Recognize hemp overfertilization - signs & causes

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Recognize hemp overfertilization

In the world of hemp cultivation, healthy plant growth is crucial, and proper fertilization plays a central role. However, it can be easy to overdo it with fertilizer and damage your plants. In this blog post, we'll explain what hemp overfertilization is, how to recognize hemp overfertilization, and what the causes and remedies are.

If you grow in one of our Bonsanto Mini Growboxes, you are in luck! With us, overfertilization is very unlikely, because if you combine our grow boxes with the Bonsanto grow accessories such as the "Premium soil" and the "Organic Boost" the components are matched so that overfertilization is unlikely. This is true even if you are a novice cannabis grower. Just follow our Bonsanto growing instructions (you can find them here) and nothing will stand in the way of healthy plant growth and a successful harvest.

Table of contents

What is hemp overfertilization?

Cannabis overfertilization also called nutrient burn describes the condition in which your cannabis plant receives too many nutrients mostly in the form of fertilizers. Cannabis has a high demand for nutrients, which is important for the growth and development of the plant, but too many nutrients can also be harmful. In addition, nutrient burn is difficult to recover from. 

If these nutrients are supplied in excessive amounts, they can interfere with your cannabis plant's ability to absorb water and perform other vital functions. Therefore, you should be careful not to overfertilize your plant. We explain how fertilizing works and how many nutrients cannabis plants need in another blog post on the topic "Fertilize hemp for a high yield harvest“.

Recognize hemp overfertilization - What is nutrient fire

How to recognize hemp overfertilization?

There are several signs and symptoms by which you can recognize hemp overfertilization.


If your plant suffers from nutrient burn, this can manifest itself in yellowed leaves and yellow spots on the sides and tips of the leaves. Yellowing usually occurs when your cannabis suffers from too much nitrogen. Brown spots or dropping leaves can also be indications of overfertilization. If the leaves of your marijuana plant are deformed and curly, you must also consider a nutrient burn.


The roots of the cannabis plant can also tell you if you have overdone it with the fertilizer. Roots that look very dark, limp and rotten are in most cases an indication of overfertilization.


If you want to investigate whether your cannabis plant is suffering from nutrient burn, you can observe the growth. If your plant grows slowly or not at all, this can be an indication of overfertilization.

Plant comparison

If you happen to grow several cannabis plants at the same time, compare the appearance and growth of the affected plants with those that were not overfertilized. If you can see a big difference, you know that the affected plants were overfertilized.

Exclusion of other symptoms

Keep in mind that some symptoms similar to overfertilization may also be caused by other stressors such as disease, pests or environmental conditions.

Cannabis Überdüngung erkennen
Cannabis Overfertilization Detect

What are the causes of hemp overfertilization?

Over-fertilization in cannabis plants can be caused by a number of factors, often including the over-application of fertilizers. A common reason for this is that some growers are not sufficiently informed about proper fertilization methods or believe that the more fertilizer, the faster and better the plant will grow. In addition, using too high a concentration of water-soluble fertilizers can quickly lead to a buildup of nutrients in the soil, which can be harmful to plants.

Another problem is that your hemp plants need different amounts of nutrients at different stages of growth. More information on this can be found in our article "Fertilizing hemp for a bountiful harvest". Ignoring the needs of your plants and applying fertilizer without regard to growth stage can also lead to nutrient burn.

Many growers also make the mistake of fertilizing even though the soil already has enough nutrients. Without knowing the existing nutrient content in the grow medium, it is therefore difficult to find the right amount of fertilizer.

Water also often contains a high concentration of nutrients. If you ignore the nutrient content in the water when irrigating and use additional fertilizers, this can lead to an excessive accumulation of nutrients.

Climatic conditions are also an important factor. In certain climates or weather conditions, your cannabis plant's ability to absorb nutrients may be compromised. Fertilization that is not adjusted under these circumstances can lead to the accumulation of nutrients in the soil, which will harm your plant.

Recognize hemp overfertilization

How to fix nutrient fire?

If you have detected overfertilization in your hemp, it is important to act quickly and fix the nutrient burn.

Stop fertilizing first to prevent further damage. This will give your plant time to recover from the over fertilization. Then start watering your cannabis with clean and pH neutral water. If your growing medium has good drainage, you can flush excess nutrients out of the soil.

The parts of your plant that are burned or where the overfertilization is visible should be removed. If you notice that your cannabis plant is slowly recovering, you can reintroduce fertilization. Nevertheless, from now on you should use a reduced dose and always keep an eye on the reaction of your plant.

In addition, also see if the environmental conditions of the hemp are appropriate and light, temperature and humidity are adjusted optimally.

Fix nutrient fire
Avoid cannabis overfertilization

How to avoid cannabis overfertilization?

Of course, it is best if overfertilization does not occur in the first place. Because the Bonsanto grow components are perfectly matched to each other, you minimize the risk of overfertilization when growing in a Bonsanto Growbox considerably if you follow the growing guide . Therefore, we would recommend you to use a Bonsanto grow box for indoor growing of hemp. The Bonsanto fertilizer "Organic Boost" is beginner friendly and avoids nutrient burn.

Of course, there are other things you can consider to prevent your plant from suffering from nutrient burn.

Inform you about the specific nutrient needs of cannabis plants in their different growth phases. This way you know how much nutrient your plants need and when. Using the right fertilizer is also essential to avoid overfertilization. The fertilizer should be made specifically for cannabis plants and contain the nutrients your cannabis needs. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage when fertilizing. If you are a beginner in the field of growing, we recommend you use an organic fertilizer , because it releases the nutrients slowly and so the risk of overfertilization is relatively small.

Check the appearance of your plant regularly and watch for signs of overfertilization. This way you can determine if your plant is healthy, adjust the dosage in time and intervene if your cannabis suffers from nutrient burn.

If you do not have a Bonsanto grow box, you should perform soil tests at regular intervals to check the nutrient content in the soil. This way you can see if fertilization is necessary or not. The way you water your plant can also affect the nutrients in the soil. Excessive watering will wash all the nutrients out of the soil, while too little water will cause nutrients to collect in the soil. 


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