Nutrient burn in marijuana plants

It is unnecessary to give your plants an overabundance of nutrients for their health. Keeping it light is the best way to go for optimum growth.

Nutrient burn is one of the most frequent issues newbie growers have, which happens when the plant’s roots absorb an excessive amount of bottled nutrients.

Read this article and learn how to identify and prevent a nutrient burn in your marijuana plants

Nutrient deficiency in Marijuana
Nutrient burn in Marijuana plant

What is nutrient burn

Nutrient burn is also known as cannabis “Nute Burn”. This occurs when seedlings or plants are grown right in soil that already has a lot of nutrients. Nutrient burn causes your leaves to lose necessary meat that it needs.

This overabundance of nutrients leads to yellow or brown burnt tips on the leaves.

The amount of nutrients must be reduced, or else the problem spreads from the burnt tips inward causing the leaves to become crunchy and curled.

For example, if there is too much potassium, nutrient burn will show up as brown spots near the edges of the leaf. When there is excessive nitrogen, the leaves will tilt/curl downward.

How to fix nutrient burn

Bottled Nutrients

Usually you have nute burn because you are putting too many additional nutrients in the water.

How to fix nutrient burn
How to fix nutrient burn

Always use nutrients that were made for cannabis plants. Remember, if it is good for tomato plants than it works for marijuana.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more on nutrient problems.

Be sure you are using the proper nutrients for the particular growth period your plant is in.

There are different requirements for the vegetative and flowering cycles. By not following this appropriately, you could potentially be putting your plant in danger.

Coco Coir and Soil Systems

When growing your marijuana in hand-watered systems, flush it with pure, pH’ed water at any time you see the first sign of nutrient burn. Now, if you haven’t given your plant additional nutrients, then just give the plant time to use the extra nutrients in the soil. Once it does this, your plant will automatically recover from nutrient burn. While older leaves will not recuperate, no new cases of this will occur.

Hydro System 

One way to cut down on the nutrients in your water is to add pure, pH’ed water to thin out the nutrients. You can also try mixing a new batch with fewer nutrients in it.

Always make these changes slowly with hydro systems. With this system replacing the water and reducing the nutrients accordingly, will result in instant positive changes.

The nutrient burn expansion should cease.

The tricky thing about hydro is that certain strains work fine with a different level of nutrients.

Even if you give your plants the same quantity of nutrients, one may still get nute burn and the other may have a different level of deficiency. The plants take in nutrients differently.

Also, keep in mind that your plants will consume a certain amount of water based on the humidity and temperature in your grow space.

To make things much easier for you when growing in hydro, use a tool called TDS meter to assist with manage the nutrients in the water.

It will literally let you know the amount of nutrients in the water and make you aware of whether the levels are going up or down every time you look at it.

Nutrients during flowering stage

Flowering is the second phase of a plant’s life when they start producing buds.

flowering marijuana

Marijuana plants are far more susceptible in the flowering state because they are unable to recuperate from any damage.

Basically, the closer it is to harvest time, the lower the chances are that the plant will recover since it is putting all its energy towards making buds.

Every gardener needs to know how to identify when their plants are ill.

For recognizing such problems also read our guide Nutrient Deficiencies In Marijuana Plants

So, your marijuana plants require more tender loving care when it is in the flowering state. Don’t let the nutrient burn get out of control.

Once the plant is fully grown you will need to start thinking about harvest time.

Our free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants. The guide will also help you determine how to protect your marijuana plants from a nutrient burn.

Marijuana plant symptoms

Brown spots
Top/lower leaves or new/old growth is damaged
Edges of the leaves are burnt or brown
Leaf tips look burnt
Plant growth is slower
Leaves are curled under

Don’t fall victim to the false information out there that says burnt leaves is a sign your plants are getting plenty of nutrients, or the belief that more is better when it comes to nutrients.

This is all wrong and could lead to some serious problems. In fact, a good balance of nutrients is always better than overdoing it.

At the first sign of nute burn take the necessary precautions to bring your plant back to optimum health.

Cheap cannabis seeds are never part of our inventory. Instead, check out these great deals on the best quality feminized marijuana seeds.

Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for diseases, deficiency’s, pest and environmental stresses.

So make sure to buy marijuana seeds from a trusted seed bank.

FAQ about nutrient burns in marijuana

What is cannabis nute burn?

Nut burn occurs when seedlings or plants are grown right in soil that already has a lot of nutrients. it causes leaves to lose necessary meat that it needs.

