Marijuana is one of the more difficult plants to cultivate successfully. From initial vegetation to flowering, cannabis plants need more attention than most plants. While marijuana technically can grow in an outdoor field, it takes some skill to cultivate a cannabis plant the right way. Luckily, people have been growing cannabis for thousands of years – long enough to perfect specific process. That said, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cannabis strains and phenotypes, and each one grows a little differently.
Knowing how to grow one strain doesn’t mean you know how to grow them all. Each plant will develop a bit differently and will react to nutrients, water, and humidity in its own way. Throughout the entire cultivation process, growers must pay attention to plant ailments, deficiencies, bugs, and even the climate of their grow room. The most common issue that most beginner and novice growers face is nutrient burn.
What is Nutrient Burn?
Nutrient burn is possibly the most common ailment to occur while growing cannabis. Nutrient burn is brought on by overfeeding the cannabis plants or by mixing nutrients to b. It’s an honest mistake to make, especially for beginning growers. Nutrient burn can destroy cannabis plants at every step of the growing process. Nutrient burn is no joke and is known for holding up many cannabis growers. Even though nutrient burn can completely destroy the plant’s final product, if caught early, it is a small hiccup in the growing process.
Signs of Nutrient Burn:
The plant’s leaf tips curl at around 90 degrees.
Stalks and branches become dark red or purple.
The plant’s leaves turn dark green.
The sugar leaves will turn yellow at the tips.
The signs of nutrient build-up, or burn, allows for cultivators to recognize this issue and act accordingly. Build-up does not guarantee a plants demise but certainly sets it down that path. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the cannabis plant throughout the whole growing process. The most important sign to keep an eye out for is large yellow spots that look burnt. Many beginning growers may think this is a sign of too much light, but that’s not the case. Catching it earlycould save the entire harvest from failing.
How is Nutrient Burn Caused?
The most basic answer to the cause of nutrient burn is overfeeding the marijuana plant. While this is the most common cause, there are still other factors cultivators should understand. Depending on the type of cultivation taking place, growers can cause nutrient burn in a few ways. Whether growers pre-mix their soil or use liquid nutrients, nutrient burn is still a potential threat. While some growing methods leave more room for human error than others, over-feeding is always possible. Here are some of the most common factors for the cause of nutrient burn.
Primary Causes of Nutrient Burn:
Mixing nutrients at stronger concentrations than recommended
Using growth stimulants too often can cause an excessive nutrient intake
Overwatering plants does not allow them to access enough oxygen
All of these causes can be prevented or balanced throughout the growing process. That’s why nutrient burn does not mean the end of the plant but does require immediate care. Correcting nutrient burn is no easy task, but understanding how this ailment occurs allows cultivators to know how to fix the problem. Beginning cultivators would drastically benefit from knowing how to handle nutrient burn before it happens. Anytime this can be caught and dealt with early, nutrient burn has a far less chance for becoming a threatening ailment.
Ways to Fix Nutrient Burn
Burn can occur in any phase of the growing process and is more severe if it happens during the flowering stage. It’s important to work these issues out during vegetation rather than while flowering. If the nutrient burn is not taken care of, it will eventually destroy the plant’s leaves and overall health of the marijuana plant. There are immediate steps growers can take to correct nutrient burn on cannabis plants.
- Stop feeding the plant immediately. Double check the nutrients and the dosages that have been feed to the plant. If using a manual-watering system, go ahead and flush the soil with clean, pH-balanced water. Flushing will help remove excess nutrients and hopefully balance the plant out. If using a hydro system, try adding plain pH balanced water to dilute the nutrient levels in the mix. It may also be a good idea to completely remake the mix with lower levels of nutrients (Be careful, a lot of change may shock the plant).
- Trim all old leaves that were affected by the nutrient burn. These leaves will not regrow, but it will prevent them from rotting and diminishing the overall health of the plant. Plus, it helps growers to keep from mistaking old, burnt leaves as current nutrient burn.
- Before putting the plant back on a feeding schedule, cut the nutrient levels by 25 ? 50 percent. This step will keep the plant from being overfed again. Most liquid nutrients on the market suggest high levels of feeding across the board. Every cannabis plant is different, and growers must treat them as such. It’s easier to deal with a nitrogen deficiency from low nutrient levels, than the effects of nutrient burn.
These steps may seem simple but, are not always as easy as people would think. The primary step in fixing nutrient burn is noticing it quick enough. When growers miss the signs, the plant’s quality and yield are drastically affected. Following the steps above is a broad solution to the problem. While flushing your soil, or hydro system, with pH balanced water is a must, the other steps will change upon different cannabis strains. Each strain requires different nutrients at different levels. It’s a constant balancing act, which can be tough to figure out for each strain. When adjusting feeding schedules and nutrient levels, be careful not to do too much all at once. Take the changes slowly and pay close attention to how the plant is reacting throughout the adjustments.
The Benefits of Fixing/Preventing Nutrient Burn
Not only can nutrient burn be corrected, but there are steps that growers can take to prevent it from happening altogether. For instance, it’s a good idea to always to keep your nutrient levels lower, rather than higher. More is not always better when it comes to growing cannabis. If using liquid nutrients, try using ¾ or even a half of the suggested dosages. Again, the effects of low-nutrient levels are far less severe than the impact of nutrient burn. There is a device called a TDS meter, which helps to read nutrient levels of the plant’s soil. This device is ideal for helping to prevent nutrient burn and fix it after the fact.
Nutrient burn is essential for cultivators to understand. If a cannabis plant is not taken care of, the overall weight and health of the plant will diminish.
Burn is especially harmful to the end product if it occurs during the flowering phase. The plant cannot bounce back from any losses at this stage. In vegetation, cannabis plants are continuously growing more leaves. Leaf growth stops once flowering begins, and the focus becomes the growth of the buds. If a plant is still suffering from nutrient burn during the flowering phase, it will be tough to flood all of the excess nutrients when harvesting. In turn, the buds may have a chemical taste and lack overall quality. Taking care of nutrient burn can save an entire harvest, keep the buds tasting great, and give growers the yield they desire!
Learn more about how to grow cannabis, here!