As important as it is to know how to tackle an under-watered cannabis plant, it’s equally crucial to understand how to prevent it from happening in the first place. Prevention is always better than cure, and this couldn’t be truer for cannabis cultivation. By taking certain measures and precautions, growers can ensure that their plants never have to face the adverse effects of dehydration. From regularly setting a watering schedule to maintaining proper soil and drainage, there are many ways to avoid under-watering in your cannabis plants. Let’s dive into some of the preventative measures that can be taken.

Watering Schedule

Ensuring an appropriate watering schedule is crucial for the healthy growth of cannabis plants. Too much water can lead to root rot, while under-watering can cause dehydration and stress to the plant.

Factors Affecting the Watering Schedule

Several factors can influence how often a cannabis plant needs to be watered, including the size of the plant, the size of the container, the type of soil, the climate, and the stage of growth. In general, younger plants and plants in smaller containers require more frequent watering, while older plants and those in larger containers can go longer between watering.

Signs of Under-Watering

One of the easiest ways to check if your cannabis plant needs water is to stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry a couple inches down, it’s time to water. Another sign of under-watering is droopy or wilting leaves, which can occur when the plant isn’t getting enough water to support its structure.

The Ideal Watering Schedule

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all watering schedule for cannabis plants, there are recommended guidelines to follow. It’s best to water plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems, so it’s important not to water too frequently.

One way to ensure consistent watering is to use a drip irrigation system or hand-watering with a watering can. This allows for controlled, even watering and prevents the plant from becoming waterlogged.

It’s also important to monitor the humidity and temperature in the grow space, as higher temperatures and lower humidity levels can cause plants to require more frequent watering.

Table: Recommended Watering Schedule for Cannabis Plants

| Stage of Growth | Frequency of Watering |
| :————-: | :——————: |
| Seedling | Every 1-2 Days |
| Vegetative | Every 2-3 Days |
| Flowering | Every 3-5 Days |
| Late Flowering | Every 5-7 Days |

Following a consistent watering schedule is key to healthy growth and maximizing yield of cannabis plants. By paying attention to the signs of under-watering and adjusting watering frequency based on the plant’s needs, growers can ensure their plants are healthy and vibrant.

Soil and Drainage

The type of soil and adequate drainage are crucial factors in preventing under-watering of cannabis plants. The soil should be well-draining, but also capable of retaining moisture to keep plant roots hydrated. Sandy soils drain too quickly and can lead to under-watering, while heavy clay soils can cause waterlogging, which also affects plant growth.

To ensure adequate drainage, make sure the pot or planting area has sufficient holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. Placing a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the pot can also help with drainage.

In addition to soil type and drainage, the size of the pot can also impact the water retention of the plant. Plants in smaller pots typically need to be watered more frequently, as they have less soil to draw water from.

It’s important to note that overwatering can also be a problem, as it can lead to root rot and inhibit water uptake. Finding the right balance between soil type, drainage, and watering frequency is key to preventing under-watering and overwatering.

Paying attention to soil type and drainage is essential in preventing under-watering of cannabis plants. By using well-draining soil and ensuring adequate drainage, the plant is more likely to receive the water it needs to thrive.

Humidity and Temperature

Maintaining proper humidity and temperature levels is crucial in preventing under-watering of cannabis plants. The amount of water a plant needs is directly related to the climatic conditions it is grown in. Cannabis plants thrive in warm temperatures of 68-77°F (20-25°C) during the day and cooler temperatures of 60-70°F (15-21°C) at night. If the temperature goes beyond these limits, the plant’s water requirement may change.

In addition to temperature, the humidity level of the air also affects the water requirements of the plants. Cannabis plants prefer a relative humidity of 40-60%. A lower humidity level will cause the plant to transpire more rapidly, leading to water loss. On the other hand, higher humidity levels create favorable conditions for mold and fungi growth, which can damage the plant.

One way to control the humidity of the air in the grow room is by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner. A humidifier can also be used to increase the humidity level if it falls below the ideal range. However, it is important to ensure that the humidity level is not excessively high, as this can create an environment for pests and diseases to thrive.

Here’s a table summarizing the ideal temperature and humidity ranges for cannabis plants:

Daytime Nighttime Relative Humidity
Minimum 68°F (20°C) 60°F (15°C) 40%
Ideal 77°F (25°C) 70°F (21°C) 40-60%
Maximum 86°F (30°C) 75°F (24°C) 60%

By controlling the temperature and humidity levels within the ideal ranges, growers can help prevent under-watering of their cannabis plants and ensure healthy growth and development.


After understanding the consequences of under-watering cannabis plants, it is essential to ensure that proper watering techniques are followed to prevent any possible damage. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule and ensuring adequate soil and drainage are essential factors to consider.

Furthermore, monitoring the temperature and humidity levels can also contribute to healthy plant growth. Adequate watering goes a long way in ensuring that the plants thrive and produce quality yields. Therefore, it is vital to pay attention to the signs of dehydration and remedy any under-watered plants.

By following the tips discussed in this article, one can provide an optimal environment for their cannabis plants to thrive. By avoiding under-watering, cannabis growers can expect bountiful yields and ensure the plants reach their full potential. With proper care, watering, and maintenance, cannabis plants can grow into strong, healthy plants that provide ample yields.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the effects of under-watering on cannabis growth?

Under-watering can lead to stunted growth, yellowing of the leaves, and a decrease in overall yield.

What are the symptoms of dehydration in cannabis plants?

Symptoms of dehydration in cannabis plants include wilting, drooping leaves, and dry, crumbly soil.

How can I revive an under-watered cannabis plant?

You can revive an under-watered cannabis plant by watering it thoroughly, providing it with the right amount of nutrients, and maintaining a consistent watering schedule.

How often should I water my cannabis plants?

Cannabis plants should be watered as soon as the soil becomes slightly dry to the touch. This can vary depending on factors such as the size of the plant and the environmental conditions.

What kind of soil is best for cannabis plants?

Well-draining soil that retains moisture is best for cannabis plants. You can also use soil that has been mixed with perlite or vermiculite for better drainage.

What is the ideal humidity level for cannabis plants?

The ideal humidity level for cannabis plants varies depending on the stage of growth. However, in general, humidity levels should be around 40-60% during the vegetative stage and around 40-50% during the flowering stage.

What is the ideal temperature range for cannabis plants?

The ideal temperature range for cannabis plants is between 70-85°F during the day and between 60-70°F at night. However, different strains may have slightly different temperature preferences.

How can I improve the drainage of my cannabis soil?

You can improve the drainage of your cannabis soil by adding perlite, vermiculite, or coarse sand to the soil mixture. You can also make sure that your pots have proper drainage holes at the bottom.

Can over-watering have similar effects on cannabis plants?

Yes, over-watering can also have negative effects on cannabis plants, such as root rot, mold growth, and decreased yield.

What are some signs that my cannabis plant is receiving too much water?

Signs that your cannabis plant is receiving too much water include drooping leaves, yellowing of the leaves, slow growth, and a musty smell from the soil.


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