The burning of excessive nutrients in cannabis could be called “beginner’s mistake” or “excess of enthusiasm from fertilizer.” Nutrient burning is a type of stress caused by overeating the plants or by a too strong mixture of nutrients. Beginners cultivators often believe that “more” is “better.” This is very wrong: often the burn is caused by a simple human error, but fortunately this situation can be resolved before it irreparably damages your cultivation. it can damage at any stage of its development.

Unlike animals (including humans), plants do not gain weight when they are fed in excess. After all, plants are a completely different kind of organism, which requires a balanced and continuous series of chemical reactions to live and prosper.

The nutrient burn can be caused by:

  • Nutrient mixture at concentrations stronger than recommended during any phase of life.
  • Excess water; plants need a dry period to function properly and access oxygen.
  • Too frequent use of boosters for flowering, or their concentrations too high.
  • Excessive use of growth stimulants, which can cause dwarfism and burns due to excessive absorption of nutrients.


Nitrogen is the main chemical element contained in nutritive products for cannabis, especially for the vegetative phase. Nitotoxicity quickly causes severe symptoms.

The first indications of accumulation of nutrients before the burn occurs can be:

  • Leaves of a very deep green
  • Tips of bright green, yellowish, almost fluorescent leaves
  • Tips of the leaves bent to 90 °
  • Stems and branches that turn red, magenta or purple
  • The younger leaves and the tips of the glasses become yellow and then decompose. Unlike the normal loss of leaves that occurs during flowering, the overlapping leaves that make up the inflorescence remain “swallowed”, turn yellow and then dry out and quickly decompose.

Further indications of a nutrient burn are the yellow spots and burned on the leaves. This will be a widespread phenomenon because an excess of food generally affects the whole plant. Small burns can be normal and there is no need to worry, but when yellowing intensifies and extends, then the time has come to intervene.

The nutrient burn can be gradual if the overdose is only slightly stronger than normal. It can also appear quickly and continue for a few days. The worst case is a chronic overdose that causes the yellowing of the whole plant and a withering during the night with the curling of the leaves and their lack of turgidity. In this case, if the plant is in the vegetative phase, it starts again from the seed. Recovery may be impossible or take longer to start from scratch.

Even the flowers can be influenced by the burning of nutrients. During the flowering phase, cannabis changes the way it uses nutrients. The need for nitrogen goes down almost to zero, while the demand for other elements such as calcium and magnesium increases. An overdose of any type of compound will cause the same type of burn.


Once the disturbance of your plant has been identified as a nutrient burner, carefully remove all damaged parts. Cut all damaged leaves. Follow the clusters of inflorescences to their branch and try to make sure you have removed all the damaged parts. Flowers and dead leaves will rot. Rinse your growing medium with pH-balanced water as soon as possible . If you use a tank, check the pH and EC levels and adjust them using clean water.

If you prepare your irrigation mix every day, make yourself calm, the less it is with cannabis. Keep in mind that satisfactory results can be achieved by using only water throughout the plant life cycle.

Before returning to a regular feeding program, use a specific tonic to get the plant back to health. The biosphere of the roots and also the green parts of the plant will have been affected. Tonic products with silver nitrate, humic and fulvic acids, vitamins and minerals are ideal for restoring the health of plants.

When returning to normal diet, only three quarters of the normal nutrient concentration should be used to avoid re-burning the plants. These will quickly regain their vigor and will continue to grow strongly. Remember to adjust the growth period to allow a correct recovery to the plants after the period of illness. Adding time to the vegetative phase will not damage the plants. If the burn has occurred during flowering or with autoflowering strains you will only have to accept a yield lower than the time of harvest.


Prevention is always the best policy, so it is a good idea to develop habits that reduce the likelihood of errors. First of all, make sure you use the correct nutrients for the growth phase . Even in that period, it is wise to use only three quarters of the recommended dosage on the product box. Sometimes, the manufacturer’s recommendations can make plants work “at most”, and this then leaves no room for errors.

Use an EC / pH meter to monitor nutrient loads every time, whether you are watering by hand or using automated tanks. Be sure to rinse hydroponic systems, substrates and soil to avoid salt formation in the root area.

When measuring nutrients, use a measuring device that has a preset capacity. If the mix is ​​10ml per liter, use a 10ml cooking spoon, for example. Try to eliminate human error as much as possible. Overdosing is very easy if you take a measurement notch on a pitcher or a glass. Making eye doses is always risky, so make sure you use graduated containers.

