Cannabis Questions Answered – What Is Nutrient Burn? How Do I Deal With It?


If you intend to grow marijuana, you have to understand that you may experience a wide assortment of problems. Depending on the type of problem and its severity, there is a risk that it could lower your yield and negatively impact the bud’s potency. If you’re dealing with a severe problem, the plant may not survive. One of the most disturbing problems is nutrient burn. While you’ll want to give your plants plenty of nutrients, you have to be cautious of overdoing it. What is nutrient burn? How can you remedy this problem before it is too late?

You will find out in the guide below.

What Is Nutrient Burn?

Nutrient burn can happen to anyone. However, it tends to be most common among new growers. The problem occurs when you give your plants too many nutrients. New growers often believe that more is always better but this is not the case. Overfeeding your plants can create real problems and you’ll want to avoid that. You have to be very careful when feeding your plants. You need to give them the precise amount they need without going under or over.

For beginners, it can be tough to hit that sweet spot. With experience, this will be much easier. To prevent a nutrient burn, it is best to provide fewer nutrients. That will ensure that you’ll be able to go back and give the plants more later. If you’ve overfed, you shouldn’t worry just yet. You may be able to rectify the problem before it destroys your crop.

What Causes Nutrient Burn?

Ultimately, a nutrient burn is a serious problem and it can be caused by several mistakes. For instance, you may be overwatering your plants. You need to give the plants plenty of time to consume the water and access oxygen. You can avoid this issue by waiting until the soil dries. When the plant begins sagging slightly, it is telling you that it needs more water. There is a chance that you gave the plant stronger nutrients than needed during one of the life stages.

If you’re using a bloom booster, you may have done so too often or you gave your plants too much. Growth stimulants are great but you want to avoid overusing them. Too much can result in nutrient burning and dwarfism. As you gain more experience growing marijuana plants, you’ll find that it is much easier to avoid nutrient burn than you initially thought.

How To Identify Nutrient Burn?

You need to know how to identify nutrient burn so you can fix the problem as quickly as possible. Since nitrogen is predominant among cannabis nutrients, you will likely experience a nitrogen toxicity issue. You can identify this problem easily. If you notice any of the following problems, there is a risk that you’ve given your plants too many nutrients.

  • The leaves have become very deep green
  • The tips look fluorescent
  • You notice the tips bending at a 90-degree angle
  • The stalks and branches have developed a dark red, purple, or magenta color
  • The calyx tips and sugar leaves have turned yellow before experiencing dieback

Do you notice any yellowing of the tips? If so and the problem is widespread, you’re likely dealing with a nutrient burn problem. As your plant ages, burnt tips will become more common and this isn’t always a problem. If the issue spreads all over and the leaves begin curling or turning brown, you are dealing with a severe problem. If your plants have entered the flowering stage, this problem may take a toll on the buds too.

Overdosing the plant on any nutrient will result in the same problems. Again, nitrogen toxicity is the most common issue you’ll face but it could be anything. You have to diagnosis the problem by remembering what you gave the plant and how much.

How To Fix Nutrient Burn

Depending on the severity of the problem, a nutrient burn may not be the end of your plant. Once you’ve confirmed that this is the problem you’re dealing with, you’ll want to resolve this problem immediately. First, you should get rid of the damaged materials. You can remove the leaves and other materials to be safe. You’ll also want to take care of your growing medium. If you’ve added too many nutrients to the soil, it is not going to disappear. You have to flush the medium to clean it. The best way to do that is by using fresh, pH balanced water.

You can use a pH/EC meter to check the pH level before adding it to the soil. It is a good idea to give the plant plain water for a few days or longer. When things return to normal, you can begin adding nutrients to the water again. However, you should minimize the strength by a quarter to prevent further problems.

How Can You Prevent Nutrient Burn?

At the end of the day, the best way to solve this problem is by avoiding it completely. Nutrient burn is mainly a problem among new growers. However, anyone can make an accident. During each growth stage, the number of nutrients needed will change significantly. You’ll want to read the label as well. To be cautious, it is best to minimize the nutrients given. Don’t give the full recommended dose. Instead, you should only use ¾ of the recommended dose. This will help you avoid issues and keep your plants safe.

Is Nutrient Burn The End?

Many things can kill cannabis plants and nutrient burn is a serious problem. However, it doesn’t always mean your plants are going to perish. It depends on the severity of the problem and how many nutrients you used. If you didn’t overdo it too severely, you can likely reverse the problem. If you notice a little nutrient burn on your leaves, you can solve that problem by flushing the soil with plain water. Catch the problem and begin treating it as soon as possible. Do that and your plants will likely be fine.

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