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The Burn Ultimatum: Why You Need to Monitor & Control Cannabis Leaf Temperature

Monitoring the temperature of your cannabis plant’s leaf surface, or canopy temperature, is essential for achieving optimal growth and yields.

You see, many growers invest significantly in environmental controls.

However, they sometimes forget to optimize their temperature at the canopy level where it’s most important.

So where do you begin?

Our cultivation specialists recommend prioritizing your Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD), which directly impacts transpiration rates and nutrient uptake.

Simply put, Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) is the difference between the amount of moisture in the air and how much moisture the air can hold when it is saturated.

Let’s Dive Deeper in VPD…

VPD is key to optimal CO2 assimilation by the plant…

And its important to understand that the majority of your plant’s biomass is created from carbon captured through photosynthesis, making VPD optimization in the room — and especially at the canopy level — one of the keystones of a successful grow.

If your Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) is too high, the air is too dry, and your plants will lose moisture rapidly from excessive transpiration. They’ll then close their stomata to converse what water’s left, resulting in…

 

On the other hand…

If your VPD is too low, it means the air is too humid and your plants can’t transpire efficiently. This can result in waterlogging within the plant tissues, leading to…

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Reduced nutrient uptake
  • Slower growth and weaker structure

 

Your average environmental monitoring system will regulate temperature and humidity based on grow room conditions. But this can potentially lead to overlooking more nuanced canopy-level factors like VPD.

To measure Vapor Pressure Deficit, you’d calculate the difference between the actual vapor pressure of the air and the saturation vapor pressure at a given temperature. However, you can use a VPD chart to simplify the process and get quick and accurate readings.

Cannabis VPD chart for ideal grow room temperature and humidity

Follow this link to see our VPD chart guide.

Next, you want to consider that…

Different Types of Grow Lights Emit Varying Levels of Radiant Heat

…Which can significantly affect your canopy temperature.

For example, High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights generate a substantial amount of heat and can raise the temperature around the plant canopy more than LED lights. However, while LED lights are generally cooler, they can still contribute to localized heating.

So long as you account for these differences, you’ll be able to manage your grow environment successfully.

As a helpful starting point, refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines.

Most will provide you with recommendations for the optimal distance between your new lights and the canopy. Stick to these guidelines and you’ll help ensure your plants receive the light they need without experiencing heat stress, leading to healthier growth and heavier yields.

Next, let’s take a look at…

5 Techniques for Controlling Cannabis Leaf Surface Temperature

As a cannabis cultivator, you can employ various techniques to maintain a balanced microclimate around the canopy and ensure your plants can thrive.

Cannabis Bud in Bloom under Commercial Grow Lights

Here are some effective methods:

  1. Fans and Air Circulation: Positioning fans to move air in the gap between the light and the canopy helps dissipate heat and maintain an even temperature distribution.
  2. Light Distance Adjustment: Adjusting the distance between the grow lights and the canopy based on manufacturer guidelines can prevent excessive radiant heat from impacting your plants.
  3. Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers: Using these devices helps control humidity levels, ensuring they stay within the optimal range for VPD.
  4. Environmental Control Systems: Automated systems that monitor and adjust temperature and humidity in real-time can provide precise control over the growing environment.
  5. Infrared Thermometers: Regularly checking leaf surface temperatures with an infrared thermometer ensures that the canopy is not experiencing heat stress.

 

Employ these methods to ensure you’re effectively managing your cannabis’s leaf surface temperature, and you’ll promote optimal plant development and heavier yields come harvest.

You also want to…

Optimize Your PPFD

While we need to dial in your canopy’s environment, we also want to make sure you’re getting the optimal PPFD from your lighting.

And sometimes, it can be a balancing act to optimize both.

Cannabis plants indoor grow room yellow lights.

An critical measurement in cannabis cultivation, Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) shows how much light reaches the cannabis plant leaves. PPFD is measured in micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m²/s) using a special light sensor called a quantum sensor or PAR meter.

To coax optimal growth from your plants, you need to provide the right amount of light without causing problems like:

  • Slowed Photosynthesis: Too much light can stress your plants, making it harder for them to use CO2 efficiently.
  • Unhealthy Water Use: High light levels can make plants lose water rapdily, leading to imbalances.
  • Slowed Growth: Excessive light can slow down cannabis’s overall growth.
  • Leaf Damage: Too much light can burn or bleach the leaves.

 

The goal is always to find the right balance – giving plants enough light to thrive without causing harm.

The best way to optimize your light environment is to use a PPFD calculator. This way, your cannabis receives the right amount of light during each stage of its development.

And with a PPFD calculator, you can tailor your lighting setup to optimize photosynthesis, leading to…

  • Increased yields
  • Improved plant quality
  • More efficient energy use

 

And you can get the most from your lighting setup without jeopardizing the health of your plants.

Concluding Thoughts on Cannabis Leaf Temperature

Healthy cannabis plants indoors under LEDs.

As you can see, effectively managing leaf surface temperature and refining your lighting environment is essential for growing a crop you can be proud of.

Utilizing tools like a VPD chart and PPFD calculator ensures you’ve optimized conditions for robust growth and heavy yields. And incorporating techniques such as proper air circulation, light distance adjustment, and dialed-in environment controls helps promote the balanced environment your crop needs to thrive.

The bottom line that with careful monitoring and adjustment, you can achieve the high yields and superior crop quality you’re after.

Did you like this article? Share it with friends, sign up for our newsletter and enjoy helpful tips from our cultivation specialists!

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The Advanced Nutrients Team

Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

If you are a grower, visit this link to find the closest Advanced Nutrients Authorized Retailer. If you are a retailer, visit this link to identify our official distributors.

Our greatest passion is growing great cannabis—and helping other growers do the same. That’s why we offer complimentary cultivation support 24/7 from Monday to Friday and from 9 AM until 7 PM PST on Saturday… With the same level of advice licensed producers would pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to unlock.
Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

Yes! If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with the results you achieve when you use our products, just bring the unused portion, along with your original sales receipt, back to the place of purchase within six months, and ask for your money back. Find out more about our Grower Guarantee here.

Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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