One of the many advantages of organic farming is that it provides a “buffer” zone of microorganisms around the root system. Plants grown on the ground are more resistant to over-nourishment and other stress factors. A well-prepared organic soil does not need nutrients for the entire growth cycle, thus eliminating the danger of burning.

Nutrient burning can be a cumulative problem over time or an occasional disaster depending on the amount of overdose. Early detection and reclamation can save your harvest. Do not go crazy if your plants burn. Well that’s fine, you can scare a little. When you are finished follow these simple steps to bring your plants back to health and their vitality.


Many things can go wrong, too much water or too much water, heat, fertilization, pH fluctuation, problems with ozone exposure, mold, mites, viruses and lack of nutrients can also cost the best grower, but luckily for every problem there is a simple solution.


The easiest problem to solve is that of heat stress , the symptoms are a yellowing and a browning of the leaves closer to the light source and often begins with a thin line around the profile of the leaf. Points that are closer to the heat source often appear burned. 

This may be due to several reasons, the most common is that the plant is positioned too close to the lamp, a less common situation is that outdoors there are prohibitive temperatures and not enough water is given to the roots. 

The obvious solution to this problem is to reduce heat, in outdoor plants simply give more water and study how to increase the shade. With plants indoors it can be a little more complicated, the simplest solution is usually to place a fan above the plants. But also changing the position of the lamp can effectively eliminate the problem. Moving the movement of hot air using an exhaust fan is important for preventing and treating heat stress correctly. But what is most essential is to give these plants the same care that you can have for a newborn. 


Another common problem especially for novice growers is to give too much food. Very often this happens when too much hydroponic solution is applied. The roots take on more nutrients than the plant needs, this can happen even when the plants are grown in fresh fertilizer or other soils are too rich in nutrients. 

In a hydroponic system this problem is solved by lowering the nutrient level in the solution and this can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Slowly dilute the solution adding smooth water and a regulated pH.
  • Mix a more diluted solution and change it completely. With plants grown in hydroponic systems it is advisable to do things slowly.

In water systems the best way to fix the situation is to pour a large amount of water with regulated pH and stop the addition of nutrients and wait for the nutrients to be absorbed. The old leaves will not recover, but the new ones will benefit. 


If the pH of the soil or hydroponic solution lowers or rises too much, the plant will start to change color with a yellowing or becoming a light brown in the middle or lower part. This is due to the stress suffered by the plant, in case it was not treated in the right way the problem will spread throughout the plant. 

The good news is that in the case of prompt identification it is an easy problem to treat, the first step is to determine the average pH value. In hydroponic systems check the water. In nozzle systems, check roughly how much water is kept from the ground. 

The next step is to adjust the correct pH value . Add all the nutrients and check and correct with water using the pH kit. For systems where plants are planted in soil it should be between 6.2 and 7.0. For hydroponic systems the minimum and maximum values ​​are 5.5 and 6.5, do not adjust more than half a point per day. 

Clone Machine

Cloning is the best way to preserve a genetic replica of your prized heirloom genetics. Many people are now turning to aeroponic clone machines for a fail safe alternative to the more traditional cloning methods using cloning gel or solution and medium.

For a while gardeners used a gel such as olivia’s, clonex or rootech to dip their fresh cuts in before placing them in an inert grow medium such as rockwool, root plugs or even jiffy pellets. The fresh cuts would then be put in a tray with a heat mat underneath and dome overhead to keep the cuttings warm and the humidity high. Some farmers have great luck cloning like this, and still utilize this method today. Now their is an alternative to the traditional method, aeroponic clone machines.

We will be comparing two of the most popular clone machines on the market, the EZ Clone 30, and the Botanicare Power Clone 45 site. The EZ Clone is available in 30-site, 60-site and 120-site models. The Botanicare Power Cloner also has three models in the Power Cloner 45-site, Power Cloner 70-site and Power Cloner 165-site.

EZ Clone is a great machine and has leverage in the market because it specializes in one thing, clone machines. The EZ Clone 30 retails for $310. This clone machine uses  a combination of misters and an external air pump to create an aerated solution with very high dissolved oxygen levels. It isn’t uncommon to have fully developed roots in the EZ clone machines within 7-days. One disadvantage to the EZ Clone machines is that there is no dome to keep the humidity in. This really helps the cuttings absorb moisture through their leaves while they have no available root system. I recommend keeping your relative humidity in the 70% range while rooting fresh cuttings in the EZ Clone machine for best results.

