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Marijuana Nutrient Deficiency Chart




The ability of a Gardner to give one look to his plants and identify exactly what might be ailing them is one that is quite indispensable. This especially applies to marijuana growers as they often find themselves in situations where they cannot ask around freely concerning any deficiencies their plants may be having.

Luckily, cannabis plants generally have an eloquent way of communicating what it is they are lacking. In case of nutrient deficiencies, you will definitely see signs such as discoloration, curled leaves, and wilting, which will inform you of the precise problem?

Sounds a little psychic? Join us as we break down each nutrient deficiency, describe how it might present and offer a fix.

Cannabis Nutrient Deficiency Chart

Cannabis plants require certain nutrients, both in high doses and some in micro doses. The description of these nutrients is:

Macronutrients: These are minerals needed by the cannabis plant in large quantities. Typically, these include phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen. Just like the building blocks for humans are fats, proteins, and carbs, these nutrients form the bulk of the nutrients that are vital to the cannabis plants for proper growth and functioning.

Micronutrients : Needed in trace amounts, these elements and minerals are just as vital to the health of the plant. These minerals include zinc, iron, boron, Sulphur, and others. They are the equivalent of vitamins and minerals in the human diet and a lack of them can lead to serious health consequences.

Mobile vs Immobile Nutrients

In understanding the weed plant nutrient deficiency chart, it’s important to tell the difference between “mobile and immobile” nutrients.

Mobile nutrients describe minerals which can be shuttled from one part of the plant to the part of the plant the plant that needs it most. An example is phosphorous stored in “older fan leaves” getting directed to newer growth that might have that deficiency. This also means that deficiency of a mobile nutrient will first be noticeable in its older growth.

Immobile nutrients on the other hand tend to remain locked in one place and plants are unable to redistribute them, even if they need to. An example is that with a zinc deficiency, the signs will show first in the newer growth as the plant will not be able to relocate the mineral to where it is needed.

Below is a chart of Mobile Vs Immobile Nutrients.


(Old leaves)
(New leaves)
Nitrogen (N)MobileX
Phosphorous (P)MobileX
Potassium (K)MobileX
Calcium (Ca)ImmobileX
Sulfur (S)ImmobileX
Magnesium (Mg)MobileX
Iron (Fe)ImmobileX
Manganese (Mn)ImmobileX
Boron (B)ImmobileX
Molybdenum (Mo)ImmobileX
Zinc (Zn)ImmobileX

 Role of PH in Cannabis Plant Nutrient Deficiencies

Even though your soil happens to have all the nutrients your plant needs, if the PH is off, the plants will not be able to access them. Weed plants thrive in a soil PH of 6.0-6.5, any higher or lower and the plants will have a problem absorbing the nutrients they need. This is the phenomenon known as nutrient lockout.

To prevent this, carry out periodic flushes and use a PH meter to help you keep an eye on the values. Several techniques exist by which you can change the PH of your soil, which we will not go into currently.

Does Going Organic Solve Nutrient Deficiency?

Soil science has achieved great advances which show the root zone (rhizosphere) as beaming with life. A complex microorganism network works in synergy with the root system. Soil typically needs an optimal balance of fungi and bacteria that acts to break down organic matter, freeing nutrients that can be used by the plants.

Focusing on methods such as composting in building living soil has the effect of providing long-term nutrient deficiencies prevention. Going organic also supports a thriving biodiversity in the rhizosphere, leading to robust yields.

Where growers are unable to access organic options, they can use the more-short-term approach of using foliar sprays which are an organic supplement that go directly to the leaves.

Pot Nutrient deficiency Chart

Plants SymptomsNPKCaSMgFeMnBMbZnCuOver Fertilized
Upper leaves yellowNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Middle leaves Yellow NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
Lower leaves YellowYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Reddish stemsYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Dead shootsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
White Leaf TipsNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
 Stunted GrowthNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Deformed new growthNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Yellow TipsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Twisted GrowthNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo


How to Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies

We have seen on our cannabis deficiency chart what nutrients might be in short supply, and how these deficiencies manifest. Now we will look at how to prevent them or fix them if they occur.


