Cannabis Nutrient Burn: How is it Fixed?

cannabis nutrient burn

Feeding your Cannabis plants with a load of nutrients doesn’t mean they’ll grow healthily. Some unwanted signs may appear to your surprise after the super generous feeding. Yellow colors and burnt tips are the usual outcomes.

This situation is called Cannabis nutrient burn or nute burn. It will also turn the leaves into crisp as the leaves curl up. It will depend on what kind of nutrient is lacking. There may also be brown spots on the leaves. 

It is a circumstance that won’t only affect the health of your plants but the quality of the production. The buds may taste like chemicals and you don’t want it.

The Occurrence of Cannabis Nutrient Burn

Cannabis nutrient burn is also referred to as ‘over-enthusiasm backlash’ and ‘novices lament”. Plants are stressed due to overfeeding and strong nutrient mix. Beginners have the wrong conception that more feeding, the healthier the plants get. A simple error can cause a nutrient burn.

Fortunately, you can fix this issue before it wipes out the entire crop. It can happen in any life stage of the Cannabis plants but usually during the flowering time. You shouldn’t compare them to humans that when they overeat, they gain weight. Cannabis plants need balanced nutrients for them to grow healthily and survive. 

Overfeeding your plants is like making doomsday come sooner. You have to keep in mind that this issue is caused by the following:

  • Stronger nutrient mix than the recommended amount in every growth stage
  • Overwatering as plants also needs a break from the water to gain the necessary oxygen instead.
  • Applying bloom booster in high concentration or the frequent administration.
  • Often provision of growth stimulants is not good. It’s just being too excessive on the nutrient uptake which results in burning and dwarfism.

Signs of Cannabis Nutrient Burn

Nitrogen toxicity would likely take place during vegetation. Severe symptoms may come after it. Watch out for these signs:

  • Leaves in an intense, deep green shade
  • The leaves’ tips fold in 90 degrees
  • The leaves tips turn into bright green color
  • The stalks and branches change colors into purple, magenta, or deep red
  • The calyx tips and sugar leaf become yellow then die back. It’s way different from the normal dieback that occurs during the flowering stage. When bud leaves are overfed, they maintain the yellowish hue. Dying back happens so quickly as they turn into crisps.

When the burned tips are not too wide, it’s fine then. You have to watch out when yellowing becomes intense. Apply the right remedy for this or else, they’ll turn brown and curl to be total goners.

These signs can be gradually showing up if the overfeeding is not too strong. They may show up quickly but it happens every few days. In the case of chronic overdosing, they happen overnight. You can wake up to curled, wilted, and yellow leaves.

You need to start all over again if it happens during vegetation. If you can work out the recovery, it may take longer than starting another set of crops.

Buds can’t escape the effects of Cannabis nutrient burn. There’s a change in how nutrients are utilized during the flowering period. The need for nitrogen is lesser while the amount of magnesium and calcium should be increased. 

The Solutions for Cannabis Nutrient Burn

1. When Using Bottled Nutrients

Most growers who encounter nutrient burn added an excessive amount of the feed in the water. Before you get started, you have to make sure that the nutrients are in high quality. Make sure that you feed the right nutrients to the plants and they are the required ones in a specific growth stage.

Vegetation and flowering stages required different kinds and amounts of nutrients. When the wrong nutrients are fed to the plants, it creates complications like nute burn.

Instructions are provided in the nutrient system. But you only need to use half of the recommended amount. Companies would like you to use more so you can buy it again. It’s talking about profit.

2. When Hand-watering the Cannabis Plants

Hand-watered Cannabis plants may have the classic soil or coco coir as the growing medium. When you see signs of Cannabis nutrient burn, you can flush it with water that is pH balanced. It may not be necessary if you won’t add more nutrients as the plants will use the excess. Once they are used up, the signs of nutrient burn are gone.

Growing your Cannabis plants in soil has advantages. When you use enriched soil, you don’t have to worry about providing nutrients. Your plants will be fine for the entire life cycle. Therefore, there’s no chance for your plants to experience nutrient burn.

3. With Hydroponics

The nutrient level in water reservoirs should be lowered once nutrient burn affects your plants. You can add plain water with pH or you have to entirely change the water to mix a new batch of nutrients. However, changes in hydro should be done gradually.

Once you finish doing the necessary steps when growing your plants through hydroponics, the improvement can be seen in just a short time. The issues stop spreading although the yellow leaves won’t change. But the unaffected ones will remain healthy.

A TDS meter will help you check the nutrient levels. But if you don’t have one, you can start with an average nutrients and apply the increase later on. If you feed your plants in a high dose, the destruction can be serious. When you add a little extra, the effects are less severe and it would be easy to resolve.

You have to know the nutrients needed by some strains when you’re cultivating marijuana through hydroponics. Two strains may be fine with the number of nutrients that you give them. But some varieties will get the nutrient burn.

Another struggle with hydroponics is that plants take in water based on the temperature and humidity set in your growing area. Despite knowing the proper nutrients, you can’t control their uptake of the nutrients. A TDS meter would help you to measure the nutrients so you can check your water reservoir at any time.


Cannabis nutrient burn will only happen if you fail to check the right amount and system of feeding. Excess nutrients won’t nourish your plants but instead harm them. Everything should be in moderation and know what nutrients you need to increase in every growth stage.