The Botanicare Power Cloner-45 site is built a little differently then the EZ Clone machine. Upon inspecting the machine as I opened the package it seems to be very well made and with thick plastic. The only concern I have is the color. White tends to not be very light proof and with any type of light leaks in hydroponic machines you can find yourself susceptible to algae and other problems. I do like the design of the machine though and noticed that it comes with a clear propagation dome which is an added bonus. The retail price of this machine is a bit higher then the EZ Clone at $372. The Power Cloner utilizes diffusers from a main manifold similar to the EZ Clone machine to bath the fresh cut stems in a fine mist. This machine doesn’t have an external air pump like the EZ Clone that adds that needed extra dissolved oxygen to the propagation solution.

So which is more important the added dissolved oxygen that the EZ Clone provides or the propagation dome supplied with the Botanicare Power Cloner? I took these machines and put them head to head to make the call for myself. The EZ Clone machine recommends to dip the fresh cutting in their EZ Clone gel before putting it in the system where as the Power Cloner recommends using a 2-part liquid mix of Power Cloner solution and Aquashield. The EZ Clone gel retails for $13.50 for a 2oz container where as the Power Cloner solution is a bit pricey at $56.50 a pint and the Aquashield in an additional $13.95 a quart. So the EZ Clone machine is not only cheaper upfront but also cheaper to maintain.

After doing everything recommended by the manufacturer I was truly shocked with the results. My thoughts were that the Botanicare Power Cloner would outperform the EZ Clone machine because it utilized a propagation dome and a liquid solution instead of a gel. I felt that the gel would wash off and prolong the the time it would take to root the cuttings. The results spoke for themselves. After about 5-days both machines were performing quite well and I could see knobs forming at the root area where roots would eventually develop from. At day-7 the EZ Clone machine had fish bone looking roots hanging from the stems where as the Botanicare Power Cloner-45 still only had nubs.

Roots from an EZ clone machine.

I was curious why the EZ Clone outperformed the Power Cloner so well that I called EZ Clone Enterprises in Sacramento to see what they had done in the way of testing and development to make their product so much more superior then other machines on the market.

I found out the answer to the question that I was in dire need to know. Why doesn’t EZ Clone use a propagation lid on their machines? Here is the answer that I got. “Humidity domes make the plant feel comfortible in their current state (without having roots). We did numerous tests with both dome on and dome off and we consistantly had better results without the dome. We feel that without the dome the plant is forced to produce roots faster so it can survive.”

What is pH?

pH is the measure of how basic or acidic a solution is. The pH of a substance is measured in a numerical fashion using a scale of 1 through 14. A solution with a pH higher than 7.0 is considered to be basic and is called a base (or alkaline). A solution with a pH less than 7.0 is considered to be acidic and is called an acid. The strength of an acid or base can be either weak or strong. The stronger an acid or base, the closer the solution is to its respective number on the pH scale (basic being 15 and acid being 1). The weaker a solution or base, the closer its pH value is to a neutral rating (neutral being 7). Every full point change in pH signifies a 10 fold increase or decrease in acidity or alkalinity. For example, water with a pH of 6.0 is 10 times more acidic than water with a pH of 7.0, while water with a pH of 5.0 is 100 times more acidic than water with a pH of 7.0.

Here are some examples of acids and bases and their respective pH ratings.
-.2 Battery Acid
1.2 Gastric fluid
2.2 Lemon juice
3.6 Orange juice
4.4 Beer
5.6 Pure Rain
6.6 Milk
7.0 Distilled water (H<sub>2</sub>O)
8.0 Seawater
9.2 Baking soda (NaHCO<sub>3</sub>)
10.6 Milk of Magnesia (Mg(OH)<sub>2</sub>)
11.4 Household ammonia (NH<sub>3</sub>)
12.8 Household bleach (NaClO)
13.6 Household lye (NaOH)

What is PH? pt. 2

pH is defined in chemistry in several ways. An acid is sometimes defined as a solution with the potential to donate a Hydrogen ion (H<sup>+</sup>, also called a proton), or to accept a Hydroxide Ion (OH<sup>-</sup>) from a base. A base on the other hand is sometimes defined as a solution with ability to donate a Hydroxide Ion, or… you’ve guessed it, accept a Hydrogen ion. Low pH corresponds to a high hydrogen ion concentration and vice versa, while a high pH corresponds to a high Hydroxide ion concentration and vice versa.

Why is pH important when growing a plant?

