BURNERS FROM NUTRIENTS
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.
HOW TO REMEMBER
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.