What’s going on with my plants?!

Does anyone know what might be going on here? I don’t know why I come out every day and there are new yellow leaves at the bottom of my plants. On my 6 plants, I literally find one or two new yellow leaves each day. I pluck them off but they keep showing up (some come off with very little effort). I can some start to yellow and the next day they’ll be totally yellow. They are individual leaves attached directly to the stalk rather than branches.


Strain: 4 white Widow and 2 gold leaf

Age: they all sprouted by 4/5-4/6, so they’re about 9 weeks old

Type: feminized and purchased from ILGM

Climate: outdoor

Medium: soil in pots - Fox Farms Ocean Forest

pH: haven’t tested runoff but I use an electronic tester in the soil. It’s pretty regularly 6.8-6.9, and I just started using pH down to try to help adjust it. Last I checked it was higher—more explanation to follow

Light type: sun

Temperature: a few weeks ago we had cold and rain but since then it’s been bright, sunny, and warm. Lows have been in the low-mid 60’s and the highs are mid 80’s. This week it’s been in the 100’s

I know that I’m dealing with thrips—but could they be doing ALL this? And so quickly? I just got some neem oil that I made into a solution but I sprayed it in a small spot and am waiting the 24 hours to make sure it doesn’t hurt my plants. We’re a little over 12 hours in and that branch looks fine, though. I also know I’m dealing with some caterpillars—my leaves are chewed up and I’ve picked off several of them.

I’m kinda worried about Nute Burn on some of them. I feel it’s worth mentioning that about a month ago I was just giving them water. When I posted on the forum and mentioned they’re growing in Fox Farms Ocean Forest, many people said that the soil is so nutrient rich that I shouldn’t need to add extra nutrients, so I got nervous and didn’t. But after two weeks they started showing unhealthy signs. A calcium deficiency is believed to be part of the problem. So we started giving them ILGM’s growtime again and within a week the SMALLEST amount of growth was 8 1/2”, literally doubling the growth that each plant had each previous week. This last Saturday or Sunday we gave them calmag via foliar feeding and they seemed to LOVE it. It really seemed to help a lot.

But we’ve also realized that our pH is pretty consistently 6.8-6.9, so we got pH down to help with that. (Depending on what blog I read on ilgm, it’s supposed to be either between 5.8-6.3 or 6-7 lol). So this last week I started giving them lower pH’d water—closer to 6.2–to try to help bring it down. I gave them each a gallon a couple days during the week. While the girls love it, it’s also been in the 100’s here in Southern California. When we checked their pH on Saturday (like we always do) the pH came up varying from 7.2-7.6! We freaked out a little. We gave them their weekly nutrients but the soil was so dry that the water drained out a little too quickly. (It only occurred to me later that we may have had such a high reading BECAUSE the soil was so dry). We let that dry overnight (and it DID dry overnight) and the next day we gave them another gallon of water with less than a third of the regular dosage of nutrients, in addition to a half gallon of neutrally pH’d water. And now here we are.

I’ve been finding some leaves with “burnt-looking” edges that I had originally attributed to thrips. But that was BEFORE all of this and those leaves were still a nice green color. SINCE this, I found this leaf like in the first picture which I’m feeling is more Nute Burn, namely because of the yellowing that’s coming along with it (it’s on one of the gold leafs). I gave them neutrally pH’d water yesterday. So, after that long explanation, does anyone have an opinion on what’s going on? Nute Burn? Are thrips just wreaking havoc? Is there a deficiency? What does anyone suggest my next steps should be to help my ladies? Please help! Thank you!

These first two are the same leaf from one day to the next—this is the gold leaf I fear is Nute Burn.

These are the yellow leaves that I’ve found today

These leaves are yellowing and will probably be yellow tomorrow:

These are all the leaves I picked off this morning after taking pictures:

And now I’ve noticed my little autoflower is doing this! My autoflower seedlings are just in some regular miracle-grow with an appropriate NPK:

And is this a pest’s work coupled with wind or just a pest?

Sorry, I know it’s a lot but I figured as much detail as possible will help get the right solution. Thank you anyone and everyone! I’m anxiously awaiting your help!

I would suggest go ahead and pot up and get into 5 or 7 gallon fabric pot give Roots room to expand. Get a digital pH meter where you can get a more reliable pH reading check runoff. Good luck


Hey, thanks for responding so quickly!

They’re currently in essentially 6.2 gallon pots (or something around there), in about 5 gallons of soil. You think I should transplant into bigger pots? You think it might be a root issue? Or are you just talking about my autoflower plants? They are about ready to transplant, that’s for sure.

I use an electric pH meter. I’ve never tested runoff though. Do I just catch the water and test it or how do I do it?

Thanks again!

After you water in catch the water coming out the bottom in a pan read the pH . Sorry your pots look smaller in the picture.

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I think they maybe just hungry. Looks like a slight cal mag as well (the yellow/brown spots)

The infected leaves will not ‘get back pretty’ but it shouldnt keep spreading.

