Marijuana Leaves Curling? Here’s How to Fix Them!

Curling marijuana leaves

You hate to see it–as a cannabis or marijuana grower, it can be frustrating when you see that your leaves are curling, despite your best efforts to feed your plants properly. Here, we’ll learn why curling (also known as clawing) happens and what you can do to stop this common phenomenon. 

What Is Curling?

You may notice that some of the leaves on your cannabis or marijuana plants begin to droop over time. They’ll likely point toward the ground if your plant is curling. While this can look like your plant isn’t doing well, fear not–once you identify the cause of leaf curling, you’ll likely be able to take some simple steps to get your plant back to peak condition. 

When your plant leaves begin to curl, don’t take it as a sign that you have a dud of a plant. Instead, see leaf curling as your plant letting you know something isn’t quite right, and giving you the opportunity to fix it. 

Common Causes of Leaf Curling

There are a few different reasons your marijuana plants may be struggling to thrive. When you notice curling leaves, take a step back and think about whether any of the following issues could be causing problems with your plants. 

Overfeeding

Yep, it’s true–it’s possible to give your plants too much of the good stuff. Nitrogen poisoning is a common cause of leaf curling. Adding too much phosphorus and potassium to your soil can also cause problems with your leaves. 

Overwatering

When you give your plants too much water, you make it difficult or impossible for them to get the nutrients that they need. Overwatering can also contribute to the development of microorganisms that can harm your plants. Root rot can set in quickly when plants are getting too much water. Curling leaves are often a sign that your plants are overhydrated. 

Too Hot

Temperature issues can be tricky with cannabis plants, and it’s important to keep an eye on the coming temperatures each week to ensure that you’re doing all you can to keep your plants safe. If you’re plants are spending time in environments above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re placing them square in the danger zone. Marijuana plants thrive between 50 and 85 degrees, and you’ll want to be sure you’re not scorching your plants. 

Too Cold

If you grow you plants outdoors, it can be tough to stop them from getting too cold, especially at night. If your outdoor temperatures are regularly dipping below 50 degrees at night, it may be time to transplant indoors. 

Genetics

It’s sad but true: some cannabis plants are more prone to curling than others, and it can be tough to know how sensitive your plants are to the above factors. It can be smart to thin out the plants that aren’t giving you the results you want, and to not get too critical of you skills as a grower if you’re dealing with curling plants. 

Learning more about the genetics of the strains you’re considering can be a smart first step in avoiding curling plants. Talking to growers who are growing similar strains can also be helpful if you’re having trouble figuring out how to stop your cannabis leaves from curling. 

Leaf Curling Solutions

Thankfully, it can be easy to fix the issues that are making your cannabis leaves curl. Check out the suggestions below to help your plants get back to normal. 

  • Overfeeding: It can be tough to figure out exactly how to dial down the nutrients that you’ve been giving your plants. If you need to do so, take your time, and back off slowly. A better idea: add nutrients slowly at the beginning of the growing process so you can see exactly what your plants need to thrive.
  • Overwatering: The solution to this one is simple: make sure your plant pots are draining properly, back off on how much water you’re giving your plants, and transplant your plants to drier soil if necessary. 
  • Too Hot: If your plants are getting too hot, it’s key to ensure that they aren’t too close to your grow lights. Take your time easing them toward the grow lights at the start of your growing process. You can also use fans and air conditioners to help maintain the ideal temperature in your growing area. If your plants are outside, providing them with shade can help to save them from the effects of hot temperatures that are out of your control. You may also want to consider using white pots instead of darker-colored pots, as a white pot will absorb less heat from the sun and help to keep your plants cooler. 
  • Too Cold: Cannabis plants are strong, and a few temperature dips shouldn’t cause a lasting problem. If your temperatures are consistently too low for your plants to thrive, you may want to consider adding more grow lights. If you’re committed to raising plants outdoors and you aren’t able to transplant them indoors permanently, you may want to consider only bringing them inside on cooler evenings. You may also want to consider an early harvest if you’re struggling to protect your plants from damaging chilly temperatures.

After you implement solutions for your leaf curling issues, pay attention to how your plants respond. Since it can be tough to figure out exactly what is the cause of your plant’s leaf curling, you’ll want to pay close attention to whether your attempts to fix the issue are working. 

If you find that your first solution isn’t a good fit, shift and try something new. It can take some time to get to know exactly what your plants need, and with experience, you’ll find that you’re able to pinpoint the causes of problems and solve them more easily. 

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5 Responses

  1. – Hello , My boyfriend stuck my plant out in the sun this morning til about ( Its kinda cold ) &&’d Now my leaves are curling down and my top stem is purple. Its was bright and pretty this morning .. Someone please help me ..

  2. The best way to correct light burn is to move you plant away from your light source, usually between eight and 20 inches depending on the watt and lighting type. Temperatures outside of the ideal range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit also risk discoloration and curl leaves. These oddities are most common in leaves toward the top of the plant and can easily be remedied with a fan (if too hot) or root insulation (if too cold). We also recommend growing plants off a cold cement or tile floor; use a milk crate or stool to raise them off the ground when necessary.

    1. Hey do you know of a particular pest that causes the leaves to curl under where they meet with the other leaf blades on the same leaf?…kinda towards the back of the leaf. I think it’s thrips but i could be wrong. Whatever it is they’re small and to hard to see and they are hiding under where the leaves touch.

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