One of the traumatic parts of growing cannabis is going into your grow room one morning and seeing your plants droopy and looking miserable.

This gets your heart going as you try to puzzle your way through causes and solutions on-hand while trying to guess if the plants have drooped too far and you’ve lost them.

While this is more common among automated aeroponic systems or hydroponic water levels getting too low, it has been known to happen in soil and growing mediums that dry out quickly.

Your cannabis plants can be drooping for many reasons and it’s important to act quickly as they cannot absorb light while they are drooping. Common causes of cannabis plants drooping include over-watering, PH of your medium being too acidic, and insect pests.

Luckily, if you catch the droop quickly enough you can mitigate any permanent harm.

If you’re new to growing then your plant might fall into the over and under watering category. Let’s take a deeper look into what causes cannabis fan leaves to droop.

What are the causes of drooping in cannabis?

Drooping is a little bit different from wilting so don’t get them both confused.

Drooping is when the entire fan leaf starts to buckle and fall over while wilting is when the fan leaf blades start to curl upwards, and typically cannabis leaves canoeing up is caused by nutrient burn or under-watering.

Each of them generally has its causes and solutions so you can’t mix them up if you are diligent with your research.

All plants have a high percentage of water as they are mostly water. The reason for this is that it not only keeps your cannabis plant hydrated but also enables the uptake of nutrients while moderating the temperature of the plant through transpiration.

As such, water is incredibly important to the growing of cannabis.


The most common causes of drooping come from the application of watering itself.

All growers go through a learning phase of how much water their growing mediums and plants can handle, this is what we talk about when discussing “dialing in your grow” as it refers to tweaking the growth plan for optimal applications.

Over-watering your cannabis plant is when your growing medium is so bogged with water that the plant can’t use it up quickly enough.

Roots need air to function properly and if you have too much water in your medium for too long then the roots will choke, eventually killing the cannabis plant.

This is particularly common in soil mixes that use peat and vermiculite as they have high water-retentive qualities that can easily be over-saturated.

Poor Drainage

The soil and roots of your cannabis plants need oxygen as much as they need water.

Pots need to have some form of drainage on the bottom or sides so that extra water can escape. Otherwise, it will sit and the roots will suffocate and start to rot.

When your growing medium is too compacted there won’t be enough space for the water to flow through.

Fresh soil is aerated with plenty of tiny routes for water to travel after a watering. As the soil gets pushed down, either by hands or constant watering, it starts to act like a clogged filter and will stop releasing water. A common symptom of this is when water pools on the top of the pot after watering.

If your cannabis plant is root bound then it will most likely have drainage issues. This is a common occurrence with plants that have outgrown their pots but have failed to be transplanted to a larger vessel.

The roots have no extra space to grow and will start to grow inward on themselves as they compete for what water can squeeze through. Eventually, the soil will get so thick with roots that water won’t be able to penetrate which causes rot to set in.

Some steps to take if your plant is drooping in soil

You’ll more than likely notice drooping in the morning as it will happen overnight and once you get over the initial thoughts there are some preliminary things you can do:

  • Lift the pot and see if water starts to drain out the bottom. This is a great time to gauge how saturated the pot is by lifting it. If the drooping isn’t bad then just leave your plant alone until it bounces back.
  • Stick your fingers into the soil and feel how resistant it is. If it’s difficult to poke through then you could have a root-bound plant. You should transplant it into a bigger pot as soon as you can.
  • If your roots are mushy when you probe with your finger then you could have a pathogen in the soil that is causing root rot. This isn’t a necessarily fixable situation but a transplant with the damaged roots cut off could preserve the plant.

How to prevent cannabis drooping

It’s unfortunate if you have to try and fix drooping cannabis plants, but there are ways to prevent it from happening.

Prevention for drooping is important because even if you were able to revive the plant, it will need at least a week to recover from the shock and it won’t be able to reach its full potential which can affect the final yield.

It’s not difficult to manage as long as you have a plan in place.

Materials that are breathable like cloth do best when you’re using growing mediums such as soil because the soil holds water for longer periods. If you are using coco coir or another hydroponic medium that dries out quickly and doesn’t hold onto water, then something like a plastic pot would work as they help retain more moisture.

Transplanting your plants is important when they get bigger.

Roots need plenty of space to stretch out their little fibers that are seeing out moisture. Give your cannabis enough root space and it’ll allow them to build up a strong canopy for flowers.

Don’t let your plants droop

To get the most out of your plants’ yield and just out of respect for the plant, don’t let this happen.

It’s quite difficult to do it if you keep your soil loose, your plant in a large enough pot, and water accordingly and based on what your cannabis can handle.

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