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Grow Q&A: Burnt Leaf Tips

Dear Dan, My plants always seem to have burnt tips on the leaves. Sometimes more and sometimes less but every harvest I seem to always be looking at crispy ends to the leaves when I’m trimming. What is causing the burning and how can I avoid it in the future? – Smokey

Dear Smokey,
Burnt tips are always a sign of over-fertilization. Too much plant food causes the tips of the leaves to start to get crispy as you’ve described. Further over-feeding will only make the situation worse until you have a toxic level of salts in your plants and they begin to die. The important thing to remember when feeding your plants is that it’s much easier to add more food than it is to take food away.

The first thing you should do is to flush your plants with plenty of plain water to reduce any existing nutrient buildup. You might be noticing white residue on your plant pots. This is a sign of too much salt built up in your growing medium. Slowly add ¼ to half strength nutrient solution and you should see new growth emerge. Err on the side of caution and you won’t see burnt tips any longer.

The other added benefit to not over-feeding your plants is that your buds will taste better and burn properly to a clean white ash. Too much nutrient left in your flowers will make the taste harsh and can be harmful for medical patients with compromised immune systems. Your lungs will thank you when you take in a toke of clean-burning fertilizer-free cannabis.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com

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