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New Grower: Is This Discoloration Normal?

Thread starter #1
This is my first grow, so I'm nervous about every little thing going on with my plants. I've included pics of one of my Blueberry Autos (2 weeks since breaking the soil) with some minor discoloring on the early leaves. I'm using FFOF soil + perlite (70/30) and have not added any nutes yet. Anybody have any ideas why the leaves might be discoloring a bit? It seems to be growing well.


Here's the info:

SOIL GROW

Strain - Blueberry Autoflower
# of Plants - 5
Grow Type - Soil
Grow Stage - Early Vegetative
Bucket Size - 2 Gallon
Lights - (1) 900 Watt LED Phlizon
Nutrients - None so far
Medium - FFOF 70%, Perlite 30%
PPM - NA
PH - 6-6.5
RH -40-50%
Room Temperature -70-78F
Room Square Footage -2'X4'
Pests - None Known


 
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FFOF has bat guano in it and thus can be a bit "hot" for younger plants. It looks like some interveinal chlorosis, probably from excessive phosphorus in your soil. Probably not a big deal though, but keep an eye on them for further indications. Next symptom will be burnt leaf tips so watch for that. You'll probably be OK but watch for the burnt tips.

Next time start with a soil specifically made for seedlings and then transplant after a couple of weeks. Remember that auto-flowering plants are usually smaller with smaller root systems and diminished ability to uptake nutes, so avoid over-feeding at all costs.
 
Thread starter #3
If so, I'm guessing there's not much to be done, but to wait it out. I haven't added any nutes at this point. My plan is to wait until they are 3 weeks old. Seem reasonable?
 
I think you'll be fine.

Autos are a bit different than photo period plants when it comes to feeding. Don't feed them at all for the first 4 weeks or so, then start a vegetative feeding regiment higher in Nitrogen at 1/4 strength. Continue feeding the vegetative nutrients until the plant has stopped upward growth. With most autos this would be about a two week period into week 6 or so. After that, switch to a flowering nutrient regimen higher in Phosphorus for the next few weeks until you plan to start flushing the plant. Start with quarter strength the recommended formula and work up to half strength if you see signs of deficiency.

All the best, bro.
 

Emilya

Well-Known Member
I have started a lot of plants in FFOF, so it is possible to do, but yes it is a hot soil. This looks different to me somehow and makes me wonder if the lights could have at any point been a bit too close, even for a little while? How far away do you have that big LED light?
 
Thread starter #6
I think you'll be fine.

Autos are a bit different than photo period plants when it comes to feeding. Don't feed them at all for the first 4 weeks or so, then start a vegetative feeding regiment higher in Nitrogen at 1/4 strength. Continue feeding the vegetative nutrients until the plant has stopped upward growth. With most autos this would be about a two week period into week 6 or so. After that, switch to a flowering nutrient regimen higher in Phosphorus for the next few weeks until you plan to start flushing the plant. Start with quarter strength the recommended formula and work up to half strength if you see signs of deficiency.

All the best, bro.
Thanks for the suggestions!!!
 
Thread starter #7
I have started a lot of plants in FFOF, so it is possible to do, but yes it is a hot soil. This looks different to me somehow and makes me wonder if the lights could have at any point been a bit too close, even for a little while? How far away do you have that big LED light?
Thanks for your thoughts!! I currently have the light at about 2ft. You are right, though. When they were a few days old, I got some bad advice for the strength of my light and had it at about 15 inches. I realized pretty quickly (a day or two) that it was too close and moved it up to 2ft. They seemed much happier after I moved it up, but perhaps the damage was already done. I've got an AK plant that I've treated exactly the same that looks much better.
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There's a second AK plant that is a little goofy as well, but in a somewhat different way. The leaves are a bit crinkly and mutated.
12-20 1.JPG
There is some of the same discoloration, but it's missing a fan leaf on one side (and I think the same leaf is missing from the new leaves that are emerging), leaves are oddly shaped, etc. I didn't realize my new hobby would make me lose sleep!!!! I germinated a couple others in solo cups (instead of the 2gal pot) and for the first several days put them under some 40W CFLs to get them started. They are the healthiest looking of the bunch.
12-20 2.JPG
I'm thinking I will use the CFLs for the first week or so in future grows before moving them to the LED. Make sense?
 

