Hydroponic Box Plant Troubleshooting with Guide

Hydroponic Box Plant Troubleshooting with Guide


You can have all the fancy meters and such to take good notes about your plants, but you still need good intuition if you expect to get a good yield out of your hydroponic stealth box at oregongrowcabinets.com.

There are 5 basic problems that you will run into when growing: environmental, (temp, humidity, carbon dioxide, oxygen, or ventilation) nutrient solution problem, (not the right nutrients or in the wrong ratios), pests (virus, bacteria, insects, or fungus) or simple procedural errors like keeping your lights too far away or close to your plant.

  • Instead of trying to worry about all of the things that can go wrong, it is much easier to try to get the basics right and then tackle plant problems as soon as you notice them. If it seems your doing everything else right, always check your roots first.  Roots should be bright and white, and never slimy.  An unhealthy root will always cause a problem with your plants.
  • If your plants are wilting, then you have done one of the following- lack of watering, over-watering, lack of cooling of the growing environment, or lack of water due to damaged roots or lack of oxygen in your nutrient solution.
  • If your growing in soil, then you must pay attention to your plant-microbe diversity.  It is a good idea when you’re starting out to add some microbes artificially if you haven’t used a natural compost mixture to start.
  • Furry, slimy, or powdery leaves will indicate a plant disease.  Fluffy, powdery, are generally a fungal problem, and slime indicates a bacterial problem most likely. Your best preventative measure for any of these is to keep your grow room clean and make sure you sanitize everything in between crops.  If you see a plant with a problem, then get rid of it right away before it spreads to others.

Hydroponic Box

Grow cabinets

Out of the mistakes that beginners make most commonly, we have a list of them here:

Over-watering of plants that result in yellowing leaves that are stunted or refuse to grow. When you over-water plants, they are unable to take up their needed oxygen and are prone to get root diseases such as pythium.

Insect infestation of plants. holes chewed in the plants leaves usually are caused by caterpillar infestation.  Small flies that fly around your plants are known as white-flies.  Browning of leaves can come from black thrips, speckled leaves from mites, white bugs that infect the root zone are usually mealy bugs, aphids will cause a plant leaves to be twisted as a result of their feeding process.

To find out what you have if you’re unsure, take a picture of them and post up a picture here on our blog, I will help you identify them.  I can also give you a good method to get rid of them.  Azamax is great for prevention.

Leggy Plants

Stretching or leggy plants that won’t hold weight well. Low light levels are always the cause of this, and most commonly you can just move your plants closer to their light source for this.

If you are finding you can move your plants from their location because they are too large, then swap to a new fresh bulb or even an upgraded bulb.  Plants need lots of light for a good yield, and branches should be tied back so as much of your plant is receiving light as possible.

Hydroponic Box

Slow plant growth. Your plants need steady temps and humidity that are in the right ranges for your plants to grow.

A health differential of plant temps from day to night as lights go out is OK, but always should be kept between 70-80F at all times.  Having average night temperatures run lower than day temperatures promotes stronger growth and improved flowering.   Temperature plays a role in the microchemical reactions that occur in the plant, and control metabolism rates.

Too cold and your plant’s metabolism slows to a crawl, too hot and your plants transpire too much to worry about growing.  Humidity is absolutely crucial to keep ideal as a plant that has too low of humidity level will have the plant in more of a hibernation mode.  Too high humidity can lead to plant fungus and disease.

Water quality. Beginners a lot of times use water from the tap, without taking the time to dechlorinate the water.  Plants hate chlorine and chloramine and its like poison to them.

You can let your water from the tap sit out for a day to let the chlorine molecules evaporate out before use or use a good quality RO or reverse osmosis filter to remove them.

Ethan Wagner

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