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Mystery ailment wipes out whole grow - Help!


New Member
Been signed up and lurking for a while, but this my first post. I am not versed in the science of growing, although I have been at it over 2 years and have had good results for the most part.

I have been with 1 strain for the most part. Blueberry; sativa. Had as many as 20 or so going at a time: say 12 flowering and 8 in grow or babies. This is indoors, 1 gal pots; Earth Grow potting mix.
Babies in plugs under 80w flouresant - Clonex clone and seedling nutrient
Grow is a 250w and a 400w HPS - Miricle Grow Bloom Booster 1 tsp/gal
Flower is 2 400s HPS - Bloom Booster- then last 3 weeks Jack's Classic Blossom Booster 10-30-20 at 1tsp/gal added to 1/2 tsp /gal MGrow.
Temps in summer 76-82; water about every other day; just cover the top.
Each room is about 90 sq ft, not all of it used in flowering.

With experience and starter plants from a mentor it started small but grew steadily, with very good results. Last summer there was a devastating run-in with spider mites. All plants affected. Sprayed and sprayed, different products, until temp was dropped dramatically and 1000w removed for 2 400s. Then plants recovered and produced well until recently.

Started to see yellowing early in grow, affecting leaves all over plant. Small skinny sparse leaves.

The yellowing continues in grow, also see tip burn and curling

The leaves are all small and skinny, does not bush out at all. When they go to flower, nothing gets better. Many leaves die and fall off and tops do not develop at all. Stays spindly, with 'tops' only barely develop; stay shape of stem. No stink or sticky ever develops and the results are bad.
After clipping, root balls are mostly brown, thin and dead looking. Can grab the bottom of roots and easily pull apart from top of ball.

There will only be a few white roots. The same whitish bulb appears when cut under original plug that are seen in babies that do not survive. Cut though the bulb and look at the end there is a bulls eye inside the outer stem, the inside is pretty hard, but the outer layer is mushy, peels away very easily.

Thing is, doing nothing different than before when there was very good results. Only hints/ideas may be:
The baby cloning mix is used with a turkey baster out of a plastic tray. Over time these items began getting a greenish build up on them. Some of the green would peel off and end up in plugs, where you could see them.
Figgered this was active ingredient in fert. A friend/mentor saw this and did not like the look of it at all, gave some new cloning food that is clear. With babies getting that weird whitish bulb under plug that plants also have at the end, makes me wonder if something has happened right from the beginning; getting over ferted and doing root damage from the start?
Room is in a basement setting and there is seepage in a very strong rain period; which is vacumed up right away.
Could some badness come in with seepage, get in the air? Did a big clean, no seepage since.
Found a bad ballast, light may have been off in grow way more than it should, but this was fixed and problem continued.
Did a water only flush for a week then 1/2 strength fert for a week but that did not show results.

All my girls are dead or dying, can anyone comment??


New Member
what is the ph of that soil seems to me you have some kind of lock out .... plus being that plant isn't flowering bloom booster isn't needed you need more n in your nutes...I would try something different then miracle grow


New Member
Did you happen to reuse soil? MG and Jack's are slow release nutes and even if the soil is not re-used can cause problems due to salt build-up. Another issue appears to be moisture build-up where the stem meets the soil from over-watering or inadequate drainage. Flushing slow release nutes is not an easy task since every time you add water you activate more of the slow-release nutes and if you keep adding more slow-release nutrients it compounds the problem. I would suggest following some of the expert growers on the forum and emulating their soil and soil growing methods. Some of my favorites soil dudes include CO Finest, Doc Bud, KingJohnC, Curso, etc.


New Member
Sounds like root rot...A great way to prevent root rot in hydroponic systems is to properly aerate the water! Almost all plants are susceptible to Pythium root rot. You can use Aquashield which is a liquid compost for use in the soil or hydroponic systems. I would get away from miracle grow and use some Fox Farm big bloom or any kind of organic nutrient containing Nitrogen. I hope they turn back...GOod luck!


New Member
Thanks for replies, very much. Will look into everything and get back. Everyone disses MG, but again, we had great results for 2 years doing exactly the same as now. So depressing.


