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Nitrogen is very important for a Cannabis plant to grow to its full potential. It is the most used element for plant growth.

Finding the right balance, to make sure your marijuana plants are at optimal health, can be a difficult task. This guide is to help you keep things balanced, and fix any problems with your cannabis plant that may arise, should you have any.

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

How a Cannabis Plant Uses Nitrogen

Nitrogen (N, in N/P/K) is a very important element needed for plant growth. A healthy cannabis plant will contain 3-4% nitrogen in its plant matter above ground. It might not sound like a large amount, but it is the most abundant element in the cannabis plant.

Chlorophyll is made out of nitrogen, and it plays an important part in Photosynthesis. Without it, the plant will not be able to make the sugars and proteins it need to grow strong, and healthy.

Nitrogen is a “Mobile Nutrient“. This means, it can travel from one part of the plant to another. If new growth, needs some extra N, the plant will take it from the lower parts of plant, to feed the new growth.

Taking the N from the lower leaves will make them turn yellow, and fall off the plant. This is the first sign of a N deficiency.

Nitrogen Deficiency

If a plant is lacking in nitrogen it will display these symptoms:

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Nitrogen Deficiency

If a plant is starving of Nitrogen, and is suffering these symptoms, check out How to fix Nitrogen Deficiency, or ask for help in the Cannabis Plant Infirmary

N is used mostly by the plant during the vegetative stage of its life cycle. It will use a lot of N to make many shoot, and strong stems. Those stems will support the weight of the massive buds.


Bottled Nutrients

When using bottled nutrients or “salts based nuits“, there will be a higher percentage of N in the “Grow” foods, then there is in the “Bloom” foods. For Example, Advanced Nutrients Sensi Grow, and Sensi Bloom.

Nitrogen is used less during flower, because the plant no longer needs it to build stems and leaves. But as mentioned, it is needed for photosynthesis, so there will still be a small amount in the bloom food.

Too much N during the flowering cycle will make  flowers more airy, and less dense. It is a good idea to cut out the large dose of N from the growth food as soon as flower start to form.

Nitrogen Excess

If your plant has eaten too much N, it will display the symptoms:

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If a plant has too much N and it is suffering these symptoms, check out How to fix Nitrogen Excess or ask for help in the Cannabis Plant Infirmary

Cutting it out too early will affect the plants as they get further into flower. Cut out nitrogen when flowers start to form, around 2 weeks after the flip. Plants need a lot of nitrogen during the stretch phase.

The plant will store nitrogen up in the leaves. Along with the small doses of nitrogen you will be getting in your bloom feed, the plant should get through the rest of its life cycle with no nitrogen issues.


If issues arise, it will depend on the medium and what foods the plants are eating, but these problems are easily fixable. The main thing to remember when feeding your plant is It easier to fix an under fed plant, than it is to fix an overfed plant.

Always keep EC low, and watch plants for signs of deficiency, or excess.

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 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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