Any substance that is going to be used to support any form of life has to fall within a certain range on the pH scale. The range may vary from organism to organism. Marijuana is no different. The soil, nutrient solutions and water all need to be monitored and adjusted to stay within a specific range, depending on your method of growing. When growing Marijuana in soil, the soil and water supply should stay within the range of 6.5 to 7.0, while in hydroponics the nutrient solution should stay within the range of 5.5 and 6.0.
When a plant’s soil or nutrient solution becomes too basic the nutrients become unavailable to be absorbed by the roots. When the soil or nutrient solution becomes too acidic the acid salts will chemically bind together the available nutrients and they will be nonabsorbent by the roots. When this happens the plant will show tell-tale signs of stress. Some novice growers and even a few seasoned growers will falsely think they need to add more nutes or fert, which only compounds the problem by usually causing toxic salt build-up. Toxic salt build-up stops the roots from absorbing water. So remember as a rule of thumb to always test the pH before reducing or increasing a fert or nute dosage!
The pH of your soil or hydroponics setup can be measured with a simple 20$ or 30$ pH Tester, or small one time paper tests. These are highly recommended when growing any plant.

Some things to remember when using an electronic pH tester

1. Clean the probes of the meter after each test and wipe away any corrosion.
2. Pack the soil tightly around the probes.
3. Water soil with distilled or neutral pH water (7.0) before testing.
4. The meters measure the electrical current between two probes and are
designed to work in moist soil. If the soil is dry, the probes do not give
an accurate reading

What causes fluctuations in pH?

When growing in soil any fertilizer you use can cause an excess build up of salts when it decomposes in the soil. This almost always results in a more acidic soil which stunts the plant’s growth and causes brown foliage. When using a Hydroponics set-up the nutrient solution can very easily cause a fluctuation in the growing reservoir. Other common reasons as to why soil may become too acidic when doing outdoor grows are rainfall, leaching, organic matter decay and a previous harvest of a high yeild crop in the same soil. In dry climates, such as the desert Southwest US, Spain, Australia, etc., irrigation water is often alkaline with a pH above 7. The water in rainy climates, such as the Pacific Northwest of North America, the UK, Netherlands and Northern Europe, is often acidic with a pH below 6. Lightly sandy soils with little clay and organic matter are quicker too become more acidic. Another common mistake is that a grower will mix his soil unevenly, leading to “hot spots” in the growing medium, so mix all ratios as well as you can.

How do I raise/lower my pH?

A great way to regulate the pH of your soil is to use Dolomite Lime(calcium-magnesium carbonate). While growing Cannabis plants in containers, mix one cup of fine dolomite lime for each cubic foot of soil, then lightly water it. After watering, mix it once more and wait a day or two before checking the pH. While growing in an outdoor garden, follow the dolomite lime manufacturers instructions. Dolomite Lime works well because it has a neutral pH rating of 7.0 and tends to keep the soil a constant pH throughout the entire life cycle of the plant. This is a highly recommended method of regulating your soil pH.
If you find the pH of your soil or Hydroponic reservoir to be too acidic or basic you could add either pH up or pH down. These are chemicals sold at places like Home Depot or any Gardening store. They usually come in one liter bottles and are to be diluted in the water used to water the soil growing plants or the Hydroponic reservoir according to directions on the packaging.

Some examples of Home remedies to raise/lower pH are as follows:
1.Lemon juice. 1/4 tbsp can bring a gallon of tap-water from 7.4 to 6.3.
2.Phosphoric acid. lowers pH and provides Phosphor too!
3.Nitric acid. lowers pH.
4.Hydrochloric acid. strongest way to lower pH
5.Hydrated lime. flush soil with a teaspoon per gallon of water to raise pH.
6.Baking Soda. eats acids to raise pH.
7.Calcium carbonate. raises pH (very strong)
8.Potassium silicate. raises pH.

What are signs of a PH fluctuation in my Cannabis plant?

A Cannabis plant can show signs of a pH flux in several ways. The leaves may begin to turn yellow or brown, dry up and/or shrivel on the sides into a straw like shape. Keep in mind however that other deficiencies and disorders may show the same signs of damage, so don’t jump to conclusions until you do some testing and adjusting to your plants and their growing medium.

Some things to remember(I didn’t write these ones)

1.Always test the pH of raw water and drainage water with a pH meter.
2.Raw water pH above 6.0 helps keep fertilizer mixes from becoming too acidic.
3.The pH level is much more important in organic soil gardens than in chemical
hydroponic gardens. The pH dictates the environment of bacteria necessary to the
uptake of organic nutrients.

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