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Cannabis Leaves Drying Up? What Causes This and How Do I Solve It?

Dry cannabis leaves

Healthy and vibrant cannabis thriving plants have firm, dark green fan leaves with a waxy spackle bulging from robust, sturdy stems. Every cannabis cultivator strives to achieve plants that look half as healthy as these. However, things sometimes go differently than planned. There is a reason why your cannabis plants’ leaves grow dry and brittle. In many circumstances, this might indicate a more serious condition. When you notice dry leaves, you should act fast to prevent additional harm to your treasured plants. Here’s a guide on the numerous potential causes of dry, crispy leaves and how to fix or prevent the situation.

The common causes of dry and crispy cannabis leaves

Dry and crispy cannabis leaves emerge for a variety of causes and have an impact on the overall health of your crop. Crispy leaves are sometimes okay, but they often indicate something is wrong with the plant or the growing environment. If you notice symptoms spreading through the cannabis plant, you must act promptly. The following are typical reasons why cannabis leaves can become dry and crispy:

Nutrient problems

Weed plants need a balance of critical nutrients to survive and develop. These natural chemicals serve critical functions in cannabis physiology, from photosynthesis to tissue development and flowering. Cannabis plants require two kinds of nutrients: macro and micronutrients. These plants need “macro” in greater amounts and “micro” in lesser quantities. Most farmers can provide appropriate nutrients to their plants by utilizing high-quality compost or supplements.

Nutrient Deficiencies In Weed Plants

Despite this, cannabis plants might still show signs of insufficiency due to pH variations. Plants lose their capacity to absorb nutrients if the pH of the growth media gets too low or too high. Low components like iron and magnesium, which are required for chlorophyll production and enzyme synthesis, might produce crispy, dry leaves. A nutrient excess might also result in dry and damaged fan leaves. Excess nitrogen can burn the roots, making the fan leaves turn a deep green and crisp. Find out more about cannabis deficiencies here.


To reestablish a healthy equilibrium, adjust the pH of your growth medium. Cannabis plants usually thrive on a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0, whereas hydroponic grown weed plants need a range of 5.5 to 6.5. You are urged to use a pH tester in determining the state of your soil medium. First, try flushing out the growth medium with pH-balanced water and testing it again. If the pH level is still off, use pH correction products available at any gardening store. Consider introducing mycorrhizal fungus to your soil, too. These helpful fungi have a mutually beneficial interaction with plant roots, assisting them in mining for nutrients in exchange for sugars.

Light burn

Light, another pillar of plant life, allows cannabis to generate its energy. You can say goodbye to cannabis buds entirely if there is no light. However, too much light may cause your plant’s higher parts to burn, causing leaves to crisp over and potentially damage high-flying colas. Expect discoloration, dryness, and lower yields if you allow your canopy to become too tall.


Keep a watchful eye on your indoor garden. As your plant grows taller, raise your lighting system. If you have a limited area, employ LST and ScrOG methods to keep your canopy lower to the ground while maintaining production. LED lighting is gaining popularity among cannabis farmers. In addition to being less expensive to run, these lights create less heat and provide more leeway if your plants grow out of control.

Old age

Cannabis plants do not remain young permanently. Dry, crispy leaves are a natural byproduct of a plant’s life cycle. During the late flowering phase, when plants devote the majority of their resources to the formation of resinous buds, certain fan leaves will begin to dry and discolor. Lower leaves are more affected by aging, but those higher up may also begin to lose moisture content and a beautiful green color.

If your plants are generally healthy, pest-free, and at optimal temperatures, they are most likely just becoming old. During flushing, the procedure of reducing feeding roughly two weeks before harvest to boost the flavor of the buds, fan leaves will seem especially dry and brittle. A deliberate absence of vital nutrients will affect the foliage, causing numerous fan leaves to fall to the ground.


You should not worry since it is a natural occurrence and let nature to take its course. Defoliate the dry and decaying leaves using a clean pair of pruning shears to increase canopy aeration and clean up the looks of your plants.