9 week old in 5 galls of soil means u shouldnt be rootbound… as suggested get a pH water meter. Very important. Also a ppm meter would let u know how she is eating.

If you can restate how you are feeding and what you are feeding with. Then asap check your runoffs… ill poke a few more knowledgeable people tho.

@garrigan62 @MattyBear @blackthumbbetty @BigDaddyCain

Can yall give ur opinions here


You’re probably looking at pH lockout. For soil, you want 6.3-6.8 with the sweet spot being 6.5.

With Fox Farms, they recommend regular flushes.


Thanks for responding!

They’re in Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil and once a week they’re getting ILGM’s Growtime fertilizer. This last Saturday they got a foliar feeding of calmag and a week and a half before that I added calmag to the water, but otherwise they’re just getting water and ILGM’s Bug Blaster for pests (which clearly is not doing the trick at all, so I’m testing out a neem oil spray).

I definitely see the roots trying to poke out the bottoms of the holes, but the holes aren’t solid white or anything so they’re not rootbound yet.

So you think all the new yellow leaves at the bottom are a sign of hunger instead of thrips/pests, watering, or Nute Burn? When you say hunger do you mean nutrients? I was worried the first picture was either a sign of Nute Burn or possibly some other deficiency, but the yellowing from the edges inward is new.

I’ve got two electric pH meters, one for soil and one for water. However, we WERE using pH strips for the water and only got the electric meter over the weekend, so NOW we’re pretty sure we’ve got accurate readings (unless dry soil affects those readings).

The soil keeps drying out like each day but I could swear I’ve seen everywhere that they don’t need to be/shouldn’t be watered every day. I give them each a gallon at a time, though I can do more if needed. Thoughts? Thanks everybody!

pH lockout? Is that the same as nutrient lockout? I hadn’t heard that I need to do regular flushes! I’ll start that. Flush with neutrally pH’d water? How often? I’m always worried that if I flush I might overwater them

You water them when they need watered. If yours need it daily, then water them daily.

I am still leaning towards pH lockout making them hungry. You’re feeding them plenty, but they just can’t eat it.


No you’re right. The pots you can see are the pots of my little autoflowers, so they do need to get transplanted into bigger pots soon.

We also don’t have the pots sitting in pans. I thought as their pots get bigger it wasn’t as necessary. Do you think I should get pans for the pots?

Outside? Its hella hot. From the photos… the full yellow leaves scream one of three things.
1 FEED ME!!!
2 rootbound?
Or 3 overwater.

By hungry yes i mean more nutes. But save that for last adjustment. Could u snap a full body photo? Pot and plant. N if u are watering without adequate drytime/drainage. Also could be the culprit. Ur pot does have holes no? :joy::joy::joy:


Nope. Screw the pans. I was just addressing that :joy:. That PH is a pita. Get on it first

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Flushing is your friend, if done properly. You can go ahead and run about 15 gallons of properly pH’d water through, checking the run-off after every few gallons. Stop when you get where you need to be. Then, give a light properly pH’d feeding. You won’t water/feed again until the medium dries out.


Fair enough, and that’s how it seems—that they need it daily. I’ll continue doing it each day. Neutrally pH’d water? Or should I flush?

You need to get your run-off pH to close to 6.5 before you do anything else. I recommend a flush. Once your pH is in range and your plants are fed, the leaf issues should stop.

If not, we’ll move on to the next step. However, your pH is clearly off, so let’s fix it and get your girls green, again.


Lol yeah they have holes and good drainage. It’s been hot af and they’ve been dealing with some wind. They look a little more lackluster today than they have been. They’ve been standing straight up with their leaves reaching for the sun mostly. The small ones are my autoflowers that are only about 5 weeks old and they’re going to be transplanted no later than this weekend.

Alright so right now the consensus is pH lockout so I need to flush them all. Is that the case on my autoflowers too? They’re showing signs of problems but I thought at their stage they’re at a serious risk of drowning. Their pots are only 1.2 L. This one did get blown over a couple days ago but I stood her up and packed the soil and she hasn’t fallen again, but she’s also showing the most signs of a problem

So run no more than 15 gallons of neutrally pH’d water through each pot, periodically testing the runoff until it gets down to 6.5. Then give them a light feeding of nutrients. The damaged leaves won’t recover, but there shouldn’t be any new damage. Does that all sound right?

You can probably hold off with the autos, but make sure you’re adjusting the input to close range and checking run-off regularly. Don’t use neutrally pH’d water at this stage, always go in somewhere in the proper range.

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Ok those 5 gall pots? Cant be! And for 9 weeks u have monsters. I think uppotting may help as well. Not sure how to go about it now… betty!!! @blackthumbbetty what do u think? Flush or transplant?

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Transplant and a good properly pH’d watering in. Keep that pH in check!

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And they actually look pretty healthy. Dont overreact. KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid