nitrogen toxicity in plants

How to Treat Nitrogen Toxicity in Plants


Many are now engaging in cultivating their own cannabis garden and growing their very own pot. Cannabis is a versatile plant that is not hard to grow if you know what to do. But just like any other plant, you may experience some challenges along The way.

In cannabis cultivation, you may experience some problems like pest and insect infestation, nutrient deficiency, nutrient burn, nitrogen toxicity in plants, soil problems, and many more. These problems can occur and your plants may suffer so it is very important that you, as a grower, should know what to do.

What is nitrogen?

Nitrogen is an essential element that is important to every living thing. It is mainly the source of all protein that can be found in the ecosystem.

Nitrogen is very important to plants. It one of the most important nutrients that a plant needs in order to grow and produce quality yield. Nitrogen is needed so that plants can produce DNA, chlorophyll, and protein which is very vital for its growth.

What is Nitrogen Toxicity in Plants?

Nitrogen toxicity in plants happens when they get too much nitrogen. Though plants need nitrogen to survive, too much of it can be toxic and can damage the plants as well. Plants undergo different stages of growth development and each stage requires just the right amount of nitrogen for the plants to stay healthy.

For example, during the flowering stage, plants need less nitrogen compared to what they needed during the early stages of their development. Plants need more nutrients while they grow especially during the vegetative stage where growth is very crucial.

When plants suffer nitrogen toxicity, they cannot handle the surplus or the excess amount of nitrogen they begin to struggle and get stressed. The amount of nitrogen varies as your plant grows:

  • Vegetative stage. During the vegetative stage, the plants need a large amount of nitrogen for them to grow healthy. They need to feast on nitrogen because this is the stage where their roots, stems, foliage, and other important parts develop.
  • Flowering stage. In this stage, the plant needs less amount of nitrogen compared to the vegetative stage. This is because the plant is already transitioning and focuses its energy on its buds, flowers, and fruits. Too much nitrogen can have a negative impact on the development of these parts.

What are the symptoms of Nitrogen Toxicity?

The symptoms of Nitrogen toxicity can slightly vary depending on the kind of plant that you are growing. But in general, here are the signs that your plant may be suffering from nitrogen toxicity:

  • Brown or “burning” leaf tips. You may observe that the tip of your plant’s leaves is turning brown.
  • In some cases, plants have extremely dark green leaves than they usually have.
  • The leaves are turning yellow because of too much nitrogen and the plan is suffering from a deficiency of other nutrients.

Cannabis plants suffering from nitrogen toxicity may be stunned and they can be prone to diseases, stress, and pest and insect attacks. Nitrogen toxicity can also be a great contributor to why plants can’t flower or bear fruits.

How to treat Nitrogen Toxicity?

Once you have seen the signs and symptoms of nitrogen toxicity on your cannabis plant, try to treat it right away. Check your garden and see how many of your plants are affected. Treating a garden that is affected by nitrogen toxicity can be a challenge but it can be done and the situation can be fixed.

  • The first thing that you need to do is stop giving your plants nitrogen. Hold it because it is already stressed out with the excess nitrogen it is getting and the plant cannot hold it anymore.
  • Make sure that the PPM/EC of your solution is within the normal range. Here’s the normal range per stages:
HYDROPONICSOIL 
Seedling400 – 500 ppm500 – 600 ppm
Transition550 – 650 ppm600 – 750 ppm
Vegetative Stage650 – 750 ppm800 – 850 ppm
Vegetative Stage750 – 800 ppm850 – 900 ppm

If it is not within the normal range, you can calibrate the pH by diluting the solution with fresh water. After that, you can change out the nutrient reservoir with freshwater and nutrients.

Also, know that soil by nature has a high concentration of nitrogen so you don’t need to add a large amount of nitrogen to feed your plants. If you are using soil as a medium and your plant is experiencing nitrogen toxicity, it can be treated by filtering some water, make sure it is within the right pH range, and then pour it in the soil on which the affected plants are anchored. By doing this, it will flush the excess nutrient contents, including nitrogen, and solve the issue.

How to prevent Nitrogen Toxicity in Plants?

Though cannabis is easy to grow, they can be tricky, and just like other plans, they need special attention especially if you want to produce high-quality yield.

  • Be knowledgeable. Knowing important information about how to grow your crop is the key to prevent nitrogen toxicity or any other diseases in general. As mentioned earlier, cannabis plants grow different stages of growth and during those stages, they require different amounts of nitrogen so that they can be fully developed and not get stunned.
  • Check on your plants regularly. Constant monitoring is very important if you want to grow good cannabis. Check your plants during the stages of their development and you can include checking on the soil pH and then provide your plants with what they need to grow healthy.
  • Too many nutrients are not good. Feeding your plants with too many nutrients is not good as this can also lead to nitrogen toxicity or nutrient burn.
  • Hydrate your plant regularly but do not overwater them.

Nitrogen Toxicity in plants can be quite challenging especially because you cannot control mother nature and it is pretty much part of the environment but there are many ways to measure it and know if you have little or less for your plant. Knowing this, as a grower, you will be able to control the amount of nitrogen intake of your plant and avoid problems like nitrogen toxicity.

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