Nitrogen is a mobile macronutrient which plays a major role in both photosynthesis and in the formation of important plant proteins. When a plant is undergoing nitrogen deficiency, its older leaves will start yellowing and dropping off, with the whole plant eventually discoloring and having poor yields.

How to prevent Nitrogen deficiency

  • Maintain optimum pH of 6.0–6.5.
    • Start off your cannabis plant with a potting mix that is nutrient-dense.
    • Start composting to as soon as now to ensure that you have nutrient-dense medium for future use.
    • Add mycorrhizae to your soil to boost its nitrogen levels as they are associated with important nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Solution to fix your nitrogen problem

  • Most organic fertilizers contain adequate nitrogen to sort out the deficiency. You can start out with manure, fish meal, alfalfa, or even feather meal.
    • Adjust pH accordingly.
    • Apply simple foliar sprays such as compost tea for a “fast-acting solution”.


Another mobile macronutrient, phosphorus is essential in protein synthesis and photosynthesis as well as being a crucial DNA component. Because phosphorous is a mobile nutrient, the plant is able to direct the minerals to the area it is needed the most. Phosphorus deficiency usually manifest as brown spots on the leaves, and dry leaves.

How to prevent phosphorous deficiency

  • Use that is high in organic matter.
    • Increase the rate of absorption by using soil that is well-aerated.
    • Add mycorrhizal fungi to your soil to improve its phosphorus uptake. These microbes assist in turning insoluble phosphates into a form that has available molecules.
    • Compost manure.

Solutions to phosphorous deficiencies

  • Tweak your pH towards the higher end of the recommended spectrum—This will cause make your plant better able to absorb phosphorous.
    • Add fish meal, and worm castings to your soil.
    • Apply an organic fertilizer that is high in phosphate.
    • Avoid overwatering as it may make the soil compact. Only add water to your soil when its top 3cm dry up.
    • Plants uptake phosphorous in warmer conditions of higher than 15°C. You can move your plants to a location that is warmer, or erect some tarpaulin to trap heat.


This is the third, and final macronutrient. It aids in the regulation of CO₂ uptake as well as playing a major role in photosynthesis. This mobile nutrient is key in producing ATP (which is the cellular unit of energy). When a cannabis plant is suffering from potassium deficiency, it will appear brown and stretchy with leaves that are yellow at the tips with curled up edges.

How to prevent potassium deficiency

  • Too much fertilizer can cause salt buildup which could interrupt potassium uptake.
    • Your compost can be bolstered with kelp meal and hardwood.
    • Don’t overwater.

Resolving Potassium deficiency

  • Flush the medium.
    • Periodically Measure the PH of your soil and adjust it to avoid nutrient lockout.
    • Add some chicken manure to your soil.
    • Use organic seaweed for foliar spray.


Critical to the health of your cannabis plant, this immobile micronutrient aids in holding plant walls together. New growth that has calcium deficiency will form incorrectly and have warping.

How to prevent calcium deficiency

  • Add dolomitic or garden lime to your growing medium.
    • Maintain a pH of 6.2 to encourage calcium uptake.
    • Add a lot of eggshells to the organic compost.
    • Maintain a worm farm! The castings from the warms provide an abundance of nutrients, including calcium.

How to fix calcium deficiency

  • Apply a good cal-mag supplement.
    • Adjust your PH towards 6.2.
    • To 4l of water, add 5ml of hydrated lime, and water your plants with that solution.


Although required in trace amounts, this nutrient is vital for the formation of important proteins and enzymes. When your plant lack Sulphur, the new growth will turn yellow as well the underside of the leaves discoloring.

How to prevent sulphur deficiency

  • Use manure to bolster your compost pile.
    • As bacteria and fungi are key in releasing sulfur into the soil, encourage them by employing techniques like no-till and adding mycorrhizae in you’re you are growing in pots.