New Member
Overwatering, nute lock out and root rot. Ditch the mg bro, that stuff is junk and you end up smoking all that garbage. Get some air pots, stop using miracle grew and dont water as often. Your soil might be too compact. Is there enough perlite in your mix? Slow released nutes cant be flushed so, once again, youre smoking it. You checking your ph? 6.5?. Keep all your tools clean. You can use hydrogen peroxide, alcohol then rinse with distilled water. But, i would definitely look into the moisture problem. Overwatering isnt about the amount of water used, its about the frequency you use it. You should always let the ball dry out before watering again. Let the roots get the oxygen they need...they dont like wet feet. When you flush, use three times the amount of water to soil. Meaning if your in a 5 gal pot use 15 gal to flush, let her dry out and if need be, do it again. Never water every day unless you have a huge plant.


New Member
OK, thanks much, suggestions for replacing mg?
Never checked ph (no need) Where can a reliable tester be had?

To answer earlier, re-using dirt was tried on a few plants only. These showed no more or less effect than others. Quit doing it.


New Member
As for re-using soil, it is possible to re-use soil if you're using organic methods and with proper cooking time/amendments but you definitely don't want to re-use soil that has salt buildup and no nutritional value left in it. As for PH, I don't bother because I use rain water or RO only but if you're using tap water it's definitely a good idea to check but the main thing to worry about is PPM content of your tap which is probably too high in which case you'll want to find another source or install RO.


New Member
Thanks to all for helping. Amazed at how much I didn't know, or didn't have to know.
Been to the grow store, got rid of MG and Jack's. Got simple 2 part Hydroponics product, 1 for grow; 1 for flower. Concentrated liquid.
Also got Aqua Shield to help with root rot issue. Also changed Clonex to Brew and Grow's house brand, for babies.
Flushed all currant plants with 3 times volume, they are drying out now.
Also did 1st ph soil test, simple color/sample test. It reads about 7 in flower maybe 7.25 in grow. I know this is high/alkaline, can someone suggest best way to adjust? Product? How do I check the water I'm using?

My buddy came to the rescue and gave a whole plant, for us to get babies from a healthy start. It was supple, great color, healthy as can be. We cot some babies and within 2 weeks it is showing beginning signs of our terror; tip burn and curl, some yellowing. What could we have done to this plant in 2 weeks? Only watered it a few times. Can this be something in the air? An invader that can travel from plant to plant?

Twisting, but hoping new nutes, flushing show something good.


Well-Known Member
"1 gal pots"... that would seem to be the first issue. It's just hard to keep this small of soil container evenly tended. Issues can erupt much quicker and harder in such small environments. You'll see a much happier plant in a 5 gal container.

Summer heat really can have drastic impacts on your grow. As you've already learned, bugs can be a much larger issue in the heat.
Many people (myself included) see a lot of Cal Mag issues during the summer heat. The increased heat causes stress to the plant which can impact Cal Mag uptake. This rears it's ugly head with weakened growth, lighter colored leaves, and older growth die off. This is one of the most popular issues I see. You can address this with a CalMag or Epsom salt supplement. I've been spraying with 1tsp/gal Epsom salt with great results. I think I've read specifically of Cal Mag issues with MG soil.


New Member
I do not think heat is too much of an issue. Rarely gets to 80, mostly 72-77. In winter, add humidity, usually also in upper 60/low 70%.
More testing today. Larger pots for sure.
Been using Earth Grow potting mix (organic, commercial) since forever and noticed small white nuggets that crush into fine sand like material. Not perlite. Not positive but do not think that was there before. Could this be salt buildup?


New Member
Given the use of slow release nutes and the description it sounds like a distinct possibility but honestly couldn't say for sure. I've been growing organics since Grandpa tought me years ago and recently switched to High Brix for my medical plants as well as my outdoor veggies, herbs, berries etc. Having always been a light feeder and organic type I've had to learn about most of the maladies by watching others. I'd recommend you take a gander at some of the other soil growers journals - you'll be sure to find some valuable information and some ideas to try and tailor to your own needs for a trouble free and very successful grow.

And definitely get some bigger pots - I've seen good success in 3-10 gallon and outstanding results in even larger pots - 5g is pretty good, I've been using 7g and will be upgrading to 20g in the near future.


New Member
I had plants that looked like that a few years ago. I tried everything that was suggested by a lot of skilled growers. It just kept getting worse. I finally cut them all down. I sent some samples to a well know expert gardener in my area. He called me a few days later and told me it was tobacco mosaic virus... Same exact simtoms .. Figured I would post it here just as a possibility:) solo


New Member
Things slowly starting to look hopeful. Changed MG and Jack's to organic. Flushed. Got new dirt, water less often and other suggestions gotten here. Can't say what turned the corner, but the plants are happier. No new damage, color better, leaves bigger; plant bushier, babies better. Looking into TMV suggested above and other ideas, but am holding my breath. Thanks to all.
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