How To Identify And Treat Cannabis Wind Burn
3 min

How To Identify And Treat Cannabis Wind Burn

3 min

There are many ailments that can impact cannabis plants. In this article, we'll be focusing on wind burn. This phenomenon is the result of plants being blasted by harsh winds, and can cause a variety of adverse effects. If you're looking to recognise, treat, and prevent wind burn, read on to discover all you need to know.

There are many ailments that can upset the process of cannabis cultivation. One such issue is wind burn. Although seemingly harmless from the outset, wind burn can wreak havoc on your plants if allowed to progress, resulting in some detrimental effects in the worst cases. However, help is at hand, as we're here to give you all the information you need about cannabis wind burn, including how to recognise and prevent it, and how to save your plants from this pesky phenomenon should it occur.

What is cannabis wind burn?

What Is Cannabis Wind Burn?

Wind has many potential benefits for cannabis plants. Indeed, some air movement is necessary to help their stems become robust and resilient. However, if plants are getting thrashed around by strong winds, they can become damaged, sometimes irrevocably. Constant strong wind can also cause a phenomenon known as wind burn, which occurs when excessive airflow ramps up transpiration and causes undesirable water loss in the plant. But how can you tell if this is happening to your plants?

Related article

Simple Tips To Grow Better Weed

What does wind burn look like in cannabis?

What Does Wind Burn Look Like In Cannabis?

The impact of constant strong winds takes many different forms, and symptoms of wind burn can include:

  • Clawing of leaves
  • Smaller buds
  • Poor yields
  • Stunted growth
  • Yellow, bronze, and brown markings on the leaves

Any of these symptoms is sure to cause some concern, but sometimes, all is not as it seems.


While the aforementioned symptoms may seem like surefire signs of wind burn, they are very similar to the symptoms of other ailments. Often, nitrogen toxicity, under-watering, and even overwatering are misdiagnosed as wind burn, based on symptoms such as clawing, browning, and wilting of the leaves. So be careful of jumping to conclusions about what your plant is suffering from; rule out other possible afflictions before treating it for wind burn.

How to treat wind burn in cannabis plants

How To Treat Wind Burn In Cannabis Plants

If you find that your cannabis plants are suffering from wind burn, it's time to take action. Be sure to work quickly, as delaying can damage your plants more. Treating wind burn is a pretty simple process and, if done correctly, will nurse your plants back to full health.

The first thing you must do is move your plants out of the way of the wind. You might think this is a problem exclusive to outdoor plants, but wind burn can also strike indoor plants that are too close to fans! Generally, this can easily be achieved by manoeuvring potted plants out of harm's way.

Once in a suitable position, prune away any damaged and dead leaves, keep the soil moist (but not overwatered), and allow your plants to recover. You can even add some additional nutrients to give your plants the extra edge during recovery. Just be sure to follow the instructions when using these, as you don't want to damage your plants further.

In the event that your plants are planted directly in the ground outdoors, you may need to erect some form of protective barrier around your specimens. A simple tarp or plywood structure may be all that’s needed to keep the wind from causing too much damage, especially during intense gusts.

Related article

What Are The Best Cannabis Fertilisers?

Can plants recover from wind burn?

Can Plants Recover From Wind Burn?

Most plants can make a full recovery from wind burn. That said, timing is everything. Taking too long could significantly reduce your plant's potential to recover.

Of course, indoor plants have a tendency to recover quicker, as fans can easily be turned down, redirected, or moved further away from plants. Outdoors, you are at the mercy of the elements. As mentioned, moving plant pots will be a lot easier than trying to protect plants situated in a flowerbed. For this reason, among many others, it’s often advised to grow outdoor plants in containers.

Preventing cannabis wind burn

Preventing Cannabis Wind Burn

Treatment is only half of the battle; prevention is key. Save yourself a load of hassle by keeping wind burn at the forefront of your mind when looking to position your plants. While the risk is arguably higher for outdoor projects, there are plenty of steps to take for indoor plants too.


One of the critical components of an indoor setup is a fan. Many place their plant in a confined grow tent, switch on the fan, and leave it without paying attention to the setting or how close the machine is to the plant. In these cases, issues with wind burn can occur. Be sure to position your fan (or fans) at opposing ends of the grow tent, facing the wall. This will help to circulate air instead of blasting your plant with non-stop wind. You can even look to use oscillating fans so your plants aren't constantly getting plied with cold air.


Outdoor projects are a different story. With less control over how wind impacts your plants, you'll have to think a little differently when looking to prevent wind burn. Consider using a greenhouse or polytunnel to prevent any strong winds from damaging your plants. Of course, you can also try to find a sheltered space in your growing area, positioning your plants behind hedges, trees, or buildings to shield them from harsh winds.

You can also consider using trellises to support your plants. They may not do a great deal to prevent wind burn, but they will stop breakage and further damage from occurring. Lastly, consider topping or trimming your plants to create a lower canopy and a more sturdy shape that is resilient to harsh winds and subsequent burn.

Related article

Growing Indoors Vs. Outdoors: The Pros And Cons

Don't get caught out by wind burn

Don't Get Caught Out By Wind Burn

As you can see, wind burn isn't a death sentence. Paying attention to your plants and acting quickly is all it takes to stay ahead of the curve. Experiencing these ailments is all part of the rich tapestry of cannabis cultivation and, while frustrating at the time, will only serve to make you a better grower in the long run. Just take your time when it comes to preparing and positioning your plants, and they'll ultimately reward you.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
Growing Seedshop
Search in categories