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Nitrogen Deficiency in Cannabis

By Simi February 16, 2013 8595 Views Leave a comment Go to comments

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for all plants, and this is especially true of marijuana plants. When the plants are in the vegetative state (this means they are still growing but have not yet begun to flower) they require a lot of nitrogen. If your marijuana plants are not getting enough of this vital nutrient, the older leaves will begin to turn yellow and will eventually die and fall off of the plant. 

Nitrogen Deficiency in Cannabis

Treating a nitrogen deficiency is not difficult once you have pinpointed the problem. Any local garden center will have available different soil treatments for plants lacking in nitrogen. They often come pre-mixed and only require minimal effort to be used. If you are reluctant to use a chemical product to treat this deficiency, an organic fertilizer will also do the trick. The main component in organic fertilizer is cow manure, which is naturally very high in nitrogen.

It is important to remember, though, that yellowing of the leaves just before your marijuana plants begin to flower and form buds is normal. At this point in the plant life cycle, not as much nitrogen is required.

It might seem strange that you can also provide too much nitrogen for your young marijuana plants, but that is also a very common problem. You will notice that the rate the marijuana plant grows will decrease considerably, and the leaves will turn a dark green color. If the problem persists, the leaves will ultimately turn a dark brown and will fall off of the plant. The treatment for this is simple: stop putting so much nitrogen on the plants! Once you adjust the level accordingly, the plants will start to grow more rapidly and the leaves will regain their bright green color.

Nutrient Burn

Nitrogen is not the only nutrient that can be over-used. All of the nutrients that your plants might lack can also be ruined by having too much of them. This phenomena is called, simply, nutrient burn. The effects on your plants can be devastating if left untreated. If you notice the tips of your marijuana leaves turning black, you are probably giving them too many nutrients.

As with most deficiencies, the first step in treating nutrient-burned plants is to flush the system with water that has the correct pH level. Then, do not add any additional supplements to the water until you see a noticeable change in your plants. Marijuana plants are by nature hardy, so you should notice signs of recovery within a week.

Once your plants begin to lose the black tips and start to look healthy and vibrant again, you can begin adding nutrients back to the water. In order to avoid another care if nutrient burn. It is best to start with about a quarter of the recommended amount. Most supplements instruct you to use far more than the plants actually need. If they are looking better but are still not growing at their best, add more nutrients in very small increments.

Although the balance of nutrients might seem a hard line to walk, the best way to avoid problems is to keep an eagle eye on the pH level of your water and adjust it accordingly. Prevention will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Posted in: Cannabis Grow Tips
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Herma February 16, 2013 at 6:24 AM Reply
It is true because I have learned that every plant needs nitrogen but it only depends on how much of it should be present. What are the other elements of compound that marijuana needs in its cycle?
sarah February 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM Reply
Good to know about nitrogen deficiency in cannabis. Actually I’m a planter and didn’t know about this honestly. Your post here is such a big help for planters like me that is not knowledgeable enough on cannabis plants.
Corynn February 17, 2013 at 2:59 AM Reply
Oh I see, that not only over watering will cause marijuana plants to die unexpectedly but even the nitrogen. I well, I'm not good enough in science so I'm not aware of this nitrogen thing and what it can do to our plants.
Sheri February 17, 2013 at 3:02 AM Reply
Me too, Corynn! I don't know much about nitrogen, I'm just familiar with oxygen which the gas that we inhale while the plant do exhales. I never knew that nitrogen plays a vital role in producing good quality plant like Cannabis.
Patty February 17, 2013 at 3:12 AM Reply
Well guys I know a little but the main function of nitrogen to plants. Nitrogen is an essential macronutrient needed by all plants to thrive. Like how Cannabis needs this macronutrient in order for him to grow healthy. To give this plant a bright green leaf as well.
Cheryl February 17, 2013 at 3:14 AM Reply
Nice information Patty. Guys you have to read the article above for you to answer all the questions in your mind about Nitrogen. Nitrogen is such an important thing that a plant need, but it should be supplied in enough amount. No more, no less in short.
Tiffany February 17, 2013 at 3:20 AM Reply
What do you mean by no more no less Ms. Cheryl? I thought that Cannabis plant needs nitrogen, but why is it you have to supply this in enough amount? Does it have any effect when supplied over or less?
Cheryl February 17, 2013 at 3:24 AM Reply
@Tiffany, what I mean is that Cannabis growers must supply only nitrogen that is enough to support the plant's need. If you over supply it the plants' leaves will become dark green, while when you supply it less, the leaves will be yellow. The right color for the Cannabis leaves should be bright green and that would be achieve only if you supply right amount of nitrogen to your plants.
Tiffany February 17, 2013 at 3:27 AM Reply
Thanks Ms. Cheryl for your generous answer, now I understand. Anyway, thanks once again for the moderator of this site. You did a great job by posting lot of informative article that us Cannabis growers could use.
Sonny February 17, 2013 at 3:54 AM Reply
Informative article about nitrogen deficiency in cannabis. I am growing my own cannabis plants in my indoor garden. I just like to ask if there any other source of organic nitrogen I can resort to besides the cow manure mentioned here? Thanks!
Maveck Justine February 17, 2013 at 5:56 AM Reply
In fact, Treating a nitrogen deficiency is not difficult once you have pinpointed the problem. There are natural methods or even proper soultions on how to handle this kind of problem!
Arnel February 17, 2013 at 5:56 AM Reply
What maveck said is right. As long as you had identify the specified problem, it might be easy for you to find an appropriate solution. There are soil treatments thata re mainly avaialble in the market.
Michael February 17, 2013 at 5:58 AM Reply
Well, if you've got problem with nitrogen in your cannnabis plants. I highly recommend you to use an organic fertilizer in a cow manure, which is naturally very high in nitrogen.
Anastasia February 17, 2013 at 6:03 AM Reply
It's been 3 months since we started growing our own cannabis seeds and just like to inquire how will we know our plants have this nutrient burn condition? Are there any signs? Thanks!
Conrad February 17, 2013 at 6:06 AM Reply
Maybe you have skipped the part here wherein they stated about the signs of nutrient burn. Once your plants begin to lose the black tips and start to look healthy and vibrant again, there are some signs your plants are suffering from them.

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