Emilya

Well-Known Member
yep, sounds like you have learned a lot already on this grow! The only reason that I know a sunburned leaf when I see it, is I have done the same thing a time or two and probably will again. Each grow is a learning experience if you are doing this right, and each plant is different. Good luck in the rest of this one!
 
Thread starter #9
Thanks for your thoughts!! I currently have the light at about 2ft. You are right, though. When they were a few days old, I got some bad advice for the strength of my light and had it at about 15 inches. I realized pretty quickly (a day or two) that it was too close and moved it up to 2ft. They seemed much happier after I moved it up, but perhaps the damage was already done. I've got an AK plant that I've treated exactly the same that looks much better. View attachment 1677447 There's a second AK plant that is a little goofy as well, but in a somewhat different way. The leaves are a bit crinkly and mutated. View attachment 1677450 There is some of the same discoloration, but it's missing a fan leaf on one side (and I think the same leaf is missing from the new leaves that are emerging), leaves are oddly shaped, etc. I didn't realize my new hobby would make me lose sleep!!!! I germinated a couple others in solo cups (instead of the 2gal pot) and for the first several days put them under some 40W CFLs to get them started. They are the healthiest looking of the bunch. View attachment 1677459 I'm thinking I will use the CFLs for the first week or so in future grows before moving them to the LED. Make sense?
Below is a more recent pic of the plant at the top of this post. The leaves are now drooping. Any thoughts what the problem might be? I'm on an every other day watering schedule. The soil gets quite dry before water. I'm using a moisture meter, so I'm pretty sure I'm not over watering. Happy Holidays!!!
DSC_1091.JPG
 

Gadfly

Well-Known Member
Moister meters suck in most cases. Is it the top of your soil that dries out or does the entire pot feel very light? Sometimes the surface seems dry, one can even ram a finger in there and it feels dry, but the pot is still heavy because the soil on the bottom is still moist. The soil will act as a wick if given enough time and roots will seek out the moist soil.

I say all this because watering every other day seems a bit excessive especially considering how young those look. I also noticed your soil looks wet in every pic, but that could just be how it appears.
 
Thread starter #11
Moister meters suck in most cases. Is it the top of your soil that dries out or does the entire pot feel very light? Sometimes the surface seems dry, one can even ram a finger in there and it feels dry, but the pot is still heavy because the soil on the bottom is still moist. The soil will act as a wick if given enough time and roots will seek out the moist soil.

I say all this because watering every other day seems a bit excessive especially considering how young those look. I also noticed your soil looks wet in every pic, but that could just be how it appears.
The pots are light and the top couple inches of the soil are very dry before I water. I took this pic just after watering, so the soil is wet. I'll let it go 3 days between watering next and see what happens. None of the other plants are behaving like this and have been on the same schedule. Plants are weird.:)
 

NOOOBIENOT

Well-Known Member
Hello , I agree let the pots dry out more , lifting the pot it is a good gauge of if they need water , leaves standing straight out and flat tells you that you are in the sweet spot , moisture meters are a waste of time , let them get to that point and then keep a eye on the leaves if they start to droop or curl it`s time to water .that soil mix is strong for young plants so water is all they need right now -no nutes , do you have a ph meter and a ppm meter (pen), they are a must have .
 

