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Nutrient Burn And Marijuana Plants


marijuana nutrient burnContrary to what many new growers may think, giving your marijuana plants an enormous dose of nutrients is not going to help them be healthier. In fact, giving them too many nutrients will actually harm them, causing something called “nutrient burn,” or shortened among marijuana growers as “nute burn.”

If your plants are suffering from a nutrient burn, they will likely exhibit signs of yellowing and burnt tips on the leaves. The leaves may become crunchy and crispy and their edges will begin to curl. Depending on the type of nutrient that is causing the burn, the leaves may also have brown spots on the leaf’s edges (which generally happens with potassium toxicities).

Not only can nutrient burn affect the overall health of your marijuana plants, it could also lead to a poor tasting final product. It might taste like chemicals, which, of course, is altogether undesirable in marijuana. Therefore, it is crucial to stop nutrient burn before it goes too far. If you’re interested in growing high quality marijuana, Make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible at this link here for more growing tips.

The marijuana flowering phase

When your marijuana plants have reached their flowering phase, they have also approached the most critical point in their lives because of how vulnerable they are during this time. If they are at all harmed while in their flowering period, the plants have no hope of recovering. If your marijuana plants are currently flowering, make sure you are dedicating extra time and effort to keep them safe and healthy.

How does a nutrient burn occur?

The most common cause of a nutrient burn is simply adding too many extra nutrients into the water solution you are feeding your plants. You should be sure to use only nutrients that are recommended for marijuana plants. You can double check this by asking if they work well for tomato plants, which have some common characteristics with marijuana plants.

You also need to remember that different phases of a marijuana plant’s life cycle require different combinations of nutrients. The vegetative stage and flowering stage need different kinds of nutrients, so you need to adjust your feeding schedule accordingly. If these steps are followed, you can avoid nutrient burn from the beginning. If, however, your plants are already experiencing a nutrient burn, continue reading for ways to solve the problem. Check out this marijuana watering and nutrients schedule article to avoid any future problems.

ph tester marijuana plantsHow to fix a nutrient burn?

If your plants are growing in a soil or coco coir system and you are watering them by hand, you can flush out the entire system by using water that has been pH-balanced. This will “reset” the growing medium and will allow the roots to recover from the problem they were facing, and then can use up the extra nutrients that are in the soil. Give them time to do that before adding more nutrients. This should fix the nutrient burn problem (although damaged leaves won’t ever recover, so look for new growths to see the healthy changes). Download my free marijuana grow bible and learn how to flush your soil or rockwool.

If you are growing your plants in a hydroponic system, you will need to add some pH-balanced water to dilute the amount of nutrients that are already there. Your next batch of “feed” should also include fewer nutrients. Proceed with caution, however, as hydroponic systems always require a more gradual change. You can consider purchasing a TDS meter to help regulate the nutrients that are in the water.

Symptoms of nutrient burn

Brown spotting
New growth, upper growth damaged
Leaf edges burnt, browning
Leaf tips burnt
Leaves curled under
Slowed growth of plant

If you want to start growing, download my free grow guide and order some marijuana seeds. All top quality marijuana seeds are available in my marijuana seed shop. We ship seeds to the US, CA and many other countries. For any growing related question please visit the marijuana support page.


About Author

Robert Bergman is a master marijuana grower. Robert Bergman is the author of 'Marijuana Plant Care' and 'The Marijuana Grow Bible'.


  1. As a long time closet grower and now more frequent mid-east “consultant,” just wanted to add that I have intervened frequently about this topic of yellowing/brown-spotting of leaves, especially during the mid-flowering stage. While nutrient burn, nurtrient lock, ph-levels of water is sometimes a culprit, most often I end up trimming, which is suprisingly and infrequently overlooked. Trimming should occur throughout the lifecycle of every plant and without perfecting this aspect of growing, you will always experience what appears to be deficiencies, when in reality, the plant is acclimating to ever-changing innate needs. Get a pair of proper shears (bonzai sheers work best) and learn to identify what branches, leaves (mid-flowering it is common for fan leaves amid top colas to discolor/die), and aspects of the plant to remove in order to focus remaining energy to maximize yield…

  2. I’m by no means a pro but will offer what little advice I have…
    Sounds to me like your running into a “root lockout” problem. What pH has your water been at? I had a similar issue thinking the plant wasn’t getting enough nutes and it turned out they all had all the nutes they needed, the roots just weren’t absorbing them because the water I was using was too acidic. Try upping the pH next time you water to about 6.2-6.5 and hopefully that helps. Good luck!

    PS, maybe try hitting it with a little cal mag? I always use that when my ladies are a little sick and it usually brings them back to life

  3. I’m hand watering in coco coir. I started getting nute burn and have flushed the crap out of it nearly 2 days ago. The medium is still damp, how long after flushing the plant should I feed it? Should I wait for it to completely dry out first then add more nutrients? It doesn’t look overfed although the new sprouts seem to be a bit curly too??? This is my plant below

  4. This is a purple haze plant. It started showing these signs of stress wilhen it was only a few weeks old. I’ve flushed it and lowered nutes down to 50% of what it’s recommended to have but still seems to be showing signs of this same thing. The only thing I could come up with is over fertilization (ive read haze strains tend to be sensitive to nutrients) but I would think flushing would have taken care of that.. I’ve taken clones from this plant and they were healthy and normal looking and are now showing same signs. Not sure what to do at this point… I’ll be flushing them again in about a week and thought to lower nutes even further but I’m not sure….. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with purple haze? None of my other strains are having this problem.

  5. Why do my leaves turn yellow then brown an die at mid height of plant off the fan leaves idk ive added calimag +300ppm and not over 1200ppm total all nutes, had spider mites but neem oil worked,temps 70=78f, ???idk the strain regs mix….thx

  6. U can do if thay are shade leavs i do it to menny of my plants i think thay can get in the way sometimes cuz thay obsurb most of your plants energy and ive never jad a problem when triming my plants hope this helps u out all the best pal

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