Hemp Heat Stress: How To Identify, Treat, and Prevent It
The last thing anyone wants to see is their hemp plants dying because of heat stress. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to experience long periods of above-average heat with little water during the hot summer months. Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, learning to identify the warning signs of hemp heat stress is critical during the summertime. If you can spot the symptoms of heat stress and then take action to treat it, you are one step closer to securing a bountiful harvest of high-quality hemp flowers.
In the following article, we’ll offer an in-depth look at the warning signs of heat stress, how to treat hemp plants that are experiencing heat stress, and preventative measures you should take to ensure your hemp plants never become overheated.
If your hemp plants are experiencing heat stress, they’re going to stop growing and put all their energy into surviving. This situation is far from ideal as extended periods of heat stress could not only impede growth but could also affect yield and quality and eventually lead to the untimely death of your hemp plants.
Some of the symptoms of hemp heat stress include:
- Leaves curling up or “tacoing”
- Leaves wilting and branches drooping
- Tops of plants appear bleached
- Brown spots appearing on leaves
- Tips of leaflets appear burnt
- Formation of “foxtailing” buds
How To Treat Heat Stress in Hemp Plants
Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that your hemp plants don’t suffer during a heatwave. If you noticed any of the symptoms listed above, you might consider the following:
- Moving your plants to a shady area or adding shade to your plants during the hottest part of the day is an excellent way to help combat heat stress.
- If you are growing in a greenhouse, an external shade cloth can be used to block the sun’s rays.
- Watering in the morning when it’s still cool is a great way to get the most out of the water you’re giving your hemp plants.
- There are various supplements that you can give your hemp plants, including seaweed extract, which can help to minimize the symptoms of heat stress in hemp plants.
How To Prevent Heat Stress in Hemp Plants
Rather than treating the symptoms of hemp heat stress when they appear, taking preventative measures will help to ensure that your plants don’t become overheated in the first place. Here are some of the preventative measures that you can take:
- Never let your growing medium dry out. This is crucial. By keeping a close eye on your soil, you’ll be able to water the plants before they begin to wilt. Using a soil mix that offers good moisture retention will help to cut down on watering.
- Avoid overwatering the plants. If your soil isn’t draining correctly, the excess water could be depriving your plants of the oxygen they need.
- Space your plants four to six feet apart to allow adequate airflow throughout the canopy.
- Plant directly into the ground rather than using raised beds or pots.
- Grow a cultivar that is resistant to hot weather. Hemp strains such as Trinity and Titan can handle hot climates.
Now you should have a clear idea about what heat stress is, how to identify the warning signs your hemp plants may be overheated, and how to prevent and treat it. As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. Take notes on what worked and what didn’t this season so that you’ll be better prepared for the following year.
What are your top tips for keeping hemp plants cool during the summer? Please share your knowledge in the comment section below.