How To Avoid Clawed Leaves And Wind Burn

How To Avoid Clawed Leaves And Wind Burn
September 06, 2019

Cannabis cultivation can throw up as many challenges as it does rewards. Growers need to be mindful of pests, mold, nutrient deficiencies, airflow, temperature, humidity… the list goes on. Some problems can be easier to diagnose and overcome, others can pose a bit of a mystery, requiring troubleshooting detective work from savvy growers.

One of the trickiest things to diagnose is wind burn on cannabis plants. Why? Because the damage can often look like symptoms of other issues. 

What does windburn look like on plants?

Marijuana wind burn results in clawed cannabis leaves and other signs of cannabis wind damage, such as wind burn leaf spots. These spots can often be mistaken for pest damage or nutrient deficiencies, leading growers to treat plants for problems they do not have. 

A good grower will always look at the set-up first. Are the lights too close? Are the pots too small? Is my timer working? Is the dehumidifier full? You should also pay attention to airflow. Poor ventilation can cause problems, but too much (aggressive fans, powerful air-conditioner etc) can also cause problems. How can you diagnose cannabis plant wind burn? Let’s explore the symptoms.

How to diagnose wind burn on cannabis plants.

Clawed Leaves

Wind burn on weed plants results in clawed or clawing leaves, but this cannabis leaf damage is also a symptom of other issues, such as:

When you wind stress cannabis, the leaves react by curling their tips to fend off further damage. This leads to shorter, injured leaves, which results in sickly plants and a poor harvest.

Yellow Leaves of Marijuana Plant

Weed Windburn

In terms of airflow, all your plants need is a pleasant breeze and proper ventilation. Good airflow can help prevent issues such as mold, while regulating temperature and humidity levels, too.

Windburn, unsurprisingly, is the result of too much airflow. It’s a common problem for indoor set-ups, with enthusiastic gardeners blasting their plants with air from static fans. 

What are the more common signs of cannabis wind burn?

Wind burn on plants

  • Abnormal growth
  • Twisted growth
  • Red or purple stems

Wind burn on leaves

  • Tips are curling and clawing – be it upward or downward
  • Burnt edges
  • Yellowish spots on the surface
  • Wilting
  • Drooping

As we have pointed out, it’s easy to mistake the symptoms of wind burn as signs of deeper, more worrisome issues. If you think your plants are getting too much air, they probably are! Check the plants furthest away from the fans – if they look less damaged than the closest plants, the chances are the damage is cannabis windburn.

How to prevent wind burn on cannabis plants

Windburn puts cannabis plants under significant stress, which can compromise yield. It can be avoided, though, if the signs are spotted early on.

Cannabis Indoor Controled Environment

When setting up an indoor grow, planning ahead is vital. You want to make the absolute most out of the space you have. Unfortunately, this can often see growers trying to cram too many plants into small spaces, resulting in a cramped mass of plants at risk of mold and infection. At this stage, it is all too common for growers to overcompensate by blasting their huddled plants with too much air. Rather than solve the problems, it causes more.

Plants need both space from each other (mostly – there are some exceptions, a Sea of Green for example) and space from the equipment. It can be just as damaging to put your plants too close to a fan or air-con unit as it would be to set them too close to a grow lamp.

How to set up fans to avoid plant wind burn

When placing your fans, the goal is to have fresh air circulating gently around the plants. The ideal set-up would be to have a flow of air above the canopy (but under the lights) with another flow underneath (around the stems) in the opposite direction. Fans with multiple strength settings are very useful – provided you have the budget.

Some smaller grows have little room for more than just a single, small fan. Pointing this fan towards a wall will create indirect airflow, a light breeze, though it may require trial and error to find the sweet spot.

Can plants recover from windburn? 

Knowing how to fix wind burn weed could save you quite a bit of heartache. Severely wind burn cannabis leaves will eventually shrivel and fall off, but not before using vital energy that should be used for producing flower. Clawed or wind burn leaves prompt the plant to supply extra nutrients and energy to the damaged parts, to help restore them. Once a leaf suffers too much burn, it’s best to remove it completely.

Wind burn treatment for plants

Leaves with minimal damage can be left alone as they will soon recover, once the source of the weed plant wind burn has been removed. The burnt edges will separate and fall off like a scab, while the rest of the leaves will continue to thrive. Any spots should also start to heal but you should keep the plants sufficiently hydrated for faster recovery.

Moderation is key to avoiding cannabis wind stress.

Clawed leaves and wind burn plant leaves can be easily prevented in indoor grows. Cannabis wind burn outdoor is easy to prevent, too. Make sure your spot is sheltered and protected from the wind, while feeling enough airflow to promote strong limbs and sturdy branches.

Moderate airflow is vital to the growth of indoor plants so it must not be overlooked. Make sure your plants are getting just enough air – never too much. Think light summer breeze over raging wind tunnel and, if you think your plants are suffering from too much wind – trust your instincts, they’re probably correct.

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