Can nute burn kill your plant?

Yes, it can destroy your cannabis plants at every step of the growing process. So make sure you do your best to protect your plants from it.

How do you fix a nute burn immediately?

Quickest way to fix nutrient burn is to get rid of any damaged or burned leaves and then flush your plants with balanced ph water

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


Avatar for Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

49 comments on “Nutrient burn in marijuana plants”

    • Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for your comment. I have sent you a mail with a link to get the Grow Bible!

      Happy growing,

  1. Hello, im growing my plant in coco in a rootnurse pot, elevated in my greenhouse. I just got back from four days at work and all the leaves apart from the top are curling underslightly, the coco is still damp so not under watered. Fed some nutrient water before I went to work. The leaves on the bottom are yellowing and curling. Some have brown dry patches. What is the best action to take? Thank you, im a complete newb.

  2. I am noticing what looks like light burn from an LED T5 panel. I am growing in soil and have used barely any nutrients in the soil, and it looks like light burn. I was wondering if this is an uncommon experience with these lights, as I assumed LED T5 could be close to the plants. Curious if this could be something else than light burn.

  3. I stomped …flowering stage get white, aurora,bruce3,green crack and 3 med grafe locals all in week 2 flowering one of my locals wilted bad I flushed it trimmed her up took a week came back better and stronger, Bruce did the same never recovered great white stems to get began wirey/viney new growth was lime green and tender days later tips curled under and up burnt on tips the green crack and other locals neverhad a problem along with a purple hulk auto and 3 lsd auto never phased my ph was getting to the low side the Bruce was 4 that died the rest 5 to 6 got it back to 6.5 now please tell me what you think the loss of Bruce 3 is sickening oh im in soil all the way and one more thing the great whit is only the top sucker leaves closet to lights can some one give me some help

  4. Will upload where possible, nursing beginner here also seeing everything I’ve read, major burn on a few strains white widow getting there but purple h, chem dog and black widow bouncing back slowly but surely I think thanks ilgm much much!!

  5. I blew my first ten seeds now I have twenty more planted 8 so far I see a little nutrients burn I hope that is what it is but so far all are coming along fine the seeds are right on point this is the fifth week an everything is looking good

  6. Sorry it’s just the tips that turn yellow and some get crispy. I want to turn to flower but waiting to fix issue first it’s getting taller. Need to change over soon.

  7. Hydro grow super lemon haze took a long time to grow and it was doing great moved it into bigger tent 3×3 300w led was doing ok for a week or two water water fed very little nutrient organic fox farm grow big only gave 1 dropper 1ml) at a time. The tips turned yellow and some curled up and got crispy check pH everyday always between 5.5 and 6.5. Humidity about 50 temp range from 70to 85.i flushed and added a little more mutes still tips turning bright yellow even new growth. I just flushed with just pH water no nutes to see if it helps. I can’t figure it out. I read and read and what I could find is nute def but not sure. I did have a couple of older small leaves turn yellow but pretty much just the tops. Please help.

  8. Hi everyone this is my 1st grow i have 2 chocolate chunk comin up to week 7 of flower under 3oo watt led roleado full spectrum got abit of brown tips lookin frosty and nice smell and sticky plenty of buds just there not very big wot can i do or is it too late better luck next time

  9. If you want to get just a few seeds from your plant heres a little trick I learned.
    Let a branch of one of the males grow. I keep it way away from the females. Then when it starts to pollenate I put some of it in a baggie, then I take the baggie wrap it around one branch with a rubber band blocking it from the rest. Leave it on for a few hours should be enough as the plastic can burn your plant. Just keep a close eye on it.

  10. who knew that growing ‘weed’ would be so complicated. The other weeds in my garden do not have any problems.

  11. i have a bit of nute burn. i was going to flush the soil with some water as suggested here, however, do i need to be concerned with over watering the plants? They’re about 6 weeks old grown from seed?

  12. Ace,

    You need to join our support forum. We can help you there. This blog article is on nutrient toxicity but, at the forum, we have an area where we can help you out. See you there, lw

  13. i had a problem with spider mites sprayed with organic killer know leaves are curling and under leaves there looks like little pieces off wood clinging to the veins of the leaf anybody help me please

  14. Out or 18 seeds only 8 are thriving. The others are dead or barely hanging on. Do you replace/refund failed seeds? tks deb

  15. Gary D

    If you have an inline fan; You should use it to pull heat through the carbon filter, through the light, and output hot filtered air out of room. You can add a fan to draw air, but I believe a passive intake in the tent will be just fine.
    For continued support; Join our grow Support forum.

