Why do my branches keeping breaking off?

I have 3 different varieties of MJ plants in my outdoor garden. The plants are 4 or 5 feet tall and appear healthy, however, the lower branches keep collapsing to the ground. We’re juicing the leaves for medical marijuana, so it’s not a terrible loss, but it’s never happened before. The branches just break at the main stem and there is just a sliver of the branch connected to the main stem. I cut the branches and it seems to heal over quickly–but the plants are naked below 2’ now. Any suggestions?


I would add some supports. And tie the lower branches back so they couldn’t fall over easily.


Thanks, I have tied the limbs (a little late for most of them) but I’m curious why they are collapsing. This is my third outdoor grow and it is the only time this has occurred. The limbs are thick and appear well nourished–but they just break at the main stem. All three strains (Harlequin, Wonder Woman and Master Kush) are behaving the same. I would assume it was nutritional or water-related, but they are being treated the same as past years. Also wondered if it could be related to the temperature swings (highs in the low 80’s and lows in the low 50’s).

I would suspect a critter first since its outdoor. Is there any indications?

What’s your watering schedule / pattern ?

Stomper, that was my initial thought–but no indication. My plants are in the vegetable garden and it is fenced. Only critters are squirrels and Oregon Jays. The branches are thick but weak and they just collapse. I’ve tied the remaining branches, but the plants look bizarre with 2 feet of naked stem.

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A good soaking every fourth day. We don’t get much summertime rain so I allow 3 dry days and then I water. Same schedule for my tomato and squash plants.

Our second year of outdoor grow for our own use and I’ve had a couple of branches break off too about three weeks ago. All plants are healthy and are doing great, but I figured it was a bird or something since they are on a second floor deck.

The lower branches have continued to collapse, but I think I know why. It seems that shortly after watering they break. I’m assuming that the water makes its way to the leaves and the branches can’t take the extra weight. This only occurs in the lower branches that are mostly horizontal–and I have seen it occur just 10 minutes after watering. I’ve tied and supported the upper branches, but they did not seem to be effected anyway.

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same with mine. Yesterday a large lower branch broke soon after water. I’m going to support the rest of the plants now so it won’t happen again. I should have used netting or a tomato cage to support them.

My question is why are you putting water on the branches? I always just water the soil. I may occasionally spray a tiny bit of water on the plant in the morning to help strengthen them for when buds come but I avoid all water on plant when flower has started.

From your watering schedule above I think you may be letting them dry out too much ?

…do you check them or are you locked into your watering schedule? Best to check them and not be on a set schedule

I hope you are joking? Obviously, I water the soil and roots transport the water to the leaves. Shortly (minutes) after watering, the lower branches droop or break. My plants are 6 to 8 feet tall and very healthy, so I don’t know what factor is causing this result. It’s never happened in previous years, but I’ve never grown these varieties before.

Oh excuse me! I took it in different sorry didn’t mean anything bad.

I took someone’s advice and ran a fan on my seedlings to toughen up the stalks. I’m thinking that maybe your plants, (on your deck) may not be exposed to enough wind to cause them to strengthen themselves.
No, I am not stoned, just trying to provide food for thought. I know my plants droop a little bit if they get too much water but they spring right back up the next day.
Hope you get it figured out cause I know that must be sooooo frustrating!!

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I used a fan frequently when the seedlings were indoors and they appeared to be in good shape. I moved them outside and hardened them for a couple weeks. When planted, they grew large and the stems were thick. I have never planted Harlequin before–and I have never had this issue before. I don’t believe anybody has diagnosed the issue correctly–but my solution is not to plant Harlequin next year!!

I am having the same problem with my best plant…I gave a watering the other day, and bam…lost 3 branches, all lower, today I have 3 more broken off without watering. I live in an area with a lot of wind, so from day one, they are expose to wind every afternoon. I recently had to bend the plant over as it was getting to high, would that weaken the trunk? I did it slowly over several days

I have had the same problem this year


I have the same problem this season. The only thing I can figure is that I replaced my growing medium with a fresh blend created by a local landscape supply company.

The plants grew much bigger/ faster this year compared to previous years in the old soil medium.

That sounds great, but not if the soil medium is lacking in something that makes for a strong stem and branching.

I think there was much more nitrogen available in this blend and the trunk and stems were punky, not dense enough to support the greenery at the end of the branches.