Cannabis needs water to survive. During photosynthesis, plants use this valuable resource to transport nutrients and maintain them turgid and vigorous. However, like with everything, too much water is harmful. Overwatering frequently happens when inexperienced growers overwater their plants—they notice one bit of dry soil and panic. When there is a regular supply of water, fluid tends to pool in the soil. When plants absorb an excessive amount of water, the cells within the leaves expand and finally break. This results in crusting at the tips and a crispy appearance. Excess water also serves as a breeding ground for harmful fungi and washes important nutrients from the soil.


Water your plants with care. A small dryness in the soil is really beneficial. As a general rule, water your plant again after the top five cm is dry. Weigh your pots when they’re dry and again after they’re fully watered to keep track of things. Please wait until your pots have reached their dry weight before watering again.

Excess heat

Heat has the ability to crisp things up: bacon, toast, and even our skin after spending too much time at the beach. Even if your cannabis plants are well away from the grow light, heat can still stress them out. Cannabis plants enjoy temperatures below 85°F / 30°C, while certain strains are more heat sensitive (shorter, bushier strains are often more heat sensitive than longer, lankier strains).

Most plants can handle a few hot days, but your plants will suffer if it’s hot every day for weeks. Most cannabis plants can withstand brief periods of high heat but do not prefer to dwell in the desert. If you keep your cannabis plants exposed to the hot sun in a greenhouse or garden, their fan leaves will lose moisture, dry up, and wither.


Prepare to protect your plants against a heatwave if you’re growing outside in a very hot zone. Keep some shade cloth and pegs on hand, and use a do-it-yourself arrangement if the sun shines too brightly for too long. Conversely, if your grow space becomes excessively hot, utilize fans and air conditioning to cool it down. You may also automate this process by connecting a sensor and controller to an exhaust fan.

Pests and fungi

Humans aren’t the sole earthbound creatures who enjoy cannabis. Many various types of microorganisms, insects, and mold appreciate the flavor of new cannabis plants. Aphids, caterpillars, and slugs all enjoy the flavor of cannabis leaves, while plant-parasitic nematodes prefer the taste of roots. Fungi will settle almost wherever on the plant as long as it gives them their preferred conditions—dampness and humidity. Cannabis plants can withstand some pest damage, and the presence of a few insects signifies a high level of biodiversity in the garden. However, continuous and vigorous attacks can stress them out, resulting in dry and crispy leaves.


Take care of your plants! Different species need different strategies. To keep pest species at bay, use predatory insects, including ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and praying mantis. Sow companion plants like sunflower, sweet basil, and lavender early in the season to repel and divert destructive insects as a second line of defense. You can also inoculate your soil with mycorrhizal fungi, which use tiny filaments called hyphae to bind and capture chewing worms. And what about that pesky mold? Simple. Use fans or a natural wind to keep your plants aerated. Avoid overwatering the soil and cover it up to protect your plants from downpours during blossoming.

Cannabis is a resilient plant that can endure extreme conditions, deficits, and invading organisms. However, you should refrain from constantly taking this risk. Jeopardizing the possibility of complications means jeopardizing your beautiful buds. Any problems with your plant must be resolved as soon as possible. Fortunately, these issues are frequently mirrored in the leaves of your plant. Thus, by seeing the plant, you can know a lot about its vigor. For instance, the cannabis leaves can tell you whether your plant is deficient in a particular nutrient, is struggling with pests or mildew, or is stressed due to environmental settings. So, examine the leaves regularly and learn to recognize irregularities. If you see any, identify the indications and determine what is causing them. And, before it’s too late, fix the problem.

Note: Each cannabis plant is unique. The genetics of each strain vary greatly, as do their reactions to environmental factors. So, learn your plant’s genetics well so that you can quickly fix what’s broken.

Picture of Janice Bernstein

Janice Bernstein

Janice has been on the cannabis scene for many years now, though she tends to keep to herself and might fly under the radar for many, even those well-versed in cannabis growing. Her writings on different methods of watering cannabis helped bring the use of reverse osmosis water to the forefront of cannabis gardening. About this Author

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