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Plant Goes Bad: Need Your Help

WeedDude69

New Member
Hi guys. I need help, I'm desperate. Every time I try to grow the plants go bad near the end of the flowering stage. Let me explain in full.

I grow autoflowering plants indoors and use 400W light. At first it grows fine, without any visible problems, leaves look good and green, then the flowering stage comes and at first it's all looking good and fine, the smell is also amazingly great. However, after two or three weeks when the buds start to develop more and more, the plant start to smell up, real bad. Not a nice smell, makes you want to puke if you smell it to close, sort of ammonia or some rotten grass or something. At the same time the buds look okay, the plant doesn't go yellow or anything.

First two times that happened I was growing them in a small room with an electric fan blowing over them and the temp around 77. So I thought that was the problem, not enough cool air around the plants. But this last time I grew it in a huge room with an air conditioner ON the whole time and tried to keep the temp around 32 in the final stage constantly, which wasn't hard due to a working A/C blowing nicely over the plant. I also had a soil moisture sensor installed so to make sure I don't water it too much nor would it get too dried out.

Any way. Today I walked in the room and I really didn't like the smell, so I was worried. I chopped one of the buds to check and, well. It happened again. It smells horrible. Not sure if the plant went bad overnight or it's been going on for a while. Last thing that I changed is brought the light down a bit, to make sure it covers the below buds too. That actually made the temp around the plant go a bit higher, probably to 71 from like 67. Maybe it was too close to the plant, I don't know. It made it evaporate a lot of water, so I guess the plant had to drink more to stay hydrated. Another thing I noticed when I chopped the plant, it was a bit to dry. Don't know if that could be an issue.

Any how. I don't know what to do, other than give up on ever growing a normal healthy plant. Maybe anybody can help out and point out what can the problem be. Maybe not enough oxygen? The room wasn't really ventilated, just ACed, although the air movement was plenty. But I'm not an expert, maybe not enough ventilation leads to some sort of bacteria developing inside the plant or in the air, I don't know. I need your guys advice. I still have another 3 seeds but I don't see the point in planting them anymore if all the time and effort just goes to waste.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
This sounds very odd. I’ve never heard of an issue that makes the plants smell bad without changing their appearance. What is this smell like?
the temp around the plant go a bit higher, probably to 71 from like 67
Normally temps with lights on should be around 80 give or take a bit.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
I don't even know exactly how to describe the smell, but it's definitely not good and it lingers. At one point I thought maybe that's how fresh buds should smell like because they aren't dry and cured yet, but even after drying it out in microwave (just to check) it smells the same. A very strong kind of scent. And it develops as I said before, in the latest stages. The first time I was growing the plants, I actually managed to smoke some of the earlier buds and they smelled normal, weren't very strong obviously, but smokable. But after a week or two after, that thing started happening.

Have you looked under a microscope or loupe for mould?
I don't have this equipment unfortunately, but I wouldn't rule out mould or bacteria or something like that. Just don't know what is causing it exactly.

Is it humid in the room?
Unfortunately I don't have the humidity meter, but I would say it's probably not that humid since the A/C is drying out the air constantly.

Is this a different strain to the last one they smelt bad? Are you sure it's not the strain?
The last time it was a different one, but all of the strains I tried (3 or 4) at the end: the same terrible scent.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
But what you describe is sort of the normal course of events for how smell develops. Most bud smells very mild in the first few weeks, often progressing to sweet fruity flavours that usually get more dank and sometimes foul smelling in late flower. Some strains smell like cat piss, rot, crap, etc.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
I don't know man. I've read about stuff you're saying, but not sure if that's the case here. I mean, I tried 4 different strains, I don't think they all would smell the same. The thing is the smell was very mild at first and I mean normal smell. Than it had gotten to something otherworldly meaning it smelled amazingly great. And now it's just awful. Depressing..

But thanks for the help anyway.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Probably a mold-paradise in there. Did you thoroughly and completely clean and sterilize the space and everything in it after the first bad experience? Did you do the same to the air conditioning system that is blowing into that space? And did you make sure that the unit is properly draining the accumulated moisture?

I'm guessing, "No," but I could be wrong.

Also, I got the impression that the air conditioning vent is blowing directly on the plants. That's not a good idea. It should be cooling the general grow space. One final thought: If the air conditioner is too large (in cooling capacity) for the space, then it most likely will not be lowering the humidity level significantly. One that is too powerful for a space is even worse than one which isn't powerful enough.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
Did you thoroughly and completely clean and sterilize the space and everything in it after the first bad experience?
Yep, that definitely isn't an issue, because I grew it in a different place this time. Before it was in the summer house.

did you make sure that the unit is properly draining the accumulated moisture?
Didn't exactly check that. Maybe you're right, there could be this type of problem.

the air conditioning vent is blowing directly on the plants
Well, it's like 3 meters away from the plant but give or take, yes, it was aimed at the plant.

air conditioner is too large
I think in general the size is optimal enough for the room, the room is quite spacious.

Thanks a lot for this reply! I think I'll have to get the humidity meter before trying again.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
Also a question guys, is it safe to use bioinoculants/microbial inoculants/soil inoculants while growing? They tend to be widely used for growing vegetables and are said to kill a lot of unwanted bacteria/mould, but I cant really find much about using them for cannabis.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
Are these stinky grows your first? Or have you had other ones previously that worked out smelling properly to you? What's your growing medium/nutrients etc?
Well, as I said, I tried growing couple of times before but every time they turn out that way. At first they smell great and then something happens and the whole plant start smelling awful. I feel like I'm making some stupid mistake in the process over and over. I didn't use any nutrients this time, just bought a prepared soil for growing overall plants.
 

PE636

Well-Known Member
There is some air exchange to the room though right, under the door or a cracked window or something? I'm with @TorturedSoul if I was using an ac I'd be pointing it away from the plants and cleaning it extremely well first...Has it been used for all these grows? The smell of ammonia and such foulness usually indicates some kind of anaerobic bacterial action.
 

WeedDude69

New Member
There is some air exchange to the room though right, under the door or a cracked window or something? I'm with @TorturedSoul if I was using an ac I'd be pointing it away from the plants and cleaning it extremely well first...Has it been used for all these grows? The smell of ammonia and such foulness usually indicates some kind of anaerobic bacterial action.
Well sure, one of the windows is wooden, not plastic, and there's plenty gaps in those. But there isn't a proper ventilation system installed. The room itself is about 250 square feet with a 10 foot high ceiling, it's pretty spacious.
Neither the A/C nor the room was used to grow anything prior. Before I was trying to grow it at the summer house, this one is a city apartment.
 
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