  16. Hi Nebula, thanks for letting us know, the picture was mailed by a fan/customer. I will leave your link up!

  17. I have a Reggie seed I planted and it spurd out but the two leaves are out but not al the way out. It’s been maybe 3 weeks since it came out but the leaves seem like the yellow and won’t grow since then. What should I do? Is it that normal?

    • Alex,

      You need to join our Support Forum. There you can add a picture, and we can give you a more informed answer anmd guidance from there. 🙂

  18. I am using 1 400watt hps for flowering 2 plants. It is a air cool hood.when I set up my grow tent with carbon filter. Should I connect it to run through the light. I have a 6in inline fan sucking the hot air out a window.
    Or should I use the blower to draw more fresh air in, and leave the inline fan to pull heat out of the light

  19. Thanks Mr Bergman for all the tips.
    I look forward to them. I got strawberry kush seeds from you awhile ago. I will be germination soon they arrived just fine. waiting for my 48×48 grow tent. So I can flower and veg in the same room.
    Never realized the science behind this. I love it.

  20. I have got one suggestion for your web site. It areapps like there are a few cascading stylesheet troubles when launching a selection of web pages within google chrome as well as safari. It is functioning okay in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check that.VA:F [1.9.17_1161]please wait…

  21. It sounds like you’re over watering. However; Young seedlings should not be in soil with fertilizer at such a young age. I strongly advise you all to join our support forum and get assistance with your grow. 🙂

  22. my husband bought some white widow feminized seeds from you. this is are first grow ever we have planted one seed it was doing well for about 10 days now she has one of her seed leaves dieing and one of her first true leaves has had some yellowing at the tip.we havent firtilzed her yet she is about 3 inches tall havent tranceplanted her because her roots arent showing yet .she is mainly a indoor plant but we ley her outside for a couple hours twice a week. it has been about 90 degrees ferinhight .she is in mirical grow poting soil has a 15 watt led grow light and a 25 watt led regular energy efficiant bulb that says it replaces a 60 watt bulb to suplimint the grow light. the grow tent is a small tent a little over 5ft tall and 3 ft wide bace the grow ligh is 2.5 inches from the curling of the main leaves. please help us to make sure she is healthy.i need her to do well for migraine control and musle twitches and i am hoping it will help to slow or reverse a precancerous growth that i have

    • Not enough light. You need at least a 600w HPS light for a 4×4 Grow Tent. Or a 400w HPS for a 3×3 tent. Remember to ventilate heat. You can put about 4-6 plants under in tent 3 gallon pots (roots organics soil) and get 1-2oz each plant. For the cancer I suggest trying Rick Simpson Oil. You can find out how to make it on “” (remove quotes) You need about 1 lb of material to make enough 60ML of oil to start treating cancer. You need to ingest at least 1ml of day. Most take suppositories its easier and less pshycoactive. GL

    • ‘@ Pamela,
      Not enough light. You need at least a 600w HPS light for a 4×4 Grow Tent. Or a 400w HPS for a 3×3 tent. Remember to ventilate heat. You can put about 4-6 plants under in tent 3 gallon pots (roots organics soil) and get 1-2oz each plant. For the cancer I suggest trying Rick Simpson Oil. You can find out how to make it on “” (remove quotes) You need about 1 lb of material to make enough 60ML of oil to start treating cancer. You need to ingest at least 1ml of day. Most take suppositories its easier and less pshycoactive. GL

      • I’ve been using miracle grow most of my plants life. Both spraying the leaves/buds and watering the roots almost Daily. It was really beautiful until yesterday. I made a new batch of miracle grow and water and sprayed and water my mother plant and several clones. The clones already died, I think. And mother plant looks like it was burned up. I flushed it with bottled water and brought it inside. About 68 to 70 degrees. Florescent lighting. What can I do to save it? Should I try cloning the biggest buds and how far down should I make the cut. I’m sending along a pic. And my email. Please answer ASAP. I feel like I’m losing one of my kids.
        Thanks Woodrow Jones

    • Don’t plant seedlings in a nutrient rich soil. Seeds have what they need to grow for the first 2 weeks. Use a sterile growing medium. After 2 weeks plant into a nutrient fortified soil(preferably not miracle grow) then start feeding it nutrients a month later. Most likely, you burned your roots and stunted the plants growth. I would also recommend buying a higher powered LED. I hope this helps.