Nitrogen Deficiency

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Cannabis plants need nitrogen more than any other element. If a plant is suffering from a nitrogen deficiency, it will not be able to produce chlorophyll. As a result the plants growth to slow down, and can even stop photosynthesis in your plant. 

Along with potassium and phosphorus, Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient. This means nitrogen can be move from the older leaves to feed the new shoots. 

In this guide of nitrogen deficiency in a cannabis plant, we will discuss what causes it, and how to fix it.

If you have any questions about Nitrogen deficiency in a cannabis plant, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum

The Effects of Nitrogen Deficiency.

If there isn’t enough nitrogen to feed new shoots, the plant will take nitrogen from the lower leaves, and those leaves will begin to turn yellow. This is because, nitrogen makes chlorophyll, which gives plants their green colour. As the nitrogen is moved, the leaves will turn yellow, and will fall off. The plant will sacrifice its lower leaves to feed the new ones. 

In extreme cases of Nitrogen deficiency, your cannabis plant will stop photosynthesising. This will cause your plant to turn yellow and loose strength and vigour in its whole structure. It will begin to droop, and eventually die. Without nitrogen, a plant can not make the vital sugars and proteins needed to feed it self. 

What Nitrogen Deficiency Looks like

Nitrogen Deficiency in a cannabis plant,

How to Fix Nitrogen Deficiency

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Nitrogen Deficiency

Plants use nitrogen to build stems, and leaves, which is what happens through vegetation. When a weed plant is in flower, its main use is to make chlorophyll, for photosynthesises. 

How Nitrogen is used by a cannabis plant.

Fixing Deficiencies Coco & Hydro

Increasing the EC of your feed is a good way to add the extra nitrogen to your medium. Grow nutrients, are high in Nitrogen, and will be an easy way to fix the nutrient problem.

Increasing the EC of your feed by 0.2 points, every few days, will bring colour back to the plant. Be careful not to go too high. Gradual increases are important, and you must read the plant and the EC of your feed. As soon as it looks healthy again, stop increasing the EC.

Read more about EC here

A PH imbalance can always be the cause of any nutrient problem! PH must be between 5.8-6.2 in any hydro or soil less medium grow.

Nitrogen Excess

Nitrogen Deficiency in Soils

If you’re using salt based nutrients in your soil, then increasing your EC for a couple of feeds should fix the deficiency within a week. If you’re growing weed organically, there are many things you can add to the medium, to increase the nitrogen content. 

Manures, feathers and hair are all high in nitrogen. they will take time to become available to the plant, because they have to be broken down by microbes in the soil.

Cover Crops


Planting other plants along side your cannabis plants can help keep the nitrogen balanced when growing cannabis organically. 

Planting crops like, clovers and legumes. These plant will hold nitrogen in the “nodules” in their roots. These will be slowly released as the plant crops. They will pull nitrogen out of the air, and hold it in the nodules, in the roots. When the plant dies, or is cut down, those nodules will decompose and release their stored up nitrogen into the soil. 

Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help!

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