What you have going on there is called: Nutrient Burn
Nutrient Burn is one of the MOST common mistakes a new grower makes,
reason for this is, because a newer grower will use a chemical nutrient
most of the time and listen to the directions on the box. This is a NO NO!
Depending on the age of the plant, size, strain and soil mixture you are using
also has a factor. There is no set guideline when using nutrients, but I can
give you a good example to start out with so you will not burn your plants.
It’s always good to start out light, rather than feed heavy. Remember you can
always add more later, but can not take out when you added to much. Chemical
and Organic nutrients differ. Chemical nutrients are more readily available
and can burn way easier than organics can. Organics are easier for a newer
grower to use, most of the time, and lessen your chances of burning your plants.
I recommend not using more than ½ teaspoon of chemical nutrients per gallon
of water. Unless the plants are very big 5 feet+, then it’s safe to use 1
teaspoon per gallon of water. When your plants first emerge you want to wait
at least 2 weeks before feeding your plants, unless your plants are in a soiless
mixture, like pro mix. The cotyledons (its first set of round looking leaves) are
what give the plant its food until they get the first 2 or 3 sets of leaves. If
your plants are in a soiless mixture and are over the first week of age; you can
feed a weak amount of nutrients, like ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water. Soiless
mixtures are different from soil plants and soiless plants need to be fed more
when using this mixture.
I also recommend not feeding more than 1 time a week if using ½ teaspoon per
gallon of water for chemical nutrients. You can feed every other day,( this
goes for chemical and organics) at very weak amounts, but doing this may contribute
to over watering, and for that I do not recommend feeding more than once a week.
Some people feed 2 times a week using like ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water… Use 1/4
strength for first feeding and then go up to 1/2 strength from the 2nd feeding when
using chemical nutrients. It’s very easy to overdo it. When using organics, depending
on which one you’re using, I recommend using 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. When the
plant gets bigger you can work your way up to using more nutrients when the plants
As for soil mixtures, there are a lot of different kinds of soil’s out there. Using a
rich soil mixture is not recommended for seedlings. Seedlings that are under 2
weeks of age you do not want to start them in rich soil, using a seed starter
mixture is one of the safer ways. Seed starter mixtures are weak in nutrients,
so it will not burn the seedlings but will provide them enough to get past seedling
stage, but the downside is you have to transplant into a better soil mixture after 2
weeks of age. If you decide to start with this mixture, do not put your seedlings
into a big pot. Start them out with using a cup or a small pot.
Nutrient Burn causes leaf tips to appear yellow or burnt. They can also be brown
and twisted and crispy looking. Depending on the severity it can show many different
symptoms and shows on lower part of the plant when its young, at older stages it
can move anywhere on the plant.
To fix the problem when you have Nutrient burn, you want to flush out the plants
with lots of water.
Soil should be flushed with lots of water, Use 3 gallons of water per one gallon of soil.
Flush very thoroughly, after plant recovers usually after a week, you can resume using
nutrients after a week or a week 1/2. When you flush your soil, you flush everything out,
a lot of nutrients go with it, including the soil nutrients.
Change out the reservoir, flush out any lines and clean out the entire system and
replace with plain water for the first hour, then start out with lower parts per
Its good to clean out your system every 2 weeks and replace with fresh water and
nutrients. Some people change everything every week!
Ahh, nute burn! Stop this by not adding to much chemical/organic nutrients to your
water,foliar feeding. DONT feed more than 1 time a week unless using weak amount,
use 1/4 strength for first feeding and then go up to 1/2 strength from then on when
using chemical nutrients. Its very easy to overdo it. Causes leaf tips to appear
yellow or burnt. NEVER give nutrients to plants that are under 2 weeks of age, at
this age the soil nutrients are enough to suppliment them untill 2 weeks of age or
more depending on how good your soil is. Using ferts before 2 weeks will almost
likley kill your plants.