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I have this plant grown from seed (sown last day of April), it was doing fine until today. This morning I saw it was leaning over a bit, and in the evening it has completely lie down. What causes this behavior?

The plant is on a balcony facing East (morning sun), in Amsterdam the Netherlands (zone 8b according to wiki). Nothing strange with the weather, it was a bit cloudy today with temperatures around 20 C (similar as the whole week). I water it daily or every other day (depending on how wet the soil is). Has anyone seen this hanging before, and not only with pot but with any annuals?

Here the photos, the first one is from 12 June, and the last one from today (14 June).

12 June

14 June

  • Have you grown this before in the same place (like last year)? The usual cause of this leaning over is the plant's getting insufficient light so its groping one way or another to try to get more... But check the stem where it bends to make sure there's no damage of some sort that might have triggered this. – Bamboo Jun 14 '18 at 21:52
  • @Bamboo, no first time on this spot. It gets sun until 13h, so light might be an issue. But I don't understand that it happened in one day so fast, do you think that the stem is not thick enough because of the low insufficient light regime? – benn Jun 14 '18 at 22:02
  • Either that or not enough air movement - stems thicken because they wave around a bit in moving air (not strong wind, just air currents) so if its very, very sheltered, that could be an issue. Certainly, marijuana prefers full sun. But as it was so sudden, that's why I said check the stem for damage of some sort – Bamboo Jun 14 '18 at 22:05
  • Yes I will check it tomorrow, thanks. Maybe I can better try Japanese tomatoes next year. – benn Jun 14 '18 at 22:11
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    Not lazy, just very chilled - it’s in its nature ;-) – Stephie Jun 15 '18 at 13:10
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Simple answer nothing is wrong with your pot plant it has become top heavy and is bending under its own weight. I recommend using a pole to give it support. If you want a good yield, you should also be fertilizing your plant and selectively pruning to strengthen your branches.

  • Yeah thanks, it definitely became to heavy for the stem. Do you think it is a genetic problem then? Due to genetic engineering? That breeders selected for more crop at the cost of a strong stem? – benn Jun 15 '18 at 6:53
  • Potentially yes I cannot confirm or deny this claim. The plant itself has been grown for longer than people have been growing it being hemp was used to make rope. Yet, this can be seen in a variety of plants that have not had any genetic alteration and have been collected from the wild. So, this is a potential research topic for anyone who is a biology major is the slumping of plants genetic or not? – David Wisniewski Jun 15 '18 at 10:55
  • I have a PhD in molecular biology, and with genetic engineering I don't mean GMO, but selective breeding (just like people have done with dogs). I don't think the genetic selection is the problem here, I think one of @Bamboo 's options are right (or both). A friend gave me the seeds (he bought them from a dutch seeding company), and his plants are still straight, so must be something with my spot. – benn Jun 15 '18 at 11:16
  • I do not doubt your intelligence for one second but unless you sequence the genome of the plants and confirm they are infact genetically identical. Then you can not be certain that this is not the case. – David Wisniewski Jun 18 '18 at 1:12
  • Yes, there is not a gene for slumping over in particular but there is a gene that determines yield and fullness of the plant which can lead to the slumping of a plant. If you want to confirm this the link is below for genes in plants. The next link is a scientific journal on hemp which you might find intriguing.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/geneslist/default.asp – David Wisniewski Jun 18 '18 at 1:13

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