How to fix Sulphur deficiencies

  • Epsom salts is considered to be rich in sulphur. To 4l of water, add 1–2 teaspoons of some Epsom salts and use this on your plants until all the symptoms disappear.
    • Adjust pH to the optimal range if needed.


This micronutrient is vital in photosynthesis as it positions itself at the heart of the chlorophyll molecule, facilitating the absorption of light. Magnesium deficient plants will have yellow leaves that turn brown and eventually dry out.

How to prevent Magnesium deficiency

  • Introduce dolomitic limestone to your growing medium.
    • Use compost that is rich in manure.
    • Maintain good a pH balance.

How to resolve magnesium deficiency

  • If your PH is out of balance, flush your medium with water that has 6.0 pH.
    • Add 1-2 teaspoons of Epsom salts to 4 lts of water and apply for the duration of the symptoms.


This micronutrient plays a vital role in the formation of chlorophyll. It is also key in enzyme and pigment formation. In a nut-shell, this immobile micronutrient aids plants in the carrying out of metabolic as well as energy-forming processes. The young growth of iron deficient plants will turn bright yellow.

How to prevent iron deficiency

  • Adding mycorrhizae to the soil aids in the shuttling of iron.
    • Ensure your soil has the correct PH to rule out nutrient lockout
    • Add chicken manure, seaweed, and kitchen scraps to your compost pile.

How to resolve iron deficiency

  • Adjust your pH to the sweet spot.
    • Flush your growing medium then add a suitable iron supplement.
    • In case you need to lower pH to increase the accessibility of iron, introduce a tiny amount of nitrogen fertilizer.


This is a largely forgotten immobile micronutrient. However, it plays very fundamental roles in the physiology of cannabis plants. It not only aids in photosynthesis, nitrogen assimilation, and respiration, it also plays a part in root cell elongation as well as protecting the roots from bad microbes. Manganese deficiency will present as a light green discoloration near the bottom of new growth which eventually spans to the tips with brown spots emerging.

How to prevent manganese deficiency

  • Ensure correct pH is maintained as this contributes to manganese deficiency.
    • Add tomatoes, carrots, pineapple, and cranberry to your pile.

How to fix manganese deficiencies

  • Flush your containers.
    • Prune any affected growth which doesn’t recover.
    • Use seaweed foliar spray on your canopy.


This immobile micronutrient works alongside calcium tin giving integrity to the cell walls of the plant, as well as aiding in cell division. Breeders are particular about this nutrient as it is key in the pollination process. Boron deficiency manifests as reduced fertility, lack of turgor, terminated meristems, and poor vegetative growth. New growth is often twisted with wilted sugar leaves, and leaves that have a yellowish-brown discoloration.

How to prevent Boron deficiency

  • Avoid plants drying out.
    • Do NOT overfeed to prevent nutrient lockout.
    • Do not allow humidity levels to get below 25%.
    • Use aerated soil that is well-draining.
    • Generously add chickpeas, broccoli, apples, and bananas to your compost pile.

How to fix boron deficiencies

  • Flush your medium aiming for the ideal pH range.
    • Add one teaspoon boric acid to 4l of water. Apply to your affected plants until symptoms resolve.

Zinc and Molybdenum

These micronutrient deficiencies are quite uncommon and easy to fix. They appear as pink and red discoloration at the edges on new growth as well as wrinkly yellow leaves with reduced node distance.

These deficiencies can be fixed by maintaining the correct pH of 6.0-6.5 adding pumpkin or squash scraps to improve zinc quantities as well as using seaweed foliar.


Growing marijuana is a delicate balance that requires the right mix of nutrients and handling. Fortunately, it is quite easy to tell what may be ailing your cannabis plants using out pot leaf deficiency chart. If you muster it, within no time you will be the consummate pot farmer. All the best!

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.

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