Emilya

Well-Known Member
you are severely overwatering this plant with your set schedule. It might be dry on the top 2 inches, but down at the bottom where the big feeder roots are, it most likely is under water and has been since you started this every other day thing. The droopy leaves show me that the bottom roots have shut down and the plant can no longer develop enough water pressure in the trunk to hold the leaves up so as to track the sun.
Please read my sticky on how to water properly. You must let this weed dry out all the way to the bottom between each watering... even if it takes 3-5 days to do so.
 

NOOOBIENOT

Well-Known Member
Do not go by days go by how the leaves look as every plant is different even if they are of the same kind , plus the plants needs are ever changing as they develop , just check the leaves once or twice a day .
 
most soils are too hot for seeds as stated. BUT you can get around that fairly easy.

Simply start them in something soiless, or a rapid rooter, or whatever. Wait until you have some roots going on, and then drop them into the soil. Normally this gives them enough time to get going. i leave my seedlings in the rapid rooter tray until theyre root bound, and then into the dirt they go.

In hydro i just start them in the final home as i can control the strength
 
Thread starter #16
This AK young lady is 23 days since sprouting and is about 6 inches tall. Is she a runt or is this a reasonable height for three weeks? She just woke up from her nap and got watered, so she's a bit droopy but otherwise seems pretty healthy. The leaves appear a bit dark at the tips because of the camera flash, but the color is actually uniform. There are some pistils poking through on some of the nodes, which I think is about right for an auto. Any input on height or overall appearance? She's grown probably two inches in the last 3 days and the branches seem to be growing quite quickly. The light is still at about 2ft. Thanks and happy new year!!!

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Thread starter #17
I'm experimenting with some very light LST on a couple of the other plants, just to see what happens. Here's one of them. It's also about 6 inches tall and seems to be picking up in terms of growth.
12-31 2.JPG
 
Little small for 3 weeks imo. However, it's at that size now where it should pick up fairly quickly.

My guess is too big of a starting container slowed her down in the beginning. (Too much constant moisture. They need those wet dry cycles) but she will grow into her home.

Overall thumbs up. There is a little bit of an art to starting in bigger containers. But even though everyone says not to transplant autos for stress reasons... You still can. Just be gentle, bonus points for adding mycorrhizae to your root ball, and watering with b vitamins to reduce the transplant stress and shock .
 
Thread starter #19
Thanks for the input!! I have a watering question (aren't most of the questions up here somehow about watering?). Because I was so damn excited to plant my first seeds, I got my pots ready several days in advance. I mixed my soil and perlite and put the pots inside of my tent probably 4-5 days before planting (maybe longer). Also, I never once saturated/watered that soil. Never. So the soil sat in the tent for that long losing any moisture it might have held from when it was in the bag (35% RH in the basement, so it was REALLY dry). When it came time to plant, I watered a small spot in the middle of the pot (just enough to get the top few inches wet in that small spot), poked my finger down 1/2 an inch, and planted the seed--again, never having fully saturated my soil, EVER.

Flash forward to this morning, I realized while poking around my plants that when I do water, that water channels through the soil, leaving large pockets of bone dry soil throughout each pot...soil that, I bet, has been bone dry since the beginning. Today is the first time I've watered where I've actually had runoff from my pots (they are fabric pots), because I finally took the time and gave enough water to be sure the entirety of the soil actually got water.

So, my questions are:

1. I should have made sure the soil in the pots had been pre-moistened and thoroughly mixed before planting, right, to avoid this problem?
2. Might this inconsistency explain the somewhat stunted growth?
3. Water channeling through really dry soil is a thing, right? I'm not crazy?

Thanks again!! AK#1 continuing to grow (I wish it would stretch more quickly!).
1-3 2.JPG
 

Emilya

Well-Known Member
The problem is that this is a deep rooting weed and your watering methods are drowning the most important lower roots by being under water all the time. You are concentrating on the top of the soil while your concern should be at the bottom of the container. Let this container dry out completely so that there is no discernible water weight each time between full and complete waterings, and your plants will recover. Water channeling? Water drops due to gravity to the bottom... that is all the channeling that is important.